Surah Fussilat (41): Read Online and Download - English Translation

This page contains all verses of surah Fussilat in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Maarif-ul-Quran (Mufti Muhammad Shafi). In the first part you can read surah فصلت ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.

Information About Surah Fussilat

Surah Fussilat
سُورَةُ فُصِّلَتۡ
Page 477 (Verses from 1 to 11)

حمٓ تَنزِيلٌ مِّنَ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ كِتَٰبٌ فُصِّلَتْ ءَايَٰتُهُۥ قُرْءَانًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ بَشِيرًا وَنَذِيرًا فَأَعْرَضَ أَكْثَرُهُمْ فَهُمْ لَا يَسْمَعُونَ وَقَالُوا۟ قُلُوبُنَا فِىٓ أَكِنَّةٍ مِّمَّا تَدْعُونَآ إِلَيْهِ وَفِىٓ ءَاذَانِنَا وَقْرٌ وَمِنۢ بَيْنِنَا وَبَيْنِكَ حِجَابٌ فَٱعْمَلْ إِنَّنَا عَٰمِلُونَ قُلْ إِنَّمَآ أَنَا۠ بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ أَنَّمَآ إِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَٰحِدٌ فَٱسْتَقِيمُوٓا۟ إِلَيْهِ وَٱسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ۗ وَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُشْرِكِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يُؤْتُونَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَهُم بِٱلْءَاخِرَةِ هُمْ كَٰفِرُونَ إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّٰلِحَٰتِ لَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ ۞ قُلْ أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَكْفُرُونَ بِٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلْأَرْضَ فِى يَوْمَيْنِ وَتَجْعَلُونَ لَهُۥٓ أَندَادًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ رَبُّ ٱلْعَٰلَمِينَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَوَٰسِىَ مِن فَوْقِهَا وَبَٰرَكَ فِيهَا وَقَدَّرَ فِيهَآ أَقْوَٰتَهَا فِىٓ أَرْبَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَآءً لِّلسَّآئِلِينَ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰٓ إِلَى ٱلسَّمَآءِ وَهِىَ دُخَانٌ فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْضِ ٱئْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْهًا قَالَتَآ أَتَيْنَا طَآئِعِينَ

Listen to Surah Fussilat (Arabic and English translation)

Tafsir of Surah Fussilat (Maarif-ul-Quran: Mufti Muhammad Shafi)

English Translation

Ha, Meem.

English Transliteration


English Translation

[This is] a revelation from the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful -

English Transliteration

Tanzeelun mina alrrahmani alrraheemi


The seven Surahs that commence with "Ha Meem" are known as "Al Hameem' or 'Hawameem'. Some more words are added as suffixes in their names to differentiate between them, for example, the 'Ha Meem' of Surah Mu'min is called "Ha Meem Al-Mum'in, and 'Ha Meem' of this Surah is called 'Ha Meem Sajdah' or 'Ha Meem Fussilat'. Both the names of this Surah are well-known.

The first addressees of this Surah are Quraysh of ` Arabia among whom Qur'an was revealed in their own language. They had witnessed the marvel of the Qur'an, and they had also seen innumerable miracles of the Holy Prophet ﷺ . And yet they turned away from the Qur'an. What to say of understanding, they did not even bear to listen to the Qur'an. Eventually, in response to the affectionate advices of the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، they declared that they neither understand what he says, nor do their hearts accept it, nor are their ears prepared to listen to it, and that there are double barriers between him and them, so he should carry on with his business and leave them to their own.

This is the meaning of the first five verses of this Surah. In these verses, Allah Almighty has specially addressed and advised Quraysh that Qur'an has been revealed in Arabic language, so that you do not have any difficulty in understanding the contents. At the same time three qualities of the Holy Qur'an have been stated. Firstly it is said, فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ Here, the word fussilat' is a derivative of fasl which originally means distinguishing the subjects by separating them. So فُصِّلَتْ means stating things very clearly by explaining in detail, either by separating them subject - wise in different chapters, or by mentioning them at one place. Different subjects like injunctions of Shari'ah, stories, beliefs, refutation of the people of false beliefs, etc. have been stated separately in the verses of the Holy Qur'an, and each subject has been explained by examples as well. The second and third qualities of the Holy Qur'an have been stated as that of communicating good news of everlasting happiness to the believers and of warning the non-believers of perpetual scourges.

