Compare surah 10:3 with surah 41:9-12 of the Quran. There seems to be a contradiction. In 10:3 Allah created earth etc., in six days and in 41:9-12 Allah created it in 2+4+2=8 days. Please clarify?
In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
Surah 10, verse 3 states:
Surely, your Lord is Allah, the One who created the heavens and the earth in six days… [10:3]
Surah 41, verses 9-12 states:
Say, “Do you really disbelieve in the One who has created the earth in two days and ascribe to Him partners? That is the Lord of the worlds.” [41:9] He has placed firm mountains in it (the earth) towering above it, and put blessings in it, and proportioned its foods therein, in four days, equal for those who ask. [41:10] Then He turned straight to the sky, while it was a smoke, and said to it and to the earth, “Come (to My obedience), both of you, willingly or unwillingly.” Both said, “We come willingly.” [41:11] So He accomplished them as seven skies in two days, and settled in every sky its (due) thing. And We have decorated the closest sky with lamps, and protected it properly. All this is the determination of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing. [41:12]
It is clear from Surah 10, verse 3 that Allah created the heavens and earth in six days.
Contrary to Surah 10, verse 3, it is clear from Surah 41, verses 9-12 that Allah created the heavens and earth in eight days. Where He created the earth in two days, the mountains and the food in four days and thereafter, created the seven heavens in two days totalling eight days. Hence, Surah 41, verses 9-12 (apparently) contradicts Surah 10, verse 3.
Answer to the apparent contradiction:
Take the following examples:
“It took me ten days to travel from England to Scotland and fifteen days to travel to Edinburgh”.
The above mentioned example does not imply that the fifteen days it took me to travel to Edinburgh are separate from the ten days it took to travel to Scotland, totalling twenty five days. Rather, it means that the fifteen days include the first ten days. Thus it took me ten days to travel to Scotland and a further five days to travel to Edinburgh, totalling fifteen days.
“The child stopped drinking his mother’s breast milk after two years. After four years, he was admitted to nursery”.
One would not construe from the above example that the child went to nursery after six years. Rather, one would understand that the child stopped drinking his mother’s breast milk after two years and after a further two years the child went to nursery, totalling four years and not six.
In exactly the same way, in Surah 41, verses 9-12, Allah is saying that He created the earth and the mountains in four days. He explained it by saying it took Him two days to create the earth and four days to create the mountains etc. Meaning that it took Him four days in total and not six. Thereafter, he mentions that He created the seven heavens in two days totalling six days and not eight.
It is clear from the above detail that there is no contradiction between Surah 10, verse 3 and Surah 41, verses 9-12.
And Allah, the Almighty knows best,
Mufti Sufyan Ibn Yakub Khapi,