Shaykh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albani was asked:
“The Keys of the unseen knowledge are five which nobody knows but Allah. From them…and nobody knows when it will rain” [Hadith no. 1039] . If a person hears a weather forecast, of course based on their [the meteorologists] scientific measurement, and is convinced that it will rain tomorrow, does this affect his Aqeedah? This is based on my understanding of this Hadith?
No, no it does not affect the Aqeedah
It does not affect his Aqeedah?
Jazakallahu Khairan. Assalamu Alayka”
[Silsilatul-Huda wan-Nur no. 205]
The Permanent Committee also spoke about how meteorology is not from the unseen knowledge.
Q 26: Allah (Exalted be He) says, Say: “None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (Unseen) except Allâh” We are certain that none but Allah knows the Ghayb and this is a main pillar in a believer’s creed. However, we live in a time of confusion and doubt. A person may say that nowadays, meteorology predicts when it will rain. Artificial rain can be produced by applying modern technologies. Moreover, it is very easy now for obstetricians to know the gender of the fetus by using ultrasound waves. The gender of the fetus can be requested by parents during in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some people say that all this does not contradict the Ayah (Qur’anic verse) or the Hadith (and that the problem lies in our understanding). I hope to receive an explanation from you that removes any confusion or ambiguity. I mean Surah Luqman, Ayah no. 34 and the Hadith where the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, Keys of the Unseen knowledge are five which no one knows but Allah; (i) no one knows what will happen tomorrow; (ii) no one knows what is in the wombs; (iii) no one knows what they will earn tomorrow; (iv) no one knows in what land they will die; and (v) no one knows when it will rain. (Related in “Jawahir” by Al-Bukhari)
A: Firstly: Meteorologists’ weather predication is nothing more than intuitive expectations and everybody knows that many of their anticipations are incorrect. Meteorologists observe what is taking place in the atmosphere and on earth to make their predictions, which may or may not happen. These predictions are not among the Ghayb known only by Allah. Thus, when someone sees a sign in the sky and anticipates the blowing of wind or anything else, this is not among the Ghayb, for they have depended on signs provided by Allah for people to use. An example is the signs denoting whether the harvest will be good or bad. In the same way, meteorologists observe and predict. If what they have predicted happens, it will be based on the signs Allah makes available for them, but if it does not happen, this must be due to their mistake in analyzing the signs.
Secondly: It has not been proven that artificial rain does what is mentioned. It is an exaggeration and there is no confusion in this regard. Allah taught scientists that rain is the result of certain reactions, so they make these reactions and rain may or may not fall. If it falls, it will fall in a limited area and will not be like natural rain falling from clouds. Based on that, we all know that the countries that try to produce artificial rain do not benefit from it and if Allah does not make rain fall from the sky in these countries, they will live in drought.
Based on the previous discussion, it is clear that all that you have mentioned does not conflict with Allah’s sole Knowledge of Ghayb
Thirdly: We have already received a question about knowing the gender of the fetus with the use of ultrasound and the Permanent Committee gave the following answer:
“All praise be to Allah Alone, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions. It is confirmed in a Hadith Sahih (authentic Hadith) that the keys to the Ghayb are five and they are only known to Allah. They are mentioned in the Ayah stated in the question. Among these Hadiths is what is related by Al-Bukhari on the authority of `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased by them both) who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, Keys of the Unseen knowledge are five which no one knows but Allah… Verily Allâh, 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, Allâh is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things). In another narration on the authority of Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, Keys of the Unseen knowledge are five which no one knows but Allah. Then he recited: Verily Allâh, with Him (Alone) is the knowledge of the Hour, He sends down the rain, and knows that which is in the wombs. (Related by Imam Ahmad on the authority of Ibn `Umar and Ibn Mas`ud with the same meaning) The same Hadith was reported from different narrators supporting what is mentioned in the Ayah. It states that Allah Alone possesses the knowledge of the Hour, so no one is able to disclose its time but Him. Neither a close angel nor a prophet knows its time, but Allah has given them knowledge of its signs. None other than Allah knows when and where rain will fall. Experts may know roughly when and where it will fall when the signs are present and the causes are known, but their knowledge is mixed with some conjecture, and at other times, they may be mistaken. Allah (Glorified be He) Alone knows what is in the wombs, regarding fetus’s creation, its growth, the period it remains in the womb, its survival or death, and its soundness or whether an illness affects it unexpectedly. Allah knows all this without acquiring His knowledge from another and without depending on signs. He is Allah Who creates the signs and Whose Knowledge is never wrong and events always take place in reality. He is Allah (Glorified be He). Human beings may have some knowledge of whether it will be a boy or a girl, whether it will be safe or afflicted with a disease, and whether it will remain in the womb until its delivery date or not. Yet Allah guides humans to know these things through different means such as using ultrasound and they do not know it by themselves or without any help. Humans see all these signs after Allah has commanded an angel to fashion the fetus. However, they do not have comprehensive knowledge of what is happening in the womb; they only have general knowledge with a probability of error. Moreover, no one knows what they will gain the next day in relation to their religion or worldly matters. This again is the exclusive knowledge of Allah. People may generally anticipate a gain or loss, which gives them hope and urges them to exert their efforts, or makes them fearful based on the signs and circumstances. Anyway, all of that is not sure knowledge. Finally, no one knows where they will die; whether on land or in the sea, and in which country. Only Allah has this Knowledge, as He (Glorified be He) has full knowledge that encompasses all matters, the public as well as Ghayb; apparent and hidden. In short, the Knowledge of Allah is not acquired from anyone else and does not depend on reasons, signs or experiments. Allah knows what has been and what will be. His Knowledge is never vague or late and it encompasses all creatures in detail, unlike anyone else. It is Allah Alone Whose help can be sought.
Q 2: What is the ruling on believing the weather forecasts for the coming days, issued by the National Weather Service? Moreover, doctors say that people suffering from heart diseases, arteriosclerosis and brain diseases are prone to have shorter life spans and are more liable to an early death. Should we believe in what they say? Does this fall under the knowledge of Ghayb (the Unseen), while Allah Alone is the One Who gives life and takes it?
A: Weather forecasts are based on meteorological signs and previous experiences and they are not decisive. So they should not be absolutely believed or belied. The same applies to the opinions of doctors when they talk about patients suffering from heart diseases. These opinions are based on previous experiments and do not fall under the prohibited foretelling of the Ghayb. Life and death are in the Hands of Allah Alone.
May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.
Faisal Ibn Abdul Qaadir Ibn Hassan