The Quran

Commentaries for 13.8

Ar Rad (The thunder) - الرعد

13.8 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Allah knoweth that which every female beareth) whether it is a male or a female (and that which the wombs absorb) and the female whose pregnancy is less than nine months (and that which they grow) and the female whose pregnancy is more than nine months. (And everything) the increase, decrease, the delivery of the child and its stay in its mother's womb (with Him is measured).
13.8 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
God knows what every female bears, of male or female, one or more, and otherwise, and what the wombs reduce, of the time of gestation, and what they increase, of it. And everything with Him is according to a [precise] measure, a [precise] amount and limit which it does not exceed;
13.8 Kashani - Kashani
Those are hidden mysteries known only to God, who, knows what every female bears, and thus He knows what the female of the soul bears in the way of the child of perfection, in other words, the potential of every preparedness, and [knows also] the increase in the wombs of preparedness as a result of self-cleansing, self-purification and the blessed company of perfections, and [He knows] the reduction [in these preparednesses] as a result of engrossment in passionate desires. And everything, in the way of perfections, with Him is according to a, designated, measure, in accordance with [a person's] receptivity. Or [it means]: and everything in the way of the potential for receptivity is with Him according to a measure [designated] in pre-eternity issuing from His holiest effusion, neither increasing or decreasing. Or: for every folk there is a guide, who is God, exalted be He, as He has said You [Muḥammad] cannot guide whom you like, but [it is] God [who] guides whomever He will [Q. 28:56], by virtue of the fact that He knows the potential for receptivity that is in [all] preparednesses, the [potential for] increase and decrease [in them] and so He determines on that basis their perfections.
13.8-9 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Allah is All-Knower of Al-Ghayb (Unseen)
Allah affirms His perfect knowledge, from which nothing is hidden, and that He has complete knowledge of whatever every female creature is carrying,
وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِى الاٌّرْحَامِ
(And He knows that which is in the wombs.)31:34, whether male or female, fair or ugly, miserable or happy, whether it will have a long or a short life. Allah said in other Ayat,
هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِكُمْ إِذْ أَنشَأَكُمْ مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ وَإِذْ أَنتُمْ أَجِنَّةٌ
(He knows you well when He created you from the earth, and when you were fetuses.)53:32, and,
يَخْلُقُكُمْ فِى بُطُونِ أُمَّهَـتِكُـمْ خَلْقاً مِّن بَعْدِ خَلْقٍ فِى ظُلُمَـتٍ ثَلَـثٍ
(He creates you in the wombs of your mother: creation after creation in three veils of darkness.)39:6 meaning stage after stage. Allah also said,
وَلَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الإِنْسَـنَ مِن سُلَـلَةٍ مِّن طِينٍ - ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَـهُ نُطْفَةً فِى قَرَارٍ مَّكِينٍ - ثُمَّ خَلَقْنَا النُّطْفَةَ عَلَقَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْعَلَقَةَ مُضْغَةً فَخَلَقْنَا الْمُضْغَةَ عِظَـماً فَكَسَوْنَا الْعِظَـمَ لَحْماً ثُمَّ أَنشَأْنَـهُ خَلْقاً ءَاخَرَ فَتَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ أَحْسَنُ الْخَـلِقِينَ
(And indeed We created man out of an extract of clay. Thereafter We made him as a Nutfah in a safe lodging. Then We made the Nutfah into a clot, then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So Blessed is Allah, the Best of creators.)23:12-14 In the two Sahihs it is recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«إِنَّ خَلْقَ أَحَدِكُمْ يُجْمَعُ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ عَلَقَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يَكُونُ مُضْغَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ، ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُ اللهُ إِلَيْهِ مَلَكًا فَيُؤْمَرُ بِأَرْبَعِ كَلِمَاتٍ، بِكَتْبِ رِزْقِهِ، وَعُمْرِهِ، وَعَمَلِهِ، وَشَقِيٌّ أَوْ سَعِيد»
(The matter of the creation of one of you is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his provisions, his life span, his deeds, and whether he will be blessed or wretched.'') In another Hadith, the Prophet said,
