Ustadh: Now I will tell you about the last pillar of eemaan. The belief in al-Qadar.
TaJib: AI-Qadar? What is the meaning of that?
Ustadh: Do you know the phrase – Que cera cera! (Talib shakes his head) It is French and it means whatever will be, will be. This is the way most people understand Qadar, but it is deeper than that in Islaam.
Talib: And what do you mean by that?
Ustadh: There is a hadeeth of at- Tirmidhi that tells us about something that happened before anything was created.
The hadeeth says: "Allaah's Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
The first thing which Allaah created was the Pen. He commanded it to write. It asked: What should I write? He said: Write the Decree (al-Qadr). So it wrote what had happened and what was going to happen up to eternity.'
Talib: Are you saying, sir, that what will happen to me in the next five years has been decided?
Ustadh: Yes! What will happen to you and any other person, in the next five years and even for the rest of your life is known. All of that is part of the knowledge of Allaah. Don't you know that Allaah is AI-'Aleem (the All Knowing), and how can he be All Knowing if any knowledge escapes Him. He says in the Quran,
"Verily Allaah is the All-Knower of everything.” (Q8:75)
So since you can not say Allaah is not Al-'Aleem, then it means that whatever happens, He knows it will happen, the when of it and the how. Notice that the keyword is know.
Ustadh: Naam, so you see, correct knowledge about Allaah, His beautiful names and attributes makes it easy for one to believe in Qadar.
Talib: This is definitely news to me. I hope and pray that I have something good in store for me. But come, if all that will happen has been written down, then why do we bother?
Ustadh: But you see, no one knows what has been written for him. The Companions of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings be upon him) also asked this question.
Ali (RA) narrated, "O Allah's Messenger! Should we not depend on what has been written for us and leave the deeds as whoever amongst us is blessed will do the deeds of a blessed person and whoever amongst us will be wretched, will do the deeds of a wretched person?" The Prophet said:
"The good deeds are made easy for the blessed, and bad deeds are made easy for the wretched." (Bukhaaree).
Allaah knows all that would happen, but He has told us what He likes for us to do and what he does not like for us to do. He also told us that we have the ability to decide on what we want to do. So the decision is ours but Allaah already knows what we will decide to dobecause He is All-Knowing.
Let me give you some examples that shows that we all have the ability to decide the course of action we take. If you were to reach a junction of two roads, one of them leads to a place of chaos, riots, teargas etc and the other leads to a secure and peaceful place where life is good and everything in order, is there any sane person who will use qadar as an excuse and follow the road leading to chaos? Of course not.
Or if you are ill and are supposed to take a bitter drug that you dislike and abstain from some sweet food so as to aid your healing and recovery, would you ignore the doctor's prescription and do the opposite and claim that it is qadar?
Ustadh: Exactly. So if in our daily life, we do not use Oadar as excuse, how come we want to use it for our religious life, when the two options and where they lead to have been shown to us.
"And shown him the two ways (good and evil)? But he has made no effort to pass on the path that is steep. (Q90:10-11).
So it is upon us to make the effort.