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DESTINY IN ISLAM (Part 1)

Updated on December 22, 2015

DESTINY/QADAR in Islam

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the
Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His slave and final Messenger of Allah

Destiny is one of the most intriguing topic and at the same time its shrouded with lots of doubts and perplexities.

The first question that arises is that if everything is preordained then what's the point of striving for it, and what about are freewill?, and most importantly what does Islam has to say about it?

According to the hadith from Muslim (book of faith) believing in destiny is a part of IMAN. On the authority of Umar (ra) who said: One day while we were sitting with the Messanger of Allah (s), there came before us a man with extremely white clothing and extremely black hair. There were no signs of travel on him and none of us knew him. He [came and] sat next to the Prophet (pbuh). He supported his knees up against the knees of the Prophet (pbuh) and put his hand on his thighs. He said, ‘O Muhammad, tell me about Islam.’ The Messenger of Allah (swt) said, ‘Islam is to testify that there is none worthy of worhsip except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, to establish the prayers, to pay the zakat, to fast [the month of] Ramadan, and to make pilgrimage to the House if you have the means to do so.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully [or correctly].’ We were amazed that he asks the question and then says that he had spoken truthfully. He said, ‘Tell me about Imaan (faith).’ He [the Messenger of Allah (swt)] responded, ‘It is to believe in Allah, His angles, His books, His messengers, the Last Day and to believe in the divine decree, [both] the good and the evil thereof.’ He said, ‘You have spoken truthfully.’ He said, ‘Tell me about al-Ihsaan (goodness).’ The Prophet (pbuh) answered, ‘It is that you worship Allah as if you see Him. And even though you do not see Him, [you know] He" sees you.’ He said, ‘Tell me about [the time of] the Hour,’ He [the Prophet (pbuh)] answered, ‘The one being asked does not know more than the one asking.’ He said, ‘Tell me about it’s signs.’ He answered, ‘The slave-girl shall give birth to her master, and you will see the barefooted, scantily-clothed, destitiute shepards competing in constructing lofty buildings.’ Then he went away. I stayed for a long time. Then he [the Prophet (pbuh)] said, ‘O Umar, do you know who the questioner was?’ I said, ‘Allah and His Messenger know best.’ He said, ‘It was [the angel] Jibrail who came to teach you your religion.’ ( Muslim)

From the above hadith it's clear that believing in destiny\Qadar is a part of IMAN without which IMAN is incomplete. Now the question, what are the things that have already been decided about us? That answere is in our next hadith.

Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported that Allah's Messenger (PBUH) who is the most truthful (of the human beings) and his being truthful (is a fact) said: Verily your creation is on this wise. The constituents of one of you are collected for forty days in his mother's womb in the form of blood, after which it becomes a clot of blood in another period of forty days. Then it becomes a lump of flesh and forty days later Allah sends His angel to it with instructions concerning four things, so the angel writes down his livelihood, his death, his deeds, his fortune and misfortune. By Him, besides Whom there is no god, that one amongst you acts like the people deserving Paradise until between him and Paradise there remains but the distance of a cubit, when suddenly the writing of destiny overcomes him and he begins to act like the denizens of Hell and thus enters Hell, and another one acts in the way of the denizens of Hell, until there remains between him and Hell a distance of a cubit that the writing of destiny overcomes him and then he begins to act like the people of Paradise and enters Paradise. (Muslim)
The things that angels right with the command of Allah (swt) are:-
1) Risq (livelihood)
2) Age or death
3) fortune and misfortune and
4) hell or heaven.

After reading this hadith your thoughts are same as mine and that of the sahabi who asks a question in our next hadith. I.e WHY SHOULD WE CONTINUE DOING GOOD DEEDS WHEN OUR DESTINY IS ALREADY PRE WRITTEN!?.

Narrated 'Ali (ra)
While we were sitting with the Prophet who had a stick with which he was scraping the earth, he lowered his head and said, "There is none of you but has his place assigned either in the Fire or in Paradise." Thereupon a man from the people said, "Shall we not depend upon^ this (decree), O Allah's Apostle?" The Prophet said, "No, but carry on and do your deeds, for everybody finds it easy to do such deeds (as will lead him to his place)." The Prophet then recited the Verse: 'As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah..' (92.5) (Bukhari)

Sinners using Divine Decree as an Excuse – No Excuse for Sinners

Shaykh al-`Uthaymeen said:

We believe that the sinner has no excuse in Allah’s divine decree, because he commits his sin by his free will, without knowing that Allaah has decreed for him, for no one knows Allaah’s decree before it takes place:

«No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow» [31:34]

How can it be possible, then, to present an excuse that is not known to the person who is advancing it when he commits his offense? Allaah invalidated this type of argument by saying:

«Those who took partners (in worship) with Allaah will say: “If Allaah 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 belied those who were before them, (they argued falsely with Allaah’s Messengers), 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.» [6:148]

We say to the sinner who is using divine decree as an excuse: ‘Why did you not perform deeds of obedience, assuming that Allaah has decreed them upon you, since you did not know the difference between good deeds and sins?

