Two important matters will be explained in connection with the second question, for the sciences of geography and astronomy have criticized the verse and foolishly even tried to deny it, because with their abbreviated laws and narrow principles and tiny scales they have been unable to ascend to the heavens of the Qur’an, and have been unable to discover the seven levels of meanings in the stars of its verses.
FIRST IMPORTANT MATTER
This is about the earth having seven levels like the heavens. This matter appears to the philosophers of the present time to be untrue; their sciences about the earth and heavens find it unacceptable, and making it a pretext, they oppose some of the truths of the Qur’an. We shall point out concisely a few points about this.
T h e F i r s t : Firstly, the verse’s meaning is one thing and the parts of the meaning and points confirming it, another. The meaning cannot be denied if one of the many parts of the universal meaning is absent. Of the numerous parts of the universal meaning concerning the seven levels of the heavens and seven layers of the earth, seven points confirming it are clearly apparent.
Secondly, the verse does not explicitly state that “the earth has seven layers.” The apparent meaning of the verse is,
God is He Who created seven heavens and of the earth what is similar... [to the end of the verse]:(65:12)
“He created the earth like the seven heavens, and made it a dwelling place for His creatures.” It does not say: I created it in seven levels. Its being similar is in regard to createdness and being the habitation of creatures.
T h e S e c o n d : The globe of the earth is certainly very small in relation to the heavens, but as the exhibition, display, gathering place and centre of countless divine artefacts, as the heart and immaterial centre of the vast, endless heavens, it is equivalent to them, like the heart may be seen as equivalent to the body. For this reason, the earth having seven1 climes, as was supposed from early times; also the well-known seven continents, Europe, Africa, Oceania, the two Asias, and the two America’s; also together with the seas, the East, West, North, and South, the well-known seven regions of this face and on the face of the New World; also the
The seven repetitions of the word seven here makes a fine ‘coincidence’ (T. tevâfuk; Ar. tawafuq).