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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).

Free Will and the Divine Decree: A Reader

“And you cannot intend (to do anything) unless it is so willed by Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.” [Quran 81.29]

Destiny and Human Responsibility in Islam

Affirming Free Will and the Divine Decree

Why Does the Qur’an Say Allah Misguides the Disbelievers? The Question of Free Will

Is Iblis Really from the Jinn? Why Is Iblis Blaming Allah for Leading Him Astray?

Do We Have Choice? And Does Allah Prevent That Choice from Being Realized?

How Can Allah Punish Disbelievers If He Is the One Who Veils Them From the Truth?

How Are the Prophets Protected from Error and Sin?

Do We Have Choice? And Does Allah Prevent That Choice from Being Realized?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As Salaam alaikum,
1. Does Allah create our choices?
2. When we ask Allaah to give someone guidance how does Allah’s help to this person manifest itsef in regard to his free will?
3. When Allaah miraculously saves a Prophet or saves someone from some harm coming from the enemy, is this just Him occasionally stopping the enemy’s free will? Like when the disbelievers didn’t to destroy the spider web on the cave…
4. How do we deal with mentally challenged people? I know they are not responsible in front of God but why do they exist?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Everybody has choice (ikhtiyar), and therein lies the secret of responsibility (taklif) before the Divine.
But there is no such thing as choice being prevented and the like. It is possible that what people wish to do doesn’t always happen as they intended, yet this doesn’t negate choice as people aren’t running the world– Allah is. With that in mind, don’t overcomplicate such discussions lest you put yourself into some degree of hardship.
(1) Allah is the Creator of absolutely everything. The human being has no power in and of himself, and does not create his own actions, yet is responsible by virtue of his being able to act.
(2) Supplication benefits. [see: Can Supplication Change Destiny?]
(3) They had the choice to break the spider’s web, but they chose not to.
(4) There is wisdom in the creation of everything– sometimes such wisdom is apparent and sometimes it is not. Something we can appreciate from the existence of such people is the magnitude of the Divine Favour upon us.
Please also see: Affirming Free Will and the Divine Decree and: Suffering and Divine Wisdom
Consider taking: Excellence in Faith & Action (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion) and: Islamic Beliefs for Seekers: Dardir’s Kharidah Explained
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Affirming Free Will and the Divine Decree

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

Question: I’ve been having strong doubts about Islam due to difficulty accepting the belief in Qadr.

This verse from Imam al-Tahawi’s creed strongly bothers me, for example.

83. The Garden and the Fire are created things that never come to an end and we believe that Allah created them before the rest of creation and then created people to inhabit each of them. Whoever He wills goes to the Garden out of His bounty and whoever He wills goes to the Fire through His justice. Everybody acts in accordance with what is destined for him and goes towards what he has been created for.

Also this: 44. The same applies to all actions done by people, which are done exactly as Allah knew they would be done. Everyone is eased towards what he was created for and it is the action with which a man’s life is sealed which dictates his fate. Those who are fortunate are fortunate by the decree of Allah, and those who are wretched are wretched by the decree of Allah.

I used to believe that Allah loves and wants the best for all his creation. But now I have to believe that he tests the non-Muslims to justify damning them to perdition. How is this fitting for a kind and loving God? This belief is causing me distress in religion and life. Also doesn’t this mean that Firoun and Shaytan etc. were only fulfilling their purpose of creation?

Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

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

I believe you have a misunderstanding of this issue. Allah’s preeternal will coincides with His preeternal knowledge, and this by no means negates the free will of man and jinn.

That is to say, Allah in preeternity knew and, based on His knowledge, willed that Firown would be the way he would. Allah decreed the actions of Firown as per His preeternal knowledge of Firown’s choices. Of course, there is no implication of time sequence in this (see below on Allah’s timelessness).

But in his own lifetime, Firown chose to act the way he acted, and was not forced by any means. The two realities are not mutually exclusive. We affirm human free will, and we also affirm divine knowledge, will and power.

This issue is a complex one that is difficult for the mind to grasp at even an elementary level. Indeed, at the root of our difficulty is that we cannot fathom the divine attribute of ‘timelessness.’ He Most High is the First and the Last, without beginning and without end. He is not bound by time, since time itself is His creation. As our Master Ibn Ata’illah states, “Allah existed, and there was nothing besides Him. And He is now just as He was.”

So all of creation, and all moments of creation, are “laid out” in front of the Divine, as it were. There is no ‘before/now/after’ with respect to Allah. So from the divine vantage point, Firown’s place in the Fire is not ‘after’ Firown’s birth… Divine knowledge of Firown did not increase one iota after Firown. This is essential to understand. It was already done, in a sense.

“They did not estimate Allah His rightful estimation; indeed, Allah is strong, mighty.” (22:74)

I would advise you to study creed under qualified scholarship. You may want to take the following course for example: Islamic Beliefs for Seekers: Dardir’s Kharidah Explained

And Allah knows best.

wassalam

Faraz

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related Answers:

Destiny and Human Responsibility in Islam

Divine Decree, Contentment, and Lessons From the Prophet’s Life

Can Supplication Change Destiny?