Allah Almighty states in the Holy Quran:

اِنَّ رَبَّکَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ ﴿ؕ۱۴﴾

Indeed nothing is hidden from the sight of your Lord.

(Al-Fajr 89, Verse 14)

Tafseer:

{إِنَّ رَبّك لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ} يَرْصُد أَعْمَال الْعِبَاد فَلَا يَفُوتهُ مِنْهَا شَيْء لِيُجَازِيَهُمْ عَلَيْهَا

Assuredly your Lord is ever on the watch, watching over the deeds of servants, nothing of which escapes Him, that He may then requite them for these [deeds].

(Tafseer Jalalain)

Hadeeth:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُمَا، قَالَ: كُنْتُ خَلْفَ النَّبِيِّ – صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ – يَوْمًا، فَقَالَ: «يَا غُلَامُ، إنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ: اِحْفَظِ اللهَ يَحْفَظْكَ، اِحْفَظِ اللهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَكَ، إِذَا سَألْتَ فَاسْأَلِ اللهَ، وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللهِ، وَاعْلَمْ: أَنَّ الْأُمَّةَ لَوِ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوْكَ بِشَيءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوْكَ إلاَّ بِشَيءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللهُ لَكَ، وَإِنِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوْكَ بِشَيءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوْكَ إلاَّ بِشَيءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللهُ عَلَيْكَ، رُفِعَتِ الْأَقْلَامُ وَجَفَّتِ الصُّحُفُ ».

رواه الترمذي، وَقالَ: حديث حسن صحيح

وَفِيْ رِوَايَةِ غَيْرِ التِّرْمِذِي: «اِحْفَظِ اللهَ تَجِدْهُ أَمَامَكَ، تَعَرَّفْ إِلَى اللهِ  في الرَّخَاءِ يَعْرِفُكَ فِيْ الشِّدَّةِ، وَاعْلَمْ: أنَّ مَا أَخْطَأكَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُصِيْبَكَ، وَمَا أَصَابَكَ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُخْطِئَكَ، وَاعْلَمْ: أنَّ النَّصْرَ مَعَ الصَّبْرِ، وَأَنَّ الفَرَجَ مَعَ الْكَرْبِ، وَأَنَّ مَعَ العُسْرِ يُسْرًا».

Sayyiduna Ibn Abbas – may Allah be pleased with them – said: One day, I was behind the Holy Prophet – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – when he said, “O boy! I will instruct you in some matters. Preserve the commandments of Allah, He will safeguard you.  Fulfil Allah’s rights, you will find him in front of you. When you ask, ask from Allah; and when you seek help, seek help from Allah. And remember that even if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah had foreordained for you; and if all of them gather inflict harm on you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you.  The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried up“.

(Tirmidhi – he said, “It is Sahih Hasan Hadeeth”)

In a narration from another source besides that of Tirmidhi: The Messenger of Allah – may Allah send peace and blessings upon him – said, “Preserve the Commandments of Allah, you will find Him before you. Remember Him in prosperity and He will remember you in adversity.  Be sure that which you miss, was not meant to hit you; and what which hits you was never meant to miss you. Remember that the Help of Allah is obtained with patience, and prosperity comes with suffering, and ease comes with hardship”.

Commentary:

Mulla Ali Qari – may Allah be pleased with him – writes the following in the commentary of this Hadeeth:

Preserve the commandments of Allah i.e. Do what Allah Almighty has commanded you to do and abstain from what He has forbidden for you He will safeguard you… i.e. Allah Almighty will safeguard you from worldly troubles and hardships and in the hereafter, He will protect you from punishments as a reward for following His commandments.

One who becomes Allah’s, Allah becomes his!

The Hadeeth continues:  The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried up…

The definition of Taqdeer:

Allamah Taftazaani explaining the Shariah meaning of Taqdeer writes that, “The good qualities of any creation, the bad qualities, the advantages, the dangers, its life span, where it will reside, its reward or punishment, all of these limits are considered to be its Taqdeer.”

Allamah Meer Syed Shareef has also given the same meaning to Taqdeer.

Allamah Taftazaani also explains that, “If there is an objection, that by accepting the meaning of Taqdeer (as it is found implies that) a Kaafir and Faasiq is helpless in his kufr and sin and that therefore, one cannot hold him accountable for his lack of Imaan or obedience. The answer to this is that the Almighty has intended kufr and transgression because this is what these people have chosen. Therefore this is not something forced (upon them) and because the Almighty was fully aware that these people would adopt kufr and transgression, therefore one cannot say that it was impossible for these people to choose something else”.

