(a., pl. ʿālamūn , ʿawālim ), world.
1. The word is found as early as the Ḳurʾān, where in borrowed formulae we have references to the rabb al-ʿālamīn and the seven samawāt .
Allāh is its lord and creator who has created it for man as a sign of his omnipotence. This transitory world [ dunyā ) is of little value—"not worth the wing of a midge" is the traditional expression—in comparison with the next ( āk̲h̲ira ). We are told very little about the structure of the world [cf. the article k̲h̲alḳ ]; the subjects of interest, in the Ḳurʾān as well as in Tradition, are God, the spiritual world and man.