Verily, We have created all things with qadar (divine preordainment). (Quran 54:49)
The concept of qadar, or the Divine Decree, can be confusing for new Muslims, as it was for me when I was a new convert to the Islamic faith.
Belief in qadar is a pillar of Islam and is the cornerstone of a Muslim’s faith. Basically, qada‘ or destiny means that everything that happens to us, the people around us and our universe happens by the will of Allah.
The events have been predetermined by Allah and will occur no matter what we say or do.
However, sincere supplications to Allah Almighty can have an effect on the outcome of the events.
The Divine Decree was ordained by Allah Almighty thousands of years before the Heavens and Earth were ever created. So to say that they are set in stone is an understatement!
Qadar and Freewill
So does that mean that we should all throw our hands up in the air and simply wait for good or bad things to happen to us without being proactive in our own lives? Certainly not! Allah Almighty has given all humans the freedom of will.
Humans are the decision-makers in their own lives as they have the ability to choose right from wrong, good from evil. That’s why, on the Day of Judgment, we will be called to account for the choices that our own hands chose and perpetrated.
Quite notably, Allah Almighty has the knowledge of the past, present and future and knows exactly what we will do in every aspect of our lives.
Luck and Islam
There is no such thing as “good” or “bad” luck according to the Islamic faith. When something good befalls you, it is not because you are an exceptional person. When something bad befalls you, it does not mean that you are cursed of having a bout of “bad luck”.
Everything happens for a reason, even though the reason may be imperceptible to us, yet Allah alone knows the wisdom behind it. Remember that humans were created for one reason and one reason alone and that is to worship Allah Almighty.
And everything else that happens is the mere icing on the cake and serves as a test as to who is the strongest in faith.
How many times have we seen someone win millions of dollars in a lottery windfall? Everyone around them laments about how lucky they are.
However, we have also seen lottery winners suffer as a result of their win as they suffer from increased debt, familial problems and sometimes even social stigmatization. So the lottery win was not necessarily a good thing although it might seem so on the surface.
While humans have been given their own free will, it must be understood that it does not circumvent or decrease Allah Almighty’s ultimate will, which rules the universe and everything in it. Allah Almighty reveals in the Quran what means:
But you cannot will unless Allah wills; Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise. (76:30)
The Beauty of Qadar
The beauty of qadar is that humans can place their trust in Allah Almighty knowing that our Creator always knows best. Belief in qadar removes the stress of daily life and worry over the future, to some extent, from the Muslim’s shoulders.
Remember that everything Allah sends forth is good, whether we can see it or not as Allah has revealed in the Quran what means:
Say: “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Mawla (Lord, Helper and Protector).” And in Allah let the believers put their trust. (9:51)
Allah Almighty, in His infinite mercy and grace, has given us all the tools we need to succeed in this life and the next, while using our freedom of will to our advantage (or possibly disadvantage).
We have been given intelligence to understand the universe and Allah’s creation. And we have been given an innate moral code of conduct, or inner conscience, to navigate the murky waters of life and make the right decisions.
Also, we have been given a flawless handbook that can guide us right back to our Creator with barely having been scathed. And that handbook is the Quran.
We reap what our own hands sow. Good deeds are rewarded many folds and as greater value than they are even worth. And bad deeds are punished by their exact merit.
Leaving your life up to “destiny” is foolish when Allah Almighty has charted a course that might just lead back to salvation.
For this reason, all Muslims can benefit from putting their lives in the hands of our Creator and striving to fulfill as many good deeds as one can within the span of a lifetime.
(This article is from Reading Islam archives, and was originally published at an earlier date.)