What is the status of the Hadith which states that there are seven other earths and each earth has an Nabi, Adam like how we had Adam, Nuh like how we had Nuh…?
Imam Ibn Abi Hatim, Imam Hakim (rahimahumallah) and others have recorded this narration as the Tafsir of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma).
(Tafsir Ibn Abi Hatim, Surah Talaq, verse: 12 and Mustadrak Hakim, vol. 2 pg. 493)
This Hadith is reported as the statements of Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas (radiyallahu ‘anhuma) and not a Hadith of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Although transmitted with a reliable chain, the Muhaddithun have dismissed the authenticity of the text of this Hadith based on the lack of corroborating texts.
Imam Bayhaqi’s ruling regarding the text of this Hadith is widely quoted by many Mufassirun and Muhaddithun. Imam Bayhaqi has declared the Hadith as ‘شاذ بمرة’ (not supported at all). (Al Asma Was Sifat, pg. 363)
Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) further states Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas has probably sourced this narration from ‘Israiliyat’ (Historical Narrations).
References for all of the above
Tafsirul Qurtubi Surah Baqarah, verse: 29, Al Bahrul Muhit Fit Tafsir, Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Ad Durrul Manthur, Surah Talaq, verse: 12, Al Bidayah Wan Nihayah, vol. 1 pg. 39, Fathul Bari, before Hadith: 3195, Al Maqasidul Hasanah, Hadith: 91, Al Asrarul Marfu’ah, Hadith: 38, Kashful Khafa, vol. 1 pg. 128, Hadith: 316, Al Muntakhab Minal ‘Ilal Lil Khallal of Hafiz Ibn Qudamah Al Maqdisi, pg. 125/126, Tadribur Rawi, vol. 3 pg. 274-278 and Tawjihun Nazar of ‘Allamah Tahir Al Jazairi, pg. 512. Also see Zajrun Nas of ‘Allamah ‘Abdul Hayy Al Lakhnawi
The existence of seven earths as such, has been proven in the Holy Quran. The Mufassirun have offered various explanations as to what this really means. Refer to the popular Tafsirs for more detail.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar, with the following note:
Despite certain reliable Scholars of the recent past justifying this narration, to avoid confusion we have chosen to only quote the view of those whom we concur with on this matter.
Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar