Question: Such statements are prevalent: “The traffic accident is not a qadar” or “We will change the qadar of this country” or “He died before his appointed time of death came.” Also, it is said: “Humans cannot interfere in qadar in matters concerning their heights or colors of their hair, but qadar does not play a part in optional deeds that humans do with their free wills” or “A person who commits suicide before his appointed time of death arrives will go to Hell as he changed divine decree.” Moreover, some people blame qadar by saying, “Let qadar be ashamed,” while some others say, “A person himself shapes his qadar.” Are these statements true?
All of them are false. Because the subject qada’ and qadar is a very delicate matter, many scholar slipped on this surface, and this gave rise to the emergence of various heretical sects. It is not appropriate to talk about qadar, because of which even scholars fell into aberration. One can only convey what has been narrated. Our Master the Prophet ‘alaihis-salam said, “Fall silent when [the issue of] qadar is mentioned.”(Tabarani)
After confirming the fundamentals expressed in the Amantu (formula of faith), it suffices for every Muslim to know that he is responsible for the sins he commits. Nobody dies before his appointed time of death comes. He who dies in a traffic accident or who is shot dead dies as his appointed time of death has arrived and by divine decree and preordainment. That is, the lifetime of a person who is killed or who dies in an accident is not cut in the middle. His appointed time has arrived at that moment. In other words, he has died because his lifetime has ended. Everyone has only one appointed time of death. The Mu’tazilah sect says, “Everybody shapes his own qadar. Allah does not interfere in the actions of humans.” This thought is very wrong, for the Qur’an al-karim says (what means):
(Allah is the Creator of everything.) [Az-Zumar 62] (It is Allahu ta’ala who creates good, evil, belief, and disbelief.)
(It is Allah who creates you and what you do.) [As-Saffat 96]
(Allah knows what they did and what they will do.) [Al-Baqarah 255]
(Allah knows everything.) [Al-Hujurat 16]
(The Creator also knows what is in the breasts. Is it possible that the One who creates should not know?) [Al-Mulk 13, 14]
Allahu ta’ala knows with His eternal knowledge what His servants will do. If Allah did not know what they will do, the one who does not know would not be a god. A god should be omniscient and omnipotent. The one who is nescient, impotent, needy, and mortal cannot be a god. Allahu ta’ala knows what all people will do. The Jabriyyah sect maintains, “Allah makes us do everything by force. Humans are doomed to their destinies (qadar). No one is responsible for the sins he commits.” This thought is completely wrong too because everybody is held responsible for what he does. Those who do good will be rewarded, but those who commit evil will be punished. Whoever commits an atom’s weight of good or evil will be requited for it. (At-Takwir 14; Az-Zilzal 7, 8)
If a virtuous person wants to do good, Allahu ta’ala wills and creates it. Goodness always arises from such people. However, if a wicked person wants to commit evil, Allahu ta’ala, too, wills and creates it. Since these people do not wish to do something virtuous, evils always arise from them. If a person, using his partial will, wills goodness to be created, he will be rewarded. But if he wills evil to be created, he will become sinful. Accordingly, if he commits sins, he will be punished. But if he does good deeds, he will be rewarded. Humans do not create their deeds. The Creator of the deeds that are done through partial will is Allahu ta’ala. It causes disbelief to deny the fact that good and evil are from Allah and to say, “The one who commits suicide changes divine decree.” Allahu ta’ala certainly knows that he will commit suicide, for He says, “Is it possible that the One who creates should not know?” No one can change the lifespan that Allahu ta’ala preordained. He states:
(When the time of death appointed by Allah comes, it is not delayed.) [Nuh 4]
(There is no one whose death is not conditional upon Allah’s permission.) [Al-i ‘Imran 145]
(It is He alone who creates you and then who decrees the time of death.) [Al-An’am 2]
(Every nation has a time of death. When it comes, it neither remains behind nor goes forward by a moment.) [Al-A’raf 34]
What does qadar mean?
Question: We hear such statements: “Employees cannot be left to their qadar” or “We should not leave our affair to qadar” or “His affair was left to Allah.” Is qadar within humans’ power?
