It is stated in the Quran that first the earth and then the sky was created; however, in another verse, it is stated that first the sky and then the earth was created. How should we understand it?
Submitted by on Tue, 12/01/2010 - 20:46
Dear Brother / Sister,
The expressions in various verses in the Quran can cause the understanding of the order of the creation of the earth and the sky differently. Therefore, interpreters have long examined the issue within the framework of the interpretation of especially the 29th verse of the Quran.
Tabari (Tafsir Tabari, I/192-195.) quotes the opinions that reflect different views without mentioning his own view; Qurtubi mentions different views but says, “As Qatada says, Allah created the sky in the form of dukhan (gas) and then he organized the sky and put the world in order.(Tafsir Qurtubi I/256), mentioning his own view. If it is examined carefully, it will be seen that he points out that from one aspect, the earth, and from another aspect, the sky was created earlier.
Badiuzzaman Said Nursi dealt with the same issue in the interpretation of the 29th verse of the Chapter al-Baqara.
According to him:
The 29th verse of the Chapter al-Baqara: “It is He Who hath created for you all things that are on earth; then He turned to heaven and made them into seven firmaments; and of all things He hath perfect knowledge.” shows that the earth was created first; the 30th verse of the Chapter an-Naziat: “And the earth, moreover; hath He extended (to a wide expanse); shows that the sky was created first; the 30th verse of the Chapter al-Anbiya: “Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?” shows that they were created together.
The view of Badiuzzaman, who deals with the issue in terms of exact sciences is summarized as follows:
The theory that exact sciences accept about the creation the earth and the sky is as follows: The sun and the stars that are dependent on the sun that we see and that is called the solar system was a simple singularity; then it turned to a kind of vapor; a liquid fire originated from that vapor; then the liquid fire cooled and solidified. Then it threw away some big pieces with its violent movement; those pieces condensed and became planets. The earth we live on is one of them.
Under the light of the explanations above, there can be conformity between the interpretation of the interpreters of the Quran and the exact sciences. As it is understood from the expression of the verse: " the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder ", the solar system, which included the earth, was in the form of a dough kneaded from dark matter. Dark matter is a substance that is more fluent in comparison to other beings and penetrates through all of the beings like water.
The word water in the verse: “His Throne was over the Waters " (Hud, 11/7) indicates dark matter. That is, the throne of God Almighty was on dark matter, which was like water; Dark matter became the essence of the first inventions of the Exalted Creator after it was created. That is, after creating dark matter, the Great Maker transformed dark matter into elements; then He condensed some of them and transformed them into solid matters. Then, He created seven globes, one of which is inhabited. The earth is one of them. In terms of condensing, solidifying, being covered by a crust and being a source for life, the creation and formation of the earth is before the sky.
However, the perfection of the earth, its being made suitable for human beings to live is after the formation and arrangement of the skies. In this aspect, the creation of the earth is after the creation of the skies.
However, as it is expressed above, the sun, the earth and the stars that are dependent on the sun that we see and that is called the solar system was a simple singularity, that is the earth and the sky were together. As it is understood from that explanation, the issue that can be seen as a controversy at first sight is not a controversy, and on the contrary, it is the reflection of a laconic style used in order to indicate various forms of the creation phases. (see Nursi, İşârâtu'l-İ'caz, 286-287.) (Abu's-Suud dealt with the same issue using similar expressions: see. Irshadu'l-Aqli's-Selim ila Mazaya'l-Qur'ani'l-Karim, IX/102-103).
To sum up: While interpreting the verses in question, Badiuzzaman dealt with the issue in terms of new discoveries in the exact sciences. He stated that the earth and the sky were created from the same matter and added that although the cooling of the earth and the formation of its crust took place before the creation of the sky, the transformation of the earth into a state suitable for human beings to live and the final arrangement of it like a bed took place after the final transformation of the skies.
Accordingly, the different verses regarding the issue explain each of those different states separately. In one aspect, the formation and appearance of the skies is earlier in a sense. The breaking away and separation of the earth from the skies is later. Then, the earth was made suitable for life and in the fourth phase, the skies were arranged. That is, the issue started with the skies and ended with the sky by kind of drawing a curve.
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