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In the Name of God بسم الله

The Quran And Creation.

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Hello everyone,

 

In verses 2:184:12 and 2:185:26 (among a number of others), the Quran appears to use the word ayyamin to represent 24 hour days.

 

While in other surah (41:10:13, and 51:38:9 among others), the same word, letter for letter, ayyamin, states that the universe was created in 6 days.

 

My question is, what allows people to recognize difference between these two words? Are there some muslims who do not see their meanings as different and are young earth muslims?

 

Thanks,

Edited by iCambrian
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Were the heavens and the earth created in six days or eight days?

 

To give a precise answer to the above question, it is necessary to first take a look at the verses under question:

 

إِنَّ رَبَّکُمُ اللَّهُ الَّذی خَلَقَ السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضَ فی‏ سِتَّةِ أَیَّامٍ

"Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days." (Al-A'raf: 54)

قُلْ أَ إِنَّکُمْ لَتَکْفُرُونَ بِالَّذی خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ فی‏ یَوْمَیْنِ.

"Say (O Muhammad, unto the idolaters): Disbelieve ye verily in Him Who created the earth in two Days." (Fussilat: 9)

وَ جَعَلَ فیها رَواسِیَ مِنْ فَوْقِها وَ بارَکَ فیها وَ قَدَّرَ فیها أَقْواتَها فی‏ أَرْبَعَةِ أَیَّامٍ سَواءً لِلسَّائِلین.

"He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance)." (Fussilat: 10)

فَقَضاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَماواتٍ فی‏ یَوْمَیْنِ

"So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days."[1]

 

"Day" according to Quran

The word day used in the Quranic verses refers to a period of time, not to its lexical and customary meaning. That is because, the word "day" according to the people of the earth is defined as the span of time it takes for the Earth or a celestial body (such as an other planet or a moon) to make a single rotation with respect to a star, measured most accurately from local noon to local noon. The word day used to signify a period of time is very common. The Quran also says, "Such days (of varying fortunes) We give to men by turns."[2] It also says, “What do they wait for then but the like of the days of those who passed away before them?"[3] There are many other examples in which the word “day” has been used to give the meaning of period.[4]

 

Measurement of Sustenance of the Earth in Four Days:

The question is: How is it that the Quran says in Chapter Fussilat that the creation of the earth has been completed in two days and the mountains, blessings and foods in four days and then the heavens in two days which become totally eight days whereas there are many other verses according to which the heavens and the earth were created in six days or in six periods? [5]

 

The commentators of the Quran have adopted different ways in their answers to the above question:

The first way, which is more well-known, is that where the verse says "four days" it refers to the closing four days in the sense that the earth was created in the first two days of these four days and in the second two days, the remaining features of the earth added to it plus other two days in which the heavens were created which in total become six days (six periods).

 

Similar interpretations exist in Arabic and Farsi languages. For example, when someone says, "It takes ten days to reach Mecca and fifteen to reach Medina" it implies that the distance between Mecca and Medina is five days walk. Obviously, if there were not many verses to emphasize on creation of the heavens and the earth in six days, such an interpretation would not have been accepted. However, since the Quranic verses interpret one another and some verses serve as contexts for other verses, the above interpretation is pretty well acceptable.

 

Another way which has been adopted by a few commentators is that "four days" do not refer to the beginning of creation; rather they refer to the four seasons of the year which is the source of the creation of the sustenance and nourishment of food stuffs for men and animals.[6]

 

Third way: The word "measure" has been used to refer to sustenance or food whereas the word "creation" has been used to refer to the creation of the heavens and the earth. That is to say, the measurement (not creation) of the sustenance has been completed within these four days. With this explanation, the confusion concerning the creation of the heavens and the earth will be done away with, because the problem arises when measurement of sustenance is considered as an act of creation, otherwise there would be no problem or contradiction as claimed by some individuals.

 

Considering the above explanation, "the days which have been mentioned in respect of the creation of the heavens and the earth do not exceed four; two days for the creating the earth and two days for erecting the seven firmaments (skies) after they were vapor. As for the days in which the blessings and sustenance were measured, these two days are the days of their measurement not creation. When God, the Almighty, says that He created the heavens and the earth in six days (not the whole creation and measurement), the truth is that "four days" in the verse qualify only the last sentence in which case there will be no omission or deletion and four refers to the measurement of the sustenance of the earth during the four seasons of the year."[7]

 

Based on the above, no problem will occur in the miracle of the Prophet (pbuh) nor in mathematics!! The problem arises when we pass judgment without turning to a specialist and expert to seek his advice in such matters.

