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In Surah Rahman

Verse 7, Allah says

وَالسَّمَاءَ رَفَعَهَا وَوَضَعَ الْمِيزَانَ

And the heaven He raised and imposed the balance

But in the Verse 10, Allah says

وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ

And the earth He laid [out] for the creatures.

Are the words in bold not the same? If yes, does the meaning of the word change with context in Arabic?

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Every single world in Arabic has many meanings, so it should be translated according to the situation and context where it is used. Mostly وضع used in these meanings

  • to put
  • to place
  • to lay down
  • modesty
  • theme
  • topic
  • inventor

So every translator try to choose the meaning which fit best and give better and clear meaning of verse.

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Check in a dictionary like in almaany وَضَع ( فعل ): and you may find that the verb وَضَع may be used in the meaning of:

  • to put
  • to place (as in 18:49 and 39:69)
  • to compose
  • to establish (as in 3:96)
  • to create
  • to give birth (as in 3:36)
  • to lower
  • to humiliate
  • to remove (94:2)

A few words about the verses

In verse (55:7) maybe the translation imposed is a bit bad, a better fit might be established or placed it down, if we interpret it as the justice which came down from heaven (Allah) to earth, as the balance here refer's to justice (as other translations show).

In verse (55:10) maybe here laid-out is a good fit, as the earth was made for humans and other creatures as a perfect place to live.

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