Start of Universe

                                         By Dr: Salama Abdelhady

We may look to the God’s description of the start of creation in Qur’an and in Bible. It will be seen that the Qur’an is the Holy Book which is revealed to Mohamed from the Wise and The All-Knowing God. However, the wording of the same facts in the Bible shows there were some hands which cast these facts in a human-lagging style. It can be found in the Bible some descriptions which are not corresponding to the modern sciences. This fact is declared by the Catholic Church in an article with the title:

Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible", By Ruth Gledhill, Religion Correspondent, on  timesonline

Now, let us read how the Quran described the start of the universe. Such moment that had not been witnessed by any one of us as the Quran states in the following verse:

[18/51] I called them they have not witnessed the creation of the heavens and the earth, nor (even) their own creation: So, it is for Me to help and lead them to know and not to go astray!

The creation of the universe had been done by the will, science and wisdom of the Creator. This creation is described in many surahs (chapters) of the Quran. Each surah looks at specific view of such wisdom and knowledge. We may read in Chapter 41 (Surat Fossilat):

[41/9-12] 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 whole universe", He set on the (earth). Mountains standing firm (to stretch the surface layers by its roots), high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and created the measures therein for every thing to give them nourishment in due proportions, 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 (mutually), willingly or by our implement " They said: "We do come (each follow a specific order), in a willing obedience.", So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command (orbits and motion). And We adorned the lower heaven with lights (from the sun and the moon), and (provided it) with a guard (guarding layers of Ozone). Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge.

Summing up the number of days will be more than six days. But there is an overlap in these days which you may see in modern project management. Such overlap stands for the difference in the number of days.

Now, compare these stages of creation, into the same story as expressed in the Bible, i.e. the Old Testament.

Genesis 1

The Creation of the World

1:1 In the beginning1 God2 created3 the heavens and the earth.4

1:2 Now5 the earth6 was without shape and empty,7 and darkness8 was over the surface of the watery deep,9 but the Spirit of God10 was moving11 over the surface12 of the water.13 1:3 God said,14 “Let there be15 light.”16 And there was light! 1:4 God saw17 that the light was good,18 so God separated19 the light from the darkness. 1:5 God called20 the light “day” and the darkness21 “night.” There was evening, and there was morning, marking the first day.22

1:6 God said, “Let there be an expanse23 in the midst of the waters and let it separate water24 from water. 1:7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it.25 It was so.26 1:8 God called the expanse “sky.”27 There was evening, and there was morning, a second day.

1:9 God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place28 and let dry ground appear.”29 It was so. 1:10 God called the dry ground “land”30 and the gathered waters he called “seas.” God saw that it was good.

1:11 God said, “Let the land produce vegetation:31 plants yielding seeds according to their kinds,32 and33 trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.” It was so. 1:12 The land produced vegetation – plants yielding seeds according to their kinds, and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. God saw that it was good. 1:13 There was evening, and there was morning, a third day.

1:14 God said, “Let there be lights34 in the expanse35 of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them be signs36 to indicate seasons and days and years, 1:15 and let them serve as lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” It was so. 1:16 God made two great lights37 – the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night. He made the stars also.38 1:17 God placed the lights39 in the expanse of the sky to shine on the earth, 1:18 to preside over the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness.40 God saw that it was good. 1:19 There was evening, and there was morning, a fourth day.

1:20 God said, “Let the water swarm with swarms41 of living creatures and let birds fly42 above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” 1:21 God created the great sea creatures43 and every living and moving thing with which the water swarmed, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. God saw that it was good. 1:22God blessed them44 and said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds multiply on the earth.”45 1:23 There was evening, and there was morning, a fifth day. 1:24 God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: cattle, creeping things, and wild animals, each according to its kind.”46 It was so. 1:25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the cattle according to their kinds, and all the creatures that creep along the ground according to their kinds. God saw that it was good.

1:26Then God said, “Let us make47 humankind48 in our image, after our likeness,49 so they may rule50 over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth,51 and over all the creatures that move52 on the earth.”

1:27 God created humankind53 in his own image, in the image of God he created them,54

male and female he created them.55

1:28 God blessed56 them and said57 to them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it!58 Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.”59 1:29 Then God said, “I now60 give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.61 1:30And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I give62 every green plant for food.” It was so.

1:31 God saw all that he had made – and it was very good!63 There was evening, and there was morning, the sixth day.Genesis 22:1 The heavens and the earth1 were completed with everything that was in them.2 2:2 By3 the seventh day God finished the work that he had been doing,4 and he ceased5 on the seventh day all the work that he had been doing. 2:3 God blessed the seventh day and made it holy6 because on it he ceased all the work that he7 had been doing in creation.8

The Creation of Man and Woman

2:4 This is the account9 of the heavens and the earth10 when they were created – when the Lord God11 made the earth and heavens.12

2:5Now13 no shrub of the field had yet grown on the earth, and no plant of the field14 had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.15 2:6 Springs16 would well up17 from the earth and water18 the whole surface of the ground.19 2:7 The Lord God formed20 the man from the soil of the ground21 and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life,22 and the man became a living being.23

2:8 The Lord God planted an orchard24 in the east,25 in Eden;26 and there he placed the man he had formed.27 2:9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow from the soil,28 every tree that was pleasing to look at29 and good for food. (Now30 the tree of life31 and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil32 were in the middle of the orchard.)

2:10 Now33 a river flows34 from Eden35 to water the orchard, and from there it divides36 into four headstreams.37 2:11 The name of the first is Pishon; it runs through38 the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. :12 (The gold of that land is pure;39 pearls40 and lapis lazuli41 are also there). 2:13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it runs through42 the entire land of Cush.43 2:14 The name of the third river is Tigris; it runs along the east side of Assyria.44 The fourth river is the Euphrates.

