Sunday, May 30, 2021

Are We Responsible But Our Deeds Pre-Ordained By Allah?

  Anonymous       Sunday, May 30, 2021

The answer to this question is related to what is called in Arabic al-qadaa, its derivations and synonyms, which could be interpreted as: “laws of nature”. And among the most related texts is the saying of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) “nothing could stop the effect of alqadaa except an accepted prayer” and the story told by him about the three men who were trapped in a cave to which the entrance was blocked by a boulder. They managed to move the heavy boulder from the entrance enough to get out by resorting to prayer alone.

Another prophetic tradition says: “If there is anything that could precede al-qadaa in a race it is the evil eye.”(Hadith) The word al-qadaa in the major Islamic sources has two meanings:

1. The decree of a guiding nature, which could be violated by man

by exercising freedom of choice.

2. The divine command that has an immediate effect. An example of this is God’s command to fire {We said: O fire be coolness and peace for Abraham.}(Al-Quran)

The result was that fire became cool immediately. This fact is stated clearly by the verse that reads:

{When He decrees a thing, He says to it only: Be and it is.}(Al-Quran) So, al-qadaa could be the direct decree of Allah, or the laws of nature, which Allah created to be composed of a cause and an immediate effect. The created is not accountable for the imminent result, but rather for choosing its cause.


An example of laws of nature is to throw a stone up ward just above your foot (a cause) to fall on your foot (a result) i. e. gravity. This result will not change till you employ another natural law such as: moving your foot from its place or pushing the falling stone away.

Allah created and runs the Universe by His direct command and by laws of nature that He sets in place to form an unimagined network of perfectly automated systems. The laws of nature differ in terms of power and comprehensiveness of effect. Fire, for instance, can make water evaporate but water can put fire out. In spite of the importance of heat and its sources, Allah made water essential for the life. Allah confirms: {We made every living thing of water.} (Al-Quran)

It is true that Allah is who created the Universe including the human beings, and his actions, as Abu Haneefah assures: “If the actor is created by God, for sure his deeds are creations of God”.  This fact does not mean that Man is accountable for creating his deeds from nothing, rather he is accountable for his choosing a specific cause from the available causes that have imminent results.

The following example may explain the role of Man, and how accountability is justified. Assume that a teacher wanted to test his students’ diligence in utilizing the available information, time and facilities. He came up with a test that can detect the various levels of diligence that range from zero to 100%. To make the test easy he chose the multiple-choice form. In other words, to every question he made a set of answers ranging from the best answer to the worst answer.

The above answer is written by Saeed Saeed Ismaeel Sieny. May Allah reward him for his efforts to spread Islam. 


Thanks for reading Are We Responsible But Our Deeds Pre-Ordained By Allah?

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