English Translation

A Book whose verses have been detailed, an Arabic Qur\'an for a people who know,

English Transliteration

Kitabun fussilat ayatuhu quranan AAarabiyyan liqawmin yaAAlamoona

And after stating these qualities, it is said towards the end of the verse-3, لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ (for a people who understand) which means that the verses of the Holy Qur'an being in Arabic, their being clear and evident and their communicating good news as well as warnings can only benefit those people who intend to ponder over them and understand them. But the Arabs and the Quraysh, despite all this, turned away from the Qur'an, and let alone trying to understand, they did not even bear to listen to the Qur'an. This has been mentioned at the end of verse 4: "Yet most of them turned away, so they do not listen."

English Translation

As a giver of good tidings and a warner; but most of them turn away, so they do not hear.

English Transliteration

Basheeran wanatheeran faaAArada aktharuhum fahum la yasmaAAoona

An offer by the infidel's of Makkah to the Holy Prophet ﷺ

The infidels of Quraysh, who are the direct addressees of this Surah, tried very hard to suppress the propagation of Islam in early days after the revelation of the Qur'an, through the use of physical force, and tried equally hard to intimidate the Messenger of Allah and those who believed in him by causing to them all sorts of pains and agonies. But despite their opposition, Islam kept on widening the circle of its adherents, and increasing in strength. At first powerful and valiant persons like Sayyidna ` Umar Ibn Khattab ؓ entered Islam, then Sayyidna Hamzah ؓ ، one of the accepted leaders of Quraysh, embraced Islam. Now the Quraysh of Makkah started thinking that, instead of intimidation, persuasion and temptation may be more effective in blocking the way for Islam. An incident of this nature has been reproduced by Hafiz Ibn Kathir from the reports of Musnad of Bazzar, Abu Ya` la and Baghawi. There are some differences in these reports. Hafiz Ibn Kathir has considered the report of Baghawi to be the nearest to the truth. And then he has reproduced this incident from the book 'Kitab-us-Sirah' written by Muhammad Ibn Ishaq and has preferred this version to the other three. Therefore, this incident is being reproduced here in accordance with the report of Ibn Ishaq.

Muhammad Ibn Ishaq has stated that Muhammad Ibn Ka'b Qurazi says that this report has reached him from ` Utbah Ibn Rabi` ah who was recognized as one of the foremost leaders of Quraysh. One day he was sitting in Al-Masjid-ul-Haram with a party of Quraysh, while the Messenger of Allah was sitting alone in a corner on the other side.

` Utbah asked his people, "If you agree, I would like to talk to Muhammad (ﷺ) and offer him some attractions, so that if he accepts them, we give them to him and he, in exchange, would cease to propagate against our religion and faith. This was a time when Sayyidna Hamzah had become a Muslim, and the number of Muslims was increasing, and they were getting stronger day by day. All of ` Utbah's men spoke with one voice, and said "0 ` Abul-Walid ('Utbah's filial name) ! "Do so. Please talk to him".

` Utbah got up from his place, and went upto the Holy Prophet ﷺ and said, "0 nephew! you know that you are high-born and a noble man of the Quraysh; your family is large, noble and respectable to all of us. But you have put the tribe in a great difficulty. You have given such an invitational call which has created differences among us, has made us fools, has stigmatized our deities and our religion, and declared our forefathers to be infidels. So please listen to me. I am going to present a few things to you, so that you may select any of them. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said, "0 ` Abdul Walid! go ahead and say what you wish to say; I am listening to you."

` Utbah ` Abul Walid said, "0 nephew! If the purpose of your movement is to collect possessions, we promise to collect so much wealth for you that you would become the wealthiest person of the nation. If the purpose is to become a leader and a ruler, then all of us would accept you as the leader of the whole of Quraysh, and would not do anything without your order. If you want kingdom, then we accept you as our king. And if the case is that some Jinn or Satan comes to you, and compels you to do these things and you are unable to drive him away, then we will have you treated at our expense, because we know that a person prevailed upon by a Satan can be cured by treatments." ` Utbah kept on speaking at some length and the Holy Prophet ﷺ kept on listening to him.

At the end, the Holy Prophet ﷺ said, "0 ` Abul Walid! Have you finished? When he said yes, then the Holy Prophet ﷺ said to him, "Now please listen to me." And ` Utbah replied, "No doubt, I would listen to you."

