Does Quran really say that Earth was created before the heavens?


Brother Dahen, I first appreciate your willingness to share some of the doubts that you have about Islam. Now let me look into your claim and see whether it is justified or not. You said,

“Read attentively, about the creation of earth and heavens; in 2:29, he’s saying: made earth then heavens. But in 79:30: made heavens then earth. Is’nt that contradiction?!”

According to you, in 2:29 of the noble Quran, Allah says that he made Earth first and THEN he made the Heavens. Is this really true? Lets see: -

“: He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything. - The Noble Quran 2:29 (Muhsin Khan)

These are the points to be noted here: -

1. Nowhere does Allah say here that he made Earth first and then he made heaven. He merely says that he made all that is on earth and then he turned to heaven that was already created. If Allah had really created heaven AFTER he created the earth then why would he sayThen He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven”? After the creation of earth, how can he Istawa (rise over) towards the heaven when he hasn’t created it yet in the first place. The only possible explanation for this is that Heaven and Earth were already created.

Does this verse say Allah created the Earth? No! This verse talks only about the “things on earth” and not earth itself!

2. This verse doesn’t even refer to the creation of the earth. Does Allah say that he created earth in this verse? Read again. This verse only says that Allah created “all that is on earth”. Meaning, Earth was ALREADY CREATED by Allah and in this verse Allah is talking only about the THINGS PRESENT ON EARTH AND NOT EARTH ITSELF. So your allegation that the Quran says that God created Earth first and then Heaven is totally false and does not hold any ground because this verse doesn’t talk about Allah creating the Earth at all!

This verse speaks only about the division of heaven and not about its creation

3. Similarly, where does this verse say that Allah created heavens? Just where? This verse only talks about Allah dividing the heaven THAT WAS ALREADY CREATED into SEVEN PARTS. Brother Dahen, there is a difference between “Division” and “creation”. You cannot “divide” a thing unless it is already “created. So if Allah has to divide the heaven into seven parts then he must have already created it. That’s common sense. So your allegation that the Quran says that God created Earth first and then Heaven is totally false and does not hold any ground because this verse doesn’t talk about Allah creating the Heaven at all! Probably you may have better luck with other alleged contradictions that you have. Let’s see. Give them all to me. Don’t miss out even one of them because I swear by Allah, that I will refute each and every one of them with justice, fairness, good reason and logic.

The Real meaning of this verse: -

Allah doesn’t talk about creation of heaven or earth in this verse at all. He merely talks about creation of the things present on/in Earth when he says “all that is on earth”. You know, in the near future this world may have flying cars. So you may ask, if Allah created all things on earth according to this verse then how come we don’t have flying cars now. Dear friend, to the best of my little knowledge, by “all that is on earth” Allah actually means “all basic elements” present on earth.

Then, when Allah says, Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens it means that he divided a single heaven into seven parts. Here Allah is referring to the seven different layers of atmosphere that we all know are : -

1. Troposphere

2. Stratosphere

3. Ozone layer

4. Mesosphere

5. Thermosphere

6. Ionosphere

7. Exosphere

The grand finale - This verse may mean that Allah made all things on earth and THEN divided the heaven into seven parts; still it is absolutely 100 % correct. This is because the atmosphere around the earth was formed AFTER earth was created.

Long long ago, earth was a barren, dead planet with no atmosphere. Then as time passed by, the gases present within the earth rose up and escaped the earth’s surface only to be held back by earth’s gravitational force in the empty space surrounding the earth. This was how atmosphere was formed. So there you go, either way the verse 2:29 of the holy Quran is a scientific wonder. This is a scientific miracle to the eye of any decent human because how on earth could a desert nomad like Mohammad (peace on him) know that the sky above him (atmosphere) is divided into seven parts and that it was made AFTER earth was made. This is in fact a double miracle in a single verse.

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27 responses to “Does Quran really say that Earth was created before the heavens?

