Good day everyone!

How to harmonize the time of the erection of the mountains in different verses?

Before building the sky, this happened or after:

  1. Before building the sky:

Surah Fussilat (Explained), verses 9-12.

  1. After building the sky:

Sura An-Naziat (Throwers), verses 27-32.

  • Aren't the verses you mentioned already in harmony ? I don't see any contradiction. Feb 20, 2022 at 16:01
  • The contradiction is that according to some verses, the mountains were raised (created) on the earth after the creation of the sky was completed. According to other verses, the mountains were raised even when the sky was smoke. That is, its creation was not completed then. (And according to some hadiths and asar, the sky has not yet been created at all).
    – ggk hj
    Feb 20, 2022 at 16:12
  • Can you mention all those verses ? The Quran contains no contradiction, maybe you need an explanation. Feb 21, 2022 at 17:33
  • I gave the numbers of suras and verses. I don't know which translation is more accurate.
    – ggk hj
    Feb 22, 2022 at 9:51
  • 1
    Because you didn’t show any contradiction in the verses you mentioned. You’re asking a question which has no answer because the question itself is invalid. You said there are some Quran verses that kind of contradict, if I understood well??? But in the verses you mentioned, there is no apparent contradiction. I asked you to give the verses that do contain a contradiction but you just said "I already gave them" even though those that you gave don’t oppose each others. Mar 3, 2022 at 17:15

5 Answers 5


The topic of whether the earth or heavens were created first has some ikhtilaf.

Some people said: The earth (including the mountains) was created first because of the verses in Surah Fussilat. The "after that" in Surah Nazi'at is not meant chronologically.

Others said: The heaven was created first because of the verses in Surah Nazi'at. The "then" in Surah Fussilat is not meant chronologically.

Some people like Ibn Abbas (RA) tried to reconcile and say: The earth was created before the heavens because the "then" in Surah Fussilat indicates that, but the things on earth (including the mountains) were created after the creation of the heavens because of Surah Nazi'at. They would say the "then" in Surah Fussilat indicates the creation of the heaven was after the creation of the earth, but it is not meant to indicate it was after the mountains.

Most modern commentators adopt the second opinion because it aligns more with our understanding of the universe. See Tafheem ul-Quran on this verse.

Both ثُمَّ‏ ("then" in Surah Fussilat) and بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ ("after that" in Surah Nazi'at) have precedence in the Quran of being used non-chronologically, so that is not a concern. But, it is an interesting puzzle to figure out which is meant here.

Also note that (as mentioned by Tafheem ul-Quran) part of the reason this is unclear is the fact that verses of creation are not meant as stories for us but rather lists of blessings or shows of Allah's power.

For that reason, Allah may choose to mention the heavens or earth first for reasons entirely separate from their actual order of creation. Perhaps it fits the context to start with the mention of earth or heaven.

  • My question was about mountains!!
    – ggk hj
    Mar 11, 2022 at 17:41
  • @ggkhj There is nothing that indicates the chronology of mountains except what indicates the chronology of earth
    – The Z
    Mar 11, 2022 at 17:48
  • I described the chronology above.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 11, 2022 at 20:25
  • Give an example of tafseers where the answer to my question was.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 8:15
  • In the first case, mountains were erected on the earth when the sky was smoke. In the second case, the mountains were erected on the earth after the completion of the creation of the sky. The sky was no longer smoke, but as it is now, and the mountains were installed on the earth later, which contradicts Sura Fussilat.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 15:17

Heaven in Quran can have 2 different meanings. The heaven, which means the sky that we breath the air from, and the universe (space, etc…). In surat Fussilat, Allah says He created the Earth and then asked the "heaven" which is the atmosphere. But in surat An-Naziat, Allah says He created the "heavens" which means the universe (space, sience…) and then the Earth.

Both make a lot of sense. You can find a lot of scientific evidence. For surat Fussilat, it is logical that the mass of the Earth attracts the gas and forms the atmosphere, and for surat An-Naziat, it is also logical that there can’t be an Earth made out of something else than the universe, that is, Earth can only be made after the creation of the heavens.

May Allah guide us all.

  • It looks like a newfangled interpretation. In what tafsir was such an explanation given?
    – ggk hj
    Mar 11, 2022 at 7:56
  • Well does it not make sense ? Mar 11, 2022 at 9:03
  • Do not know. I wonder how this problem was solved by the classical scholars of Islam.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 11, 2022 at 9:36
  • Doesn't matter what they said. If it makes sense, then it is very likely true. And don't doubt it, there are many other words that can have 2 or more meanings in the Quran, it's just how arabic works. Mar 11, 2022 at 19:34
  • And I don't think that the classical scholars of Islam knew that there was the universe and our own atmosphere, so I really doubt they said anything about it. But if they didn't say anything about it, then it doesn't mean it's wrong. Mar 11, 2022 at 19:35

Assalam o alaikum

very simple

Allah created sky which was in the form of smoke (there was no space) when He created earth and then contracted lower sky smoke into earth atmosphere, stars and other heavenly bodies we see today, the space (vacuum) was created at that point.

Hope it clears

  • My question was about mountains!
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 12:12

"Sky" and "heaven" has both two different meanings in the Quran.

