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Verse 2:29

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"He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things."

- 2:29 Qur'an (Pickthall's translation).

 

At Islamawakened dot org, there are translations from 15 other Islamic scholars, and they're all essentially identical. The literal translation is also provided there:

 

"He (is), who created for you what (is) in the land/earth/Planet Earth all together/wholly , then He tended to the sky/space, so He straightened them (into) seven skies/space(s), and He is with every thing knowledgeable."

 

I have two questions about this verse:

 

1- It seems to say that the Earth was created before (emphasis on 'then') the 'skies' (stars etc)...

2- What are the 'seven heavens' (or 'firmaments', as Yusuf Ali calls them)? There seems to be lots of evidence to suggest it's referring to the celestial spheres of the old geocentric model of the universe.

 

 

Thank you.

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If you read carefully, it says that God created for us all that is in the Earth and then He turned to the Heaven, meaning the Heaven was already in existence.

 

The seven heavens are not spheres. The lowest heaven contains the stars. "We decked the nether heaven with lamps" (41:12)

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This raises two questions then:

 

1- It still then implies that he fashioned the stars after the Earth.

2- What are the other six 'heavens'?

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This raises two questions then:

 

1- It still then implies that he fashioned the stars after the Earth.

 

Actually, it doesn't. But then again, even if it did, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I know you'll probably refer to the theory of Big Bang and how the universe was formed and that the Sun had to be formed before the Earth etc.

 

2- What are the other six 'heavens'?

 

There is no information on what they contain except that they are wrapped over each from each direction, from up and below, and from left and right.

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2- What are the 'seven heavens' (or 'firmaments', as Yusuf Ali calls them)? There seems to be lots of evidence to suggest it's referring to the celestial spheres of the old geocentric model of the universe.

Thank you.

 

Whoever is referring to the seven heavens as anything within this universe isn't right. Because the Qur'an specifically says that there are seven heavens and the first heaven (referred to as "Sama'a Dunya" which literally means "The heaven of this world") is the world that we know.

 

Then He completed and finished their creation (as) seven heavens in two Days and He made in each heaven its affair. And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps (stars) to be an adornment as well as to guard. Such is the decree of Him, the Almighty, the All-Knower. [41:12]

 

Meaning that the first Heaven is the one that contains the stars, planets, and all other heavenly bodies. And the throne of Allah is above the seven heavens.

 

So everything that is within the "universe" as known to man is only the first of seven heavens.

 

1- It still then implies that he fashioned the stars after the Earth.

 

But these verses in Surah An-Nazi'aat say:

 

27. Are you more difficult to create or is the heaven that He constructed?

28. He raised its height, and has perfected it.

29. Its night He covers and He brings out its forenoon.

30. And after that He spread the earth.

 

Firstly, let me mention that in the verse you quoted, the word "then" is used as an indication of sequence. The word "thuma" in the Arabic language has more than one meaning. It can be used to mean "then". But it also means "also".

 

However, in the verse that I quoted, the words used for "after that" are "ba'dha thalika". "Ba'dha" indisputably means after, just as "qabla" means before. So you should be careful about reading English translations of the Qur'an, as they might do injustice to the original words.

 

An alternative meaning is that even though the Earth was not formed before the heavens (as indicated by Surah An-Nazi'aat), the elements that it would be created out of (or the elements that would form the elements that would form the Earth) were. Allah had already named the Earth as being the Earth even when it was connected to the heaven.

 

Think of it this way. A pregnant woman has an ultrasound and she discovers that she will have a male child. She names him Jim. The baby is nothing more than an underdeveloped fetus, but in her mind, he is already Jim.

 

The formation of the Earth came after the formation of the heavens. And Allah knows best.

 

Salam.

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"He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then turned He to the heaven, and fashioned it as seven heavens. And He is knower of all things."

- 2:29 Qur'an (Pickthall's translation).

 

At Islamawakened dot org, there are translations from 15 other Islamic scholars, and they're all essentially identical. The literal translation is also provided there:

 

"He (is), who created for you what (is) in the land/earth/Planet Earth all together/wholly , then He tended to the sky/space, so He straightened them (into) seven skies/space(s), and He is with every thing knowledgeable."

 

I have two questions about this verse:

 

1- It seems to say that the Earth was created before (emphasis on 'then') the 'skies' (stars etc)...

2- What are the 'seven heavens' (or 'firmaments', as Yusuf Ali calls them)? There seems to be lots of evidence to suggest it's referring to the celestial spheres of the old geocentric model of the universe.

Thank you.

 

That's because your not reading what is written. it says that what is IN the Earth was created not the Earth itself was created. it then says that the sky was fashioned into 7 heavens not the sky was CREATED. This Surah makes no mention of stars so you can't attempt to assume that it is referring to stars. what it says about the stars is that the stars were adorned in the lowest heaven. once again adorned does NOT mean created. You are replacing one word with another. To use an example. if you celebrate Christmas then every Christmas you adorn the Christmas tree with decorations. You place the little fuzzy balls, and tinsel and place the star at the top and all that. When Christmas is over you take the decorations off the tree. Does this mean that every Christmas you create new decorations??? No, the decorations were already there you just moved them from the box they were in to the tree. Same thing applies here. the stars were simply placed in the lowest heaven.

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