The Quran describes Allah as creating seven heavens and seven earths, and everything which exists within them:
He it is Who created for you all that is on earth. Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven and made them seven heavens and He is the All-Knower of everything. S. 2:29
Indeed your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in Six Days, and then He Istawa (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty). He brings the night as a cover over the day, seeking it rapidly, and (He created) the sun, the moon, the stars subjected to His Command. Surely, His is the Creation and Commandment. Blessed be Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)! S. 7:54
Surely, your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days and then Istawa (rose over) the Throne (really in a manner that suits His Majesty), disposing the affair of all things. No intercessor (can plead with Him) except after His Leave. That is Allah, your Lord; so worship Him (Alone). Then, will you not remember? S. 10:3
Say (O Muhammad): “Do you verily disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days and you set up rivals (in worship) with Him? That is the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists). He placed therein (i.e. the earth) firm mountains from above it, and He blessed it, and measured therein its sustenance (for its dwellers) in four Days equal (i.e. all these four ‘days’ were equal in the length of time), for all those who ask (about its creation). Then He Istawa (rose over) towards the heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: “Come both of you willingly or unwillingly.” They both said: “We come, willingly.” Then He completed and finished from their creation (as) seven heavens in two Days and He made in each heaven its affair. And We adorned the nearest (lowest) heaven with lamps (stars) to be an adornment as well as to guard (from the devils by using them as missiles against the devils). Such is the Decree of Him the All-Mighty, the All-Knower. S. 41:9-12
It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof (i.e. seven). His Command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds (comprehends) all things in (His) Knowledge. S. 65:12
Are you more difficult to create, or is the heaven that He constructed? He raised its height, and He has equally ordered it, Its night He covers with darkness, and its forenoon He brings out (with light). And after that He spread the earth; And brought forth therefrom its water and its pasture; And the mountains He has fixed firmly; (To be) a provision and benefit for you and your cattle. S. 79:27-33
These passages show that by heavens and earths the Quran means the whole of creation, that Allah created the entire creation in 6 or 8 days, depending on which passage one reads. This further implies that the seven heavens include the angelic beings who would have been created within the 6-8 day period it took Allah to create all things. As such, there could not be any created thing that could have been existing prior to Allah’s creating the seven heavens and earths.
This is where the problems lay for Muslims.
According to Muhammad, Allah was situated upon his throne, which certain traditions state was created 50,000 years before the creation. Also existing alongside Allah were clouds, air and water, as well as the tablet which had inscribed everything that Allah predestined to take place:
- It is related that ‘Imran ibn Husayn said, “I visited the Prophet and hobbled my camel at the door. Some people of Banu Tamim came and he said, ‘Accept the good news, Banu Tamim!’ They said twice, ‘You have given us good news, so give us something.’ Then some of the people of Yemen came in to him and he said, Accept the good news, O people of Yemen, since Banu Tamim have not accepted it.’ They said, ‘We accept, Messenger of Allah. We have come to you to ask you about this matter.’ He said, ‘There was Allah and there was nothing but Him, and His Throne was on the water. He wrote everything in the Remembrance (the Tablet) and He created the heavens and the earth.’ Then someone called out, ‘Your she-camel has gone, Ibn al-Husayn!’ So I went and could not see her because of the mirage. By Allah, I wish that I had left her!” (Aisha Bewley, The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari, Chapter 63. Book of the Beginning of Creation)
Sunan Ibn Majah
The Book of the Sunnah
Waki’ bin Hudus narrated that his paternal uncle Abu Razin said:
“I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, where was our Lord BEFORE He created His creation?’ He said: He was above the clouds, below which was air, and above which was air and water. Then He created His Throne above the water.’”
Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)
Sunnah.com reference : Book 1, Hadith 182
English translation: Vol. 1, Book 1, Hadith 182
Arabic reference: Book 1, Hadith 187 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/ibnmajah/introduction/182; emphasis mine)
47 Chapters on Tafsir
Narrated Waki’ bin Hudus:
from his uncle Abu Razin who said: “I said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Where was our Lord BEFORE He created His creation?’ He said: ‘He was (above) the clouds – no air was under him, no air was above him, and He created His Throne upon the water.’”
Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)
English translation: Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3109
Arabic reference: Book 47, Hadith 3394 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/urn/741200; emphasis mine)
Abdullah b. ‘Amr b. al-‘As reported: I heard Allah’s Messenger 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, Book 003, Number 6416 https://www.searchtruth.com/book_display.php?book=033&translator=2&start=0&number=6416)
45 Chapters on The Virtues of the Qur’an
Narrated An-Nu’man bin Bashir:
that the Prophet said: “Indeed Allah wrote in a book two thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth, and He sent down two Ayat from it to end Surat Al-Baqarah with. If they are recited for three nights in a home, no Shaitan shall come near it.”
Grade: Hasan (Darussalam)
English translation: Vol. 5, Book 42, Hadith 2882
Arabic reference: Book 45, Hadith 3124 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/urn/731180; emphasis mine)
8 The Excellent Qualities of the Qur’an
An-Nu‘mān b. Bashīr reported God’s messenger as saying: “Two thousand years before creating the heavens and the earth God inscribed a book of which He sent down two verses with which He concluded Sūrat al-Baqara. The devil will not come near a house in which they are recited three nights.”
Tirmidhī and Dārimī transmitted it, Tirmidhī saying this is a gharīb tradition.
Reference: Mishkat al-Masabih 2145
In-book reference: Book 8, Hadith 36 (sunnah.com https://sunnah.com/mishkat:2145; emphasis mine)
To say that these narrations make absolutely no sense would be a wild understatement.
How could Allah have created his throne 50,000 years before creation when the throne and time are supposed to be part of that very creation that came into being?
In other words, how can time exist prior to creation, and how can Allah have a throne before the creation of space and place, when the throne requires space and place for its very existence? And how can there be clouds and air before the creation of the heavens and earth when these also require spatial, material dimensions to exist?
Does this mean that not all time was created, or that these particular clouds and the air required for their suspension are not part of creation, and are therefore eternal and timeless?
If so, then doesn’t this prove that Allah is not the creator of all things since there are entities and objects that are coeternal with him? I.e., the clouds and air which were there before the creation were not created by Allah but are coexistent with him. As such, he has no control over them since he did not create them and therefore does not sustain them nor does he have the power to destroy them.
Doesn’t this then establish that Allah is a spatial, finite being since he exists within space, being bound to a place, and who experiences time?
We will let Muslims clean up the mess made by the sunna of their prophet, which directly contradicts the Quran, science and logic.