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Belief in Al-Qadha’ Wal-Qadr (The Divine Decree and The Predestination) is one of the pillars of faith in Islam. None of the Muslim’s faith will complete unless he believes that whatever befalls him could not have missed him, and whatever misses him could not have befallen him. Everything is subject to the Will and Decree of Allah, as Allah Says in the Quran (what means): “Indeed, all things We created with predestination”. [Quran 54:49]





All the disasters and tribulations that happen on earth, or happen to the individual, or to his wealth or family, etc., were known to Allah before they happened, He has written them in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth (the Preserved Tablet) as He Says (what means): “No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being — indeed that, for Allah, is easy.” [Quran 57:22]





No matter what disasters befall a person, it is good for him, whether he realizes that or not, because Allah does not decree anything but it is good, as He Says (what means): “Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allah has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allah let the believers rely.” [Quran 9:51]





Every disaster happens by Allah's leave. If He had not willed it, it would not have happened, but Allah permitted it to happen and decreed it, and so it happened. Allah Says (what means): “No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah. And whoever believes in Allah — He will guide his heart. And Allah is Knowing of all things.” [Quran 64:11]





Once a person knows that all calamities happen by the will and decree of Allah, then he has to believe and submit and be patient. The reward for patience is Paradise, as Allah Says (what means): “And will reward them for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk [garments].” [Quran 76:12]





The position of patience in relation to this aspect of faith, in particular, is like that of the head in relation to the body. Patience is a noble attribute with good consequences. Those who are patient will have an unlimited reward, as Allah Says (what means): “Say, “O My servants who have believed, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good and the earth of Allah is spacious. Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account [i.e. limit].” [Quran 39:10]





Another good outcome to perseverance through the Decree of Allah, is the believer (in particular) is rewarded in both good times and bad. Prophet Muhammad  said: “How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and that is for no one except the believer. If something good happens to him, he expresses gratitude, and that is good for him, and if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” [Muslim]





Allah has taught us what we should say when calamity strikes, and has stated that those who are patient will have an honorable position with their Lord. Allah Says (what means): “… But give good tidings to the patient. Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” [Quran 2:155-156]





The benefits of Belief in Divine Decree and Predestination:





The benefits of the Divine Decree and the Predestination can be highlighted through the following points:





1. Peace of mind: A Muslim who believes in Divine Decree and Predestination will have his mind at ease when he knows for certain that what befell him could not have missed him and what missed him could not have reached him.





2. Contentment: It doesn't make him grieve about anything because he doesn't say things that reflect discontent like “if I did such and such then such and such would have happened”. Also, he doesn't worry too much about the future because he believes that everything is already written. What he should worry about is his deeds and doing good.





3. Boost up the willpower and the determination: It gives him the will power and determination to go forward in the way of Allah. A Muslim doesn't fear anybody because he knows that no one has the power to afflict harm on him without it being decreed by Allah. The Prophet  clarified this point to Ibn Abbas  saying:





“…If the whole nation were to gather together to benefit you they would only benefit you with that which Allah had already written for you and if the whole nation were to gather to harm you they could only harm you with that which Allah had already written to harm you. The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried (a phrase meaning: everything has been decreed or settled)”. [At-Tirmithi]





4. Become modest and humble: It teaches the Muslim to be modest and humble. This is so because everything that a Muslim does is by the Will of Allah so if he succeeds he knows that Allah helped him in doing it; he doesn't succeed because he is intelligent or because he is rich or because he deserves it, and, likewise, a person isn't poor because he is stupid. This stops pride and arrogance from creeping to his heart because he knows that Allah can afflict him with harm and deprive him from the bounties he boasts about.





5. Total dependence upon Allah: A Muslim takes precautions, does as much as he can and then depends upon Allah because the Divine Decree does not stop him from taking precautions and utilizing worldly means.





The Prophet  said: “Take precautions as everybody is guided to that which has been destined for him.” As for you should drink to quench your thirst. If something bad comes, it is because of our bad doings and if something good reaches us then it is from Allah's grace.





Almighty Allah Says (what means): “What comes to you of good is from Allah, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself.” [Quran 4:79]





Al-Qadar (Divine Decree) is an Arabic word meaning Allah’s predestination of measurements and sustenance of everything and everyone, according to His Knowledge and Wisdom. 





