(Divine Ordainment and Predetermination)
The Four Levels of the Belief in al-Qadr
Author: Dr. Saleh as-Saleh
INTRODUCTION DEFINITION OF AL QADAA AND AL QADR
When mentioned separately either one means the other, but when stated together differ in their meanings e.g.: when it is generalized Al Qadr encompasses Al- qadaa and vice versa. But when it is stated Al Qadr wa Al-qadaa then Al Qadr means the predestination of things and when the predestined matter occurs then it is Al-qadaa.
It is an obligation to have faith in Al Qadr. Evidence from the Qur'aan: 'Verily We have created all things with Al Qadr"(54:49) Evidence from the Sunnah: Hadith of Gabriel: When the angel asked what is eemaan, the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said 'Eemaan is to believe in Allah His angels, books, messengers, day of judgment and Al- qadar the good and bad' (Bukhari, Muslim) Hadith of Jabir: 'No slave of Allah will truly believe until he believes in Al Qadr its good and bad from Allah, until he knows that what has befallen him was not going to miss him and that what missed him was not going to befallen him.' (Tirmidhi)
THE 4 ASPECTS OF BELIEF IN AL QADR
1. AL ILM- ALLAH'S KNOWLEDGE
Allah's knowledge encompasses
everything. He knows what has occurred, what will occur and all that
which has not occurred. He knew everything about His creation before
He created it. He knows in His eternal knowledge about His creation
,their provisions, life spans, sayings, moves deeds, secrets all of
their obedience and disobedient acts, who among them will be people
of Jannah (Paradise) or who will be from the people of An Naar
(fire): 'Verily Allah is the All
Knower of everything." (8:75)
"And that Allah surrounds
(comprehends) all things in his Knowledge."
(65:12) Ali narrated that "one day
the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) was sitting with a wooden
stick in his hand with which he was scratching the ground. He raised
his head and said "there is none of you but has his place
assigned either in the fire or in Paradise." They said, "O
Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) Why should we carry
on doing good deeds then, shall we depend (on Al-qadar) and give up
work? The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said "No, but
carry on doing good deeds, for everyone will find easy (to do) such
deeds as will lead him to that for which he has been created "then
he recited this ayat: "As for
him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him,
and believes in Al Husna (Tawheed, path of righteousness) we will
make smooth for him the path of ease, goodness..(92:5-10)"
( Muslim vol.4)
Allah knew that Iblees would disobey and that he would not prostrate to Aadam as Allah commanded him. The angels did not know anything about Iblees. Allah the Wise said to the angels: "I know that which you do not know" (2:30) Abdullah ibn Masoud said, "Allah knew what they the angels did not know about Iblees." Ibnul Qayyim mentions many aspects of the wisdom of the creation of Iblees:
1.The manifestation of Allah's ability to create contradicting comparables e created the most wicked and evil self of Iblees the source of every evil. In contrast He created the most purified and honorable self of the angels. His ability is also manifested in the creation of night and day, illness and cure, life and death, ugly and beautiful and many other contrasting forms of creation. (Side point) -HOW Allah creates the good and the bad. Allah says which means. "No evil befalls on the earth or in your own souls except it is in the writings before we bring it into existence."(57:22) "If some good comes to them they say this is from Allah and if some evil befalls them they say this is from you prophet, everything is from Allah." "the creator of everything. "(40: 62) From these verses above we see that Allah created everything, for if Allah did not create everything there would be another creator. We also know that the prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said 'All the goodness is in your hands and the evil is not attributed to you. "(Muslim) So how does Allah create the bad/evil?. Allah does not create evil in the absolute sense. Because in every evil there is good, it is only evil if we make it evil. E.g.: We have shirk and kufr, which is evil. -the goodness in that is that it clarifies eemaan. Because you cant see the difference between black and white until you see them both. Death- makes us think about the Hereafter, encourages us to do good deeds. Sickness is evil but if we remain patient it is something good because our sins are being wiped.
