Explanation of Luqman [31: 34]
Fatwa No: 84428

  • Fatwa Date:6-7-2002 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 26, 1423
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Could you please explain me the last verse of Surah Luqman. Does Allah give any of this knowledge of unseen to his prophets?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the World; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.

Your question is about the last verse of Surah Luqman. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): in this verse: {Verily Allah, 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, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things).} [31: 34].
This verse states and identifies the five things of the unseen that are peculiar to Allah only and nobody else can know them. These things are:
First, the knowledge of the Hour of the Last Day, i.e. knowledge of when it will come. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {They ask you about the Hour (Day of Resurrection): "When will be its appointed time?" Say: "The knowledge thereof is with my Lord (Alone). None can reveal its time but He. …} [7: 187].
Second, sending down the rain, i.e. Allah is the Only One who can send down rain and who knows when it will be sent. It should be mentioned here the weather reporters might forecast when the rain is going to fall. But their forecast is founded on probabilities not on certainty.
Third, Allah is the One Who "Knows that which is in the wombs!" He Knows the gender of fetus (male or female). He Knows whether this fetus will be a good person or a bad one, whether he will live happily or otherwise. The fact that doctors can now know the sex of the fetus while in the womb is not in contradiction with the verse: {"And (He) Knows that which in the wombs"} : The Knowledge of Allah regarding this fetus is anterior to the fetus' formation in its mother's womb. In fact, doctors can define the sex of the fetus only in the build up stage but not in the emanation one. The semen goes through two stages. Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {Allâh knows what every female bears, and by how much the wombs fall short (of their time or number) or exceed. …} [13: 8].
So, Allah kept the knowledge of the semen emanation stage as part of the unseen. The evidence for this is the Hadith reported by al-Bukhari from Abdullah Ibn Umar that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: Allah's Apostle said, "The keys of unseen are five which none knows but Allah: None knows what will happen tomorrow but Allah; none knows what is in the wombs (a male child or a female) but Allah; none knows when it will rain but Allah; none knows at what place one will die; none knows when the Hour will be established but Allah" .
So, what Allah kept in the unseen as far as the semen is concerned is the stage when the womb falls short of its time or number not the build up stage. This is what Ibn Katheer mentioned before modern medicine.
Fourth, Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {… No person knows what he will earn tomorrow, and no person knows in what land he will die. …} [31: 34].
That means no soul can determine what it will get tomorrow from this world.
Fifth, {… and no person knows in what land he will die …} [31: 34].
No soul knows where Allah will cause its death.
As for whether Allah Gives any of the knowledge of the unseen to His Prophets, the answer is given in the following verse: {"(He Alone) the All-Knower of the Ghâ'ib (unseen), and He reveals to none His Ghâ'ib (unseen)." Except to a Messenger (from mankind) whom He has chosen (He informs him of unseen as much as He likes), …} [72: 26-27].
al-Shawkani (a great scholar of Tafseer) says that 'what is meant in this verse is that Allah does not disclose any of the unseen He Keeps for Himself to anybody except to a Messenger whom He has chosen. This disclosure helps the Messenger prove his Prophethood'.
al-Qurtubi (another great scholar of Tafseer) says: 'when Allah The Almighty chose to take exclusive possession of the unseen this means that the unseen is concealed from everybody except the chosen Messengers. Allah made as an exception. In fact, He (Allah) let, these Messengers know some of the unseen through revelation and made that a miracle for them that proves undoubtedly that they are Messengers from Allah'.
Allah knows best.

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