Of course, we may see that both texts give similar stories. In the Bible, you find human interpretations of limited understanding to something heard. However, in the Qur’an you find statements that fit to revelation from The Wise and All-Knowing God. This is stated by the following verses:

[27 / 6] As to thee, the Quran is bestowed upon thee from the presence of One Who is Wise and All-Knowing.

Another view of His Wisdom in creation is stated also in the following verses that describes the initial explosion of the initial material of the universe. Such bad term “Great Explosion” as nominated or assumed by the scientists is expressed by the creator in a better scientific term “Rupture”. Such term leads to who performs such rupture and expresses His Wisdom and Power.

[21/30 - 33] Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were stitched together (as the initial origin of the Creation), before We ruptured them asunder? Then, We made every living thing starting by water. Will they not then believe? And We have set on the earth mountains standing firm, lest it should shake with them, and We have made therein broad highways (between mountains) for them to pass through: that they may receive guidance. And We have made the heavens as a canopy well guarded: yet do they turn away from the Signs which these things (point to)!

The wisdom in creation is expressed also in the following verses:

[ 2 /21 - 22] O ye people! Adore your Guardian-Lord, Who created you and those who came before you, that ye may have the chance to learn righteousness; Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens; and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth).

Another side of the Creator’s wisdom in the universe’s creation is given also in the following verses:

[23/17-20] And We have made, above you, seven tracts; and We are never unmindful of (Our) Creation. And We send down water from the sky according to (due) measure, and We cause it to soak in the soil; and We certainly are able to drain it off (with ease). With it We grow for you Gardens of date-palms and vines: in them have ye abundant fruits: and of them ye eat (and have enjoyment), Also a tree springing out of Mount Sinai, which produces oil, and relish for those who use it for food.

The God designed the sun and the moon to be sources of light before any creation had been started. This will is expressed in the following verses:

[10 / 3 - 5] Verily your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, then He established Himself on the Throne (of authority), regulating and governing all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His leave (hath been obtained). This is Allah your Lord; Him therefore serve ye: will yet not receive admonition? To Him will be your return, of all of you. The promise of Allah is true and sure. It is He Who beginneth the process of Creation, and repeateth it, that He may reward with justice those who believe and work righteousness; but those who reject Him will have draughts of boiling fluids, and a Penalty grievous, because they did reject Him. It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for it; that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) doth He explain His Signs in detail, for those who understand.

The succession of day and night on the earth is described since more than 14 centuries in the following verses through miraculous expressions that are surely revealed from Allah: [39/4-6] He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions and coordination), He makes the Night overlap spherically the Day (due to revolving the spherical earth), and the Day overlap spherically the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law) each one follows a course of motion for an appointed time.  Is not He the Exalted in Power, He Who forgives again and again? He created you (all) from a single Person: then created, of like nature, his mate; and He sent down (the design of genetic maps of) eight head of cattle in pairs for your service: He makes (creates) you, in the wombs of your mothers, in successive stages, one after another (according to a law), in three veils of darkness (three layers of protection). This is Allah, your Lord and Cherisher: to Him belongs (all) dominion. There is no god but He: then how are ye turned away (from your true Centre)?

The unity of Creation is expressed in the following verse:

[67 / 3] He Who created seven identical heavens (seven here indicates repeated creations of unlimited number of heavens as repeated cycles of the 7 days week), no want of proportion wilt (i.e. all are created as one unit with harmonic proportions) thou see in the Creation of the Most Gracious Allah. So turn thy vision again: seest thou any flaw?

God assures that He set the laws that keep the prevailing balance and equilibrium in the universe by His Wisdom:

[15 / 19-21] And the earth We have extended it (in volume and all dimensions); place in it the settlements (that gives it the mass and gravity that stabilize its motion and the creatures on its surface); and produced (create) therein all kinds of things in a due balance (physically and proportionally, i.e. plants in balance with animals, both are in balance to atmospheric pressure, temperature and humidity, water in balance to needs, heat in balance to warm, etc.), And We have provided therein means of subsistence, for you and for those for whose sustenance ye are not responsible. And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.

What is written here is just a part from unlimited number of verse which explains the wisdom of God as a Wise Creator for a magnificent universe. One of His Names Is stemmed from the word Magnificent ( the Magnificenator, i.e. the One who creates a magnificent universe)

However, several remarks may be seen regarding start of creation in the Bible:

1.Stating a God’s spirit moving over the surface of the water is illogic.

2.Considering God’s day limited by the sunrise and the sunset. In the Quran, God’s day cannot be defined by our limited days; the Quran states that God’s day may be as thousand years or fifty thousand years.

[32/5] He rules (all) affairs from the heavens to the earth: in the end will (all affairs) go up to Him, on a Day, its range may be (as) a thousand years of your reckoning

[70/4] The angels and the Spirit ascend unto Him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years:

3.Stating that God had no formal knowledge of what will be good and what will be bad.  “He saw the light was good, God saw that was good”.

4.It states that the earth is plane; all the earth will be once in light, once in dark, one direction for the east and other direction for the west. The Quran stated the spherical overlapping of the day over the night and the night over the day, as stated previously.

5.It limits the universe creation to the earth only sources of light. So, it ignores the greatness of the whole universe.

For the reader: Can you imagine really the words of Genesis are from God and the words of the Quran are not?

I think We should actually approve the truth of the following Verse and We should say as the Muslim is accustomed to say: Sadaka (i.e. Veracity is in the Words of) Allah, The Great God.

[ 7 / 52] For We had certainly sent unto them a Book, based on science and knowledge, which We explained in detail, as a guide and a mercy to all who believe (in Him).