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


Dr.Saleh as-Saleh

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The essentials of belief in Fate (Qadaa’ and Qadar) in Islaam

The Meaning of al-Qadaa’ and al-Qadar:

Al-Qadar is “the ability of Allaah ” [1], where He knew, wrote, willed and created all things in due proportion and according to a precise measure. Allaah knew that all things will happen before bringing them to existence and in accordance with pre-destined proportions and measures which Allaah had written in a Book called al-Laouh ul Mahfoudh (the Preserved Tablet).

Al-Qadaa’ is the perfectly precise execution and accomplishment of all things pre-destined to occur, in accordance with Allaah’s previous Knowledge, Writing and Will.

When mentioned separately, Qadaa' and Qadar are synonymous but when mentioned together, Qadaa' stands for the pre-destination of events, and when the pre-destined matter takes place - it is called Qadar.

Al-Qadar is an Article of faith:

Yahya bin Ya'mur (a famour Tabi'ee and a narrator of Hadeeth) set out on a pilgrimage to Macca along with Humaid b. Abdur Rehman Himyari, and said, "Should we meet one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah, we will ask him about Taqdeer (Qadar)." Incidentally they met Abdullah, the son of Umer ibn Khattab ? and said to him, "O Abu Abdar-Rehman, there have appeared in our land who recite the Holy Qur'aan and peruse knowledge…. They claim that there is no such thing as Divine Decree and events are not pre-Destined". He (Abdullah ibn Umer) said, "When you happen to meet such people tell them that I have nothing to do with them and they have nothing to do with me. And verily they are in no way responsible for my (belief)". Abdullah ibn Umar swore by Him (the Lord) (and said): If any one of them (who does not believe in the Divine Decree) had with him gold equal to the bulk of (the mountain) Uhud and then, it (in the way of Allah), Allah would not accept it unless he affirmed his faith in Divine Decree". He further said: My father, Umar ibn al-Khattab, told me: "One day we were sitting in the company of Allah's Messenger (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) when there appeared before us a man dressed in pure white clothes, his hair extraordinarily black….. He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Eeman (faith). He (the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam)) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Apostles, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil. He (the inquirer) said: You have told the truth." …. After the inquirer left, the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) said, "He was Gabriel (the angel). He came to you in order to instruct you in matters of religion."

Saheeh Muslim (english trans.) vol.1, Hadeeth # 1.

The Qadar mentioned in the Qur'aan:

“Verily, We have created all things with Qadar.”

Soorah al-Qamar (54):49
“Did we not create you with a fluid of no value? Then We placed it in a place of safety (womb), for a known period (determined by gestation)? So We did measure, and We are the best to measure.”
Soorah al-Mursalat (77):20-23
“He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measure.”
Soorah al-Furqan (25):2
Al-Qadar mentioned in the Sunnah:

The Messenger of Allaah (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) said: “No slave will (truly) believe until he believes in al-Qadar, its good and bad from Allaah and until he knows that what has befallen him was not going to pass him by, and what has passed him by was not going to befall him.”
Sunan at-Tirmidhee and authenticated by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan at-Tirmidhee no.1743

The Hadeeth related by Tawoos (Ibn Kayesaan al-Yamani) who said that: “I found some Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) as saying: ‘Everything is by Qadar (measure)’.” And he further said: “I heard Abdullah bin Umer - radiyallahu anhu - as saying: ‘There is a measure for everything - even for incapacity and capability’.”
Sahih Muslim (english trans.) vol.4, no.6419 and Muwatta Imam Maalik

Abu Hurairah ? reported that the polytheists of the Quraish came argue with Allaah’s Messenger(salallahu alaihi wa salalam) about Qadar and then this verse was revealed: “The Day when they will be dragged in the Fire on their faces (it will be said to them) ‘Taste you the touch of Hell’. Certainly, We have created all things with Qadar.
Soorah al-Qamar (54):48

The Four Aspects Of Qadar:

In order to correctly understand the issue of Qadar, the following four terms need to studied in detail:-
1. Al-Ilm (Knowledge)
2. Kittabah (Writing)
3. Mash’eeah (Will)
4. Al-Khalq (Creation)

Sheikh ul-Islaam, Ibn Taimeeyah has summerized these ranks in his famous book on the creed (Aqeedah) of the Ahlus-Sunnah, “Al-Aqeedah al-Wasitiyyah”.


[1] As said by Imaam Ahmed bin Hambal and reported by Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah in his book: Shifaa’ul ‘Aleel Fee Massa’il al-Qadaa’ wal Qadar wal Hikmah wat-Ta’leel (The cure for the Ailing: Explaining matters of al-Qadaa’ and al-Qadar, Wisdom and Cause), p.88

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