Belief in the Divine Decree of Allah is one of the pillars of faith. The faith of a slave will be incomplete unless he believes in the Divine Decree, whether good or bad. This belief cannot be completely fulfilled unless the servant of Allah believes in four things:





1. Knowledge: The belief that Allah’s Knowledge encompasses everything, every matter, major or minor, and the time frame of everything that happens in this universe. Allah’s Knowledge encompasses all of His actions and actions taken by His creation.





Allah, the Most Exalted, Says (what means): "And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom’s weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register." [Quran 10:61]





2. Pre-Recording: The belief that Allah recorded everything in a Tablet that He kept with Himself, called 'Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth' (The Preserved Tablet). Allah, the Most Exalted, Says (what means): “Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed that is in a Record [i.e., Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth]. Indeed that, for Allah, is easy.” [Quran: 22:70] 





Furthermore, Prophet Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, said: “The first thing which Allah created was the Pen. Then He ordered it to write. The Pen asked ‘What should I write?’  Allah said: ‘Write down everything that will occur until the Day of Judgment.’”  [Abu Dawood]





'Abdullah Ibn 'Amr Ibn Al-'Aas  said that he heard the Messenger of Allah  say: “Allah recorded the measurement of all matters pertaining to creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth.” [Muslim] 





3. The Will of Allah: The belief that nothing, whether related to Allah’s actions or actions taken by His creation, can occur without His permission. Almighty Allah Says (what means): “And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses...” [Quran: 28:68] And: “…And Allah does what He wills.” [Quran: 14:27] Allah also Says (what means): “It is He who forms you in the wombs however He wills…” [Quran: 3:6] As for actions taken by His creation, Allah Says (what means): “…And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you.” [Quran: 4:90] He also Says (what means): “…And if Allah had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them and that which they invent.” [Quran: 6:137] 





4. Creation: The belief that Allah created all creation, all what they possess of attributes, and all their actions. Allah Says (what means): “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs.” [Quran: 39:62] He also Says (what means): “…He has created everything and determined it with [precise] determination.” [Quran: 25:2] Also, Allah informs us that Prophet Ibraheem (Abraham)  said to his people (what means): “Do you worship that which you [yourselves] carve. While Allah created you and that which you do?” [Quran: 37:96]





Believing in Divine Decree and Predestination does not mean that people have no power over the actions they choose to take. Sharee’ah (the Islamic Law), as well as reality, confirm that man has a will of his own:





As for the Sharee’ah, Allah Says about one’s own will (what means): “…So he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return [by obeying his commandments].” [Quran: 78:39] He also Says (what means): “So come to your place of cultivation however you wish …” [Quran: 2:223] 





As for one’s own power over his actions, Allah Says (what means): “So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey…” [Quran: 64:16] He also Says (what means): “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned…” [Quran: 2:286]





As for reality, every human knows that he has power and will of his own. He uses his power and will to indulge in or avoid actions of his choice. People distinguish between what they do by their own power and between what they have no power over, like shivering due to illness or extreme cold. However, the power and will of mankind is under the control of Allah’s Will and Power. Allah Says (what means): “…For whoever wills among you to take a right course. And you do not will except that Allah wills – Lord of the worlds.” [Quran: 81:28-29]. The universe is Allah’s property and nothing happens in His Kingdom without His Knowledge and Permission.








In part one of this topic we clarified the four pillars of belief in the Divine Decree and Predestination. On the other hand, belief in Divine Decree does not provide an excuse for mankind to sin or abandon what they are obligated to do. This excuse can be refuted by the following seven arguments:





1. Allah Says (what means): “Those who associated with Allah will say: 'If Allah had willed, we would not have associated [anything] and neither would our fathers, nor would we have prohibited anything.' Likewise did those before deny until they tasted Our punishment. Say: 'Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us?' You follow not except assumption, and you are not but falsifying.” [Quran 6:148] The disbelievers did not have a valid excuse when they said that what they did was according to Al-Qadar. If this excuse was valid, then why will Allah punish them for their sins?





