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St Francis Magazine Nr. 4 Vol.

II (March 2007)

Divine Will and Predestination

In the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah
‫ار و ا
By ‘Umar S. al-Ashqar

This nicely designed book is Part 6 in the Islamic Creed Series of

International Islamic Publishing House (IIPH). It is the translation of
the Arabic original that was published in 1990. This English version
was published in Riyadh in 2003.
The following summary of this book is written by Abu Banaat. For
the transcription of Arabic words, the system of the book has been
followed as much as possible. For the sake of clarification, another
manner of numbering the subdivisions in the chapters has been use
than in the original book. Abu Banaat also added some comments in
footnotes and some questions for discussion of this book summary in
the end.

Translator’s Foreword not sure whether ‘Umar S. al-

Ashqar would be happy with
that statement.
The English translator of the
Arabic original of this book
says that the author tries to 1. Belief in Qadar
explain how all that happens in (Predestination) is one
life is decreed before creation of the basic principles
by God, and how at the same
time people must be actively
of faith (Usuul al-
pursuing doing what is Eemaan)
prescribed by Islam.
According to the translator,
while ‘all that happens, takes The author proves the
place within the framework of importance of the divine
the Divine Will, man has decree, or predestination
freedom of choice within those (qadar) by quoting some
parameters’. (p. 13) In the hadiths and verses from the
light of the actual book, it is Qur’an. In one hadith, the

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Islamic Prophet says that faith not believe in Tawheed, the

is ‘to believe in God, his absolute unity of the divine, as
angels, his books, his they believe that beside the
messengers, and to believe in Creator of good, there is
divine destiny (qadar), both another creator of evil. ‘Those
the good and the evil thereof’. among our ummah who
(p. 22) believe this, say that the sins
The term qadar is part of a which occur do not happen by
group of words that describe the Will of Allah, and they may
God’s power. Power (Qudrah) also say that he does not know
is one of his attributes. Three about them [ahead of time].
of his names are related to the They say that all the deeds of
same word: He is called al- living beings happen without
Qaadir (Able), al-Qadeer (All- His power of creation. So they
Powerfull) and al-Muqtadir deny that He has an irresistible
(Omnipotent). The verb all Will and complete Power.’ (p.
these words are derived from 25)
is qadara-yaqdiru. That verb
means basically to measure.1
(pp. 23-24) 2. A Glance at the
Denying qadar is denying
God’s power, according to the
history of Qadar
writer. He defines qadar by
saying that ‘all events, good A hadith says that one day,
and bad, beneficial and some men were discussing
harmful, happen by the will qadar. When the prophet
and decree of Allah’. Those overheard this, he became
who have a different view do very angry: ‘The people who
came before you were
destroyed when they disputed
According to J.M. Cowan (ed), about this matter. I urge you
Arabic-English Dictionary: The Hans
not to dispute about this.’
Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written
Arabic (Beirut, 1980), qadara-yaqdiru According to the writer, it is
means, to decree, ordain, decide. It is not known that any of the
correct that the word is presently used companions of the prophet
in that sense, but the author’s
discussed qadar since then. (p.
comment that it means to measure
refers to the original usage of the 26)
word. God’s act of measuring out The first man to go on
what each person’s lot in life would be, record speaking about qadar
came to mean to decree, ordain,
was Sawsan, a man from Iraq

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who was a Christian and Other groups in Islam

