While it is stated in verse 2 of the chapter of ar-Ra’d that "the heavens were raised without any pillars", it is stated in verse 7 of the chapter of al-Mumin that "angels sustain the Throne". Are those verses not contrary 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 (Arsh) raised without any pillars or are the angels carrying it?
- Or, does the Throne not mean sky (heavens)?

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 "raising the heavens" can be understood in two ways: Firstly, Allah holds the heavens without a pillar or support, with His power and strength. Secondly, “Allah raised the heavens with some pillars that you cannot see.“ According to this meaning, it can be said that the gravitational power between celestial bodies are indicated.

The word "samawat" meaning "skies/heavens" expresses space, in which stars, solar systems and galaxies move in their orbits. Allah indicates a law of nature here stating that He raised those celestial bodies without any pillars that we can see and with His power. He connected those big masses with one another with a system, placed a centrifugal force and massive gravitational force in them, establishing a balance and preventing them from moving away from one another or falling on one another. As a matter of fact, Allah states the following in verse 65 of the chapter of al-Hajj:

"...He withholds the sky (rain) from failing on the earth except by His leave..."

Thus, He indicates the divine system among those celestial bodies.

Allah holds the Throne (Arsh) with His power. The angels’ sustaining the Throne tells us metaphorically that they are in charge of maintaining and organizing it. Or, it may indicate their closeness to Allah, who is the owner of the Throne.

"The Throne" is Allah's absolute domination and management; the angels’ sustaining the Throne is their fulfilling their duties properly acting upon the order of Allah; some angels’ being around the Throne means their closeness to Allah spiritually.

Yes, Allah raised the heavens without pillars. Look at the sky; the sky and all of the celestial bodies in it stand there without a pillar or support. There is nothing visible that holds them. There is only Allah’s power and strength. You see that it is like that with your eyes. Then, there is no need to bring evidence for what you see.

Yes, it is Allah who creates and maintains those celestial bodies and holds them in their places with His power. Allah created the heavens and the earth, raised the heavens without pillars, established on the Throne and dominated all beings. He has hegemonized and controlled the whole universe, beings and property. He put all living and non-living beings under His domination. There cannot be any partners in His sultanate. The duties that the angels fulfill take place based on Allah's command and power. Allah gives the angels the power to do work.

Allah controls, manages, arranges and organizes all works. Our Lord, who is closer to His slaves than their jugular veins, arranges their lives with them. That is, Allah created the heavens and is dominant in the heavens but He did not leave the worldly affairs to us; He controls them too.

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