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 Faith in Qadhaa` and Qadr - Predestination

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PostSubject: Faith in Qadhaa` and Qadr - Predestination   Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:44 pm




Definition of "Qadhaa' and Qadar"

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 Allaah (Qadhaa' and Qadar), is a subject that has been a point of contention for scholars throughout the ages. The Messenger of Allaah, Muhammad once found his Companions arguing about Qadar. He 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 Allaah’s Attribute of Sustaining (Tawheed Ar-Ruboobiyyh/ the Oneness of Allaah's Lordship). This is one of three kinds of Allaah’s Unity, which are:

1. Unity of Divinity (Tawheed Al-Uloohiyyah), which is to direct all forms of worship to Allaah alone.

2. Unity in the matter of Sustaining the whole universe (Tawheed Ar-FLUFFY), which means to believe that all creation, sovereignty and planning belong to Allaah alone.

3. Unity in the matter of Allaah’s Names and Attributes. Imaam Ahmad said that Predestination is the power of Allaah and no one except Allaah knows it. And that we don’t know what Allaah has destined, either for or against us.

Regarding this issue, there are three groups:

1. The first group says that 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 group 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 group goes to the extreme to attribute complete power and freedom of choice to the individual, denies Allaah's role and says that Allaah does not know of an action until after it has occurred! This view is also mistaken.

3. The third group (the correct one) believes that everything that happens falls into one of the following two categories:

A. The things that Allaah does and in which no one else has any power of intervention.

B. 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 Allaah. Allaah Says in the Quran (what means): “Among you are some that desire this world and some that desire the Hereafter.” [ Quran 3:152]

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 said: “The one who forgets while fasting and eats and drinks, he should complete his fast because Allaah is the One who feeds him and gives him drink.” [At-Tirmithi]

Thus, actions done in a state of forgetfulness are attributed to Allaah 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 Allaah. Another dangerous implication of this argument is that Allaah 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.

Allaah 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. Allaah Says (what means): “Messengers are bearers of good news as well as warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allaah 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 Allaah. We are told that the will of man follows the will of Allaah Who Says (what means): “…to whomever among you wills to go straight. But you shall not will except as Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds, wills.” (81: 28,29)



Those who hold this view reject Allaah’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 Allaah wishes a thing, it is only that He Says unto it (what means): "‘Be!’ And it is (there)". Allaah guides those who want to be guided, and misguides those who do not wish to receive guidance. Allaah Says (what means): “Then when they turned away (from the Path of Allaah), Allaah 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 Allaah guides him because of this. Allaah 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 Allaah. Allaah decrees guidance for the person who wants guidance. For the one who doesn’t want to be guided, Allaah decrees misguidance.



Divine Decree and Predestination consists of four components:


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

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

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

4. Creation: Allaah 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 Allaah? The answer is that our actions and utterances are the result of our ability and desire to do them. Since Allaah 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 Allaah, as fire on its own does not have the capability to burn. Allaah Says (what means): “We (Allaah) said: “O fire! Be you cool, and safety for Ibraaheem (Abraham)!” [Quran 21:69]

Allaah gave man the power to choose and act according to his decisions.


http://english.islamweb.net/ver2/archive/article.php?lang=E&id=97118
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