Monday, January 26, 2009

Influence of Dua' on Qadar

Influence of Dua' on Qadar

Atiyyah Lashin and Muzammil Siddiqi

Question: I know that belief in the Qadar (Divine predestination) is a prerequisite for sound faith. However, I'd like to know if there is any conflict between the Qadar and Dua'. How could the Dua' influence one's Qadar, which is already predetermined by Allah, Most High.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful;
All the Praise is to Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, Peace and Blessings be upon Prophet Muhammad His Messenger.

Du'a is the essence of worship as stated in an authentic Hadith. Qadar (Divine predestination) is a pillar of faith in Allah, as the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam), mentioned when asked by Angel Jibreel (Gabriel), peace be upon him, about Iman (faith), saying: "It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers, and the Last Day, and to believe in Divine predestination, both the good and the evil thereof." [Muslim]

Qadar or Divine predestination is of two kinds:

1. Unconditional Predestination, and,
2. Conditional Predestination.

The Dua's has no influence over the first kind, while it may change the second one. This ruling is based on the Hadith that reads:

"Nothing could change the Qadar except Dua'" 

[Musnad Ahmad, Vol. 5, Hadith no. 277; Sunan At-Tirmidzi, Vol. 3, Hadith no. 139; and classified as Hasan (good) Hadith by Al-Albani in Sahih Al-Jami`, Hadith no. 7687]”

"Du'a has great power; it can change many things. We should always pray to Almighty Allah and should never give up hope in the acceptance of Dua'. Dua' is the most important act of worship. It does not mean that we or any other human or jinn have power, but it means that Allah, the Almighty, has power and He can do whatever He wills. Dua' is the recognition and acknowledgement of our dependence upon Allah, Most High, and our deep faith that He can change anything.

There are many verses in the Qur'an and many Hadiths that emphasize the importance and necessity of Dua'.

The Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Dua' benefits in the things that have happened as well as the things that have not happened yet. The calamity comes down, but the Dua' confronts it and they may continuously wrestle until the Day of Resurrection."

[Reported by Al-Hakim]

In another Hadith, it is reported that the Prophet (sallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) said:

"Nothing can change the Qadar except the Dua'…"

[Imam Ahmad, Ibn Hibban, Al-Hakim, and Ibn Majah etc. consider it a sahih Hadith].

There is no contradiction between our faith in the power of Dua' to Allah and in our belief in the Qada' and Qadar of Allah.

Scholars have explained that there are Two Types Of Qada' (Allah’s Decrees):

1. Those that are known as Qada' Mubram (Absolute Decrees); and,

2. Those that are known as Qada' Mu`allaq (Conditional Decrees).

The absolute decrees do not change, but the conditional one may change if and when the conditions are fulfilled. Such decrees are based on the fulfillment of causes, as well as Dua'.

However, it is important to keep in mind that everything is in the pre-existent knowledge of Almighty Allah. The knowledge of Allah, Most High, does not change, but the conditional decrees may change. Allah Almighty says in the Qur'an:

"Allah effaceth what He will, and establisheth (what He will), and with Him is the source of ordinance."

[Ar-Ra`ad, 13: 39]

Some people raise this question: if Allah Almighty knows the future and His knowledge is always true, then things must happen according to His knowledge. Then how can there be change and how can we say that we have freedom? Muslim scholars have pointed out that knowledge (`Ilm) is an illuminative, but not necessarily always an effective, attribute. Allah the Almighty does know everything, but in whatever areas He has given us freedom to act, we do act freely. We are responsible for the things in which we have freedom. He will judge us according to the freedom that He has given us.

The great scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyah, (Rahimullah) states: "Allah Almighty has created His creation with some causes. He has commanded His servants to follow those causes in order to receive His forgiveness, His mercy and His reward in this life and in the Hereafter. Whoever thinks that he or she can achieve anything simply by trust and by neglecting the causes that Allah Almighty has commanded him or her to follow; or whoever thinks that objects do not depend on the causes, is really mistaken." [Al-Fatawa, 8/530]"

Allah Almighty knows best.

[Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:; published in Islam Online on 20 Oct2002]

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