Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Muslim Hadith no. 6707: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, created the clay on Saturday

Universe Created In how many Days? Hadith Error?

Christian missionaries and anti-Islamic polemics have claimed that there is a contradiction in an authentic Hadith against modern science, by claiming that the Hadith says the Universe was created in seven 24 hours days. They also claim it contradicts the Quran, which says the heavens and Earth were created in 6 days. This is the Hadith they bring up:

أخذ رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بيدي فقال خلق الله التربة يوم السبت وخلق فيها الجبال يوم الأحد وخلق الشجر يوم الإثنين وخلق المكروه يوم الثلاثاء وخلق النور يوم الأربعاء وبث فيها الدواب يوم الخميس وخلق آدم عليه السلام بعد العصر من يوم الجمعة في آخر الخلق في آخر ساعة من ساعات الجمعة فيما بين العصر إلى الليل قال إبراهيم حدثنا البسطامي وهو الحسين بن عيسى وسهل بن عمار وإبراهيم بن بنت حفص وغيرهم عن حجاج بهذا الحديث

Sahih Muslim, Book 39, Number 6707:
"Abu Haraira reported that Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) took hold of my hands and said: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, created the clay on Saturday and He created the mountains on Sunday and He created the trees on Monday and He created the things entailing labour on Tuesday and created light on Wednesday and He caused the animals to spread on Thursday and created Adam (peace be upon him) after 'Asr on Friday;the last creation at the last hour of the hours of Friday, i.e. between afternoon and night."

So firstly, the skeptics allege that the this Hadith says the universe was created in seven 24 hours days, yet science tells us this is not the case, because a 24 hour day is based on the rotation of the earth, so the universe couldn't have been created based on that. Scholars have been mentioned that this Hadith is a Ma'lul (defective) hadith, according to the sciences of Hadith. Also, Abu Hurairah took this from Ka'b al-Ahbar, and he has been agreed upon to have narrated Israeiliyat narrations (mentioned here). So, the text cannot be proven to be authentic. According to the sciences of hadith, Israeiliyat narrations aren't to be used unless the agree upon authentic texts.

There are basically 3 kinds of Isra'iliyat Hadiths:

1. Those known to be true because the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad confirms them.
2. Those known to be false, because the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad rejects them.
3. Those not known to be true or false, and we do not say they are true or false.

Since this hadith's content isn't known for sure to be true or false, we remain neutral by neither rejecting or accepting it. Just for the sake of argument, I'm not going to take that position, because the allegations by critics against this Hadith can be refuted.

The Arabic "yawm" (used in the hadith) can also mean period/aeon (Lanes Lexicon - Volume 8 - Page 318). The days mentioned in the hadith (Saturday, Sunday, Monday, etc) refer to periods of time, not 24 hour days. A commentary of this hadith:

"What this means is that the creation of the universe was made in phases." (Commentary Of: Sahih Muslim, Book 23, Number 6707 - Abdul Hamid Siddiqi's Commentary - Dar Al Arabia - Volume 4 - Footnote 2974 - Page 1462).

It's mentioned in Surah 22:47 that a yawm (day, period, phase) in the sight of Allah is 1000 years of how we reckon. So, Allah sees our 24 day in this universe as a 1000 years. It's interesting to note that a variant of this hadith found in Tafsir At-Tabari's ends with:

ويوم من الستة الأيام كألف سنة مما تعدون
"Of the six days, each one a 1000 years of your reckoning."

This gives an indication that Allah created the universe in days defined as long periods. These names (Monday, Tuesday, etc..) are just names, and this does not mean that these days have the same time period of our days. Some may argue back by saying that when Allah was creating, these days (Monday, Tuesday, etc...) did not exist. However, they didn't have to exist before Allah created the universe in order for Allah to later (during the Prophet's time) assign the period of these days as 1000 years.

Furthermore, we have evidence that a day doesn't have to be defined as a 24 hour day:

Sahih Muslim, Number 7560:
"He would appear on the way between Syria and Iraq and would spread mischief right and left. O servant of Allah! adhere (to the path of Truth). We said: Allah's Messenger, how long would he stay on the earth? He said.. For forty days, one day like a year and one day like a month and one day like a week and the rest of the days would be like your days. We said: Allah's Messenger, would one day's prayer suffice for the prayers of day equal to one year? Thereupon he said: No, but you must make an estimate of time (and then observe prayer)."

The above is regarding the Dajjal's appearance. Notice even though a day will be called a day (i.e. one will say Thursday), it doesn't mean that that will be a 24 hour day. It can last a year as the hadith teaches. Similarly, the days (Saturday, Sunday, Monday, etc) do not have to be assigned a fixed time period of 24 hours in Allah's sight while creating.