2. Allah Says (what means): “[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Quran: 4:165] Sending the Messengers also took place according to Al-Qadar. This is why the disbelievers cannot use Al-­Qadar as an excuse for not believing, because Al-Qadar provided them with the means to escape Allah’s punishment by following His Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention.





3. Muslim  narrated that the Prophet  said: “The final destination, in Hell or Paradise, is already determined for each one of you.” A man said: “Should we depend on this fact, O Messenger of Allah?" (Meaning, to abandon doing good deeds) He  said: “No! Perform (good) deeds, because everyone will be helped (to go on the path that will lead him to his destiny).” Then he read the verse (which means): “As for he who gives [in charity] and fears Allah… We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness).” [Quran: 92:5-7]”





4. Allah conveyed His commandments to His slaves and did not require them to do what is beyond their capacity; He says (what means): “So fear Allah as much as you are able…” [Quran: 64:16] Allah also Says (what means): “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…” [Quran: 2:286] If the slave is forced to do whatever deeds he performs, then Allah would have required from him what is beyond his capacity, and this is a false belief. For this reason, Allah forgives sins that take place because of ignorance or forgetfulness.





5. Divine Decree and Predestination is a matter of Allah’s Knowledge. No one can uncover his own Decree except after it occurs. One’s intention to perform a deed precedes the action itself. He does not know what Al-Qadar holds for him. Therefore, Al-Qadar is not a valid excuse for sinning and abandoning the commandments of Allah.





6. One always seeks what is convenient for him. No one of sane mind would abandon what brings material benefit to him, saying that Al-Qadar forced him to take this course of action. Therefore, why would one use Al-Qadar as an excuse for abandoning what brings benefit to him in matters of religion and not do the same for matters of life?





7. If one of those who abandon the commandments of Allah and indulge in sinning comes under attack of his honour or possessions, would he accept the excuse of the attacker, if he says that he attacked him because it was predestined for him to attack, and therefore he is not to be blamed? Indeed not!





Therefore, why does this person refuse Al-Qadar as an excuse for whoever attacked him, and at the same time use Al-Qadar as his excuse for abandoning Allah’s rights on him?





It was reported that a man who was caught stealing was brought to 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattab  who ordered that this man’s hand be cut off. The man said: “Wait, O leader of the believers! I only stole because this was in the Decree of Allah." 'Umar  replied: “And we will amputate your hand because it is in the Decree of Allah.”





To sum up, the belief in Divine Decree and Predestination, as one of the six pillars of faith, does not mean that we are deprived of will and power in the actions we take. Whatever Allah Almighty decrees for us is a matter of Pre-Knowledge by Allah, the Most Exalted, and not a matter of coercion, as we are given the choice to do either good deeds to be rewarded for or bad deeds to be punished for. We are neither forced to do what we do nor obliged to do anything beyond our capacity.





Al-Qadar is Allah’s predestination of measurements and sustenance of everything and everyone, according to His Knowledge and Wisdom.





Aspects Of Belief In Al-Qadar


1. Knowledge – The belief that Allah’’s Knowledge encompasses everything, every matter, major or minor, and time frames of everything that happens in this universe. Allah’’s Knowledge encompasses all of His Actions and actions taken by His slaves.





2. Writing – The belief that Allah recorded everything in a Book that He kept with Him, called “Al-Lawh’ Al-Mah’foodh” (The Preserved Book). He said, what translated means,





  “Know you not that Allah knows all that is in heaven and on earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (Al-Lawh’ Al-Mah’footh). Verily, that is easy for Allah.”





[Al-Haj 22:70]





Abdullah-ibn-Amr-ibn-al-Aas (radiyAllahu anhuma) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, what translated means,





  “Allah recorded the measurement of all matters pertaining to Creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth.”





[Saheeh Muslim] 


3. The belief that nothing, whether related to Allah’’s Actions or actions taken by His slaves, can happen without His Permission. He said, what translated means,





  “And your Lord Creates whatsoever He wills and chooses.”





[Al Qasas 28:68]





  “And Allah does what He will.”





[Ibraheem 14:27]





  “He it is Who shapes you in the wombs as He pleases.”





[Ali-Imraan 3:6]





As for actions taken by His creation, Allah said,





  “Had Allah willed, indeed He would have given them power over you, and they would have fought you.”





