In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
He Knows What Is In The wombs
The Qurâ€™anic verse in which Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means), â€˜And knows that which is in the wombs,â€™ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34) is currently the subject of endless controversy. Some people claim that modern science has revealed what is conceived in the wombs thanks to the ultrasound that can now visualize the motherâ€™s womb during pregnancy and specify the sex of the baby.
Amazingly, many Muslims believed that talk, which aims at casting doubts on their Islam and they started to repeat it themselves, claiming that science has actually discovered that which is in the wombs!! We say to them that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, Who indeed Knew that this would happen, has given us a clue to some unfolded meanings of the noble Qurâ€™anic verse (that means), â€˜That which is in the wombs,â€™ and let us recite what came in Surat Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n. Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says (what means):
â€œAt that time ZakariyÃ¢ (Zachariya) invoked his Lord, saying: â€˜O my Lord! Grant me from You, a good offspring. You are indeed the All-Hearer of invocation.â€™â€ (Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 38)
ZakariyÃ¢ (Zachariya, peace be upon him), the Prophet of Allah, was not blessed with children and when he grew old and feared for his message and doctrine he would leave behind, he invoked Almighty Allah to grant him a son. His supplication was uttered in the mihrab of Maryam (Mary, peace be upon her), where ZakariyÃ¢ used to find her provided with winter fruits at summertime and with summer fruits at wintertime.
There, ZakariyÃ¢ (peace be upon him) touched the Absolute Power of Allah in giving sustenance, so he begged Allah to grant him a son and right after the earnest supplication, Allah sent down His angels who gave ZakariyÃ¢ the glad tidings that Allah has answered his supplication, as affirmed by the noble Qurâ€™anic verse in which Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says (what means):
â€œThen the angels called him, while he was standing in prayer in Al-MihrÃ¢b (a praying place or a private room), (saying): â€˜AllÃ¢h gives you glad tidings of Yahya (John).â€™â€ (Ã‚l- â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 39)
Here we must ask ourselves: Had ZakariyÃ¢ supplicated his Lord while his wife was in her first months of pregnancy? Of course not, ZakariyÃ¢ invoked his Lord before his wife got pregnant. That is simply one of the meanings stated in the noble Qurâ€™anic verse in which The Most Exalted says (what means), â€˜And knows that which is in the wombs,â€™ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34).
Hence, knowledge here was before, not after pregnancy. Therefore, we beg those who idealize scientific achievements to summon the most veteran doctors in the entire word to tell us that a woman will get pregnant before pregnancy takes place, and whether she will deliver a baby boy or girl!!
Allah gives ZakariyÃ¢ the glad tidings of YahyÃ¢
We continue with the noble Qurâ€™anic verses in Surat Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n saying (what means):
â€œAllÃ¢h gives you glad tidings of Yahya (John), confirming (believing in) the Word from AllÃ¢h [i.e. the creation of â€˜Iesa (Jesus), the Word from AllÃ¢h (â€˜Be!â€™ - and he was!)], noble, keeping away from sexual relations with women, a Prophet, from among the righteous.â€ (Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 39)
The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, gave ZakariyÃ¢ the glad tidings that his wife would get pregnant and beget a son before she was actually pregnant with her son, YahyÃ¢. That he would be noble, and would become a Prophet and a righteous man. That he would die a martyr, since Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, named him YahyÃ¢ (living) his life must be without death. And it was the Will of Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, that he died a martyr, for the life of martyrs is perpetual as established by the noble Qurâ€™anic verse in which Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œThink not of those who are killed in the Way of AllÃ¢h as dead. Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.â€ (Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 169)
We address those who claim that one of the five Unseen matters has been revealed, and beg them to summon the greatest scientists in the whole world. We dare them to tell if a woman would get pregnant before she conceives and whether she would beget a baby boy; whether the child would be an engineer, a doctor or pursue any other profession and to specify to us how and when would he die.
The miracle deepens the more we read the noble Qurâ€™anic verses. Recite the noble Qurâ€™anic verse relating when ZakariyÃ¢ remembered that causes forbid that he should have a son (what means):
â€œHe said: â€˜O my Lord! How can I have a son when I am very old, and my wife is barren?â€™ AllÃ¢h said: â€˜Thus AllÃ¢h does what He wills.â€™â€ (Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 40)
ZakariyÃ¢ here is an old man and his wife is barren; so we can see that causes do not exist. But in spite of that Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, told him that his wife would get pregnant and beget a son, and then told him the sonâ€™s life and death.
