Are there any verses in quran about 18 thousand worlds? People usually call Allah "Lord of 18 thousand worlds". What's a metter? Why do we say like this?

  • 1
    Which people? Add some reference for that
    – Kilise
    Commented Oct 25, 2017 at 17:05
  • Supposedly there are 700 million billion planets in the universe, if that helps. Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 11:33
  • I've reseny one hadith narreted by Abu Saeed Khudri who was one of the famous sahaabas of prophet sallallahu alayhi vasallam. According to that hadith prophet said that Allah has got 18 tousand worlds. Your world one of this. I'm asking about proof of this hadith from quran. I'd thank if I could get satisfactory answer
    – Mukhammad
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 15:16

3 Answers 3


It appears this is part of Islamic mysticism, or Sufism. I think it's safe to say it's not mentioned in the Qur'an (otherwise, it would turn up a zillion times when Googling it, like everything else in the Qur'an).

The closest mention in the Qur'an I'm aware of is:

It is Allah who has created seven heavens and of the earth, the like of them. ...
Qur'an 65:12

I found "eighteen thousand worlds" mentioned in several Sufi-related websites. For example, from SufiWiki, quoting Moinuddin Chishti:

He asked me next to close my eyes. I did. He asked me to open my eyes. I did.

Then, showing his two fingers, he asked me:' What dost thou see therein?'

I replied: 'Eighteen thousand worlds.'
Moinuddin Chishti

And from a webpage about Uwais al-Qarani:

It is also mentioned that he once made a special Du’a in the Divine Court of Allah Almighty which was, “O Allah Almighty! As You have kept me secluded in this world, in the same manner keep me secluded in the Hereafter.” Suddenly he heard a Voice declare, “We have accepted your Du’a”. He then asked, “On the Day of Judgement, when eighteen thousand worlds will appear, how would I be kept secluded?” Again the Voice mentioned, “Seven hundred or seventy thousand Angels would be created in your image through our Power and within them you would be concealed and taken to Jannah.”


Yes there are according to a narration on the authority of the sahabi abu al-'Aliyah quoted by imam at-Tabari in his tafsir (see here) of surat al-Fatiha of the word العالمين of the (2nd verse):

164 - حدثني أحمد بن حازم الغفاري ، قال : حدثنا عبيد الله بن موسى ، عن أبي جعفر ، عن ربيع بن أنس ، عن أبي العالية ، في قوله : ( رب العالمين ) ، قال : الإنس عالم ، والجن عالم ، وما سوى ذلك ثمانية عشر ألف عالم ، أو أربعة عشر ألف عالم - هو يشك - من الملائكة على الأرض ، وللأرض أربع زوايا ، في كل زاوية ثلاثة آلاف عالم وخمسمائة عالم ، خلقهم لعبادته .

Here my own translation take it with the necessary care:

From abu al-'Aliyah on Allahs words: (Lord of the worlds) he said: the humans are one world, the Jinn are one world, and except those there are 18 thousand worlds, or 14 thousand worlds -he was in doubt- of angels on earth and the earth has four angles (not angel, maybe referring to place?) in each angle there are three thousand five hundred worlds HE created for HIS worship (to worship HIM).

The same narration appears in tafsir ibn abi Hatim (see here Hadith #15) with a sound narrator chain (mostly the same as the ones of at-Tabari).

Ibn Kathir also quoted that this was narrated by ibn Jarir at-Tabri and ibn abi Hatim and quoted a part of the chain in his tafsir in his introduction of sturat al-Fatihah.

Certainly the word al-'Alamin العالمين is a plural of 'Alam عالم (world), what can't be answered without a proof is how much worlds are there?

Here an explanation from tafsir ibn Kathir also quoting some interpretations of the meaning of this word:

Al-'Alamin is plural for 'Alam, which encompasses everything in existence except Allah. The word 'Alam is itself a plural word, having no singular form.
The 'Alamin are different creations that exist in the heavens and the earth, on land and at sea. Every generation of creation is called an 'Alam.
Al-Farra' and Abu 'Ubayd said, "'Alam includes all that has a mind, the Jinns, mankind, the angels and the devils, but not the animals."
Also, Zayd bin Aslam and Abu Muhaysin said, 'Alam includes all that Allah has created with a soul."
Further, Qatadah said about, (The Lord of the 'Alamin), "Every type of creation is an 'Alam."
Az-Zajjaj also said, "Alam encompasses everything that Allah created, in this life and in the Hereafter."
Al-Qurtubi commented, "This is the correct meaning, that the 'Alam encompasses everything that Allah created in both worlds. Similarly, Allah said,
(Fir'awn (Pharaoh) said: "And what is the Lord of the 'Alamin" Musa (Moses) said: "The Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, if you seek to be convinced with certainty") (26:23-24). (source: qtafsir)

'Alam is derived from 'Alamah, that is because it is a sign testifying to the existence of its Creator and to His Oneness.'' (source: qtafsir)

In qtafsir the mentioned hadith was not quoted at all!

Imam as-Suyuti in his ad-Dor al-Manthor quoted even more narrations -with different amounts- among them a reference to al-Hilyah of al-Asbahni (See here) a statement from Wahb ibn Munabih:

وأخرج أبو الشيخ ، وأبو نعيم في " الحلية " عن وهب قال : إن لله عز وجل ثمانية عشر ألف عالم، الدنيا منها عالم واحد .

