Questions related to destiny

What is the meaning of fate and destiny?

The belief in fate and predestination is one of the pillars of faith. Allah Most High said: “And He created everything and decreed it in full measure.” (Surah Al-Furqaan, aayah 2). And the meaning of decree and predestination is that Allah has full knowledge of things before they exist, and the fact that He wrote it down to happen, He willed it to happen and created it to happen.

How does Allah know what will happen before it happens?

It can be said to him with a simple palpable example that the maker of the game he plays with knows what the game is capable of doing before it actually does, because he is the one who created it and determined the task of every small and large thing in this game. He has a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the capabilities of this game and the areas in which it can move. Likewise, Allah is the one who created this man who is capable of these things, for Allah is greater in ability, vaster in knowledge and has a bigger ability to create, as his knowledge encompasses everything He created; before He created it, during its creation, and after He created it. Allah is the One Who created man, time and place, so He knows what was, wat is and what will be before it was.

Are we forced to do what we do? Does a person have a choice in his actions?

Man is compelled in some things, and he has a free choice in other things. We are compelled to be born, to die, and to live the amount of years that were assigned to us. We are also compelled and not able to choose who are our fathers and mothers, and we are compelled to be related to our family. But we choose whether we pray or not, we believe or disbelieve, and with this choice, our will is within the will of Allah, meaning that if Allah Almighty wanted to prevent us from choosing, He would have done so, and if He wanted to prevent us from leaving, He would have done so. But He decreed that man should choose and be held accountable after that for this choice, and this is the meaning of the saying of Allah Almighty: ”But you cannot will ˹to do so˺, except by the Will of Allah, the Lord of all worlds.” (Surah At-Takweer, aayah 29). The issue of compulsion and choice can be explained in a practical way. The parent brings a cup of glass and says to the child: ”Can you throw this cup on the ground to break it?” The child will answer: “Of course I can!” So the parent precedes him here and asks: “What is stopping you?” The child replies: “This is a mistake and it should not be done.” The parent then comments, saying: “Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, knew in eternity that you would not break this cup, because you are a good boy. And He knew also in eternity that a naughty boy would break this cup. So did anyone prevent you from throwing this cup on the ground? Or did someone force the naughty child to break the cup? The same goes for guidance and misguidance.” Then we say to the child: ”A person does not know what Allah has written for him, and you are not required to know what is written. but you are required to believe that Allah’s knowledge is comprehensive and complete. Among the things He has complete knowledge about is the writing down of the things that will happen; you are responsible for your will and the extent of your compliance with commands and leaving prohibitions, and this comes under your ability and will.

Why did He guide some people but He did not guide others?

Allah Most High has guided all people, as He said: “And We have shown him the two ways” (Surah Al-Balad, aayah 10). And the meaning of this guidance is that He clarifies to people and explained to them the straight path, so that the truth becomes clear and falsehood is clear. Allah has left freedom for people to choose; there are those who choose the right path and there are those who choose the wrong way.

If Allah has written in eternity that some of us will sin and go astray, then why would He punish us?

This knowledge is divine knowledge, about which humans have no knowledge. What they have are just conjectures, illusions and ignorance, and accordingly, a person is accountable for what he does in his worldly life, and there is no possibility for a servant to know the unseen that Allah has written for him until he performs his act and finishes it. So the written predestination is an argument for what has passed and not for what still has to come. We say to him: “Allah has written worldly matters for you.. So why do you do what benefits you from them and leave what harms you?!” And he could give him an example and say: “If a person wants to travel to a country, and this country has two paths, one of them is safe, and the other is not safe, which way will he choose? Of course, he will choose the first way. The same goes for the journey to the Hereafter; a person chooses the safe way to reach Paradise, which is by complying with orders and stay away from prohibitions. If fate were an argument for anyone, we would not be able to arrest criminals, for they will protest and say they committed their crime because it was ordained for them. Man must be satisfied and submit to Allah Almighty, for Allah said: ”He is not asked about what He does while they will be asked.” (Surah Al-Anbiyaa, aayah 23).

Why did Allah create us? Where did the universe come from? Why were animals created?

The Most High said: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Surah Al-Dhaariyaat, aayah 56). We have been created for a purpose that will benefit us , which is to worship Him, Glory be to Him, and make the results in the Hereafter according to our deeds. So Paradise is for the doers of good, and the Fire is for the evildoers, and this entire universe is a creation of Allah Most High. It is made with precision and knowledge; He created the heavens and the earth and spread the planets in it. He created the stars as markers, signs and adornments, He created the sun to give us warmth and heat and to let plants germinate and to eradicate germs. And He created animals as a subservient to humans to eat and carry their loads on. Allah Most High said: “And [He created] the horses, mules and donkeys for you to ride and [as] adornment. And He creates that which you do not know.” (Surah An-Nahl, aayah 8). So preparing the earth for habitation and the creation of these things before the creation of man.. It is a matter of honor that Allah Almighty bestowed on man. In addition to this: all these things glorify Allah Almighty, so they themselves are servants of Allah. Allah Most High said: “And there is not a thing except that it exalts [Allah] by His praise, but you do not understand their [way of] exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving.” (Surah Al-Israa’, aayah 44).