Abu Huraira related that the prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said, 'for any trouble, illness, worry, grief hurt, or sorrow which afflicts a Muslim, even the prick of a thorn, Allah removes in its stead some of his (minor) sins" (Bukhari, Muslim) When one of our beloved persons die, some people complain as to why he has died or they think its something evil. Whereas the prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said 'Allah the Glorious says, 'I have no reward better other than Paradise for a believing servant of mine who is patient and resigned, when I take away one of his beloved ones among the most cherished things of the world." (Bukhari) so if this person remains patient then its something good but if he is not patient then it becomes evil. Likewise Iblees is something evil but it is only evil if we follow him. If we disobey him and do not listen to him and refrain ourselves from the evil then it becomes something good because this is our way to paradise and we are rewarded by doing the good. So everything that Allah has created, has good in it and the evil comes if we use it as evil, so the evil comes from the creation as Allah says "I seek refuge in the Lord of the daybreak from the evil of what he has created "(113:1-2) So the evil comes from the creation. "Evil has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression evil deeds) that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done in order that they may return." (30:41) Evil is not an action of Allah otherwise a name would have been derived from it for Allah but there is not such a name. The goodness is attributed to Allah but the evil is not attributed to him because the evil ! comes from the creation depending upon how they use what Allah has created.
2. It manifests the names and actions of Allah such as severe in punishment, swift in reckoning, master of the day of judgment. Had everyone been like the angels, Allah's names would not be manifested. Allah is also just, fair, and does everything with wisdom so he would not punish without reason for Allah is far removed from any defects and joking. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said "Verily Allah created mercy. The day he created he made it into one hundred parts. He withheld ninety nine parts and sent one part to all his creation. If the unbeliever knew all of the mercy which is in the hands of Allah he would not lose hope of entering paradise. If the believer knew of all the punishment which is present with Allah he would not consider himself safe from the hellfire" and in another narration "the remaining ninety nine parts of mercy which are with Allah is what he will use to judge mankind on the Day of Judgment." So think of all the mercy of Allah only one part is in the fraction from which a mother feels mercy to her child, so if a person goes to hell he must really deserve to go to hell. Likewise when we sin, if we did not turn in repentance to Allah how would his attributes of forgiveness be manifest. Allah's Knowledge and Wisdom Allah is All Knowing and All Wise about His choice and the consequences. E.g.: The hadeeth of istikhara, whereby the Muslim asks for Allah's guidance in a certain affair saying "O my Lord, I ask your guidance due to your knowledge and appeal to you to help me (give me power) due to your ability, and ask you from your great favor, for you are able and I am not, you know and I don't and you know all hidden matters. 0 Allah if you know that this matter (and you name it) is good for me in my deen, my livelihood,, the aftermath of my matter (also for! my life in the Hereafter) its long term and short term then decree it for me, make it easy for me and bestow blessings in it for me. And if you know that this matter is bad for me in my deen, livelihood, the aftermath of my matter, its long term and short term, then keep it away from me and turn me away from it and for me the good wherever it is and then content me with it." (Bukhari).
The slave of Allah needs to know what benefits him in his livelihood. Is he able to achieve it? is it going to be easy or not? Certainly Allah taught him from what he taught man. So the knowledge is His. The slaves ability is from Allah, otherwise he is weak, making matters easy is also from Allah. If He does not make things easy for His slave they will turn out difficult. The prophet directed the Muslim to the essence of Uboodiyah. Asking guidance from the one who is All Knowing about the matter math of every task, its details, its good and its bad; seeking the help and Ability from the All Able, Asking His favor by making the matters easy for him. If Allah guides him due to his ability and makes it easy for him. If Allah guides him due to His knowledge, helps him due to his Ability and makes it easy for him due to His favor, then he needs Allah's help to preserve his guidance and to bestow blessings in it, so that his matter (what he asked for) becomes firm and grows. The person requests that Allah makes him content with His choice, otherwise Allah may choose what the person dislikes not knowing that it is good for him. Abdullah ibn Umar said, "The person asks Allaah for guidance and Allah gives him. However he turns angry on His Lord, only to look at the aftermath and find that Allah indeed has chosen (what is good) for him." The maqdoor (what shall happen according to Allah's divine decree) is sheltered by 2 things: 1. Istikhara, before (i.e. before the maqdoor is manifested) and 2. Ridha (content) after (i.e. after its manifestation) Part of the success which Allah bestows on His slave is to guide him to Istikara before the manifestation of the maqdoor and to contentment after it happens. Part of Allah's humiliation of His slave is when he does not make Istikhara before the maqdoor occurs and does not become content with it after it happens.
