Author Topic: Creation of the Heavens and the Earth  (Read 3721 times)

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thegreatone9

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Creation of the Heavens and the Earth
« on: March 21, 2013, 12:50:59 PM »
Assalamu Alaikum brothers.
PLEASE READ IF YOU ONLY KNOW THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTIONS. (I dont want anybody to get confused and worried by this issue)
My questions: How did Allah (subhanu'wat'aala) create the Heavens and the Earth? Should one expect the 'tafseers' (Ibn Kathir and At-Tabari) of the Quran, regarding creation, to be correct? What do the seven heavens refer to?

I always knew that the Quran completely agreed with the fact there was a Big Bang which led to the creation of the universe, where eventually stars and the planets were formed by the grace of Allah. I have been reading tafseers of At-Tabari and Ibn Kathir. They both seem to say, quoting isnaads of Ibn Abbas (rd), that the EARTH WAS CREATED BEFORE THE HEAVENS. (From my knowledge of physics the Earth was created billions of years after the Big Bang caused the creation of the Universe (universe=heavens, right?).) Now these isnaads are supposed to be authentic and strong and the tafseers are supposed to be the best in the world. If the Book of Allah and the Prophet himself DIRECTLY testify to this, none of us should have any problems regarding it, no matter what modern science says. However I havent found any verse in the Quran (maybe my ignorance on the matter) or Hadith that seem to say that the creation of the Earth took place before the Heavens. I dont know what the Islamic scholars such as Dr Zakir Naik have to say regarding this. So what should I conclude about the tafseers?

The entire thing has seriously muddled me up. I am sure I may have made some mistake somewhere and I hope Allah will forgive me if I happened to have written anything wrong. Here are the links to where I got the tafseers from:

Tafseer At-Tabari (http://islaambooks.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/the-commentary-on-the-quran-volume-i-tafsir-al-tabari/)
Tafseer Ibn Kathir (http://www.qtafsir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3000&Itemid=731)

Verses of the Quran regarding creation: (2:29, 41:9-12, 79:29)

Offline mendacium remedium

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Re: Creation of the Heavens and the Earth
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2013, 03:38:19 PM »
The early muslims thought the earth was flat. Allah swts words and what the muslims believed are not one and the same. Allah swt explicitly states creating the earth after the stars:

79:27-30 "Are you the harder to create or the heaven? He made it. He raised high its height, and  then put it into a right good state. And he made dark its night and brought out its light. And the earth, he expanded it after that."

1. God creating the universe as a whole and allowing it to take shape
2. God creating stars "And brought out its light"
3. God creating the earth "And the earth , he expanded it after that"




You ask a good question: If the Quran indeed is saying a fully formed earth came before the creation of the rest of the universe, not only does this not go hand in hand with it says before, it also is a scientific error!

You cite the verse 10, then you go onto 11. I will go one step further and ask you to look at verse 12. I will also call upon you to look at verse 9 as well. You may find alternative translations saying ‘days’. It is widely accepted that Yawm can mean ‘periods’ . This is the translation I have by the way. Count up the total number of stages in this:

"9. Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two periods? And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds. "
"10. He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four periods, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance).
11. Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: "Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly." They said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience."
12. So He completed them as seven firmaments in two periods, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge. "


If we add them all up we come to eight stages.  If the Quran is talking about a sequential order, then it would not make sense because the Quran clearly states several times numerously that:


38. “We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six periods, nor did any sense of weariness touch Us.”
And again:
3. “Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority), regulating and governing all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His leave (hath been obtained). This is Allah your Lord; Him therefore serve ye: will ye not receive admonition? “
And again:
7. He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six stages - and His Throne was over the waters - that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. But if thou wert to say to them, "Ye shall indeed be raised up after death", the Unbelievers would be sure to say, "This is nothing but obvious sorcery!"
And again:
59. “He Who created the heavens and the earth and all that is between, in six periods, and is firmly established on the Throne (of Authority): Allah Most Gracious: ask thou, then, about Him of any acquainted (with such things).”


And again and so on and so forth several more times. So what do we find? In surah 41, verses 9-12, the number of periods add up to 8. Throughout the rest of the Quran, the number of stages is explicitly 6.

Another interesting thing is in every single instance where God describes creating the entire universe in six stages, it is always the HEAVENS and then the earth, implying the universe as a whole, before the earth.

I will explain why you read 8 stages before, and why you also read ‘then’. However, let me show a Quranic verse explicitly stating that the earth was being created AFTER the stars were.

Read this: 79:27-30 "Are you the harder to create or the heaven? He made it. He raised high its height, and  then put it into a right good state. And he made dark its night and brought out its light. And THE EARTH, HE EXPANDED  AFTER THAT"

This is the one of the few places in the Quran where God explicitly states the order. In totally unambiguous terms, the earth is created after the universe begins to take shape and not before.