The Holy Prophet ﷺ ، instead of saying anything himself started reciting Surah Fussilat (the present Surah):

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ الرَّ‌حِيمِ ۔ حم تَنزِيلٌ مِّنَ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ الرَّ‌حِيمِ كِتَابٌ فُصِّلَتْ آيَاتُهُ قُرْ‌آنًا عَرَ‌بِيًّا لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

"With the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful." Merciful. Ha Meem. This is a revelation from the All-Merciful, the Very-Merciful-- a book whose verses are elaborated in the form of an Arabic Qur'an for a people who understand."

Bazzar and Baghawi narrate that, during the recitation of the verses of this Surah, when the Holy Prophet reached this verse:

فَإِنْ أَعْرَ‌ضُوا فَقُلْ أَنذَرْ‌تُكُمْ صَاعِقَةً مِّثْلَ صَاعِقَةِ عَادٍ وَثَمُودَ

"So, if they turn away, then say,” I have warned you of a calamity like the calamity of ` Ad and Thamud," (41:13)

` Utbah put his hand on the blessed mouth of Holy Prophet ﷺ ، and asked him to have mercy on his lineage and relationship, and not to recite any further for their sake. Ibn Ishaq narrates that when the Holy Prophet ﷺ commenced the recitation of these verses, ` Utbah listened quietly and attentively while supporting his back by his hands, till the Holy Prophet ﷺ reached the verse of Sajdah in this Surah and prostrated. Then he addressed ` Utbah, and said to him, "You have heard what you heard, and now you are free to do what you like." ` Utbah got up and started walking towards his party. When they saw him coming, his party members started saying among themselves that, by God, ` Abul Walid's face has changed - it is not the same as it was when he had gone. When ` Utbah reached them, they asked him, "What is the news you have come with?" He said to them:

انِی سمعت قولا واللہ ما سمعت مثلہ قط، واللہ ما ھو بالسحر ولا بالشعر ولا بالکھانۃ ، یا معشر قریش اطیعونی واجلُھا لی، خَلُوّوا بین الرجل وبین ما ھو فیہ فاعتزلوہ فو اللہ لیکونن لقولہ الزی سمعت نباء، فان تصبہ العرب فقد کفیتموہ بغیرکم، وان یظھر علی العرب فمل کہ ملککم وعزہ عزّکم و کنتم اسعد الناس بہٖ

"I heard such a discourse that, by God, I have never heard any discourse like it before; by God, it is neither a sorcerer's enchantment, nor a poet's poetry, nor a wizard incantation (which they obtain from shaitans). 0 my tribe of Quraysh! Listen to me, and let me handle this matter. My advice is that you should give up confronting him, and let him go about his business, because this discourse of his is bound to receive eminence. You should wait and see how the rest of Arabia treats them. If, besides Quraysh, the rest of Arabs defeat them, then your problem is solved without any effort on your part, and if he prevails on the rest of Arabs, then his rule will be your rule, their honor will be your honor, and you will be the luckiest people because of him." (Ibn Kathir p. 91, vol. 4)

When his Qurayshi companions heard his speech, they said to him "0 Abul Walid! Muhammad has cast an enchanting spell upon you with his words." ` Utbah replied to them, "I have given you my advice, and now it is upto you to do what you like.

English Translation

And they say, "Our hearts are within coverings from that to which you invite us, and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a partition, so work; indeed, we are working."

English Transliteration

Waqaloo quloobuna fee akinnatin mimma tadAAoona ilayhi wafee athanina waqrun wamin baynina wabaynika hijabun faiAAmal innana AAamiloona

وَقَالُوا قُلُوبُنَا فِي أَكِنَّةٍ - (And they say, " Our hearts are [ wrapped ] in covers against that to which you invite us 41:5) Here three statements of the infidels of Quraysh are reproduced. Firstly, they said that there was a cover on their hearts against his discourse, and therefore they do not understand what he says. Secondly, that their ears are deaf to listen to his speech. Thirdly, that there are barriers between him and them. The Holy Qur'an has reproduced this statement of theirs in the context of denouncing it, which indicates that these statements are wrong. But at another place, Qur'an has also stated their condition to be the same. A verse of Surah An'am states:

وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْرً‌ا

But We have put coverings on their hearts, so that they do not understand, and heaviness in their ears. - 6:25.

