Belief in al-Qadar (Divine Decree)
One of the six articles of faith is belief in al-Qadar (predestination/ divine decree) whether good or bad. Any Muslim who does not believe in it or one of the other five articles is said to have disbelieved in Islam as a whole, according to the scholars.
The other articles are: belief in Allah, His angels, Messengers, books and the Last Day.
The belief in al-Qadar, according to Islamic scholars, comprises four levels: the first level is belief in Allah’s knowledge of everything, both of universals and particulars, before its existence. This is related to both, what is referred to as, the actions Allah, like making rain to fall, giving life etc, as well as the actions of human beings. Allah has foreknowledge of the entire deeds of the creations according to His ever-existing knowledge that He is described as having eternally. This also includes His knowledge of all their affairs with respect to obedience, disobedience, sustenance and lifespan. Allah says: “And with Him (Allah) are the keys of the unseen. None knows them but Him. And He knows whatever there is on the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth or anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record” (al-An’aam).
The second level of belief in Qadar is belief in Allah’s recording of all things before He created the heavens and the earth. Hence, Allah not only knew and knows what will happen, but Allah has also recorded this information in the Preserved Tablet.
Such an act is not difficult for Allah whatsoever. Allah says, “Don’t you know that Allah knows all that is in heaven and on earth? Verily, it is all in the book.” (al-Hajj 70).
Allaah also says: “No calamity occurs on the earth or among yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book (of Decrees) before we bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah” (al-Hadeed 22).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said: “Allah recorded the measures of the creation five thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth. (Muslim)
One of the foremost scholars of Islam, Imam Shamsuddin Ibn al-Qayyim, said in his book, Shifa al-Aleel fee Masaail al-Qadha wa Qadar, that there are four different types of pre-recording. They are: 1. The pre-existent measure by the knowledge of Allah that is recorded in the Preserved Tablet;
2. Allah’s decree concerning the life of an individual while he is still a fetus in the womb of his mother. This includes the person’s sustenance, life span, deeds and whether he will be successful or miserable.
3. A yearly determination that occurs on LailatulQadr which measures what will occur during the year.
4. A daily pre-measuring for everything that occurs. That is what this Quranic verse, “Everyday He has a matter to bring forth” (arRahman 29) is referring to, according to Imam Ibn al-Qayyim.
The third level is to believe in Allah’s decreeing of everything that is in existence, and if He does not will something, it can never come into existence. According to Jamaal al-Din Zarabozo in his book Commentary on the forty hadith of an-Nawawee, this refers to Allah’s actions o giving life, sustenance and so forth; and it also includes all of the acts performed human beings. Nothing can be done unless Allah decrees it and allows it to happen. A person may intend or try to shoot and kill another person but such can only occur if Allah decrees it.
The fourth level of belief in Qadar is the belief in Allah’s creation of everything, bringing of everything into existence and being.
Muslim pilgrims touch the Kaaba, at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia on September 26, 2015.