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Imaan and Aqaa'id - General

THE SEVEN HEAVENS

The Qur'aan uses three words to refer to the heavens or the skies. The words are Falak , Samaa and Samaawaat.

Falak

While the word Falak is used only twice in the Qur'aan, the word Samaa is used approximately I2O times and the word Samaawaat is used approximately 130 times. According to the book Mufridaat which explains the words of the Qur'aan, the word Falak when used in the Qur'aan refers to an orbit and is not a concrete object. In both places of the Qur'aan where the word is used, it refers to the orbits of the sun and the moon and the very same words are used each time, (Surah Ambiyaa and Surah Yaaseen).

Samaa

The literal meaning of this word is 'the upper portion' and it is said that the Samaa of everything is its upper portion, such as the roof of a house. The upper portion of the earth (the atmosphere) is therefore also referred to as Samaa, and we therefore call it the sky. The word is then also used to refer to clouds and rain. In the approximately 120 places of the Qur'aan where the word is used, it refers to all these various meanings.

Samaawaat

Literally, this word is the plural of the word Samaa and may be used as such in all the various meanings of the word Samaa, such as skies, roofs, Clouds, rains, etc. However, the reality is that wherever this word is used in the Qur'aan, it has a specific meaning in its context and will not be interpreted as an amalgamation of all these meanings. When Muslims started to adopt the teachings of the ancient philosophers and even started to propagate them, they would refer to the Aflaak as the Samaawaat. They would also refer to the seven heavens as the heavens containing the seven planets and the eighth and ninth heavens as being Allaah's Arsh and Kursi. However, this analogy is as preposterous as some modernists saying that the donkey of Hadhrat Isa ALY. refers to railways.

Fatawa Rahimiyyah (Vol.1)