Creation: Why Not in Less Than 6 Days?

Question: I am a non-Muslim student. I read that the Muslim God created all things in 6 days. Is that true and what is the logic behind that? Isn’t he able to do that in a shorter time?

Answer: Salam, Rickery.

Thank you for your question.

First of all, I would like to state that there is no Muslim God or Christian God or Jewish God. There is only One God Who created all humans. Therefore, it is better to avoid the term, “Muslim God”.

Of course, by “Muslim God”, you mean God, according to the teachings of Islam. Indeed it is true that the Quran, which is the Book of God revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), mentions that God created the universe in “six days”. Read the following:

[Your Guardian-Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six days, and is firmly established on the throne (of authority). He draws the night as a veil over the day, each seeking the other in rapid succession. He created the sun, the moon, and the stars, (all) governed by laws under His command. Is it not His to create and to govern? Blessed be Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds!](Al-A`raf 7:54)

The well-known Quran translator and interpreter, Muhammad Asad, writes on the use of the word, “yawm” in the Quran, which is usually rendered “day”:

“The word yawm, commonly translated as “day” … is used in Arabic to denote any period, whether extremely long “aeon” or extremely short “moment”: its application to an earthly “day” of twenty-four hours is only one of its many connotations.” (M. Asad, The Message of the Quran)

The foregoing means that in the context of the above verse (7:54), “aeon” is a better translation that suits the context.

In the context of the creation of the universe, the word “day” in the sense of twenty four hours in our reckoning, is irrelevant. This is because we calculate a day on the basis of the earth rotating on its axis taking the duration of a day. So “six days” taken for the creation of the heavens and the earth can only mean six long periods of time or six aeons.

It is also worth noting here that the Bible also mentions “six days” as the time taken for the creation of the heavens and the earth: Read the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Bible: Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:1, 2.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array. By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.” (Genesis 1:31, New International Version)

Indeed it is possible for God to create the heavens and the earth in a shorter period of time, say in six hours. But then your question would be: why doesn’t God create them in a still shorter time?

God has His own reason for choosing a particular way of creation or for taking a particular duration for creation; and we humans have no way of knowing it, unless God Himself reveals it to us.

But we can make a scientific study of the origin of the universe using our God-given analytical skills to figure out the logic behind it, as far as we can. But such an enterprise, I suppose, is quite beyond us in this context.

I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.

Salam.

Source: http://www.readingislam.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1258880810206&pagename=IslamOnline-English-AAbout_Islam%2FAskAboutIslamE%2FAskAboutIslamE

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Do Good and Evil Come from Allah?

Question and Answer Details

Name of Questioner

Salma

 

Title

Do Good and Evil Come from Allah?

 

Date

18/Nov/2007

 

Question

Hello. First I wish to thank you for this user-friendly and informative site. I wish to ask about a point which has been bothering me recently and I hope that one of the counselors will be able to answer me in sha’ Allah.

 

In surat An-Nisaa’ (Women), there is a verse that states that everything is from Allah, but the next verse states that when bad things happen, they are from us humans, but everything good is from Allah.

I can see the logic behind this and that there is no contradiction, but I just wish somebody knowledgeable will explain these verses further.

 

 

 

Topic

Islamic Creed, WorldView

 

Name of Counselor

Shahul Hameed

Answer

Salam, Salma.

 

Thank you very much for your question and the good words you have spoken about the site.

The question of destiny and freewill has been nagging humans all through the centuries; and each religion has attempted to answer the question in its own way.
Master or Puppet?

The noble Qur’an enunciates the view that man is not completely a master of his fate; nor is he a puppet in the hands of blind destiny. It is a fact that Allah’s sovereignty is all pervading and nothing falls outside its purview; which is to say that Allah knows everything and things happen according to His Will.

The whole of creation i.e. all the things and beings in the universe are subject to the overriding power of Allah, and we humans can do nothing without Allah willing it to be so. 
Allah says in the noble Qur’an what gives the meaning of:

 


*{He created everything for its destiny (or its measure) }* (Al-Furqan 25: 2)

*{We created everything according to a measure or destiny.}* (Al-Qamar 54:9)


In both the above verses “destiny” implies the latent capabilities of things.

But this is not to say that Allah created a universe finished and complete, bound to the iron rules of nature. On the contrary, it means only that the creation of this universe was in accordance with the grand design of the Creator.

Well-Designed and Well-Planned

There is no element of chance in the creation of this universe. Everything is well-designed and well-planned. And Allah has a foreknowledge of everything that He created. But this does not imply that human beings have been completely deprived of the freedom of action.

