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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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Blaming Al-Qadar : Is There Evidence?

Those who blame everything on Al-Qadar try to justify their position by referring to an authentic Hadeeth in which the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) described an argument between Adam and Moses, peace be upon both of them, that took place in front of Allah, and in which the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) said:

Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam: “You are our father, you disappointed us and caused us to get out of Paradise. Adam said to him: O Moses! Allah has chosen you (for direct talk with you) and wrote (the Torah) with His own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had ordained for me forty years before He created me. So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses, the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) added, repeating the statement three times.]

Collected by Al-Bukhari in his Saheeh with more than one narration. It is also reported by Muslim in his Saheeh with more than one narration. Imam Malik, Abu Dawood, and At-Tirmithi also reported the same Hadeeth.

*  In the above Hadeeth, there is no real evidence for those who blame Al-Qadar for their sins. In fact, Adam did not take the Al-Qadar as an excuse for the sin he committed when he disobeyed Allah by eating from the forbidden tree in Paradise. Allah punished Adam by sending him and his wife down to the earth. Adam repented for his sin and asked Allah to forgive Him. Allah, the Oft-Forgiving, forgave Adam. In no way did Moses blame his father for the sin for which he, Adam, already repented and his repentance was accepted by Allah. Moses knew well that Adam repented. The blame Moses referred to was about the calamity which led Adam and his offspring out of Paradise. Adam was referring to the calamity, after it touched him, as something preordained. So, whatever calamities had been ordained, the slave’s position must be that of submission and endurance. However, it is not permitted to commit sins, and if they are committed, the slave must repent and seek Allah's forgiveness and not take Al-Qadar as an excuse for committing sinful deeds

Based upon At-Tahawiyyah P. 147, and Al-Fatawa, V. 8, 108.

Ibn Qayyim said: “It is justified to refer matters to Al-Qadar after a sin had been committed and the person repents from it, and does not intend to repeat it (i.e. in this case the person may say: Allah had ordained it), just as Adam had done. In fact there is a benefit for the person who utters such a response as well as for the person who hears it, because the response is a recognition of the Tawheed of Allah and of His Names and Attributes...Such recognition is clear in Adam’s response: “....you blame me for doing something preordained upon me before I was created”. Adam did not dispel any truth in his response nor did he make of it an evidence to justify any falsehood
{ Remember that he confessed for his wrongdoing was punished for it, repented and he was forgiven}.
So, if a person commits a sin, and repents and clears himself from it, and if someone later blames him, it is quite good if he makes a reference to Al-Qadar saying: ‘this is a matter which Allah had preordained upon me before I was born’ ...But when he commits something unlawful or abandons an obligatory act (of Islam), and although he is reminded about it, he insists on doing it blaming it on the Al- Qadar, then, in this case, he dispelled the truth and adopted falsehood. In the same way, the Mushrik’s (disbelievers) insisted on their Shirk (disbelief) and worship of other than Allah, blaming Al-Qadar for that. They did not regret their worship of other than Allah, and did not intend to abandon Shirk.”

Ibn Qayyim in Shifaa’ul ‘Aleel, P. 57

Allah disproved those who blame Al-Qadar in many places in the Qur'aan. He says: “Those who took partners (in worship) with Allah will say ‘if Allah had willed, we would not have taken partners (in worship) with Him, and we would not have forbidden anything (against His Will). Likewise belied those who were before them, (they argued falsely with Allah’s Messengers), till they tasted of Our Wrath. Say: ‘Have you any knowledge (proof) that you can produce before us? Verily, you follow nothing but guesses and you do nothing but lie.”

Soorah al-An'aam (6): 148

"And those who join others in worship with Allah say: 'If Allah so willed, neither we nor our fathers would have worshipped ought but Him, nor would we have forbidden anything without (Command from) Him.' So did those before them. Then! Are the Messengers charged with anything but to convey the Message?"

Soorah an-Nahl (16): 35

"And they said that: 'If it had been the Will of the Most Compassionate, we should not have worshipped them (false gods). Verily! they have no knowledge whatsoever of that. They do nothing but lie."

Soorah az-Zukhruh (43): 20

* The satan, Iblees, uttered a similar excuse before the Mushrikeen  were created. No wonder he is considered as the leader of all rebellion. He said: "(Iblees) said: 'O my Rabb, Because You misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all." {1}

It is true that whatever Allah wills, takes place, and whatever he does not would not. Allaah says in the Final Revelation : “If  your Rabb had so willed, they would not have done it"

Soorah al-An'aam (6): 112

“If your Rabb had so willed, they would not have worshipped other than Him.”

Soorah al-An'aam (6): 107

Then, why did Allah belie them and consider them ignorant? Because:

1. They did not mean to confirm the Mashee’ah (Will) of Allah, His Ability, and Oneness. Neither did they want to seek refuge in Allah, depend upon Him alone, and ask for His help in order for them to comply with His Command of abandoning Shirk. Had they done so they would have been right. {2}
In fact they only wanted to dispel the Command of Allah by quoting Al-Qadar as an excuse, claiming that  Allah loves what they do, since He willed it to take place!

2-Had this been true, Allah would not have inflicted punishment upon them: “until they tasted of Our Wrath”

Soorah al-An'aam (6): 148
The Hujjah (establishing evidence), therefore, belongs to Allah. It is His Messengers and His Revelation that explains to mankind what benefits them and what harms them, making them able to know and comprehend His Commands. He also gave them hearing, sight, and minds establishing perfect evidence against them, eliminating their false “evidence” against Allah’s Will and Decree. Examine this in the saying of Allah ?, right after the above excuses of the Mushrikeen:
“Say: With Allah is the perfect proof and argument (i.e. His Oneness, sending Messengers and Books etc. to mankind), had He so willed, He would indeed have guided you all.”
Soorah al-An'aam (6): 148-149
... indicating that Allah is the sole Rabb, the King, fully runs the affairs of His Creation, no True God except Him; so, how come they turn to worship others besides Him
Ibn Qayyim in Shifaa’ul ‘Aleel, V.1, PP. 45-59

So, if the concept of taking Al-Qadar as a pretext for committing Shirk or sins is right, there would have been no purpose in sending the Messengers and the Books. This is accusing Allah of doing aimless actions! And Allah is High above what they attribute to Him.

Someone may argue against what is stated above, saying: “Didn’t Allah Say: “Follow what has been inspired to you (O Muhammad (salallahu alaihi wa salalam)) from your Rabb, There is no illah (True God Who deserves to be worshipped) except He, and turn away from the Mushrikeen. Had Allah willed, they would not have taken others besides Him in worship. And We have not made you a watcher over them, nor are you set over them to dispose of their affair.”

Soorah al-An'aam (6): 106-107

So, how come you state above that Allah ? disclaimed the Mushrikeen when they blamed the Al-Qadar for their Shirk while in the above verse, Allah  confirms that “Had He willed, they would not have taken others besides Him in worship”? it seems then that they were “right” in terms of their evidence!

The answer is that in the above verse  (Soorah al-An'aam (6): 107), Allah is comforting the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) by making it clear that their Shirk is taking place by Allah’s will and by His Permission. So, the Prophet is called to accept this fact and thus take it easy on himself. However, in the verse (Soorah al-An'aam (6): 148), Allah disclaimed the excuse by Al-Qadar which the Mushrikeen brought up trying to Justify their acts of Shirk.

3-Allah does not make a person bear more than he could, as He says: “

Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope.”
Soorah al-Baqarah (2): 286

If man is compelled to act, then he would be burdened with inescapable things. Certainly this compulsion is false. In fact if the slave of Allah commits something wrong due to forgetfulness, ignorance, or under compulsion, then there is no sin on him because he is excused.

4- Al-Qadar is a secret unknown to any creature until it is manifested. The person’s will precedes his action and it is not based upon a knowledge of Al-Qadar. Claiming that Allah ordained upon him such and such, is false because it is a claim of knowing the unseen which is only known to Allah.

5- lf it is the right thing to blame, Al-Qadar would have been the escape route for the people of Hell! However, when they begin to see Hell and its magnitude, they do not resort to Al-Qadar as an excuse to free themselves from their responsibilities, but rather they call upon Allah to:

“Our Rabb Respite us for a little while, we will answer Your call and follow the Messengers”
Soorah Ibrahim (14): 44

“Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Hell”

Soorah al-Mulk (67): 10

Some people say that Ali bin Abi Talib used Al-Qadar as an excuse for not perfonning the optional night prayers. They refer to the following authentic Hadeeth

Reported by Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Al-Bukhari, V. 8, Hadeeth #557, and also by Muslim and An-Nasaa’ee

“One night Allah’s Messenger visited him (i.e. Ali) and Fatimah (the daughter of Allah’s Messenger and Ali’s wife) and said to them: Won’t you offer (night) prayers? Ali added, I said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Our souls are in the Hands of Allah and when He wishes to bring us to life, He does. Allah’s Messenger went away when I said so, and he did not give any reply. Then I heard him on leaving striking his thighs sayings: “But man is ever more contentious than anything.” {3}

Soorah al-Kahf (18): 54.

[In fact, Ali did not abandon an obligatory act of worship nor did he make an unlawful deed and then blamed Al-Qadar for it. He did not do any of that. He only said that his soul and that of Fatimah are in the Hands of Allah, if He willed, He ? would have returned their souls to themselves... When some of the Prophet’s companions slept so late that they did not offer the (morning) prayer, the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) said: “Allah seized your souls (made you sleep) when He wished, and returned them (to your bodies) when He wished...”

Collected by Al-Bukhari in Saheeh Al-Bukhan, V.9, Hadeeth # 563. PP: 422-423. Also reported by Imam Muslim, Abu Dawood, At-Tirmithi, and An-Nasaa’ee.
..so, the one in sleep is not negligent and in such cases, referring to Al-Qadar is correct...
Ibn Qayyim in Shifaa’ul ‘Aleel, V.1, P. 58

Man is always keen to obtain what suits him from worldly matters. He prefers to work in a good company (X) over a bad company (Y). He does not change to work for (Y) blaming Al-Qadar for the change. Simply it is more beneficial for him to work for (X). Why then it becomes “justifiable” to abandon the highly beneficial matters of Deen and adopt the harmful matters (Shirk, sin, etc.) and then blame it on Al-Qadar?

If man is traveling towards a specified place and there are two roads that lead to it, one safe and the other unsafe, which of the two roads will he take? There is no doubt that he will take the safe road. On his journey to the Last Day, why does man not take the way to Paradise instead of the way to Hell?

 * If one accepts the concept of blaming Al-Qadar for our mistakes and sins, then there is no need for seeking forgiveness, repentance, Dua’a, striving and fighting for the cause of Allah, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is evil etc. thus proving the falsehood of this concept.

* Man does not know in advance what Allah had ordained for him. So when he is about to commit sin, he has no knowledge of Al-Qadar, and thus he cannot be excused from his responsibility.


{1} Mushnkeen: polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the oneness of Allah, and His Messenger Muhammad
Soorah al-Hijr (15): 39
{2} Shayekh Muhammad Bin Utheimeen said: [Had they said when they committed Shirk: “This is something that took place by the Will of Allah, but we seek His forgiveness and we repent to Him”, we would say to them: You spoke the truth”. But  when they are called to abandon Shirk and respond by saying: ‘If Allah had willed, we would not have taken partners (in worship) with Him, and we would not have forbidden anything (against His Will)...”, then it would not be accepted from them] “
Majmou’ Al-Fatawa, V.3, P.208-210.
{3} Soorah al-Kahf (18): 54. Imam An-Nawawi commented: “While the Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam) did not blame Ali for his reply, he was surprised by Ali’s quick response.” -
Commentary on Saheeh Muslim by Imam An-Nawawi, Book 6 (The Travelers Prayers), Hadeeth # 1815, P. 306,
Published by Daar Al-Ma’rifah (Beirut), First Edition, 1414Hj/1994. The Prophet’s visit was to urge Ali and his wife, may Allah be pleased with both of them, to keep good interest in the night prayers because of its great benefit. The Prophet (salallahu alaihi wa salalam)  knew that Allah seizes the souls during sleep, and he considered the quick response of Ali as argumental

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