The Early Stages of Creation of the Universe from the Perspective of the Torah and its Comparative Study in the Quran
Abstract:
By a comparative study of the quality of the early stages of the creation of the universe – mentioned by the common name of the earth and the heavens - in the Quran and the Torah, we notice the similarities and differences in the structure and contents of these two books.
There is no doubt that the main reason for the similarities between the contents of the Quran and the Torah is their unique source i, e. the divine revelation.
By comparing the two books in addition to finding out the similarities and differences between the perspectives of these two religions about "the beginning of the world", we may pave the way towards better understanding and exegesis of the verses of both books.
By examining the creation story in the Torah and the Quran, we found certain similarities and differences. Out of this comparison, the following results come out:The order of creation mentioned in the Torah is very important. But the verses of the Quran relevant to the creation of the world, are seen in different chapters sporadically.
In both books, Allah is the original creator of the world and everything. This world had no raw material before creation. Although this is not explicitly mentioned in these two books, by extracting the meaning of the verb "F-T-R/ÝØÑ" (in the Quran) and "B-R-A/ÈÑ" (in the Torah) that involve the meaning of creation from "naught" the idea can be established that creation of God is an innovation.
In the Torah, we find mention of the darkness in the beginning of the creation and, accordingly, the Jews believe that darkness is a created being and not merely the absence of light. But in the Quran, there is no mention of creation of darkness in the beginning of creation.
Both books have mentions the presence of water in the beginning. Torah, apparently, quotes that the water had covered the entire surface of the earth, so that there was no water -free land there. From the expansion and extension of these waters, the sky appeared. But according to the Quran, the sky was created from smoke. Indeed, according to some Islamic traditions, the smoke emanated from these waters. Also the Quran, like the Torah, talks about the conception of extension and expansion of the "sky".
The Torah says: "The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. " A similar verse in the Quran says "æ ˜Çä ÚÑÔå Úáی ÇáãÇÁ" Throne of God was upon the water. Of course, the meaning of "spirit" and "Throne" are quite different.
In the Torah, the creation of light, and naming it the "day, " and then naming the dark part as the "night", before the creation of the heavens, and even other astronomical objects, is a matter of the first day of creation. Thus "day" and "night" are two different concepts that are meaningful independent from the sky and the sun and the stars. But in the Quran, we don`t see such a distinction of the concept of "day" and "night" from that of the sky and the sun. So there is no mention of a distinct creation of day and night at beginning of creation, before creation of the heavens, the earth, the sun and the moon.
In the Quran and the Torah, the creation of the universe was not posthaste but it happened in six days or six periods. There is a difference in the Torah saying, on the seventh day God rested. In the Quran, we do not see such a point. However, in several verses of the Quran, it has been implicitly mentioned that God did not rest, and some verses explicitly purify God from any suffering while creating the heavens and the earth.
About the order of creation, according to the Torah and the results reached in detail; first, the land itself was created which was formless and empty. So, it was covered with water entirely, then the heavens were created through the extension of waters. Then the Earth's lands, unsmooth pieces of land, and plants were created on it. According to the Quran, at first, the Earth itself and its mass is created, then the creation and extension of the sky emenating from smoke_ then spreading the earth and finally, other objects of the earth like provisions, mountains and pastures have been created.
About the number of heavens, the Holy Quran, explicitly, speaks about the existence of "seven heavens". Some of these heavens, the sky of this world, have an unspiritual aspect. All astronomical objects, the Sun and the Moon are located in this sky (the first one). On the other hand, according to certain verses of the holy Quran, we should consider immaterial and spiritual aspects for some of these skies. Also, according to Jewish beliefs, there are seven levels or floors for the sky. But in the Torah, the existence of "seven heavens" is not mentioned explicitly. Furthermore, as is mentioned in the Quran, according to some verses in the Torah, the sky is divided into two parts: the material (physical) part, and the spiritual one.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Language:
Persian
Published:
Comparative Theology, Volume:8 Issue: 17, 2017
Pages:
45 - 62
magiran.com/p1734022  
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