[An-Nisa’a 4:90]





and,





  “And if Allah had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them alone with their fabrications.”





[Al-Ana’am 6:137]





4. The belief that Allah created all creation, all what they possess of attributes and all their actions,





  “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is the Guardian over all things.”





[Az-Zumar 39:62]





and,





  “He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.”





[Al-Forqan 25:2]





Also, Abraham said to his people, as was mentioned in the Qur’aan,





  “While Allah has created you and what you make.”





[As-Saaffaat 37:96]





Believing in the Al-Qadar, as described above, does not mean that people have no power over the actions they chose to take. Islamic Shari’ah and Reality confirm that the person has a will of his own:





As for the Shari’ah, Allah said about one’s own will, what translated means,





  “So, whosoever wills, let him take a Return to his Lord (by obeying His Commandments).”





[An-Naba’ 78:39]





and,





  “So go to your tilt (have sexual relations with your wives) when and how you will (not in the anus).”





[Al-Baqara 2:223]





As for one’s own power over his actions,





  “So keep your duty to Allah as much as you can; listen and obey.”





[At-Taghaabun 64:16]





and,





  “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.”





[Al-Baqara 2:286]





As for the Reality of things, every human knows that he has a power and a will of his own. He uses his power and will to indulge in or avoid actions of his choice. Mankind distinguish between what they do by their own power and between what they have no power over, like shivering due to illness or extreme cool. However, the power and will of mankind is under the control of Allah’s Will and Power,





  “To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. And you will not, unless (it be) that Allah wills, the Lord of the worlds.”





[At-Takweer 81: 28-29].





The universe is Allah’’s property and nothing happens in His Kingdom without His Knowledge and Permission.





Belief in Al-Qadar, as explained above, does not provide an excuse for mankind to sin or abandon what they are obligated to do. This excuse can be rejected using the following arguments:





1. Allah said, what translated means, “Those who took partners (in worship) with Allah will say:





  “If Allah had Willed, we would not have taken partners (in worship) with Him, nor would our fathers, and we would not have forbidden anything (against His Will)”. 








Likewise bellied those who were before them, till they tasted of Our Wrath. Say:





  “Have you any knowledge (proof) that you can produce before us? Verily, you follow nothing but guess and you do nothing but lie”





[Al-Ana’am 6:148] 





The disbelievers did not have a valid excuse when they said that what they did was according to Al-Qadar. If this excuse was valid, then why will Allah punish them for their sins?





2. Allah said, what translated means,





  “Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the Messengers And Allah is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise.”





[An-Nisaa 4:165]





Sending down the Messengers took place according to Al-Qadar, also. This is why the disbelievers cannot use Al-Qadar as an excuse for not believing, because Al-Qadar provided them with the means to escape Allah’’s punishment by following His Messengers.





3. Ali-ibn-Abi Talib (radiyAllahu anhu) said that the Prophet ﷺ said, what translated means,





  “ “One’’s final destination, in Hell or Paradise, is already determined for each one of you.” A man said, “Should we depend (on this fact), O Messenger of Allah ﷺ (meaning to abandon working deeds)?” He ﷺ said, “No. Perform deeds, because everyone will be helped (to go on the path that he chooses and reach his destiny)”. Then he read the Ayah.“As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him…” [Al-Layl 92:5].





[Shaheeh Al-Bukhari]





4. Allah conveyed His Commandments to His slaves and did not require them to do what is beyond their capacity.





  “So keep your duty to Allah (and fear Him) as much as you can.”





[AtTaghaabun 64:16]





and





  “Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.”





[Al-Baqara 2:286]. 





If the slave is forced to do whatever deeds he performs, then Allah would have required from him what is beyond his capacity, and this is a false belief. For this reason, Allah forgives sins that take place because of ignorance or forgetfulness.





5. Al-Qadar is a matter of Allah’’s Knowledge. No one can uncover his own Qadar but after it happens. One’s intention to perform a deed precedes the action itself. He does not know what Al-Qadar holds for him. Therefore, Al-Qadar is not a valid excuse for sinning and abandoning the Commandments.