  1. hi bro,
    this is my 1st comment.
    If I well understand ur answer about the 7 heavens, they are the 7 layers around the earth.
    By that and according to story of Al-Issrae and Al-mehraj ( where Mouhammed went up to the 7 Heavens and met the Preophets till the 7th where he met Allah ) , so it’s so silly! Because by that the last Heaven (exosphere) exists uptill about 64400 km from the earth. And by that Allah is in that Heaven and the Prophets are around us in the others!!? And according to the Story, there is the famous strange tree in the 7th Heaven etc.. !!! do u think all theses exist around us??
    And lastly, where could exist the nearest Heaven?

  2. theoworkshop

    Thanks a lot brother Dahen for taking your time to read through the article. And Your doubt regarding the seven heavens is perfectly valid and i thank you again for asking it as it will make the matter more clear and help me in improving my article.

    Alright then. I have to first inform you that you have probably misunderstood the term “Heaven” and “paradise”. In the Quran the term “Heaven” is used to refer to anything apart
    from the Earth. It can either be just the atmosphere or it can be the empty space beyond
    too, depending upon the situation. And the Arabic term for this “Heaven” is “sama” or “As -sama”. While “Paradise” in islam is referred by the word “Al – Jannah” and “paradise” is supposed to be the reward for the good people. “Paradise” is also referred to as “Gardens”. Also Allah resides in “paradise” which is “Al – Jannah” and not in “Heaven” which is “As – sama”. This is the clear difference.

    The seven divisions spoken in verse 2:29 refers to “As – sama” which is the physical outer space or atmosphere, whichever is applicable. verse 2:29 Does not refer to the seven divisions of paradise (Al – Jannah) where Allah resides. Let me prove this to you.

    “: He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything.” - The Noble Quran 2:29

    “Huwa allathee khalaqa lakum ma fee alardi jameeAAan thumma istawa ila alssamai fasawwahunna sabAAa samawatin wahuwa bikulli shayin AAaleemun” – The Noble Quran 2:29

    Please observe the word “sama”. Thus, this verse referes to “Heaven” which is nothing but atmosphere and not “paradise” – the reward for good doers.

    Now coming to the “Miraaj” journey where the prophet Mohammad (peace be on him) went. He didnt travel in outer space. In this journey he travelled to “Paradise” which is a place where we would go (hopefully) after we are dead. And this journey is referd to in chapter 53: 13

    12. Will ye then dispute with him concerning what he saw?
    13. For indeed he saw him at a second descent.
    14. Near the Lote-tree beyond which none may pass:
    15. Near it is the Garden of Abode.
    - The Noble Quran 53: 12-15

    “Near it is the Garden of Abode” is nothing but “Paradise” where Allah resides and the word
    used in this verse for “paradise” or “Garden” is “Al- Jannah”. and this is the proof: -

    15. “AAindaha jannatu almawa” - The Noble Quran 53:15

    Please observe the word “Jannatu” in the above verse. This is totaly different from the word “sama” used in 2:29. Am sure you know this much better than me as you know Aarabic.

    So to conclude, verse 2:29 of the noble Quran is a double scientifi miracle. It is 100 % correct when it says that the Sky above is divided into 7 layers and that this division took place AFTER the earth was created. And most importantly this verse DOES NOT SPEAK about the seven paradises or the 7 gardens where Allah resides and which are the rewards for the good doers.

    Brother Dahen, it was a pleasure replying to you. Thank you once again for helping me improve this article. And if you have any other doubts please do tell me and i will be glad to answer each and everyone of them.

    - mansoor

  3. Dear brother,
    so u mean there is 7 heavens and seven paradises. ok i could accept it hardly.
    look carefully again to verse 2:29, all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens.
    it means that he created every thing on earth (plants animals and maybe humans) then divided the heaven to seven. is that true?

  4. Brother Dahen,

    You said, “look carefully again to verse 2:29, all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens. it means that he created every thing on earth (plants animals and maybe humans) then divided the heaven to seven. is that true?”

    Finally you got it right! exactly. He created everything present on earth. Then he divided the empty space surrounding the Earth into 7 layers of atmosphere. And this is 100 % scientifially true. So there you go, the noble Quran stands noble as always. Verse 2:29 does not speak about creation of Earth or Heaven itself.

