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Islam Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided." Holy Qur'an 16:125

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Old Tuesday, February 04, 2014
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Default Concept of Fate in Quran..!!

Taqdeer (Fate)

Belief in Taqdeer is a principle article of the Islamic faith. This is often a misunderstood concept giving rise to many unanswered questions such as:

a) If destiny has already decreed the final abode of a person then to what avail are his deeds or his supplications to Allah?

b) Many narrations refer to certain actions as a cause of increase in ones wealth, lifespan and also a means of averting calamities. For example Thawban reports that the Messenger of Allah said, “Verily a man is deprived of a provision (that was written for him) because of a sin that he commits; only supplication changes destiny; and only righteousness can increase the life span.” (Nasai, Ibn Majah) How may this be when everything has been preordained through destiny?

I shall attempt to explain the concept of Taqdeer in a simple and categorical manner.

Firstly, the purpose of mankind’s creation is that we worship Allah the Almighty and we show obedience to Him. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an,

“I created the Jinn and humankind only that they might worship me.” (51:56)

Secondly, this world serves as a test of our obedience towards our creator and so that He may reward us in the next world accordingly. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an, “Verily we created man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so we gave him (the gifts), of hearing and sight. We showed him the way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).” (76:2-3)

Thirdly, the notion that this world is a test warrants that the subjects being tested possess free-will or else there would be no meaning to such a test.

With the above in mind the concept of destiny may further be explained by understanding destiny to be Allah’s knowledge of how the individual is going to use his free-will rather than a pre-decided factor being enforced upon him without giving him a fair chance. Consider the following example: An appointment is arranged between two individuals. The first arrives before time and waits for the second; he then comments that the second will arrive late as always. He bases his prediction on previous experience and the lax nature of the second individual. This statement does not restrict or bound the latter’s ability to attend on time in any way, it is merely an assertion. Similarly, when Allah the Almighty informs us, through his infinite knowledge, of his knowledge of our precise actions and our consequent abode it should not be perceived to be a compelling decision against our free will, but rather only his knowledge of our decisions.

To summarise, every individual has been given free-will and should use it to work towards attaining the pleasure of Allah and that Allah has full knowledge of the individual’s actions; past, present and future.

With regards to the second misconception, the possibility of increase in ones wealth, lifespan and aversion of calamities despite destiny being pre-ordained, Allah says, “Allah blots out what he wills and conforms (what he wills): and with Him is the mother of the book (i.e. book of conclusive records).” ( 13:39)

Commenting on the above verse Mujahid said, “During Laylatul-Qadr (night of the Decrees), Allah decided what provisions and disasters will occur in the next year. He then brings forward or back (or blots out) whatever He wills.” (Ibn Katheer)

Scholars derive from the above that destiny is of two types:

a) Muallaq (revocable):

This destiny is written on ‘The Preserved Tablet’ (al Lawh al Mahfoodh), and is subject to change and alteration through the omission or commission of certain deeds. For example: the lifespan of a person is originally 50 years, but may increase to 60 years if he performs the ritual of Hajj, or a certain calamity is to befall him unless he averts it by spending in charity. This is the destiny refereed to in the aforementioned narration.

b) Mubram (irrevocable):

This destiny denotes the eternal knowledge of Allah. It encompasses the final result of the Muallaq destiny i.e. our choice of actions, their consequences and every precise detail of our lives. This definite knowledge of Allah is not subject to change or alter even slightly and is exclusive to Allah only.

In the light of the above the following may be derived:

Our supplications do change destiny and are of much avail.
Good deeds are a source of increase in ones sustenance, and avert calamities.
Sins result in a decrease in ones sustenance, and invite calamities.

» Conclusion of Fate

Therefore, we can conclude that God has ordained certain standards and measures for the functioning of the Universe. For instance, it is pre-determined for water to solidify at 0 ° C and vaporize at 100 ° C; for fire to burn and scorch and for the Earth to exert gravitational pull, and so on so forth. In the physical world of living matter (plants, animals and humans), Nature has similarly ordained their taqdeer – some animals are herbivores, some are carnivores while Man is omnivore. The Sun, the Moon and all the other astral bodies are likewise bound to their respective taqdeer – their natural life spans and their properties.

But, as has been mentioned before, Man is different from the rest of Creation in having the freedom of choice O Rasool! proclaim to the entire mankind "The truth has come from your Rabb, whosoever chooses may accept it and whosoever chooses may reject it.. * Quran Chapter 18 Verse 29

Nonetheless, it is to be noted that Man is free to choose an action but they must bear the naturally ordained and pre-determined consequence of that action. If one puts one's finger in fire, one must suffer burns (because that is the taqdeer of that action). After that, one must turn to another action with a different taqdeer – like applying an ointment on the burn.

