Today We Know What Is in the Wombs: A Scientific Error in the Qur'an?


Bassam Zawadi


The Qur'an says in Surah 31:34 that only Allah knows what is in the wombs:

Surah 31:34

Lo! Allah! With Him is knowledge of the Hour. He sendeth down the rain, and knoweth that which is in the wombs. No soul knoweth what it will earn to- morrow, and no soul knoweth in what land it will die. Lo! Allah is Knower, Aware.

However, science has advanced and we are now able to know the sex of the child before it is born. This means that Surah 31:34 is scientifically incorrect.


First of all, how does the reader know from what perspective in time Allah is saying, "You don't know that which is in the wombs"?

For example, the same verse says that no soul will know in what land it will die. Now, let's say that I am on my deathbed, and I know for sure that I am not going to move anywhere until I die. Does that mean that I have disproved the verse?

Of course not. God is clearly speaking about it from a time frame before such circumstances might arise. Similarly, people in the grave would know whether they are going to hell or heaven before they actually do. Does that mean we have disproved that we don't know our eternal fate? Of course not. You must look at it appropriately when God talks about it.

Today, we know that you can only know the sex of the child during the later stages of pregnancy, not right away after intercourse. Thus, how can we confidently say that we know from which time frame God speaks about in the verse? Isn't it possible that God is telling us that we can't know immediately right after having sexual intercourse?

Secondly, the ones who are posing this argument erroneously assume that "know what is in the wombs" only refers to gender. Rather, it relates to other aspects besides gender.

Saheeh Bukhari

Volume 8, Book 77, Number 594:

Narrated Anas bin Malik:

The Prophet said, "Allah puts an angel in charge of the uterus and the angel says, 'O Lord, (it is) semen! O Lord, (it is now ) a clot! O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.' And then, if Allah wishes to complete its creation, the angel asks, 'O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female? A wretched (an evil doer) or a blessed (doer of good)? How much will his provisions be? What will his age be?' So all that is written while the creature is still in the mother's womb."

So, as we can see, not "knowing what is in the womb" entails not knowing the gender, age of death, and provisions of the child and whether the child will be a corrupt or righteous person.

Obviously, no doctor can know all of these in advance.

So even if science advances to the extent that we can choose the gender of our child in the future, this still won't disprove the Quran. If one does not know about all of the things that I have previously mentioned, then it does not qualify that the person "knows what is in the womb," for these are the matters of the unseen that the verse alludes to.

In conclusion, there is no scientific error in the Qur'an.

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