«فَيَقُولُ الْمَلَكُ: أَيْ رَبِّ أَذَكَرٌ أَمْ أُنْثَى؟ أَيْ رَبِّ أَشَقِيٌّ أَمْ سَعِيدٌ؟ فَمَا الرِّزْقٌ؟ فَمَا الْأَجَلُ؟ فَيَقُولُ اللهُ: وَيَكْتُبُ الْمَلَك»
(Then the angel asks, "O my Lord! Is it a male or a female, miserable or happy, what is its provisions and life span'' Allah then ordains and the angel records it.) Allah said next,
وَمَا تَغِيضُ الاٌّرْحَامُ وَمَا تَزْدَادُ
(and by how much the wombs fall short or exceed.) Al-Bukhari recorded that `Abdullah bin `Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,
«مَفَاتِيحُ الْغَيْبِ خَمْسٌ، لَا يَعْلَمُهُنَّ إِلَّا اللهُ: لَا يَعْلَمُ مَا فِي غَدٍ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَا تَغِيضُ الْأَرْحَامُ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَتَى يَأْتِي الْمَطَرُ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا اللهُ، وَلَا تَدْرِي نَفْسٌ بِأَيِّ أَرْضٍ تَمُوتُ، وَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَتَى تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ إِلَّا الله»
(The Keys of the Ghayb (unseen knowledge) are five, nobody knows them but Allah. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow except Allah; nobody knows what is in the womb except Allah; nobody knows when it will rain except Allah; no soul knows at what place he will die except Allah; and nobody knows when the (Final) Hour will begin except Allah.) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas that he said,
وَمَا تَغِيضُ الاٌّرْحَامُ
(and by how much the wombs fall short), this refers to miscarriages,
وَمَا تَزْدَادُ
(or exceed), this refers to carrying her fetus in her womb for the full term. Some women carry their fetus for ten months, while others for nine months. Some terms are longer or shorter than others. This is the falling short or exceeding that Allah the Exalted mentioned, and all this occurs by His knowledge.'' Qatadah commented on Allah's statement,
وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ عِندَهُ بِمِقْدَارٍ
(Everything with Him is in proportion.) "For a term appointed. Allah has the records of the provisions and terms of His creation and made an appointed term for everything.'' An authentic Hadith mentioned that one of the Prophet's daughters sent (a messenger) to him requesting him to come as her child was dying, but the Prophet returned the messenger and told him to say to her,
«إِنَّ للهِ مَا أَخَذَ، وَلَهُ مَا أَعْطَى، وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى، فَمُرُوهَا فَلْتَصْبِرْ وَلْتَحْتَسِب»
(Verily, whatever Allah takes is for Him and whatever He gives is for Him, and everything with Him has a limited fixed term (in this world), and so she should be patient and hope for Allah's reward.) Allah said next,
عَـلِمُ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَـدَةِ
(All-Knower of the Ghayb (the unseen) and the Shahadah (the witnessable),) Who knows everything that the servants see and all what they cannot see, and none of it ever escapes His knowledge,
(the Most Great), greater than everything,
(the Most High.) above everything,
قَدْ أَحَاطَ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ عِلْمَا
((Allah) surrounds all things in (His) knowledge.)65:12, and has full power over all things, the necks are under His control and the servants are subservient to Him, willingly or unwillingly.
13.8-11 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
When amplified the verse will mean : Allah remains fully aware of all the developments that take place in the child while in its mother's womb, and He watches over the decrease or increase in each of its limbs, and its potentialities, capabilities and powers.
That is, "Allah not only directly watches over whatever each person does, and is fully aware of everything he does, but He has also appointed such Guardians as accompany him everywhere and keep a full record of all his deeds." This has been stated here to warn those people who live their lives under the delusion that they have been left absolutely free to do whatever they like and shall not be required to render an account of what they did in this worldly life. The warning is that such people invite their own retribution.
This is to warn them further that they should not remain under any delusion that some holy person or saint or angel has the power to rescue them froth Divine Retribution, for there is none who could defend them against Allah, even though they might have been paying homages and making offerings to their so-called patrons and protectors in the hope that they would rescue them froth punishment from Allah on the Day of Judgment.