The foreknowledge of Allah is different from predestination. Otherwise, man will not have any freedom of will or action; and what is more, Allah Himself is then made to be inactive, as things happen according to what people call predestination. But the glorious Qur’an clearly says that Allah is constantly active in creation. Allah Almighty says what means:

*{Allah. There is no god but He, the Living, the Self-subsisting, Supporter of all. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permits? He knows what (appears to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He wills. His Throne does extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. For He is the Most High, the Supreme (in glory).}* (Al-Baqarah 2: 255)

We may understand Allah’s knowledge to be a living creative activity, which includes His fore-knowledge of events to come. The future may be conceived as an open possibility that pre-exists to be realized. This means that destiny as conceived by Islam does not negate our freedom of choice and action.

A Limited Freedom

Out of a set of inherent possibilities, we can make a free choice of those actions that are in harmony with Allah’s Will; if so, we earn our reward from Allah. Thus from the point of view of Islam, humanity is free (in a limited sense) for all practical purposes, and has no excuse for making the wrong choice in the name of fate.

The Qur’anic view of humans is that they have a natural inclination to all that is good; but as we are given freedom of choice, we may choose evil against our natural tendency towards good. About divine guidance, Allah says what can be translated as:

*{It is the truth from your Lord; wherefore let him who will, believe, and let him who will, disbelieve.}* (Al-Kahf 18: 29)

Again we read:  

*{Indeed Allah does not wrong the people at all, it is they wrong their own selves.}* (Yunus 10: 44)

And:  

*{There is no compulsion in religion. Surely the right way has become distinct from error. }* (Al-Baqarah 2: 256)

The particular Qur’anic verses you have referred to in your question should be studied against the foregoing background.

 

*{….. If some good befalls them, they say, “This is from Allah.; but if evil, they say, “This is from thee” (O Prophet). Say: “All things are from Allah.” But what hath come to these people, that they fail to understand a single fact? Whatever good happens to thee is from God; and whatever evil befalls thee is from thyself…}* (An-Nisaa’ 4:78-79)

 

Good and Bad: From Allah’s Will

 

First, it is mentioned that all things are from Allah; and then it is stated that good happenings come from Allah and evil happenings come from humans.

 

If we look for the correct interpretation of the verses above, we can see that there is no contradiction there. In fact, Allah Almighty is the ultimate source of all that is happening.

 

Consequently, all good that comes to man and all evil that befalls him flow originally from Allah’s will: that is, everything is from Allah. And when man uses his freewill and makes a wrong choice out of several available options, evil follows. And we should remember that evil is the absence of good; or its opposite that follows a wrong choice by man. Thus it is true that evil happenings come from man.

 

It is also possible that what appears to be evil may very well turn out to be good in the end. In such cases evil is no more than a means of spiritual growth for man, and need not necessarily be “evil” in reality. And remember that:

 

*{Allah does not wrong anyone by as much as at atom’s weight.}* (An-Nisaa’ 4:40)

We can also view the whole matter from a different angle as well. Everything is from Allah; and so we are from Allah. Evil is from us ourselves; but since we are from Allah, the evil that comes from us can also be attributed to the original source of all, namely Allah Almighty. So there is absolutely no contradiction in the verses you referred to.  

The Qur’anic concept of destiny includes the ideas of measurement, proportion, guidance and the completion of the creative process. We may say that it is the Law of Allah operating in the whole of His creation, including man.

 

In the case of humanity, the Divine Law includes the idea of freewill too. Allah has created everything with a purpose, a purpose that is attained by the completion of the process of creation.

 

In this scheme, humanity alone has a unique status as people can exercise freewill, where “evil” has a significant role along with good.
I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.

 

 

Salam.

 

Useful Links:

 

Islam Between Surrender and Free Will

 

Why Do We Have Free Will?

 

Freedom of Religion

 

Are We Entirely Free?

 

Fate and Free Will

 

Predestination of One’s Deeds?

 

Are We Judged for What’s Already Destined?

 

Are We Predestined?

 

Hindu Karma and Destiny

 

Qadar: A Measured Destiny

 

Divine and Human Will

 

 Reflections on the Existence of Evil

 

 

The Cosmic “Smoke”

The Cosmic “Smoke” *

In the first third of the 20th century, astronomers noticed the expansion of the universe, the thing that had previously aroused a lot of controversy before scientists could admit it. The glorious Qur’an referred to this fact more than 1,400 years ago:

[We [Allah] have built the heaven with (Our) Hands and surely We are indeed extending (it) wide.] (Adh-Dhariyat 51:47)

This verse was revealed at a time the whole world believed that the universe is stable and unchanging. This thought prevailed until the mid-20th century when astronomers discovered that the universe is expanding and its galaxies are getting distant from us and from each other at almost the speed of light (300,000 km/s). Besides, all the mathematical equations and the laws of physics support what astronomers found. Hence, astronomers, theoretical physicists, and astrophysicists assume that if we went back in time, we would find that all the visible and invisible forms of matter and energy in the cosmos must have been compressed in an elementary minute body whose size is almost zero, and where the dimensions of time and place contract.