One may doubt that there is a conflict between this verse and that of Surah An'am in this respect. But the answer is that the infidels, by saying the above, meant that they were helpless and excusable, because their hearts were curtained, their ears were leaden and there were barriers between them and him. So how could they listen to him and accept what he said? This is how they proved themselves to be helpless. And when the Holy Qur'an stated their condition (in Surah An'am) to be the same, it did not consider them to be helpless, rather held them fully capable of hearing and understanding. It is when they refused even to hear, and had no intention of understanding, then as a punishment, heedlessness and ignorance were imposed upon them, but not to the degree that they were deprived of their volition; rather if they had changed their minds even then, their abilities of hearing and understanding would have been restored fully. (Bayan-ul-Qur’ an)

English Translation

Say, O [Muhammad], "I am only a man like you to whom it has been revealed that your god is but one God; so take a straight course to Him and seek His forgiveness." And woe to those who associate others with Allah -

English Transliteration

Qul innama ana basharun mithlukum yooha ilayya annama ilahukum ilahun wahidun faistaqeemoo ilayhi waistaghfiroohu wawaylun lilmushrikeena

Prophetic reply to the Denial and Ridicule of Disbelievers

The infidels saying that their hearts were covered and their ears were leaden, etc., was not because they had become deaf and bereft of intellect; rather it was a kind of ridicule and jest that they used to make. But the reply to this offensive ridicule that the Holy Prophet ﷺ was directed to give was not to be offensive in the like manner, but to express his humility that he ﷺ is not God, having authority over everything, rather he ﷺ is also a human being; the only difference is that his Lord has given him ﷺ guidance through wahy, and has supported him with miracles. It should have resulted in all of them declaring their faith in him. Even now they are advised to turn in worship and obedience to Allah only and to repent and renounce the past sins.

English Translation

Those who do not give zakah, and in the Hereafter they are disbelievers.

English Transliteration

Allatheena la yutoona alzzakata wahum bialakhirati hum kafiroona

Toward the end of the address, both the aspects of glad tidings and of warnings of the Qur'n have been presented to them, making it clear that there are dire consequences for the mushrikin (those who associate partners with Allah) and eternal rewards for the believers. In the context of the evil fate of the Mushriks, one reason for it has been mentioned that these people did not use to pay Zakah. This gives rise to some questions. The first one is that these verses were revealed in Makkah, whereas Zakah was made obligatory in Madinah. So, how can they be accused of non-payment of Zakah before Zakah was made obligatory?

Ibn Kathir, in reply to this question, has said that Zakah, in principle, had been obligated along with Salah right from the beginning of Islam, as mentioned in Surah Muzzammil. However the determination of the Nisab (minimum capital and property for the applicability of Zakah) and the arrangements for its collection were made in Madinah. Therefore it is not correct to say that Zakah was not obligated in Makkah.

Are Non-Muslims required to follow the practical injunctions of Shari'ah?

The second doubt is that many jurisprudents do not consider Non-Muslims to have been asked or required to carry out religious deeds such as Salah, Fasting, Hajj and Zakah. The direction is that they have to embrace the faith first, and then they are liable to the practical precepts of Shari'ah. According to this view, they are not liable to pay zakah. Why then have they been reprimanded for not paying Zakah in this verse?

It can be said in reply that many of the leading scholars and experts of Islamic jurisprudence are of the view that even the Non-Muslims are required to carry out the obligatory duties of religion; If this view is adopted, there remains no doubt about this verse that has mentioned non-payment of zakah as one of the reasons for their being punished. As for those scholars who do not consider Non-Muslims to have been asked to carry out the obligatory duties, they can say that the real denunciation is not for non-payment of Zakah, but because this non-payment is due to their disbelief and is a sign of it. Therefore the object of the reprimand is that had they been believers, they would have been strict in paying Zakah; their fault is their failure to embrace the faith. (Bayan-ul-Qur’ an).

The detailed discussion of whether or not the infidels have been asked to follow the practical precepts of Shari` ah may be found in the fifth volume of the author's Arabic book "Ahkam-ul-Qur’ an".

The third question which arises here is that the commandment for Salah is the most important of all the commandments of Islam which has not been mentioned here, so what is the wisdom behind making a special mention of Zakah? Qurtubi etc., have said in reply that Quraysh of Arabia were wealthy people, and they were known for their trait of giving alms and charity and helping the poor. But when somebody would become a Muslim, they would deprive him of such financial help and social assistance also. Zakah has been specially mentioned because the object is to denounce this practice. (Allah knows best)

English Translation

Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds - for them is a reward uninterrupted.

