Is This a Hadith or a Statement, “There Are Seven Earths: In Every Earth Is a Prophet Like Your Prophet”?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


I heard or read somewhere that Imam Ibn al-Arabi (Allah have mercy on him) wrote about the existence of many Adams, and we are the children of the last Adam (peace be upon him). Is it true? Did Imam Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) write about extraterrestrials, earth, and life?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Ibn ‘Arabi’s Visionary Experience

Ibn ‘Arabi (Allah have mercy on him) has mentioned in his The Meccan Revelations (al-Futuhat al-Makkiyya) about a visionary experience seeing a man circumambulating the Kaaba and living 40,000 years ago. These were sages of the time, and Allah Most High allowed the metaphysical world to open up for them. This is about it. These were focused people.

Statement of Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) -Two Views

View One

Imam Abdul Hay al-Lakhnawi (Allah have mercy on him) said the hadith of Ibn Abbas (Allah have mercy on him) should be considered authentic and reliable. The apparent non-existence of the seven earths does not mean that they are in fact non-existent. One has to acknowledge from the apparent words of its meaning, which is the middle ground, not to go to the extreme in denying its authenticity, as one group has done, nor to establish similar Muhammadan worlds like here. [Laknawi, Daf‘ al-Waswas fi Athar Ibn ‘Abbas; Laknawi, Zajr al Nas Fi Athar Ibn Abbas]

View Two

Some say this is a statement, not a hadith, which mentions that there are “Seven earths: in every earth is a prophet like your Prophet, an Adam like your Adam, a Nuh like your Nuh, an Ibrahim like your Ibrahim, and an ‘Isa like your ‘Isa.”
Although it is transmitted with a reliable chain, the hadith scholars have dismissed the authenticity of the text of this hadith based on the lack of corroborating texts.

Imam Bayhaqi’s (Allah have mercy on him) ruling regarding the text of this hadith is widely quoted by many exegetes and hadith scholars. Imam Bayhaqi has declared the hadith as not supported at all [Bayhaqi, Al Asma Wa al-Sifat]

Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on him) further states ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas has probably sourced this narration from the Israelite traditions (‘Israiliyat)

Seven Earths

Most commentators of the Quran believe that there are seven earths in layers, one above the other, and between every two piles of earth, there is a distance like that between heaven and earth.

A weaker opinion is that the seven earths are in layers, one above the other, with no gap. [Ibn Kathir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Extraterrestrial Life

As far as extraterrestrial life is concerned, although mentioned by scholars of the past in their books and their experiences. It is to show an experience, not a purpose. Islam did not mention clear-cut knowledge about it. However, that does not mean that people should hasten into the field and try to find answers.

Instead, that is a test. It is furthermore proof that such knowledge is inessential. It does not bring any significant benefit regarding people’s earthly purpose, nor does being ignorant about it invite any harm.

Life is too short and valuable, so it must be spent on more immediate and vital concerns. In any case, life’s journey goes on, at the end of which awaits Jannah (Paradise) and Jahannam (Hell). People should be able to distinguish between a highway and a sidewalk. People’s ultimate destinies do not depend on extraterrestrial life or aliens. Their destinies are in their own hands and their terrestrial midst. The truth is down here.

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I pray this helps with your question.

[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied within UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan and Turkey.

He started his early education in UK. He went onto complete hifz of Qur’an in India, then enrolled into an Islamic seminary in UK where he studied the secular and Alimiyyah sciences. He then travelled to Karachi, Pakistan.

He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for a number of years. He has taught hifz of the Qur’an, Tajwid, Fiqh and many other Islamic sciences to both children and adults onsite and online extensively in UK and Ireland. He was teaching at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences.

He currently resides in UK with his wife. His personal interest is love of books and gardening.