 

This elementary body was in a state of density and heat that the human mind can hardly imagine and where there is no place for the laws of physics. This elementary body exploded, by Allah’s command, in what is called in the Qur’an Al-Fatq, which refers to the phase when the Earth and heavens exploded after being a one solid mass, and by scientists as the Big Bang. Thus, the Qur’an is the first to mention this great cosmic event exceeding any human knowledge; Almighty Allah says:

 

[And have not the ones who disbelieved seen that the heavens and the Earth were an integrated (mass), then We unseamed them, and of water We have made every living thing? Would they then not believe?(Al-Anbiyaa’ 21:30)

When an elementary body with these characteristics explodes, it turns into a cloud of smoke from which the Earth and all the celestial bodies were created. Again, the Qur’an exceeds all the human knowledge when it mentions the phase of “smoke” before 1,400 years, as follows:

 

[Say (O Muhammad), “Is it true that, indeed, you surely disbelieve in (The One) Who created the Earth in two days, and do you set up compeers to Him?” That is The Lord of the worlds. And He made therein anchorages (i.e. mountains) from above it, and He blessed it and determined therein its nourishments in four days, equal (i.e. all these four days were equal in the length of time) to the questioners (about its creation). Thereafter, He leveled Himself to the heaven (while) it was smoke, then said to it and to the Earth, “Come up (you two) willingly or unwillingly!” They (both) said, “We come up willingly.” So He decreed them as seven heavens in two days, and He revealed in every heaven its Command. And We have adorned the lowest heaven with lamps, and (set Angels) preserving them. That is the determining of the Ever-Mighty, the Ever-Knowing.(Fussilat 41:9-12)

On the 8th of November, 1989, NASA launched its Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) satellite in an orbit that is 600 km away from Earth and the effect of clouds and pollutants in the lower layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Ten light years away from Earth, COBE sent millions of photos and information about the remnants of the smoke that resulted from the Big Bang. It was a phase of a dark smoke that had prevailed in the universe before the heavens and the Earth were created.

 

Allah, Exalted be He, has said 1,400 years ago:

 

[Thereafter, He leveled Himself to the heaven (while) it was smoke, then said to it and to the Earth, “Come up (you two) willingly or unwillingly!” They (both) said, “We come up willingly.”]

Although we believe that these events are far from being known to us, as Almighty Allah says:

 [In no way did I make them to witness the creation of the heavens and the Earth, neither the creation of themselves; and in no way would I take to Me the misleaders as supporters.(Al-Kahf 18:51)

Yet, the constancy and continuity of the cosmic laws help us somehow to create a right image about these unknown events in spite of the limitedness of human senses and mental abilities on one hand and the limitedness of our time and space, on the other.

 

Besides, things such as long-range missiles, their satellites, and the sensitive recording and measuring devices helped a lot in forming an image of the cosmic dust (smoke) resulting from the Big Bang, whose remnants were found at the far end of the visible universe (up to 10 billion light years away). This served as evidence that the Qur’anic description “smoke” has not been chosen haphazardly and that it accurately describes the state of the universe before the creation of Earth and heavens.

 

Astrophysics and the Cosmic Smoke

After the Big Bang, the whole universe turned into a cloud of smoke from which the Earth and heavens were later created. Physical calculations tell us that the size of the universe before the Big Bang was almost zero, as both matter and energy were greatly compressed and the dimensions of time and place had no existence. After the explosion of this elementary body (the Big Bang), it turned into a ball of radiation and elementary particles that continued to expand and cool at a great speed until it turned into a cloud of smoke.

 

These physical calculations suggested that the heat of the universe during the first few seconds after the Big Bang was ranging from trillion Kelvin degrees up to billions of Kelvin degreesThis cloud of smoke consisted of photon, electron, and neutron particles and their antiparticles.

If the universe did not continue to cool and expand steadily and accurately, the elementary particles of the matter would have annihilated one another and the universe would have vanished. But, Allah, Who perfectly created everything, has maintained it.

A Qur’anic verse reads:

 

[His Command, if He wills a thing, is only to say to it,  “Be!” and it is.(Ya-Sin 36:82)

 


* Excerpted with modifications from the original article The Cosmic “Smoke”.

By  Dr. Zaghlool El-Naggar

Earth Sciences Professor — Egypt

 

 

 

Academy of Sciences. Member of the Geological Society of London, the Geological Society of Egypt and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Fellow of the Institute of Petroleum, London. Prof. Naggar is the author/co-author of many books and more than 40 research papers in the field of Islamic Thought, Geology, General Science and Education. He was awarded by the Ministry of Education in Egypt the top “Secondary Education Award” as well as the seventh Arab Petroleum Congress Best Papers Award in 1970. Elected a member of the IAS Council (1994 and 1999), Prof. Naggar is currently working at the Arab Development Institute.

