Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen was asked:
What is the ruling on working on the computer, in that it [is capable of] judging what is in the womb of the mothers in terms of a child being a male or female? It can also report [the timings] for the rise and setting of the sun a month before [of its occurrence], and also about the clouds and the rain!
“There is no harm in busying with this [computer] if this does not busy from what is more important than it. This is because this enters into the generality of His statement, the Exalted:
And Allah teaches you
And the statement of the Exalted:
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مِّنْهُ
And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth
And in the statement of the Exalted:
هُوَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ لَكُم مَّا فِي الأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا
He it is Who created for you all that is on earth
There is no harm in learning these things except if they busy from what is obligatory and more important. This is something else. However, if it does not busy [from what is obligatory], then it is very beneficial. It also has benefit even for the Muslims in general, so that the Muslim people do not remain feeble minded. People have progressed to such great manufacturing which serves them with a service that the intellect cannot imagine.
A paper was [once] given to me from a woman who said to me: “Why do you say computer? Computer is [a word] in English. Rather say: (العادّ) or (الحاسوب) or what resembles that”. A person is thanked for providing criticism in its proper place. [However], is it possible that we change this word?
I say: if we change it, then that is better. If we do not change it, then there is no harm because the pure Arabic language has some translated words which were taken from other languages. Even in the Noble Quran, there are words whose origin is other than Arabic. However, they were used by the Arabs and it became their language. These words are called (مُعَرِّبة) words. So there is no blame that we use these names [for things] which their companions named them with. There is no harm in this.
I say: there is no harm in being preoccupied with a computer as long as it does not busy from an obligation or what is more important.
As for knowledge about what is in the womb of the woman after it was created, then this is an affair which occurs nowadays and is known. It does not contradict the statement of Allah:
وَيَعْلَمُ مَا فِي الأَرْحَامِ
And knows that which is in the wombs
This is because this knowledge is only after existence and the knowledge of Allah, the Exalted is regarding what is in the womb before it was created. He knows what will be in this womb even if she is not pregnant. He also knows what is in the womb before it is created. He knows the end result of this pregnancy, He knows its life, its action, and all of its situation. They (the people) do not reach except the knowledge about something tangible after its existence and it is: knowing the male and female [gender of a child].
Like that also, their knowledge of what will come of rain is knowledge that is gained; however, through strong tangible tools. Allah, the Exalted has made for everything a means. So the rain has means, and the clouds have means; everything in this atmosphere. There are very, very detailed tools which clarify, after studying them and conducting tests on them, that the weather is adaptive. This is because the rain is either near or far.
The questioner says: “until a month”. This is a new knowledge because that which I know is that they (the specialists) know [about the possibility of rain] for until twenty-four hours. They have reached nowadays [to the level] until [they are being able to forecast] three days [ahead]. I do not know if they increased in that or not. So this is also knowledge that is comprehended through the senses and is not from the unseen knowledge. There is no harm in a person believing it.
However, if a person said: “such and such will be for you” and “such and such will be for you”, then this is knowledge of the unseen. It is not allowed for anyone to believe him. So like this, I warn you from reading some magazines which are imported to the Kingdom which have horoscopes in them and what resembles that. They mention the horoscope of a person [saying], “Which star were you born in? If you were born in such and such [time], then such and such will occur”. This is haram and not allowed for us to believe in. Believing in it is from disbelief”.
[al-Liqa-aat ar-Ramadaaniyyah (pg. 145-147)]
Faisal bin Abdul Qaadir bin Hassan