Knowing what is in the womb

Reference: Fataawa Islaamiyyah – Volume 1, Page 40

Question: In the December 1975 edition of “al-‘Arabee” number 205, page 15, it is alleged under the question and answer column that it is man who decides the gender of the fetus. Is there anyone other than Allaah who knows the unseen?

What is the Islaamic ruling on this issue?

Response: First of all, it is Allaah alone Who fashions the fetus in the womb the way He wishes. He either makes it female or male, perfect or deformed, and so on. No one else other than Allaah can do that. He says:

{It is He Who fashions you in the wombs as He wills. There is no true God except He, the Almighty, the All-Wise}, [Soorah Aal-‘Imraan, Aayah 6]

And He says:

{To Allaah belongs dominion of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He gives females to whoever He wills and males to whoever He wills. Or He gives them twins of males and females, and makes whoever He wills barren. He is the All-Knower, All-Powerful}, [Soorah ash-Shooraa, Aayaat 49-50]

Allaah the Exalted, is the only Proprietor of the heaven and the earth. It is up to Him to create whatever He wills, and fashions the fetus in the womb as he likes, be it male or female, perfect or deformed, beautiful or ugly, or any other fetal conditions. He is alone, not a partner nor anyone else, Who does so.

A claim that a husband, a doctor, or a philosopher can decide the sex of the fetus is groundless. All the husband can do is to wait for his wife’s fertility period to have intercourse with her, for the hope of pregnancy. He may have what he wants fulfilled by the Decree of Allaah. Pregnancy may not take place for one reason or another, or due to a blockage in the fallopian tubes or infertility. Or it may be that Allaah wants to test the endurance of his servants.

This means that material means themselves have no effect on the case; rather, they work by the Will of Allaah.

Fertilisation is a thing belonging to the universal Will of Allaah, and the human can only do the action with the Will of Allaah.

As for the disposal of the affairs, the formation, and the arranging of the causes, all are restricted to Allaah alone. He who contemplates the conditions of people, their claims and lies out of ignorance and excessive estimation of modern sciences, surely exceeds the limits of trusting the material means. He who evaluates the matters properly will be able to distinguish between what is restricted to Allaah alone, and those which Allaah allowed the servant to do through His Decree.

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhi wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.