Quick or Slow Creation?

We find in the Qur'an

Lo! your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days, ...

Many Muslims in recent days try to become modern in their interpretation and bring the six days into line with cosmology and its currently proposed 15 billion years as age of the universe. So, they claim that the word for day does not only mean day, but can mean period, or even eon. And they even claim that the Qur'an is on this very much in line with science in this regard,[1] even though the earlier commentators and Muhammad himself took the creation days to be literal 24 hours week days.

Yet the Qur'an makes another statement about the speed of Allah's creation:

The Originator of the heavens and the earth!
When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: "Be!" And it is.

Does this aya not say that God creates instantaneous? Does this really leave room for billions of years of development?

Six days are still pretty quick and acceptable in the range of "Be! And it is" given the massive size of the universe and the complexity of life ..., but wouldn't it be quite a stretch to translate Sura 2:117 as "When He decreeth a thing, He saith unto it only: Be! And it finally came to pass after about 10 billion years."?

And he said to Adam: "Be! And as evolution went its way, after about 3 billion years, Adam emerged."

Again, this can be harmonized with a dose of good will. But these contradiction pages are written for those Muslims who have little good will and who insist on a literal reading of the Bible so that contradictions may emerge. Therefore, insisting on a literal reading of the Qur'an, we manage to do just the same.


1. For example on Shabir Ally's page.

See also our Qur'an and Science section.

A Muslim response which forgets to take into account that the understanding of "yawm" as ordinary week days are not just those of fallible scholars, but the understanding of Muhammad himself as pointed out in the link above. The author then added a comment on the above hadith.

Contradictions in the Qur'an
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