Similarly, in the human social world, Man is free to choose his actions but must bear the natural consequences of them. The laws governing the physical as well as the human social universe are unchanging and constant. Whosoever follows the Divine Law, even if to a very small extent, and does noble deeds will see pleasant results. And whosoever goes against the law, even if to a very small extent, would get appropriate punishment * Quran Chapter 99 Verse 7-8

As we discussed in the paper on Ad'Duaa (Supplication), one must act individually or collectively to get results in this universe. To get the desired results, the taqdeer of the Universe and the relating Laws of Nature must be discovered and kept in view at all times. The Natural laws, as we have seen are the standards and measures of things set by God. In other words, they are the aqdaar the permanent values which run the entire Universe. These aqdaar were given to mankind in one of the darkest hours of its intellectual existence. That is why it has been called laila tal qadr the Night of Values! Historically, the time of the descent of these Permanent Values which are available in the Quran – was the Arab month of Ramadan. That is why that month has been reserved for Fasting, a refresher course of learning self control through studying the natural values given by God through Prophet and Messenger Muhammad peace be upon him in the form of the book we know as the Quran.
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Originally Posted by Maha Khan View Post
Taqdeer (Fate)

“Verily a man is deprived of a provision (that was written for him) because of a sin that he commits; only supplication changes destiny; and only righteousness can increase the life span.” (Nasai, Ibn Majah) How may this be when everything has been preordained through destiny?

Firstly, the purpose of mankind’s creation is that we worship Allah the Almighty and we show obedience to Him. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an,

“I created the Jinn and humankind only that they might worship me.” (51:56)

Secondly, this world serves as a test of our obedience towards our creator and so that He may reward us in the next world accordingly. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an, “Verily we created man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so we gave him (the gifts), of hearing and sight. We showed him the way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).” (76:2-3)

Thirdly, the notion that this world is a test warrants that the subjects being tested possess free-will or else there would be no meaning to such a test.

With the above in mind the concept of destiny may further be explained by understanding destiny to be Allah’s knowledge of how the individual is going to use his free-will rather than a pre-decided factor being enforced upon him without giving him a fair chance.
Looking at it, it seems to me that fate of overall mankind is predetermined, or calculated, not of individuals. Individuals posses their own level of intelligence, reasoning as well as desires etc and they have the free will choose between two of the available paths, either they choose the path which lead to their personal satisfaction in this world or they choose a path which takes them to Allah. As about supplication and prayers, religion urges upon them just so that individuals get some respite and peace from the desires triggered in their soul, in other words prayers are just to enforce patience. Fulfillment of a desire is, perhaps, almost always a result of one's personal efforts and calculations based upon his/her level of intelligence and assessment which is why sometimes we have prayers answered and sometimes we don't, however pursuit of desires has a potential of leading an individual away from Allah and on a path of greed and selfishness therefore religion proscribes against it and advices people to leave matters to Allah.

It may sound deistic, but Allah (SWT) knows best . I think Allah (SWT) is much bigger than a being who is intervening in everyday life of individual human beings who often bring themselves in messy situations . Or maybe Allah does intervene on occasions, only when someone following His path is annoyed. But certainly all the people praying for marriage, jobs, happy life etc are not getting their prayers answered, this is a factual observation .

For example we have a policeman. Before leaving for duty he prays to Allah O God, my kid needs something, please make arrangement for that. While on duty someone offers him a bribe and he happily takes it and is thankful to God . This is human nature. Human beings have empathy for others as well as lust for their own desires. Allah made calculations based upon this very human nature and determined the final destiny of mankind.

On the other hand we have another policeman. Just like the previous one he does the same pray and leaves for duty. While on his path he finds some money, he takes it and is thankful to Allah, however soon he finds someone looking for the same money and he returns it. Then someone offers him a bribe but he refuses to take it. In the end his desire is not fulfilled and he has an angry kid at home . However he remains calm and stick to his faith. With this attitude, gradually this policeman will start earning the trust of other people and become strong, however his newly earned power is again a test of how he uses it. Life is a continuous test of patience and pursuit of lust. Allah knows very well that very few people are capable of surviving this test while keeping their faith intact, vast majority of people have very basic faith and often fall pray of desires. Therefore Allah has determined the fate of mankind, which is commonly known as destiny . On earth everyone is rewarded by the system.
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