Ahmad ibn Ya’qub al-Thaqafi narrated to us: ‘Ubayd ibn Ghannam narrated to us: ‘Ali ibn Hakim narrated to us: Sharik narrated to us: from ‘Ata: from Abu l-Duha: from Ibn ‘Abbas [that] he said in regards to His (Exalted is He) statement “and of the earth the like thereof”:
“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.”
This is a hadith with a sahih isnad.
‘Ubaydullah narrated to us: Ibrahim ibn al-Husayn narrated to us: Adam narrated to us: from Shu’bah: from ‘Amr ibn Murrah: from Abu l-Duha: from Ibn ‘Abbas [that] he said:
“In every earth is the like of Ibrahim.”
This hadith is [sahih] according to the criteria of Al-Bukhari and Muslim. End
I.e. seven also, as established in the two Sahihs,
“Whoever usurps even one span of the land of somebody, his neck will be encircled with it down the seven earths.”
Whoever interprets [it to mean] seven regions has missed the point, fallen into disputation and contradicted the Qur’an and hadith without support. Mention of the seven earths, and the distance between them and the density of each of them being five hundred years, has passed in Surah al-Hadid upon His statement, “He is the First and the Last”. This was what Ibn Mas’ud and others said.
Likewise, another hadith [mentions]:
“The seven heavens: all that is therein and all that is between them, in respect to the footstool (kursi), is not but like a ring lying in the wilderness.”
Ibn Jarir said: ‘Amr ibn ‘Ali narrated to us: Waki’ narrated to us: from Al-A’mash: from Ibrahim ibn Muhajir: from Mujahid: from Ibn ‘Abbas [that] he said in regards to His (Exalted is He) statement, “and of the earth the like thereof”,
“Had I narrated to you its explanation, you would have disbelieved, and your disbelief is your denial of it.”
Ibn Humayd narrated to us: Ya’qub ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Sa’d al-Qummi al-Ash’ari narrated to us: from Ja’far ibn Abi l-Mughirah al-Khuza’i: from Sa’id ibn Jubayr: he said:
A man asked Ibn ‘Abbas [about the verse], “and of the earth the like thereof” and he said, “what will save you from disbelieving if I inform you?”
Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi narrated from the hadith of Abu Hurayrah in marfu’ form:
“between one heaven and the [next] heaven is five hundred years and between one earth and the [next] earth is five hundred years.”
Ishaq ibn Rahwayh and Al-Bazzar transmitted it from the hadith of Abu Dharr in like manner. End, in summary-form.
Abu Ya’la transmitted from Jabir that
Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) was asked about what is below the earth, and he said “water”;
it was said “then, what is below water?” He said “darkness”;
it was said “what is below the darkness?” He said “wind”;
it was said “what is below the wind?” He said “soil”;
it was said “what is below soil?” He said “knowledge of creatures discontinues at the knowledge of the Creator.”
Ibn ‘Abbas said,
“Indeed the earths are on the back of a fish,
and the fish is in the sea,
and the sea is on a green rock,
which is on the horn of a bull,
and the bull is upon soil
and what is below the soil is not known but to Allah.”
In Jawahir al-Qur’an by Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr al-Razi:
The soil is wet earth which is below the dry earth, and from it [derives] His (Exalted is He) statement “and whatever is beneath the soil” (20:6), and the intent is: whatever is beneath the seventh earth. End
Ibn al-Mundhir transmitted from Ibn Jurayh [that] he said,
“It reached me that the width of every earth is the distance of five hundred years, and I was told that the seventh earth is above the soil.”
[It is mentioned] in Al-Tuhfat al-Saniyyah fi Ajwibat al-As’ilat al-Mardiyya by Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Latif al-Bashishi: Ibn Abi Hatim transmitted from Ka’b that
he was asked what is below this earth and he said “water”
and [it was asked] “what is below water?” He said “earth”
until he counted seven earths.
It was said “what is below the seventh earth?” He said “a rock”
and it was said “what is below the rock?” He said “an angel”
and it was said “what is below the angel?” He said “a fish whose two sides are hanging from the throne”
and it was said “what is below the fish?” and he said “wind and darkness
and then knowledge stops.”
the marfu’ hadith of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Amr which is narrated in al-Mustadrak and other [books that] he said: Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:
“Verily [in regards to] the earths, between each earth and the one which follows it is the distance of five hundred years;
the second is the prison of wind;
the third of them is a stone of Jahannam;
the fourth of them is the sulphur of Jahannam; by the One in Whose hand is my soul, therein are valleys of sulphur [and] had mountains been sent [there], they would melt;
the fifth of them are the snakes of Jahannam, indeed their mouths are like valleys;
and the sixth of them are the scorpions of Jahannam, indeed the least of the scorpions [in size] is like a mule;
and the seventh of them is the fire of Jahnannam, and therein is Iblis, chained with iron; so when Allah wants to free him for whatever He wills, He frees him,”
since this report informs [us] that in the strata of the earth are snakes, scorpions, winds etc. and the athar of Ibn ‘Abbas informs [us] that therein are accountable creatures and prophets, and there is a difference between them, and when they conflict, the marfu’ [narration] is adopted, and the non-marfu’ [narration] is abandoned.
The verifiable truth in this subject that is closest to the truth, is to say:
there is no doubt about the existence of creatures in all the strata as proven by the narrations, and as for its particular [type], which species they have and in which form and shape, that is consigned to the knowledge of Allah (Exalted is He),
and the athar of Ibn ‘Abbas proves that there are Adams like our Adam and Prophets like our Prophet therein.
There is also no doubt that in every earth of these earths is a creation and a world.
[This] was clarified by a group of verifiers, but of them were those who consigned its details to the knowledge of Allah (Exalted is He), like Al-Shihab al-Khufaji in Hawashi Tafsir al-Baydawi and Sayyid al-Jurjani in Sharh al-Mawaqif and Ibn Abi Jumrah in Sharh Mukhtasar Sahih al-Bukhari.
And of them are those who ruled that the strata below are abodes of the jinn
according to what is mentioned in some reports, like Al-Shibli, Al-Zurqani, Al-Halabi and Al-Qastallani.
And of them are those who mentioned that every stratum has a different [intelligent] species,
as in Bada’i al-Duhur and others. Wahb ibn Munabbih said:
When Allah created the earth, it was one stratum and He split it and transformed it into seven, as He did with the heavens, and made between one stratum and the [next] stratum the distance of five hundred years.
The name of the highest stratum is Adim,
the second Basit- he inhabitants of the second earth are peoples called Al-Tamas and their food is from their flesh and their drink is from their blood.
the third Thaqil- The inhabitants of the third are peoples whose faces are like the faces of the children of Adam, their mouths are like the mouths of dogs, their hands are like the hands of the children of Adam, their legs are like the legs of cows, and hair like the wool of sheep cover their bodies which [function] as clothing for them.
the fourth Batikh- the inhabitants of the fourth are peoples called Al-Hulham; they have no eyes or feet, but they have wings.
the fifth Janb- the fifth of them are people like mules and they have tails, each tail is around three hundred cubits.
the sixth Masikah- the sixth of them are peoples called Al-Huthum and they have black bodies and have claws like the claws of predatory animals.
the seventh Al-Thura- The seventh contains the abode of Iblis and his armies.