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Belief in Predestination

The Pharaoh woke up from sleep after seeing a frightening dream. He saw that his rule will be destroyed by a child from Bani Israil. In a fit of rage he ordered that every male child born in Bani Israil must be killed. At the same time, Hadrat Musa (Alaihis Salam) had been born. Hearing of the Paranoiac order, she trembled out of fear for him. She took him to her bosom and kept weeping in the face of sure death. Allah put this thought into her mind that she place Musa in a wooden box and consign him to the waves of river Nile. So she did. By the command of Allah the waves took the box the palace of Pharaoh on the bank of the Nile.  When the agents of Pharaoh opened the box they found a child in it. Allah infused the heart of Pharaoh’s wife with the love of the child. She said do not kill him, I will rear this child. Allah’s word was fulfilled. The palace of Pharaoh became a refuge for Musa (Alaihis Salam). It is declared in the Quran:

إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ (82) (ياسين: 82)

(Translation of meaning) [“It’s His dispensation that when He intends a thing, He only says to it: “become” and it comes into being” (Yasin: 82)].

Belief in Predestination: Human beings have not been made alike or equal. There is vast diversity and difference in the makeup and endowments of human-beings. While some are born tall, others are short; likewise, while some are born fair others are ugly. Similarly, there is great divergence in the distribution of capacities and resources. All such matters relating to His creatures are His dispensations alone. We have no right to complain or raise an objection to that. Divine dispensation or predetermination is irrevocable and immutable. We have to be content with divine dispensation and allocations. We must thank Allah for whatever bounty He has given us. We should not become jealous of others or of their belongings. This is one of the fundamental pillars of faith. This is called the belief in predetermination [Imaan bilQadr].

The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that:

Once Hadrat Musa (Alaihis Salam) said to Hadrat Adam (Alaihis Salam): Sir! It was because of you that mankind was expelled from the Heaven. Had not you committed the original sin we would not have been excluded from the Heaven.  Hadrat Adam (Alaihis Salam) replied to Hadrat Musa (Alaihis Salam) in these words: O Musa! You whom Allah Almighty chose as His messenger and honoured you by allowing you to talk to Him, why are you talking like this? Why are you blaming me for something which had already been predetermined by Allah prior to my birth? The Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said that in this way Hadrat Adam (Alaihis Salam) overcame Hadrat Musa (Alaihis Salam) (Bukhari).

It is a mark of a believer, that, he has full faith and belief in divine predestination. Allah has created not only the human beings but he also knows what they will be doing. It is declared in the Quran:

وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ (96) (الصافات: 96)

(Translation of meaning) [“And Allah has created you [and decided] what you will be doing” (As-Saffat: 96)]. He is the source of all being. All matters begin and end at his end. Allah further proclaimed:

قُلْ إِنَّ الأَمْرَ كُلَّهُ لِلَّهِ (154) (آل عمران: 154)

(Translation of meaning) [“Say to them: All matters entirely belong to Allah [without a share for anybody else] (Aal Imran: 154)]. He proclaims in another place:

وَإِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ (123) (هود: 123)

(Translation of meaning) [“And all matters are entirely referred to Him” (Hud: 123)]. A believer, therefore, firmly believes that it is the divine predestination which connects him to his Creator. The whole universe is in action according to the will and plan of Allah. This conviction inculcates in the believer a positive motivation to work devotedly. Thus he willingly and harmoniously adjusts himself with this universe. Allah has declared:

وَالأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنْبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِنْ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَوْزُونٍ (19) وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ وَمَنْ لَسْتُمْ لَهُ بِرَازِقِينَ (20) وَإِنْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ عِنْدَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلاَّ بِقَدَرٍ مَعْلُومٍ (21) (الحجر: 19-21)

(Translation of meaning) [“And the earth have We spread out, and placed therein firm hills, and caused each seemly thing to grow therein. And We have given unto you livelihoods therein, and unto those for whom ye provide not. And there is not a thing but with Us are the stores thereof. And We send it not down save in appointed measure” (Al-Hijr: 19-21)].

Belief in divine predestination is a necessary corollary of the attributes of God Almighty and His good names. This is dependent on and derived from the divine attributes of Knowledge, competence and absolute will. About Himself, Allah has declared:

وَهُوَ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ (3) (الحديد: 3)

(Translation of meaning) [“and He is Knower of all things” (Al-Hadid: 3)]. Again, He declares:

وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ(2) (الحديد: 2)

(Translation of meaning) [“His is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth; He quickeneth and He giveth death; and He is Able to do all things” (Al-Hadid: 2)]. And, again He declares:

فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ (16) (البروج: 16)

(Translation of meaning) [“Executor of what He will” (Al-Buruj: 16)].

These three verses depict the divine attributes of knowing all, ability to control everything, and the capacity to do whatever He wills and plans.  The system and process of this universe have been set according to divine will and volition. Whatever exists and whatever goes on had been decided at the origin of the universe. It is, therefore, proclaimed in the Quran:

مَا أَصَابَ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ إِلاَّ فِي كِتَابٍ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ نَبْرَأَهَا (22) (الحديد : 22)

(Translation of meaning) [“Naught of disaster befallelth in the earth or in yourselves but it is in a Book before We bring it into being—Lo!” (Al-Hadid: 22)].

In the same way it is proclaimed:

قُلْ لَنْ يُصِيبَنَا إِلاَّ مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَنَا هُوَ مَوْلانَا وَعَلَى اللَّهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلْ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ (51) (التوبة:51)

(Translation of meaning) [“Say: Naught befalleth us save that which Allah hath decreed for us. He is our Protecting Friend. In Allah let believers put their trust!” (At-Thaubah: 51)].

It is also part of our belief, that, whatever way the divine scheme is expressed, it is also part of divine predestination. This can be illustrated by an example: If a grain is sowed in a moist soil it will sprout in due course under the law of Allah. All this process is predetermined by Allah. Likewise, if fire is made and something is put into it the same will burn. Now this is a predetermined rule of Allah.