The view of the Ahle Sunnah and the Ahle Bidah on the issue of Taqdeer

Allamah Nawawi explains that, “The people of truth, in other words the Ahle Sunnah wa Jamaah believe that Taqdeer is something which is proven and established and that it means that from the beginning, the Almighty had destined everything or had determined everything. He also knew fully well that at this time a certain thing will happen, and this is what is occurring.  Hence these things occur in this manner.

Taqdeer according to the Holy Quran:

In surah Talaq, verse 3, the Quran declares that:

اِنَّ اللہَ بٰلِغُ اَمْرِہٖ ؕ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللہُ لِکُلِّ شَیۡءٍ قَدْرًا ﴿۳﴾

Verily, Allah is to fulfil His (Divine) Work. Undoubtedly, Allah has kept a measure for everything.

In Surah Fatir, verse 11, the Quran declares:

وَمَا تَحْمِلُ مِنْ اُنۡثٰی وَلَا تَضَعُ اِلَّا بِعِلْمِہٖ ؕ وَمَا یُعَمَّرُ مِنۡ مُّعَمَّرٍ وَّلَا یُنۡقَصُ مِنْ عُمُرِہٖۤ اِلَّا فِیۡ کِتٰبٍ ؕ اِنَّ ذٰلِکَ عَلَی اللہِ یَسِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱﴾

And no female does not bear, nor she gives birth but with His knowledge.  To whomsoever of long age is given age or the age of whomsoever is curtailed, all this is in a Book Verily it is easy for Allah.

In surah waqi’ah, verse 60:

نَحْنُ قَدَّرْنَا بَیۡنَکُمُ الْمَوْتَ

We have fixed death among you;

In surah Hadeed, verses 22/23:

مَاۤ اَصَابَ مِنۡ مُّصِیۡبَۃٍ فِی الْاَرْضِ وَلَا فِیۡۤ اَنۡفُسِکُمْ اِلَّا فِیۡ کِتٰبٍ مِّنۡ قَبْلِ اَنۡ نَّبْرَاَہَا ؕ اِنَّ ذٰلِکَ عَلَی اللہِ یَسِیۡرٌ ﴿۲۲﴾ۚۖ لِّکَیۡلَا تَاۡسَوْا عَلٰی مَا فَاتَکُمْ وَ لَا تَفْرَحُوۡا بِمَاۤ اٰتٰىکُمْ ؕ وَ اللہُ لَا یُحِبُّ کُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُوۡرِۣ ﴿ۙ۲۳﴾

No calamity reaches either in the earth or in your own persons, but it is in a Book, before We create it; Undoubtedly, it is easy for Allah.  So that you may not grieve over what is lost to you, nor rejoice over what is given to you and Allah loves not any exultant, boastful.

In surah Taubah, verse 51, the Quran declares that:

قُلۡ لَّنۡ یُّصِیۡبَنَاۤ اِلَّا مَا کَتَبَ اللہُ لَنَا ۚ ہُوَ مَوْلٰىنَا ۚ وَعَلَی اللہِ فَلْیَتَوَکَّلِ الْمُؤْمِنُوۡنَ ﴿۵۱﴾

Say you ‘nothing shall reach us, but what Allah has ordained for us.  He is our Protector, and the Muslims should keep trust in Allah only.

In surah Ale Imran. the Quran declares:

قُلۡ لَّوْ کُنۡتُمْ فِیۡ بُیُوۡتِکُمْ لَبَرَزَ الَّذِیۡنَ کُتِبَ عَلَیۡہِمُ الْقَتْلُ اِلٰی مَضَاجِعِہِمْۚ وَلِیَبْتَلِیَ اللہُ مَا فِیۡ صُدُوۡرِکُمْ وَلِیُمَحِّصَ مَا فِیۡ قُلُوۡبِکُمْؕ وَاللہُ عَلِیۡمٌۢ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُوۡرِ﴿۱۵۴﴾

Say you, ‘If you had been in your houses, even then those for whom killing was already written would have gone forth to the place of their slaughter; and in order that Allah might test the feelings of your breasts, and whatever is in your hearts might purge it.  Allah knows the thoughts of your hearts.

In Surah Al Araf, verse 34, the Quran declares that:

وَلِکُلِّ اُمَّۃٍ اَجَلٌ ۚ فَاِذَا جَآءَ اَجَلُہُمْ لَا یَسْتَاۡخِرُوۡنَ سَاعَۃً وَّلَا یَسْتَقْدِمُوۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾

And for every people there is a promise (been), that, when their term will come, they cannot remain behind for an hour nor will they get ahead of it.

