There's something in the Quran that I don't understand properly. They are from Surah Fussilat (41) verses 9 to 12:

Say, "Do you indeed disbelieve in He who created the earth in two days and attribute to Him equals? That is the Lord of the worlds."

And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface, and He blessed it and determined therein its [creatures'] sustenance in four days without distinction - for [the information] of those who ask.

Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, "Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion." They said, "We have come willingly."

And He completed them as seven heavens within two days and inspired in each heaven its command. And We adorned the nearest heaven with lamps and as protection. That is the determination of the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.

-Quran 41:9-12

It's saying that the earth was created in 2 days and the mountains were created in 4 days. So in total, that's 6 days for the earth. But in the last verse, it says the universe was created in 2 days. Why did the creation of earth take more time than the creation of the universe? It looks like it contradicts science. The earth is much much smaller than the universe. Can someone please give me the explanation for this?

Thank you.

  • 4
    "Days" in Quranic usage simply means "a period or stage of time" without any indication as to the length or nature of the period under discussion. Under this light these verses simply mean that universe was created over two periods of time and Earth over four periods.
    – infatuated
    Jun 3, 2016 at 15:07
  • my deleted answer: you understand the verses incorrectly. do you seriously think that earth and mountains were created earlier than sky?!
    – qdinar
    Jan 7, 2017 at 7:50
  • @infatuated could you please add reference as to when does the Quran uses "days" as "a period or stage of time" ? I did a ctrl+f on the Quran and found none. All there is is "50000 years" or "1000 years". Which does not clarify the question of the user.
    – ZakC
    Jun 26, 2019 at 15:37

2 Answers 2


the creation of the universe and the earth is attributed to the power and will of Allah, who created everything in a manner and time frame that was best suited for His divine plan and wisdom. The Quran states that Allah created the heavens and the earth in six days (surah Al-A'raf, verse 54).

The concept of time in Islam is not the same as human time, as Allah is not bound by time or space. The six days of creation mentioned in the Quran are not necessarily six literal 24-hour days, but are rather a period of time that reflects the stages of creation.

As for why the creation of the earth took longer than the creation of the universe, it is believed that Allah created the universe and everything in it, including the earth, in stages that were best suited for His divine plan. The creation of the universe required the formation of various celestial bodies, including galaxies, stars, and planets, which took time to form and stabilize. The earth itself went through different stages of development and evolution before it became habitable for living beings.

Overall, the details of the creation of the universe and the earth are beyond human comprehension and are known only to Allah. Muslims believe that everything in the universe, including the earth and its inhabitants, was created by Allah's divine will and wisdom.


my deleted answer of Aug 9 '16 6:28 utc:

you understand the verses incorrectly. do you seriously think that earth and mountains were created earlier than sky?!

my comment Difference between 7 skies and position of the heavens? of Aug 27 '15 at 13:43 utc, and i copied it to What does "seven Earths" mentioned in Quran al Kareem and hadith mean? answer at Nov 2 '16 at 20:33 utc:

i think 7 skies are the structures of universe which stay one type inside another type: our moon and satellites are structure no 1, our sun with its planets and asteroids and other stars with their planets are structure no 2, galaxies are structure no 3 or 4 or 5 ... and upper levels are invisible, because light from them cannot flight to us as fast as universe widens. and 7 earths are in contrawise direction: 1: stones and soil and water etc, 2: molecules, 3: atoms, 4: protons, electrons etc; 5: quarks, leptons, etc ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark ); 6: i do not know.

maybe "and upper levels are invisible, because light from them cannot flight to us as fast as universe widens" was wrong. probably some furthest parts invisible because we see milliards years ago time of them, and stars was not lighted up at that time. but maybe some even more furthest parts will not be visible forever, as i said.

so, that way, the ayats cited by you are correct, because most little particles are the lowest earthes, and most little particles are appeared first, earlier than bigger structures like molecules, galaxies and stars formed.

the word used instead of "mountains" in the arabic original is other word than usually used for mountain quran. this word means "firmly standing", as i remember. it is true, because there are firmly standing structures in the earth like atoms and protons, or, maybe, it means physical laws that work above that particles.

those who ask are also elementary particles who wanted to get or give some electrons and to set into chemical or other connection.

according to science, sky was like smoke, because it consisted of gas and dust before stars and planets formed. (and first scientist who proposed this idea was emmanuel kant, as i know, and he also read quran).

what are days here and why are so many? seems, most little particles were formed in 2 stages, and it is named "creation" of earth. then, that particles started to react with different fields andphysical forces, an react with each other, and create bigger particles, they formed bigger particles in 4 stages. then, all levels of sky were formed into structures in 2 stages. maybe, 1st stage was formation of stars and planets, and 2nd stage was formation of galaxies, and that seems ok, because galaxies has massive blackholes in centers and that blackholes probably needed more time to grow than stars and planets, an generally that process goes from little structures to big structures.

i have written this my interpretation in tatar language with latin script at http://qdb.narod.ru/yazmatxt/CidisarQatCirHamKuk/CidisarQatCirHamKuk.htm nearly in april 2006.

  • 1
    I read your answer twice, and I don't understand how it answers the question asked. Could you add a tl;dr section with a summary of your argument ?
    – ZakC
    Jun 26, 2019 at 15:35

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