2. AL KITABAH-THE WRITINGS
A. Fifty Thousand Years Before The Creation of the heavens and the Earth Al Kitabah means that Allah wrote everything about the creation. He has written what He says and what He does and all that comes to existence due to His actions and sayings. All is written in Umm ul kitab (lit: the mother of the book) known also as (al-Lauh al-Mahfoudh) The preserved tablet and (Ad dhikr) the original book of records. Allah says which means): "Do not you know that Allah knows All that is in the Heaven and on earth? Verily, it is all in the book. Verily! That is easy for Allah"(22:70) The prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) explained that "Allah had written the ordained measures (and due proportions) of the creation, fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth and His Arsh was on the water" (saheeh Muslim v4 pg. 1397) Allah ordered The Pen (Al-qalam) to write the records of all preordained measures and qualities unit; the hour is established. Narrated Abee Hafsah: Ubaadah bin saamit said to his son: "Oh son! You shall not get the true sense of eemaan until you know that what has befallen you was not going to miss you and what missed you was not going to befall upon you. I heard the prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: "As soon as Allah created the pen, he commanded it saying: write. It said: "what should I write my Lord?" Allah said: "Write the record of all things to happen till the establishment of the hour" Oh my son I have heard Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) saying: "He who dies believing other than this is not from me" (i.e. is not upon the prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) belief) (Abu Dawud)
B. The Writing Following The Creation of Aadam Umar ibn Al-khattab was asked about the following ayah: "And remember when your Lord brought forth the children of Aadam from their loins their seed (or from Adam's loins ,his offspring) and made them bear witness as to themselves saying "Am I not your Lord? They said : "Yes". We testify lest you say on the day of resurrection, verily we were unaware of this" (7:172). and he said, "When Allah's Messenger was asked about it, I heard him say: "I Allah created Aadam and then he passed his right hand and brought forth from it his offspring saying "I have created these for paradise and they will do the deeds of the people of Jannah (those that will go to paradise), he then passed his hand over his back and brought forth from it his offspring saying "I have created these for the Hell and they will do the deeds of the people of the hellfire". Thereupon a man asked what is the use of doing any good? Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Verily when Allah creates a slave for paradise he uses him in doing the deeds of the people of paradise until he dies doing them upon which he will enter paradise but when he creates a slave for the hellfire, he uses him in doing the deeds of those who will enter hell, until he dies upon doing one of their actions upon which he will enter hell'.(Imaam Ahmad, Abu Dawood & others) Shaikh Al-Albaani commented that many people may understand that these Hadith indicate that man has no choice with respect to his deeds while there are many who think that being from the people from Paradise or the people of Hell is an arbitrary matter, or just a sheer luck. It is known that Allah is perfect in His Names and Attributes that "there is nothing like Him" (42:11) it! is according to His Knowledge Wisdom and Justice and that he the exalted chose people for Paradise or for Hell he knew that those chosen for Paradise will obey him when they are commanded to do so. An those for Hell will disobey Allah decisions therefore it is in accordance with what would come of them. Belief in eemaan that necessitates the admittance into paradise or disbelief that necessitates punishment in Hell, both faith and disbelief are a matter of choice for mankind. Allah the exalted does not force anyone to adopt other choice: "Then whosoever wills let him believe and whosoever wills let him disbelieve" (18:29). Because His swt choice is All Just and All Wise. Therefore Allah cannot be questioned about it. (Al Albaani in silsilatul Ahadeeth As Saheehah)
C. The Taqdeer Allah - 'Umari: Covering the persons life span. The persons livelihood, life term, deeds and his status in the Hereafter (wretched or blessed) are written while in the mothers womb at an early stage of his development. This is confirmed in the hadeeth related by Abdullah ibn Masood who said, "Allah's Messengers saw said: "The creation of everyone of you is collected for the first forty days in his mothers womb in the form of a nutfah after which it turns into an alaqah for an equal period. Then it becomes a mudgha (a lump of flesh) for a similar period and then Allah sends an angel with four words recording the persons provision, his life term, his deeds and whether he will be wretched or the blessed (in the hereafter). Then he breaths the soul into him. By Allah besides whom there is no true God, the one amongst you will do the deeds of the people of Paradise till there is only the distance of a cubit between him and Paradise but then the writings precedes and so he will do the deeds of the people of the fire, and thus enters it; and one of you will do the deeds of the people of the fire until there remains a cubit between him and Hell that the writings precedes and he will do the deeds of the people of Paradise, and thus enters it