became a Muslim, but returned accepted qadar, but used that
to Christianity again. He is as a pretext for doing as they
seen as the initiator of the pleased, and to negate the
theological movement of the importance of commands and
Qadaris, later called the prohibitions. They claimed
Mu‘tazilah.2 These argued that that ‘the individual is
evil cannot be attributed to compelled to do what he does,
Allah, and that it is wrong to and that he has no choice as to
believe that Allah would decree whether he does it or not.’
people to be unbelievers and Especially ascetics and Sufis
to then punish these people for are mentioned as holding this
that. These people also idea. (pp. 31-32)
argued that the individual has
the power (qudrah) to initiate
his own actions independently 3. Definition of Qadaa’
from Allah; they denied that
things happen by the qadar
(Divine Will) and
and qadaa’ of Allah. Hence Qadar (Predestination)
these people were called al-
Qadariyah by the Sunni 3.1 Definition of Qadar
scholars. (pp. 29-30)
The author says that Qadar includes two things:
Muhammad called al- 1 The eternal knowledge
Qadariyah ‘Magi’, as they of Allah, by which he
adhered, like the Zoroastrians, ruled that He would
to the idea of two creators: create whatever He
one for all things good, and wanted to exist, and
one for evil. ‘But Allah […] is that He specified the
the Creator of both good and qualities of the things
evil, and nothing of them He wanted to create.
happens except by His Will.’3 He wrote down all of
(p. 31) that in al-Lauh al-
Mahfooz (The Preserved
2 Tablet) in His words
It is important to be careful and not
take the description of al-Qadariyah at with the Pen.
face value, as the author, a Wahhabi
scholar, sees them as theological
enemies. discussions about qadar and free will
Many of the hadiths used in this book that were held in the ummah long
seem to reflect the philosophical after Muhammad had passed away.

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2 The creation of The belief in Qadar has four

whatever Allah […] has pillars (summarized on p. 37):
decreed should exist,
according to His prior 1 Belief that the
knowledge and what knowledge of God is
was written by His Pen; all-encompassing; He
whatever happens in even knows what
reality is identical to would have happened
that prior, written if things happen that
knowledge. (p. 34) have not happened.
2 Belief that He has
3.2 Definitions of al-Qadaa’ written in the
(Divine Wil) Preserved Tablet
everything that will
The term al-qadaa’ is closely come to pass
related to qadar; it means 3 Belief in the
decree, judgment, decision, irresistible will and
and it is often used of God’s perfect power of God;
decisions. Scholars disagree what He wills happens
whether qadar or qadaa’ is the and what He does not
basis for the other. The author will does not happen
thinks that qadar is the basis 4 Belief that God
for qadaa’, and holds that created everything
qadar is the decree, while that exists, and that
qadaa’ is more specific and He has no partner in
refers to the implementation of creation
the decree in time. (pp. 35-
37).4 In the context of the first
point, the author points to a
3.3 The Pillars of Belief in hadith that says that ‘Allah
Qadar created [some] people for
Paradise; He created them for
it when they were still in the
The overwhelming majority of Islamic
loins of their forefathers. And
scholars makes Qadaa’ the universal,
general and eternal decree, and Qadar He created people for Hell; He
the individual development or created them for it when they
application of that in time. See entry were still in the loins of their
Kadā’ in H.A.R. Gibb and J.H. Kramers
forefathers’. (p. 40). The
(eds), Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam
(Leiden, 1974, first edition 1953), p. author underlines that God

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does not send people to hell to the deeds of the people of

based on his foreknowledge Paradise, and He knows the
only, but also because of their people of Hell and facilitates
deeds. (p. 41) them to the actions of the
Regarding the second people of Hell.’ (pp. 48-49)
point, ‘Allah wrote the decrees Even though ‘the Lord of
of His creation fifty thousand people knows what people will
years before He created the do: He has willed it and
heavens and the earth’, decreed that […] He knows
according to one hadith. (p. people’s ultimate destiny […]
43) But at the same time He has
The first thing He created told us that qadar is not a
was the Pen, for writing the reason why people should not
qadar in the Preserved Tablet. strive.’ The author quotes a
That Tablet is also called al- verse without referencing it:
Kitaab, Umm al-Kitaab, etc. ‘Strive, for each person will be
The Qur’an is part of the guided to do that for which he
Preserved Tablet. (pp. 44-45) was created.’ (p. 50)
Regarding the third point, The author then uses six
the author clarifies that arguments to prove that Allah
whatever man wills, good or decreed the deeds of His
bad, is based on what God slaves:
wills them to will. (pp. 45-47) 1 Hadiths indicate that
the pens have dried
3.4 People’s Deeds are concerning people’s
Created by Allah and deeds and that events
Decreed by Him materialize
accordingly. The
People and their deeds are not author quotes a
different to any other created hadith in which
things as far as qadar is Muhammad confirms
concerned. God ‘already that ‘what we strive
knows what He will create to do emanates from
through the actions of His [...] something that
slaves and He knows what they has been decreed
will do’. All of that is written in already.’ (p. 51)
the Preserved Tablets. ‘Allah 2 Allah knows who will
knows the people of Paradise go to Paradise and
and facilitates and assists them who will go to Hell

