Verse 3: ˹He is the One˺ Who created seven heavens, one above the other. You will never see any imperfection in the creation of the Most Compassionate.1 So look again: do you see any flaws?
- ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ سَبْعَ سَمَـٰوَٰتٍۢ طِبَاقًۭا ۖ مَّا تَرَىٰ فِى خَلْقِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنِ مِن تَفَـٰوُتٍۢ ۖ فَٱرْجِعِ ٱلْبَصَرَ هَلْ تَرَىٰ مِن فُطُورٍۢ
This is the second description of Allah ﷻ mentioned in this Surah; Allah ﷻ the One in whose hand is the dominion. He alone is the One who created the seven heavens from nothing one above the other; meaning stacked one on top of the other. Every heaven is separated from the other by a space as is learnt from the hadith of Israa. The image being painted is one of enormous magnitude; seven heavens created in layers, one above the other. Based on our current understanding of the universe and galaxies we truly can’t comprehend what this really means. There are astronomical theories of how the skies are structured and organized, but at the end of the day they are theories based off our limited observations. These theories are subject to change with every new observation, discovery, and new technology. What we do know for sure is that there are seven heavens and they are placed in layers one above the other. This reality should create a sense of humility within us. Allah ﷻ is drawing our attention to the vast world beyond us.
Allah ﷻ then tells us that when we look at the heavens and all of the creation of Allah ﷻ we won’t find any faults or defects. There’s no disunion, conflict, inconsistency, deficiency, flaw or defect in the creation of al-Rahmān. The use of the Divine Name al-Rahmān is significant here; the creation of this precise and beautiful universe is an expression of Allah’s infinite and limitless mercy. This is a call for everyone to look at the creation of Allah ﷻ and to think, ponder and reflect. This is a call that is echoed throughout the Quran. Allah ﷻ says, “Truly in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of night and day there are signs for people who reflect.” The perfection of Allah’s creation proves the existence and oneness of Allah. The sky and the universe has an orderly and precise cosmic architecture that points towards purposeful design. The universe has a precise set of laws that allow for the existence of life and it is ordered in a very specific way that allows us as humans to flourish. For example, if the sun were just slightly closer to the Earth, it would be too hot for human existence. If the sun were just slightly further away it would be too cold for human existence.
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The system of the universe created, instituted, and managed by Allah ﷻ is absolutely perfect. That’s why Allah ﷻ then tells us, “Then look again, can you see any rifts?” Meaning, look at the sky and pay close attention to it. Do you see any flaw, deficiency, defect or rifts in it? After having seen the perfection of this world and creation how can one deny the existence of the Creator? al-Ghazāli writes: “How can even the lowest mind, if he reflects at all the marvels of this earth and sky, the brilliant fashioning of plants and animals, remain blind to the fact that this wonderful world with its settled order must have a maker to design, determine and direct it?”