There are many numerical contradictions in the Quran. Can God make so much error in doing simple calculations?
How many days did it take to create Heavens and Earth?
- Quran 7: 54 Your gurdian-Lord is Allah who created the heavens and earth in Six Days
- Quran 10: 3 Verily your Lord is Allah, who created the heavens and earth in Six Days
- Quran 11:7 He it is Who created the heavens and earth in Six Days Quran-25:29: He Who created the heavens and earth and all that is between, in Six Days
The above verses clearly state that God created the heaven and Allah created the heaven and the Earth in 6 days. But the verses below stated-
- Quran 41: 9 Is it that ye deny Him who created the earth in Two Days ?
- Quran 41: 10 He set on the (earth) Mountains standing firm high above it, and bestowed blessing on the earth, and measured therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion, in FOUR DAYS…
- Quran 41: 12 So He completed them (heavens) as seven firmaments in Two days and …
Now do the math: 2(for earth) + 4(for nourishment) + 2 (for heavens) = 8 days; and not 6 days
Reply by Allama Syed Abdullah Tariq:
The assessment and judgment of a specialist by a light weight is always absurd and childish. When you have already witnessed the unmatched mathematical wonder and miracle of Qur’an, you should either have disregarded these objections or asked questions instead of approving the negative judgment on a WORD that can not have the slightest flaw. The objection becomes all the more ridiculous when some one alleges of a simple numerical mistake in a single Ayah. When a master mathematical wizard claims unambiguously at no less than seven places that the Creation process was carried out in six periods, how can it contradict its claim through the simplest of calculative error found at a single place (2+4+2 = 8)! Had you claimed to have caught the discrepancy of the process by discovering 2 and 4 and 2 periods at different places, it would seem to have some substance but only an inept would claim triumph of finding such a blatant fault. This reply is however for those who may follow your link and seek to remove the confusion.
Before explaining the said intricacy, I would request you to consider that at the time of revelation of Qur’an, more than 1400 years ago, not a single soul in the world had the slightest of Idea of the Process of Creation as we know it today. There were hundreds of myths around the world in Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, China, India, Australia, Korea, Inca and Maya civilizations (These were some of the more awakened civilizations than Europe of the ancient times).
In the beginning, the universe was a big black egg, the Chinese believed. It carried Pan Gu inside. After 18000 years, Pan Gu arose from his deep sleep. He broke his way out of the egg. Pan Gu’s head touched the sky. He started growing rapidly and continued growing for 18000 years and the universe expanded with him. Pan Gu stood between the sky and earth like a pillar so that they may not join…
The story goes on to quite a length. In short, the fleas and lice on his body are the earlier human beings. Even today, when Chinese want to express a long interval of time, they say, “Since Pan Gu created heavens and earth…”
Among the scores of Indian Puranic legends, one goes like this:
Seated on Shesh or Anant Naag, a huge snake, the supreme lord Vishnu was floating in ocean. A lotus originated from his navel. At the center of the flower was his subordinate Brahma. After commanding Brahma to create the universe, lord Vishnu and the snake disappeared.
From Vishnu’s navel grew a magnificent lotus flower. In the middle of the blossom sat Vishnu’s subordinate, Brahma. He awaited the Lord’s command. Vishnu commanded: ‘Create the World.’ A wind swept up the waters. Vishnu and the serpent vanished. Brahma created a huge golden egg in the waters. Then he himself was born in that egg. After one year he came out of the egg by breaking open it in two halves. One half of that egg was made in to heavens and the other half earth. Then he divided himself in to two halves, a male and a female. Thus the human race came in to existence.
There are many variants of the above myth. One states that different castes of people came out of different parts of Brahma’s body. A popular belief about Brahma was that he was not Vishnu’s subordinate but an equal among the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the three being the creator, sustainer and destroyer respectively. A third account says that Shiva was the master of the other two and created the whole universe by his linga.
In the midst of hundreds of such myths around the world when there did not exist one sane (what to say of scientific) account of Creation, Qur’an was revealed to an un-lettered man, declaring:
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا ۖ وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَاءِ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ حَيٍّ ۖ أَفَلَا يُؤْمِنُونَ
“Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were embedded together (as one mass), before we clove them asunder? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? (21:30)
Fourteen centuries later, the scientists verified that the universe started from explosions in a single mass Nebula and later when the living things came in to existence, the essential constituent of every living thing is water.
Before explaining the misunderstanding in your objection about this great Word of God, one must know two more facts.
- Qur’an is a wonder in which God has used such vocabulary that the limited words encompass the ever increasing knowledge, the man would possess. Its choice of vocabulary is such that its words refer to multiple objects and phenomenon. The Arabic word ‘As-Samaa السما ء’ means height and the sky or heaven. The sky or heaven refers to two phenomenon. It refers to the nearest of the seven atmospheric layers above us i.e. ‘troposphere’ and at some places it refers to the last border of the presently known universe consisting of thousands of billions of galaxies. Likewise its plural ‘As-Samaawaat السّمٰوات ’ refers to seven atmospheric layers or the seven such systems including and akin to our universe according to the context.
The human knowledge (science) of the time when Qur’an was revealed, was no where near the comprehension of actual universe. We have progressed but the universe has expanded since then and is ever expanding. The Qur’an had mentioned this fact 1400 years ago.
وَالسَّمَاءَ بَنَيْنَاهَا بِأَيْدٍ وَإِنَّا لَمُوسِعُونَ
With power and skill did We construct the Heaven: and We are indeed ever expanding it. (51:47)
We possess today, more realistic view of the creation but the details are still pouring in and we still are no where near to visualizing the ultimate parameters of presently known universe. The sky or heaven in Qur’an is the last limit of this known universe. Our astronomical science has yet to comprehend it. The Creator who created it told us there are six more such systems beyond this system.