6. One always seeks what is convenient for him. No one of sane mind would abandon what brings material benefit to him, saying that Al-Qadar forced him to take this course of action. Therefore, why would one use Al-Qadar as an excuse for abandoning what brings benefit to him in matters of religion and not do the same for matters of life?





If a man has to choose between two countries to move to, one of them is chaotic, full of incidents of murder, looting, rape, insecurity and hunger. Would he choose to go to this country or would he go to another country, which is safe for him and secure, with abundance in material joys, where one’s honor, possessions and human rights are preserved? There is no doubt that this man would choose the second country, where he will be safe and secure. No one of sane mind would choose to go to the first country, claiming that this is his Qadar.





Therefore, why would one choose what ends him up in Hell, rather than Paradise, in the Last Life, claiming that this is his Qadar?





When one is sick and is given a medicine to take, he will take the medicine even though he does not like its taste. When one is told to go on a diet, he would not eat the food that he likes, in order to satisfy this diet and to stay fit. No one of sane mind would refuse to take medicines or go on medical diets, claiming that this is his Qadar. Therefore, why would one abandon implementing Allah’’s and His Messenger’’s ﷺ Commandments, thus bringing Allah’’s Wrath on him, claiming that this is his Qadar?





7. If one of those, who abandon the Commandments and indulge in sinning, comes under attack on his honor or possessions, would he accept the excuse of the attacker, if he says that he attacked him because it was his Qadar to attack him, and therefore he is not to be blamed? Indeed No! Therefore, why does this person refuse Al-Qadar as an excuse for whoever attacked him, while he depends on Al-Qadar as an excuse for abandoning Allah’’s rights on him?





It was reported that Omar ibn Al-Khattab (radiyAllahu anhu) was brought a man who was caught stealing. Omar ordered that this man’’s hand be cut off. The man said,“Wait, O leader of the believers. I only stole because this was in the Qadar of Allah.” Omar said, “And we are cutting your hand because it is in the Qadar of Allah.” 


Benefits Of Belief In Al-Qadar





1. Depending on Allah alone when one indulges in any action. Taking the necessary precautions is not the cause of one’s success in the intended actions. All matters are under the full control of the Qadar of Allah.





2. When one succeeds in performing an action, he must not be proud of himself. All good deeds are successfully performed because of Allah’’s bounty, because He ordained that this matter to be successful. To be proud will make one forget to thank Allah for permitting him to successfully perform this deed.





3. Believing in Al-Qadar leads one to feel satisfied, safe and secure. All incidents that happen to a person are a result of Allah’’s Qadar. One should not feel miserable for losing or not gaining what he likes. All this happens according to the Qadar of Allah. Allah is the King and Lord of the heavens and earth and His Qadar will happen exactly as He Will,





  “No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lawh’ Al-Mah’footh), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.”





[Al Hadid 57:22-23]





The Prophet ﷺ said, what translated means,





  “ “Pleasing is the attitude of the believer. All of his matters are righteous. This is only for the believer. If a joy is brought to him, he thanks (Allah for it). This is better for him. If a calamity befalls him, he is patient. This is also good for him.”





[Saheeh Muslim]





Two groups fell into misguidance with regard to Al-Qadar:


1. Al-Jabriyyah – This group claimed that the person is forced to do whatever he does and that he has no power or will of his own.





2. Al-Qadariyyah – They claimed that the person has a will and power independent of Allah’’s Will and Power.





The Shari’ah and Real Life are used to refute the first group, Al-Jabriyyah.





As for the Shari’ah, Allah confirmed that humans have a will and power of their own,





  “Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter.”





[Ali-Imraan 3:152]





And say:





  ” “The Truth is from your Lord. Then whosoever wills, let him believe, and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve. Verily, We have prepared for the unjust, a Fire whose walls will be surrounding them.”





[Al-Kahf 18:29]





and.





  “Whosoever does righteous, good deeds, it is for (the benefit of) his own-self and whosoever does evil, it is against his own-self, and your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves.”





[Fussilat 41:46]





As for Real Life, everyone knows the difference between his actions, like eating, drinking, selling and buying, and between what is beyond his power, like shivering and accidentally falling off a roof, for example. The first types of actions are his. He chooses them on his own will using his own power. The second types of actions are beyond his control.