English Transliteration

Inna allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati lahum ajrun ghayru mamnoonin

لَهُمْ أَجْرٌ‌ غَيْرُ‌ مَمْنُونٍ (For them there is a reward that will never be interrupted 41:8) The word mamnun used here means something interrupted. The sense is that the reward of those people who are firm in their faith and regular in their good deeds would be continuous and eternal. Some exegetes have explained the intention of the verse that if a Muslim, despite being regular in religious duties, could not perform them at any time due to illness, travel or some other reason, the reward for the good deeds is not cut off. Rather, Allah Almighty orders the angels to keep on crediting those good deeds to his account which he used to carry out regularly in normal conditions, but could not do them due to illness or some other reason. Ahadith on this subject are narrated in Sahih of Bukhari as reported by Sayyidna Abu Musa Ash'ari and in Sharh-us-Sunnah of Baghawi by Sayyidna Ibn ` Umar and by Sayyidna Anas ؓ and in Razin by Sayyidna ` Abdullah Ibn Masud ؓ . (Mazhari)

English Translation

Say, "Do you indeed disbelieve in He who created the earth in two days and attribute to Him equals? That is the Lord of the worlds."

English Transliteration

Qul ainnakum latakfuroona biallathee khalaqa alarda fee yawmayni watajAAaloona lahu andadan thalika rabbu alAAalameena


The real objective of these eloquent verses is to warn the people who, denying the Oneness of Allah, associate others with Him. With reference to the great creations of Allah Almighty in the form of heavens and the earth, and the wisdom underlying their creation, the Mushriks are reprimanded that they are so irrational in their beliefs that they believe such a Great and Omni-potent Creator to be in need of having partners in carrying out His divine functions. A reprimanding statement with a similar nature has also appeared in Surah Al-Baqarah in the following words:

كَيْفَ تَكْفُرُ‌ونَ بِاللَّـهِ وَكُنتُمْ أَمْوَاتًا فَأَحْيَاكُمْ ۖ ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ ثُمَّ إِلَيْهِ تُرْ‌جَعُونَ ﴿28﴾ هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الْأَرْ‌ضِ جَمِيعًا ثُمَّ اسْتَوَىٰ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَسَوَّاهُنَّ سَبْعَ سَمَاوَاتٍ ۚ وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿29﴾

"How is it that you deny Allah despite that you were lifeless and He gave you life, then He will make you die, then make you alive again, and then to Him you will be returned? It is He who created for you all that the earth contains; then He turned to the heavens and made them seven skies -- and He is the knower of all things." (Verses 2:28-29)

The order of creation, the number of days in which this creation took place and other details are not given in the verses of Surah al-Baqarah; they are mentioned here in Surah Fussilat.

The order of creation of the skies and the earth, and the Days of Creation

Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanawi (رح) has stated in Bayan-ul-Qur'an that, although the creation of the earth and the skies has been mentioned briefly or in detail at hundreds of places in the Qur'an, yet the sequence of their creation is probably mentioned in three verses only. One is this verse of Ha Meem Sajdah, the second is the above mentioned verse of Surah Al-Baqarah, and the third is the following verse of Surah Nazi'at:

أَأَنتُمْ أَشَدُّ خَلْقًا أَمِ السَّمَاءُ ۚ بَنَاهَا ﴿27﴾ رَ‌فَعَ سَمْكَهَا فَسَوَّاهَا ﴿28﴾ وَأَغْطَشَ لَيْلَهَا وَأَخْرَ‌جَ ضُحَاهَا ﴿29﴾ وَالْأَرْ‌ضَ بَعْدَ ذَٰلِكَ دَحَاهَا ﴿30﴾ أَخْرَ‌جَ مِنْهَا مَاءَهَا وَمَرْ‌عَاهَا ﴿31﴾ وَالْجِبَالَ أَرْ‌سَاهَا ﴿32﴾

"Are you more difficult to create, or the sky? He has built it, He has raised its height, then made it proper and darkened its night and brought forth its daylight and, after that, He spread out the earth. From it He brought out its water and its meadows, and firmly fixed the mountains." (79:27-32)

During a cursory look into these three verses, one may feel a sort of apparent contradiction between them, because we find from Surah Al-Baqarah and Surah Ha Meem that the earth was created before the sky, whereas in Surah Naziat, earth appears to have been created after the sky. Maulana Thanawi has stated that after a careful study of all these verses, it appears to him that only the matter of the earth came into existence first, and before it was molded into shape, the matter of sky came into existence in the form of a smoke. After that, the earth was molded into shape with mountains, trees, etc. and then the seven skies were given form out of the floating smoky matter. He hopes that this clarification would explain the harmony between all the verses. Only Allah knows the truth. (Bayan-ul-Qur’ an - Surah Al-Baqarah, section 3).

