Praise be to Allah
Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance. Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth, nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height”
Al-Qurtubi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height” i.e., you can never match the mountains in your height or in your arrogance. End quote.
Tafseer al-Qurtubi (10/261).
Ash-Shawkaani (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
That is, the power you have will never enable you to equal the mountains in height, to the extent that you will have a huge body that would make you arrogant and conceited. And you have no power to penetrate the earth when walking upon it, and your body is not so huge that it could reach the height of the mountains. So what is prompting you to behave as you do? End quote.
Fath al-Qadeer (3/271)
Ash-Shinqeeti (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
That is, you, O arrogant and conceited one, are weak and insignificant, helpless, confined between two inanimate objects. You are incapable of having any impact on either of them, for you cannot have any impact on the earth beneath your feet, so that you could penetrate it by the impact of your stepping on it, and you cannot match in height the mountains that tower above you. So appreciate your status and do not be arrogant, and do not walk on the earth with conceit. End quote.
Adwa’ al-Bayaan (3/156)
What is meant by the words “nor can you attain a stature like the mountains in height” is: you, O arrogant one, in your arrogance, conceit and pride, can never match the mountains in height and grandeur. If Allah so willed, He would cause the earth to swallow you up, and you would be swallowed by it, so how can you be so arrogant?
It does not mean: you can never scale the heights of the mountains or ascend them. People have been reaching the summits of mountains for a very long time, and there is nothing strange about that, for it is not beyond them. The meaning of the verse has nothing to do with that, either explicitly or implicitly.
Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allah! 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, Allah is All-Knower, All-Aware (of things)”
The words “and knows that which is in the wombs” refer to perfect knowledge of the foetus before it is created: how long he will remain in the mother’s womb, his life, his deeds, his provision, whether he will be blessed or doomed, whether he will be male or female, and so on.
However, after it is created, knowledge of whether it is male or female is no longer knowledge of the absolute unseen (that is known only to Allah), because once it has been shaped and created, that comes under the heading of knowledge of what is seen, except that it remains hidden beneath the three layers of darkness which, if they are penetrated, it becomes known. Hence it is possible to find out the gender of the foetus by means of ultrasound, which penetrates these layers of darkness.
Knowing the gender of the foetus after it has been created in its mother’s womb does not come under the heading of knowledge of the unseen that is only for Allah.
Modern science that is able to find out the gender of the foetus after it has been created in its mother’s womb is not able to find out anything else about it, such as its life, its death, its deeds, its provision and whether it is doomed or blessed.
With regard to the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Is not He (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water)”
we have discussed the meaning of these words in fatwa no. 223643.
And Allah knows best.