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The progeny of Adam virtue of that deed’.

were brought forth (p. 53)
from his loins after he In order to avoid that
was created, and people would ever
were divided in two blame their
groups – the people of forefathers for their
Paradise and the bad behavior and lack
people of Hell. The of faith, God spoke to
author quotes a the people when they
hadith: ‘After creating were taken as small
Adam, Allah wiped his ants from Adam’s
back and brought loins. He made all of
forth his progeny from them testify that He
his back, looking like was their [sole] Lord,
little ants, and from ‘lest you should say:
them He brought forth It was only our
the people of Paradise forefathers who took
and the people of others as partners in
Hell’. (p.52) First he worship along with
brought forth those Allah, and we were
for Paradise, then [merely their]
those for Hell. (p. 53) descendants after
3 God said ‘I have them.’ (p. 54)
created these for Hell, 4 Allah has written down
and they will do the the names of the
deeds of the people of people of Paradise
Hell. [So] a man and the people of
asked: so why should Hell. That does not
we strive?’ The mean that people
answer was: ‘If Allah should not strive: ‘Do
created a person for what is right and do
Paradise, He will your best, for the
cause him to do the person who is
deeds of the people of destined for Paradise
Paradise, until he dies will be caused to die
doing one of the when he is doing one
deeds of the people of of the deeds of the
Paradise, so he will people of Paradise, no
enter Paradise by

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matter what he did another forty days,

before’. (p. 55) and then a piece of
5 The decree on Laylat flesh for another forty
al-Qadar and the days. Then Allah
decree day to day. In sends an angel to
Laylat al-Qadar the breathe the soul into
annual decree of who him. Then he is
will live and die commanded to write
during the coming four decrees: his
year, how much provision, his
provision and rain lifespan, his deeds,
people will have, what and whether he will
actions people will do, be doomed or
and so on, are blessed.’ Another
transferred from the hadith adds that after
Preserved Tablet. the stage of sperm,
The term ‘daily clot and lump of
decree’ means the flesh, Allah completes
carrying out of the his creation, so the
decrees so that they angel says: ‘O Lord,
happen at the times male or female,
previously doomed or blessed?
determined. (p. 56) What is his provision?
6 The writing of the What is his lifespan?
decree for a person All of that is written
when he is a fetus in while he is in his
his mother’s womb. mother’s womb. (pp.
One hadith says that 57-58)
Allah sends an angel
to the fetus, to write The author finishes the chapter
down his provision, by focusing on the need to
his lifespan, and strive to do good: ‘When Allah
whether he is doomed wills good for His slave, […]
or blessed. ‘Everyone how does He guide him?
of you is collected in [Muhammad] said: ‘He helps
the womb of his him to do a righteous deed
mother for the first before he dies.’ A person may
forty days, and then do the deeds of the people of
he becomes a clot for Paradise all his life, but if his

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life ends with a deed of the permissible to ask about their

people of Hell, that shows his nature and essence. [Asking]
fate. ‘It is the final deed that how is bid’ah (heresy).’ (pp.
counts.’ (pp. 59-60) 63-64)
Those who were unwise to
discuss qadar, discussed how
4. Limits within which Allah created the deeds of His
slaves when these deeds stem
Qadar may be in fact from the individual, how
subjected to rational Allah knows what His slaves
analysis will do, and how He obliged His
slaves to strive even though
‘The way to understand he He knew what they would do,
matter is’, according one and He knows whether their
hadith, ‘to stop at what has ultimate destination will be
been said in he Qur’an and Paradise or Hell. (p.64)
Sunnah, without referring to The shari‘ah has three
analogy and reason. […] Qadar purposes:
is one of the secrets of Allah
which is known only to the All- 1 Through reason people
Knowing. […] Delving into the know what is good and
matter means that one will be evil, but only by the
forsaken by Allah and lost in shari‘ah do people know
confusion, deprivation and that they will be
transgression’. (p. 61) punished by Hell for
Another hadith commands wrong deeds. (p. 66)
people to believe in qadar ‘and 2 Actions are determined
not to ask why or how’. (p. 62) to be good or evil by
‘The attempt to understand the Lawgiver. When He
how Allah knew, wrote, willed commands that
and created, is an attempt to something is good, it is
understand the essence of good.
Allah’s attributes and how 3 The Lawgiver
these attributes operate. commands things as a
These matters are hidden from test and a trial, as when
the human mind. This is He commanded
something which is unseen, Ibraheem to kill his son.
which we are required to (p. 67)
believe in, but it is not