    Then brother Dahen, you said “so u mean there is 7 heavens and seven paradises. ok i could accept it hardly.”

    It seems that you are not willing to understand though i give you straight forward proofs without twisting and turning anything. fine with me. Ill ask you some questions, please do answer them one by one.

    1. Since you know Arabic so well, didnt you already know that the word “sama” in verse 2:29 referred to “sky” and NOT to “paradise”? But still you purposefully misunderstood it. why?

    2. Though it is scientifically correct that the atmosphere around the earth formed AFTER Earth was created, why do u say it as an error?

    3. I understand that you are from an Arab background. So my question is don’t you know that in Arabia every child knows that there are 7 paradises? Isn’t it true that this is a basic cultural knowledge? So why is it difficult for you to believe?

    Brother, it doesn’t matter whether you believe or not. The atmosphere will have 7 basic layers whether you believe in it or not and so will the paradise be also divided into seven. So accept gracefully that there is no contradiction, or error etc etc in this verse.

  5. Hi,
    Now I think u r in impass!!
    U know , brother, that any miss or lack in any layer of the atmosphere would expose any life on earth to deterioration by the harmful sunlight. So how life or especially the developped species could survive without the protecton of the atmosphere.
    It means that atmosphere must be created first.
    I know that sience has recently discover a kind of specie in Australia that was the first created on earth to produce oxygen and thereby it made life for others adequate, and not “ all that is on earth then the 7 heavens..”

    What do u think??

  6. brother Dahen, it seems that you lack elementary knowledge about the earths history.

    The Earth was formed around 4.5 billion years ago. This is basic knowledge and can be found anywhere.

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth

    about 4.5 billion years ago Earth had a primitive atmosphere which was totally different from what we have now. That primitive atmosphere had 80 % water vapour, 10% carbon dioxide, 5 to 7% hydrogen-sulfur, and smaller amounts of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, hydrogen, methane and inert gases. This atmosphere WAS NOT DIVIDED into 7 layers. there was nothing called as ozone layer, or ionosphere or thermosphere. it was just random mass of gas.

    - see Earths atmosphere info

    And oxygen wasnt made by your organism alone. please type in “formation of oxygen on earth” in google search to get plenty of awesome results.

    besides, oxygen containing atmosphere began forming only about 2.4 billion years ago and free oxygen came into existence only about 1.7 billion years ago.

    and oh! ozone layer was formed just about 500 + million years ago
    - http://wiki.answers.com/Q/It_is_true_that_life_could_not_have_existed_on_land_until_the_ozone_layer_formed_about_2_million_years_ago_Why_does_life_on_land_require_an_ozone_layer

    so the division of the atmosphere into 7 layers as we know today definitely happened AFTER the earth was created. Do you seriously think even for one moment that ozone etc was formed before even earth existed? This is so foolish brother that i have to prove even such basic things and you still wouldn’t believe. Like i said before, it doesn’t really natter whether you believe or not, the fact remains that Earth came first, then the atmosphere formed into 7 stable layers.

    accept it gracefully brother that this verse of Quran has no contradiction in it and that it is a double scientific miracle and move on. No matter how much you find excuses to deny it i will always disprove it. I have proved beyond a shadow of doubt that there is no error here.

  7. hi bro,
    h r u?
    peace on u. slow down please. it seems to me that u didn’t read well my last question. it was about the verse 2:29, “all that is on earth..” was created 1st then the 7 heavens!!
    here is exactly the point. is that right, logic scientific??
    life on earth for plants animals and humans couldn’t exist without the formation of the atmosphere 1st anf not the opposit as ur Noble Qur’an saying.
    please, u promised to be “..I swear by Allah, that I will refute each and every one of them with justice, fairness, good reason and logic.”
    it’s the first time i find that u r not concentrated well, it’s either running away from the fruth or u were tired.

    regards,

  8. Brother Dahen,
    Peace on you too. and i am fine thank you. Hope you are doing fine as well. I did understand perfectly what you were trying to say. Probably you didnt read my article properly. In my article i spoke about flying cars remember? I will paste here once again what i said so that you read it once again. i had said

    “You know, in the near future this world may have flying cars. So you may ask, if Allah created all things on earth according to this verse then how come we don’t have flying cars now. Dear friend, to the best of my little knowledge, by “all that is on earth” Allah actually means “all basic elements” present on earth.” remember the basic 117 odd elements of chemistry like oxygen, nitrogen, carbon etc etc. This is exactly what we are talking here.

