A lady sent a quote about the effects of a lunar eclipse on pregnant women from the commentary of Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra to Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa. She wrote, “Some people also say that during a lunar eclipse a pregnant woman should not sleep nor use a knife etc. What is the truth behind this?”
In a letter dated 10 March 2021, Huzooraa provided the following reply to this question:
“Allah the Exalted states in the Holy Quran that He has subjected the moon, the sun, and other stars and planets to humankind by His command. Hence, the rays and particles emanating from these celestial bodies affect the earth and the objects on the earth in many different ways. [For example,] looking at the sun under normal circumstances will not always have an immediate adverse effect on our eyesight, but looking directly at the sun in some cases such as during an eclipse can lead to a loss of vision.
“Similarly, we observe that sunlight is effective in treating a variety of earthly ailments and that it affects fruits, flowers, vegetables and crops in different ways. Likewise, moonlight also affects a variety of vegetables and fruits and the development of their sweetness.
“Although current scientific research denies that lunar eclipses affect women during pregnancy, scientists certainly do acknowledge that moonlight affects human sleep [for example] and also that trillions of a special kind of particles called neutrinos, emanating from the sun, enter the human body and that when [some of them] are absorbed by the atoms in the body, those atoms are transmuted into new forms but also that this transmutation has no adverse effect on the human body or the foetus in a pregnant woman. [“Eclipse Misconceptions” (NASA), accessed 25 April 2022, https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/eclipse-misconceptions]
“Human knowledge and scientific research are of very little significance when compared to the infinite knowledge of Allah the Exalted. We know that scientific [theories] have changed over time and they continue to do so.
“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra writes:
“‘Although day and night are expressions of celestial bodies, there are also other effects of the moon, the sun and other stars. They also have effects on the world such as electric and magnetic effects that manifest themselves on human beings by means other than [for example] rays that are visible to eyes. Moreover, there are many other effects that science is discovering on a daily basis and many that it may never discover at all.’ (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, p. 138)
“In his various writings, the Promised Messiahas has also covered in great detail the topic of the influence of the moon, the sun and other stars and planets on the earth and its inhabitants in the light of the teachings of the Holy Quran. In his book Tohfah-e-Golarwiyyah, Huzooras writes:
“‘These stars are not only for adornment as people generally assume, but they have certain effects as is evident from the word حِفۡظًا [hifzan] mentioned in the verse:
وَ زَيَّنَّا السَّمَآءَ الدُّنۡيَا بِمَصَابِيۡحَ وَ حِفۡظًا
“‘[“And We adorned the lowest heaven with lamps (for light) and for protection.” (Surah Ha Mim al-Sajdah, Ch.41: V.13)]. It means that these stars play a role in the protection and the preservation of the order of the universe, the same kind of role that medicine and food play in human health. [However, their role] has no share in the divine omnipotence; rather, all these things are as if dead before the Supreme Power of God. These things can do nothing except by the command of Allah. Their effects are in the Hands of God Almighty. Therefore, the actual truth is that stars have effects that manifest themselves on earth. Thus, no one in the world is more ignorant than someone who acknowledges the effects of violets and lilies and turbith and scammonies and
cassia fistula, but denies the effects of the stars which are the foremost place of the manifestation of the splendour and the wonders of the Hand of Nature and about which God Himself has used the word حِفۡظًا.
“‘These people who are totally immersed in ignorance consider this intellectual dispensation as shirk. They do not know that the Law of God Almighty in the world is that He did not create anything in vain, useless or ineffective. Since He has declared that everything has been created for mankind, please elaborate, what is the use for mankind of the lowest heaven being filled with millions of stars? Hence, God’s saying that all these things have been created for mankind, certainly draws our attention to the fact that these objects have particular effects that manifest themselves on human life and civilisation such as what the classical thinkers have written that the earth was very uneven in the beginning and God levelled it with the influence of the stars.’ (Tohfah-e-Golarviyyah, Ruhani Khazain Vol. 17, footnote, pp. 282-283)
“Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra, while explaining this issue, writes:
“‘It should be noted that scientific research has so far discovered through the [spectroscope], a device which is used to separate the rays of light [into a spectrum], that there are certain types of elements on certain stars and certain other types exist on others. This shows that not only light but also the effects of various elements continue to descend on the world along with light and they continue to have different effects on the minds and faculties of earth’s inhabitants. The effects of the moon’s rays continue to manifest themselves on the earth in different ways. There is a widespread belief in our country that a total lunar eclipse affects pregnant women. Therefore, pregnant women do not go out of the room at such times. Although it is generally considered a superstition, I have given special consideration to this issue and I have discovered that after a total lunar eclipse, the labour of many women is very painful and many deaths occur among them after it. I cannot say that women who suffer are the ones who see the moon at the time [of the eclipse] or whether it affects them even without seeing it. I have, nonetheless, observed this many times and have told it to others who have corroborated it with what they have experienced.’ (Tafsir-e-Kabir, Vol. 4, pp. 138-139).
“Thus, the effects of the moon, the sun and other stars and planets on the earth and its inhabitants are well-established, but they have nothing to do with the use of a pregnant woman’s knife etc. during an eclipse or whether she sleeps at that time or not. These are mere superstitions.”