In the Holy Qur'an it says:

Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, then We separated them, and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?" (Quran 21:30)

Heaven and Earth were joined entity and after that they were separated. That means that Earth existed before the Big Bang along with Heaven (but was separated from it) but science tells us that Earth didn't exist before the universe and was created over 4 billion years ago while the universe existed long before that.

Is there a contradiction about the age of Earth?

Holy Qur'an says that Earth existed before big bang but science tells us otherwise. Or maybe I am just missing something?

  • Your last paragraph is incomplete
    – Aboudi
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 17:03
  • Salam and welcome to Islam SE. It seems to me that your question lacks some information as the question text doesn't seem at all to point at the "big bang" you pointed at in your Question title. Please consider editing it and explaining the relation between your question and the big bang theory.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 4:53
  • here i changed it,now it's better
    – Violet sky
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 6:53
  • I still miss the relation between Quran and the "scientific facts"! I mean i can neither see a contradiction so far, nor see what your Question actually is... but maybe that's your answer!
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 7:27
  • the ayat you cited and text you have written do not match. where there is said that earth is older than universe?! i can answer this question if i understand it with fixing its errors but i do not want.
    – qdinar
    Commented Sep 1, 2016 at 17:22

4 Answers 4


The Verse you are quoting is underlining the Big Bang theory:

أَوَلَمْ يَرَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوآ أَنَّ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضَ كَانَتَا رَتْقًا فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا وَجَعَلْنَا مِنَ الْمَآءِ كُلَّ شَىْءٍ حَىٍّ أَفَلا يُؤْمِنُون

this is the translation from qtafsir:

Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?

I've put the most important words in bold letters.
Here is what the sahaba and early scholars said about this expression from tafsir al-Qurtoby:

قال ابن عباس والحسن وعطاء والضحاك وقتادة : يعني أنها كانت شيئا واحدا ملتزقتين ففصل الله بينهما بالهواء

(My own translation take it with care)

Ibn 'Abbas, al-Hassan (al-Basry), 'Ata', a-Dhhak amd Qtadah said: this means they have been one unique (unified) thing and Allah has separated them with air.

Read also in tafsir ibn Kathir.

So the Arabic word "ratq رتق" refers to unified corpus which is also referred as an assembly of many different particles. As you may read nobody said that this corpus was earth nor sky it was a one piece corpus of something we don't know about and with a kind of blow this piece was separated into the forms called earth's and sky's (what ever this may mean).

After that a "fatq فتق " happened this is a separation which might be like a kind of explosion -> Big bang which releases those particles which are described in Quran as the earths and heavens or sky's (for both Quran and hadith mentioned that there are 7 of them).

Note except for the word ratq in this Verse the Quran uses the dual plural (in Arabic), as it considers the sky's as one entity and the earth as one.
So you read the verb كَانَتَا (both were),
فَفَتَقْنَاهُمَا (and or after that, which is referred to by فَـ we, which is referred to by نَا separated, which is referred to by فَتَقْـ both of them, which is referred to by هُمَا)
on one side and رَتْقًا (one single corpus/piece).

Here a further reference in Arabic and this Article.


This is a great question. I'm gonna go in a step by step fashion, so bare with me.

First off, we agree that Paradise/hell are a lot more bigger (massive) than Earth.

The following verse is going to compare the measure of Time in God's reference with Time in our reference.

[Quran 22.47] They challenge you to bring forth that torture [in Hell] and Allah will not break His promise; a day of your Lord [Paradise/Hell promise] is like a thousand years of what you count.

The theory of general relativity says that time passes slower near an object more massive than Earth, meaning at this point, Quran is coherent with science.

Furthermore, brief scientifical facts:

"Our solar system is 4.57 billion years old. Earth started accreting concurrently with the sun and our neighbouring planets 4.57 bln years ago. However the universe is 13.7 ± 0.2 bln years old. This places the age of Earth at one third the age of the universe (4.57 bln/13.7 bln = 1/3)."

[Quran 7.54] And your Lord, Allah, who created the Heavens and the Earth in six days and then settled on the Throne...

Bare in mind the frame of reference: "Meaning that those six days are on the Throne; so the frame of reference for creation is the Throne, not Earth."

Looking at the following verses,

[Quran 41.9] Say: "Is it that you deny Him [Allah] who created the Earth in two days? And you claim others to be equal to Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds."

As well as

[Quran 50.38] And we have created the Heavens and Earth and everything in between in six days and We were not touched by fatigue.

"In God's Throne time, Earth is 2 days old while the Heavens, Earth and everything in between are 6 days old. This makes the age of Earth to be one third the age of the universe (2/6 = 1/3). Similarly in Earth time, the age of Earth is 4.57 billion years while the age of the universe is 13.7 billion years; this is also one third (4.57 bln/13.7 bln = 1/3). So it is the same ratio in Earth time or in God's Throne time. The theory of general relativity explains why time at God's Throne passes slower than on Earth. General relativity explains why 6 days passed at God's Throne but we measured it as 13.7 billion years (that is each day at God's Throne measures around 2.28 billion years on Earth)."


Don't forget that God call us to ponder and reflect in His verses [using our brain/mind capabilities]. Nothing is symbolic.

If you are interested in more scientifical approachs of the Quran visit this website


Heaven and earth were a joined entity reconfirms the big bang theory. This simply means there was no spacetime; there was no space, it was all singular and then matter was created. From matter came water and then life.


The English translation of the word sema is wrong here as heaven, cause it means sky actually. The word used for heaven as the eternal sweet place in the afterlife in Quran is cennet.

So, the verse is telling us that, the skies and the earth was united once, and then they are separated. Nothing about afterlife super places.

  • The word heaven(s) actually means sky, the word paradise is what's equivalent to the Arabic word Jannah. Heaven is still valid for the Arabic word Sama/Sema.
    – user44632
    Commented Sep 30, 2021 at 0:01

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