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     Aqeedah - Belief

The Salaf's Guide to the understanding of
al-Qadaa' wal Qadar


Dr.Saleh as-Saleh

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The Muslim cannot blame Al-Qadar for his sins. He may refer to Al-Qadar after committing the sin and after regretting and repenting, saying: “Allah had ordained and He does whatever He ordains”. This statement is permissible to refer to after calamities or misfortunes. There is more benefit about this subject, insh-Allah, later in the text

Allah bestows upon us from His Favors. He does not expect anything in return nor a benefit from us ...He is not afraid of poverty, and His treasures never diminish. He does not withhold his Favors from us because He may need something from us...He loves generosity, giving, granting, etc. more than we love requesting and taking from Him. If He withholds from bestowing His Favors upon us, then know that we are standing in the way of our own interests, and that we are a barrier to ourselves. This is really the case of most of mankind. Verily, Allah had ordained that obedience can bring about His Favors. {1}

Allah’s Favors can only be attracted by obedience and that their continuity could be brought about only by giving thanks to Him. Disobeying Allah holds and delays His Favors. Similarly if He bestows His Favors and then takes them away from you, it is not due to some kind of “greed” on His part. You yourselves are the cause for having it withdrawn. Indeed, Allah says: “That is because Allah never changes the grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their own selves.”

Soorah al-Anfal (8): 53
It is quite strange that we deal with ourselves in this way, accusing and blaming Al-Qadar. We miss our own opportunity and our reasoning fails to recognize the true means of our happiness, and then all the blame is on Al-Qadar... our Fitrah became corrupt and our heart degenerated because our desires extinguished its lamps of knowledge and faith and we turned towards Allah’s creatures complaining from our condition (blaming Allah for it!). When a knowledgeable man saw someone complaining to another person, he told him: “O you! you complain about the One Who is Merciful to you to the one who is not!” {2}

The Benefits of Belief in al-Qadar:

* Al-Qadar perfects the belief in Allaah for it is a matter ordained by Him.

* When the person believes that whatever befalls him had been pre-ordained by Allaah thin, this brings tranquillity and peace of mind and makes him fearless to strive in the path of Allaah (Jihad)

“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (al-Lauhul Mahfoudh), before We bring it into existence, verily that is easy for Allaah. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allaah likes not vainglorious boasters.”

Soorah al-Hadid (57): 22
* Believers in al-Qadar receive Allaah’s Mercy, since at all times of calamities they resort to Him alone: “(They are those) who, when afflicted with calamity, say:
‘Truly! to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him shall we return’. They are those on whom are the Salawat (blessings) from their Rabb, and (they are those) who receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.”
Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 156
The Believer in Qadar is always cautious because the hearts are in constant change and they are between two of Allaah’s fingers, as the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) told us: “All the hearts of the offspring of Aadam are between two fingers of Ar-Rehman’s Fingers, as one heart. He turns it (in any direction) as He wills.
Then Allaah’s Messenger said, “O Allaah! The Turner of the hearts, turn our heart towards Your obedience.”
Saheeh Muslim vol.4, p.1397, no.6418
This Hadeeth is a driving force against relaxation which may cause passive security against the Plan of Allaah, as He says:
“Did they feel secure against the Plan of Allaah. None feels secure from the Plan of Allaah except the people who are lost.”
Soorah al-Aaraf (7) :99
The belief in al-Qadar makes the person generous because he realizes that poverty and richness are in the Hands of Allaah.

The believer in al-Qadar does not do righteous deed just to show others. He knows that people do not benefit him except in matters that Allaah had already pre-ordained.

The believer in al-Qadar eliminates many social diseases, like envy - which causes enmity and hatred amongst people. The believer knows well that Allaah is the One who gives and takes and thus if a person envies someone then indeed he objects to al-Qadar.

The belief in al-Qadar saves the person from resorting to magic, soothsayers, fortune-tellers, etc. realizing that Allaah alone is the true helper and that all others forms of refuge cannot benefit anyone.

Al-Qadar teaches humbleness: when the believer succeeds in his work or becomes wealthy, etc. he humbles himself to Allaah, who alone is capable of bestowing favors, and that if He wills, He can take away what he gave.

Because al-Qadar is hidden, it gives the believers the perfect motivation to be on the Straight Path of Allaah. Thus al-Qadar strengthens the believer to face the difficulties with a strong heart, and lift his morals high, enabling him to stand up for the truth and eagerly seeking Shahadah (martyrdom) for the sake of Allaah
The belief in al-Qadar reveals the Hikmah (Wisdom) of Allaah in matters of good and evil. Many times a person finds it difficult to achieve something that he likes, not knowing that it is not good for him. In the beginning he may feel disheartened and sad, however it is only a matter of time before he realizes that it was good for him, as Allaah says:
“Jihaad (fighting in Allaah’s cause) is ordained for you (Muslims), though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing that is bad for you. Allaah knows but you do not know.”

Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 216

A Final Note:
Should Al-Qadar be discussed in the first place?

Many Muslims raise the issue that “It is better not to talk about al-Qadar, the Prophet prohibited us from doing so!” Generally this attitude is wrong for the following reasons:

1.  The matter of belief in al-Qadar is an article of Faith and we must know our faith well in order to worship Allaah in the right way. In fact al-Qadar was mentioned in the Hadeeth of Gibra’el in which the Prophet mentioned al-Qadar as an article of faith. At the end of this Hadeeth the Prophet said, “Verily! Gibra’el came to teach you your Deen” Saheeh Muslim, the book of faith.

2.  The Noble Qur'aan is full of verses about al-Qadar and its details, and Allaah says, “Do they not think deeply in the Qur'aan, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?”

Soorah Muhammed (47): 24
3.  The Sahabah (May Allaah be pleased with them all) used to ask the Prophet about minute details about Qadar, as in the Hadeeth of Suraqah bin Maalik - who asked the Prophet: “O Messenger of Allaah! Explain our Deen to us as if we have been created just now. Whatever we do today, is it because of the fact that the pens have turned dry (having written the records) and the destinies have begun to operate? Or is it something that just happens (without pre-destination)?”

4.  The Scholars among the Salaf as-Saalih wrote extensively on the subject, had it been prohibited to do so, they would have committed a serious disobedience to Allaah. Had they also not explained this matter, many people would remain ignorant, and it would have opened the door to innovation in understanding al-Qadar. {This is what has happened today, when we see many Muslims who blame al-Qadar for their sinful lives, and at the same time some religious Muslims who due to their ignorance on the issue - declare that there is no Qadar and that everything is decided by ones actions}

5.  What did the Prophet mean when he said, “..And if al-Qadar is mentioned then hold”?

 At-Tabarani and Abu Na’eem and al-Albani said it is authentic (see Saheeh al-Jami # 545 and As-Silsilah as-Saheehah 1/42 # 34

Also when he say some of the Companions disputing about al-Qadar, he became angry and said: “Were you commanded to do this? Or was I send to you in order to do this (dispute among yourselves)? Verily it was such disputes in this matter (of al-Qadar) which caused the destruction of those who were before you! I am determined to (call you) not have dispute amongst you in this matter (of al-Qadar).”

Sunan at-Tirmidhi and and authenticated by Sheikh al-Albani in  Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhi no.1732-2231
The answer is that the Prophet prohibited disputing about but not understanding the matter of al-Qadar. He did not want Muslims to indulge in discussions about al-Qadar without Knowledge and proofs. Also discussions that will lead to disputes in this matter are forbidden.

Al-Qadar is from the world of the unseen. What is known about it from the Qur'aan and the Sunnah is to be followed and the Muslims must submit to it. No one is allowed to give his opinion on this issue. Sufficient is what is revealed to the Prophet. We are permitted to seek Knowledge about al-Qadar, and this is different from asking questions like - Why did Allaah guide Ahmed and not Iqbal? Or why rain falls on the southern part of the land and not on the eastern part? Certainly, the Wisdom of Allaah in al-Qadar cannot be questioned.

May Allaah, the most-Merciful, the all-Knower, the all-Able, the all-Wise and the all-Just; guide us to the correct understanding of Islaam and make us among the adherents of the Sunnah of the Prophet and keep us safe from misguidance.

{1}  Allah’s Favors are bestowed on all, just and unjust, wicked and good, believers and Kuffar. The obedient to Allah receives distinguished favors for this world and for the hereafter. The greatest favor is Tawheed and worshipping of Allah alone and dying on this. Quantitatively, however, there may be no comparison between what some believers have and what the Kaafir has. Content is a distinguished mark in the heart of the believer. The Favors of Allah on the believers are blessed as long as they abide by the Qur’an and Sunnah. The blessed favors are not subject to quantitative assessments. All the favors that the Kaafir receives are for this world only. The believer is yet to receive, by Allah’s will, the favor of the actual seeing of Allah in the Hereafter. Is there anything better? Certainly, No!

{2} Ibn Qayyim in his book, “Tareequl Hijratayen Wa Babu as-Sa’adatayen”- [the Road to Allah And His Messenger and the Road to Happiness in this life and in the next one (Hereafler), PP. 110-112, Published by Dar lbn Qayyim, Ad-Dammam. P.O. Box 1865, KSA

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