2. The word ‘Yaum’ in Arabic language has several meaning. It means: day-time, an interval of 24 hours, any interval of time, a stage of time. Earlier they always translated it as a day of 24 hrs. but later translators saw that the word had different meaning in different Ayahs as per context. The same is true in Aramaic and Hebrew languages and the ancient Bible translators made the same mistake of translating it as a day of 24 hrs. in every verse it occurred.
When God in Torah, (Gen. Ch. 1) declared that He made the Heavens and earth in six Yaum (six stages or six intervals of time), they translated it as six days of 24 hrs. each. Some one at some time wondered what He did on the 7th day of the week? Such a thinker must have added that verse in the God’s Word that He rested on the seventh day.
“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” (The Bible, Genesis 2:2)
Look at the correction made by Qur’an in that dark age of ignorance:
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ وَمَا مَسَّنَا مِن لُّغُوبٍ
And indeed We created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six periods and there touched Us not any fatigue.
I now proceed to the explanation of the main objection in question.
Two stages of creation of Heaven and Earth.
أَأَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَمِ السَّمَاءُ ۚ بَنَاهَا
رَفَعَ سَمْكَهَا فَسَوَّاهَا
وَأَغْطَشَ لَيْلَهَا وَأَخْرَجَ ضُحَاهَا
Are you the harder to create, or is the heaven that He built? He raised its height, and perfected it. And He made dark its night and brought out its light.
قُلْ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَكْفُرُونَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَرْضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَتَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ أَندَادًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ
Say: Is it that you disbelieve in Him who created the earth in two periods, and set up equals with Him? So (Great) is the Lord of the Worlds.
The creation of heaven and earth are not two separate processes. When Qur’an talks of heaven (singular) above (in 79:27), it refers to the final limit of hitherto known universe.
Two stages (4 including the above two) of expansion and providence on Earth
Earth among the whole known universe had a special place in His scheme of creation. The living beings had to be placed on earth for an appointed time.
The solidification of earth, the presence of water and hills on it was not a process separate from its coming in to existence. It was a continuous process brought about in 4 stages. Qur’an has directed us to interpret its Ayah by pondering over the signs inherent in the universe.
إِنَّ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافِ اللَّيْلِ وَالنَّهَارِ لَآيَاتٍ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ
“Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day there are signs for men who have intellect. Those (men of intellect) who remember Allah, standing, sitting, and reclining, and ponder over the creation of the heavens and the earth…” (3:190-91)
وَالْأَرْضَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ دَحَاهَا
أَخْرَجَ مِنْهَا مَاءَهَا وَمَرْعَاهَا
And after that He expanded the earth. And produced from it, its water and its pasture. And the mountains, He made them firm.
وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ مِن فَوْقِهَا وَبَارَكَ فِيهَا وَقَدَّرَ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْبَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاءً لِّلسَّائِلِينَ
He placed therein firm hills rising above it, and blessed it and measured therein its sustenance. (The whole process of creation of heaven and earth and its providence was completed) in four periods. Alike for (all) who ask questions.
Two stages of producing seven (systems of) heavens out of one
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ ۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
He it is Who created for you all that is in the earth. Then He turned attention to the (first system of) heaven (that had already been created). Thus He fashioned seven heavens. And He is knower of all things.
ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَهِيَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ
Then He turned attention to the heaven (that had already been created) and it was a gaseous mass. So He said to it and to the earth: Come both, willingly or unwillingly. They both said: We come willingly.
(This is a literary description of establishing coordination between the earth and the rest of the known universe. They are bound by laws laid down by Him for them.)
فَقَضَاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ
وَأَوْحَىٰ فِي كُلِّ سَمَاءٍ أَمْرَهَا ۚ وَزَيَّنَّا السَّمَاءَ الدُّنْيَا بِمَصَابِيحَ وَحِفْظًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَقْدِيرُ الْعَزِيزِ الْعَلِيمِ
So He ordained them seven heavens in two periods. And placed in every heaven its affair. And We adorned the lower heaven with brilliant stars and with protection (for earth); that is the measure of the Mighty, the Knowing.
The process of creation started from a single mass. The galaxies and their solar systems were separated and the earth was created. This whole process was completed in two stages. The earth had a special purpose in God’s design. It was solidified, provided with sustenance for living beings and made stable. This process of earth’s preparation was completed in four stages in all, including its creation, two in its creation and two in its providence. The outer limits of this universe were till then a gaseous mass. The Creator made it secure and carved six more such systems out of it, making the number of heavens seven. This later process was undertaken in two stages and our universe became stable for an appointed time with the energies and forces of the six other systems balancing and (probably) covering and overlapping it.
So, the whole process of formation of seven heavens and providing sustenance on earth was undertaken in six stages.
Whatever the Qur’an had told about creation 1400 years ago when there were only myths and legends throughout the world, corroborates with what human beings kept on discovering. The process of discovery of universe by mankind is still in its early stages. The astronomical scientists will go on discovering which they have not ascertained so far but the Creator had fore-told it. Qur’an is not a detailed Work of science. Its purpose is to provide guidance to the mankind for the purpose for which it was given existence. The concise and short descriptions of creation serve a dual purpose. To keep the mankind away from superstitions and to appeal to their rationale that God’s Word is The Ultimate Truth so that he may believe and achieve success in the real life when the life on this earth will come to an end. The Creator had proclaimed:
سَنُرِيهِمْ آيَاتِنَا فِي الْآفَاقِ وَفِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ ۗ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ
Soon will We show them our Signs in the regions (of the universe), and in their own selves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (Qur’an) is the Truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?