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Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr

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    Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr

    A Summary of the beliefs of Ahl-us-Sunnah wa Al-Jamaa’ah Pertaining to Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr

    by: Abu ‘Abdir Rahman Mohammad Al Kanadi

    Al hamdulillahi rabbil ‘aalameen wa salaatu wa salaamu ‘ala ashrifil anbiyaai wa al mursaleen nabeeyana Mohammad wa ‘ala aalihi wa sahbihee ajma’een.

    Wa b’aad:

    Living in a time where the Muslims have fallen for 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 is the belief in predestination, otherwise known as Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr. So in this short treatise the correct beliefs pertaining to Al Qadr will become clear to the reader, by the will of Allah (SWT).

    Definition of Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr
    In order to study any matter properly, one must first be informed of the terminology involved. So in order to properly understand Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr one must, firstly, understand what it means.

    When mentioned separately both al Qadaa and Al Qadar mean the predestination of an action or an event. However if they come combined then Al Qadr means the predestination of an act or event before it occurs and al Qadaa refers to act or event after it takes place.

    Belief in Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr
    The scholars of Islaam are in Ijmaa’ (consensus) that the belief in Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr is mandatory upon every Muslim, and he who rejects it has left the fold of Islaam.

    Proof from the Quraan

    “Verily we have created all things with Qadr” (54: 49)

    Proof from the Sunnah

    The famous hadeeth of Jibreel, where he came to the Prophet (SAW) and asked him “what is Imaan?” and the Prophet (SAW) replied “Imaan is to believe in Allah, his angels, his books, his messengers, the day of judgment and Al Qadr, the good of it and the evil of it”.

    Hadeeth of Jabir (RA): “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.”

    Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Umar (RA): Where two men came to him and informed him that “There has appeared before us a people who recite the Quran and seek knowledge, and they proclaim that there is no Qadr and verily this is affair is scornful.” Ibn ‘Umar (RA) responded “When you meet these people tell them that I am free from them and that they are free from me, for verily by he in who’s hands is the soul of ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar were they to give mount Uhud in gold it would never be accepted from them until they believe in qadr.”

    Principles of Ahl-us-Sunnah wa Al-Jamaa’ah in Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr

    The scholars of Islaam have derived four main principles pertaining to Al Qadaa wa Al Qadr: 1) That Allah (SWT) has absolute knowledge of all affairs. Past, present, and future. 2) That Allah (SWT) wrote all matters that would ever occur in a preserved tablet (al lawh ul mahfoodh). 3) That nothing occurs except by the will of Allah (SWT). 4) That Allah (SWT) created everything. By the will of Allah (SWT), the above 4 points will be briefly explained in the following passage.

    1)Allah (SWT) has absolute knowledge of all affairs.

    Allah (SWT)’s 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 publicize to 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. He is the all knowing and the all aware.

    Proof from the Quran

    “Verily Allah is all knower of everything” (8:75)

    “And Allah’s knowledge encompasses all things” (65:12)

    2) Allah (SWT) has written all that will occur in the preserved tablet

    From the wisdom of Allah (SWT) is that he wrote everything that would occur before he created the heavens and the earth in a preserved tablet called Al Lawh ul Mahfoodh. As Muslims it is upon us to believe this whether it agrees with our intellect or not.

    Proof from the Quran

    "Do not you know that Allah knows all that is in the Heavens and on earth? Verily, it is all in the book. Verily! That is easy for Allah" (22:70).Proof from the Sunnah

    Hadeeth: “Allah written what was ordained for creation, fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth and His Arsh was on the water"

    3) Nothing occurs except by the will of Allah (SWT)

    From the belief of the Muslim pertaining to Al Qadr is that he believes that nothing occurs except by the will of Allah (SWT).

    Proof from the Quran

    “And you will not will, except by that which Allah wills and verily Allah is all knowing all wise” (76:30)

    Proof from the Sunnah

    Hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (RA): “If the whole ummah were to unite and try to benefit in something, they would never benefit you except by that which Allah 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 Allah had written it upon you.”

    *The will of Allah is of two types

    The will of Allah (SWT) is categorized into two categories: al Kawnee and Ash Sharee’.

    Al Kawnee: This all that Allah (SWT) wills and hasn’t given man total control over it, 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 foot ball etc… .

    Ash Sharee’: All that Allah (SWT) is pleased with and has ordered mankind with. It is in the hands of mankind to fulfill. Such as praying five times a day, fasting in Ramadhaan, not commiting shirk, being obedient to our parents etc....

    4) All (SWT) is the creater of all things

    It is upon the Muslim to know and realize that Allah (SWT) is the creator of all things, including his actions. Not an atom on this earth nor a planet that rotates the sun exists except that Allah (SWT) is the one who created it.

    Proof from the Quran

    “Verily Allah is the creator of everything." (39:62)

    “And Allah is created you and that which you do” (37:96)

    Sects which have gone astray in the understanding of actions and Qadr.