The word qadar is wrongly used. People use it to mean coincidence or chance. It can be said, “You should not leave things to chance,” but it cannot be said, “You should not leave things to qadar.” Qadar is Allahu ta’ala’s knowing with His eternal knowledge what His servants will do. No one can interfere in Allahu ta’ala’s knowledge. The statement “His affair was left to Allah” is unpleasant. All affairs, good or bad, materialize by Allahu ta’ala’s will. Believing that both good and evil are from Allah is one of the essentials of faith. To say, “His case was in our hands, but now it has been left to Allah” would be completely erroneous. Everything always comes into being by the will of Allahu ta’ala.
A writer wrote that he was praying saying, “O my Lord, Bosniacs and Chechens could not won a victory. From now on, their case has been left to You.” In whose hands was it before? Every affair is always within the power of Allahu ta’ala. No one can do anything against Him. Those who do not know the issue of qada’ and qadar are making such mistakes.
Convicts of qadar
Question: Is it permissible to say “convicts of qadar” or “victims of qadar” to refer to prisoners?
Since good and evil, that is, everything, are by the decree of Allah, there is nothing wrong with knowing being in jail from qadar; but what is impermissible is to put the blame on qadar. It is never permissible to drink or to commit another sin and then to put the blame on qadar, that is, on Allahu ta’ala, by saying, “What can I do? My qadar is so.” Likewise, it is not permissible to kill someone out of anger and then to put the blame on qadar, that is, on Allahu ta’ala, by quoting qadar as an excuse, “What can I do? It is my qadar. I am the victim of qadar.” Therefore, it is not permissible to use such expressions as “a victim of qadar” and ” a convict of qadar.”
Qadar means Allahu ta’ala’s knowing with His eternal knowledge what a person will do during his lifetime. It does not mean His compelling us to do something.
Question: Such statements are uttered, “We will change the qadar of this nation” or “This nation’s qadar is not this.” Mehmet Akif (a Turkish poet) says in one of his poems, “This is qadar, is it? Never! This word is not true / You asked for trouble and Allah gave it. This is the plain truth.” For something that has taken place, does saying that it is not qadar not mean denying qadar?
People utter such statements as they do not know the issue of qadar. Belief in qadar is one of the six fundamentals of the Amantu, so the one who denies it falls into disbelief. The Mu’tazilah sect denies qadar, which is from Allah, saying, “A person himself shapes his qadar.” It is supposed that those Muslims who have faith in qadar do not take precautions in the face of danger; for this reason, they are branded as fatalists. Similarly, the issue of tawakkul is misunderstood. It is thought that a person who has tawakkul does not take precautions or employ means and agencies. However, tawakkul is, after doing what is necessary and taking precautions, to trust only in Allahu ta’ala, not means and agencies, and to expect the effectiveness of them from Him alone. As for qadar, it is Allahu ta’ala’s knowing with His eternal knowledge all the things that will take place. Qada’ is Allahu ta’ala’s creating them when their due time comes. Belief in qadar has nothing to do with whether one takes precautions or not. If a structurally unsound building made by a person collapses in an earthquake but if a well-made building erected by another person does not collapse, Allahu ta’ala knows that one of them will collapse and the other will not collapse. And it occurs when the time comes. The meaning of qada’ and qadar is this.
When an adversity befalls a person who does not take measures, saying “This is not qadar” is either denying qadar or not knowing the issue of qadar. If a person, guilty or innocent, drunk or sober, has a road accident, this is from qadar, too. A drunk’s having an accident is from qadar. The practice of a person who commits suicide is from qadar. That is, Allahu ta’ala knows with His eternal knowledge that all these events will take place. Everything that we experience, whether pleasant or unpleasant, is from qadar. Nothing happens outside of it. This is one of the six fundamentals of faith, whose denial takes one out of the fold of Islam. It is declared in hadith-i sharifs:
(No one is considered to have believed until he believes in qadar and that good and evil are from Allah and until he believes that whatever has befallen him would have never missed him and whatever was decreed not to befall him will never befall him.) [Tirmidhi]
(He who does not believe in qadar will not attain the reality of faith.) [Nasai]
(He who denies qadar has no share from Islam.) [Bukhari]
(All prophets curse him who denies qadar.) [Tabarani]
(In the time period close to Doomsday, there will appear people who will deny qadar.) [Tirmidhi]
As is seen, our Master the Prophet informed us that there will appear people who will deny qadar in the time period close to Doomsday.