 

Dasar-dasar Kepercayaan Dalam Islam

Dasar-dasar kepercayaan dalam Islam adalah seperti berikut:

1.   Percaya kepada adanya zat wajibul wujud (wajib ada) yang adanya tidak tergantung kepada yang lainnya, yang mempunyai sifat Maha Sempurna. Kepercayaan dan keyakinan yang seperti ini adalah merupakan hasil pengamatan dan penelitian terhadap isi alam semesta ini. Allah ada, mempunyai sifat ilmu, qudrat (berkuasa), hayat (hidup), sama’ (mendengar), bashar (melihat), jamal (indah), hikmah (bijaksana), iradah (berkehendak) dan lain-lain lagi, yang demikian itu dengan jelas dapat dijangkau dengan ilmu pengetahuan yang yakin bagi setiap orang yang telah meneliti dan mengamati segala isi alam yang indah dan cantik ciptaanNya. Allah Maha Kuasa dan Maha Mengetahui dan ilmu serta QudratNya mencakup seluruh makhlukNya. Kerana alam semesta ini tidak akan ada kalau tidak ada yang menciptakannya, dan penciptanya yang mempunyai ilmu dan qudrat yang maha luas dan meliputi. Al-Quran selalu mengulang sifat-sifat ini pada banyak kesempatan, dan sebagai kesimpulan dari ayat-ayat tadi tercantum dalam akhir surah al-Hasyr yang bermaksud:

“Dialah Allah yang tiada Tuhan selain Dia, Yang Mengetahui yang ghaib dan yang nyata, Dialah Yang Maha Pemurah lagi Maha Penyayang. Dialah Allah yang tiada Tuhan selain Dia, Raja yang Maha Suci, Yang Maha Sejahtera. Yang Mengurniakan Keamanan, Yang Maha Memelihara, Yang Maha Perkasa, Yang Maha Kuasa, Yang Memiliki segala Keagungan, Maha Suci Allah dari yang mereka sekutukan. Dialah Allah yang Menciptakan, Yang Mengadakan, Yang Membentuk rupa, Yang Mempunyai nama-nama yang paling baik. Bertasbih kepadaNya apa yang ada di langit dan di bumi. Dan Dialah Yang Maha Perkasa lagi Maha Bijaksana.”                                                                                                (al-Hasyr 22-24)

Tiga Persoalan Asas Yang Mesti Dijawab

Ada tiga persoalan asas yang perlu kita tanya diri kita sendiri.

  1. Dari mana kita datang?
  2. Kenapa kita datang ke muka bumi ini?
  3. Ke manakah kita akan dikembalikan?

Mari kita renung diri kita. Adakah kita pernah terfikir untuk mengeluarkan persoalan yang begitu asas ini di dalam hati kita? Bagi seorang jurutera, dia mungkin pernah menjawab soalan rumit termodinamik atau jet combustion. Bagi seorang doktor, dia mungkin pernah menyelesaikan masalah pengaliran darah di dalam otak atau soalan anatomi yang kompleks. Seorang jurutera nuklear pula mungkin pernah menemui formula atom yang sofistikated. Seorang pakar matematik pula mungkin pernah menjawab soalan kalkulus yang memerlukan super komputer untuk mencari penyelesaiannya. Tidak kurang juga seorang ahli astronomi membuat pengiraan yang panjang bagi kedudukan sesuatu bintang atau galaksi.

Walaupun soalan-soalan kompleks atau penemuan-penemuan yang canggih yang dijumpai oleh manusia di zaman ini, namun kita mesti kembali kepada tiga persoalan asas seperti di atas. Supaya kita mengenal siapa kita sebenarnya. Apa tujuan hidup kita di dunia ini. Adakah matinya kita sama seperti matinya kucing atau anjing di jalanan. Cuba kita lihat ke langit! Bagaimana burung-burung terbang Solat...salah satu ibadah kepada Allah Yang Maha Esa.di angkasa. Bagaimana jet direka. Kenapa turunnya hujan. Untuk apa. Untuk siapa. Berapa besar langit di hadapan kita. Berapa luas. Berapa jauh. Betapa cantiknya langit, awan, bulan, matahari, bintang, galaksi, dan bermacam-macam lagi yang kita lihat dengan mata kita atau dengan bantuan teleskop.

Ya Allah apa-apa yang Engkau jadikan ini tidaklah dengan sia-sia! Itulah ungkapan yang keluar dari lidah kita. Subhanallah.