A Summary Of The Beliefs Pertaining To: al-Qadaa’ wal-Qadr
Abu ‘Abdir-Rahmaan Navaid Aziz
Al hamdulillaahi rabbil ‘aalameen was salaatu was salaamu ‘ala ashrifil anbiyaai wa al mursaleen nabeeyina Mohammad wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihee ajma’een. Wa b’aadu:
Living in a time where the Muslims have been enthralled by the dunya and distanced themselves from the scholars, the correct set of beliefs has become something unknown to the average Muslim. From the set of beliefs that many of the Muslims have strayed in; is the belief in predestination, otherwise known as al-Qadaa’ wal-Qadr. So in this short treatise the correct beliefs pertaining to al- Qadaa’ wal-Qadr will become clear to the reader, by the will of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).
1) Definition Of Al-Qadaa’ Wal-Qadr
In order to study any matter properly, one must first be aware of the terminology involved. So in order to properly understand al-Qadaa’ wal-Qadr one must, firstly, understand what it means.
When mentioned separately, both al-Qadaa’ and al-Qadr mean the predestination of an action or an event. However if they are combined then al-Qadr means the predestination of an act or event before it occurs and al-Qadaa’ refers to an act or event after it takes place.
2) Belief In Al-Qadaa’ Wal-Qadr
The scholars of Islaam are in Ijmaa’ (consensus) that the belief in al-Qadaa’ wal- Qadr is mandatory upon every Muslim, and he who rejects it has left the fold of Islaam. Proof from the Qur’aan:
“Verily we have created all things with Qadr.” [Al-Qamar (54):49]
Proof from the Sunnah:
The famous hadeeth of Jibreel, where he came to the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and asked him: “What is Eemaan?” The Prophet replied: “Eemaan is to believe in Allaah, His angels, His books, His messengers, the day of judgement and al-Qadr, the good of it and the evil of it.” 1
Hadeeth of Jaabir (radee Allaah ‘anhu): “No slave of Allaah will truly believe until he believes in al-Qadr it’s good and evil, and until he realises that what has befallen him was not going to miss him and that which missed him was not going to befall him.” 2
Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (radee Allaahu ‘anhu): Where two men came to him and informed him: “There has appeared before us a people who recite the Qur’aan and seek knowledge, and they proclaim that there is no Qadr and verily this affair is scornful.” Ibn ‘Umar (radee Allaahu ‘anhu) responded: “When you meet these people tell them that I am free from them and that they are free from me, for verily by Him in whose hand is the soul of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Umar, were they to give mount Uhud 3 in gold it would never be accepted from them until they believe in Qadr.” 4
3) Principles Of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaa’ah In Al-Qadaa Wal-Qadr
The scholars of Islaam have derived four main principles pertaining to al-Qadaa wal-Qadr: 1) That Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has absolute knowledge of all affairs. Whether it be past, present, or future. 2) That Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has written all matters that would ever occur in a preserved tablet (allawh ul-mahfoodh). 3) That nothing occurs except by the will of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). 4) That Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) created everything.
The above 4 points will be briefly explained in the following passages, by the will of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).
1) Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has absolute knowledge of all affairs.
Allaah’s (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) knowledge encompasses all affairs. He knew that which was, he knows what is, and he knows what will be. He knows that which we hide in the midst of our souls and he knows that which we publicise to all of mankind. He knows when we were born, how we will live, and where and when we will die. He knows which of us will be in Jannah and which of us will be in the Naar. 5 He is the all knowing and the all aware.
Proof from the Qur’aan:
“Verily Allaah is All Knower of everything.” [Al-Anfaal (8):75]
“And Allaah’s knowledge encompasses all things.” [At-Talaaq (65):12]
2) Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has written all that will occur in the preserved tablet.
From the wisdom of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is that he wrote everything that would occur before he created the heavens and the earth in a preserved tablet known as al-Lawh ul-Mahfoodh. As Muslims it is upon us to believe this whether it agrees with our intellect or not, and to not ask why? When? And how? Proof from the Qur’aan:
“Do not you know that Allaah knows all that is in the Heavens and on earth? Verily, it is all in the book. Verily! That is easy for Allaah.”
Proof from the Sunnah:
Hadeeth: “Allaah wrote what was ordained for creation, fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth and His ‘Arsh (throne) was on the water.” 6
3) Nothing occurs except by the Will of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).
