Was everything created in pairs?

Was everything created in pairs?

Was everything created in pairs? 1920 1080 The Office Of His Eminence Sheikh al-Habib


There is criticism used against the Qur’an in regards to the verse stating that ‘all things were created in pairs’. There are many creatures or things that are not made in pairs. Some creatures are asexual, for example.

How do we respond to this criticism?


In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.

This feeble attempt to sow doubt is raised by those who are not experts of the language. The verse in question is not referring to ‘reproduction’ when stating that things were created in pairs. The criticism is out of context because the verse here is not stating that reproduction only occurs via sexual intercourse between opposite sexes; it cannot be refuted by the fact that some creatures reproduce asexually because the concept of ‘pairs’ used here refers to variety in creation.

Allah, the Most High, has said:

And fruit of every kind He made in pairs
 4. Ar-Ra’d

note here the term *made* is understood to mean that the Glorified made fruits varied, based on opposite qualities. Some are wet while some are dry, sweet while others are sour, cold while others are hot, light while some are dark, etc. Allah, the Exalted, said:

And all things We have created in pairs, so that you may reflect and be mindful.
51. Adh-Dhaariyat

Note that the term ‘creation’ is understood to mean that the Glorified created things with variety in mind based on the concept of opposites, e.g., light and dark, solid and liquid, strength and weakness, hot and cold, and so on. What supports this argument is a segment from a  sermon narrated of Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (peace be upon them), when he said: ‘He made light be countered by darkness, dryness (be countered) by moisture, roughness (be countered) by softness, coldness (be countered) by warmness. He made harmony between their opposites, and separated between their close elements, in a manner that they denote, with their separation, to their Separator, and with their state of harmony, (they denote) to the Causer of harmony. Thus, Allah stated:

And all things We have created in pairs, so that you may reflect and be mindful.
Alkafi, vol. 1, page 139.

With this narration in mind, a disbeliever making this argument must set aside this objection because it is clear that the criticism stems from incorrect assumptions. What was understood by the disbeliever to mean reproduction, in reality, was referring to variety/opposites/things that are bound together, as made clear by the words of the Commander of the Believers (peace be upon him). Why his words carry such weight is the fact – at the very least- that he was a native speaker of the language of the Qur’an at the time. His understanding presents strong scientific evidence, especially considering the criticism comes from modern disbelievers who are not knowledgeable about the language.  

The disbeliever might insist that things that do not reproduce sexually invalidate the verse ‘And all things We have created in pairs’ because certain things have no pair, as far as sex is concerned. It would be said to him: This is akin to someone who is adamant and demands evidence for the characteristic of parity to everything that has been separated from parity, either by (it becoming a) species, or (it becoming a) characteristic An example would be to ask for proof that light itself is divided into pairs, despite being paired with darkness (as opposites). If stated light itself can be luminous such as the stars, or dim like the moon’s light and the planets, the answer could come along the lines of ‘I want proof that luminosity itself is divided into pairs!’, and even if we were to say far-reaching vs contracting upon itself, the response would be to prove that ‘far-reaching’ itself has a pair. This argument certainly has no end. 

It is no secret that this kind of argument stems from stubbornness leading to false reasoning. For example, It is enough to establish that in the plant world, some species reproduce sexually while some do not. That said, science has shown that asexual creatures do undergo mitosis, a form of cell division creating two identical cells (pairs).

In short, this objection stems from ignorance and a lack of understanding of the language if the individual believes that the term ‘pair’ refers to male and female, which infers sexual reproduction. In reality, it is much more encompassing than that. It includes parallels, opposites, and things bound together as pairs, e.g., we say a pair of slippers, but we don’t mean male and female, we simply mean that they are a set of the same thing. As mentioned earlier, the words of the Commander of the Believers, (peace be upon him) when he described light and dark, among other things, denotes two opposites that are bound together.

The Office of Sheikh al-Habib

The Office Of His Eminence Sheikh al-Habib