We shall now turn our attention to reconciling the hadith with the Quran. Let us look at some relevant Quranic verses, to understand the time taken for the heavens and Earth better:

Surah Fussilat 41:
Verse 9: Say: Is it that ye deny Him Who created the earth in two Days? And do ye join equals with Him? He is the Lord of (all) the Worlds.

Verse 10: He set on the (earth), mountains standing firm, high above it, and bestowed blessings on the earth, and measure therein all things to give
them nourishment in due proportion, in four Days, in accordance with (the needs of) those who seek (Sustenance).

Verse 11: Moreover He comprehended in His design the sky, and it had been (as) smoke: He said to it and to the earth: "Come ye together,
willingly or unwillingly." They said: "We do come (together), in willing obedience."

Verse 12: 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."

The Arabic "ayam" in the above verses comes from "yawm" which can also mean period/aeon (Lanes Lexicon - Volume 8 - Page 318). Some translators (not all) have translated it like this (see here).


This will assume that the 2 periods in verse 9 are included in first 2 periods mentioned in verse 10, which means the last 2 periods in verse 12 add to the previous 4.

The Arabic word used for "sky" in Surah Fussilat 41:11 is "saama" (*) which in this verse means "heavens," or "universe." (*). Below, is a table which shows a chronology:

Aeon Number: Aeon 1 Aeon 2 Aeon 3 Aeon 4 Aeon 5 Aeon 6 Reference/s Surah Fussilat 41:9-10 Surah Fussilat 41:9-10 Surah Fussilat 41:10 Surah Fussilat 41:10 Surah Fussilat 41:11-12 Surah Fussilat 41:11-12 Reference Muslim, Book 39, Number 6707 Muslim, Book 39, Number 6707 Muslim, Book 39, Number 6707 Muslim, Book 39, Number 6707 Muslim, Book 39, Number 6707 Muslim, Book 39, Number 6707 Created: Earth, Nourishment Earth, Mountains, Nourishment Nourishment, Trees/plants/gardens Nourishment, Things entailing labour Light "Nur." Animals to spread

1st & 2nd Aeons:

In the 1st and 2nd aeons, Surah Fussilat 41:9 tells us the Earth was created during the this time. During the 1st aeon, we read in the Hadith that the clay was created. The Earth wasn't fully created in the 1st aeon. During the 2nd aeon, we see that according to the Hadith and Surah Fussilat 41:10, Allah created mountains on the 2nd aeon.

3rd Aeon:

We see that the Allah created the trees during the 3rd aeon according to the Hadith. Moreover, the heavens were not yet fully complete during this time. The Arabic word used for "trees" in this Hadith is: "shajara," which can also refer to: "gardens, cactus." (*) Similarly, we see in Surah Fussilat 41:10 that Allah gave them nourishment in due proportion. Since the trees and gardens were created at this point, this implies even the Sun existed at this point, due to the fact that Surah Fussilat 41:10 says: "and measure therein all things to give them nourishment in due proportion." This means all things on Earth during the 1st-3rd aeons had nourishment, indicating the Sun must have existed between this time.

4th Aeon:

In the 3rd aeon, we see that Allah created the things entailing labor. During this stage, Allah may have been nourishing the Earth still, because Surah Fussilat 41:11 includes the 4 aeons.

5th & 6th Aeons:

In the 5th aeon, according to the Hadith, Allah created the light (Arabic word is "nur," which I'll come to it later on.) During this stage, Allah may have been nourishing the Earth still, because Surah Fussilat 41:11 includes the 4 aeons. In the 5th and 6th aeons, we see that Allah caused the animals to spread. Allah also comprehended the "saama," which is the Arabic word used for "heavens" or "universe." (*) Allah comprehended the universe and it had been smoke and said to the Earth to come together willingly or not, and they came in obedience. The finish of the heavens and the Earth were completed in 6 aeons.

7th Aeon:

On the 7th aeon the entire heavens and Earth were created before this. This confirms that this 7th aeon was not an aeon of creating the heavens or the Earth. Adam was being created at the point not the heavens and Earth. Hence, the number of aeons we have in which Allah created the heavens and the Earth according to this Hadith and Quran are: Six.

Don't forget that the creation of the heavens and Earth were done simultaneously meaning the Earth and the heavens weren't created fully at once, or an 1 particular aeon.

Critics might quotes sources i.e.: Tabari, Al-Wahidi, etc, and claim that they quoted Hadiths which gave a different order of what was created. However, these sources are known by scholars to be dubious, plus Tabari in his Tarikh never verified the authenticity of what he obtained.

