Friday, July 11, 2008

"Qadar" Pre - Destination And The Responsibility Of Man

It has been reported, that the Messenger of Allah (saws) once found the companions arguing about Qadar. He forbade them from indulging in such a debate and told them that communities before them had been destroyed for that reason.
However, by the grace of Allah (swt), our pious predecessors were able to understand the issue and form a moderate view based on equity and justice. In their understanding, the issue of Qadar and Qada stems from the Unity of Allah's attribute of Cherishing (Tawhid ar-Rububiyah).

This is one of the three kinds of Allah's unity:
1. Unity of Divinity (Tawhid Al-Ulahiyah), which is to direct all forms of worship to Allah alone.
2. Unity in the matter of the Lordship of Allah (Tawhid ar-Rububiyah), which means to believe that all creation, sovereignty and planning belong to Allah (swt).
3. Unity in the matter of Allah's names and attributes and that these names and attributes are exclusively for Allah (swt). (Tawhid al-Asma was-Sifat).

Imam Ahmed has said:
"Qadar (pre-estimation) is the power of Allah. It is one of the secrets which no one except. Allah knows, as it has been recorded in the well-guarded tablet. We do not know what Allah has destined, either for or against us of concerning all his creation, except after the event has occurred or has been told by the Prophet himself."

The actions done by all the creatures that have the power of will.

"These actions are a consequence of their efforts and their choice, a power that has been given to them by Allah. He thus says in the Qur'an: To whoever among you wills to go straight....."
Quran 81:28

".....Among you are some that hanker after this world And some that desire the Hereafter......."
Quran 3:152

Man knows very well the difference between what he does from his own free will and what he does because of external force. The person who reaches safely the bottom of a flight of stairs knows that this is because he walked down carefully. However, if he is pushed down from the top, he has no power over how he lands at the bottom. The first instance is an example of choice: the second is clearly one of compulsion. Similarly, a person who suffers from incontinence of urine knows that the urine is passed without his will and that if he did not have this illness, he would be able to control the discharge. The difference between the two requires no further explanation.

It is a mercy of Allah that there are certain actions, which are in the voluntary power of the individual but are recorded as if they are not, and so he is not held answerable for them, eg. actions done out of forgetfulness of during sleep. Allah says in the story of the People of the Cave:
".....And we turned them on their right and on their left sides......"
Quran 18:18

The men themselves are turning over, but Allah Almighty attributes their movements to Himself, since a sleeping person has no control over his actions.
The Prophet (saws) said:
"The one who forgets while fasting and eats or drinks, he should complete his fast because Allah is the one who feeds him and gives him the drink."

Thus, actions done in a state of forgetfulness are also treated as if the person is acting outside his own will and are attributed to Allah Himself.
If we were to agree with the first group mentioned earlier (those who give Man no free will whatsoever), we would be distorting the facts. We would not be able to praise someone for his good actions or castigate someone who voluntarily does wrong, because we would have attributed all their actions to the will of Allah. Another dangerous implication of this argument is that the Almighty behaves unjustly if He punishes the disobedient and rewards the good, as He alone is the source of all these actions. Not only is such reasoning nonsensical, but contradictory to the Quran itself:

"And His Companions (angels) will say: "Here is (his Record) ready with Me!" (And it will be said): "Both of you throw (Order from Allah to the two angels) into Hell, every stubborn Disbeliever (in the Oneness of Allah, in His Messengers etc.) "Hinders of Good, transgressors, doubters, who set up another ilah (god) with Allah, cast him in the severe torment. His Companion (Satan -devil) will say: "Our Lord! I didn't make him transgress. But he (himself) was far astray." He will say: "Dispute not with each other in My presence: I had already in advance sent you warning. The Word changes not before Me, and I do not the least injustice to My servants."
Quran 50:23-29

Almighty Allah, clearly states that the punishments He inflicts are not cruel but just, since He has already warned His creatures and sent them guidance. He has clearly defined the two paths of piety and disobedience, just as He has defined the consequences of following each path. Man thus has total freedom to choose either path, remembering that if he opts for the path of disobedience, he will not have the excuse to offer Allah on the Day of Judgment. and remember this are the words 0f imam Ahmed and not my words . may Allah bless us with knowledge and wisdom . Allah and his messenger knows best .