Greatest creation of Allaah: man, heavens, or earth?
Fatwa No: 331564

  • Fatwa Date:19-9-2016 - Thul-Hijjah 17, 1437
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Question

Dr. Zakir Naik says that the human being is the greatest creation, but Allaah says that the heavens are greater than man. So who is correct?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

There is no doubt that the heavens and earth are huge and that they are greater than man in terms of size. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {The creation of the heavens and earth is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of the people do not know.} [Quran 40:57]

This verse underlines the greatness of the creation of the heavens and earth and that the One Who created them is able to create mankind and then resurrect them and bring them back to life with greater reason. Allaah says (what means): {Do they not see that Allaah, Who created the heavens and earth and did not fail in their creation, is able to give life to the dead? Yes. Indeed, He is over all things Competent.} [Quran 46:33] Allaah, The Exalted, also says (what means): {Is not He Who created the heavens and the earth Able to create the likes of them? Yes, (it is so); and He is the Knowing Creator. His command is only when He intends a thing that He says to it, "Be," and it is.} [Quran 36:81-82]

Tafseer Al-Jalaalayn reads, "{The creation of the heavens and earth} the first time {is greater than the creation of mankind} a second time after their death, {but most of the people do not know} i.e. the disbelievers of Makkah. They are like a blind person, while the one who realizes this is like the one who can see."

For more benefit, please refer to fatwa 284413.

We could not find the statement of Dr. Zakir Naik in this regard. However, it is inconceivable that he meant the greatness of size. Perhaps he meant the immaterial greatness; Allaah has honored man and favored him over all the other creatures, endowing him with intellect and subjecting all the creatures in the heavens and earth for him. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good things and preferred them over much of what We have created, with (definite) preference.} [Quran 17:70]

Allaah, The Exalted, also says (what means): {And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth - all from Him...} [Quran 45:13]

Al-Qurtubi said:

"Muhammad ibn Jareer At-Tabari said, 'Allaah honored and favored them (the humans) by making all the creatures subservient to them. It was also said that mankind was favored with speech and writing, and it was said with understanding and discretion. The correct view in this regard is that Allaah has favored and honored mankind by conferring the blessing of 'intellect' which is what makes them competent for religious obligations and by means of which one can know his Lord, understand His speech, recognize His blessings, and believe in His Messengers. As the human intellect cannot carry out all these tasks individually, Allaah sent down Messengers and divine Books. Divine revelation can be likened to the sun, and the human intellect can be likened to the eye. When the eyes are open and healthy, they function properly and see the sun, noticing the details in the surrounding environment. Allaah has endowed some animals with distinguishing abilities and qualities that were not given to man. For example, horses are endowed with the ability to run fast and a better vision and hearing abilities compared to man. Elephants are endowed with greater physical strength, lions are granted greater courage, and roosters are given a stronger sense of generosity. Man, on the other hand, has been honored and favored over other creatures with the intellect, as has been underlined above.'"

Allaah knows best.

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