Other Allegations:

The next allegation of the skeptic is as follows:
"If the universe was created in six periods, each one lasting 1000 years, this contradicts science which tells us the creation took longer than that."
These are not scientific facts that tell us the how long the universe took to create. They are unestablished theories.

أن العلم حتى اليوم لم يكتشف ولم ينتبه أو لم يناقش مدة خلق السماوات و الأرض، وأتصور أن هذا الأمر بعيد جدا عن احتمالات الاكتشاف أو المعرفة لبني البشر
"Science has not discovered nor proven the period of the creation of the heavens and the earth, and I imagine that this is very far from the potential of the discovery or knowledge of the human beings." (Dr. Maher Ahmad Sufi - Signs Of Allah In The Creation Of The Universe And The Origins Of Life - Page 119 - cited here).

Even if it was a fact, we can drop Surah 22:47, and claim that the days (Monday, Tuesday, etc) in the hadith refer to 6 periods of time, and each period is unknown (could last any period).

The next allegation of the skeptic is as follows:
"In Surah Fussilat 41:9, it says the earth was created which means the full earth. If this is true, then why did the mountains come afterwards?"
No, it doesn't mean the full earth, because the Arabic word used for "Earth" in Surah Fussilat 41:9 is "ard," (*) which has the following meanings:

"amphitheatre, earth, underworld, land, ground, grounds, soil, topsoil, terrain, territory, floor, site."

Babylon 9 Translation Software and Dictionary Tool
أرض >> Sözlük İngilizce Türkçe Çeviri Fransızca Almanca Rusça İspanyolca İtalyanca - Sozluk.NET
Translation Arabic-English: أرض

أرض - Wiktionary

The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Page 13:
"ardi land, ground, underworld, subterranean."

Subterranean basically means something existing under the earth's surface. This Arabic word in Surah Fussilat 41:9 also carry these 2 meanings. When we analyze these meanings in a scientific dimension, this refers to the deeper layers of the Earth, which are inhospitable to live on. The Arabic word in Surah Fussilat 41:9 can also mean land, which means both meanings can be applied to Surah Fussilat 41:9. This would mean in the 2 aeons in Surah Fussilat 41:9, the underworld and land were created. This means Surah Fussilat 41:9 does not say the entire Earth was created.

The mountains were fully created on the 3rd aeon, and Surah Fussilat 41:10 speaks about the mountains here. So, we see that Surah Fussilat 41:9 does not say the entire Earth was created.

The next allegation of the skeptic is as follows:
"According to the same Hadith, the light (Sun) was created on Wednesday. Science tells us the Sun cannot be created after the Earth. Also, the Sun was created on Wednesday and the trees on Monday, which is against nature."
The hadith does not says "sun." The Arabic word for "sun" is "shams" (*) which is not in this Hadith. The Arabic word used in this Hadith for "light" is "noor," (* *) which doesn't merely mean "light." It has the following meanings:

1. illumination
2. enlistment
3. gleam
4. day
5. flare
6. glow

1. edify
2. clear
3. illuminate

Babylon 9 Translation Software and Dictionary Tool
نور >> Sözlük İngilizce Türkçe Çeviri Fransızca Almanca Rusça İspanyolca İtalyanca - Sozluk.NET

Translation Arabic-English: نور

نور ‎(nawwara) (verb form II)

1. to flower, to blossom
2. to light, to radiate, to illuminate
3. to shed light
4. to enlighten

انار ‎('anara) (verb form IV)

1. to light, to illuminate
2. to elucidate, to clarify

انور ‎('anwara) (verb form IV)

1. to come to light, to appear, to show, to be uncovered, to be disclosed, to be revealed

تنور ‎(tanawwara) (verb form V)

1. to be lit, to be illuminated
2. to receive enlightenment, to be enlightened

استنور ‎(istanwara) (verb form X)

1. to seek enlightenment, to seek insight
2. to seek an explanation
3. to receive light, to be lit, to be illuminated
4. to obtain enlightenment, to gain insight
5. to receive information, to get an explanation

نور (nur) m., أنوار ('anwar) pl.

1. light, ray of light, light beam
2. brightness, gleam, glow
3. illumination
4. lamp, light, lantern
5. headlight

Source: نور - Wiktionary

Sakhr Dictionary:

light , gleam , emergence , illumination , limelight

bloom , blossom , light

beam , lighten , wink , glow , light , spotlight , illuminate , winkle , flash , twinkle , sparkle , illumine , flicker , enlighten (the mind , etc.) glisten , glow , glimmer , gleam , glint , glitter , light up , fill with light , furnish or supply with light(s) , coruscate

The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Page 1009:
"nur light; ray of light, light beam; brightness, gleam, glow; illumination; light, lamp; blinker, flashlight/"

"nuri luminary, luminous, like light, lighting (in compounds); bright, shining, brilliant, radiant."