In surah Nisa, verse 78, the Quran declares that:

اَیۡنَ مَا تَکُوۡنُوۡا یُدْرِکۡکُّمُ الْمَوْتُ وَلَوْکُنۡتُمْ فِیۡ بُرُوۡجٍ مُّشَیَّدَۃٍ ؕ وَ اِنۡ تُصِبْہُمْ حَسَنَۃٌ یَّقُوۡلُوۡا ہٰذِہٖ مِنْ عِنۡدِ اللہِ ۚ وَ اِنۡ تُصِبْہُمْ سَیِّئَۃٌ یَّقُوۡلُوۡا ہٰذِہٖ مِنْ عِنۡدِکَ ؕ قُلْ کُلٌّ مِّنْ عِنۡدِ اللہِ ؕ فَمَالِ ہٰۤؤُلَآءِ الْقَوْمِ لَا یَکَادُوۡنَ یَفْقَہُوۡنَ حَدِیۡثًا ﴿۷۸﴾

Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, evev if you be in strong forts. And if some good reaches them, then they say, ‘this is from Allah and if some bad reaches them, then they say, ‘This has come from you. Say you, ‘All is from Allah.  Then what happened to them, they seem not to understand anything.

A person has freedom to perform an act and also has freedom to display his skill and acumen:

In the issue of Taqdir, there has been one group who have gone beyond the limit and have claimed that man is totally helpless.  He has no choice over anything. This set of beliefs is certainly incorrect.  Yes, there is no doubt that the actions and intention of man is a creation of Allah, however, the Almighty has given man a specific role.  Creation is from Allah Almighty and to display skill and acumen is from man.

If man did not possess this, then what was the purpose of sending the Prophets?  What was the purpose of making man obedient to law and accountable for his action? If we believe as the misled believe, then what would be the meaning of giving him reward and punishment? In fact, if man was helpless, then the idea of giving him reward and punishment would be baseless, and no Divine Command is baseless.  The Almighty has certainly created good and bad.

When a person leans towards evil and bad deeds, he leans towards the satan and when he leans towards good and noble deeds, he is guided by the teachings of the Prophets.  Man has also been blessed with intelligence; in that he can also choose which path to follow. Hence, whatever course he chooses, he is Divinely enabled towards that path and that deed or action which he has chosen becomes easier for him to commit.  Whether it is bad or good and it is through this act of choosing by which he will either be punished or rewarded.

The Concept of Choice as explained in the Holy Quran:

In Surah Balad, verses 7,8,9,10,11 the Quran declares that:

اَیَحْسَبُ اَنۡ لَّمْ یَرَہٗۤ اَحَدٌ ؕ﴿۷﴾

Does man think that none has seen him?

اَلَمْ نَجْعَلْ لَّہٗ عَیۡنَیۡنِ ۙ﴿۸﴾

have We not made his two eyes;

وَ لِسَانًا وَّ شَفَتَیۡنِ ۙ﴿۹﴾

And a tongue and two lips’?

وَ ہَدَیۡنٰہُ النَّجْدَیۡنِ ﴿ۚ۱۰﴾

And pointed to him the way of two raised things.

فَلَا اقْتَحَمَ الْعَقَبَۃَ ﴿۱۱﴾۫ۖ

Then he hurried not to the steep valley without deliberation;

In Surah Layl, verses 4,5 the Quran declares that:

اِنَّ سَعْیَکُمْ لَشَتّٰی ؕ﴿۴﴾

Undoubtedly, your strivings are diverse.

فَاَمَّا مَنۡ اَعْطٰی وَ اتَّقٰی ۙ﴿۵﴾

Then as for him who gave (in charity) and feared God.

In surah Ankabut, verse 69, the Quran declares that:

وَالَّذِیۡنَ جٰہَدُوۡا فِیۡنَا لَنَہۡدِیَنَّہُمْ سُبُلَنَا ؕ وَ اِنَّ اللہَ لَمَعَ الْمُحْسِنِیۡنَ ﴿٪۶۹﴾

And those who struggled in Our path, surely We shall guide them in Our ways. And no doubt, Allah is with the righteous.

In surah Najm, verse 31, the Quran declares that:

لِیَجْزِیَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَسٰٓـُٔوۡا بِمَا عَمِلُوۡا وَ یَجْزِیَ الَّذِیۡنَ اَحْسَنُوۡا بِالْحُسْنٰی ﴿ۚ۳۱﴾

He may recompense the evil doers for their doings and reward with best those who do good.

Man is helpless in affairs which is from the heaven and has a choice when it comes to Shariah law

We should also try to understand in which laws and actions, man is helpless.  He is helpless when it comes to heavenly laws but has choice when it comes to laws of Shariah.  For example, affairs such as death, life, health, sickness, calamity, punishment, decrease in sustenance etc. in all these things man in helpless. However, when it comes to Imaan or Kufr, good and bad deeds etc.  In these things people have a choice or have power.  This is the reason that when it comes to these actions, a person becomes entitled for either punishment or reward. The issues which we have described from the Quran above, these are heavenly issues in which man is helpless unlike laws of shariah.  The following verses of the Quran proves this.