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The Mu‘talizah only agreed to ‘acknowledge that Allah has

the first issue. The Ash‘ari’ah created man with a will (to
says that all commands are a choose), but they say that this
test, and that no deeds in will is the potential to choose;
themselves are good or evil. when his will is connected to
Wise scholars agree to all three something specific, then this
points. (p. 67) action is not created (by
Allah)’. (p. 74).
The author’s conclusion is
5. Schools of thought that these people are worse
than dualists, as they say that
on Qadar there are ‘numerous creators
for each individual, and for
5.1 The View of those who each action. They say that
deny Qadar every created being is also a
creator’. (p.74)
At the end of the period of the ‘The inevitable implication
Companions of the Prophet, of this view is that people’s
the view developed that God actions lie beyond the creation
does not know ahead of time of Allah and are not subject to
what will happen. The His sovereignty and control.
Mu‘talizah later adopted this This means that there may
position. (p. 69) The author exist in His Dominion things
quotes a hadith that compares that He does not will, and that
people with this opinion with He wills things that do not
Magi (i.e. Zoroastrians) happen, so they are
because of their dualism, as he independent of Allah’. (p. 75)
holds that they say that ‘each This implies ‘that the will of the
person is a creator alongside kaafir overpowered the will of
Allah’. (p. 71) The group that Allah’. (p. 75)
holds that God does not know The author uses many
things ahead of time, has more pages full of examples from
or less disappeared. (p. 73). the hadiths to prove that God
The Qadariyah nowadays hold is All-Powerful and that all that
that God knows all things happens in reality is because
ahead of time, but they still He decreed that to happen. He
maintain that ‘people’s deed also treats some special
are done by them and stem issues:
from them independently of
Allah’. (p. 74) They

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5.2 Specious Arguments born, the devils from among

and their Refutation mankind and the jinn surround
them and corrupt their sound
5.2.1 The meaning of nature (fitrah), but Allah
blotting out and confirming protects those whom He
in the books, and the wishes to guide to the truth.
increase and decrease in Allah knows those who will
people’s lifespans remain steadfast and adhere to
In the Qur’an and the hadiths, the sound fitrah, and those
sometimes language is used whose fitrah is changed. He
that seems to indicate that the knows that from eternity and it
lifespan of a person or his is written. (pp. 86-87)
provisions may be changed, 5.2.3 If all things are
but that is only in the eyes of decreed, what is the
man, from an experiential meaning of the aayah
viewpoint. ‘What can be ‘whatever of evil befalls
changed or altered is what you, is from yourself’?
people see of the deeds of a This verse is taken out of
person [but] whatever was context; in the Qur’an (4:78-
previously known to Allah 79) it says: ‘And if some good
cannot be blotted out’. (P.86) reaches them, they say: this is
5.2.2 Reconciliation from Allah. But if some evil
between the idea that Allah befalls them, they say: this is
decrees all things and the from you [O Muhammad].
hadith ‘every child is born Say: All things are from Allah,
in a state of fitrah (the so what is wrong with these
natural inclination of people that they fail to
mankind)’ understand any word?
How can it be that Allah has Whatever of good reaches you,
decreed all things, while all is from Allah, but whatever of
children are born in a state of evil befalls you, is from
fitrah (i.e., as Muslims)? The yourself?’
authors answer by saying that According to the author,
‘Allah has created His slaves in the words ‘is from yourself’
such a way that they are free mean, that the sins of the
from false beliefs, and [He] person are the cause of his
has created them with the calamity, not Muhammad. And
readiness to accept the sound ‘even this is decreed; it is
beliefs, but when they are because Allah has decreed that