Arabiclookup Dictionary:

نور : نتيجة البحث عن to illuminate; light up to illuminate to lighten; illuminate; provide with light know more beam send out light and warmth; smile happily and cheerfully bloom be in flower; bear flowers; be in full beauty and perfection blossom open into flowers; develop coruscate to flash, sparkle emergence the appearance of flash break suddenly into flams ; gives out flame or sparks flicker (of a light) shine unsteadily or fitfully gleam emit gleams or shine with a fiant brightness gleam a faint or brief light glimmer shine faintly or intermittently glint flash or cause to flash; glitter; sparkle; reflect glisten shine, especially like a wet object, snow, etc; glitter glitter shine, especially with a bright reflected light; sparkle glow throw out light and heat without flame glow blaze; flash; shine; glitter illuminate light up, make bright illumination act or instance of shedding light on or (in plural) coloured lights arranged in designs to decorate a building, street, etc., or as an attractionn illumine light up, make bright light lighten; illuminate light lighten; illuminate light the energy from the sun, a flame, a lamp etc that allows you to see things lighten to illuminate, shed light on, or flash limelight the focus of attention; the full glare of puplicity sparkle emit or seem to emit sparkle; glitter spotlight highlight; lighten; illumine twinkle shine ; glimmer or blink ; wink. undeceive free (a person) from a misconception, deception, or error wink (of a light, etc) twinkle; shine or flash intermittently winkle shine brightly; twinkle

When it says "noor" in this hadith, it doesn't refer to the Sun, it refers to the illumination which can be seen on Earth. Keep in mind the "nur" referred to here was created on Wednesday, which (according to the Hadith) means the "nur" was created after the land and mountains where put on the Earth. This can refer to the moon because today, scientists have come up with theories that the moon was created after the upper layer (outer crust) of the Earth had been created.

"So the Moon is thought to have been pieced together by the bits that got blown off the upper layers of Earth, as well as the outer portions of the object that hit Earth."


Notice in the article, it states "the UPPER LAYERS of the Earth." The Arabic word for "clay" used in this hadith is: "turba," which doesn't only mean "clay" but has the following meanings:

1. soil
2. ground
3. earth
4. dust

Babylon 9 Translation Software and Dictionary Tool
Translation Arabic-English: تربة
تربة >> Sözlük İngilizce Türkçe Çeviri Fransızca Almanca Rusça İspanyolca İtalyanca - Sozluk.NET

Sakhr Dictionary:
"ground , soil , earth , clod , dust , moist earth."

Alexandria translator:
"ball, chunk, clod, clump, dirt, earth, glob, ground, land, lump, soil."

The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, Page 92:
"turba dust, earth, dirt; ground; soil."
"turb dust, earth, dirt; ground, soil."

More meanings of this word at:

Hence, this refers to the "land" which was created in the 2nd aeon. The upper layer (and land) had already been created on the 2nd aeon, thus this theory from the scientific source conciliates the Hadith, because for the moon to have been "pierced together" by bits from the "upper layer" of the Earth, the moon must have come AFTER the Earth's land had been spread on the Earth. Similarly, we see the land had been created in the 1st aeon and later on, the "nur" had been created, according to the Hadith. So, it is very possible that the "nur" in this Hadith refers to the illuminating moon. Keep in mind the Quran describes ONLY the moon as "nur" which refers to "illuminating," and "muneer" which refers to "a reflection of light." (see Quran 10:5, 71:16, 25:61). Science hasn't reached that far to make this a bedrock fact that the Moon was created during the process of the Earth's.

This "nur" cannot refer to the Sun because according to Surah Fussilat 41:10 and the Hadith, due nourishment were given to all that was on Earth during the 1st- 4th aeons. During the 2nd aeon, Allah created the trees and the things entailing labor. For the trees, gardens etc to have had: "due nourishment," the Sun must have been existed at this time, which is BEFORE the "nur" came on the 5th aeon. This clearly implies the "nur" in aeon 5 (which Hadith mentions) DOES NOT refer to the Sun. It is very possibly refers to the moon.

Further readings:


  1. Salam o alaikum,

    Thank you very much for this good work.
    in the hadith cited at the beginning of this page you wrote in a passage "and lie caused the animals to spread", but i think it has to be "and He caused the animals to spread".
    Allah knows best!