    Imam Muslim (RH) narrates in the introduction to the first hadeeth 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 astray sects took 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.

    Qadarriyah: Those people who believe that predestination does not exist, and that we are free to do as we will and that Allah (SWT) does not have knowledge of an affair until it actually takes place.

    Jabariyyah: Those people who believe that we have no free will, and that we are forced to do everything.

    * The position of ahl-us-sunnah in understanding Qadr and our actions.

    The stance of Ahl-us-sunnah pertaining to the understanding our actions and al-Qadr is the middle course that is between the two sects. We believe that Allah (SWT) knows everything that we do before it happens, and has given us free will to do as we wish. Weather it be good or bad, 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 so doing righteous actions will not make a difference.

    Proof from the Quran

    “Those who took partners with Allah will say: “Had Allah 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.” (6:148)

    In another ayah Allah (SWT) warns those who took Qadr as a reason to fall into shirk when he says: "We sent Apostles as givers of glad tidings and warning, not to let the people have a plea against Allah."(4:165)

    Proof from the Sunnah

    Hadeeth of ‘Ali ibn Abee Talib (RA): "One day the Prophet (SAW) 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 (RA) said, "O Allah's Messenger (SAW) Why should we carry on doing good deeds then, shall we not depend (on Al-qadr) and give up actions? The Prophet (SAW) 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"

    * If Qadr is already been prescribed for us why do we need to make Dua’?

    Many people have come to understand that if Qadr has already been written for us, and we will receive that which has been ascribed for us then what is the benefit of making dua’? 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 Allah (SWT) 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 dua’. So in order to achieve that final goal (to get what we asked for in our dua’) we have to take the step of actually making dua’.

    Proof from the Sunnah

    Hadeeth of Mu’aadh ibn Jabal (RA): “Nothing increases one’s life-span except good deeds, and nothing repels divine decree except dua’. And verily, a person may be deprived of sustenance due to a sin that he does”

    So now if one were to ask how does dua’ change decree? We would reply to this with the example of the farmer who’s field has gone dry due to the lack of rain (Divine Decree of Allah), so he makes Salaatul Istisqaa and thus it rains. Thus his prayer to Allah (SWT) is what caused the rain to come down.

    Ibn Al Qayyim (RH) had some wise 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...!“

    How to react to that which has been decreed for you
    Allah (SWT) tells us in many places through out the Quran 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 Allah (SWT) 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?

    Allah (SWT) says: “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 Allah we belong and to truly to him shall we return” (2:155-156)

    Allah (SWT) also says previous to these two ayaat: “O you who believe! Seek assistance in patience and As Salaat (The prayer). Truly Allah is with the As Saabiroon (The Patient)”

    In the above ayaat Allah (SWT) 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 Allah we belong and to him we shall return. Lastly, we should seek assistance in As Salaat, which when referred to linguistically means Dua’ (supplication) , and ask Allah (SWT) to relieve us of this trial and reward us for our patience. Like our Salaf would say “There is no protection from the qadr of Allah, except with Allah”.

    *Supplications to make when struck by difficulty and hardship

    “Allahumma laa sahla illa ma ja’lta sahlan wa anta taj’alu al hazna idha shi’ta sahlan”

    “O Allah 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”

    “Qadar Allahu ma shaa a fa’ala”

    “Allah has decreed and he does what he wills”

    “Hasbee Allahu wa ne’mal wakeel”

    “Allah is sufficient for me and is the best trustee of affairs”

    “Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihee raji’oon”

    “Verily to Allah we belong and verily to him we shall return”

    Likewise when one is in times of ease and relaxation he should thank Allah for his blessings and glorify him and praise him for the good that he has been granted.

    Benefits of believing in Qadr

    1) Grants peace of mind and relaxation to know that which has reached you was never meant to pass you by, and that which has passed you by was never meant to befall you.

    2) Gives you the will and determination to do righteous deeds as you know that nothing can harm you or stop you except by the will of Allah (SWT).

    3) You learn not to be arrogant and vain but rather to be modest and humble because you realize that your actions are created by Allah (SWT) and that such and such an event did occur because you were rich or because you were given beauty and good lineage, but rather because it was the will of Allah (SWT).

    4) Teaches one to do as much he is able to do and then leave the rest up to Allah (SWT), and be satisfied with the result as he did what he was able to do.

    I would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank Allah (SWT) to give me the ability to complete this work, and secondly to thank Dr. Saleh As-Saleh for allowing me to use his work as an aid and a guide.

    And we end off on this note by asking Allah (SWT) to accept this work as one of our righteous deeds, and to grant the reader a firm belief and understanding of Al Qadaa wa Al Qadar and to send his peace and blessings upon the Prophet (SAW), his family, companions, and those who follow them in righteousness until the last day. Aameen.

    "I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has a grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path. (The truth)"

    "...Indeed my prayer, my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allaah, the Lord of the worlds" (6:162)