In Surah Kahaf, verse 29, the Quran declares that:

فَمَنۡ شَآءَ فَلْیُؤْمِنۡ وَّ مَنۡ شَآءَ فَلْیَکْفُرْ

then whoso will, let him believe and whoso will, let him disbelieve

In surah Haa Meem Sajdah, verse 46, the Quran declares that:

مَنْ عَمِلَ صٰلِحًا فَلِنَفْسِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنْ اَسَآءَ فَعَلَیۡہَا ؕ

Whoso does righteousness it is for his own good and whoso does evil, it is for his own bad.

In surah Baqarah, verse 286, the Quran declares that:

لَا یُکَلِّفُ اللہُ نَفْسًا اِلَّا وُسْعَہَاؕ لَہَا مَا کَسَبَتْ وَعَلَیۡہَا مَا اکْتَسَبَتْؕ

Allah places no burden on any soul but to the extent of his strength whatever good it earned is useful for it and whatever bad it earned is a loss for it.

Taqdir Mubram and Taqdir Mu’allaq

There are two types of Taqdir.  The first is Taqdir Mu’alliq – something which can be changed and Taqdir Mubram which is firm and established and cannot be changed.  The reason is that this has been established from the very beginning and is the Divine Decree of the Almighty which is impossible to change.  To insinuate that this can change would mean that Ma’azallah there is ignorance in this, and this is impossible.  The Divine Knowledge cannot change and therefore neither can Taqdir Mubram.

As for Taqdir Mu’alliq, the examples of these are, if on the Divine Tablet, it is written that a certain person is good or bad, or the life span of a person is so much.  Then, when a person does a good deed or a pious person makes Dua for him, his state of bad becomes a state of good.  Or his life span is increased. However, if he does not do something good, or a pious person does not make Dua for him, then he remains a bad person and his life span remains the same.

However, it must be remembered that this has already been determined by the Almighty whether this person would become an evil or good person or whether his life would be increased or not.  This is Taqdir Mubram.  It is also referred to as Ummul Kitaab.  The scholars of Quran have determined the existence of both types of Taqdir from the following verse, which is found in Surah Ra’ad, verse 39:

یَمْحُوا اللہُ مَا یَشَآءُ وَیُثْبِتُ ۚۖ وَعِنۡدَہٗۤ اُمُّ الْکِتٰبِ ﴿۳۹﴾

Allah wipes out what He pleases and establishes (what He pleases) and the real writing is with Him.

In this verse, the act of wiping and establishing, is considered to be Qada Mu’alliq and by Ummul Kitaab is meant Qada Mubram.

Imam Tirmidi May Allah have mercy on him records the following hadith shareef.

Hadrat Sayyiduna Salmaan Farsi May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him has stated that, “Taqdir can also be changed through Dua and age is only increased through noble deeds or actions”. This hadith shareef has been termed as Hasan Gharib.

Ibn Maja records:

Hadrat Sayyiduna Thouban May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him ha stated that, “Age is increased through good deeds. And Taqdir is only cancelled through Dua.  And a person through his sins loses his sustenance”.

Imam Bukhari May Allah have mercy on him records.

Hadrat Sayyiduna Anas bin Malik May Allah have mercy on him narrates that he heard the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him who declared that, “He who is happy because of his increased sustenance or is happy because of his long life, he should create a connection with his relatives.”

This hadith shareef was also recorded by Imam Muslim May Allah have mercy on him.  As for the issue of Qada Mubram, the following hadith pertain to this issue.

Imam Bukhari May Allah have mercy on him records.  Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah May Allah have mercy on him, narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him once told him, “Whatever is to happen to you, in regard to this, the pen has dried.”

Hadrat Sayyiduna Abdullah ibn Masud May Allah have mercy on him narrates that the Holy Prophet Peace be upon him has stated that, (and certainly he is the truthful) that, “By Allah! there is someone among you who continues to perform deeds just like a person of Hell (performs) until between him and Hell there is a very short distance.  Then destiny (or Taqdir) overtakes him and he begins to perform deeds of a Jannati (or of a person who will enter Paradise) and he enters Jannah.  And there is someone among you who performs deeds of a Jannati until there remains a very small distance between him and Jannah, then destiny (or Taqdir), overtakes him and he begins to perform deeds of a person in hell and he enters hell.”

(Sharah Sahih Muslim by Allama Sa’eedi Vol. 1)

Lesson:

  • No one has the power to change the Decision of Allah.
  • Whatever trouble one has to suffer in this world, it does not last forever. Every trouble is followed by prosperity, pleasure and happiness.