D. Taqdeer-There is the Annual Taqdeer, which occurs in the night of decree (lailatul-qadar) "Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainment." (44:4) E. Daily Taqdeer - Yawmi "Whosoever in the Heavens and the Earth asks of Him (for their needs)). Everyday He has a matter to bring forth." (55:29) The prophet explained the above ayat, "Everyday He has a matter to bring forth"-that He may forgive a sin for someone, lifts in honor some, relief the hardship of someone, lifts in honor some and lowers some. (Ibn Maajah and Abee Aasim in As Sunnah) What is the relation between all of the above levels of the written Taqdeer? Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Qayyim stressed that the taqdeer in the preserved tablet is a general and comprehensive one that covers everything, while the other levels of taqdeer are special details for the taqdeer of the preserved tablet (Ibn Taymiyah Aqeedah Waasitiyah) The writing in the preserved tablet is not subject to any change whatsoever because it is scriiptd upon Allah's Knowledge (i.e. the one written 50,000 years before the creation of the Heavens and the earth). However changes may occur in the other taqdeers , but these changes are also recorded in the preserved tablet.
3. ALLAH'S MASHEE'AH-THE WILL OF ALLAH
Is the belief that Allah has willed everything that goes on in the universe. His will and His preordaining power effectively covers everything. Whatever He willed will occur and whatever He did not will not occur, "If Allah willed He would have made you one nation, but that He may test you in what He has given you." (5:48) Had Allah wished for us to follow one book, one legislation and one messenger, at all times and all places, He would have done that. What has passed is what Allah wished: tests, trials in the different judicial legislation's which He has brought down; thereupon these who will comply will be distinguished from those who disobey or reject. He is All Just and All Wise in His Masheeah (will) The Mashee'ah and the Iradah (what Allah wants) Allah's Mashee'ah (Will) is of 2 type: 1.Masheeah pertinent to His creation and command. It is not necessary that what is being carried out by His creation is liked by Him. He however willed it to pass. Allah created Satan, yet He hates him. He also created many things He loves. Whatever He permitted to exist, from kufr, belief, obedience or disobedience is pertinent to His Mashheeah, whether He loves it or not. This is also known as Iradah Kawniyyah (universal will) in this will Allah may decree to pass things which He does not command His slaves to follow. E.g.: kuffar or disobedience. No one can escape this universal will of Allah or go against it. 2.-Iradah Ash shareeyyah pertinent to Allah's legislation. It is related to what Allah loves and likes whether it takes place or not. The acts of obedience taking place by Allah's creation are loved by Allah and are passed by His universal will. Under His judicial will it is not necessary that His commands are carried out. Some people rebel against his commands. So Allah loves obedience or that we obey our parents etc. but not everyone is obedient to Allah, so even though Allah loves for! those to take place, it does not necessarily take place. The linkage between Al Iradah Al kawniyyah and the Iradah Shareeyyah is clear in the following ayah: "and He likes not kufr for His slaves." (40:7) Allah does not like or love kuffar, yet it exists
4. AL KHALQ-THE CREATION
Allah is the sole creator of
everything including mans deeds. No single atom or higher element,
static or in motion exists, but Allah has created it. Nothing takes
place in this world except Allah has created it
'Verily Allah is the creator of everything."
(39:62) "Say (O Muhammad) that
Allah is the creator of everything and He is the one Irresistible."
(13:16) In all of His actions there is perfect Wisdom. He does not do
anything in vain nor is His action devoid of any meaning. His actions
are Real, All Wise, and All just. His creatures and their deeds are
His creation. The slave of Allah has real ability, will, choice and
action. Mans ability to move and to believe are actions that are
truly attributed to Him. These actions are created by Allah Mans
movement, standing, sitting etc.. are real actions which Allah
decreed, set under His ability, willed and created them for Him. Mans
will and actions are next to His swt. This is the medium and straight
way of relating the actions of Allah to those of His creation. This
is the course of the salaf us salih (righteous predecessors). It
stand against two extremes: a.