Again, we dare the greatest masters in the world that if we bring them an old man and a barren old woman to reveal to us, through their knowledge, all these stated facts, as happened with ZakariyÃ¢.
The significance of â€˜That which is in the wombsâ€™
Hence, â€˜That which is in the wombs,â€™ does not signify if the baby is a male or a female, the depth of its meaning goes far beyond that, because Allah knows the father and mother of the infant before they get married. Bearing on that The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œOr He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills.â€ (Ash-ShÃ»ra, 42: 50)
â€˜That which is in the wombs,â€™ is fraught with far-reaching meanings. â€˜That which,â€™ denotes here the life of the baby from the moment of its birth to the moment of its death. Whether it is to be wretched or blessed? Tall or short? What will be the color of its skin? Will it to be sound or sick? What ailments will befall it? Its age and deeds? What events will happen to it, those it will live through as the object and others as the subject? Its work? Its pursued profession? To which country will it travel? Its spouse? Its provision? Whether it shall have children or not?
We can go on forever with these questions. The pronouns, â€˜That which,â€™ signifies the life record of that which is not yet originated in the womb of its mother. So, how real petty is the sex of the baby measured against all this, whether it is a male or a female!!
A further important issue is the fact that science only discovered the sex of the baby after its secret emerged from the Realms of the Knowledge of Allah through the word â€˜Be!â€™ to be acquired through worldly knowledge. That is, after it had been created, shaped and had a physical existence. But can science tell us, before the mother conceives, anything about the baby before the beginning of its creation within the womb of its mother?
Science is absolutely powerless to tell us anything. Indeed, what is manâ€™s knowledge compared to the Knowledge of Allah, all praise and glory be to Him?
To those who propagate that one of the five Unseen matters is revealed, â€˜Do they not then think deeply in the Qurâ€™Ã¢n, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?â€™ (Muhammad, 47: 24). Allah alone is The All-knower of that which is in the wombs; knows it since eternity. He knows what every female will beget from the moment Ã‚dam (peace be upon him) was created till the Day of Resurrection. All is fully known to Him even before the creation of Ã‚dam and HawwÃ¢â€™ (Adam and Eve, peace be upon them).
Provision is only in the Hands of Allah
Now we move on to the noble Qurâ€™anic verse in which The Most Exalted says (what means), â€˜No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow,â€™ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34). Indeed, provision is only in the Hands of Allah, despite all that has been claimed. The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, â€˜Verily, provision seeks the servant just as his appointed term (i.e., the time of his death) seeks him.â€™ Provision knows your place but you do know its whereabouts, as you may knock at hundreds of doors in search for provision and nothing comes to you, but provision knows your place and comes to you wherever you are.
Some people say that provision is gained through means and pursuit and we say that means is the Law of Allah in His Universe. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œVerily, AllÃ¢h provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.â€ (Ã‚l- â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 37)
Some orientalists claim that this noble Qurâ€™anic verse is the reason underlying the underdevelopment of Muslims. And we ask them to tell us how there may happen to be a country that is utterly poor, then all of a sudden they discover that it is swimming on a fount of petrol and becomes overnight the richest country in the whole world!
What are the means adopted by that country to change, in a matter of days, from the poorest to the richest country in the world? Name to us the means, then state to us, with respect to provision, how has Almighty Allah bestowed on some countries petrol, gold and diamond mines, as well as other precious metals that made them from amongst the richest countries, meanwhile He gave none of these fortunes to other countries and they remained poor?
What are the means adopted by the countries that possess such great fortunes in the depths of their land and the means abandoned by the countries that have nothing in their own? Certainly, no vouchsafed answer but the noble Qurâ€™anic verse saying (what means):
â€œVerily, AllÃ¢h provides sustenance to whom He wills, without limit.â€ (Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 37)
Provision supplied in the entire world enwraps mysterious secrets that we know not, and the Destinies fated by Allah play their role that we perceive not, whereby prices fall and a number of people who wallow in riches go bankrupt and then prices rise and the poor become rich. Consequently, the social strata differ and the barefooted, naked people rival with one another in constructing high edifices and become the owners of towering buildings and big bank accounts.
This happen every day before our eyes; I still remember a very wealthy man, who went bankrupt in the New York stock market crash, thereupon he took his gun and killed the stockbroker, who handled the buying and selling of his stocks, then committed suicide!!
