When was the creation of earth takes place?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Authentic tawheed will strengthen the belief that Allah is the sole creator and the Most Gracious. No one can be compared to Him. His power has no limitation and unbeatable of all.
Allah SWT states:
بَدِيعُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ وَإِذَا قَضَىٰ أَمْرًا فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُۥ كُن فَيَكُونُ
Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, "Be," and it is.
(Surah al-Baqarah: 117)
The stated verse intends to encover the power of Allah in which He creates the earth and the heavens without having any similar creation as those beforehand. It also intends on showing Allah’s total greatness and His unlimited capabilities.
The Creation of Heavens and Earth
It is stated in many verses of the Quran upon this including:
الَّذِي خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِي سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى الْعَرْشِۚ الرَّحْمَـٰنُ فَاسْأَلْ بِهِ خَبِيرًا
He who created the heavens and the earth and what is between them in six days and then established Himself above the Throne - the Most Merciful, so ask about Him one well informed.
(Surah al-Furqan: 59)
ٱللَّـهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ وَمَا بَيْنَهُمَا فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ ۖ مَا لَكُم مِّن دُونِهِۦ مِن وَلِىٍّ وَلَا شَفِيعٍ ۚ أَفَلَا تَتَذَكَّرُونَ
It is Allah who created the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them in six days; then He established Himself above the Throne. You have not besides Him any protector or any intercessor; so will you not be reminded?
(Surah al-Sajdah: 4)
The scholars have different opinions in elaborating the phrase في ستة أيام which literally means the creation of heavens and earth in six particular times. They are divided into two groups according to al-Imam Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah, where he said:
- The jumhur (majority of the scholars) said that ‘six particular time’ means common days as what we face daily.
- Meanwhile, Ibn ‘Abbas r.huma, Mujahid, al-Dahhak, and Ka’ab al-Anshar stated that one single day is equal to 1000 years of common days.
(Refer al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah by Ibn Kathir. Dar al-Fikr, 1/15)
Despite of all the judgements provided by each opinion, only Allah Knows the truth as He is the All-knowing and the creator of this universe. What is more important for us in this is to ponder and realize that we have nothing as humans and one of the creations.
However, hereby, we include the scientific explanation for this issue which is written in one of the books of our friend.
Between Heavens and Earth: Which one is created first?
Allah states in the Quranic verse:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ فَسَوَّىٰهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَـٰوَٰتٍ ۚوَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
It is He who created for you all of that which is on the earth. Then He directed Himself to the heaven, [His being above all creation], and made them seven heavens, and He is Knowing of all things.
(Surah al-Baqarah: 29)
According to this verse, it means that the creation of earth is earlier than the heavens. It is similar to the creation of a building in which the base is to be completed first followed by other structures. This is an opinion stated by al-Imam Ibn Kathir in al-Bidayah wa al-Nihayah.
The Age of the Earth
Scientists predict the age of the earth by observing the rocks existed at the surface. According to this method, it is predicted that the earth aged 4.5 billion years. It is based on the method of radioactive decay in which one of the metal - uranium for example - is observed until it turns into plumbum. The time length of this reaction is recorded. Uranium as metallic radioactive element decays to become a plumbum which is more compact. The scientists get to know half of the age of uranium and then observe the quantity of metal left after the process of decaying takes place. By comparing these two, the age of paticular rock is predicted.
By implementing this method towards zircon crystal in Jack Hill Australia, the scientists predict that its age is 4.04 billion years, which makes it as the oldest crystal ever discovered. Thus, it concludes that Australia is the oldest continent on earth. Meanwhile, American scientists declare that America is the oldest continent according to other findings in Canada. Muslim scientists on the other hand believe that earth strata of the Kaabah is the oldest according to the saying of the Prophet pbuh, in which it is recorded that Mecca is the first land existed before, while all continents exist in the same time as the tectonic plate movement happens. They later are divided into seven different neighboring continents. The findings of zircon in Australia or America cannot be proven that they are originated from the earth. There is a high possibillity that they came from the outer space. Like diamond, which is said as the product of outer space.
When we ponder upon the creations, we will realise that Allah SWT, Lord of the universe is the Most Gracious. Upon the creation of heavens and earth , there is a set of organised, harmonious and wonders of all. Observe the skies at nights and we can find the stars shining in the dark. Take a look at the vast land accompanied by the mountains and valleys. Look at the creation of man himself. Clearly it shows the greatness of Allah SWT.
However, all of these is not to be limited to seeing and looking only. They are there for us to ponder and contemplate upon something greater behind them which is the Creator. That is why Allah SWT praised the ulul albab for their effort of pondering and contemplating upon the reasons behind all. Allah SWT states:
إِنَّ فِى خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ وَٱخْتِلَـٰفِ ٱلَّيْلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ لَـايَـٰتٍ لِّأُولِى ٱلْأَلْبَـٰبِ 190 ٱلَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ ٱللَّـهَ قِيَـٰمًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِى خَلْقِ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَ هَـٰذَا بَـٰطِلًا سُبْحَـٰنَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّار191
Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding. Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], "Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.
(Ali ‘Imran: 190-191)
May Allah makes us among the ulul albab whom always ponder and contemplate on Allah’s creations, thus makes us be more obedient to Him.