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They were six. The verses of 41:9-12 speak of overlapping actions in
spans of four and two days each. The adverbs are the keys to understanding this. The
verses of 11 and 12 use the adverbs "thummah" and "fa" which imply
consecutiveness of action. Neither of these two, however, are used in verse 10 (the only
one which mentions four days) which instead uses the adverb "wa" implying
parallel, or "overlapping" actions. In other words, the grammar tells us that
the four days mentioned in 10 are a continuation of the two mentioned in verse 9. The four
days of "measuring the earth's sustenance" refers to the two days of the
creation of the earth in addition to the two days of the "spreading out of the
earth's features" (see next question).

For example, the world renown track and fielder Carl Lewis might say *"I
am now 32 years old. I started elementary school when I was 6, then I spent 12 years
studying for my high-school diploma and I spent 24 years training to be the world's best
long-jumper. Then I settled down and have spent the last two years taking care of my
family."* Does this mean that he was 18 years old when he started training for the
long jump? Did he continue till he was 42 years old? If we add 6 + 12 + 24 + 2 we get 44.
How then can he be "32 years old" now?. To understand this we need to notice
that he did not say that he *started* training when he was eighteen. He did not say
"*then*" I trained for 24 years. We now realize that he started training at
the same time he started elementary school, when he was 6. He went to school and trained
for track and field at the same time. After he graduated from high-school he continued to
train for 12 more years. They were "overlapping" actions.

Now, if someone wishes to claim that Carl Lewis' statement is
contradictory since he says that he is 32 years old but "the detailed description of
the breakdown of the years" works out to 44 years, and that this is a
"contradiction," then that is their choice.

Back to Responses to the so called "Contradictions" in the Noble Quran.