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calamities will come about Some go as far as claiming

because of sins.’ (pp. 89-90) that God loves kufr (unbelief),
5.2.4 How did Allah create shirk (polytheism), killing,
and decree evil? zinaa (adultery), as he created
Allah does not create pure evil it all. (pp. 92-93)
in which there is no good of They also argue that God is
benefit whatsoever to not asking something
anybody, and in which there is reasonable from man: He
no wisdom and mercy. He obliges man to ‘believe and
does not punish people without follow the laws of Allah [while
them having sinned. [There is] this is] something only the
wisdom and mercy behind the Creator can do. […] So He has
creation of Iblees, insects and obliged His creation to do His
wild beasts. Any created thing deeds, and they are not able to
may be considered good in one do that, and then He punishes
sense and evil in another. them for doing it, when in fact
Allah created Iblees in order to they are not the ones who do
test His slaves through them. it’. (p. 95)
(p. 91) Their thinkers suggest that
what Allah wills and what He
5.3 Those who do not loves are the same thing. ‘He
Strive, Relying on Qadar willed everything that exists in
Instead the universe, and everything
that He willed, He also loves.’
If God knows everything and (p. 96)
all matters are decreed, even The overwhelming number
man’s eternal destination, why of people follow the belief in al-
should anyone bother to jabr (the belief that one is
strive? This idea has been forced or compelled to do what
prevalent among ascetics and one does). ‘Belief in al-Jabr
Sufis. They see man as a takes away man’s
feather blown in the wind. responsibility and the burden
These people forsake striving of having committed sins, and
on the grounds of qadar, even puts the blame on the forces
before it happens. They also which motivate the will of man
use qadar […] as an excuse for and lead him to commit those
the things that they do which sins’. (p. 97)
are contrary to shari‘ah. (p. This leads to the concept
92) that in the end, it does not

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matter whether one does good drinks, rides […] buys and sells
or bad. (p. 98) things, sits down, stands up,
gets married, gets divorced
5.4 Refutation of al- and so on, he does those
Qadariyah al-Jabariyah things by choice, by his own
will and strength.’ (p. 102)
5.4.1 Their error in using ‘The Qur’an constantly
the word jabr (compulsion) attributes deeds to the people
Allah does not force anyone; who do them.’ (p. 103)
The one who forces others is 5.4.3 The claim that Allah
the one who is not able to loves and is pleased with
make others want to choose everything that He has
something because they decreed and created
themselves like it and want to This is a false claim, for Allah
do it. But Allah is Able to do willed that kufr […], shirk […]
that, for He is the one who and other sins [...] should
makes a person want and like exist, but He hates them and
to do something. forbids His slaves to do these
The word jabr can be used, things. (p. 103)
but only in the sense that God 5.4.4 The claim that belief
makes people want what they in qadar implies that one
want. One of the names of God need not take action or
is al-Jabbaar (the Compeller). seek the means to an end
It means: ‘He makes people do ‘Allah decreed ends and
what He wants.’ (p. 100) means; He did not decree
5.4.2 Denying that man has effects without causes.
the freedom to choose what Whoever claims that Allah
he does is a sign of decreed the ends and the
irrational thinking effects without the means and
Those who say than man does causes is fabricating a serious
not have the will to do as he lie about Allah.’ (p. 104)
chooses ‘are not thinking The author mentions some
straight’. ‘We know from our examples, like: ‘If Allah
own selves that our actions are decreed that so and so will be
not like the actions of blessed with a child, then He
inanimate objects which have decrees that he will get
no control whatsoever over married and have intimate
their own movements. […] relations with his wife, for the
When a person eats and