 

http://www.islamquest.net/en/archive/question/fa3459

 

(wasalam)

Edited by PureEthics
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Im sorry, but i dont understand how the above answers my question.

 

If someone were to read these verses back to back, is this a similar situation that can be found of the bible, in which it says the universe was created in 6 days, and that people interpret it differently?  And, with that, are there both young and old earth muslims?

 

Or is there something in particular that exists that allows people to distinguish between that same word, amongst the different verses.

Edited by iCambrian
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The word 'yaum' is used to refer to thousands of years, thats why: 

 

 

تَعْرُجُ ٱلْمَلاَئِكَةُ وَٱلرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ

“When the angels and Gabriel will rise towards Him on a day (yaum) equal to 50 thousand years.” (70:1)

 

 

يُدَبِّرُ ٱلأَمْرَ مِنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ إِلَى ٱلأَرْضِ ثُمَّ يَعْرُجُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ مِّمَّا تَعُدُّونَ

"“He is the One Who plans everything from earth to heavens, then everything will reach Him in a day (yaum) equivalent to 1000 years in your calculation.” (Sura Sajda)

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For Jahangiram,

 

The same word is used to refer to typical days in other verses, so where does the idea come from that theyre different?

Well before the universe came to being there was no sun and moon, and they determine 'our days': 

 

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا عَدَدَ السِّنِينَ وَالْحِسَابَ ۚ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّـهُ ذَٰلِكَ إِلَّا بِالْحَقِّ ۚ يُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

 

"It is He who made the sun a shining light and the moon a derived light and determined for it phases - that you may know the number of years and account (of time). God has not created this except in truth. He details the signs for a people who know" (10:5)

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The verses are for our understanding.  They are written to teach us about our history.  So i dont see how the above is relevant.


For the time being, i am going to assume that some muslims interpret the word one way, while others interpret the word in the other. This interpretation i will assume is made with use of...outside information, perhaps scientific finds.  I am assuming there are currently young earth creationist muslims in the word, while others are old earth creationists.

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The verses are for our understanding.  They are written to teach us about our history.  So i dont see how the above is relevant.

For the time being, i am going to assume that some muslims interpret the word one way, while others interpret the word in the other. This interpretation i will assume is made with use of...outside information, perhaps scientific finds.  I am assuming there are currently young earth creationist muslims in the word, while others are old earth creationists.

Its an old interpretation going back to the medieval era: 

 

يخبر تعالى أنه رب العالم جميعه، وأنه خلق السموات والأرض في ستة أيام، قيل: كهذه الأيام، وقيل: كل يوم كألف سنة مما تعدون؛ كما سيأتي بيانه 

 

"The Most High informs us that He is the Lord of all the world, and that he created the heavens and the earth in six days. It is said (regarding these days): "Like these days", and it is said: "Every day is like a thousand years from what you calculate" just as the forthcoming proof says" - Tafsir Ibn Kathir (d.1373 AD)

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And this is fine, though, the verses I am referring to of the Quran, appear to use identical words in arabic. I could be wrong though, but much like the farm was used to produce produce,

 

The Quran uses ayyamin 2:185

 

قُوَمَنْ كَانَ مَرِيضًا أَوْ عَلَىٰ سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيَّامٍ أُخَرَ

 

and

 

ayyamin 41:10

 

وَقَدَّرَ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْبَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاءً لِلسَّائِلِينَ

 

But some are saying that they mean different things. Like produce and produce

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Advanced Member
 

Hello everyone,

 

In verses 2:184:12 and 2:185:26 (among a number of others), the Quran appears to use the word ayyamin to represent 24 hour days.

 

While in other surah (41:10:13, and 51:38:9 among others), the same word, letter for letter, ayyamin, states that the universe was created in 6 days.

 

My question is, what allows people to recognize difference between these two words? Are there some muslims who do not see their meanings as different and are young earth muslims?

 

Thanks,

Context.  sometimes day can mean a "moment".  "Each day your Lord is upon a task" (day here can also mean "moment").

 

The 6 days that the Bible talks about is the same 6 days the Quran talks about.  But I don't believe the 6 days of of the Bible are "24 hr days".  I take the Augustinian understanding and understand the days to be ontological levels of existence.  This is an orthodox interpretation and should not be confused with the more modern interpretations of the days being "long periods of earthly time" (which is really absurd and is a pathetic attempt to reconcile weak faith with so called modern scientific facts). And the same interpretation for "Biblical 6 days" (being ontological levels of existence) goes for the Quran as well.

