Qur'an, Hadith and Scholars:Cosmology

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Qur'an

Hast thou not Turned thy vision to one who disputed with Abraham About his Lord, because Allah had granted him power? Abraham said: "My Lord is He Who Giveth life and death." He said: "I give life and death". Said Abraham: "But it is Allah that causeth the sun to rise from the east: Do thou then cause him to rise from the West." Thus was he confounded who (in arrogance) rejected faith. Nor doth Allah Give guidance to a people unjust.
When he saw the moon rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord." But when the moon set, He said: "unless my Lord guide me, I shall surely be among those who go astray."
When he saw the sun rising in splendour, he said: "This is my Lord; this is the greatest (of all)." But when the sun set, he said: "O my people! I am indeed free from your (guilt) of giving partners to Allah.
He it is that cleaveth the day-break (from the dark): He makes the night for rest and tranquillity, and the sun and moon for the reckoning (of time): Such is the judgment and ordering of (Him), the Exalted in Power, the Omniscient.
Allah is He Who raised the heavens without any pillars that ye can see; is firmly established on the throne (of authority); He has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law)! Each one runs (its course) for a term appointed. He doth regulate all affairs, explaining the signs in detail, that ye may believe with certainty in the meeting with your Lord.
And He hath made subject to you the sun and the moon, both diligently pursuing their courses; and the night and the day hath he (also) made subject to you.
He has made subject to you the Night and the Day; the sun and the moon; and the stars are in subjection by His Command: verily in this are Signs for men who are wise.
Establish regular prayers - at the sun's decline till the darkness of the night, and the morning prayer and reading: for the prayer and reading in the morning carry their testimony.
It is He Who made the sun to be a shining glory and the moon to be a light (of beauty), and measured out stages for her; that ye might know the number of years and the count (of time). Nowise did Allah create this but in truth and righteousness. (Thus) doth He explain His Signs in detail, for those who understand.
Moses said: "Your tryst is the Day of the Festival, and let the people be assembled when the sun is well up."
Therefore be patient with what they say, and celebrate (constantly) the praises of thy Lord, before the rising of the sun, and before its setting; yea, celebrate them for part of the hours of the night, and at the sides of the day: that thou mayest have (spiritual) joy.
It is He Who created the Night and the Day, and the sun and the moon: all (the celestial bodies) swim along, each in its rounded course.
If there were therein gods beside Allah, then verily both (the heavens and the earth) had been disordered. Glorified be Allah, the Lord of the Throne, from all that they ascribe (unto Him).
Seest thou not that Allah merges Night into Day and he merges Day into Night; that He has subjected the sun, and the moon (to his Law), each running its course for a term appointed; and that Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do?
He merges Night into Day, and he merges Day into Night, and he has subjected the sun and the moon (to his Law): each one runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord: to Him belongs all Dominion. And those whom ye invoke besides Him have not the least power.
Glory to Allah, Who created in pairs all things that the earth produces, as well as their own (human) kind and (other) things of which they have no knowledge.
And a Sign for them is the Night: We withdraw therefrom the Day, and behold they are plunged in darkness;
And the sun runs his course for a period determined for him: that is the decree of (Him), the Exalted in Might, the All-Knowing.
And the Moon,- We have measured for her mansions (to traverse) till she returns like the old (and withered) lower part of a date-stalk.
Qur'an 36:36-39
He created the heavens and the earth in true (proportions): He makes the Night overlap the Day, and the Day overlap the Night: He has subjected the sun and the moon (to His law): Each one follows a course for a time appointed. Is not He the Exalted in Power - He Who forgives again and again?
Among His Signs are the Night and the Day, and the Sun and the Moon. Do not prostrate to the sun and the moon, but prostrate to Allah, Who created them, if it is Him ye wish to serve.
The sun and the moon follow courses (exactly) computed;

Hadith

Sahih Bukhari

Narrated Abu Dhar: The Prophet asked me at sunset, "Do you know where the sun goes (at the time of sunset)?" I replied, "Allah and His Apostle know better." He said, "It goes (i.e. travels) till it prostrates Itself underneath the Throne and takes the permission to rise again, and it is permitted and then (a time will come when) it will be about to prostrate itself but its prostration will not be accepted, and it will ask permission to go on its course but it will not be permitted, but it will be ordered to return whence it has come and so it will rise in the west.
Narrated Abu Dharr: I entered the mosque while Allah's Apostle was sitting there. When the sun had set, the Prophet said, "O Abu Dharr! Do you know where this (sun) goes?" I said, "Allah and His Apostle know best." He said, "It goes and asks permission to prostrate, and it is allowed, and (one day) it, as if being ordered to return whence it came, then it will rise from the west." Then the Prophet recited, "That: ‘And the sun runs on its fixed course (for a term decreed),"
Narrated Abu Bakra: Allah's Apostle said: "The sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allah and they do not eclipse because of the death of someone but Allah frightens His devotees with them."
Narrated Abu Dhar: While the Prophet was on a journey, he said (regarding the performance of the Zuhr prayer), "Wait till it (i.e. the weather) gets cooler." He said the same again till the shade of the hillocks extended. Then he said, "Delay the (Zuhr) Prayer till it gets cooler, for the severity of heat is from the increase in heat of Hell (fire)."

