It is stated in the verse 2 of the chapter of ar-Rad that “the heavens were raised without pillars” but it is stated in verse 7 of the chapter of al-Mumin that “angels sustain the Throne”. Are those verses not contradictory to each other?

The Details of the Question

“Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see.” (ar-Ra’d, 13/2);

“Those who sustain the Throne (of Allah. and those around it Sing Glory and Praise to their Lord.” (al-Mumin, 40/7)

- Is there a contradiction between those two verses?
- Was the Throne raised without any pillars, or are the angels carrying it?
- Or is the word Throne not used in the sense of sky?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

“Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.” (ar-Ra’d, 13/2)

“Those who sustain the Throne (of Allah. and those around it Sing Glory and Praise to their Lord; believe in Him; and implore Forgiveness for those who believe: ‘Our Lord! Thy Reach is over all things, in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive, then, those who turn in Repentance, and follow Thy Path; and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire’.“ (al-Mumin, 40/7)

There is no contradiction between the verses above. Both verses are indicators of Allah’s power. The phrase “heavens being raised” can be understood in two ways. First, Allah Almighty keeps the heavens standing without a pillar and without a support, with His power and might. Secondly, “Allah raised the heavens with some pillars that you cannot see.” Accordingly, it can be said that the verse refers to the gravitational force between the celestial bodies.

The word samawat”, meaning “heavens/skies”, refers to space, in which stars, solar systems and galaxies travel in their own orbits. Almighty Allah ­points to a law of nature in the verse and informs us that He raises and directs these objects in the sky without a pillar that we can see. He has connected these large masses to a system moving in space, placed centrifugal force and gravitational force in these masses to keep them away from each other and prevent them from colliding with one another, thus preventing them from either infinitely drifting away from one another or falling onto one another by striking a balance. As a matter of fact, Allah Almighty states the following in verse 65th of the chapter of al-Hajj:

 “He withholds the sky from failing on the earth except by His leave.”

Thus, He points to the divine order among those heavenly bodies.

Allah Almighty holds the Throne with His might. The Angels’ carrying the Throne metaphorically declares that they are in charge of protection and organization. Or, it may imply their closeness to Allah, the Owner of the Throne.

The absolute governance and rule of the “Throne (Arsh)” by Allah, the angels’ carrying the Throne and carrying out their work in complete obedience to Allah’s command, and the presence of some angels around the Throne mean that they are spiritually close to Allah.

Yes, Allah has raised the heavens without any pillars. Have a look at the sky; the sky and all the celestial bodies in it stand without any pillars or supports. There is nothing visible supporting them. There is only Allah’s power and might. You see with your own eyes that it is like that. Then, there is no need to provide evidence for what you see.

Yes, it is Allah who created those celestial bodies with His power and keeps them in place. Allah created the heavens and the earth, and raised the heavens without pillars; besides, He put all the creatures He created under His sovereignty by establishing Himself over the Throne. He put the entire universe, all beings and all His property under His dominion. He put all living and non-living beings under His reign. There cannot be a partner in His reign. The duties performed by the angels are carried out by the command and power of Allah. Allah gives the angels the power to manage affairs.

Allah determines, manages, arranges and organizes all affairs. Being closer to His servants than their jugular veins, our Lord organizes the lives of His servants wherever they are. In other words, Allah is not a being that has created and managed the heavens only and that has left the worldly affairs to us.

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