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Does Belief in Qadar Justify Passivity?

Everything has an appointed term

Imam `Abdel Qadir Al-Jilani believes that each and every incident in life – be it good or evil – has an appointed term with a beginning and an end. These timings are inevitable as they never tarry for even an hour, nor shall they go in advance of their time which is predestined by Allah Who knows everything.

Therefore, a true believer is demanded to observe necessary legitimate means in handling such life incidents while waiting for the termination of their appointed term and the change of present conditions.

This is similar to the fact that after winter comes summer and after night comes daytime and whoever seeks to have daytime between `Isha’ prayer and dawn, for example, will have nothing in return but disappointment and frustration as he demands something in other than its due time. Rather, darkness of the night will even increase till it reaches its peak and only then the dawn will come up.[4]

These senses of disappointment and frustration may lead one to have evil thoughts about Allah and to act aimlessly in handling the divinely decreed incidents; a matter which may lead one from bad to worse. As Muslims, we are ordered to think well of Allah as is clear in the following hadith which reads what may mean,

Jabir Ibn `Abdullah reported: “I heard Allah’s Apostle (Peace and blessings be upon him) as saying three days before his death: ‘None of you should court death but only hoping good from Allah.‘” (Muslim)

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As for the hypocrite who hides his hypocrisy, he thinks that disbelief and its followers will prevail and become victorious over belief and its adherents – thus he has evil thoughts about Allah the Almighty. Allah blamed the hypocrites for entertaining such thoughts in the Battle of Uhud as saying what may mean,

{… Yet a group of you kept worrying about themselves, having thoughts about God that are not true – like the thoughts of the days of ignorance.} (Al `Imran 3:154)

And, He also says about the hypocrites what may mean,

{Yet He shall punish the hypocrite men and the hypocrite women, and the men who associate gods with God and the women who associate gods with God – those who think evil thoughts about God. Upon them shall befall a turn of great misfortune. Moreover, God shall be wrathful against them and shall curse them. Thus has He prepared for them Hell – and an evil destination it is!} (Al-Fath 48:6)

Consequently, any Muslim who holds that final victory will be the disbelievers and that the believers will be defeated and will suffer losses in all cases even if they adopt the means to victory, then he would be thinking evil thoughts about Allah and would resemble the hypocrites who have similar convictions.

Signs of thinking evil thoughts about Allah

The following are some signs of thinking evil thoughts about Allah, the Creator of everything and the One Who has Absolute Power over everything:

– To give up hope of Allah’s Mercy and give one’s self to thinking of His torture and torment alone;

– To hold that He breaks His promise that He will accept the labor of and reward the obedient;

– To believe that He treats the pious the same way He treats the evil-doers and that He is unjust;

– To believe that He does not answer those who call upon Him, return to Him, and hope for His Mercy and Favor.

All these are nothing but signs of having evil thoughts about Allah, Glory to Him!

Generally, each and every evil thought about Allah should not touch the heart of the believer who really has true faith in Him, Glory to Him!

Finally, this understanding of the Divine Decree is an attempt to rectify the wrong concepts which prevail in the present time and which do affect the activities of so many people, groups, parties and factions.

A discerning eye cannot fail to see that a number of our contemporaries have chosen to adopt and support evil; while others have chosen to surrender to evil and to not to strive against it. However, the only thing to be accepted by Allah is to verify and correct one’s understanding of the concept of Divine Decree so as to make it a driving force to change what is in the soul and to resolve to adopt good and defy evil by means of it at any rate. Allah Almighty says in the Ever-Glorious Quran what may mean,

{… Indeed, God does not change a people’s condition of grace until they change what is in their souls and become disobedient.} (Ar-Ra`d 13:11), and

{Permission to fight back is given to those who believe who are being fought because they have been wronged. And, indeed, God is All-Able to give them victory.} (Al-Hajj 22:39), and

{Indeed, God has purchased from the believers their lives and their wealth, for which they shall assuredly have the Garden of Paradise in return. For they fight in the path of God. Thus they kill and are killed. That is a true promise binding upon Him in the Torah, and the Evangel, and the Quran. And who better fulfills his covenant than God? So rejoice in the bargain that you have made with Him. For, assuredly, it is this that is the magnificent triumph.} (At-Tawbah 9:111)

[1] In this article, Predestination and Divine Decree are regarded as lexical synonyms and, thus, will be used interchangeably.

[2] Yassin, Muhammad Na`im. Kitab Al-Iman (The Book of Faith). Dar `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab for Publishing, Alexandria, Egypt. Pp. 72-3.

[3] Ibn Taimiyyah. Majmu` Al-Fatawa Al-Kubra (Collection of Major Islamic Verdicts). Vol. 1, P. 30.

[4] Adapted from `Abdel Qadir Al-Jilani (1973). Futuh al-Ghaib. PP. 81-2. Al-Halabi Bookstore, Egypt. Second edition.

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About Dr. Ali Al-Halawani
Dr. Ali Al-Halawani is Assistant Professor of Linguistics and Translation Studies. He is an author, translator, and writer based in Canada. To date, Al-Halawani authored over 400 original articles on Islam and Muslims, most of which can be accessed on and other famous websites. He has recently started to self-publish his articles and new books, which are available on Amazon and Kindle. You can reach him at [email protected].