    Common, it makes perfect sense. I am unmarried. i may plan to marry some fine day and i may wish to have some 10 kids. but if i go by your literal sense of “all that is on earth“, then Allah should have created every possible human being ever to live on earth including my 10 future kids and every other plant and animal right away at one go itself AND THEN create the atmosphere or vice versa?

    This is foolish to even think. By “all that is on earth” Allah doesnt mean “Every living thing that ever lived or will live in the future or my flying cars”. By “all that is on earth” Allah doesnt mean the people who havent been born yet. By “all that is on earth” Allah doesnt mean the things that mankind is currently producing in factories or those that we will produce after some 100 years.
    by “all that is on earthAllah means, the basic elements present in the periodic table. These are the ones that are required to make any other thing that u now see, feel or touch.

    And again, this explaination is applicable only to this verse and it is context specific. So dont attempt to misquote it anywhere else. Brother, like i said, the Quran remains noble. It has no error in it. and yeah i swear by Allah that i will refute every single error with honesty, justice and fairness which i rarely see coming from the other side.

  9. very interesting and informative—thankyou

  10. But there are only 5 layers on the earth so why have you invented 2 more layers? whats to stop me inventing another 2 so its 9 layers….

    Every scientific article including wikipedia says there are only 5 layers !!!!

  11. @ Andy,
    You are probably referring to this article of wikipedia
    wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth atmosphere

    Though the article has pictorial representation of only 5 layers it doesnt mean that there are ONLY 5 layers. please scroll down the wikipedia page and you will find other layers too.

  12. Salam alaikum,The atmosphere when cut into its maximum layers is 7. Many times however scientists will sometimes include ozone layer,etc,into the other layers.

  13. According to your description of Allah creating 7 heavens from the one heaven (in order to account for the atmosphere), wouldn’t that mean that Allah actually created 13 heavens?

    No-where in the Quran does it say he did this.

    When read in context, it becomes clear that the 7 heavens continually referred to are indeed not the layers of the atmosphere. Instead, they are the ones adorned with stars.

    Clearly, a layer of atmoshphere cannot be considered a heaven. For, if the entire atmosphere is to be considered a heaven, then in fact stars should be in it (as it is the lowest).

    Therefore, Allah created all that is on Earth before he adorned the lowest heaven with stars.

    Without the sun, the Earth could not have formed.

  14. Quran 67:5

    “And we have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with Lamps, and We have made such (Lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones, and have prepared for them the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.”

    Shooting stars are meteors, not stars.

  15. @ Mordegast

    You brought up a very good point. When Allah says in Surah 67: 5 “And we have, (from of old), adorned the lowest heaven with Lamps, and We have made such (Lamps) (as) missiles to drive away the Evil Ones, and have prepared for them the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.”

    To the best of my knowledge, this verse should be taken from the point of view of Allah and NOT from ours. From Allah’s point of view the nearest heaven to him would be the ones adorned with lamps (ie stars) or meteors ie the Exhosphere which is perfectly correct. So there is nothing wrong in the concerned verse or in the Quran or in the Quran’s concept. So till a better explaination is given i would stand by the view of 7 heavens referring to the 7 layers of the atmosphere. Likewise, the scientific miracle still holds good.

    Thank you for bringing up such an important point. It helped me understand the concept better. Anyway, if my understanding is wrong may Allah forgive me and may He help me understand it better.

    -mansoor

  16. Salam O Alaqum

    Peace on U and all reader.
    I belive on ALLAH who create this univers without any doubt, but last one year my belive that quran is not book of ALLAH, why as mention below,
    surat tariq ayat no 7 say
    Proceeding from between the backbone and the ribs.
    Today sicence say without testical it is not posible to get sperm so in quran is saying “YUHRUJ MIN BAIN SULB WA TTARIB”
    I hope tranlation that i am reading is wrong or our ULLAMA not able to understand well.
    tell me in detail. i hope i am wrong, my belive if in quran singal mistake mean it is not book of ALLAH

  17. @peace lover

    walaikum assalaam. i will definitely answer your doubts inshallah as soon as possible. But my strong suggestion, never doubt the Quran.

