We have explained above the belief in qadar [predestination] brought by Islâm is free from the weakness, laziness and apathy that have affected a large part of the Muslim Ummah down through the ages in the name of belief in qadar. The cause of that has been the deviation of the Muslims from a proper understanding of the concept of qadar [predestination].
Whoever ponders the belief in qadar as brought by Islâm will find that it has many great benefits which led and still lead to the reform of the individual and of the Ummah.
We will describe below some of these benefits of belief in qadar that we have learnt from this study:
1. Belief in Qadar is a Means of Ridding Oneself of Shirk
Many philosophers have claimed that the good comes from Allâh the All-Glorious, and that evil is the creation of other gods; they said this in order to avoid attributing evil to Allâh.
The Magians [Zoroastrians] claimed that light was the creator of good, and darkness was the creator of evil.
Those among this Ummah who claimed that Allâh does not create the deeds of His slaves, or that He does not create the misguided deeds, are claiming that there are creators other than Allâh .
Perfect Tawheed [belief in the Oneness of the only God – Allâh] is not attained except by those who affirm that Allâh Alone is the Creator of everything in the universe and that His will prevails over His creation – what He wills happens and what He does not will does not happen. All of those who do not believe in qadar do not believe truly that heir Lord is One and Alone [Tawheed] and do not acknowledge Him properly. Belief in predestination [qadar] is what marks the difference between Tawheed and Shirk. The one who believes in qadar affirms that this universe and everything in it was created by One God; those who do not believe this imply that there are other gods and lords besides Allâh.
2. Adhering to the True Path During Both Times of Ease and Times of Difficulty
Because of their shortcomings and weaknesses, people cannot always adhere to the straight path. Allâh says:
“Verily, man was created very impatient; irritable [discontented] when evil touches him; and niggardly when good touches him. Except those who are devoted to Salaah [prayers].” [Al-Ma’ârij 70:19-22]
Belief in qadar makes a person persist in his adherence to the straight path, so that he is not reckless at times of ease, and does not fall into despair when calamity strikes, for he knows that everything good that happens to him comes from Allâh, and is not because of intelligence or good planning:
“And whatever of blessings and good things you have, it is from Allâh.” [An-Nahl 16:53]
He is not like Qârûn [Korah] who showed off before his people and arrogantly displayed before them the treasures and wealth that Allâh bestowed upon him.
“Verily, Qârûn [Korah] was of Mûsâ’s [Moses] people, but he behaved arrogantly towards them. And We gave him of the treasures, that of which the keys would have been a burden to a body of strong men. Remember when his people said to him: ‘Do not exult [with riches, being ungrateful to Allâh]. Verily, Allâh has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of lawful enjoyment in this world; and do good as Allâh has been good to you, and seek not mischief in this land. Verily, Allâh likes not the Mufsidûn [those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupters].’ He said: ‘This has been given to me only because of the knowledge I possess’…” [Al-Qasas 28:76-78]
And when trials and tribulations befall a person, he knows that this is happening by the decree of Allâh, as a test from Him, so he does not panic or despair, rather he seeks the reward of Allâh and bears it with patience, and this faith brings contentment and tranquillity to the heart of the believer.
“No Calamity befalls on the earth or in your selves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allâh. In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you.” [Al-Hadîd 57:22-23]
And Allâh praised His slaves:
“Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allâh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.’ They are those whom are the Salawaat [i.e. who are blesses and will be forgiven] for their Lord, and [they are those who] receive His mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.” [Al-Baqarah 2:156-157]
3. The One Who Believes in Qadar is Always Careful
Those who believe in qadar are always careful, for:
“…None feels secure from the Plan of Allâh except the people who are the losers.” [Al-A’râf 7:99]
People’s hearts are always turning over and changing, for their hearts are between two fingers or Ar-Rahmân [Allâh, the All-Merciful], Who turns them over as He wills, and the trials which are sent against people’s hearts are many. The believer is always careful lest there come to him something which well lead him astray, just as he always fears his final actions may be bad. This does not make him lazy and apathetic, rather it motivates him to strive persistently to follow the straight path, to do many righteous deeds and avoid sins and punishable deeds.
And the believer’s heart is always attached to its Creator, calling upon Him, putting its hope in Him, seeking His help and asking Him to make it adhere firmly to the straight path, and to be guided aright.
4. Facing Difficulties and Dangers with a Strong Heart
When a person believes that everything that happens is decreed, and that provision and life-spans are in the hand of Allâh, then he can confront difficulties and ordeals with a strong heart and with his head held high. This belief was one of the greatest motives which spurred the mujâhidîn [warriors in the way of Allâh] to acts of courage on the battlefield without feeling scared. They would seek death wherever they could find it, throwing themselves into dangerous situations where they thought they would be killed. Then you would find one of them later on, dying in his own bed [of natural causes]; he would weep for not having fallen in battle as a shahîd [martyr] even though he exposed himself to dangers.
This belief is one of the greatest sources of strength for the righteous in confronting evildoers and tyrants. For the sake of Allâh, they do not fear the blame of any man, because they know that the matter is in the hand of Allâh, and whatever He decreed for them would come to them.
They were not afraid to speak the word of truth lest their provision be cut off, for provision in the hand of Allâh. Whatever provision Allâh has decreed for His slave cannot be withheld from anyone, and whatever Allâh withholds from His slave, none can cause it to reach him.
By Shaykh ‘Umar bin Sulaymân al-Ashqar
Islamic Creed Series: Divine Will and Predestination [In the light of the Qur’ân and Sunnah], Pgs. 139 – 144