Assalamu Alaikum Brothers in Islam,

Allah Ta'ala Says in the Holy Qur'an :

"And it is He who created the heavens and the earth in six days - and His Throne had been upon water " [Qur'an 11:7]

And Allah's Messenger Muhammed (Peace and Blessings be upon him) said :

"Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al-'As reported:

I heard Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Allah ordained the measures (of quality) of the creation fifty thousand years before he created the heavens and the earth, as His Throne was upon water." [Sahih Muslim 2653]

It is unanimously agreed that the Throne and the Water predated the creation of the heavens and earth.

My Question is : Did Allah create the heavens and earth from the water? As in, was the 'Water' that existed before the heavens and the earth, the primordial material from which Allah created the heavens and the earth?

If yes, please give me citation from sources.

Some of the scholars spoke about this but i'm unable to find concrete references and sources.

Jazak Allahu Khayrun

4 Answers 4


No both the qur'an and sunnah actually emphasize only on the fact that water existed before the creation of the heavens and earth.

Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allah have mercy on him) said: In the report of Ishaaq ibn Raahawayh it says “and the Throne is over the water.” The apparent meaning is that it was like that when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) spoke these words. The apparent meaning of the hadeeth which comes before it is that the Throne was over the water before the creation of the heavens and earth, and the two hadeeth when taken together indicate that it is still over the water. End quote. Fath al-Baari, 20/496 (Source: islamqa #146779)

However ar-Rabi' ibn Anas has been quoted with the following interpretation -among many others- in Tafsir ibn Kathir -see here in Arabic-:
In the following I'm translating from Arabic, as these translations are of my own take them with the necessary care!

وقال الربيع بن أنس : ( وكان عرشه على الماء ) فلما خلق السموات والأرض ، قسم ذلك الماء قسمين ، فجعل نصفا تحت العرش ، وهو البحر المسجور .
Ar-Rabi' ibn Anas said: (and His Throne had been upon water) and when HE created the heavens and earth. HE divided the water into two parts and made one half under the throne and this is the sea filled with fire

See also:

  • And [by] the sea filled [with fire], (52:6)

Ar-Rabi' was again quoted in tafsir ibn Kathir of this verse say -see here in Arabic- :

قال الربيع بن أنس : هو الماء الذي تحت العرش ، الذي ينزل [ الله ] منه المطر الذي يحيي به الأجساد في قبورها يوم معادها . وقال الجمهور : هو هذا البحر .
Ar-Rabi' ibn Anas said: it is the water under the Throne from which Allah drops down the rain that gives life to the dead bodies in their graves at the hereafter. The majority says it is the sea we know.

  • And when the seas are filled with flame (81:6)

A lot of the narrations seem to describe the water unlike the water we know for example inn Tafsir al-Qurtobi -see here in Arabic- you may read these two statements:

  • قال كعب : خلق الله ياقوتة خضراء فنظر إليها بالهيبة فصارت ماء يرتعد من مخافة الله تعالى ; فلذلك يرتعد الماء إلى الآن وإن كان ساكنا ، ثم خلق الريح فجعل الماء على متنها ، ثم وضع العرش على الماء .
    Ka'ab (al-'Ahbaar) said: Allah created a green corundum then HE looked at it with prestige and it turned into water that trembles in fear of Allah the almighty. For this reason the water still trembles until now even if it was quiet. Afterwards HE created the wind and made the water on it, then HE placed the Thron on the water.

  • وقال سعيد بن جبير عن ابن عباس : إنه سئل عن قوله - عز وجل - : وكان عرشه على الماء >>فقال : على أي شيء كان الماء ؟ قال : على متن الريح
    Sa'id ibn Jubair narrated from ibn 'Abbas that he was asked about the statement of Allah the almighty (and His Throne had been upon water) and on what was the water? And he replied it rode the wind.

So therefore it is a bit far fetched to say that it is the material from which Allah created the heavens and earth.

  • I disagree brother. In Al Qurtubi's (ra) tafsir, he states that Ibn Masood (ra) , Mujahid (ra) and even Imam Tabari (ra) held the opinion that the water on which the Throne of Almighty sits, was initially turned into smoke (dhukaan) and from this smoke, He Almighty created the heavens and then the water was dried up and this was made into earth was created. (Tafsir Al - Qurtubi Vol 1)
    – Insaan
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 17:26
  • Moreover he adds that the basic 'element' for all created things is water as was narrated by Ibn Majah and Abu Hatim AL busti from Abu Hurayrah (ra).
    – Insaan
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 17:28
  • 1
    Of course to make ta'weel of what the "water" here is not encouraged. Is it H20 or is it primordial matter? Allahu Alam.
    – Insaan
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 17:31
  • 1
    I was hoping that i could get citations and reference directly from the sahaba with a 'sahih' or 'hasan' isnaad (mawqoof) to the statements that are mentioned by Imam Al- Qurtubi (ra).
    – Insaan
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 17:32
  • 1
    No doubt, that there is from my minute negligible knowledge, nothing in the Qur'an and the Sunnah that explicitly states that the heavens and the earth were created from the Primordial water.
    – Insaan
    Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 17:41

good conversation keep it up. want to add, as we can see nabi saw talked about heat being the breath of hell. in whole universe and cold being the breath of hell inward. it seems hell is also made by Allah and do not only serve the purpose of punishing after the day of judement. it seems all the heat or quantum energy originated from this phenomon.


I hold the opinion that the water here refers to the space-time

36:40 It is not permitted to the Sun to catch up to the Moon, not can the night outstrip the day; Each swims along in orbit.

So we know that the Sun and the Moon are in the space. So when it's said that the Sun and the Moon swim, the space-time must be the water. If you look at the Einstein's space-time model, it closely resembles water. Space-time also has ripples or waves just like water.

And Allah knows best.

  • This is a very interesting point of view, Mashallah! IMO the most logic answer so far!
    – AndaluZ
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 22:21

As muslims we must take it and believe wate(v)er is written in the holy book. Scrutinizing the word of Allah SWT is blasphemy.

  • 1
    Searching for clarifications and addressing confusions are not blasphemous
    – Afiq
    Commented Jul 28, 2020 at 13:24
  • It's not that we don't believe, it's how we interpret and there's nothing wrong with that.
    – AndaluZ
    Commented Dec 10, 2021 at 19:42

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