Qadr- Divine Decree

Excerpt from: http://islamqa.info/en/49004

What is meant by belief in al-qada’ (the Divine will) is: certain belief that everything that happens in this universe happens by the will and decree of Allaah.

The meaning of al-qada’ wa’l-qadar in Arabic:
The word qada’ means perfection and completion, and the word qadar means evaluating and planning.

Definition of al-qada’ wa’l-qadar in Islamic terminology:
Qadar means Allaah’s decree of all things from eternity, and His knowledge that they will come to pass at the times that are known to Him and in the specific manner that He has decreed and willed. They will happen the way they are meant to and the way they are created.

Is there a difference between al-qada’ and al-qadar?
Some of the scholars said that there was a difference between them, but perhaps the most correct view is that there is no difference in meaning between al-qada’ and al-qadar, and that each of them points to the meaning of the other. There is no clear evidence in the Qur’aan or Sunnah to indicate that there is a difference between them. The scholars are agreed that the one may be applied to the other, but it should be noted that the word qadar is most usually used in the texts of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, which indicates that we must believe in this pillar. And Allaah knows best.

The status of belief in al-qadar in Islam:
Belief in al-qadar is one of the six pillars of faith which were mentioned in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) when Jibreel (peace be upon him) asked him about faith (eemaan). He said: “(It is) to believe in Allaah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and to believe in the Divine will and decree (al-qadar) both good and bad.” (Sahih Muslim)
Al-qadar is also mentioned in the Qur’aan, where Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, We have created all things with Qadar”
[al-Qamar 54:49]
“And the Command of Allaah is a decree determined [qadran maqdooran]”
[al-Ahzaab 33:38]

Aspects of belief in al-qadar:
Belief in al-qadar is not valid unless you believe in the four aspects of al-qadar, which are as follows:

1 – Knowledge: Belief that Allaah knows all things, in general terms and in detail, from eternity to eternity. Not a single atom is unknown to Him in the heavens or on earth.
“and that Allaah surrounds all things in (His) Knowledge”
[al-Talaaq 65:12]

2 – Writing: Belief that Allaah has decreed all things in al-Lawh al-Mahfooz, fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.
The evidence for that is the verse in which He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Know you not that Allaah knows all that is in the heaven and on the earth? Verily, it is (all) in the Book (al-Lawh al-Mahfooz). Verily, that is easy for Allaah”
[al-Hajj 22:16]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah wrote the decrees concerning all created beings fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.”
(Sahih Muslim)

3 – Will: Belief that the will of Allaah is irresistable and His decree is comprehensive, so nothing happens in this universe, good or bad, but by His will.
“And never say of anything, ‘I shall do such and such thing tomorrow.’
 Except (with the saying), ‘If Allaah wills!’”
[al-Kahf 18:23, 24]
“And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allaah wills the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”
[al-Takweer 81:29]

4 –  Creation:  Belief that all that exists was created by Allaah. He is the Creator of all beings and the Creator of their attributes and actions, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Allaah is the Creator of all things”
[al-Zumar 39:62]
“While Allaah has created you and what you make”
[al-Saaffaat 37:96]
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allah has created every doer of deeds and what he does.”
(Sahih Bukhari )
Shaykh Ibn Sa’di (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Just as Allaah is the One Who created them – meaning people – He has also created that by means of which they act, namely their abilities and will, then they do various actions of obedience and sin, by the abilities and will which Allaah has created. (al-Durrah al-Bahiyyah Sharh al-Qaseedah al-Taa’iyyah, p. 18).

Correct belief in al-qadar also involves believing in the following:

1)  That the individual has free will by means of which he acts, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight”
[al-Takweer 81:28]
“Allaah burdens not a person beyond his scope”
[al-Baqarah 2:286]
2) That a person’s will and ability do not operate outside the will and decree of Allaah, Who is the One Who has given him that ability and made him able to distinguish (between good and evil) and make his choice, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allaah wills the Lord of the ‘Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)”
[al-Takweer 81:29]
3) That al-qadar is Allaah’s plan for His creation. What He has shown us of it, we know and believe in, and what He has hidden from us, we accept and believe in. We do not dispute with Allaah concerning His actions and rulings with our limited minds and comprehension, rather we believe in Allaah’s complete justice and wisdom, and that He is not to be asked about what He does, may He be glorified and praised.

Warning against arguing about issues of al-qadar on the basis of (human) reasoning:
It was narrated from Ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “If my companions are mentioned, then keep quiet; if the stars are mentioned, then keep quiet; and if the divine decree is mentioned, then keep quiet.”
(Tabaraani in al-Kabeer-classed as saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah)

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