Provision and accounts
All seek wealth and money but some get them and others do not!! The Destines of Allah decreed in provision control us while we are negligent.
If they assume that through precise calculations they can determine whether the business is to flourish or not, we say to them that the stock market crashes that occur worldwide in the money markets put thousands of people into bankruptcy. Had there been a possibility of predicting them none would have gone bankrupt. Still, we hear and read about big companies that crash and close down in few months.
It does not mean not to search for provision and not to adopt means because we are commanded to adopt means, but we have to be contented with what is given through means and feel at heart that it is the Destiny and Provision decreed by Allah.
Some people believe that provision is what man owns and that is a wrong belief for provision is what man benefit from. Therefore, we may find a millionaire who cherishes his money, yet is so closefisted, clothing himself in rags, eating crumbs and denying himself the joy of what he possesses! We say that these millions are not his provision. They are certainly the fruits of his labor but they are not his provision. His provision is what he makes use of either in food and clothing or the charity he gives to have its reward stored for him with Allah in the Hereafter.
Therefore, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said:
â€œSon of Adam says, â€˜My wealth, my wealth.â€™ O son of Adam! Is there anything really yours from your wealth save what you ate and consumed, or what you wore and frayed, or gave as charity and thus kept preserved (for the Hereafter).â€
That is manâ€™s real provision as the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) told us, but the rest of his possessions are not his provision but that of another. He is guarding it unknowingly until he delivers it to its owner.
Learn when you see a miser, that although he owns much, he is of a modest provision!! His is only what he makes use of; as for what he uses not, it is the provision of another. He is only a guardian on it until he delivers it to them. Being assigned to guard it is inscribed in the Destiny decreed by Allah, so we find him reluctant to part with a single penny until the property reaches its owner who will profit by it.
What we want to say in answering back all that is claimed, is the fact that if there had been a possibility to control provision through calculations, computer and other means, the world stock market crashes would not have happened, as we have aforesaid, which inevitably occur every now and then, causing the bankruptcy of many companies. Moreover, the economic crises that no country can avoid would not have erupted.
Where death befalls
Afterwards, we move on to the Qurâ€™anic statement of the Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, (that means), â€˜And no soul knows in what land it will die.â€™ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34). Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, has concealed the time of death from us all, and there is wisdom behind that concealment, for if every human being knew his death time, good would dwindle and evil would prevail in this world, why?
Because every man would commit may evils and sins, as long as he knows that he has still time to live. He would only perform good deeds when the time of his death approaches. But owing to our ignorance of the death time â€“ for it could be tomorrow or the day after it, or after years or only an hour â€“ every believer hastens to the performance of good deeds for fear that the time of his death approaches.
When death comes man has no longer the freedom of choice to earn more good deeds or lessen his evil ones, for manâ€™s deeds end by death. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, describes His close pious servants by the Qurâ€™anic verse in which He says (what means):
â€œThey used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.â€ (Al-AnbiyÃ¢â€™, 21: 90)
The concealment of the time of death is a forthright notification of it, for causing you to expect it every day, which incites you to hasten on to good deeds and avoid evil and sin for fear that your death time draws near and you meet Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, without good deeds. Therefore, the anticipation of the time of death is an alarm sounded to man for him to hasten on to perform good deeds.
Just as Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has concealed the time of death He has concealed its place, for none knows where he will die. For instance, you may see someone who plans to travel by plane but fails to reserve a place onboard. He tries hard to get one, he may even quarrel over it or call many authorities. Finally, one of the passengers fails to show up and he takes his place while feeling rejoiced for traveling on an urgent mission. But hardly after taking off by an hour or two, the plane burns and thus he has run after his own death and exerted tremendous effort to unknowingly depart to his death place.
Fate and the knowledge of man
It has been narrated that once a very distressed man came to the Prophet SulaimÃ¢n (Solomon, peace be upon him) and asked him to make the wind carry him to a far land because he saw the Angel of Death. At that time, the Angel of Death used to come visible and not invisible as happens now.
However, the man asked the Prophet SulaimÃ¢n to make the wind carry him to a far land because the Angel of Death eyed him strangely. The Prophet SulaimÃ¢n fulfilled his wish and ordered the wind to carry him to the furthest land.