The Shari’ah and The Mind are also used to refute the second group, Al-Qadariyyah.





As for the Shari’ah, Allah created everything and nothing happens without His permission. He said that all actions taken by His slave happen by His Will,





  “Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear Verses of Allah had come to them, but they differed, some of them believed and others disbelieved, If Allah had willed, they would not have fought against one another, but Allah does what He likes.”





[Al-Baqara 2: 253]


Al-Qadr is an Arabic word meaning Allah’s predestination of measurements and sustenance of everything and everyone, according to His Knowledge and Wisdom. It comprises the following four aspects:


1. Knowledge - The belief that Allah’s knowledge encompasses everything, every matter, major or minor, and the time frame of everything that happens in this universe. Allah’s Knowledge encompasses all of His actions and actions taken by His slaves.


2. Pre-Recording - The belief that Allah recorded everything in a Tablet that He kept with Himself, called 'Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth' (The Preserved Tablet). Allah Says (what means): “Do you not know that Allah knows what is in the heaven and earth? Indeed that is in a Record [i.e., Al-Lawh Al-Mahfooth]. Indeed that, for Allah, is easy.” [Quran 22:70] Abdullaah bin 'Amr bin Al-'Aas  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him said that he heard the Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) say: “Allah recorded the measurement of all matters pertaining to creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and earth.” [Muslim]


3. The Will of Allah - The belief that nothing, whether related to Allah’s actions or actions taken by His slaves, can occur without His permission. Allah Says (what means): “And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses...” [Quran 28:68] And (what means): “…And Allah does what He wills.” [Quran 14:27] And (what means) “It is He who forms you in the wombs however He wills…” [Quran 3:6] As for actions taken by His creation, Allah Says (what means): “…And if Allah had willed, He could have given them power over you, and they would have fought you.” [Quran 4:90] And (what means): “…And if Allah had willed, they would not have done so. So leave them and that which they invent.” [Quran 6:137]


4. Creation - The belief that Allah created all creation, all what they possess of attributes, and all their actions. Allah Says (what means): “Allah is the Creator of all things, and He is, over all things, Disposer of affairs.” [Quran 39:62] And (what means): “…He has created each thing and determined it with [precise] determination.” [Quran: 25:2] Also, Ibraheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention said to his people (what means): “While Allah created you and that which you do?” [Quran 37:96]


Believing in Al-Qadr, as described above, does not mean that people have no power over the actions they choose to take. The Sharee’ah (Islamic Law) as well as reality, confirm man has a will of his own:


As for the Sharee’ah, Allah Says about one’s own will (what means): “…So he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return [by obeying his commandments].” [Quran 78:39] And (what means): “So come to your place of cultivation however you wish …” [Quran 2:223] As for one’s own power over his actions, Allah Says (what means): “So fear Allah as much as you are able and listen and obey…” [Quran 64:16] And (what means): “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned…” [Quran 2:286]


As for reality, every human knows that he has a power and a will of his own. He uses his power and will to indulge in or avoid actions of his choice. People distinguish between what they do by their own power and between what they have no power over, like shivering due to illness or the extreme cold. However, the power and will of mankind is under the control of Allah’s Will and Power; Allah Says (what means): “For whoever wills among you to take a right course. And you do not will except that Allah wills – Lord of the worlds.” [Quran 81:28-29]. The universe is Allah’s property and nothing happens in His Kingdom without His Knowledge and Permission.


Belief in Al-Qadr, as explained above, does not provide an excuse for mankind to sin or abandon what they are obligated to do. This excuse can be refuted by the following seven arguments:


1. Allah Says (what means): “Those who associated with Allah will say: 'If Allah had willed, we would not have associated [anything] and neither would our fathers, nor would we have prohibited anything.' Likewise did those before deny until they tasted Our punishment. Say: 'Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us?' You follow not except assumption, and you are not but falsifying.” [Quran 6:148] The disbelievers did not have a valid excuse when they said that what they did was according to Al-Qadr. If this excuse was valid, then why will Allah punish them for their sins?


2. Allah Says (what means): “[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Quran 4:165] Sending the Messengers also took place according to Al-Qadr. This is why the disbelievers cannot use Al-­Qadr as an excuse for not believing, because Al-Qadr provided them with the means to escape Allah’s punishment by following His Messengers, may Allah exalt their mention.