 

   

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Ramadhan Kareem,

 

I take the Augustinian understanding and understand the days to be ontological levels of existence.

 

 

What do you mean by ontological levels of existence?

 

I have tried to reconcile the Quran verses 41:9-12 with the scientific picture of the universe, and was unable to, so how would you interpret these verses?

 

For convenience: http://quran.com/41/9-12

Edited by Free_Spirit
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Ramadhan Kareem,

 

 

 

What do you mean by ontological levels of existence?

 

I have tried to reconcile the Quran verses 41:9-12 with the scientific picture of the universe, and was unable to, so how would you interpret these verses?

 

For convenience: http://quran.com/41/9-12

 

Ramadan Mubarak!

 

1) Earth = material world.  everything visible.

2) Heavens = immaterial world, invisible realm (of angels)

3) Then there is everything in between (half material and half immaterial) = (barzakhi realm).

 

So don't imagine earth to be "planet earth".

And don't imagine the sky to be the immaterial heaven (although the sky does indeed symbolize the immaterial heaven).

 

so what is the relation between the immaterial, the material, and everything in between.  you cannot measure these in time/days we are familiar with (whether a day is 24 hrs, or a day is long periods of earthly time, it is entirely irrelevant).  A day is simply a level or stage of creation which is not before or after in time but before and after in an ontological sense (where one stage, level, or realm of creation depends on a higher realm).  So earth is ontologically after (and depends on) the barzakh and the barzakh (in turn) is ontologically after heaven.  Each stage unfolds from a higher stage.  

 

   .       

Edited by eThErEaL
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Im sorry, but i dont understand how the above answers my question.

 

If someone were to read these verses back to back, is this a similar situation that can be found of the bible, in which it says the universe was created in 6 days, and that people interpret it differently?  And, with that, are there both young and old earth muslims?

 

Or is there something in particular that exists that allows people to distinguish between that same word, amongst the different verses.

Conventional wisdom of the time was that the Earth/Universe was created in six days (I think you know where that wisdom came from). The Quran used that conventional wisdom (because it was familiar to the people and everyone believed in it) and presented the case that the meaning of a day is very subjective; it could mean a day (as in 24 hours) or it could mean a thousand months or it could mean a thousand years or it could mean nothing at all because we don't know how to measure days when the time itself doesn't exist. 

 

I have found most of the explanations from theological angle about these 'six days' very unsatisfactorily because everyone tries to frame it in an absolute sense of the word.

 

I don't know why the Quran doesn't say out rightly that these six days don't even exist. That's probably a mystery yet to be discovered.

Edited by Gypsy
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I don't know why the Quran doesn't say out rightly that these six days don't even exist. That's probably a mystery yet to be discovered.

Each level of existence 'was' created by God.  There are various levels of Heavens (invisible, and immaterial).  There is the earth (which is everything material and visible to us).  And there is everything in between.  Time unfolded out of Eternity.  We should understand that Eternity is an eternal now (it is not "everlasting time" as most people wrongly assume).  Time is said to be a "moving image" of Eternity because time consists of now points which seem to come and go (which seem to be replaced by other now points such that every moment is a new moment).  God lives in an eternal present now moment (where all moments are one moment which eternally stands).  The different levels of existence are levels wherein time is more or less (depending on which level we have in mind) concentrated.  The higher you go up the level of existence the more time becomes concentrated and the closer it gets to eternity (the eternally present moment which is One).  The lower you go down the ladder of existence the more the moments become separated and multiplied.  look at the following verses of the Quran.  What takes a moment in higher levels of existence is spread and multiplied on lower levels of existence to something which would feel like 1000 years or even 50,000 years.    

 

[Quran 70.4] The angels and the Spirit ascend to Him in a day, the measure of which is fifty thousand years.

 

[Quran 22.47] They challenge you to bring forth that torture [in Hell] and Allah will not break His promise; a day of your Lord [Paradise/Hell promise] is like a thousand years of what you count.

 

To say the Quran describes a cosmology which is incorrect and according to the wrong beliefs of people of the past is tantamount to kufr.  First of all the Genesis account is not wrong.  And then to say that the Genesis account is wrong and that the Quran tried to explain cosmology to people based on that wrong worldview is doubly wrong.            

Edited by eThErEaL
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