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Divine Decree and Misgivings

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

I am suffering a great deal of waswass regarding the issue of Destiny. I hear people say different things about it: Allah is in control of everything,
or our decree can be changed because of our actions. It is on my mind most of the time and giving me a lot of stress, making me worry about many elements in my life, feeling like I have to manage everything and not mess up ANYTHING.

Everything is within Allah’s will, even our sins (He does not force us, but He allows us to sin, so it is our responsibility). Thus, we cannot blame Him for our sins. But are the outcomes of our sins (and good deeds) entirely our fault as well?

Answer: Wa’alaykum assalam, I pray you’re well.

Do not delve too much into the question of Divine Decree, as it is something that the mind has not been created to comprehend in detail, nor will a person be asked about it. What matters to you and I is what is within our ability to know and act upon. Anything else, particularly without any guided study, will only cause waswasa.

Example

Take a simple example; the movement of your arm. You know you have a sense of will to move it or not move it. You also experience some power and ability to move it, should you so wish. When you move your arm you observe that you have moved it. All of this, your perceived will, ability and act, are experienced and witnessed by you. However, do you know the exact physiological mechanism by which all this happened? Do you have knowledge, understand, or even observe the neurological and muscular changes and interaction occurring in your arm and brain during the simple process? It’s unlikely.

Likewise, every one of us perceives our ability to act, whether to do good or to sin. This is our free will. God knew from pre-eternality that which we would choose and he creates for us what we choose, whether to be obedient or to be disobedient. How this all happens, and the full wisdom of God’s acts are not known to us, and nor is Allah obliged to explain anything to us.

This is the nature of a true Deity who holds absolute Sovereignty over his creation, ‘He is not questioned about what He does, but they will [all] be questioned.’ [21:23]

Changing Divine Decree

There is nothing beyond God’s knowledge, and His knowledge and Decree never change. What was meant to be will be and that which was not, will not. Therefore, no act of a created being, whether virtuous or sinful, changes, interferes or ‘messes up’ the Divine Decree. Everything that was, is and will be has been written and preserved in the Guarded Tablet, and this does not change.

What we perceive as changes in circumstance, answering of prayers, calamities and trials, are all part of Allah’s Decree, which preordained everything from pre-eternality, is already written, though we experience unfolding in time and observe as ‘changes’. In reality, these ‘changes’ and their causes were already destined.

Waswasa

The above is a brief summary of this subject. If your doubts are due to a basic lack of knowledge, then I recommend studying aqidah. You may take one of our free courses online. However, if these are constant issues and affecting your faith and practice, then you may also want to seek further support or counseling to get to the root of your doubts and fears.

Remember, we are only held accountable for that which we are capable of knowing and doing, nothing more. All you need to concern yourself with is doing good deeds and avoiding sins. Leave anything beyond your ability to understand or act upon. The hows and whys do not affect the outcome of you next life, actions do.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath. 

What Is the Nature of Destiny? [Video]

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Assalamu alaykum

What is the nature of destiny?

Answer:  Wa’leykum Salam,

Here is a video answer by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani to this question:

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani is a scholar and researcher of Islamic law and Executive Director of SeekersHub Global After ten years overseas, Shaykh Faraz returned to Canada in the Summer of 2007. In May 2008 he founded SeekersHub Global to deal with the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge—both online and on the ground—in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He has been repeatedly listed as one of the world’s 500 most influential Muslims (The Muslim500).

What is the Point in Supplicating?

Answered by SeekersHub Answers Service

Question: Assalam walaikum,

What is the point in supplications if everything is decreed by Allah in advance? 

Answer: Assalam aleykum,

Firstly, supplications can change relative destiny (al-qadar al-mu`allaq) in a manner that is of great benefit to the oppressed, as well as the entire Muslim community. [see:Can Supplication Change Destiny?]

Secondly, it is established from the Holy Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) that he prayed for the believers, specifically when distressful events occurred; an example being the occasion of the martyrdom of tens of reciters (qurra’) of the Qur’an in which he prayed against the killers for a month.

Thirdly, it is also an opportunity to increase in gratitude (shukr) for the blessings that one enjoys, and a reminder of the temporal and fleeting nature of this life.

Please see: What’s the Point in Supplicating?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

SeekersHub Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Am I Being Punished for My Sins by Becoming HIV Positive?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have committed abominable things (zina) with both women and men for the past 6 years on a regular basis. Last summer I decided that I should change because I was unhappy in this way of life. Two weeks ago I have been diagnosed to be HIV positive. I want to know if you think it bears the signs of punishment for my past numerous wrong doings?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

You should not view this as a punishment but as an opportunity that God has given you to grow in your religion and draw closer to Him.

There are many traditions from the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) informing us of the fact that tribulation expiates the sins of a believer. They include:

(a) The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “A man is tried according to his religion. If he is firm in his religion, then his trials will be more severe. If he is weak in his religion, then he is tried according to his strength in religion. The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.” [Tirmidhi, Sunan]

(b) The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “If Allah loves a people, then he afflicts them with trials. Whoever is patient has the reward of patience, and whoever is impatient has the fault of impatience.” [Ahmad, Musnad]

(c) The Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him) said, “No Muslim suffers weakness, illness, worry, sorrow, vexation, or gloom-even the thorn that pricks him-without Allah thereby expiating some of his misdeeds.” [Bukhari, Sahih]

These traditions, among many others, show us that suffering, trials, and tribulation are all means by which we are given the opportunity to draw closer to God. This is the most important thing to understand when you find yourself in very tough circumstance. When we possess such an understanding, we can approach our circumstances in a positive manner as opposed to being disheartened and turning away from the divine.