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means (and causes) are part of [etc.] But all wise people
what is decreed. (p. 105) know that this excuse is
‘If Allah decrees that so unacceptable, otherwise all of
and so will go to Paradise, He life would be corrupted. […]
also decrees that he will Qadar should be used to
believe and do righteous deeds explain calamities, not to
[…] If He decrees that so and justify our faults. [..] Before it
so will be one of the people of happens, he must seek the
Hell he also decrees the causes help of Allah, put his trust in
of that, such as not believing Him and call upon Him. If the
and not doing righteous decree of Allah befalls him
deeds.’ (p. 105) without him being the cause of
‘Implementing the means is it, then he must bear it with
part of the qadar of Allah. It patience or accept it, and if it
does not contradict qadar at comes by his own action and is
all.’ (p. 107) a blessing, then he should
The ‘prior decree of Allah praise Allah for it; if it is a sin,
does not cancel out the need then he should seek Allah’s
to strive, and it does not imply forgiveness for that.’ (p. 112)
that we should depend only on ‘The wise believer does not
Allah’s decree. On the forsake doing something on
contrary, it should motivate us the basis that Allah’s decree
to strive hard and make the concerning him is cut and
effort to attain whatever will be dried. He must take the
of benefit in this world and in commands seriously, know
the Hereafter.’ (p. 108) what Allah wants him to do,
‘But we must note that and think of that which will
even if a person pursues the benefit him. Then he should
means, it is not permissible for do his utmost to adhere to the
him to rely on them alone and commands of Allah and to
put his trust in them. He must pursue the means in which he
put his trust in the One Who thinks his best interests lie. If
created them and initiated he does not succeed, he should
them.’ (p. 108) not waste his time in regret
5.4.5 Using qadar as an and sorrow; in such cases he
excuse should say only […] Allah
‘If qadar […] were really a decreed and whatever He
valid excuse, then everyone willed happened. […] Believing
could kill, spread corruption in qadar and using it as a

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justification is beneficial in ‘Adam cited qadar […] as the

treating the psychological cause of the calamity, not the
problems, which result from sin, because qadar is an
failure, which take away and acceptable explanation for
waste people’s energy. Belief calamities, but it is not a
in qadar should not prevent reasonable justification for
them from striving in the sins.’ (pp. 115-116)
future.’ (p.114) The author says that only
The author then treats a when one has repented from
hadith in which Adam and sin and given them up, it is
Moses have a dispute. Moses acceptable to use qadar as an
blames Adam for his sin that excuse for the sin; in that
caused God to send all of context it means one is
mankind down to earth from acknowledging Tawheed, as it
Paradise. Adam defended his shows that one has no power
sin by pointing Moses to the and strength of one’s own. (p.
fact that the Tawraat (Torah) 117)
was written by Allah 40 years People must accept and
before Adam was created. In bear with patience what Allah
the Torah the words ‘Thus did decrees of calamities. (p. 118)
Adam disobey his Lord, so he 5.4.6 The claim that
went astray’ (Qur’an 20:121) obliging people to do
were written. Adam therefore something other than what
defended his sin by pointing they have done is obliging
Moses to the fact that he did them to do something that
something God had decreed 40 is beyond their capabilities
years before He created Adam. Islam negates this idea, and
(pp. 114-115) underlines that people are able
The author says that this to do good. In as far as the
hadith contains ‘no evidence’ Qur’an speaks of people being
to support those who use unable to do good, has to do
qadar as an excuse for sin.5 with their neglect of the
commands, not with their
5 disability to do them. (p. 120)
‘No evidence’ is a strong term, as the
hadith seems to mean exactly what 5.4.7 The view that implies
the author tries to refute: The Prophet that all creatures are equal
Adam cannot be held accountable for This view leads people to
his sin (as Prophets in Islam are
consider good and bad people
beyond that) as it was God who willed
Adam to sin in line with His eternal as equal; but God has

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differentiated between them. no justification for anyone with

