41:9 Say: You are rejecting the One who has CREATED THE EARTH IN TWO LONG PERIODS, and you set up equals with Him. That is the Lord of the worlds.
41:10 And He placed in it stabilizers from above it, AND HE BLESSED IT AND ESTABLISHED ITS PROVISIONS IN PROPORTION IN FOUR LONG PERIODS, to satisfy those who ask.
41:11 Then He settled to the heaven, while it was still smoke, and He said to it, and to the earth: Come willingly or unwillingly. They said: We come willingly.
41:12 Thus, HE THEN MADE THEM INTO SEVEN HEAVENS IN TWO LONG PERIODS, and He inspired to every heaven its affair. And We adorned the lowest heaven with lamps, and for protection. Such is the design of the Noble, the Knowledgeable.
It is very clear from the verses that Earth, the skies and everything in between were created in 6 long periods. But this situation could appear incomprehensible to a superficial reader who refuses to use his mind and logic or to pay close attention. Those who approach the Quran to try to discover faults and contradictions frequently cite the above verse.
Yet, if a person concentrates and uses wisdom he can readily see that there is absolutely no paradox at all. If we pay attention to the periods of time stated in the verses we can reach the following calculations:
– It took four long periods from the time the universe was started until the sustenance had been made ready, or rather the necessary environment for living things was suitable, along with the creation of plants and animals.
– The beginning of this period, namely the shaping of the Earth along with the universe, or in short the creation of the world, took the initial two of these four days. SO, THESE TWO LONG PERIODS ARE NOT A SEPARATE TIME FRAME FROM THOSE FIRST LONG PERIODS. They are, to be more precise, the first two long periods of the four long periods mentioned in the next verse.
–Verse 41:11-12 states that the sky was formed in 2 long periods. In conclusion, they add up to 6 long periods.
In short, the verses explain the separate time frames for each of the events that take place within the six long periods of creation.
It is imperative to clarify the point that the term “Yawm” mentioned in these verses is not used to refer to a 24 hour-day but instead to indicate the different periods and phases.