Always have a good view of God for He says, “I am as my servant thinks I am.” [Bukhari, Sahih] If we opine that our God is merciful, compassionate, generous, and that these trials that we experience are a blessing from Him, this is how it will be, InshaAllah.

We ask Him to grant you and us good health, well-being, and protection from that which displeases him.

For more: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment?

[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.

How Can I Regain the Friendship of a Man I Want to Marry?

Answered by SeekersHub Answers Service

Question: Assalam Alaikum,

I am at the age of marriage looking for a spouse and my mother urged me to make friends with this boy and I did. I did lots of istikhara and dua because I had warm feelings for this friend who said he could not commit because he was still in school. But due to my urging of the matter our friendship broke.

Now we don’t connect and it really breaks my heart. Can this decree be reversed?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.

Can a young man and woman be platonic friends?

Islamic gender etiquette is strict, yes, but it is strict for a reason. Unfettered access to members of the opposite sex, including casual friendships, can lead to emotional dependency, infatuation, and the physical behaviors that are associated with falling in love.

Unchecked, these developments can have a devastating impact on young people, particularly if the relationship is broken off by one of the parties, or, in the worst case scenario, a physical relationship happens outside of marriage.

Can supplication change destiny?

[1] There is no doubt that the Divine Decree is eternal–beyond time–and therefore not subject to “change.”

[2] Du`a’ “changes” destiny in the relative sense: it is a means (like other means) towards the good, so it turns to flow of one’s life towards the good, by Divine facilitation, in accordance with the eternal Decree (qada’) of Allah.

[3] To understand this, one must appreciate that there are two types of decree (qada’):

(a) The absolute decree (al-qada’ al-mubram), which is what Allah willed in eternity. This isn’t subject to change, by definition; and

(b) The relative or conditional decree (al-qada’ al-mu`allaq), which is the direction in which the flow of life events seems to be going. This is what can change. This could be referred to as “apparent destiny.”

Please see: Can a Young Man and Woman be Platonic Friends? and: Can Supplication Change Destiny?

And Allah alone gives success.

wassalam,

SeekersHub Answers Service

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Things Inconsistent With Accepting Fate – Imam Ghazali

Accepting Fate:
“Complaining, no matter what the circumstances, is inconsistent with accepting fate. Criticizing food and finding fault with it is a rejection of what Allah Most High has destined, since blaming what is made is blaming the maker, and everything is Allah’s work.
For a person to say that ‘poverty is an affliction and trial,’ or ‘having a family to support is worry and fatigue,’ or ‘working for a living is a
burden and hardship’ – all this is inconsistent with accepting fate.
One should rather leave the plan to its planner, the kingdom to its king, and say, as ‘Umar did (Allah be well pleased with him), ‘I do not care whether I become rich or poor, for I don’t know which is better for me.’” [Reliance of the Traveller, w59.1]

Purchase the Book:

Reliance of the Traveller: http://www.firdousbooks.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=282
Relevant Resources:
Trust in Allah and Provisions for Seekers of Knowledge
Divine Decree, Contentment, and Lessons From the Prophet’s Life
Affirming Free Will and the Divine Decree
Belief in Destiny, It’s Good and Evil – Shaykh Nuh Keller – Sea without Shore
Can Supplication Change Destiny?
Media: 
IslamCast Daily Hadith – 8. The Muslim as a Source of Safety and Trust
Courses:
Faith in Divine Unity & Trust in Divine Providence with Shaykh Yahya Rhodus

Does the Concept of Having a “Soulmate” Exist in Islam?

Answered by Sidi Faraz A. Khan

Question: Assalamu’alaikum,

Is there a concept of soulmate in Islam? If someone you love died before getting married and the one living eventually get married to another person will the person one married to be the person you will meet in hereafter?

What would be your advise to someone who just lost a spouse-to-be through death before get married?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health and faith.

My advice to a person who lost a spouse-to-be would be to not underestimate the immeasurable pleasure Allah has placed in Paradise, as He states, “For them is anything whatsoever that they wish therein, and with Us is yet more.” (Qur’an 50:35)

The verse speaks for itself. And as most exegetes state, the “more” that is mentioned at the end of the verse refers to the beatific vision of Allah, a pleasure that has no equal. [Nasafi, Madarik al-Tanzil wa Haqa’iq al-Ta’wil]

Paradise is a place of ultimate bliss – no one will be let down therein, and Allah will inspire each inhabitant to seek what will be best and most joyous for him/her.

With respect to this life, such a person should be patient and trust in Allah’s decree. He/she should go ahead and marry someone else, as life should move forward despite our trials.

Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Isn’t the believer’s affair amazing! Allah decrees nothing except that it is good for him.” [Musnad Ahmad] We do not see the full picture, yet we must rely on Allah and have a good opinion of Him, that He does only what is best for us.

As for the concept of a “soulmate,” some scholars mention that in Paradise, a woman will be married to her last husband in this world (assuming they both enter Paradise). And according to some, this is one of the wisdoms that the wives of the Beloved Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) were prohibited from remarrying after his demise, so that they could have the honor of being his spouses in Paradise. [Ibn Mulaqqin, Ghayat al-Sul fi Khasa’is al-Rasul]

And Allah knows best.

wassalam

Faraz

Checked &  Approved by Faraz Rabbani