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View Full Version : The charge of plagiarism regarding the creation of the world

Abu Omar
02-01-2006, 07:55 PM

Christian missionaries and other anti-Islamists say that 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? And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe? - 21:30

They say that the verse is not really miraculous since "almost every mythology" has a story of a major diety parting the heavens and the earth. So I wonder if this is really the case, when thinking of their truthfulness in other cases.

It is remarkably hard to find their creation myths on the web, so I wonder if you can help. The mythology I'm most familiar with is the Norse one, and the creation story of that is not like the Islamic version of the creation of the heavens and the earth.

Insha'Allaah this thread could serve in the future as a refutation of this claim, if some mythology creation stories were collected and then compared to the Islamic version (Quran and Sunnah) of the creation of the universe. Much like the comparison of different embryology beliefs.

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Ansar Al-'Adl
02-02-2006, 07:32 PM
:sl: bro,
I'll give you the creation accounts from a few different mythologies/religions to help start you off. You can analyse the simmilarities and differences if you like. You will find that not only are these stories ridiculous scientific blunders, but they are completely unlike the Qur'an. In many of them, it describes gods being created while the Qur'an describes God creating. Most people who compare the Qur'an to mythologies in this respect do so only because of the mention of heavens and earth arising out of some substance, hardly a good case for plagiarism. For my views on the Qur'anic account, please refer to:

Creation according to Hinduism

According to Hinduism, the universe came into being from the Hiranyagarbha or 'golden womb'. It is described as follows:

Khândogya Upanishad 3.19:1-4. Âditya (the sun) is Brahman, this is the doctrine, and this is the fuller account of it:
In the beginning this was non-existent. It became existent, it grew. It turned into an egg. The egg lay for the time of a year. The egg broke open. The two halves were one of silver, the other of gold. The silver one became this earth, the golden one the sky, the thick membrane (of the white) the mountains, the thin membrane (of the yoke) the mist with the clouds, the small veins the rivers, the fluid the sea. And what was born from it that was Âditya, the sun. When he was born shouts of hurrah arose, and all beings arose, and all things which they desired. Therefore whenever the sun rises and sets, shouts of hurrah arise, and all beings arise, and all things which they desire. If any one knowing this meditates on the sun as Brahman, pleasant shouts will approach him and will continue, yea, they will continue.

According to the Hindu scriptures*, Brahma, the four-headed four-faced four-armed Creator God of Hinduism, was created from the fluid in the Hiranyagarbha (golden egg) and from the thick egg yoke came mountains, rivers from small veins and the silver portion of the egg became the earth and the golden portion became the heavens.

Creation according to Babylonian and Assyrian Mythology

According to the myths of Babylon and Assyria, in a civil war of the Gods, Marduk defeated the dragon goddess Tiamat and tore her body into parts, using some to create the heaven and some to create the earth.

The Fourth Tablet of Creation 129-132, 135-138, 142-144. And the lord stood upon Tiamat's hinder parts, And with his merciless club he smashed her skull. He cut through the channels of her blood, And he made the North wind bear it away into secret places.
Then the lord rested, gazing upon her dead body, While he divided the flesh of the ..., and devised a cunning plan. He split her up like a flat fish into two halves; One half of her he stablished as a covering for heaven. And over against the Deep he set the dwelling of Nudimmud. And the lord measured the structure of the Deep, And he founded E-shara, a mansion like unto it. (The Seven Tablets of Creation by Leonard William King, 1902)

Creation according to Greek mythology

In the greek myths, the elements and entities in the universe are personified as gods. So in the beginning there was only chaos and darkness. Then somehow 'love' appeared bringing about order and night and day. After the creation of night and day, Gaea, the earth and mother goddess suddenly appeared. She gave birth to Uranus (the heavens) and then she mated with her own son to produce other gods including the titans. After a dispute between Gaea and Uranus, Gaea incited her son Cronus to castrate Uranus while he slept with Gaea. (The Theogony of Hesiod II:139-206). See also:

Creation according to Taoist Chinese Folklore

According to some myths from ancient chinese folklore, the universe came into being from the first man, Pan-Ku. It is described as follows:
Pan-Ku came into being in the Great Waste. His origin is unknown. When dying, he gave birth to the existing material universe. His breath was transmuted into the wind and clouds; his voice into thunder; his left eye into the sun, his right eye into the moon; his four limbs and five extremities into the four quarters of the globe and the five great mountains, his blood into the rivers; his muscles and veins into the strata of the earth, his flesh into the soil, etc. (W. G. Aston, E.T.N., vol. I, p. 28)

Creation according to Norse Mythology

According to Norse mythology, Ymir the giant and his cow Auðhumla were produced from some cloudy mist (according to other narrations fire and ice). Auðhumla used to lick ice for nourishment and from her licking emerged Búri, whose grandson killed Ymir. From Ymir's blood came the sea; his flesh, the earth; his skull, the sky; his bones, the mountains; his hair, the trees. This new world was called Midgard. Thomas Bulfinch records the story as follows:
According to the Eddas there was once no heaven above nor earth beneath, but only a bottomless deep, and a world of mist in which flowed a fountain. Twelve rivers issued from this fountain, and when they had flowed far from their source, they froze into ice, and one layer accumulating over another, the great deep was filled up.