We say to the sinner who is trying to find an excuse in the divine decree: “Suppose you want to travel to Makkah. There are two roads that may take you there. You are told by a truthful person that one of these roads is dangerous and difficult, the other is easy and safe. You will take the second one. You will not take the first road and say it is decreed upon me. If you did, people would consider you crazy.”

We may also say to him: “If you are offered two jobs, one of which has a higher salary, you will certainly take the one with the higher salary. Why do you choose what is lower in the Hereafter and use the divine decree as an excuse?”

We may further say to him: “We see you when you are afflicted with a disease, you knock at every physician’s door looking for treatment and bearing whatever pain that may result from surgical operations and the bitterness of medicine. Why do not you do the same when your heart is spiritually sick with sins?“
Source : The Muslim’s Belief.

Does Guidance From The Lord Almighty depends on one's destiny?.

Allah says in Quran "Say: 'To Allah belongs the East and the West. He guides whom he will to a straight path'." (2:142)

Narrated 'Abdullah b. Amr b. al-'As reported that he heard Allah's Messenger (pbuh) as saying:
Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then Allahs Messenger ( PBUH ) said: 0 Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Thine obedience" (Muslim)

It is not that Allah selects people randomly for guidance, So that people can say in hereafter that if Allah had wished HE would have guided them. The best examples are the wife of Hud(as) and Nuh(as), their wives had a warner, sent from Allah, staying with them right under one roof, and yet they rejected their guidance.
Allah is the One Who sees those who deserve guidance and those who deserve misguidance. He is the Witness over His servant's deeds and He will completely recompense them. Even if they were the size of an atom.

If everything is preordained then what about our freewill?Definitely one has their own freewill, to make choices and decisions on their own. Let me remind you that muslim means " one who submits their will to Allah". And our main purpose in life is to worship Allah subhana wata'ala. Allah says in Qur'an "And I have not created the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)." (51: 56)

So everything good or bad in this small life of ours is nothing but mere trials from the Almighty to give us a better place in jannah.
And also everything Good or Bad is from Allah. But there are many things that humans incur upon themselves with their own freewill.
To explain things in a simple way. Let's take risq which has already been allotted to us and fixed. This is from Allah. So now it's up to us to chose our way, to earn the Risq, i.e either by Hallal or Haram way and even on the day of judgement, one will be asked about. How he earned money? And where he spent?
Although even how you earned or spent your money with your own freewill is also already written in LAWHE MEHFUUZ because Al-Alim (the knower of all) has the knowledge of it. Even before you do it.
Now 2nd example :- Drinking alcohol is forbidden in Islam and yet if a person drinks it and suffers from liver cancer. Then it's not what Allah had decided for him, the person brought that upon himself.

A very apt saying by Umar ibn al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him):
“No amount of guilt can change the past, and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah's decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from it you cannot flee.”

Now to clear the doubt about the sentence from the hadith mentioned earlier Narrated by Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) " one amongst you acts like the people deserving Paradise until between him and Paradise there remains but the distance of a cubit, when suddenly the writing of destiny overcomes him and he begins to act like the denizens of Hell and thus enters Hell and vice versa".
When I first read this hadith I misunderstood it. But my doubts were cleared from this hadith.
Narrated Abu Huraira (ra): We were in the company of Allah's Apostle in a Ghazwa, and he remarked about a man who claimed to be a Muslim, saying, "This (man) is from the people of the (Hell) Fire." When the battle started, the man fought violently till he got wounded. Somebody said, "O Allah's Apostle! The man whom you described as being from the people of the (Hell) Fire fought violently today and died." The Prophet said, "He will go to the (Hell) Fire." Some people were on the point of doubting (the truth of what the Prophet had said) while they were in this state, suddenly someone said that he was still alive but severely wounded. When night fell, he lost patience and committed suicide. The Prophet was informed of that, and he said, "Allah is Greater! I testify that I am Allah's Slave and His Apostle." Then he ordered bilal to announce amongst the people: 'None will enter Paradise but a Muslim, and Allah may support this religion (i.e. Islam) even with a disobedient man." (Agreed upon)
If that man would have had patience he might have died as a martyr or perhaps in the state of iman. Allah knows best. Allah knew he would commit suicide and had decreed him as a dweller of hell. Thus a person who bravely fought in the cause of Allah(jihad) & was so close to achieving jannah. However committed suicide and entered hell as it was written in Qadar.


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