    I know that many people lie that Quran has mistakes. I have personally seen every single of these so called mistakes and every one of them is a lie. The Quran is flawless. It has no mistakes in it. and it is the book of God. So please dont have doubts on it. and dont spoil your future by doubting it.

  18. salamu-alaikum , interesting discussion …. thx for sharing .

  19. @ theoworkshop

    al salamu alaikum,

    Im confused ta what you said earlier that Allah resides in paradise. I find that completely blasphemous. Allah is far greater than any of his creation, how can he reside in his paradise?

  20. As salam alaikum Brother @theoworkshop Mashallah you are doing very good job May Allah help you and me and everymuslim to understand Holy Quran correctly and to follow it ameen

  21. as salam alaikum brothers and sisters i need some information regarding Big Bang in the context of six days creation and I want to know which one created first heaven or the earth as it is mentioned in the traditional tafseers like Tafseer Ibn Kathir that earth Created first, I want to know how can we justify Big Bang in the Light of Quran. Jazak Allah khairan and I also want to know that interpretation of the meaning that after 2 days of creation of the Earth Allah Turned to the Heaven When It Was smoke He Said to it and the Earth Come Willingly or Unwillingly, i want to know in what shape Earth was present when the Heaven was smoke.and what happened after that plz describbe me briefly

  22. Wow! That helped.

  23. Assalamu-alaikum!
    The above debate helped but I have still many confusion. And i know this is because of my lack of knowledge nothing more than this, Qur’an can never be in any error. But i wanna remove my confusions & wanna understand what the Qur’anic verses really mean.

    (41:9-12)”Say. Do you disbelieve Him Who created the earth in two periods? Do you ascribe equals to Him. He is the Lord of the Worlds.
    “He set in the (earth) mountains standing firm. He blessed it.
    He measured therein its sustenance in four periods, in due proportion, in accordance with the needs of those who ask for (sustenance? or information?).
    “Moreover (tumma) He turned to heaven when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth: come willingly or unwillingly! They said: we come in willing obedience.
    “Then He ordained them seven heavens in two periods, and He assigned to each heaven its mandate by Revelation. And We adorned the lower heaven with luminaries and provided it a guard. Such is the decree of the All Mighty, the Full of Knowledge.”

    Confusion: I don’t make understand that;
    1- In how many days Earth formed?
    2- In how many days Heavens formed?
    3- In how many days Earth’s things i.e water, mountain & plants etc. formed?
    4- In how many days the whole universe formed?
    Can any Muslim answer 4 the pleasure of Allah? Thanks.

  24. “He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything.” – The Noble Quran 2:29″

    Allah made all that is on earth and then he turned to heaven that was already created.
    This verse talks about Allah dividing the heaven THAT WAS ALREADY CREATED into SEVEN PARTS.

    Q.1-So “Heavens” were created before “Earth’s things”, but heavens were not divided after the formation of “Earth’s things”?? Am i right?
    Q.2- How long or in how many days “Earth” crated?
    Q.3- In how many days “earth’s things” created?
    Q.4- In how many days “Heavens’s creation” took place?
    Q.5- In how many days “Heavens’s division into 7 parts” took place?

    Can any one answer?Please just 4 the sake of Almighty Allah? I just wanna remove my confusion. Thanks!

  25. very well

  26. Difficult to understand the faith.

    @the work shop
    where are you?
    Can you discuss an issue with me regarding this topic?

    Please?
    Blessings!

  27. “: He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything.” – The Noble Quran 2:29………Lets see his verse in conjuction with another verses……………………….”Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in TWO Days; And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds. He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in FOUR Days
    in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance). Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: “Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly.”
    They said: “We do come (together), in willing obedience.” So He completed them as seven firmaments in TWO Days, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge. (Sura 41:9-12).

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