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Among His manifest signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth... (Ash-Shūrā 42:29)

by Fethullah Gülen on . Posted in Sūratu’sh-Shūrā (Consultation)

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وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَا بَثَّ فِيهِمَا مِن دَابَّةٍ ۚ وَهُوَ عَلَىٰ جَمْعِهِمْ إِذَا يَشَاءُ قَدِيرٌ
Among His manifest signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the living creatures He has dispersed in both (the heavens and the earth). And He has full power to gather them together when He wills. (Ash-Shūrā 42:29)

Since the earliest times, this verse has been taken as a proof for the view that there are living creatures, whether resembling human beings or not, in the places other than the earth. This view may be true. The second part of the verse, “He has full power to gather them together when He wills,” has been understood that these creatures and human beings will possibly come together either in this world or in that of the other creatures.

The original of the word translated as “living creatures” is dābbah. Indeed, the word dābbah, which is derived from dabīb (moving), means “something moving.” Even though this word may also be used to refer to the jinn, angels, and spirits, what has usually been meant by it in the language of the Sharī’ah is earthly creatures, including human beings. For this reason, it can be asserted that there are creatures in the heavens or other places that resemble human beings or other earthly creatures, and God Almighty is certainly able to bring them together whenever He wills. Just as He will resurrect all beings in the other world, if He wills, He certainly can bring together the creatures that supposedly exist in other corners of the universe with human beings.

Some interpreters have opined that “the living creatures” referred to in this verse are birds; this interpretation does not have a meaning worthy of consideration. As birds live on the earth, eating earthly food and living almost together with human beings and other earthly creatures, there is no miracle or an element of reference to God’s Power and His Unity in bringing them together with human beings. Therefore, as Mujāhid, one of the earliest interpreters of the Qur’ān, asserted, it is more reasonable and closer to the meaning of the verse to accept the existence of creatures in other places close or far from the earth that resemble earthly creatures.

Referring the determination of the truth of the matter to the believing researchers of the future, we will end the discussion by emphasizing the possibility that there may be earth-like globes in the heaven where creatures resembling earthly ones live.

God knows the best.