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* Calling together or ripping apart? In the process of creation heaven and earth were first apart and are called to come together [4:11], while 21:31 states that they were originally one piece and then ripped apart.
This is another strange one. First of all, I am assuming that you mean [41:11] not [4:11]. The verse of Fussilat(41):11 says that God commanded the heavens and the earth to submit to Him. The command to "come" unto God in this verse is equivalent to such verses as:
Al-Saffat(37):83-84: "And verily, among those who followed his (Noah's) path was Abraham. When he came to his Lord with a pure heart. When he said to his father ..."
So how exactly did Abraham "come" to his Lord? Did he physically come to Him? This is equivalent to many similar verses in the Bible. For example:
Luke 17:4 "And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."
What is meant here by "turning to God"? Does the man turn "left" or does he turn "right"? Which direction should he face from now on? Should he spend the rest of his days facing North or South? Is this what the verse means?
Similarly, in Ezekiel 14:6 we read: "Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn [yourselves] from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations."
So which direction should mankind "face" in order to have "turned away their faces" from their "abominations"? In which direction do their "abominations" reside? Are they in the South and we should face North?
(Also read Jeremiah 3:21-22, etc.)
God created the heavens and the earth and then commanded them while they were still in a simple gaseous form ("when it was smoke") to submit to His will either voluntarily or involuntarily so that He would fashion them as He wished. How did He command them and how did they answer? That is beyond our understanding. Indeed we are told in the Qur'an in Al-Isra(17):44: "The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein glorify Him, and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise, yet you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever-Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving"
Now, after the heavens and the earth were first created as a "smoke," and after He commanded them to submit to his will, and after they submitted to His will, now we are told that God extracted from that smoke the features of the heavens and the earth which we know today. Actually, this is indeed one of the scientific miracles of the Qur'an, as it describes issues which are known by astronomers today as being scientific fact. Today, through the development of twentieth century radio telescopes, mankind has actually photographed this process in action and recognize that planets are created from the condensation of spiraling celestial "mists."
It is further interesting to observe the precise term use by God in his
description of this phenomenon. He did not say "mist" as current scientific
terminology would have it, and which implies a spray of cool water, rather He described it
as a "smoke," which implies a hot gas with airborne particles. This is exactly
what scientists have been photographing for a couple of decades now, specifically, a
tremendously hot cauldron of spiraling celestial gasses and other suspended matter which
condense at the center of the spiral into a molten core which then cools down to form a
star, and from them, planets. This planet, after many centuries of cooling down may then
develop an atmosphere and other detailed features such as streams and valleys, etc.
The Spiral Galaxy M100 courtesy of the Hubble Space
M100 again. The distance to the swirling grand design
spiral M100 is causing quite a stir among astronomers. Many believe that the Hubble Space
Telescope's recent distance measurement to this galaxy accurately calibrates the
Further, as stated in the noble Qur'an, Al-Anbia(21):30:"Do not the disbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were fused then We ripped them asunder, and We created from water every living thing, do they not believe?"
This once again appears to conform exactly to current scientific understanding. As seen in much more detail in chapter 13 of "What Did Jesus Really Say?," currently, as discovered by the renown 20th century physicist Stephen Hawking, the universe is not static rather it is expanding. The rate of expansion of the universe is measured by a constant termed "the Hubble constant." This is part of the evidence that has led them to conclude that the most likely origin of the universe was in a condensed state of matter which then "expanded" or "exploded," forming our current "expanding universe." This is known as the "big bang" theory. And this indeed appears to be what the verse is saying. It appears to claim that the heavens and the earth were once a single mass then were "ripped asunder," The exact root words used in the Qur'an are the words "ra-ta-qa" and "fa-ta-qa," or "the heavens and the earth were 'ra-ta-qa' then we 'fa-ta-qa' them"
"Ra-ta-qa" is an Arabic word which has the general meaning of "to fuse, to sew, to mend, to patch up, to repair." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 114, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 325)
Similarly, "fa-ta-qa" has the general meaning of "To rip, to undo sewing, to unstitch, to tear apart, to rend, to rip open." ("Lisan Al-Arab," by Ibn Mandoor, Vol. 10, Dar Al-Fikr, p. 296, and also "A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic," Hans Wehr, Librairie du Liban, p. 695)
Amazing how science tends to support the words of God in the Qur'an so strongly wouldn't you agree? Isn't it interesting that although no one knew these facts until the discovery of radio telescopes in 1937 CE, and it is impossible to see these things with the naked eye, still, God has told us about them in the noble Qur'an over 1400 years ago?
Since Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an Arab from the middle of the desert, and since neither he nor any of his countrymen new the first thing about radio telescopes or planetary development, or space travel, and the neighboring Greeks were still philosophizing in theories which would only be exposed as erroneous by nineteenth and twentieth century scholars, still, in spite of this he has managed to prove us with such a detailed and accurate description of these matters. Did the "Martians" come down and take Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on a tour in their space ship?
"And those who have been given knowledge know that that which has been revealed to you from your Lord is the Truth"
The noble Qur'an, Saba(34):6
"Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care) or are there locks upon their hearts?"
The noble Qur'an, Muhammad(47):24
For more on the issue
of extremely high-profile Christian Western scientists readily admitting that the Qur'an
must be the work of God, please read the following question and answer.
For a more in-depth analysis of these matters including video tapes containing interviews with over ten of the worlds leading non-Muslim pioneering Western scholars, all of whom affirm the accuracy of the scientific statements of the Qur'an, contact the following address and ask for the video tape titled "It is the Truth" from:
The Islamic Academy for Scientific Research.
8150 West 111 Street
Palos Hills, IL 60465
Phone: (708) 974-9151
ICNA Sound Vision
843 W. Van Buren, suite 411
Chicago, IL. 60607
Tel: (800) 432-4262
The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA)
P.O. Box 38
Plainfield, Indiana, 46168
The Islamic Society of Central New York
925 Comstock Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
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