Southward from the world of mist was the world of light. From this flowed a warm wind upon the ice and melted it. The vapours rose in the air and formed clouds, from which sprang Ymir, the Frost giant and his progeny, and the cow Audhumbla, whose milk afforded nourishment and food to the giant. The cow got nourishment by licking the hoar frost and salt from the ice. While she was one day licking the salt stones there appeared at first the hair of a man, on the second day the whole head, and on the third the entire form endowed with beauty, agility, and power. This new being was a god, from whom and his wife, a daughter of the giant race, sprang the three brothers Odin, Vili, and Ve. They slew the giant Ymir, and out of his body formed the earth, of his blood the seas, of his bones the mountains, of his hair the trees, of his skull the heavens, and of his brain clouds, charged with hail and snow. Of Ymir's eyebrows the gods formed Midgard (mid earth), destined to become the abode of man. (Bukfinch, The Age of Fable 1855, ch. 38)

Creation according to Mayan Mythology

According to the Maya of central america, in the beginning there was only the sky and waters. Tepeu and the feathery serpent Gucumatz chatted together and told the water to recede and let the earth appear becoming solid. It is described as follows:

Popol Vuh, part 1, chapter 1. This is the first account, the first narrative. The surface of the earth had not appeared. There was only the calm sea and the great expanse of the sky.
Tepeu and Gucumatz came together in the darkness, in the night, and Tepeu and Gucumatz talked together. They talked then, discussing and deliberating; they agreed, they united their words and their thoughts. Then while they meditated, it became clear to them that when dawn would break, man must appear. Then they planned the creation, and the growth of the trees and the thickets and the birth of life and the creation of man.
Thus let it be done! Let the emptiness be filled! Let the water recede and make a void, let the earth appear and become solid; let it be done. Thus they spoke. (Goetz and Morley, Popol Vuh 1954, pp.3-5)

Creation according to Ancient Egyptian Mythology

It is described as follows:
Having described the coming into being of Khepera and the place on which he stood, the legend goes on to tell of the means by which the first Egyptian triad, or trinity, came into existence. Khepera had, in some form, union with his own shadow, and so begot offspring, who proceeded from his body under the forms of the gods Shu and Tefnut. According to a tradition preserved in the Pyramid Texts 2 this event took place at On (Heliopolis), and the old form of the legend ascribes the production of Shu and Tefnut to an act of masturbation. Originally these gods were the personifications of air and dryness, and liquids respectively; thus with their creation the materials for the construction of the atmosphere and sky came into being. Shu and Tefnut were united, and their offspring were Keb, the Earth-god, and Nut, the Sky-goddess. We have now five gods in existence; Khepera, the creative principle, Shu, the atmosphere, Tefnut, the waters above the heavens, Nut, the Sky-goddess, and Keb, the Earth-god. (E. A. Wallis Budge, Legends of the Gods 1912, pp. xix-xx)

I hope this helps.

Ansar Al-'Adl
02-02-2006, 07:38 PM
For something similar to this, please also see this thread where I debunked claims of simmilarities in the creation of the first human beings between the Qur'anic account and other mythologies.


Abu Omar
02-03-2006, 07:40 AM
Jazak Allaah khair.

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Ansar Al-'Adl
02-05-2006, 08:49 PM
:sl: bro,
Are you planning on taking this any further?

What are your thoughts on the creation accounts I've posted?

Abu Omar
02-05-2006, 09:01 PM
Hmm yes I think I'll do something out of this. But the thing which is missing is the Islamic narration of the creation, i.e in which order things happened etc (remember there are other bits about the creation scattered throughout the Quran) and what the Ahadith tells about it.

Then if I had the complete narration about it from both the Quran and the Ahadith in the correct order and so on, I could insha'Allaah make a comparison between them.

One question in advance: According to all these mythologies, were the first two humans a man and a woman? I know that according to Norse mythology it was, the man was named Ask, and the woman was named Embla, but the others?

Ansar Al-'Adl
02-05-2006, 09:06 PM
About the Islamic account, please refer to the very first link I posted which gives the tafseer of Qur'anic verses based on the explanations of Al-Qurtubi and Ibn Kathir.

As for human beings if you referred to the creation from clay thread, this is what I had posted (I didn't give references, I can find those later if you like, inshaa'Allah):
In Norse Mythology, the first humans were created from logs by Odin and his brothers.

In the Ancient Aryan myths, we find the belief that the first man and woman grew out of plants and bushes.

In the Babylonian myths, Marduk uses the blood of Kingu to create man.

In the Inca mythology, Con Tiqui fashoned human beings out of giant rocks.

In the Mayan mythology, human beings are created by the Heart-of-sky from Maize-corn dough.

In the Navajo nation, humans were believed to be created from the ears of corn.

In the Celtic mythology, human beings are the descendents of the gods.

Amonst Egyptian Mythology, we find the belief that men and women formed from the tears of the god, Khepera.
In greek mythology, there were only men on earth and Zeus created the woman, Pandora, as a punishment.

Abu Omar
02-08-2006, 08:37 PM
Well I think I have what I need. My computer will insha'Allaah be sent for reparation tomorrow, so I'll start writing something after I get it back insha'Allaah.

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