This verse is actually miraculous. It implies that the universe begins to take shape, and stars from BEFORE God creates the earth. That is actually scientifically accurate.  This proves beyond any doubt that the earth was created after the stars formed. The key word is : AFTER that. Had the Quran meant the earth being created BEFORE the universe (scientific error!) it would clearly not have said ‘after that’.

But, we need to address what you have brought up.

So let me bring back the four verses we used before:
9. Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two periods? And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds.
10. He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four periods, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance).
11. Moreover He comprehended in His design the heaven, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: "Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly." They said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience."
12. So He completed them as seven firmaments in two stages, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge.


When God is describing the formation of the universe , in these instances, they are not meant to be sequential. Firstly, the total number of periodsneeded to create the universe is 6 according to the Quran. This is cited an innumerable number of times. Whenever God mentions the holistic creation in six periods, he says “The heavens and the earth”. The universe as a whole always comes first.

These verses are not meant to be the real sequence. I will firstly explain the differing of periods:

When God talks about the creation of earth overall, he says it was in ‘two periods’. When he discusses about nourishing the earth, providing for it, setting it up, bestowing his blessings and so on and so forth, the number of periodsis four.

So the Overall number of periodsto create the earth is 2, and the four periods described in this verse could be sub periods of the primary periods described in the verse previous. This is a logical connection to make: one verse talks about the whole earth forming, the other talks about a possible sub-period of the 2 periods it took to create the earth.


Think about it. God tells us it took him 2 periods to make the earth, and four periods to make certain things on the earth. The four periods are clearly sub-periods of the original two periods - so right off the bat, it is not sequential. Would you create a house, and then say i made the living room after i created the whole house? It's clearly not meant to be sequential.

Now let us look at the Arabic:

When you say “Then he turned to the heavens” Here is the Arabic:
First, the word translated "then" is the Arabic word "thumma". It can be rendered "Moreover/Furthermore". It is also true that "thumma" can be rendered "then" (as in a subsequent "and"). So there is nothing sequential. It’s simply like me saying “I made that boat in ten days, moreover, I had made a ship in seven days”. Nothing alludes to the sequence.
Second, the Arabic word for "he turned" can be rendered as "he turned", " he has turned", or "he had turned". The implication being a past action has occured. Source can be found in this book: "Written Arabic - An Approach to the Basic Structures" by A.F.L. Beeston (Chapter 3, note 22)


Here is a different verse I have not brought before, but it looks similar:
Verse 2:29
“It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; moreover His design comprehended the heavens, for He gave order and perfection to the seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge” (Yusuf Ali trns)

“It is He who created for you all that is in the earth, and He designed the heavens also and fashioned (ordered) them as seven heavens; and He knows all things.” (Hamid S aziz)

“He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth, and He directed Himself to the heaven, so He made them complete seven heavens, and He knows all things.”(Shakir)

“It is He Who created for your benefit all that is in the earth. Moreover He turned Himself towards the space and fashioned seven heavens perfect (- denoting the multiplicity of cosmic system). He has full knowledge of all things.”(Amatul Rahman Omar)

Remember what I had said before: It is also true that "thumma" can be rendered "then" (as in a subsequent "and". Then = subsequence ‘and’. The verses are not alluding to a sequence – it would make no sense. They are all talking about specific situations. If the Arabic went something like “AFTER THAT, God turned to the heavens…” It would surely have been a contradiction. But we don’t see the Arabic word/phrase of ‘After that’ which would clearly donate something sequential. We only see a connecting word to simply describe the individual event -  But we find the exact opposite, when God unambiguously uses ‘After that’ it is to denote the EARTH being created after the stars.

So far it has been established that:

•   The Quran has explicitly stated that the creation of the earth came AFTER the creation of stars. This is the only place where it is explicitly referring to a sequence of events and stating that one explicitly comes after another.
•   The 8 stages in the passages of verses you quoted surah 41, verses 9-12 were not meant to be sequential i.e. one following another. Moreover, the entire Quran has many verses (I only showed you some) clearly stating the universe including the earth were made in Six stages. The 8 stages I showed you refer to two stages to create the overall earth, and a four stages as part of the two original stages to create sustenance on earth and as part of the two stages.
•   The Arabic translation for Thumma can perfectly be used to mean ‘moreover’ or then to mean a ‘subsequent and’, thus not eluding to any sequence. 
•   Whenever God speaks of the holistic creation of everything, he states the Heavens AND the earth were made in six stages. The heavens always come first.


It is thus clear that there is no contradiction; the earth clearly comes after the creation of stars.

I'd recommend reading Brother Osama's reply , of-where i got a lot of information from:

http://www.answering-christianity.com/quran/frank_earth_heaven.htm
« Last Edit: April 21, 2013, 02:14:45 PM by mendacium remedium »

 

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