“and [He] knows that which is in the wombs” [Luqmaan 31:24]
Based on this aayah a doubt may arise on the issue of sex determination of the unborn child, is this aayah contradictory to what has been mentioned?
We live in the 21st century and the medical science has advanced so much that it is possible to know the sex of the foetus. There is no point in discussing it. However, we must know that when we speak of this aayah, Allah is referring to these 5 matters of unseen as far as the foetus os concerned:
1. How long he will remain in his mother’s womb,
2. His life,
3. His deeds, his provision,
4. Whether he is doomed (destined for Hell) or blessed (destined for Paradise),
5. Before it is fully formed – whether it will be male or female.
When the foetus is fully formed, it ceases to remain the matter of unseen as the sex of the child is already determined and is a matter of the visible world. It does remain under the three layers of darkness and if they are to be removed it would be known to the world.
It is not far-fetched to think that among the things that Allaah has created are powerful rays which can penetrate these layers of darkness so that it may become clear whether the foetus is male or female.
The aayah does not clearly refer to the knowledge of whether the unborn child is male or female, nor does the Sunnah or any hadith refer to that.
Katheer (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his tafseer of the aayah from Soorat Luqmaan: “No one knows what Allaah wants to create in the wombs apart from Him, but once He decrees that it should be male or female, doomed or blessed, the angels who are appointed in charge of it know that, and whoever else He wills among His creation.”
But since the aayah does not refer to after the foetus is fully formed, but rather it refers to before that time, there is nothing in it that would contradict the idea of knowing whether the foetus is male or female.
Knowing the sex of the baby is not contradictory to Islam or Quran. Allah has decreed that and there is no way a person can anything to contradict it. This aayah has a broader meaning and deals with many other aspects of the unborn child’s life. It is not a sin, but how you react to the result will determine if that is sin or not.
May Allah guide our brothers and sisters in Islam towards what is good and protect them from doubting anything that Allah has revealed.