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Is Gaza God’s Will?

Questioner

Journalist

Reply Date

Jan 30, 2017

Question

As-salaam u alaikum warahmatuLLAHI wabarakatuh. Is Gaza God's Will or man's? Why do Muslims say "Insha'Allah" or God-willing?

Consultant

Answer


Asalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

The first point we need to stress in the context of the question is that we should have some idea of what we mean by “man’s freewill” and “God’s (Allah’s) will”.

The question of people’s destiny and their freedom of will is one of the most controversial topics in metaphysics and religion.

Humans are utterly helpless with regard to many of the circumstances in which they find themselves. They feel that there are so many givens, which they have to take for granted, and nothing can be done about them.

On the other hand, there are many areas where they feel free to act. Look at the marvelous progress of humanity through the centuries.

This is the question that haunts humans; but it has been adequately dealt with in the Quran. From the Quranic point of view, humans are not completely masters of their fate; nor are they puppets in the hands of destiny.

Muslims believe that Allah’s sovereignty is comprehensive and nothing falls outside its purview. This means that Allah knows everything and it is according to His Will, that things happen.

Humans are completely subject to the overriding power of God, and they can do nothing without God willing it to be so.

So, every time Muslims refer to the future, they say: “Insha’ Allah” or God willing. That is a duty for Muslims who believe in Allah Almighty.  

However, it should also be remembered that Allah not only created everything, but also determined its nature and scope. And in His infinite wisdom and mercy, He gave humans limited power and freedom according to which they enjoy freedom of choice within limits.

It is because of this autonomy enjoyed by humans that they are held accountable for their deeds.

The Quran says:

{Man shall have nothing but what he strives for} (An-Najm 53:39).

{Allah will never change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves} (Ar-Ra`d  13:11).

However, the foreknowledge of God is different from predestination.

Otherwise, man will not have any freedom of will or action; and what is more, God Himself is then seen to be inactive, as things happen according to the so-called predestination.

But the Quran clearly says that God is constantly active in Creation:

{Allah – there is no deity except Him, the Ever-Living, the Sustainer of [all] existence. Neither drowsiness overtakes Him nor sleep. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is it that can intercede with Him except by His permission? He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they encompass not a thing of His knowledge except for what He wills. His Kursi (throne) extends over the heavens and the earth, and their preservation tires Him not. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 255)

This verse indicates that God does not feel tired or sleepy in spite of the fact that He is constantly active. 

The concept of taqdir, or fate, therefore, indicates that we must co-operate with God’s plan and consciously submit to His Will.

Destiny, as conceived by Islam, therefore does not take away our freedom of choice and action. It is our willful choice of those actions from an array of inherent possibilities that are in harmony with God’s Will, that earns us our reward from Allah.

Thus, taqdir can be a source of inspiration and encouragement for us and it really opens up vast fields of human activity. It need not make us utterly powerless.

Thus, from the point of view of Islam, humans are free (within limits) for all practical purposes, and they have no excuse for making the wrong choices in the name of fate.

Is Gaza Allah’s will?

We know Gaza has been a severe test for the Gazans; but we should acknowledge that it is a test for the whole of the Muslim world as well.

To my understanding, the Gazans have been doing their utmost to better their conditions, not only by working hard, but also by showing patience in the face of their extreme suffering.

As for the rest of the Muslim world — what did they do to obey Allah Almighty’s command given in the Quran?

For instance, read this verse:

{And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)?- Men, women, and children, whose cry is: “Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!} (An-Nisaa’ 4:75)

It is certain that the Muslims of the world, particularly their leaders, are accountable for the debacle that the Palestinians are facing; because, their priorities go counter to their God-assigned responsibilities. And so, they are answerable before Allah Almighty.

I hope this answers your question. Please keep in touch.

Salam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Surrender: The Pens Have Been Lifted

Are We Born Free?

Do Good and Evil Come From Allah?

Hollywood Celebrities Support Gaza




About Professor Shahul Hameed

Professor Shahul Hameed is an Islamic consultant. He also held the position of the President of the Kerala Islamic Mission, Calicut, India. He is the author of three books on Islam published in the Malayalam language. His books are on comparative religion, the status of women, and science and human values.


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