Will Allah take those people to account who have never received a Messenger?

They will be held accountable and will be taken to account, because Allah Almighty gave them reason and intellect. Then Allah will test them on the Day of Resurrection and command them. If they answer and obey, they will enter Paradise, and if they disobey, they will enter the Fire.

Why does evil exist?

This world is the abode of affliction, and it is like the first chapter of a novel with two chapters. The afterlife is the abode of reward, punishment and accountability, and retribution of rights from the oppressors to the oppressed, and it is like the second chapter of the novel. And for this reason, the presence of wicked people and the fact that they are sometimes not punished in this world is a trial. This does not mean the end of the matter, rather it is necessary for everyone to rise on the Day of Resurrection so that every person will receive the reward for his deeds. Allah the Exalted said: “So whoever does an atom’s weight of good will see it, And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Surah Az-Zalzalah, aayah 7-8).

Why did Allah create evil people?

Allah, blessed is He, created people and gave them the freedom to choose to do good or evil. So you can be polite and you can be impolite, but you have to bear the consequences, and this is a blessing from Allah and wisdom. The wicked are able to be kind and our role is to help them in that, but if they reject our help and insist on doing evil, our duty is to protect the people against their evil, so that Allah the Exalted will love us and rewards us. Allah the Exalted is the Creator of everything in this life, and this life is a house of trial and test. Allah Most High said:”[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed .” (Surah Al-Mulk, aayah 2). And a part of this test is the presence of evil at the hands of devils and deviants from among the children of Adam.

Why are some people born deformed or handicapped?

Allah tests them with deficiency and disease, in order for them to be patient and increase their good deeds. It is also so that Allah – may He be glorified and exalted – reminds us of the grace that He bestowed upon us by creating most of us healthy, so we thank Him for that, and to remind us of our weakness in the face of His abilities, so that we do not become arrogant, but rather show humility and help one another. And after Judgment Day, those who did good will live an eternal, healthy life, in the gardens of bliss – in shaa’-Allah.

Why are there rich and poor? Why do some bad people live in mansions and some good people in huts?

All the livelihood in this worldly life is from Allah, glory be to Him, and Allah tests His servants. Sometimes He gives a good person sustenance to test his generosity to others, and sometimes He deprives him of his sustenance, to test his patience and to see if it will not make him steal or hate. Whenever a good person lives in this temporary life with patience, his reward will be great on the Day of Judgment. As for the person who received increased livelihood but did not give to others and insulted them; he will be tormented on the Day of Resurrection because he did not appreciate the grace of Allah.

We can also say to him: Allah – Glory be to Him – created people in different degrees – some of them poor and some rich, so that the rich would be kind to the poor and the strong would help the weak. Allah’s wisdom has decreed that people vary in everything; their languages are different, their colors are many, they are from different races and natures, energetic and lazy, considerate and selfish, generous and miserly, varying in money and material. Some of them are poor and some of them are rich, and they are all tested. Richness is a test and poverty is a test. He tests the rich: will he spend?Will he pay Zakaat? Will he honor (the poor)? Will he spend in charity? And the poor man is tested: will he be patient? Will he work hard? Will he travel to seek his livelihood? Will he take bribes? Will he steal? It is all a test, but the guarantee for both parties is that the sustenance is from Allah Almighty, and that richness and poverty do not prevent people from entering Paradise and Hell. Everyone will be charged according to what he owns. If all people would have been one rich class, they wouldn’t have served one another and they wouldn’t have needed one another. Almighty said:”It is We who have apportioned among them their livelihood in the life of this world and have raised some of them above others in degrees [of rank] that they may make use of one another for service.” (Surah Az-Zukhruf, aayah 32), meaning: let you be of service to one another. And thus the wheel of life turns, but if there would have been only one class, life would stop.

Why do we fall ill? And why are people struck with disasters?

Allah tests every person; Will he be patient with contentment or will he be angry? Allah the Exalted will reward those who are patient with a great reward, with which the believer will rejoice on the Day of Resurrection. Disease, calamities and pain are predestined by Allah to raise people in degrees, and to purify our hearts and morals from vanity, pride and arrogance. During these times the believer draws closer to his Lord with supplication and patience, so his faith and good deeds increase and his Lord loves him. And these things also exist so that man learns the value of wellness, health and blessing. We can give him the example of a car and ask him: “Why is a car manufactured? To drive, right? So why did the manufacturer supply it with brakes? Doesn’t this contradict the fact that the car should move? The use of the brakes is necessary for its safety; the car was made to run, but the brake stops it at the appropriate time in order not to destroy its owner. In the same way: just as Allah, Praised and Exalted is He, created us to make us happy by worshiping Him and His blessings upon us, so Allah the Almighty and Majestic created calamities to remind the heedless human of the great task for which He was created. He stops his heedlessness and negligence and remembers his Lord, so he asks forgiveness, shows patience and hopes for reward.

Was it Allah Who created dangerous animals and insects?