(p. 122) regard to neglecting any
obligatory duty or committing
5.5 The View of Ahl as- any forbidden act.’ (p. 124)
Sunnah wal-Jamaa‘ah ‘Allah is the Creator or all
concerning Qadar things. What He wills happens,
and what He does not will does
5.5.1 Shaykh al-Islam Ibn not happen. Allah sends astray
Taymiyah sums up their whomsoever He wills, and He
point of view guides whomsoever He wills.
‘Allah is the Creator and [People] have their own will
Sovereign of all things, which and freedom to choose, so
includes all independent they do by their own will and
entities and their attributes, power that which Allah enables
such as people’s deeds and them to do, but […] people do
other things. […] Whatever He not will anything except that
wills happens, and whatever which Allah wills.’ (pp. 124-
He does not will does not 125)
happen. Nothing can happen 5.5.2 The ‘aqeedah of Imam
except by His will and decree. Bakr Muhammad al-Husayn
[…] Allah knows what has al-Aaajurri concerning
happened and what is yet to predestination (qadar)
come; if it is not to happen, He ‘Allah created Paradise and
knows how it would have been created Hell. For each of them
if it had happened. […] Allah He created its people, and He
decreed the decrees of His swore by His Glory that He
creation before he created would fill Hell with jinn and
them; He decreed their mankind together. Then He
lifespans, their provision and created Adam, and brought
their deeds, and wrote that forth from his loins all the
down, and he wrote down their progeny that He would create
ultimate destiny, who will be until the Day of Resurrection.
blessed and who will be He divided them into two
doomed.’ (pp. 123-124) groups, a group for Paradise
‘People are commanded to and a group for Hell.’ (p. 125)
do that which Allah has ‘He created Iblees (Satan)
commanded them, and are and commanded him to
forbidden to do that which prostrate to Adam. He knew
Allah has for bidden. [There] is that he would not prostrate

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because of the decree to which ‘He loves obedience from

he was subject, the decree His slaves and commands
that he would be doomed, them to obey Him, and those
which Allah knew beforehand. who are helped by Him obey
None can oppose the ruling of Him. He forbids disobedience
Allah. […] He created Adam but he has willed that it should
and Hawwa (Eve) and He happen, without liking it and
created them to come to this without commanding people to
earth. He caused them to do it. Glorified be Allah above
dwell in Paradise, and enjoining or loving evil.’ (p.
commanded them to eat freely 127)
with pleasure and delight […] ‘By His command, the Pen
but He forbade them to come wrote in al-Lauh al-Mahfooz
near one tree. But His decree what was to come of righteous
that they would disobey Him deeds and immoral actions.
by eating from that tree came He praised those among His
to pass.’ (p. 125) slaves who obey Him; He
‘So they could not avoid attributes their good deeds to
eating from it, as a cause of them and promises them a
their sin and expulsion from great reward for that, even
Paradise, because they had though without His help they
been created to come to this could not have done these
earth, and Allah would forgive deeds for which they deserve
them after they had sinned. the reward.’ (p. 127)
All of this was known to Him ‘Similarly, he condemns
aforetime, and it is not those who disobey Him, and
permissible that anything warns against doing so. He
should happen in His creation attributes their actions to
without Him having already them, and that is in
decreed it. […] He created His accordance with the decree to
creation as and when He which they were subject.’ (p.
willed, and He made them 128)
doomed and blessed before He 5.5.3 The ‘aqeedah of At-
brought them forth into this Tahaawi concerning
world.’ (p. 126) predestination
‘All the creation belongs to At-Tahaawi is only quoted here
Him, and He does whatever He in as far as it adds to the
wants to His creation, without words of Imam Bakr
being unjust to them.’ (p. 127)

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Muhammad al-Husayn al- rejected the ruling of the

Aaajurri. Qur’an, and whoever rejects
‘Everything happens the ruling of the Qur’an is one
according to His decree and of the kaafir (unbelievers).’ (p.
will, and His will is irresistible. 130)
His slaves have no will except ‘Knowledge is of two types:
within the will of Allah, for knowledge which is manifested
whatever Allah wills happens, in creation, and knowledge
and whatever he does not will that is concealed from
does not happen.’ (p. 128) creation. Denying the
‘[Each] person is guided to knowledge that is manifested
do that for which he was in kufr (disbelief), and claiming
created. They will be judged to know the things that are
according to their last deeds.’ concealed, is kufr (disbelief).’
(p. 129) (p. 130)
‘The principle of qadar […] ‘We believe in al-Lauh al-
is a secret of Allah’s creation Mahfooz [...] and in the Pen,
which He did not expose to any and in everything in it that has
angel who is close to Him or to been decreed. […] The Pen has
any Prophet who was sent by dried concerning what is to
Him. Discussing the matter in happen until the day of
depth leads to misguidance, Resurrection. (p. 130)
deprivation (of Allah’s mercy)
and transgression (into
forbidden territory). So 6. Reasons why
beware of that and be careful
to avoid pursuing the matter in
People go astray with
your thoughts and questioning. regard to Qadar
For Allah has kept the
knowledge of qadar […] away ‘The reasons why the
from His creation and has Qadariyah [...] who denied
forbidden them to try to predestination (qadar) and the
fathom it.’ (p. 129) Jabariyah who believed that
At-Tahaawi quotes the man is compelled to do what
Qur’an 21:23 (He cannot be he does (al-jabr) went astray
questioned as to what He does, on this issue. Each group saw
while they will be questioned) only a part of the true picture,
and concludes: ‘Whoever asks: and was blind to the other
“Why does He do that?’ has parts.’ (p. 133)