Some questions regarding this verse and their answers given by Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ have been reported in Sahih of Bukhari. The explanation of this verse given by Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ is about the same as that given above by Maulana Thanawi (رح) - the words quoted by Ibn Kathir are:

وخلق الارض فی یومین ثم خلق السمآء ثم استوٰی الٰی السمآء فسوّٰبھُنَّ فی یومین اٰخرین ثم دحی الارض و دحیھا ان اخرج منھا المآء والمرعٰی وخلق الجبال والرمال والجماد والآکام وما بینھا فی یومین آخرن فذٰلِکَ قولہ تعالیٰ دَحٰھا۔

Hafiz Ibn Kathir has also quoted the following as explanation of this verse given by Sayyidna Ibn 'Abbas ؓ with reference to Ibn Jarir:"

The Jews of Madinah came to see the Holy Prophet ﷺ ، and asked him about the creation of the earth and of the skies. The Holy Prophet ﷺ told them that Allah Almighty created the earth on Sunday and Monday, the mountains and the minerals therein on Tuesday, and the trees, water springs, cities, buildings and desolate plains on Wednesday - all this in four days as stated in the verse.

أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَكْفُرُ‌ونَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَرْ‌ضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَتَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ أَندَادًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ رَ‌بُّ الْعَالَمِينَ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَ‌وَاسِيَ مِن فَوْقِهَا وَبَارَ‌كَ فِيهَا وَقَدَّرَ‌ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْ‌بَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاءً لِّلسَّائِلِينَ

Then He created the sky on Thursday. And on Friday, He created the stars, the sun, the moon and the angels. All this was completed on Friday when three hours were still left. All the disasters and troubles that everything is going to face were created in the second hour, and in the third period Sayyidna 'Adam علیہ السلام was created and lodged in Paradise, Iblis was commanded to prostrate before Sayyidna 'Adam (علیہ السلام) and turned out of Paradise when he refused to prostrate. All this was completed till the end of the third hour....(Ibn Kathir). At the end, Ibn Kathir says: "This hadith has an element of gharabah" (that is, the contents of this Hadith are not corroborated by other sources)

The commencement of creation took place on Saturday according to a Hadith narrated by Sayyidna Abu Hurairah, reported in Sahih of Muslim. As per this Hadith, it took seven days for the creation of the earth and skies. But generally the explicit verses of the Qur'an mention the duration of creation to be six days.

أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَكْفُرُ‌ونَ بِالَّذِي خَلَقَ الْأَرْ‌ضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ وَتَجْعَلُونَ لَهُ أَندَادًا ۚ ذَٰلِكَ رَ‌بُّ الْعَالَمِينَ ﴿9﴾ وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَ‌وَاسِيَ مِن فَوْقِهَا وَبَارَ‌كَ فِيهَا وَقَدَّرَ‌ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْ‌بَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاءً لِّلسَّائِلِينَ

"And We created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them in six days, and no weariness even touched Us." (50:38)

Because of this, and also because of its (weak) chain of narrators, this Hadith has been held as 'ma` lul' (defective) by the leading muhaddithin. Ibn Kathir (رح) has stated that this Hadith is one of the strange ones of Sahih of Muslim, and then stated that Imam Bukhari, in his book Tarikh Kabir, has considered this narration to be ma` lul (defective). And some scholars have quoted this statement as a saying of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah ؓ narrated by Ka` b Ahbar, and not as a statement of the Holy Prophet ﷺ and have said that this is the most correct. (Ibn Kathir p. 94, vol. 4)

Similarly, other masters of Hadith like Ibn-ul-Madini, Baihaqi, etc. have also considered it to be a statement of Ka'b Ahbar. (Foot note of Zad-ul-Masir by Ibn-ul-Jauzi, p. 273, vol. 7)

