Taqdeer

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Is it true that destiny and fate of every person is predetermined from the time when he enters into the ovary of his/her mother to his/her last breath (his/her death). Is true that destiny and fate are pre determined and regardless of whether one works hard or not nothing can be changed and even the smallest of the things, the smallest happenings, the smallest of the decisions made by that person even the minutest things that no one even cares about are pre determined. So if everything is pre determined and there is absolutely no chance of changing the destiny by any way or by any means then what will be the correct tafsir of this verse in the HOLY QURAN which is translated like a human being/person will only get what he tries for.

In the name of Allah, the most Beneficent, the most Merciful.

Answer

Saaiduna Jabir Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said “You can never be a Muslim (believer) as long as you do not believe in Taqdeer, in it’s good and its bad to such an extent that whatever is to happen will be warded off and whatever is not to happen will not occur”.  (Sunan Tirmizi p.36 v.2)

Saaiduna Abu Darda Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said that Allah has already pre destined five things for all people: age, sustenance, deeds, place of burial and final salvation or condemnation.  (Musnad Ahmad)

Saaiduna Abdullah Ibn Umar Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam has said that all things are subject to destiny, even wisdom and stupidity.  (Sahih Muslim)

Accepting Imaan and faith on Taqdeer is an integral part of being a believer.

With regards to your question, the purpose of mankind’s creation is that we worship Allah (SWA) and we show obedience to Him. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an,

“I created the Jinn and humankind only that they might worship me.” (Surah Azzariyyat v.36)

Furthermore, this world serves as a test of our obedience towards our creator and so that He may reward us in the next world accordingly. Allah states in the Holy Qur’an, “Verily we created man from a drop of mingled sperm, in order to try him: so we gave him (the gifts), of hearing and sight. We showed him the way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful (rests on his will).” (Surah Dahar v.2 -v.3

Also the notion that this world is a test warrants that the subjects being tested possess free will or else there would be no meaning to such a test.

With the above in mind the concept of destiny may further be explained by understanding destiny to be Allah’s knowledge of how the individual is going to use his free-will rather than a pre-decided factor being enforced upon him without giving him a fair chance. Consider the following example: An appointment is arranged between two individuals. The first arrives before time and waits for the second; he then comments that the second will arrive late as always. He bases his prediction on previous experience and the lax nature of the second individual. This statement does not restrict or bound the latter’s ability to attend on time in any way, it is merely an assertion. Similarly, when Allah (SWA) informs us, through his infinite knowledge, of his knowledge of our precise actions and our consequent abode it should not be perceived to be a compelling decision against our free will, but rather only his knowledge of our decisions.

To summarise, every individual has been given free will and should use it to work towards attaining the pleasure of Allah and that Allah has full knowledge of the individual’s actions; past, present and future.

With regards to your question on the interpretation of the verse ‘And that a man does not deserve but (the reward) of his own effort’   (Surah Najm v.39), the summary of the verse is that just as on person shall carry the burden of sin of any other, so shall he benefit only from the good that he himself has done.

It is not the case that a person performs a righteous act instead of someone else and the latter is absolved of his responsibility.  For example, if a person performs the obligatory prayers and fasts on behalf of somebody else the latter will not be absolved of his religious duties and obligations.  He is still liable for them.   (Maariful Quran p.230 v.8)

Finally, it should be bourn in mind that to discuss or talk about Taqdeer was not the practice of the Salaf.

Saaiduna Abu Hurairah Radiallahu Anhu narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam came to us when we were arguing about Taqdeer.  He was angry and his face became so red that it looked as if pomegranate seeds had been burst upon his cheeks.  He then said “Is this what you were commanded to do? Or was it for this purpose that I was sent to you?  Your predecessors perished only when they argued about this matter.  I adjure you, I adjure you, not to argue about it.” ’  (Sunan Ibn Majah p.9 v.1)

Saaidah Aaisha Radiallahu Anha narrates that the Prophet of Allah Sallallahu Alahi Wasalam said “He who discusses any aspect of Tadeer will be questioned about it on the Day of Judgement but he who does not discuss it will not be questioned about it.”   (Sunan Ibn Majah p.9 v.1)

Only Allah Knows Best

Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul Ifta Birmingham

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