two important species of the earth, with his miraculous manner of expression the Prophet (UWBP) said: “The earth is on the Bull and the Fish,” thus stating in one fine, concise sentence a page of profound truths.
S e c o n d A s p e c t : If it is said: “What does the government and its rule rest on?,” it will be said in reply: “On the sword and the pen.” That is, it rests on the valour of the soldier’s sword and the perspicacity and justice of the official’s pen. In the same way, since the earth is the dwelling-place of animate beings and the commander of animate beings is man, and fish are the means of livelihood of the majority of men who live by the sea, and the majority of those who do not live by the sea live by means of agriculture, which rests on the shoulders of bulls and oxen, and fish are also an important means of trade, just as the state rests on the sword and the pen, so it may also be said that the earth rests on the ox and the fish. For man cannot survive if the ox does not work or fish do not produce millions of eggs; life would cease and the All-Wise Creator would destroy the earth.
Thus, replying in a most miraculous, elevated, and wise way, God’s Noble Messenger (UWBP) said: “The earth rests on the bull and the fish.” He taught an extensive truth with two words and showed how closely linked man’s life is to the life of the animal species.
T h i r d A s p e c t : In the view of ancient cosmology the sun travelled and a constellation was defined every thirty degrees of its journey. If hypothetical lines were drawn connecting the stars in the constellations with one another, some take on the shape of a lion, others the shape of scales, others the shape of a bull, and yet others the shape of a fish. Names were given to the constellations in consequence of those relationships. But in the view of astronomy this age, the sun does not travel. The constellations remain idle and without work, for the earth travels instead of the sun. They assume shapes on a small scale within the annual orbit of the earth on the ground, instead of those lofty idle constellations above. Thus, the heavenly constellations are represented out of earth’s annual orbit, and each month the earth is in the shadow and likeness of one of the constellations. It is as if they are represented in the mirror-like annual orbit of the earth.
For this reason, as we mentioned above, on one occasion the Noble Messenger (Upon whom be blessings and peace) said: “On the Bull,” and on another he said: “On the Fish.” Yes, he indicated a truly profound truth that would be understood only many centuries later, and said in the miraculous prophetic tongue: “On the Bull,” because at that time the earth was in the likeness of the constellation Taurus. And on being asked a month later, he replied: “On the Fish,” for then the earth was in the shadow of the constellation of Pisces.