The narration of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas ؓ quoted above from Ibn Jarir has also an element of gharabah, (being against other sources) according to Ibn Kathir. One reason for its gharabah is that in this narration creation of Sayyidna 'Adam (علیہ السلام) took place along with the creation of skies in the last hour of Friday, and the divine order for prostration and the exit of Iblis from the Paradise is also mentioned to have taken place in the same hour. But it is patently clear from the text of many verses of the Qur'an that creation of Sayyidna 'Adam (علیہ السلام) took place a long time after the creation of the earth and skies, when the earth was provided with all the necessities, and it was inhabited by the Jinns and shaitans (devils). It was after all this that Allah Ta’ ala told the angels that He was going to make a vicegerent on the earth. (Mazhari)

Briefly, of all the ahadith wherein the duration, days and sequence of creation of the earth and skies is narrated, no narration is such which can be said to be as absolutely certain as the Qur'an. Rather, it is very likely that these may be Israelite traditions, not noble ahadith, as clarified by Ibn Kathir about the Hadith quoted in Sahih of Muslim and Nasa'i. Therefore conclusions should be drawn from the verses of the Qur'an only. The one thing found absolutely certain from the verses of the Qur'an collectively is that the earth, the skies and whatever is inside them were created in six days only. The other thing found from the verses of Surah Ha Meem Sajdah is that the creation of the earth, its mountains, trees, etc. took full four days. The third thing found is that the creation of skies took two days - it is not clarified whether it took two full days. There is some indication that two full days were not used and some part of the last day, being Friday, was left unused. It appears from these verses that it took four days for the creation of the earth and the remaining two days for the creation of the skies, the earth having been created first. But the verse of Surah Nazi` at states clearly that the laying out of the earth and its completion took place after the creation of the skies. Therefore the sequence stated above, with reference to Bayan-ul-Qur'an, that the creation of the earth took place in two stages, is not beyond reason. In the first two days, the earth and the matter for mountains, etc. were created, in the next two days the skies were created, and in the last two days the laying out of the earth and the creation of the mountains, trees rivers, springs etc. was completed. In this way the four days of the creation of the earth were not continuous. As for the sequence mentioned in the present verse of Surah Ha Meem Sajdah, it is stated first that the creation of the earth took place in two days: خَلَقَ الْأَرْ‌ضَ فِي يَوْمَيْنِ (the One who has created the earth in two days, - 41:9), then after giving a reprimand to the mushrikin,

English Translation

And He placed on the earth firmly set mountains over its surface, and He blessed it and determined therein its [creatures\'] sustenance in four days without distinction - for [the information] of those who ask.

English Transliteration

WajaAAala feeha rawasiya min fawqiha wabaraka feeha waqaddara feeha aqwataha fee arbaAAati ayyamin sawaan lilssaileena

it is stated separately: وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَ‌وَاسِيَ مِن فَوْقِهَا وَبَارَ‌كَ فِيهَا وَقَدَّرَ‌ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْ‌بَعَةِ (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 - 10). It should be remembered that the four days mentioned in this verse are inclusive of the first two days mentioned in verse 9, according to the consensus of the exegetes. The first two days and the later four days are not separate, otherwise the total period of creation would become eight days which is against the explicit statement of the Qur'an.

It appears that it would have been more proper at this point if, after mentioning the creation of earth in two days, the creation of mountains etc. were also mentioned in two days, and thus it would have been known that the total number of days taken for the creation of earth was four. But by choosing to state that the number of days including the remainder of the earth's creations totals four, Qur'an has probably indicated that the four days were not continuous, but in two parts - two days before the creation of the skies, and two days after it. The creation of mountains etc. mentioned in the verse 10, relates to the period after the creation of the skies. And Allah knows best.

وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا رَ‌وَاسِيَ مِن فَوْقِهَا (He has placed firm mountains in it (the earth) towering above it,...41:10) The mountains have been created to maintain the earth's balance as has been clarified in many verses of Qur'an. It was not necessary for this purpose to raise them above the earth's surface and to make them so high - they could have been placed inside the earth also. But in raising them above and making them so high as to keep them away from the reach of human beings and animals, generally, there were thousands, rather innumerable, benefits for the inhabitants of the earth. Hence the words, "towering above it" in this verse point out to this special blessing.

