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Destiny and freedom of will in Islam

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01st-May-2018       
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A.T.M.Nurun Nabi  :
Destiny and freedom of will are inter-related in Islam. Unless Allah has decreed something for a man, he cannot get it even though he tries his best. Again, whatever Allah fixes for him, he cannot get it if he sits idle and does not work.
Destiny means fate (measure). Allah says, "Verily We have created everything with measure,"-Al-Quran, Surah Qamar, Verse No.49. According to the determinists, otherwise called Jabaria, destiny is inevitable. What Allah fixes for a man, it must take place whether he works or not. 'We read in the Hadith-i-Qudsi when fetus' age in the womb of mother is 40 days, an Angel writes in his or her soul what will happen to him/her, what he/she will eat, how long will he or she will live, and in which land will he or she die. A saint asked an Angel: What do you write?  He said: I write what Allah desires.
On the other hand, the opposing school called 'Quderia (materialists)' says that Allah has also granted man Freedom of Will. That is right to choose a thing, with warning to the wrongdoers of painful punishment. Conversely, the righteous will be rewarded and lodged in the Paradise.
The materialists quote verse 40/40 in support of their statement. The verse is. "Whoever does an evil, he shall not be recompensed (with aught) but the like of it. And whoever does good, whether male or female, and he is a believer, he shall enter the garden in which he shall be given sustenance without measure".
The materialists argue that Allah is with him who tries first. In support of their statement, they quote verse No.13/ 11. The text is: Verily Allah changes not the condition of a people, who change not themselves (first).
We know that success of a work depends upon good planning, timely execution and logistic supports. Mere planning does nothing. History gives evidence that the nation with able leadership flourished at length. The examples are China, Germany and Japan.  They are the world's top three economic powers.
A Muslim scholar said about destiny that it demolishes freedom and rationality. The fatalists cannot strengthen their personality, improve morality and control work. They leave every thing in the hands of destiny and deny the relation between cause and effect. Hazrat Ali (Ra) said, "When destiny steps in, eyes become blind. One cannot distinguish between good and evil, friend and foe. It confuses a physician about his treatment and makes it vain. (Man and his Destiny by Murtaza Motahhari at page No. 75). About the definition of destiny, Hazrat Ali (Ra) said, if you sit beside a near collapsing tree, it may fall on your head. According to the law of cause and effect, if a man sits beside a wal1 likely to fall, it may fall on his head, making him injured (even death). But if he does not do so, he will remain safe.
There is no doubt that destiny demolishes man's ability to work. The materialists accuse the fatalists of ignoring the Verse no 6/135 wherein Allah says, "Say (0 Muhammad unto people): 0 my people! Work according to your capacity."
We know that the Muslims conquered Spain under the command of Tdrique-bin-Ziad in 71I AD and ruled for 300 years. When Cordova and Granada were illuminated under the Muslim rule, the streets of London plunged into darkness. Yet, the Muslims had to leave Spain in 103I AD, because the Muslim rulers, later days, ignored the necessity of strong Armed Forces and skilled diplomacy.
The following two verses make it clear that a man is responsible for his own misfortunes One of them is: Whatever misfortune strikes you, it is your right hand that has earned', (42/30). The other is "Catastrophe has appeared in the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have wrought."30/41.
Again Allah says, "Let him, who will believe, and let him, who will disbelieve. We have prepared for the wrongdoers severe fire."-18/29. This verse gives testimony that freedom of  will should not be misused because that will have severe consequences.
Supposing a man enjoys physical fitness. If he follows medical advice, he may live for 100 years, but if he disregards, he may live half of that. His destiny is such as if he applies hygienic principle,  he will survive 100 years, otherwise 50.
The Prophet Muhammad (Sm) said: If you want more sustenance and longer life, maintain good relations  with your relatives, help them in need.
Allah grants freedom of will as revealed from Hadith No. 243. Hadith-e-Qudsi After creating Hazrat Adam (As), Allah showed Hazrat Adam His Hand and said: This is Dawood. your son. I have fixed 40 years for him. Adam said: Kindly increase his age. Allah said: I have fixed it. Then Adam said: I give him 60 years from my account. Allah said: This is the matter between you two.
On the other hand, when Allah said to the angels, I am going to place viceroy in the earth, they said:  Wilt Thou place therein such as shall make mischief and shed blood? We praise Thee and extol Thy Holiness. Allah said: I know what you know not (Ref: Verse No. 2/30). But Allah did not call for explanation from them for their reservation.
Again when Allah asked a group of Angels to salute  several poor muzahids, the first to enter Paradise, they (Angels) said: We live in heavens and are the best of your creations. Yet do thou command us to salute them (warriors)?
Allah said: They are such as always worshipped Me and ascribed not partner. (They) guarded frontiers, endured pains and sufferings, and died with much of their desires unfulfilled. Then the Angels went to them and saluted and said: Live you in peace in this paradise. It is the reward from thy Lord for what you did. Hadith-I-Qudsi, Hadith No. 234.
The said Hadith clearly approves freedom of opinion. Contrarily, when Allah asked Iblis to let Him know as to why did he not fall in prostration before Adam? He (lblis) replied with arrogance and conceit. He said: I am better than him. You created me of fire while him thou didst create of mud. Allah did not like Iblis' such arrogance. Unhappy with his explanation, Allah expelled him from the Heaven.
In fact, Iblis was braggart and  proud. Allah says in a number of verses that He does not love the braggart boosters.
We learn from the aforesaid Hadith also that man must exercise freedom of opinion with reason and fair dealing. There is no opportunity any way to abuse that right. What we learn from this verse that Allah did not mind the independent opinion of the Angels about His plan. But He progressed with His own decision.
Islam recommends for listening to the learned to accept the best thereof. Verse 39/18 says, "Listen to what is said and follow the best thereof." Hazrat Ali said, "Regard what is said, not who has said,"                                             -Mizan.

There are references in the Holy Quran about writing fate of every human being every year. It is revealed in the Ad-Dukhan and Qadr. The word Qadr means Fate. A group of commentators say, Majestic. Allah says, if a youth firmly believes in my measure, works accordingly, he is like an Angel or the other.
When Hazrat Ibrahim (As) fell ill, he said, "When I am sick, He restores me to health,"- Verse No. 26/80. Hazrat Ayub (As) suffered a long period owing to Satan. At length, one day, he prayed to Allah for recovery. His Lord asked him to strike the ground with his foot. He did it and found stream to cure him.
In the battle of Muta in 630 A.D., the Muslim Army lost their three commanders and during that critical moment, they appointed Khalid bin Walid their next commander. The Prophet Muhammad (Sm) while sending the troops ordered that the troops would pick up their general in case of death of their panel commanders of three.  These events prove that Islam upholds both destiny and freedom of will.

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