121516: Ruling on using tables based on the Chinese calendar to determine the sex of the foetus


What is the ruling on using tables based on the Chinese calendar to determine the sex of the foetus?.

Praise be to Allaah.

These so-called “tables based on the Chinese calendar” are a kind of soothsaying and charlatanry. They claim that it is possible to determine the sex of the child by finding out the mother’s age and the date the pregnancy began. By finding out the mother’s age – although the mother has to add a year to her real age because this is her age according to the Chinese calendar! – she can try to choose the month to get pregnant when the foetus will be either male or female. So there are two reservations concerning this: 

(i)                Their claim that the woman whose age is such and such and gets pregnant in a particular month, will have a boy or a girl, according to the tables.

(ii)              It can be used for one who is already pregnant to find out the sex of her baby. 

The mother’s age and the date of conception have nothing to do with determining the baby’s sex in the world of medicine. It seems that these tables have some connection to the Buddhist religion and astrology and horoscopes. Finding out the sex of the foetus before conception is a matter of the absolute unseen which no one knows except Allaah.  

These tables have been proven false on many occasions. If anyone has been deceived by them turning out to be correct in a particular case, this is only because it happened to coincide with the decree of Allaah, and there can only be two possibilities.  Hence the likelihood of them being correct is high. Whether the baby is male or female is knowledge of the unseen, and anyone who claims to have knowledge of that is an evil liar, because the angel who is commanded to breath the soul into it does not know what gender it is until he receives the command from his Lord, so how can these people know its gender before it has taken shape? 

The Chinese are in the greatest need of these tables in order to determine the sex of their children, because their government has forbidden them to produce more than one child, and most of them want males. Abortion of females has become widespread among them, because they do not want a pregnancy to continue unless it is the gender they want. 

Our Lord has told us that He alone, and no one else, is the One who gives what He wills of males and females. He is the Sovereign of heaven and earth; He alone is the Creator, with no partner or associate. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):

“To Allaah belongs the kingdom of the heavens and the earth. He creates what He wills. He bestows female (offspring) upon whom He wills, and bestows male (offspring) upon whom He wills.

50. Or He bestows both males and females, and He renders barren whom He wills. Verily, He is the All‑Knower and is Able to do all things”

[al-Shoora 42:49, 50] 

Undoubtedly the inventor of these tables does not believe or think that Allaah is the One Who creates whatever He wants and that He gives whatever He wills of males or females; rather the one who invented them based them on his own mythical beliefs. 

There are several other things wrong with these tables: 

(a)

They stipulate the ages of mothers as being between 18 and 45 only! What about those who bear children before or after those ages? 

(b)

What about the thousands of women who get pregnant with twins or more? Oftentimes a mother gives birth to twins, one boy and one girl. What do these tables have to say about that?! It does not mention twins at all. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee have issued a fatwa warning against being deceived by these tables, and forbidding spreading them among people. 

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked: A piece of paper is being spread among some women, on which there is what is called “the Chinese tables” (or tables based on the Chinese calendar), which specifies the gender of the baby, male or female, by finding out the mother’s age and the Gregorian month in which the pregnancy began, according to the attached pictures. 

Can the doctors determine this? And what is the shar’i ruling in your opinion on these tables and others like them? 

They replied: 

Knowledge of whether the foetus is male or female before it has takeb shape is something that no one knows except Allaah. After it has taken shape, it may be found out by means of ultrasound, which Allaah has enabled His creation to do. 

As for determining the gender by means of the tables referred to here, this is a lie, because it is claiming to have knowledge of the unseen which no one knows except Allaah. These tables should be destroyed and not circulated among people. End quote. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez Aal al-Shaykh, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan 

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, vol. 2 (2/17). 

And Allaah knows best.

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