وَقَدَّرَ‌ فِيهَا أَقْوَاتَهَا فِي أَرْ‌بَعَةِ أَيَّامٍ سَوَاءً لِّلسَّائِلِينَ (and proportioned its foods therein, in four days, equal for those who ask…… 41:10) (Aqwat) is plural of Qut قُوت which means food, sustenance, including common necessities of human life. (Abu ` Ubaid - Zad-ul-Masir by Ibn-ul- Jauzi)

Hasan ؓ and Suddi have said in its explanation that Allah Almighty has predetermined the sustenance and maintenance for the inhabitants of every region according to their need and expedience in the sense that He issued directions that such and such items be produced in such and such qualities in this region of the earth. This predetermination has caused every region of the earth to have characteristics of its own, and different kinds of minerals, different kinds of vegetation, trees and animals have been created according to the needs, nature and preferences of that zone.

This arrangement results in every region having different products and different dresses - Asb in Yemen, Saburi in Sabur, Tayalisah in Ray, wheat in some region, rice and other grains in other regions, cotton in some areas, jute in some others, apples and grapes in some areas, mangos in others; these differences in items accord with the differences in the nature of the different regions. ` Ikrimah and Dahhak state that these differences in the products in different regions have opened ways for international trade and for mutual cooperation between different regions and countries of the world. No region is independent of other regions for the fulfillment of its needs; mutual wants are the only firm basis for mutual cooperation. ` Ikrimah has stated that in some areas salt is sold for an equal weight of gold.

In fact, Allah Almighty has made this earth, so to say, such a great store of all necessities such as food, shelter, clothes, etc. of all its inhabitant, including billions and billions of humans and innumerable animals that are to come in this world up to Doomsday. These necessities have been kept inside it, and they will keep on growing and being supplied as needed until the Last Day of this world. All a man has to do is to take the necessities out of the earth according to his need and use them.

Further on, the text states: سَوَاءً لِّلسَّائِلِينَ (equal for those who ask -10). Most of the commentators (mufassirin) have related this sentence to the four days. It means that all these great creations took place in exactly four days. Generally ` four' does not always mean exactly four - it may be slightly more or slightly less, but the fractions are disregarded in such cases, and it is still called ` four'. The addition of the word ` equal' here in the verse has eliminated this possibility, and clarified that the creation of the earth and the skies and what is placed in them took place in exactly four days. And the word ` for those who ask' means those people who asked the Holy Prophet ﷺ regarding the creation of the earth and the skies, as the Jews did according to Tafsir Ibn Jarir and Ad-Durr-ul-Manthur. They have been told that all this creation took place in exactly four days. (Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi, Ruh)

And some exegetes Ibn Zayd, etc., have linked the words ` for those who ask' with the foregoing sentence ` proportioned its foods therein" and held ` those who ask' to mean the needy people who ask for food. The meaning in this case would be that Allah Almighty has created all these different kinds and species of foods and necessities for the benefit of those who need and seek them, and since needy people usually ask for food, they have been called ` those who ask'. (A1-Bahr-ul-Muhit)

Ibn Kathir has quoted this explanation and said that it is like the statement of the Qur'an وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ (And He gave you whatever you asked for. - 14:34) ` you asked for' in this verse means ` you were in need of' even though it has not been asked literally, because Allah Almighty has bestowed those things even to those who did not ask for them.

English Translation

Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth, "Come [into being], willingly or by compulsion." They said, "We have come willingly."

English Transliteration

Thumma istawa ila alssamai wahiya dukhanun faqala laha walilardi itiya tawAAan aw karhan qalata atayna taiAAeena

فَقَالَ لَهَا وَلِلْأَرْ‌ضِ ائْتِيَا طَوْعًا أَوْ كَرْ‌هًا قَالَتَا أَتَيْنَا طَائِعِينَ (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) This command addressed to the earth and sky and their compliant and obedient reply, according to some exegetes, is a metaphorical expression for the readiness of the earth and the sky to comply with every order from Allah Almighty. But Ibn ` Atiyyah and other leading research scholars have stated that this is no metaphor it is based on reality. Allah Almighty had endowed the earth and the skies with the faculty of intellect and comprehension of the commands addressed to them and also with the power of speaking and replying. Tafsir Al-Bahr-ul-Muhit, after quoting this explanation, has held it to be the most suitable and the best. Ibn Kathir, after quoting the above explanation, has also quoted the statement of some exegetes that the earth's reply was given by that portion of the earth on which Baytullah has been constructed and the sky's reply was given by that portion of the sky which is just above the Baytullah, known as Al-Bayt-ul- Ma` mur.