On seeing the Angel of Death, SulaimÃ¢n said to him, â€˜You dismayed the man with the look you cast at him, so why did you gaze at him thus?â€™ The Angel of Death answered him saying, â€˜A strange thing has happened! I saw that man here, though I am ordered to take his soul at the furthest end of the land after hours, so I was filled with wonder; how could this man be here and how would I find him after hours at the furthest end of the land?â€™ So, the Prophet SulaimÃ¢n learned that the man was simply pursuing his own death. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says in His Noble Book (what means):
â€œThey said, â€˜Have we any part in the affair?â€™ Say you (O Muhammad SAW): â€˜Indeed the affair belongs wholly to AllÃ¢h.â€™ They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you, saying: â€˜If we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.â€™ Say: â€˜Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death,â€™ but that AllÃ¢h might test what is in your breasts; and to Mahis that which was in your hearts (sins), and AllÃ¢h is AllÂKnower of what is in (your) breasts.â€(Ã‚l-â€˜ImrÃ¢n, 3: 154)
This noble Qurâ€™anic verse was revealed concerning the hypocrites who sat at home and did not set out to take part in jihad for the Sake of Allah. They addressed their other hypocritical brethren saying, â€˜If the believers had only listened to us and did not participate in jihad for the Sake of Allah along with the Messenger of Allah, they would have been alive with us.â€™ The Truth, all praise and glory be to Him, answered them back by what means that neither abandoning the jihad prolongs life nor going to jihad shortens it, because when the assigned time of death is due, man will walk on his own two feet to the place where he is destined to die.
When the death time of any of us comes, we ourselves will seek the place where we are destined to die, heading for it zealously. Therefore, those who endeavor to make you believe that if you traveled or ran a risk, or set out to fight for the Sake of Allah, you would be killed or die, do not realize the meaning of the death decree. In war, if the assigned time of death has not come yet, man will return home safe and sound. On the other hand, he may live in a locked chamber he hardly leaves, but when it is time for him to die, he surely will.
Khalid bin Al-WalÃ®d (may Allah be pleased with him), that great leader who fought tens of battles, died in bed and said while dying, â€˜I fought such and such battles marching onward and not an inch of my body is free from either the strike of a sword, the shot of an arrow, or the stab of a spear, but here I am dying in my bed as a camel dies so may the eyes of cowards never sleep.â€™
War and death
Thus, we can see that the place or the land wherein man is to face death is unrelated to worldly scenes. Neither the battlefield is necessarily the place where man dies, nor the safe home necessarily ensures the survival of man. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œWheresoever you may be, death will overtake you even if you are in fortresses built up strong and high!â€ (An-NisÃ¢â€™, 4: 78)
We thus learn that in no place man is safe from death. Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, says (what means):
â€œSay (to them): â€˜Verily, the death from which you flee will surely meet you.â€™â€ (Al-Jumuâ€˜ah, 62: 8)
Faced by that truth, we must remind that on the day man is born the death arrow is shot along with that of life and the Angel of Death keeps pursuing man but does not find him save at the hour Allah has decreed for man to die, and they finally meet.
The noble Qurâ€™anic verse that says (what means), â€˜And no soul knows in what land it will die,â€™ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34) is indisputable and none can ever claim that it has been unveiled. Till now it is impossible for science to determine the moment at which death will take place, and as Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has concealed the time of death He has also concealed its place.
Each day in life we are confronted with the meaning given in the noble Qurâ€™anic verse saying (what means), â€˜And no soul knows in what land it will die.â€™ (LuqmÃ¢n, 31: 34)
A tourist may travel to a far country and then the hotel in which he has stayed catches fire and he dies. He left his country and came to that place to die, whereby he sought his own death. Another tries to shelter himself in some refuge that becomes the place of his death.
We have even seen some of our acquaintances heartily seeking to go to the land wherein they are destined to die; therefore, we believe that this noble Qurâ€™anic verse needs no further explanation.
If we have discussed the absolute and relative Unseen and wherefore Allah, all praise and glory be to Him, has kept the Unseen concealed from us and how the Noble Qurâ€™an has drawn all the veils shading the Unseen, we have to interpret the noble Qurâ€™anic verse saying (what means):
â€œAll-Knower of the unseen and seen.â€ (At-TaghÃ¢bun, 64: 18)
As well as the meaning of the noble Qurâ€™anic verse in which Allah, Blessed and Exalted be He, says (what means):
â€œAnd with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He.â€ (Al-An'Ã¢m, 6: 59)
To realize the profound meaning of these two noble Qurâ€™anic verses and to have it drawn near our minds how The All-Knower of the Unseen and Seen knows everything in the entire universe.