Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Benefits of Belief in Divine Decree

The Benefits of Belief in Divine Decree

Allāh, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the praise and Thanks are due to Allāh, the Lord of the al-ā’lamīn. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, and that Muhammad, sallallāhu alayhi wa sallam, is His Messenger.

Belief in Al-Qada’ Wal-Qadar (Divine Decree and Predestination) is one of the pillars of faith in Islam. The Muslim’s faith is not complete unless he knows that whatever befalls him could not have missed him, and whatever misses him could not have befallen him. Everything is subject to the Will and Decree of Allāh, as Allāh Says in the Quran:

"Indeed, all things We created with predestination". [A-Qamar, 54:49]

All the disasters and tribulations that happen on earth, or happen to the individual, or to his wealth or family, etc., were known to Allāh before they happened, He has written them in Al-Lawh- Al-Mahfouz (the Preserved Tablet) as He Says:

"No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being — indeed that, for Allāh, is easy.” [Al-Hadid, 57:22]

No matter what disasters befall a person, it is good for him, whether he realizes that or not, because Allāh does not decree anything but it is good, as He Says:

"Say, “Never will we be struck except by what Allāh has decreed for us; He is our protector.” And upon Allāh let the believers rely.” [At-Tawbah, 9:51]
Every disaster happens by Allāh’s leave. If He had not willed it, it would not have happened, but Allāh permitted it to happen and decreed it, and so it happened. Allāh Says:

"No disaster strikes except by permission of Allāh. And whoever believes in Allāh — He will guide his heart. And Allāh Knows all things.” [Al-Taghabun, 64:11]

Once a person knows that all calamities happen by the will and decree of Allāh, then he has to believe and submit and be patient. The reward for patience is Paradise, as Allāh Says:

"And will reward them for what they patiently endured [with] a garden [in Paradise] and silk [garments].” [Al-Insan, 76:12]

The position of patience in relation to this aspect of faith, in particular, is like that of the head in relation to the body. Patience is a noble attribute with good consequences. Those who are patient will have an unlimited reward, as Allāh Says:

"Say, “O My servants who have believed, fear your Lord. For those who do good in this world is good and the earth of Allāh is spacious. Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account [i.e. limit].” [Az-Zumar, 39:10]

Another good outcome to perseverance through the Decree of Allāh is the believer (in particular) is rewarded in both good times and bad. Prophet Muhammad (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and that is for no one except the believer. If something good happens to him, he expresses gratitude, and that is good for him, and if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” [Muslim]

Allāh has taught us what we should say when calamity strikes, and has stated that those who are patient will have an honorable position with their Lord. Allāh Says: "… But give good tidings to the patient. Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allāh, and indeed to Him we will return.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:155-156]

Benefits of Belief in Divine Decree and Predestination.

The benefits of Divine Decree and Predestination can be highlighted through the following points:

1. Peace of mind: A Muslim who believes in Divine Decree and Predestination will have his mind at ease when he knows for certain that what befell him could not have missed him and what missed him could not have reached him.

2. Contentment: It doesn't make him grieve about anything because he doesn't say things that reflect discontent like "if I did such and such then such and such would have happened". Also, he doesn't worry too much about the future because he believes that everything is already written. What he should worry about is his deeds and doing good.

3. It gives him the will power and determination to go forward in the way of Allāh: A Muslim doesn't fear anybody because he knows that no one has the power to afflict harm on him without it being decreed by Allāh. The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) clarified this point to Ibn Abbas saying:

"…If the whole nation were to gather together to benefit you they would only benefit you with that which Allāh had already written for you and if the whole nation were to gather to harm you they could only harm you with that which Allāh had already written to harm you. The pen has been lifted and the ink has dried (a phrase meaning: everything has been decreed or settled)". [At-Tirmidzi]

4. It teaches the Muslim to be modest and humble. This is so because everything that a Muslim does is by the Will of Allāh so if he succeeds he knows that Allāh helped him in doing it; he doesn't succeed because he is intelligent or because he is rich or because he deserves it, and, likewise, a person isn't poor because he is stupid. This stops pride and arrogance from creeping to his heart because he knows that Allāh can afflict him with harm and deprive him from the bounties he boasts about.

5. Total dependence upon Allāh: A Muslim takes precautions, does as much as he can and then depends upon Allāh because Divine Decree does not stop him from taking precautions and utilizing worldly means.

The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Take precautions as everybody are guided to that which has been destined for him." e.g. you should drink to quench your thirst. If something bad comes, it is because of our bad doings and if something good reaches us then it is from Allāh’s grace.

Almighty Allāh Says: "What comes to you of good is from Allāh, but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself." [An-Nisa’, 4:79]
[Excerpted from Islam web published on 23 August 2006]

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