The claim made by a sect called Al
Jabariyyah-they hold that the people have no free will and are not
responsible for their actions, rather they are forced like a feather
in the wind. b.
.Known as Al-qadariyyah-they deny Al-qadar and claim that an creates
his own actions by his own ability and will making creators other
than Allah. That is why the prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam)
called them Majoos (magians) of this ummah," because the Majoos
claim that Satan created evil and harmful things, making Satan a
creator besides Allah The medium course is that of A! hlu Sunnah the
followers of as Salaf us Salih. Allah swt has created our actions and
knows them before we do them due to his Perfect Knowledge but this
does not negate that people have free will and responsible for their
actions because Allah does not force us to choose that action. Carry
on doing (good) deeds for everyone will find easy to do such deeds as
will lead him to his destined place for which he has been created. So
he who is destined to be among the happy (in the Hereafter) will find
it easy to do the deeds of such people. He swt forsook the wicked and
the evil ones and left them to themselves and did not help them
because they turned away from Him The slaves stand to Allah.
Al- qadar has 2 levels: 1. Before the taqdeer takes place, he should seek the help from Allah, depend upon him and supplicate to him. 2. After the taqdeer takes place. If the taqdeer is different from what he had worked for (1awful and good) he should be patient and accept the taqdeer. If the taqdeer is a favor that conforms with what he had set up and worked for, then he should be grateful to Allah and should praise Him for it. If he commits a sinful deed, he should ask Allahs forgiveness and repent "But if you persevere patiently and have taqwa (be pious) then verily this is from the great matters which you must hold on with all your efforts." (3:186) Some people take the Al-qadar as a plea against Allah. They think its not fair if Allah wanted something to happen that He punishes us for it. Allah says (which 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... Likewise belied 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."(6:148) So Allah warned those who take Al-qadar as a plea against Him. "We sent Apostles as givers of glad tidings and warning, not to let the people have a plea against Allah."(4:165) "Allah does not burden a soul beyond its capacity." (2::286) "We showed the humans both ways." If you have no choice Allah is burdening you with more than you can bear. So you can change. He swt ordered you to be pious, modest, so it means you can do this, you cannot say I cant change. You think too much about the affairs of this dunya. When you leave college or university what you will further study. Why don't you think about the fire and paradise, why is t that you think of a certain subject to choose in the world, why don't you say Allah wrote this for me in the al-qadr? Why do you study medicine and not stay at home? Why do you only use al-qadr when it comes to hell and paradise? Why is it that when you are thirsty you move to quench your thirst and when you are hungry? Why don't you say that Allah will provide or if Allah wills I will then eat? You work in this life and think before choosing. You don't take the al-qadr as an excuse when someone hits you, why then do you get angry? If you punch someone they'll punch you back. Once a man came to Umar ibn al-khattaab who stole and when Umar ibn al-khattaab was about to cut his hand he said: "why are you going to punish me when this is the alqadr of Allah" so Umar ibn al-khattaab replied "This is also the al-qadr of Allah that I cut your hand.
BENEFITS OF BELIEF IN AL-QADR
Peace of mind. Everyone knows that what hit him could not have missed
him and what missed him could not have reached him.
2. It doesn't make you grieve about anything because you don't say things like "if I did such and such then such and such would have happened", so you don't worry too much about the future because you believe that everything is already written. What you do worry about is your deeds in doing good.
3. It gives you the will power and determination to go forward in the way of Allah. You don't fear anybody because you know that hit you could not have missed you. The prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said to ibn abbas: "if the whole nation were to gather together to benefit you they would only benefit you with that which Allah had already written 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".
4. It teaches you to be modest and humble because everything that you are doing is by the will of Allah so if you succeed you know that Allah helped you in doing it, you don't succeed because you are intelligent or because you are rich or because you deserve it and a person isn't poor because he is stupid. This stops you from having pride or arrogance because you know that Allah can afflict you with harm.
5. Total dependence upon Allah. You take precautions, do as much as you can an then depend upon Allah because al-qadr does not stop you from taking precautions. The prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Take precautions as everybody is guided to that which has been destined for him., i.e. you should drink to quench your thirst If something bad comes its because of our bad doings and if something good reaches us then it is from Allah grace. "Whatever of good reaches you is from Allah and whatever of evil befalls you is from yourself."(4:79)
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