THE BASIC PROCESS OF THE FORMATION OF THE UNIVERSE
AND THE RESULTING COMPOSITION OF THE WORLDS
By Dr. Maurice Bucaille
The Qur'an presents in two verses a brief synthesis of the phenomena that constituted the basic process of the formation of the Universe.
---sura 21, verse 30: "Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We clove them asunder and We got every living thing out of the water. Will they not then believe?"
---sura 41, verse 11: God orders the Prophet to speak after inviting him to reflect on the subject of the earth's creation: "Moreover (God) turned to the Heaven when it was smoke and said to it and to the earth..." There then follow the orders to submit.
The important things to remember at present are the following:
a) The statement of the existence of a gaseous mass with fine particles, for this is how the word 'smoke' (dukan in Arabic) is to be interpreted. Smoke is generally made up of a gaseous substratum, plus, in more or less stable suspension, fine particles that may belong to solid and even liquid states of matter at high
or low temperature;
b) The reference to a separation process (fatq) of an primary single mass whose elements were initially fused together (ratq). It must be noted that in Arabic 'fatq' is the action of breaking, diffusing, separating, and that 'ratq' is the action of fusing or binding together elements to make a homogenous whole. This concept of the separation of a whole into several parts is noted in other passages of the Book with reference to multiple worlds. The first verse of the first sura in the Qur'an proclaims, after the opening invocation, the following: "In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful", "Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds." The terms 'worlds' reappears dozens of times in the Qur'an. The Heavens are referred to as multiple as well, not only on account of their plural form, but also because of their symbolic numerical quantity: 7. This number is used 24 times throughout the Qur'an for various numerical quantities. It often carries the meaning of 'many' although we do not know exactly why this meaning of the figure was used. The Greeks and Romans also seem to have used the number 7 to mean an undefined idea of plurality. In the Qur'an, the number 7 refers to the Heavens themselves (samawat). It alone is understood to mean
'Heavens'. The 7 roads of the Heavens are mentioned once: --sura 2, verse 29: "(God) is the One Who created for you all that is on the earth. Moreover He turned to the heaven and fashioned seven heavens with harmony. He is Full of Knowledge of all things." --sura 23, verse 17:
"And We have created above you seven paths: We have never been unmindful of the Creation."
--sura 67, verse 3: "(God) is the One -who created seven heavens one above another. Thou canst see no fault in the creation of the Beneficent. Turn the vision again! Canst thou see any rift?"
--sura 71, verse 15-16: "Did you see how God created seven heavens one above another and made the moon a light therein and made the sun a lamp?"
--sura 78, verse 12: "We have built above you seven strong (heavens) and placed a blazing lamp."
Here the blazing lamp is the Sun. The commentators on the Qur'an are in agreement on all these verses: the number 7 means no more than plurality.
There are therefore many Heavens and Earths, and it comes as no small surprise to the reader of
the Qur'an to find that earths such as our own may be found in the Universe, a fact that has not
yet been verified by man in our time. Verse 12 of sura 65 does however predict the following:
"God is the One Who created seven heavens and of the earth (ard) a similar number. The Command descends among them so that you know that God has power over all things and comprehends all things in His knowledge." Since 7 indicates an indefinite plurality (as we have seen), it is possible to conclude that the Qur'anic text clearly indicates the existence of more than one single Earth, our own Earth (ard) ; there are others like it in the Universe. Another observation which may surprise the Twentieth century reader of the Qur'an is the fact that verses refer to three groups of things created, i.e. --things in the Heavens
--things on the Earth --things between the Heavens and the Earth Here are several of these verses:
--sura 20, verse 6; "To Him (God) belongs what is in the heavens, on earth, between them and beneath the soil." --sura 25, verse 59: "...the One Who created the heavens, the earth and what is between them in six periods." --sura 32, verse 4: "God is the One Who created the heavens, the earth and what is between them in six periods."
--sura 50, verse 38: "We created the heavens, the earth and what is between them in six periods, and no weariness touched Us."
The reference in the Qur'an to 'what is between the Heavens and the Earth' is again to be found in
the following verses: sura 21, verse 16; sura 44, verses 7 and 38; sura 78, verse 37; sura 15,
verse 85; sura 46, verse 3; sura 43, verse 85.
1) Existence of six periods for the Creation in general. 2) Interlocking of stages in the Creation of the Heavens and the Earth. 3) Creation of the Universe out of an initially unique mass forming a block that subsequently split up. 4) Plurality of the Heavens and of the Earths 5) Existence of an intermediary creation 'between the Heavens and the Earth'.