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33- O society of jinns and men, cross the diameters of the heavens and the earth, if you have the ability, then pass beyond them. But you cannot, unless you acquire an authorization.
55-Gracious, 33

The Arabic word for diameter is “kutr” of which the plural is “aktar;” this refers to the fact that the heavens and the earth have a plurality of diameters. The Arabic language has a special plural to express “duality;” the word aktar expresses a magnitude superior to one or two. We must be careful in the case of three-dimensional objects; “diameter” exists only in spheroid figures. In the case of a perfect sphere we cannot speak of a plurality of diameters, for, in a perfect sphere, there can be only one diameter. We observe in the verse the use of the plural, which is remarkable.

This verse is particularly important, as it refers to the geoidal structure of the world. Doubts about the spheroid structure of the world were dispelled by the law of gravitation of Newton (1642-1724). Previously it was believed that men, the living beings and the seas beneath the surface of the earth would have fallen down had the world been a sphere. Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation convinced men that their belief was false. Objections to the sphericity of the world were henceforth withdrawn, although many people still adhered to their former convictions. If you spoke of “diameters” of the earth, Newton would have corrected you saying: “the diameter of the earth.” A sphere can have but one diameter but in the geodesic sphere, which is the actual shape of the world, this is possible.
The mention in the verse of “the diameters of the heavens” is also significant. Until man took cognizance of the primeval explosion and the
expanding universe, many scientists believed space to be infinite. Space continuously expands and wherever it expands a new and still larger diameter is formed (this...

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