Sahih Muslim

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Dharr that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) one day said: Do you know where the sun goes? They replied: Allah and His Apostle know best. He (the Holy Prophet) observed: Verily it (the sun) glides till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it falls prostrate and remains there until it is asked: Rise up and go to the place whence you came, and it goes back and continues emerging out from its rising place and then glides till it reaches its place of rest under the Throne and falls prostrate and remains in that state until it is asked: Rise up and return to the place whence you came, and it returns and emerges out from it rising place and the it glides (in such a normal way) that the people do not discern anything ( unusual in it) till it reaches its resting place under the Throne. Then it would be said to it: Rise up and emerge out from the place of your setting, and it will rise from the place of its setting. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said. Do you know when it would happen? It would happen at the time when faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has derived no good from the faith.

Abu Dawud

Narrated Al-Abbas ibn AbdulMuttalib: I was sitting in al-Batha with a company among whom the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) was sitting, when a cloud passed above them.

The Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him) looked at it and said: What do you call this? They said: Sahab.

He said: And muzn? They said: And muzn. He said: And anan? They said: And anan. AbuDawud said: I am not quite confident about the word anan. He asked: Do you know the distance between Heaven and Earth? They replied: We do not know. He then said: The distance between them is seventy-one, seventy-two, or seventy-three years. The heaven which is above it is at a similar distance (going on till he counted seven heavens). Above the seventh heaven there is a sea, the distance between whose surface and bottom is like that between one heaven and the next. Above that there are eight mountain goats the distance between whose hoofs and haunches is like the distance between one heaven and the next. Then Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted, is above that

Scholars

Ibn Kathir

It was said that Nun refers to a great whale that rides on the currents of the waters of the great ocean and on its back it carries the severn Earths, as was stated by Imam Abu Jafar Ibn Jarir. Narrated by Ibn Bashar, narrated by Yahya, narrated by Sufyan Al-Thuri, narrated by Sulayman Al-Amash, narrated by Abu Thubian, narrated by Ibn Abbas who related, "The first thing that Allah created was the pen and He said to it ‘Write’. The pen asked, ‘What shall I write?’ Allah said, ‘Write (the) fate (of everything).’ So the pen wrote everything that shall be from that moment until judgment day.

Then Allah created the "Nun" and He caused steam to rise out of which the heavens were created and the Earth was then laid flat on nun’s back. Then the Nun became nervous and (as a result) the earth began to sway, but (Allah) fastened (the earth) with mountains lest the earth should move ...

It was narrated by Ibn Jarir, narrated by Ibn Hamid, narrated by Ata’a, narrated by Abu Al-Dahee, narrated by Ibn Abbas who stated, "The first thing my Lord created, may He be Exalted and Glorified, was the pen and He said to it, ‘Write.’ So the pen wrote all that will be until judgment day. Then Allah created the Nun (the whale) above the waters and he pressed the Earth into its back.

Al Tabarani narrated the same hadith above (from the prophet Muhammad) who narrated from Abu Habib Zaid Al-Mahdi Al Marouzi, narrated by Sa’id Ibn Yaqub Al-Talqani, narrated by Mu’amal Ibn Ismail, narrated by Hamad Ibn Zaid, narrated by Ata’a Ibn Al Sa’ib, narrated by Abu Al Dahee Muslim Ibn Subaih, narrated by Ibn Abbas who stated that the prophet – may peace and blessing be upon him and his family - said, "The first things Allah created were the pen and the whale and He said to the pen ‘Write.’ The pen asked, ‘What shall I write?’ Allah replied, ‘Everything that shall be until judgment day.’ Then He said ‘Nun. By the Pen and by what they write.’ So Nun is the whale and al-Qalam is the pen" ...

Ibn Abu Nujaih stated that Ibrahim Ibn Abu Bakir was informed by Mujahid who said, "It was said that Nun is the great whale who is underneath the seven Earths." Furthermore, Al-Baghawy – may Allah rest his soul - and a group of commentators stated that on the back of this whale there is a great rock whose thickness is greater than the width of the heavens and the earth and above this rock is a bull that has forty thousand horns. On the body of this bull are placed the seven earths and all that they contain, and Allah knows best.
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See Also

  • Cosmology - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Cosmology