3. Ali Ibn Abu Talib  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The final destination, in Hell or Paradise, is already determined for each one of you.” A man said: “Should we depend on this fact, O Messenger of Allah?" (Meaning, to abandon doing good deeds) He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “No! Perform (good) deeds, because everyone will be helped (to go on the path that he chooses and reach his destiny).” Then he read the verse (which means): “As for he who gives [in charity] and fears Allah.” [Quran 92:5]”


4. Allah conveyed His commandments to His slaves and did not require them to do what is beyond their capacity; He says: “So fear Allah as much as you are able…” [Quran 64:16] And: “Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…” [Quran: 2:286] If the slave is forced to do whatever deeds he performs, then Allah would have required from him what is beyond his capacity, and this is a false belief. For this reason, Allah forgives sins that take place because of ignorance or forgetfulness.


5. Al-Qadr is a matter of Allah’s Knowledge. No one can uncover his own Qadr except after it occurs. One’s intention to perform a deed precedes the action itself. He does not know what Al-Qadr holds for him. Therefore, Al-Qadr is not a valid excuse for sinning and abandoning the commandments of Allah.


6. One always seeks what is convenient for him. No one of sane mind would abandon what brings material benefit to him, saying that Al-Qadr forced him to take this course of action. Therefore, why would one use Al-Qadr as an excuse for abandoning what brings benefit to him in matters of religion and not do the same for matters of life?


7. If one of those who abandon the commandments of Allah and indulge in sinning comes under attack of his honour or possessions, would he accept the excuse of the attacker, if he says that he attacked him because it was his Qadr to attack him, and therefore he is not to be blamed? Indeed no! 


Therefore, why does this person refuse Al-Qadr as an excuse for whoever attacked him, and at the same time use Al-Qadr as his excuse for abandoning Allah’s rights on him?


It was reported that a man who was caught stealing was brought to 'Umar Ibn Al-Khattab  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him who ordered that this man’s hand be cut off. The man said: “Wait, O leader of the believers! I only stole because this was in the Qadr of Allah." 'Umar  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him replied “And we are amputating your hand because it is in the Qadr of Allah.”





When mentioned separately, either one means the other; but when stated together, they differ in their meanings e.g.: when it is generalised, Qadar encompasses Qadhaa' and vice versa. But when it is stated: 'Qadar and Qadhaa', then Qadar means the predestination of things and when the predestined matter occurs then it is Qadhaa'.


Predestination and the responsibility of man


Decree and predestination by Allah (Qadhaa' and Qadar), is a subject that has been a point of contention for scholars throughout the ages. The Messenger of Allah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) once found his Companions may Allah be pleased with them arguing about Qadar. He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) forbade them from indulging in such a debate and told them that communities before them had been destroyed for that reason.


The issue of 'Qadhaa' and Qadar' stems from the Unity of Allah’s Attribute of Sustaining. This is one among the three Unity Attributes of Allah, which are:


1. Unity of Divinity (Tawheed Al-Uloohiyyah): It means to direct all forms of worship to Allah alone.


2. Unity in the matter of Sustaining the whole universe (Tawheed Ar-Ruboobiyyah): It means to believe that all creation, sovereignty and planning belong to Allah alone.


3. Unity in the matter of Allah’s Names and Attributes (Tawheed Al-Asmaa’ Wa Al-Sifat): It means to single out Allah with His most beautiful Names and most exalted Attributes mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah, and to have faith in their meanings and rulings.


Imam Ahmad  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon  him said that Predestination is the Power of Allah and no one except Allah knows it. And that we don’t know what Allah has destined, either for or against us.


The three opinions of this issue


1) The first opinion: According to this opinion man has no independence but is coerced into doing all that he does and he is at the mercy of fate.


There is no doubt that this opinion is wrong. By using our powers of reason and the tenets of our faith, we know that there is a difference between the things that happen without our will and those in which we play an active part.


2) The second opinion: It goes to the extreme to attribute complete power and freedom of choice to the individual, denies Allah's role and says that Allah does not know of an action until after it has occurred! This view is also mistaken.