Which is saying: Allah Glorified and Sublime be He has 18 thousand worlds, the donya is one among them

Finally in ibn al-Wardi's Kharīdat al-ʿAjā'ib wa farīdat al-gha'rāib خريدة العجائب وفريدة الغرائب ("The Pearl of wonders and the Uniqueness of strange things") there's a special chapter on the amount of the worlds quoting eight different opinions (the one saying they are 18000 is here referred to Wahb ibn Munabih).


The number Eighteen thousand (ثمانية عشر الف) does not occur in the Quran.

To verify, see concordance of thousand on corpus.quran.com and search results of the Arabic query and English query on searchtruth.com

What you mention of eighteen thousand worlds, is sometimes related in the Tafsir of the Quranic verse:

الحمد لله رب العالمين

Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Quran 1:2

Where there are multiple traditions about the nature and number of worlds:

واختلفوا في مبلغهم

There is difference on the number of worlds.

قال سعيد بن المسيب: لله ألف عالم ستمائة في البحر وأربعمائة في البر

Saeed bin Musaib said: Allah has created one thousand worlds. Six hundred are of water and four hundred are of land.

وقال مقاتل بن حيان: لله ثمانون ألف عالم أربعون ألفاً في البحر وأربعون ألفاً في البر

Muqatil bin Hiyan said: Allah has created eighty thousand worlds, forty thousand of water and forty thousand of land.

وقال وهب: لله ثمانية عشر ألف عالم الدنيا عالم منها، وما العمران في الخراب إلا كفسطاط في صحراء

Wahab bin Munabih saif: Allah has created eighteen thousand worlds, and this world is one of it, compared to the desolate ones the inhabited ones are like a tent in a desert.

وقال كعب الأحبار: لا يحصي عدد العالمين أحد إلا الله، قال الله تعالى: وما يعلم جنود ربك إلا هو

Ka'ab said: The quantity of the worlds is not known to any except Allah, for Allah says: "And no one knows the hosts of your Lord but He" [74:31]

Tafsir Baghawi

فقال قتادة : العالمون جمع عالم ، وهو كل موجود سوى الله تعالى ، ولا واحد له من لفظه مثل رهط وقوم .

Qatadah said ... it means whatever exists apart from Allah ...

وقيل : أهل كل زمان عالم ; قاله الحسين بن الفضل ، لقوله تعالى : أتأتون الذكران من العالمين

Some said: it means the people of every era, this is the saying of Hussain bin Fazl, because Allah says: "Do you approach males among the worlds" [26:165]

وقال ابن عباس : العالمون الجن والإنس ; دليله قوله تعالى : ليكون للعالمين نذيرا ولم يكن نذيرا للبهائم

Ibn Abbas said: Worlds mean Jinn and Humans, the evidence for this is "that he may be to the worlds a warner" [25:1]

وقال الفراء وأبو عبيدة : العالم عبارة عمن يعقل ; وهم أربعة أمم : الإنس والجن والملائكة والشياطين . ولا يقال للبهائم : عالم ، لأن هذا الجمع إنما هو جمع من يعقل خاصة .

Fara and Abu Ubaidah said: it means every thing with intelligence, such as humans, jinn, angels and devils. Animals are not called worlds because they lack intelligence.

قال زيد بن أسلم : هم المرتزقون ; ونحوه قول أبي عمرو بن العلاء : هم الروحانيون . وهو معنى قول ابن عباس أيضا : كل ذي روح دب على وجه الأرض

Zaid bin Aslam said: These mean those who are given sustenance. Similar is narrated from Abu Amr bin 'Ala that it means souled being. Similar is narrated from Ibn Abbas that every souled being that walks the land.

وقال وهب بن منبه : إن لله عز وجل ثمانية عشر ألف عالم ; الدنيا عالم منها

Wahab bin Munabih said: Allah has created eighteen thousand worlds, this earth is one of them.

وقال أبو سعيد الخدري : إن لله أربعين ألف عالم ; الدنيا من شرقها إلى غربها عالم واحد

Abu Saeed Al Khudri said: Allah has created forty thousand worlds, this world from east to west is one such world.


قلت : والقول الأول أصح هذه الأقوال ; لأنه شامل لكل مخلوق وموجود ; دليله قوله تعالى : قال فرعون وما رب العالمين . قال رب السماوات والأرض وما بينهما

I say: The most correct saying is that every thing that exists is included. The evidence for this is: Pharaoh asked, "And what is the Lord of the worlds?"[Moses] said, "The Lord of the heavens and earth and that between them" [26:23-24]

Tafsir Qurtubi

The tradition of eighteen thousand is also recorded by Tabari and Ibn Abi Hatim from Abul 'Aaliyah:

الإنس عالَمٌ، والجنّ عالم، وما سوى ذلك ثمانية عشر ألف عالم، أو أربعةَ عشر ألف عالم - هو يشكّ - من الملائكة على الأرض

The Humans are a world. The Jinn are a world. And apart from them there are eighteen thousand world or fourteen thousand worlds - [he doubted] - of angels on land

Tafsir Tabari

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