As no human being witnessed the creation of the heavens and the earth, no one can tell the story of their creation unless through a divine source. Thus, the Qur’an and the Sunnah are our only sure source of information concerning the stages of creation. In the Gracious Quran Allah (the Exalted) says: “Say: do you indeed disbelieve in Him Who created the earth in two Days; and set up rival for Him? That is the Lord of (all) the Worlds. And He made in it mountains above its surface, and bestowed blessings on it, and measured therein its sustenance in four days, alike for the seekers. Then He directed Himself to the heaven when it was smoke, and said unto it and unto the earth: Come both of you, willingly or unwillingly. They said: “We do come (together), in willing obedience.” [Fussilat 41:9-11]
Furthermore, Imam Muslim reported in his sahih that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) took my hand one day and said: Allah (Exalted and Sublime is He) created the soil on Saturday, and created on it mountains on Sunday, and created trees on Monday, and created unpleasant things on Tuesday, and created light on Wednesday, and spread therein beasts on Thursday, and created Adam after noon on Friday among the last things He created in the last hour on Friday between afternoon and night.”
This hadith, however, has been controversial. Despite being narrated by Imam Muslim in his sahih, a group of scholars classifies it as weak regarding its attribution to the Prophet and attributes it instead to Ka`b al-Ahbar. They, moreover, view that it contradicts quranic verses that assert that the heavens and the earth were created in six Days. On the other side, there are some scholars who defend its authentic attribution to the Prophet and prove that it involves no contradiction to the Qur’an. They point out that the hadith deals with stages of the creation of the earth different from those mentioned in the Qur’an.
The issue, above all, is purely academic and has no effect on Muslims’ belief or practices.