Monday, January 3, 2011

Divine Decree : "al qada' wal qadar"

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Alif. Lam. Mim. (1) This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who ward off (evil). (2) Who believe in the Unseen, and establish worship, and spend of that We have bestowed upon them; (3) And who believe in that which is revealed unto thee (Muhammad) and that which was revealed before thee, and are certain of the Hereafter. (4) These depend on guidance from their Lord. These are the successful. (5)
Al Baqarah , 2 : 1-5

That which Allah openeth unto mankind of mercy none can withhold it; and that which He withholdeth none can release thereafter. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
Al Fatir , 35 :2

That is because Allah never changeth the grace He hath bestowed on any people until they first change that which is in their hearts, and (that is) because Allah is Hearer, Knower.
Al Anfal , 8 : 53

Allah created you from dust, then from a little fluid, then He made you pairs (the male and female). No female beareth or bringeth forth save with His knowledge. And no-one groweth old who groweth old, nor is aught lessened of his life, but it is recorded in a Book, Lo! that is easy for Allah. (11)
Al fatir , 35 : 11

That no laden one shall bear another's load, (38) And that man hath only that for which he maketh effort, (39) And that his effort will be seen. (40) And afterward he will be repaid for it with fullest payment; (41) And that thy Lord, He is the goal; (42) And that He it is who maketh laugh, and maketh weep, (43)
An Najm , 53 : 38-43

In my humble estimation if anyone were to explain the complex intracacies of 'divine decree' or 'qada wal qadar',Shaykh Mokhtar Al Maghroui would be in the best position to do just this. He has a double PHD in Physics and Electrical Engineering...he delves in the physically visibles...the intellectually visibles[ photons,atoms,CERN particles, the nature of light,etc and etc],...and by his sufic background, the purely INVISIBLE, The Unseen !

I have been looking for a definitive explanation of "al qada' wal qadar" or rather the nebulous concept of divine decree for over thirty years and this has eluded me. At best, at the end of the day, over these years I know my intellectual limitation and come to accept the safe and rather simplistic notion that:
[1] perfect understanding of "al qada' wal qadar" belongs to the realm of 'ilm al ghaiba', 'ilm of the Unseen', and it is beyond my comprehension,and
[2]that the will of God is supreme and within that context there exist some freeplay of my own will,as allowed by Him, within the overall context of the will of God!,and
[3]The 'pen and ink' with respect to my life in this universe and all the quantum within this universe, is already 'dry', the die had already being 'casted' but that His knowledge before 'time' and 'beyond time' does not negate the free will that He afforded to his abdals and all created things.

A mouthful but insyaallah by this way my simplistic aqidah remained intact! Insyaallah.

Our comprehension are limited by TIME, SPACE, MATTER, cause and effect which are just part of created things....matter, anti matter, space, wills and thought and even time, are all created things, all within the socalled four dimension. Allah's realm is 'the realm beyond realm', the realm of KUN FAYAKUN

HE is the CREATOR. We are just synonamous with that 'gold fish in a silver goblet rested near a windowsill in downtown Manhattan'. An example I gave in an earlier article on destiny a year back. We can hear the din of the city,crowd, trains and people down below. The best and brightest of us can theorise from those'din' and noise, and make postulates and hypotheses of the world beyond the goblet, but none us 'gold fishes' could comprehend what goes in the head of the owner of The White House, how he looks like, and worse still , the extent of his knowledge. Some of us may not want to know or refuse to aknowledge that he exist ! That in analogy is the level of our ignorance and 'kufrness' !

Shaykh al Maghroui today has opened up my comprehension a lot better, insyaallah, putting my aqidah on firmer ground. Mashaallah! Alhamdullillah! May Allah bless his soul and give him long life to carry on his daawah.

Listen, and please do listen "al qada wal qadar" is in the dimension of aqidah.'Qada wal qadar' is the ilm of Allah, and in this respect Al Maghroui in this 3 hours of lecture or so has simplified things for our understanding. Philosophers and thinkers in the past have lost their way navigating on this issue of 'qada' wal qadar'. Do enjoy this almost sublime lecture.
[ I posted it some 2 years ago, but only now discovered the most important missing part 1 !]

part 1:

[ at 15.00 ]

..........God's knowledge is instantaneous and comprehensive; all reality is totally and simultaneously accessible to Him.  Dimensions of time and space lose all their properties. God alone knows the 'hows', 'what' and 'when' of the future: "And verily We know who go forward among you and verily We know the laggards. Lo! thy Lord will gather them together. Lo! He is Wise, Aware " ( Ibrahim : 24-25).

[ at 52.00 ]
......we in this  temporal world is a '3-dimensional entity',the soul is a 'four dimensional entity', it is freer...

part 2 :

[ at 04.15 ]
.....Oh my son, you would not taste iman until you know that what befalls you is not meant to miss you, and what misses you was not meant to befall you.....

[ at 07.00 ]
Oh 'Pen', write!..What do I write?....Write the 'muqadir' of every thing till the Day of Judgement.....Ilmu al-Ghaiba.......

part 3:

part 4:

part 5:

And no burdened soul can bear another's burden, and if one heavy laden crieth for (help with) his load, naught of it will be lifted even though he (unto whom he crieth) be of kin. Thou warnest only those who fear their Lord in secret, and have established worship. He who groweth (in goodness), groweth only for himself, (he cannot by his merit redeem others). Unto Allah is the journeying. (18) The blind man is not equal with the seer; (19) Nor is darkness (tantamount to) light; (20) Nor is the shadow equal with the sun's full heat; (21) Nor are the living equal with the dead. Lo! Allah maketh whom He will to hear. Thou canst not reach those who are in the graves. (22)
Al Fatir , 35 : 18-22

These 'ayats' from Surah Al Fatir though still definitely related to the above topic of discussion, but I put it here because of it's beautiful cadence[ in its original Arabic prose, must have been more beautiful ], the lonely sense of isolation our lives are, and the sadness related to our fate if we CHOOSE to remain impervious to His message for our own salvation. That CHOICE, constitute FREE WILL.

One may be born an orphan or gifted with a silver spoon; has an IQ of 80 or endowed with a brain like Einstein or Dawkins; become a billionaire or remain just a pauper; lives long life or rightaway strickened with poor health or foreshortened by cancer....such are the trials and tribulations of life...but the choice of being with HIM or going against HIM remain ours.

That to me is what constitute 'al Qada wal Qadar'.

Our life on this planet is just a transient 'sojourn', a test if you may. The hereafter is the ultimate joy and our final station.

Unto Him is our journeying


wayfarer said...

Thank you for this. While I was relatively content with accepting this concept without a thorough understanding (much as you were), it was always disconcerting to see how Islam was belittled in various philosophy debate forums when the issue of free will and predestination/predetermination was raised.

Thank you for the links. I have found part 1 in MP3 format, and maybe you should use that while you search for the video.


Pearls and Gem said...

thank you wayfarer but it is not reloadable on my computer. i am illiterate

Pearls and Gem said...

Mashaallah, Wayfarer
I finally got it, albeit 3 months later !
It is on audio though.