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The correct view: ‘Although 7. The benefits of

Allah wills that disobedience believing in Qadar
and should exist by His decree,
he does not love them or 7.1 It is a means of ridding
accept them or command oneself of shirk
them; rather he hates them
and forbids them.’ (p. 133) Perfect Tawheed is only
Orthodox scholars say that attained by people who affirm
‘in the Book of Allah, His Will is that Allah Alone is the Creator
of two types: His qadari will, of all that is in the universe,
i.e., His decrees concerning His and that His will prevails over
creation, and His shar‘ee will, creation. ‘Belief in qadar is
i.e., the laws that he wants His what marks the difference
slaves to follow. His shar‘ee between Tawheed and shirk.’
will encompasses all that he (pp. 139-140)
loves and is pleased with; His
qadari or kawni (universal) will 7.2 Adhering to the True
encompasses all that exists.’ Path during both Times of
(p. 134) Ease and Times of Difficulty
‘This kind of will (shar‘ee)
does not necessarily come to Belief in qadar makes people
pass, unless it is joined by the ‘not reckless at times of ease,
second type of will.’ (p. 135) and […] not fall into despair
The blessed ones among when calamity strikes, for he
the slaves of Allah are those knows that everything good
for whom Allah decrees the that happens comes from
same by His universal qadari Allah, and is not because of his
will as by His shar‘ee will. The intelligence or good planning.’
doomed ones are those for (p. 140)
whom He wills by His universal ‘And when trials and
qadari will that which He does tribulations befall a person, he
not will by His shar‘ee will. [pp. knows that this is happening
137-138] Whoever looks at by the decree of Allah, as test
people’s deeds through both for him, so he does not panic
lenses (i.e., acknowledges both or despair; rather he seeks the
types of will) has full sight.’ (p. reward of Allah and bears it
138) with patience, and this faith
brings contentment and

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tranquility to he heart of the 7.4 Facing Difficulties and

believer.’ (p. 142) Dangers with a Strong
7.3 The One Who Believes
in Qadar is always Careful When a person believes that
everything that happens is
The believer is always careful decreed, and that provisions
lest there come to him and lifespans are in the hand
something which will lead him of Allah, then he can confront
astray, just as he always fears difficulties and ordeals with a
that his final actions may be strong heart and with his head
bad. This does not make him held high. This belief was one
lazy and apathetic; rather it of the greatest motives with
motivates him to strive spurred the mujaahideen
persistently to follow the (warriors in the way of Allah)
straight path. (p. 143) to acts of courage on the
battlefield without feeling
scared. (p. 143)

++++++++++++++++ end of summary ++++++++++++++++

Some Questions

1. What is qadar according to this book?

2. What do Qadaris believe regarding qadar and free will?

3. What do Jabaris believe regarding qadar according to this


4. According to the author, does God send people to Paradise

and Hell because of their deeds? What does God reward
people for?

5. What do you think of the author’s equation of the thoughts

and deeds of man with God’s direct creative acts?

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6. Does man have a free will according to the author, or does

Allah force man to do what he does? Could Adam have
decided to not sin?

7. How does the author argue that people should strive for doing
good instead of being fatalistic and apathetic?

8. Why does the author call the idea that man is a free agent,

9. Did God will and create evil?

10. What does the author mean with the two types of wills of

11. How do the Pen, the Preserved Tablet, the Qur’an, Lailat al-
Qadar and qadar relate to each other?

12. The translator of the book said that while ‘all that happens,
takes place within the framework of the Divine Will, man has
freedom of choice within those parameters’.(p.13) Do you
think the author of the book would like that summary of his

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