Belief in Al-Qadar (Divine Decree)

Abdul-Khaleq Jarallah

Belief in Al-Qadar (Divine Decree)

 It is obligatory for every Muslim to believe in Al-Qadar since it is one of the six mandatory articles of faith. Allah Almighty says: "Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation, as written in the Book of Decrees Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz)". [Qur'an 54:49]

Belief in Qadar is to know that everything that happens lies under the will of Allah. Nothing occurs haphazardly. This means to know that what has afflicted you was not to miss you, and what has missed you was not to afflict you.

The four components of Qadar:

  • Al-'Ilm (knowledge): Allah knows everything even before it comes to existence.
  • Kittaba (Writing): Allah has written down everything before creating the heavens and earth.
  • Al-Mashi'a (Will): Everything occurs according to Allah's will.  
  • Al-Khalq (creation): Allah is the Originator and Creator of everything that exists.

The four forms of Qadar:

  • The prior knowledge of Allah which He has written down in the Book of Decrees [Lawh al-Mahfouz].
  • Decreeing a person's life span while in his mother's womb which includes one's life span, provision, deeds, happiness and misery.
  • The annual decree in the Night of Destiny [Laylat al-Qadr]. Allah decreed for His slaves the affairs of the year to come.
  • Daily decree for everything which occurs "Every day He has a matter to bring forth (such as giving honor to some, disgrace to some, life to some, death to some, etc.)! [Qur'an 55:29]

All these forms of Qadar are subject to the preordained decree of Allah. However, this does not mean to neglect our duties and deeds; rather, we should strive our best in doing good deeds [1].    

[1]   See Shifa' al-'Alil fi Masa'il al-Qada' wa al-Qadar wa al-Hikma wa al-Ta'lil pages 19-42-50 by Ibn al-Qayym.

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