Answered by: Nadrah Mustafa
Dear Chereen, as Muslims, we know that every single moment of our life is predestined and decreed. The only thing that can change decree is du’a. But I am trying to understand something, it’s that the preserved tablet also takes into consideration that whether a person will make du’a or not and if a person will make du’a then his/her destiny will be like this and this and vice versa and it’s totally specific. Because nothing can be changed in the preserved tablet. If that’s the case then we don’t have much choice, do we? Please enlighten me.
Qada and Qadr (Freewill and Destiny)
Assalamualaikum Warrahmatullahi Wabarakkatuh,
JazakaAllahu khayran for the question. What you have asked is something that is rather stimulating and wonderful for it keeps our minds and hearts seeking for answers that will bring us, inshaAllah, closer to Him.
Have you ever watched or read Harry Potter? In it, the author has written about a Grand Staircase at Hogwarts. You choose on a stairs that you go on. And when you get on it, the stairs sometimes moves and changes its direction and course while you are on it.
While I am not trying to compare the Decree and the Destiny of Allah to a fictional story, to some extent it does represent how we live. We are given different options to choose from to achieve something or to arrive somewhere.
For example, to get home from point A, you can take several routes that will take you home.
At this very point, you are able to choose to drive down the same usual route, or to do something out of the norm by choosing a different route home. In itself, this particular action is exercising one’s freewill.
And this is Qadha, which means to decide; to settle; to judge.
At this particular juncture, an individual exercises one’s thought processes by weighing the benefits and drawbacks of a particular action. Once decided, the decision making will take place.
Should you decide to take the usual route home, that is then the course that you have decided for after some thoughts and judgments on your part. A decision then is made. You settle for it.
And that’s where our part stops. We have exercise our freewill and in our own limited capabilities to make a judgment and decision.
Whatever that will happen on your way home in that chosen route, is the Decree of Allah and is something that is beyond your control. You can never predict whether your journey is going to be a fast one, or there might be a roadblock or an accident ahead that delays your journey home.
One thing about us is that we like to control. We want to ensure that the outcome is achieved as how we want it to be. We get obsessed by the results, taking every single precautionary measure to be certain that the results we desire, will be achieved.
To forget is our nature. Thus, we easily forgotten that some things are beyond our control. On our way home, if there is a bad accident that causes a massive traffic and delays your journey home by 2 hours, is something beyond your control. Somebody on that same road in a different car could have missed his flight, even if he has already took every precautionary measure – left home 5 hours before.
The thing about Qada and Qadr – our Freewill and the Decree of Allah, is something that has been talked and discussed about. It delves on themes of goals, achievements and control. The trick is, to know which part is ours, and which is within Allah’s Dominion something we are not capable of. For Allah is Al-Alim, Al Knowing. He Knows what is in front, behind, on top, below, left, right and within us.
It is important to also remember that we do not have absolute free will for we are only human and we are limited within our very own capacities. Allah on the other hand, is Absolute.
Our Destiny (Qadr), changes as how our efforts develop. Before knowing the results, we put a whole lot of effort to it which includes dua. Allah reminds us that we are rewarded as much as our effort is in Surah TaHa;
Indeed, the Hour is coming – I almost conceal it – so that every soul may be recompensed according to that for which it strives. (20:15)
Whether the results turn out desirable or undesirable, as Muslims, we submit to the Decree of Allah for we know that we have done our best and however the results turn out to be, it is by the Will of Allah. We have knowledge that Allah has our intentions as how we think of Him, in the hadith:
The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah the Most High said, ‘I am as My servant thinks (expects) I am. I am with him when he mentions Me. If he mentions Me to himself, I mention him to Myself; and if he mentions Me in an assembly, I mention him in an assembly greater than it. If he draws near to Me a hand’s length, I draw near to him an arm’s length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him at speed.’” (Sahih Al Bukhari)
And for the matter in regards to the preserved tablet and the Qadr of Allah, this is written in surah Ad Dukhan (44:3-6):
Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].On that night is made distinct every precise matter -[Every] matter [proceeding] from Us. Indeed, We were to send [a messenger]As mercy from your Lord. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
In this ayah, Allah SWT Mentions the Night of Qadr (Laylatul Qadr) as the night where the Decrees of Allah are made known in the luh mahfuz and He Decreed it to the angels. Every year, our matters have been Ordained for the whole year. But the Decree of Allah, can be changed accordingly through Dua. And this is why, the strongest weapon of the Believers is dua.
As Believers, we choose and make judgement based on our capabilities. We strive for what we think is best and we put effort to it but at the same time, we know by heart that results is only with Allah. Whatever the outcome is, we submit to it wholeheartedly.
Love and Light,