3) The third opinion: By this opinion everything that happens falls into one of the following two categories:


i) The things that Allah does and in which no one else has any power of intervention.


ii) The actions done by all the creatures that have the power of will. These actions are a consequence of their efforts and their choice, a power that has been given to them by Allah. Allah Says in the Quran (what means): “Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter.” [ Quran 3:152]


Comparing with the first and second opinions the third one is the accurate and sensible opinion.


Man knows very well the difference between what he does of his own free will and what he does because of external force. Certain actions are done by choice and others by compulsion.


Some certain actions are from the voluntary power of the individual but are recorded as if they are not, and so he is not held answerable for them in such cases as forgetfulness or during sleep. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) said: “The one who forgets while fasting and eats and drinks, he should complete his fast because Allah is the One who feeds him and gives him drink.” [At-Tirmithi]


Thus, actions done in a state of forgetfulness are attributed to Allah Himself. The first group mentioned earlier distorts the facts. We would not be able to praise someone for his good actions or castigate someone who voluntarily does wrong, because we would have attributed all their actions to the will of Allah. Another dangerous implication of this argument is that Allah Almighty behaves unjustly if He punishes the disobedient and rewards the good, as He alone is the source of all these actions. Not only is such reasoning nonsensical, but contradictory to the Quran as well.


Allah clearly states that His punishments are not cruel but just, since He has already warned His creatures and sent them guidance, and defined the paths of piety and disobedience. Man, thus, has total freedom to choose either path. Allah Says (what means): “Messengers are bearers of good news as well as warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allah after the Messengers” [Quran 4:165]


The Quran and reality also refute those who go to the other extreme of giving man complete freedom of action, leaving no role for Allah. We are told that the will of man follows the will of Allah Who Says (what means): “…to whomever among you wills to go straight. But you shall not will except as Allah, The Lord of the Worlds, wills.” [Quran 81: 28,29]


Those who hold this view reject Allah’s Omniscience, one of His essential Attributes, by effectively claiming that in His Kingdom, there are many things which He does not wish or create. If Allah wishes a thing, it is only that He Says unto it (what means): "‘Be!’ And it is (there)". Allah guides those who want to be guided, and misguides those who do not wish to receive guidance. Allah Says (what means): “Then when they turned away (from the Path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path).” [Qruan 61:5]


In other words, the wish to be pious emanates from the individual himself, and Allah guides him because of this. Allah has decreed everything, but this doesn't mean to sit at home and wait, rather, we should work hard. Thus, there are many routes open to the discretion of man, and it is up to him to choose the one he wishes to follow.


Man does what he wants, but his will follows that of Allah. Allah decrees guidance for the person who wants guidance. For the one who doesn’t want to be guided, Allah decrees misguidance.


Divine Decree and Predestination consists of four components:


1. Knowledge: Man must believe with total certainty that Allah is All-Knowing.


2. Writing: Allah has written all His knowledge of the fate of His creatures in the Preserved Tablet, as He Says in the Quran (what means): “Know you not that Allah knows all that is in the heaven and on earth? Indeed it is (all) in the Book (Preserved Tablet)...” [Quran 22:70]


3. Will: Everything exists with Allah's Will. Allah Says (what means): “…to whomever among you wills to go straight. But you shall not will except as Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, wills.” [Quran 81: 28,29]


Thus, our faith is not complete unless we believe that Allah’s Will is total and all-embracing.


4. Creation: Allah is the Creator of everything, even Death, although it is the absence of Life.


A difficulty arises: how can we claim that our actions and words are products of our own free will when they are in fact creations of Allah? The answer is that our actions and utterances are the result of our ability and desire to do them. Since Allah alone is the One Who created us and gave us the ability and the will to distinguish, choose and act, our actions are His creations. He created the cause which generates the result, so He is the creator of the result as well as the cause.


But, this does in no way belittle our choice and will. For example, fire burns. The One Who gave this power to fire is Allah, as fire on its own does not have the capability to burn. Allah Says (what means): “We (Allah) said: “O fire! Be you cool, and safety for Ibraheem (Abraham)!” [Quran 21:69]



Al-Qadar is Allah’s predestination of measurements and sustenance of everything and everyone, according to His Knowledge and Wisdom.





 



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