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How old is earth in Islam?

Is it age of earth in Islam near ~5000 years old or Islam shares scientific point of view of earth age?

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According to Shia Islam the exact age of Earth is not mentioned but there are some Hadith that show the age of earth is millions or billions of years.

Firstly this verse of Quran is interpreted that humans lived before creation of Adam a.s. :

وَإِذْ قَالَ رَبُّكَ لِلْمَلَائِكَةِ إِنِّي جَاعِلٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ خَلِيفَةً ۖ قَالُوا أَتَجْعَلُ فِيهَا مَن يُفْسِدُ فِيهَا وَيَسْفِكُ الدِّمَاءَ وَنَحْنُ نُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدِكَ وَنُقَدِّسُ لَكَ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ

When your Lord said to the angels: 'I am placing on the earth a caliph,' they replied: 'Will You put there who corrupts and sheds blood, when we exalt Your praises and sanctify You?' He said: 'I know what you do not know'

http://tanzil.net/#2:30

Because this question of angels means that other humans lived before Adam a.s. on earth unless they did not asked such question.

In a Hadith Imam Sadiq a.s. said to one of his companions:

"لَعَلَّكَ تَرَى أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ إِنَّمَا خَلَقَ هَذَا الْعَالَمَ الْوَاحِدَ وَ تَرَى أَنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ لَمْ يَخْلُقْ بَشَراً غَيْرَكُمْ بَلْ وَ اللَّهِ لَقَدْ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ تَبَارَكَ وَ تَعَالَى أَلْفَ أَلْفِ عَالَمٍ وَ أَلْفَ أَلْفِ آدَمٍ أَنْتَ فِي آخِرِ تِلْكَ الْعَوَالِمِ وَ أُولَئِكَ الْآدَمِيِّين‏"

Perhaps you think Allah (AWJ) created only this universe and created no humans unless you?! Yes, By Allah Indeed God created thousands of thousands of universes and thousands of thousands of Adams that you are at the end of those universes and Adams.

Reference of hadith: Shia hadith book Al-Khisal written by Shaykh Saduq volume 2 page 652

Another hadith from Imam Baqir a.s. (the 5th Imam of Shia) sais:

لَقَدْ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ فِي الْأَرْضِ مُنْذُ خَلَقَهَا سَبْعَةَ عَالَمِينَ لَيْسَ هُمْ مِنْ وُلْدِ آدَمَ خَلَقَهُمْ مِنْ أَدِيمِ الْأَرْضِ فَأَسْكَنَهُمْ فِيهَا وَاحِداً بَعْدَ وَاحِدٍ مَعَ عَالَمِهِ ثُمَّ خَلَقَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَ جَلَّ آدَمَ أَبَا الْبَشَر

Indeed Allah (AWJ) in this earth, from the time created it, created seven world that were not from children of Adam. created them from surface of earth. so God inhabited them on earth and made one generation after another generation and for each made a world after another world on earth until finally created Adam the father of Bashar* and divaricated his descendents from him.

Reference of hadith: Shia hadith book Bihar al-Anwar volume 54 page 320

Ineed Islam does not say earth is young or has small ages like 5000 or 1000. age of earth is not clearly mentioned as we know. InshaAllah Imam Mahdi a.s. comes soon and scientists can ask him.

  • my question is why isn't such a relevant (or should i say critical?) subject concerning our planet discussed in greater detail in a book that so many consider to be a divine revelation ? if it isn't, shouldn't it be a red flag to subject the regard of the Quran as a holy book to scrutiny of reason based on lacking coverage on a fundamental subject. – amphibient Sep 4 '15 at 20:09
  • @amphibient you can not claim it is not in Quran. even if we do not know it. Quran has different layers of information. and all layers can not be accessed by ordinary people or even ordinary scholars. tanzil.net/#56:79 – Battle of Karbala Sep 6 '15 at 9:26
  • "Because this question of angels means that other humans lived before Adam a.s. on earth unless they did not asked such question." So there were communities before Adam to whom no prophet was sent? – G. Bach Jan 31 '17 at 11:12
  • @G.Bach According to Islamic resources Allah never create humans with freedom of choice without sending prophets for their guidance. in that case it will have conflict with mercy of Allah. human with freedom will go to Heaven or Hell after death. so if God send to Hell without any prior guidance so that kind of God will not be merciful. – Battle of Karbala Feb 8 '17 at 12:00
  • I have some naive knowledge of Islam but what I know is, Quran is revealed for generations, so if it discussed earth being flat or round OR discussed the age of earth, people wouldn't have understood at ancient time. God know his business and his audience. – Umer Jun 13 '17 at 5:14
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Quran is somewhat a cryptographic book, too much data claimed to be stored therein within only the size of a usual book, say 500 pages. If you read Hadith from Ahlol-Bayt you will find many interesting points there in verses that you have already passed over them for times but never mentioned them. According to Quran itself:

That this is indeed a qur'an Most Honourable; In Book well encrypted and guarded; Which none shall touch but those who are clean; A Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds. (Al-Vaaghe'e:77,78,79,80)

That is, no one should touch its text but after getting clean (say, for Muslims by making Vozu') and its inside meaning by cleaning his/her hearth with the light of faith. Maybe someone would think about the days i the viewpoint of the creator, Allah, being different in different situations or for different creatures, for example Allah says:

The angels and the spirit ascend unto him in a Day the measure whereof is (as) fifty thousand years (Al-Ma'aarej:4)

then use the verse that Allah says he has created the universe in 6 days:

We created the heavens and the earth and all between them in Six Days, nor did any sense of weariness touch Us. (Ghaf:38)

to obtain a value of equal to 300,000 years for creating the Earth and the skies, not as for their age. Of course it is not acceptable in Islam that the Earth be 5000 years old when we believe Adam's descension occurred around 7000 years ago and many many Adams and their quite many children living here on earth before our parents being created from dust, however, I cannot as well support my above answer as if I am right according to Shia Islam time can vary (not inverted though I guess!?) remarkably, something similar to relativity theory but I'm not sure for time to change only with speed, actually it may change with speed but of course it changes with other factors as well that my little knowledge has never touched them. I've only seen its evidences in Shia Ahadith.

You may be able to find some guides to answer in Ahadith.

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    thanks. only please note there is two word یوم and نهار in Quran that unfortunately both are translated to day. but it is better to یوم be translated to stage. یوم is more general and means a period of time that can be one day but not always. – Battle of Karbala Sep 24 '12 at 4:19
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There's no reason to disbelieve the accounts of the holy prophets (pbut) who Allah sent to this earth before Muhammad. However, sticking just to the Quran.

It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six ayums (Qur'an, Surah 32:4)

We know Allah took six days to create the earth and the universe.

Allah created Adam, making him 60 cubits tall. When He created him, He said to him, "Go and greet that group of angels, and listen to their reply, for it will be your greeting and the greeting of your offspring." bukhari 4:543

We know too that Allah created Adam (pbuh), Allah's first prophet, which he sculpted out of clay and dirt (the origins of humanity) and whom he sent from heaven to earth around 6000 years ago. He was the first human to step foot on this universe.

Allah has chosen not to fully tell us what he did with the earth between when he created it, and when he sent humans 6000 years ago - We do not know if there were beasts before mankind, whether Allah created the earth with their bones or whether their claimed existence is a plot by non-believers.

Please have a look at http://www.turntoislam.com for an interesting discussion about whether or not creatures (like Dinosaurs) really existed.

Some of the information contained in this post requires additional references. Please edit to add citations to reliable sources that support the assertions made here. Unsourced material may be disputed or deleted.

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    -1: Where does the figure 6000 come from? Why must be depend on "non-believers" to "claim existence" of dinosaurs? Can we not do our own research? If the dinosaurs thing is relevant, summarize the interesting discussion, else please remove it from your answer. This is a focused Q&A website striving for high quality questions and high quality answers. – Ansari Sep 25 '12 at 7:10
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    Of course whether Dinosaurs existed or not is relevant to the question. If they did exist, as non-believers claim, then allah would have indeed created the earth before 6000 years ago. The only research we need is in the pages of the holy quran, everything else is merely speculation. – Hanif Sep 25 '12 at 7:22
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    Since the existence of dinosaurs is relevant to your answer, then you should summarize the findings and not rely on a link to a site that may or may not change over time. And a site, I must add, that requires you to sign up before even viewing it's contents. – System Down Jan 21 '14 at 17:00
  • @Hanif but where does the figure 6000 come from? That's the whole point of asking this question. And the other two answerers have never mentioned anything of the sort. – N Unnikrishnan Jun 30 '15 at 18:00

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