In ancient astronomy, before the telescope was invented, people referred to the Sun
, and the five planets visible with the naked eye as the seven heavenly objects
. Each had its own layer of heaven or sky assigned to it, and each was considered to be farther and farther away from Earth. Today we refer to the layers as the orbit
of the object around the Sun.
It was believed by many cultures, and still is by some today, that when people die, their souls float into the sky, visiting each of the Seven Heavenly Objects as they travel to the outermost layer of heaven. When they reach that outermost layer, they are believed to actually meet God, who was/is supposed to exist just above the last layer of heaven, ].
A Hadith from Ali mentioned the name of Seven Heavens as below:
- Rafi' (رفیع) The world Heaven (سماء الدنیا)
- Qaydum (قیدوم)
- Marum (ماروم)
- Arfalun (أرفلون)
- Hay'oun (هيعون)
- Arous (عروس)
- Ajma' (عجماء)
Colloquially, among English-speakers, it expresses bliss or happiness (e.g., "I am in seventh Heaven"). Conceptually similar, however differing in number is the Romanian colloquial expression for bliss or happiness: "I am in the ninth sky [Heaven]".
- Quranic translations by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.
- Davidson, Gustav. Dictionary of Angels: Including the Fallen Angels. New York: The Free Press, 1967 (reprinted 1994). ISBN 002907052X.
- Ginzberg, Louis. Henrietta Szold (trans.). The Legends of the Jews. Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1909–38. ISBN 0801858909.