Pearl of Wisdom

'The best form of Faith is trustworthiness, and the worst vice is betrayal.'

Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib [as]
Ghurar al-Hikam, no. 2905-2906

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Question : #551 Category: The Hereafter
Subject: levels of Heaven
Question: Assalaam o Alaikum

I just want to ask about the different levels of Heaven. Is it right that there are 7? Does that mean that the 1st one is for people who weren't as good as those is the highest level? Does that mean those in the lowest level will have less rewards of Heaven and that they can't meet others who are in other levels? Like your family or friends? I hope this makes sense. Thank you.
Answer: Islamic scholars and commentators have narrated some clarifications regarding "Seven Heavens".
I will briefly provide four interpretations of this:

1. Here by seven is meant to be multiplication (to be more). It means that He has created many heavens, i.e. He has created a number of times. And mostly it so happens that, in Arabic, Persian, Urdu or other languages, the mention of numbers is done in the sense of plenty. It means that a number is mentioned but no definite quantity is meant. The purpose of saying is to convey plenty.

2. By seven heavens it was meant to be those planets, which were known to the people of that period or they are those planets, which the general public of the present age can see with naked eyes (Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and moon).

3. By seven heavens are meant the multiple layers of different airs and gases that encircle the earth.

4. Still, according to the views of some great intellectuals, those small stars, galaxies and Milky Way, which are seen, all are part of the first heaven and beyond that six still bigger worlds are there. And by seven heavens the Holy Quran means all those seven worlds, which exist in the Universe.
Favoring this view we present the following verse as proof.

"We have adorned the nearest heaven with an adornment, the stars," (37:06)

With this verse it is known that, all the stars are in the first heaven. (It should be remembered that in Arabic the word 'Duniya' means 'lower' and near.)
In other words, these seven bodies are counted as earth; the atmosphere surrounding them is their heaven. It should be remembered that in Arabic dictionary 'Samaa' is means all such things, which are placed towards the upper portion.

This was the summary of those different interpretations, which our scholars and writers of exegeses have presented about seven heavens and earths.

Especially the last Tafseer, which seems to be more acceptable compared to all others and the narrations of those exegeses is in need of further explanation.

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