From the belief of the Muslim pertaining to al-Qadr is that he believes that nothing occurs except by the will of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala). If Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has permitted it to happen it will take place without a doubt. Whether we like it or not.7
Proof from the Qur’aan:
“And you will not will, except by that which Allaah has willed and verily Allaah is all knowing all wise.” [Al-Insaan (76):30]
Proof from the Sunnah:
Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (radee Allaahu ‘anhu): “If the whole Ummah (Nation) were to unite and try to benefit you in something, they would never benefit you except by that which Allaah has written for you. And if the whole Ummah were to unite and try to harm you in something, they would never be able to harm you except that Allaah had written it upon you.” 8
The will of Allaah is of two types:
The will of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is categorised into two categories: al- Kawnee and ash-Sharee’.
Al-Kawnee: This is all that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) wills and hasn’t given man total control over, the likes of the orbiting of the earth around the sun, the appearance of the stars at night, the waves in the ocean, the ability to ride a bicycle, and kick a football etc. 9
Ash-Sharee’: All that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is pleased with and has ordered mankind with. It is in the hands of mankind to fulfil. Such as praying five times a day, fasting in Ramadaan, not associating partners with Him, being obedient to our parents etc.
4) Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is the creator of all things.
It is upon the Muslim to know and realise that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is the creator of all things, including his (the Muslim’s) actions. Not an atom on this earth or a planet that orbits the sun exists except that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is the one who created it.
Proof from the Qur’aan:
“Verily Allaah is the creator of everything.” [Az-Zumar (39):62]
“And Allaah has created you and that which you do.” [As-Saffat (37):96]
4) Sects Which Have Gone Astray In The Understanding Of Actions And Qadr
Imaam Muslim (rahimahullaah) narrates in the introduction to the first hadeeth of his Saheeh that the first person to ever speak about (in a deviant manner) Qadr was a man from al-Basarah by the name of Mu’aadh al-Juhnee. It was from his deviance that the stray sects started to take their methodology in Qadr. Over the passage of time a lot of sects have strayed in their understanding of Qadr, from
them are the Mu’atazilah, the Jahmeeyah and some of the Ashaa’irah, but their deviant understanding goes back to the two main groups of the Qadariyyah and the Jabariyyah.
Qadariyyah: Those people who believe that predestination does not exist, and that we are free to act as we will, and that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) does not have knowledge of an affair until its occurrence.
Jabariyyah: Those people who believe that we have no free will, and that we are forced to do everything.
5) The Position Of Ahlus-Sunnah In Understanding Qadr And Our Actions
The stance of Ahlus-Sunnah pertaining to the understanding our actions and al-Qadr is the middle course between the two sects. We believe that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) knows everything we do before it happens, and has given us the free will to do as we wish. Whether it be good or bad. And we will be held accountable for that which we used to do. So it is upon us to continue doing good deeds and continue distancing ourselves from sins and evil acts, and not be like those who say that we are compelled to do everything, and that the doing of righteous acts will not make a difference. We seek refuge in Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) from such ignorance.
Proof from the Qur’aan:
“Those who took partners with Allaah will say: ‘Had Allaah willed, we would have not taken partners with Him (in worship), nor would have our fathers, and we would have not forbidden anything (that was against His will.)’ Likewise did those before them belie, till they tasted our wrath. Say: ‘Have you any knowledge (proof) that you can provide for us? Verily, you follow nothing but a presumption and do nothing but lie’.”
In another aayah, Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) warns those who took Qadr as their reason for falling into shirk when he says:
“We sent Messengers as givers of glad tidings and warning, to not let the people have a plea against Allaah.” [An-Nisaa’ (4):165]
Such that they cannot say that it was Allaah’s (Subhanahu wa ta’ala) will that we committed shirk with Him.
Proof from the Sunnah:
Hadeeth of ‘Alee ibn Abee Talib (radee Allaahu ‘anhu):
“One day the Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was sitting with a wooden stick in his hand with which he was scraping the ground. He raised his head and said: ‘There is none of you except that his place has been assigned either in the fire or in Paradise.’ The companions (radee Allaahu ‘anhum) said: “O Allaah’s Messenger (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) why should we carry on doing good deeds then? Shall we not be dependent (on al-Qadr) and give up actions?’ The Prophet (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “No, but rather carry on doing good deeds, for every person will find easy (to do) the deeds which will lead him to the place he has been created for.”10
6) If Qadr Has Already Been Prescribed For Us Why Do We Need To Make Du’aa?
