4- The Cosmos
The planet Earth is not what the ancient Greek philosophers believed to be, i.e. the
center of the
Universe. Rather, it is no more than a tiny spot in the limitless Universe.
§ The angles and the Rűh (Gabriel) ascend unto Him in a Day the measure whereof is fifty thousand years. [70/4]
The non-central role of the earth is consistently implied in the Qura’nic expressions. Whenever the creation of “earth” and “heavens” is mentioned, the word “heavens” precedes. One typical example (of 174 occurences in the Qur’ân).
We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is
between them except with truth and for an appointed term. [46/3)]
Obviously, an endless universe should contain endless types of creatures and forms of life, beyond what we could possibly imagine. Life is not confined to the human order and other biological orders known on Earth. This is what the following verses guide to:
§ And among His Âyât (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.) is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and whatever moving (living) creatures He has dispersed in them both. [42/29]
§ And to Allâh prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures or the angles. [16/49]
§ The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him an there is not a thing but glorifies His Praise But you understand not their glorification. [17/44]
The origin of planet Earth, as well as the whole of the visible universe, is believed to be an extremely dense mass that have exploded, in a process that is known as the big-bang. This concept agrees with the verse:
§ Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them? [21/30]
The exploded mass formed large nebulae of dust and gas that spread in space, as described in the following verse:
§ Then he rose over (Arabic: Istawâ) towards the Heaven when it was smoke, and said to it and to the earth: “come both of you willingly or unwillingly”. They both said: We come willingly. [41/11]
Parts of this smoke has condensed, while others are still condensing into galaxies of stars, planets and moons .
According to recent observations and calculations, the whole visible cosmos should be continuously expanding. This was referred to in the following verse :§ With Hands did We construct the heaven. Verily We are (indeed) extending (it) wide. [51/47]