Question: Given that everything is already preordained, and whether or not Allah forgives us is already set in stone, why do we seek forgiveness?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
While it is true that everything is preordained, our prayers and seeking forgiveness is also part of what Allah has preordained, and works as part of the whole system of things.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) said, ‘Nothing holds back predestination except for prayer’ (Tirmidhi and others). That is to say, Allah destines that we will ask for forgiveness and destines that He will forgive us. It is part of the grand scheme.
So, from our side of this grand scheme, stuck here in time and being responsible for our own actions, we just work on avoiding sins, seeking guidance, and asking for forgiveness. We do this because we want to be forgiven and because Allah has told us in the Qur’an to ask Him for forgiveness.
‘And seek forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful’ (Qur’an, 72:20).
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I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language