Five keys to the Ghayb only known to Allah

Q 5: Allah (Exalted be He) says in His Book: Verily Allâh, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allâh is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things). This Ayah (Qur'anic verse) contains these Words of Allah's: ...and knows that which is in the wombs. My friend and I had a long discussion about this Ayah. He told me that modern science and the doctors can now know what is inside women's wombs; whether they are carrying a boy or a girl, through ultrasound. I told him that Allah (Glorified be He) says: ...and knows that which is in the wombs. Does the Ayah mean that science has not discovered what is inside the wombs or there is another Tafsir (explanation/exegesis of the meanings of the Qur'an) for the Ayah?


(Part No. 2; Page No. 174)  A: It is authentically reported in the Sahih (authentic) Hadith that the five keys to the Ghayb (Unseen) are only known to Allah, and they are mentioned in this Ayah, which is the subject of this question. It is related by Al-Bukhari on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased by them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, There are five keys to the Ghayb and they are known only to Allah: Verily Allâh, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. Verily, Allâh is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things). In another narration on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) who said that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, There are five keys to the Ghayb and then recited: Verily Allâh, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. (Related by Imam Ahmad on the authority of Ibn `Umar and Ibn Mas`ud with the same meaning). This Hadith was also related with another chain of narration that supports the meaning of the Ayah. The meaning of the Ayah is that Allah (Exalted be He) Alone possesses the knowledge of the Hour, so no one is able to disclose its time but Him. Neither a close Angel nor a sent prophet knows its time, although Allah has given them knowledge of its signs, and none other than Allah knows when and where the rain will fall. The experts may know roughly when and where it will come when the signs exist and the causes are known, mixed with a bit of conjecture, and sometimes they are wrong. Allah (Glorified be He) has distinguished Himself with the knowledge of what is in the wombs, regarding the genesis of the fetus or lack of it, its growth, the length of time it takes to reach term or miscarriage, its survival or death, its soundness or whether an illness will affect it unexpectedly. (Part No. 2; Page No. 175) All this He knows without acquiring knowledge from any other source or depending upon symptoms or tests. He knows what it will be before it is born and before the presence of the causal factors. The One who created the causal factors has knowledge that is never wrong and it is always of what actually happens in reality. He is Allah (Glorified be He). Human beings may know some of the condition of what is in the wombs, e.g. Whether it will be a boy or a girl, its health and sickness, the nearness of the delivery time or potential for miscarriage before term, but these things are known through having Allah's Help to discover the reasons for them. They can only discover them through means such as ultrasound, not by their own knowledge nor without the presence of the causal factors after Allah has commanded the Angel to fashion the fetus. However, they do not have a comprehensive picture of everything that is happening in a womb; they only know the general conditions and with a probability of error. No one knows what they will acquire tomorrow in relation to matters relating to the Din (religion) or worldly affairs; this again is knowledge that is exclusive to Allah. People may anticipate their acquisitions or losses in general terms. This gives them hope and courage to continue, or makes them fearful to continue depending upon the signs and surrounding circumstances, but all of this is not sure knowledge. Also, no one knows where they will die; on land or sea, in their own country or elsewhere. The knowledge of that is owned by Allah Alone, because He (Glorified be He) has full knowledge that encompasses all matters, whether they are public, unseen, apparent or hidden. To sum up, Allah's Knowledge comes from Himself and is not obtained from others. It does not depend on causal factors or tests; He knows what is and what will be. His Knowledge is not contaminated with ambiguity. It does not make errors and it encompasses all (Part No. 2; Page No. 176) creatures in detail, great and small, unlike that of others. May Allah help us all!May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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