"Six or Eight Days of Creation" Revisited

A Short Response To The Missionary Confusion

The missionaries have once again amused us with their attempt to “rebut” the solution to their claimed “contradiction” in the Qur’an. In their latest treatise, as per their tradition of incoherent reasoning, they say:

    The first thing we would like to point out is that Yahya’s claim that the four days of v. 10 are not separate from the first two days is simply an assumption.

If that is the best that the missionaries can bring up with in their “rebuttal”, then there is nothing else to “rebut” except for their obstinate refusal to accept the proposed solution to the so-called “contradiction”. As Yusuf Ali duly notes in footnote 4470:

The Commentators understand the “four Days” in verse 10 to include the two Days in verse 9, so that the total for the universe comes to six Days. This is reasonable, because the processes described in verses 9 and 10 form really one series. In one case it is the creation of the formless matter of the earth; in the other case it is the gradual evolution of the from of the earth, its mountains and seas, and its animal and vegetable life, with the “nourishment in due proportion”, proper to each.1

We have no problems accepting this explanation, so there is indeed nothing further to discuss if the missionary refuses to accept this explanation. If the major commentators of the Qur’an had understood the verses in question as noted by A. Yusuf Ali, there is nothing left for the missionary use as an objection tool. See our Appendix for the specific quotations of these major commentators.

It is also worth noting that the missionary tradition relies on character assasination, made apparent by the description of the cited author Harun Yahya as a “contemporary Muslim propagandist”. Whether he is a “propagandist” or otherwise as per the missionary claim, it is the argument that really matters and the missionaries has failed to respond to the solution proposed apart from their “reluctance” to do so. This behaviour is no different from the attitude of the so-called “apostle”, Paul of Tarsus, when he made several venomous attacks and character assasinations in his epistles on those who recognise his teachings for what it is and opposed him. This is a topic that we will, insha’allah, discuss in the near future.

The next argument of the missionaries is that they had purposely distorted the context of Qur’an, 41:9-12 by translating thumma as “then”. The following is the distorted translation belonging to the missionaries:

THEN (thumma) He turned to the heaven, and it had been smoke: He said to it and to the earth: “Come ye together, willingly or unwillingly.” They said: “We do come (together), in willing obedience.” So He completed them as seven firmaments in two Days, and He assigned to each heaven its duty and command. And We adorned the lower heaven with lights, and (provided it) with guard. Such is the Decree of (Him) the Exalted in Might, Full of Knowledge.

In his translation Yusuf Ali has translated thumma as “moreover”, which is more suited for the context of the verse in question. This is further confirmed by The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic2. Therefore this certainly lends support to the earlier contention, that “…the processes described in verses 9 and 10 form really one series”.3

Imam Al-Baidawi himself had something to say on the issue:

It is apparent that thumma here refers to difference of the two creations (i.e., that of earth and that of Heaven) not to laxity in time.4

So Imam Al-Baidawi asserts that thumma in this context separates the creation of earth and things in it from creation of Heaven as two distinct processes, not that they were separated with time interval.

In light of the above explanations, we have duly followed the principles of the Qur’an explains the Qur’an, in accordance to how tafsir is performed, i.e., al-Qur’an yufassiru ba’duhu ba’dan (different parts of the Qur’an explain each other). What is given in a general way in one place is discussed in detail in some other place in the Qur’an. What is dealt with briefly at one place is expanded in some other place. Hence there is little to add from here.

To conclude this short response, our prescribed methodology as explained by “contemporary Muslim propagandist” Harun Yahya is consistent with the majority of the Qur’anic commentators and had indeed resolved this imagined “contradiction” that exists within the purid mind of the missionaries. It leaves us with a conclusive explanation of the Qur’an, and hence swiftly refutes the missionaries’ lie that “the Qur’an is not God’s word”. And only God knows best.

All praise is for God Almighty, the Lord of the Worlds. He has no Son and has no need for a Son. For they are among those who disbelieve when they say “God has a Son!” and yet He is free from all the attributes the missionaries have ascribed to Him. And it is to Him alone we submit in total obedience, even though the disbelievers may dislike it. Amin! Amin! Thumma Amin!


  1. A. Yusuf Ali, The Holy Qur’an: Text, Translation & Commentary, p. 1288 []
  2. J. M. Cowan, The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, p. 106, under “thumma”. []
  3. Yusuf Ali, op. cit. []
  4. Tafsir-ul-Baidawi, Vol. 5, p. 26 []

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