Islamic Voice
Rabi-ul-Awwal 1422H
June 2001
Volume 15-06 No:174

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RELIGION

By Dr. Zakir Naik

Knowledge of Womb: No Reference to Sex of the Foetus
Advance Knowledge
Use of Plural for God: Does It Mean More Gods than One

Knowledge of Womb

No Reference to Sex of the Foetus

Question: The Qur'an says that only Allah knows the sex of the child in the womb of the mother but now science has advanced and we can easily determine the sex of the child in the womb by Ultra sonography. Isn't this verse of the Qur'an conflicting with Science?

Answer: Allah is Omnipotent and Omniscient. Allah has granted knowledge of certain things to humankind. But Allah has knowledge of the seen as well as the unseen.

1. Allah has knowledge of all things

Many people believe that the Qur’an claims that Allah alone knows the sex of the child in the mother’s womb. The Glorious Qur’an says: “Verily the knowledge of the Hour is with Allah (alone). It is He who sends down Rain, and He who knows what is in the wombs….” [Al-Qur’an 31:34]

A similar message is given in the following verse: “Allah doth know what every female (womb) doth bear, By how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or do exceed. Every single thing is before His sight, in (due) proportion.” [Al-Qur’an 13:8]

2. Sex can be determined by Ultra sonography

Today science is advanced and we can easily determine the sex of the child in the womb of a pregnant mother, using ultrasonography.

3. The word ‘sex’ is not mentioned in the verse of Qur’an

It is true that many translations and commentaries of this verse of the Glorious Qur’an say that only Allah knows the sex of the child in the mother’s womb. If you read the Arabic text of this verse, there is no Arabic word corresponding to the English word ‘sex’. In fact the Qur’an says the knowledge of what is in the womb is with Allah alone. Many commentators have misunderstood it to mean only Allah knows the sex of the child in the womb which is a mistake.

4. No one besides Allah can determine the nature

This verse does not refer to the sex of the child in the womb but it refers to how the child in the mother’s womb will be. How will his nature be? Will he be a blessing or a curse to his parents? Will he be a boon or a bane to the society? Will he be good or evil? Will he go to heaven or hell? The complete knowledge of all things is with Allah alone. No scientist in the world, no matter how advanced his equipment, will ever be able to accurately determine the knowledge of these things about the child in the mother’s womb.

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Advance Knowledge

Question: If Allah has sealed the hearts of the kafirs i.e. non-Muslims, then why are they to be blamed for not accepting Islam?

Answer: 1. Allah has sealed the hearts of those who are continuously bent on rejecting the truth. Allah (SWT) mentions in Surah Al-Baqarah chapter 2 verses 6-7

‘As to those who reject Faith, It is the same to them Whether thou warn them Or do not warn them; They will not believe.

Allah hath set a seal On their hearts and on their hearing, And on their eyes is a veil; Great is the penalty they (incur)’

These verses do not refer to common kafirs who reject faith. The Arabic words used are “Al-Lazina Kafaroo”, those who are bent on rejecting the truth. It will not make any difference to such people whether you warn them or not, they will not believe. Allah has set a seal on their hearts and on their hearing and on their eyes is a veil. It is not because Allah has set a seal on their hearts that these kafirs do not understand and believe, but it is the vice-versa. It is because these kafirs are bent on rejecting the truth and whether you warn them or not they will not believe, that Allah has set a seal on their hearts. Therefore Allah is not to blame, but these kafirs that are bent on rejecting the faith are responsible.

2. Example of teacher predicting a student will fail:

Suppose an experienced teacher, before the final examinations, predicts that a particular student will fail in the exams, since the student is very mischievous, not attentive in class, does not do his homework. The teacher therefore puts a fail mark in front of the student’s name. If after the student appears for the examination, he fails, who is to be blamed for the student failing: the teacher or the student? Just because the teacher predicted and put a fail mark in front of his name it does not mean that the teacher is to be blamed, but the student himself is responsible.

Similarly Allah (SWT) knows in advance that there are some people who are bent on rejecting the faith and Allah has put a seal on their hearts. Thus these non-Muslims themselves are responsible for rejecting the faith and not Allah (SWT).

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Use of Plural for God

Does It Mean More Gods than One

Question: Does Islam believe in several Gods because the Qur'an uses the word 'We' when God speaks in the Qur'an?

Answer: Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion. It believes in and adheres to uncompromising monotheism. It believes that God is one, and unique in His attributes. In the Qur’an, God often refers to Himself using the word ‘We’. But this does not mean that Islam believes in the existence of more than one God.

Two types of plural

In several languages, there are two types of plurals, one is a plural of numbers to refer to something that occurs in a quantity of more than one. The other plural is a plural of respect.
a. In the English language, the Queen of England refers to herself as ‘We’ instead of ‘I’. This is known as the ‘royal plural’.
b. Rajiv Gandhi, the ex-Prime Minister of India used to say in Hindi ‘Hum dekhna chahte hain’. ‘Hum’ means ‘We’ which is again a royal plural in Hindi.
c. Similarly in Arabic, when Allah refers to Himself in the Qur’an, often He uses ‘Nahnu’ meaning ‘We’. It does not indicate plural of number, but plural of respect.

‘Tawheed’ or monotheism is one of the pillars of Islam. The existence and uniqueness of one and only one God is mentioned several times in the Qur’an. For instance in Surah Ikhlas, it says: “Say He is Allah the one and only.” [Al-Qur’an 112: 1]

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