I will first prove that it means the universe (as in space as we know it) :

"We have indeed decked the lower heaven with beauty (in) the stars" As-Saffat 6

"Lower heaven", but there are no stars in our atmosphere, so the lower heaven means our universe.

"3. He Who created the seven heavens one above another" Al-Mulk 3

Seven heavens one above another, do we have 7 atmospheres one above the other ? No.

So here, heaven means universe.

Now, I will prove that it means our own atmosphere that we breath the air from :

"19. Or (another similitude) is that of a rain-laden cloud from the sky" Al-Baqara 19

Do you usually see any clouds in the universe ? Does rain come from our own sky or from the universe ? It comes from our own atmosphere.

"40. "It may be that my Lord will give me something better than thy garden, and that He will send on thy garden thunderbolts from heaven, making it (but) slippery sand!" Al-Kahf 40

There usually aren't any thunderbolts in the universe. This also proves that sky and heaven can mean our own atmosphere.

"25. The Day the heaven shall be rent asunder with clouds, and angels shall be sent down, descending (in ranks)" Al-Furqaan 25

Again, same thing with clouds.

"48. It is Allah Who sends the Winds, and they raise the Clouds: then does He spread them in the sky as He wills, and break them into fragments, until thou seest rain-drops issue from the midst thereof" Ar-Room 48

He spreads them in the sky, not between Jupiter and Neptune.

So you see, sky and heaven can mean two different things.

It may seem contradictory, but it isn't, nothing contradictory here. I hope you don't try to oppose this, it's God that's talking here, not me.

Two things about the heaven meaning universe : either, it means a part of the entire universe (so one seventh of the entire universe God made) or an entire universe, with 7 universes existing. One other thing : you didn't understand my answer, the atmosphere isn't a universe, so there are only 7 universes or 7 parts of the 1 big universe, not 8.

And no, I didn't say that the Earth was made of the sky as of our own atmosphere, I said literally the opposite.

  • An obvious contradiction. There are only seven heavens. You wrote that they mean the universe. And then write about another sky, which is the atmosphere. Then there are eight of them. And I have already written about the fact that in Surah Fussilat Allah said that from the sky, which you called the atmosphere, He made the heavens, that is, the Universe. That is why this interpretation is wrong.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 15:41
  • No. You seem like you reaallly really want to hear that there is a contradiction. There isn't. I will update my answer again in less than 5 minutes. Mar 12, 2022 at 15:50
  • And this interpretation isn't wrong, you didn't understand it. The Quran agrees to it 100%. Mar 12, 2022 at 15:54
  • I clearly painted what the problem is. You wrote earlier about the fact that in Sura Fussilat under the sky is meant the atmosphere. But if you read this sura further, it is clearly written there that seven heavens were made from this sky! And you wrote in your last answer that the seven heavens are not the atmosphere!
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 15:57
  • I understood this answer perfectly and it doesn't solve any problem.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 15:59

In Surat Fussilat :

"Then He turned towards the heaven when it was ˹still like˺ smoke, saying to it and to the earth, ‘Submit, willingly or unwillingly.’ They both responded, ‘We submit willingly." 11

"So He formed the heaven into seven heavens in two Days, assigning to each its mandate. And We adorned the lowest heaven with ˹stars like˺ lamps ˹for beauty˺ and for protection. That is the design of the Almighty, All-Knowing." 12

Is this what's disturbing you ? Simple.

In the verse 11, "the heaven" means the atmosphere, because it was "still like smoke". Which corresponds to the creation of the Earth visualed with science : obviously, the Earth's mass attracted gas, and the volcanoes emmitted huge amounts of smoke.

In the verse 12, "then heaven into seven heavens in two Days" shows the creation of the universe (Big Bang). It was one first, then Allah made them seven (maybe split them, no one knows). Here, it's obviously not the atmosphere that Allah's talking about. And God gave our lower universe stars.

No contradiction again.

  • These verses follow each other and are connected in meaning, but in one case you call the sky the atmosphere, and in the other case the universe. It's not logical. At the same time, you have no confirmation of this interpretation by hadiths, asars and tafsirs.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 17:06
  • The confirmation I have is the verses I mentioned in the other answer I gave. The verses aren’t connected in meaning. The "So" is the arabic "ف" which Allah sometimes uses for logical connection, and sometimes to a regular start of the verse. In 11, Allah speaks about the creation of the Earth, while in 12, Allah speaks about the creation of the universes. Mar 12, 2022 at 17:32
  • And I’m pretty sure that in some other surah, Allah says He created the 7 heavens then the Earth. Mar 12, 2022 at 17:34
  • Most likely there is no such sura. And these answers seem like an attempt to find loopholes. Verse 11 speaks of the sky, verse 12 says that seven heavens are made from this sky. Everything is simple.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 20:31
  • There is still no answer to the question about the mountains. These arguments about the atmosphere are not supported by anything. According to Islam, water can come straight from the sky. They don't always come from the clouds. There are concepts of the gates of heaven, from which water can pour out. Maybe this also applies to lightning (after all, there is an opinion that thunder and lightning are an angel). Therefore, clouds, lightning, rain, air, sun, moon, stars - these are all the contents of the nearest sky. The atmosphere is not a separate kind of sky.
    – ggk hj
    Mar 12, 2022 at 20:31

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