Many people have come to understand that if Qadr has already been written for us, and we will receive that which has been prescribed for us then what is the benefit of making du’aa? The answer to this question lies in the understanding of the principle that events will take place if the appropriate steps are taken to make them happen. Thus since we know that Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) is in charge of all affairs and is able to do all things, He is the One we ask when we are in need. He already knew we were going to ask Him, but waited till we actually do the act of asking before He answers our du’aa. So in order to achieve that final goal (to get what we asked for in our du’aa) we have to take the step of actually making du’aa. Proof from the Sunnah:
Hadeeth of Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (radee Allaahu ‘anhu):
“Nothing increases one’s life-span except good deeds, and nothing repels divine decree except du’aa (supplication). And verily, a person may be deprived of sustenance due to a sin that he commits.” 11
So if one were to ask how does du’aa change decree? We would respond to this with the example of the farmer whose field has gone dry due to the lack of rain (Divine Decree of Allaah), so he prays Salaatul Istisqaa 12 and thus it rains and his crops cultivate. Thus as a result of his prayer Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) sent down the rain.
Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) had some wisdom filled words concerning those people who don’t take the appropriate steps to make the desired event happen:
“The logical consequences of such a reasoning leads to a rejection of all efforts. It can, therefore, be said to a person who holds this view: If the satisfaction of your hunger and thirst has already been destined for you, then it will be fulfilled, whether you eat or not. On the other hand, if it has not been destined for you, it will never occur, whether you eat or not. And, if a son has been destined for you, then you will be granted one, whether you have intercourse with your wife or not. On the other hand, if a son has not been destined for you, then you will never be granted one. In this case, there is no point in you getting married.” 13
7) How To React To That Which Has Been Decreed For You
Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) tells us in many places throughout the Qur’aan that man will be tested and tried, and will face tribulations that man thinks he will never be able to over come. On the other hand, Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) also puts us in times of ease where we think that there isn’t a problem in the world. So how is the Muslim to react in these scenarios? Allaah (subhaanahu wa
“And verily we will test you something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to as-Saabiroon (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Verily to Allaah we belong and to truly to Him shall we return’.” [Al-Baqarah (2):155-156]
Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) also says previous to these two aayaat:
“O you who believe! Seek assistance in patience and as-Salaah (the prayer). Truly Allaah is with the as-Saabiroon (the patient).”
In the above verses Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) guides us to those actions that should be performed, when faced with trials and tribulations: Firstly, we should be patient. Secondly, we should not get over emotional and forget who created us but rather we should remember that to Allaah we belong and to Him we shall return.
Lastly, we should seek assistance in as-Salaah, which when referred to linguistically means Du’aa 14, and ask Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) to relieve us of this trial and reward us for our patience. Like our Salaf (Predecessors) would say: “There is no protection from the Qadr of Allaah, except with Allaah.”
8) Supplications To Make When Struck By Difficulty And Hardship
“Allaahumma laa sahla illa ma ja’lta sahlan wa anta taj’alu al hazna idha shi’ta sahlan.” 15
“O Allaah there is no ease except by that which you have made easy, and you are able to make to change difficulty into ease if you wish.”
“Qaddar Allaahu ma shaa a fa’ala.” 16
“Allaah has decreed and he does what he wills.”
“Hasbee Allaahu wa ne’mal wakeel.” 17
“Allaah is sufficient for me and is the best trustee of affairs.”
“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihee raji’oon.” 18
“Truly to Allaah we belong and verily to Him we shall return.”
“Inna Lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon, Allaahumma ujurni fi museebati w’ukhluf li khayran minha.” 19
“Truly to Allaah we belong and verily to Him we shall return. O Allaah, reward me in this calamity and compensate me with something better than it.”
Likewise when one is in times of ease and relaxation he should thank Allaah for his blessings and glorify and praise Him for the good that he was granted.
9) Benefits Of Believing In Qadr
2) Gives its believer the will and determination to do righteous deeds and grants him the knowledge of the fact that nothing can harm him or stop him except that which Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) has willed.
3) Teaches its believer not to be arrogant and vain but rather to be modest and humble because he realises that his actions are created by Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) and that such and such an event occurred, not because he was rich or was given beauty and good lineage but rather because it was the will of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala).
4) Teaches its believer to do as much as is in his capability and then leave the rest up to Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala), and then to be satisfied with the result as he did as much as his ability permitted him to do so.
I would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) for giving me the ability to complete this work, and secondly to thank Dr. Saleh as-Saleh 20 for allowing me to use his works as an aid and a guide.
I end off on this note by asking Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’aala) to accept this work as one of our righteous deeds, and to grant the reader a firm belief and understanding of al-Qadaa wal-Qadr, and to send his peace and blessings upon his Prophet Mohammad (sall-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his family, companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the last day. Aameen.
Completed on the 30th night of Safar, 1423H