Allah is the Creator of everything, and He is the Lord of everything. Just as He created these creatures with His power, so He created them with His wisdom also. He is the All-Wise, the All-Knowing, who knows what we do not know. The knowledge and understanding that Allah has taught us are very small in relation to Allah’s knowledge and wisdom. Therefore Allah the Exalted says: “And you were not given of knowledge but a little.” (Surah Al-Israa, aayah 85). We cannot understand all the wisdoms behind the creation of these animals, but from the wisdoms behind the creation of such creatures is the appearance of the perfection of Allah’s workmanship in His creation and His management of His creatures, because they are many, yet He provides for them all. And likewise He, Glory be to Him, afflicts people by means of them and rewards those who are afflicted by them. The courage of those who kills these creatures becomes clear, as well as the weakness of man and his inability in his pain and illness because of a creature that is inferior to him in creation. Also it has been shown in modern medicine and experiments that a number of useful drugs can be extracted from the poison of snakes and the like. On top of that, the snake eats mice in fields that spoil agricultural crops, and many of these harmful animals are food for other beneficial animals, which forms a food chain in the balance that exists in nature and the environment that Allah has ordained to create.

Why do we have to pray five times per day?

The forms of worship that Allah has obliged us to perform are only means of purifying the soul of the believer and upgrading his spirit, and how small is the effort he exerts in them, even though he earns so much good with it. Prayer combines the recitation (of the Qur’aan), remembrance (dhikr) and supplication (du’aa). It combines the different parts of the body in servitude in the most complete way and it is better than all recitation (of the Qur’aan), remembrance and supplication on its own, as it combines all these acts with the servitude of all parts of the body.

The believers find their happiness in prayer, because during the prayer they have the chance to be with Allah, Glory be to Him, supplicating to Him with whatever they wish for, and He responds to them. And we pray because Allah the Exalted has commanded us to do so, and we always love to do what Allah has commanded us to do. We worship Allah because He is our Creator and Provider, and because He deserves to be worshiped because of what He has given us of countless gifts. The Exalted said: “For, were you to count the favors of Allah, you will not be able to count them.” (Surah An-Nahl, aayah 18). This worship is only an expression of our love and gratitude to Allah the Exalted and an acknowledgment of our need for Him to preserve our health, guide us to goodness and keep us away from evil. Allah does not need it, because He is independent of us and our actions and he does not benefit from them. Acts of worship are commands from Allah; He wanted us to worship Him in the way that His Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came with. And this is the meaning of the two testimonies of faith (“shahaadatayn”), i.e.: We worship Allah in the manner of the Messenger of Allah. Moreover these acts of worship are a means for us to obtain great rewards, which will be a reason to enter Paradise. Allah has decreed in His wisdom that he does not give a person any reward without work. Paradise is Allah’s commodity, an expensive commodity, and it comes at a great price – which is obedience.

I supplicated to Allah in my prayer to make me grow up fast, but Allah did not answer my supplication?

Supplication has etiquette that must be observed, and among the etiquette of supplication is that the supplicant respects the rules and laws that Allah Almighty has set for the running this world. We pray to Allah while He, Glory be to Him, does the good that He chooses for us. It could be that you ask your father to play with a bike on a road full of cars, but he refuses, because he loves you and believes that not fulfilling your request is better for you. It belongs to the generosity of Allah the Exalted that our supplication knows one of three states; The first: for Allah to respond to us and fulfill it, the second: for Allah to lift a calamity and something bad that would happen to us, and the third: that Allah will store it for us on the Day of Resurrection, to achieve something better than that in Paradise.

Why am I not beautiful like my friend?

Because Allah, Praised and Most High, created every one with a specific appearance that distinguishes him from another person. Every creation of Allah is beautiful, like Allah Most High said: “We have certainly created man in the best of stature.” (Surah At-Teen, aayah 4). And every person has his own unique appearance. Those that Allah has made extremely beautiful should thank Allah more, and those who are not like that should be satisfied and accept it. Both those who are grateful and those who have patience will have hing ranks and an enormous reward.

If Allah loves us then why do bad things happen to us?

Allah tests us to distinguish the one who does well from the one who doesn’t. I could be that Allah tests a person so that that person seeks his refuge with Him and will always remain near to Allah. So Allah tests His loved ones, to purify or test them and to elevate their ranks, so that they will be a role model for others. In this way others may be patient and sympathize with them. And for this reason the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “The most severely tested people are the Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them.” (Sahih Al-Jaami’ #992). So a person will be tested according to his religious strength. If he is very firm in his religion, he will be tested harder. And for this reason Allah tested the Prophets with great trials; some of them got killed, some of them got harmed, and among them were those who fell very ill for a long time, like Ayoob, peace be upon him. And our Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was harmed a lot in Makkah and Madinah, and despite that he endured with patience. So what we mean to say is that harm befalls the people of taqwa and imaan according to the strength of their taqwa and imaan. On top of that it needs to be firmly established in the child that Allah Most Powerful and Majestic does what He wants and decides what He wishes and that Allah, Blessed and Most High, will not be questioned about what He does, because He is the most just of judges.

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