Seven earths as mentioned in Hadith: An explanation
The Sunnah and Hadith of the Prophet (SAW) is the second source of Islam. Like the Quran, the Sunnah and Hadith also contain a great deal of scientific information. This article will discuss such a piece of information. In various hadiths, besides the seven heavens, seven earths have also been mentioned. Two of these hadiths are as follows:
1st Hadith on seven earths
The Prophet (SAW) said, “If a person unjustly occupies a piece of land, on the Day of Resurrection seven layers of land will be hung around his neck along with that land.” (Bukhari)
2nd Hadith on seven earths
The Prophet (SAW) said, “If a person unjustly occupies a piece of land, he will be drowned on the Day of Resurrection along with seven layers of that land.” (Bukhari)
These hadiths mention the consequences of unjustly occupying someone’s land. But what is meant by seven earths (seven layers of land) in the hadith?
In today’s world studies in geology have proven that the earth is composed of seven layers, identified from the inner to the outer layers as follows:
1. The Solid Inner Core as the first layer of seven earths
1.7% mass of the earth; depth of about 5,150 – 6,370 kilometers.
The inner core is fully solid and unattached to the mantle, suspended in the molten outer core. It is believed to have solidified as a result of pressure-freezing which occurs to most liquids when pressure increases or temperature decreases.
2. The Liquid Outer core
30.8% mass of the earth; depth of about 2,890 – 5,150 kilometers.
The outer core is an electrically conducting hot liquid within which convective motion occurs. This conductive layer combines with the rotation of the earth to create a dynamo effect that maintains a system of electrical currents known as
the magnetic field of the earth. It is also responsible for the subtle jerking of the rotation of the earth. This layer is not as dense as pure molten iron, which indicates the presence of other lighter elements.
3. The ‘D’ Layer
3% mass of the earth; depth of about 2,700 – 2,890 kilometers.
This layer is about 200 to 300 kilometers in thickness and represents about 4% of the mantle-crust mass. Although it is often considered as part of the lower mantle, seismic discontinuities suggest the ‘D’ layer might differ chemically from the lower mantle. The material either dissolved in the core or was able to sink through the mantle but not into the core because of its density.
4. The Lower Mantle
49.2% mass of the earth; depth of 650 – 2,890 kilometers
The lower mantle contains 72.9% of the mantle-crust mass and is probably composed mainly of silicon (Si), magnesium (Mg), and oxygen (O2). It probably also contains some iron (Fe), calcium (Ca), and aluminum (Al). Scientists made these deductions by assuming the earth has a similar abundance and proportion of cosmic elements as found in the Sun and primitive meteorites.
5. The Middle Mantle
7.5% mass of the earth; depth of about 400 – 650 kilometers
The transition region or mesosphere, sometimes called the fertile layer, contains 11.1% of the mantle-crust mass and is the source of basaltic magmas. It also contains calcium (Ca), and aluminum (Al), and garnet, which is a complex aluminum-bearing silicate mineral. This layer is dense when cold because of the garnet. It is buoyant when hot because these minerals melt easily to form basalt which can then rise through the upper layers as magma.
6. The Upper Mantle
10.3% mass of the earth; depth of about 10 – 400 kilometers.
The upper mantle contains 15.3% of the mantle-crust mass. Fragments have been excavated for our observation by eroded volcanic eruptions and mountain belts. Pyroxene and olivine have been the primary minerals found in this way.
These and other minerals are crystalline and refractory at high temperatures; therefore, most settle out of rising magma, either forming new material or never leaving the mantle. Part of the upper mantle called the asthenosphere might be partially molten.
7. The Lithosphere
Oceanic crust: 0.099% mass of the earth; depth of about 0-10 kilometers.
The outermost layer of the earth comprising the crust and upper mantle is called the lithosphere. The oceanic crust contains 0.147% of the mantle-crust mass. The majority of the crust of the earth was made through volcanic activity. The oceanic ridge system, a 40,000-kilometer network of volcanoes, generates new oceanic crust at the rate of 17 km3/year, covering the ocean floor with basalt. Iceland and Hawaii are two examples of the accumulation of basalt piles.
The seven layers of the earth coincide with the above-mentioned hadith of the Prophet. The miracle is in two matters:
(1) The expression of the hadith, ‘he will be drowned on the Day of Resurrection along with seven layers of that land’, indicates the stratification of these earth around one center.
(2) The accuracy with which the Prophet (SAW) referred to the seven inner layers of earth.
The only way for a desert dweller like the Prophet (SAW) to have known these facts about 1450 years ago is through revelation from Allah