Many people in this age would pay a lot to know their future.
High-flying politicians and wealthy businessmen would give
away everything to gain a much bigger fortune, if it is predicted
by some soothsayer. Some even have in-house astrologers whom
they consult prior to making major decisions.
The daily newspapers and periodicals, too, publish horoscopes
for the 'benefit' of readers. Besides gazing at the stars,
fortune-tellers also attempt to read one's fate and destiny
from tarot cards, crystal balls, and coffee cups, and even
Islam as a complete religion did not ignore issues of fate
and destiny. Indeed, the subject is covered under the sixth
Article of Faith. Islam teaches that Fate (qadhaa) and destiny
(qadr) can be divided into two types: Mubram and Mu'allaq.
Mubram means that everything originates from Almighty Allah
and occurs according to his specified fate, which cannot
be changed, such as one's ethnic grouping at birth, natural
disasters and so forth.
Mu'allaq, on the other hand, means that the human being
is given freedom of choice. He has the free will of attempting
to improve himself, his family and community; strive to avoid
tragedy; and transform himself/herself from being a disobedient
person into an obedient one.
This state of man's free will is exemplified in the following
"Indeed, We showed him the way, it is for him whether
he is grateful or ungrateful." [Al-Insaan: 3]
Man has been shown the Way by means of Revelations through
men of the highest spiritual standing, that is the Prophets.
If he is grateful, he will accept Guidance, be one of the
Righteous and join the company of the Blessed. If not, he
rejects his destiny and gets thrown into the blazing fire
of punishment. His choice rests on his will.
In the powerful qadhaa and qadr equilibrium, Almighty Allah
knows about everything such as magnitude, quality and nature,
before he even creates it. He knows to the minutest detail
of its coming into being and passing away, and the place
of its occurrence. His Divine Will encompasses all things
and events that occur, whether they be good or evil, and
indeed He has recorded every event that will occur to His
In a hadeeth (sayings of Prophet Muhammad - pbuh) narrated
by Abdullah ibn Amr al-As, he reported that he heard the
"Allah ordained the destiny of the creation fifty thousand
years before He created the heavens and the earth." [Muslim]
In another hadeeth narrated by Anas bin Maalik, the Prophet
"Allah puts an angel in charge of the uterus
and the angel says,
'O Lord, (it is) semen!'
'O Lord, (it is now ) a clot!'
'O Lord, (it is now) a piece of flesh.' And then, if Allah
wishes to complete its creation, the angel asks,
'O Lord, (will it be) a male or a female?'
'A wretched (an evil doer) or a blessed (doer of good)?'
'How much will his provisions be?'
'What will his age be?'
So all that is written while the creature is still in the
mother's womb." [Bukhari]
Questions are normally raised that if the actions of a person
are already decreed or ruled by Allah, why should He punish
us for the evil deeds we do in our lives. To understand this
one must comprehend the following point. Man is given a free
will, according to which he acts in his life. He will be
held responsible on the day of judgement for whatever option,
whether good or bad, that he adopted. It is a prescribed
way of Allah that He makes the path of doing good easier
for a person if the person opts for this path. Similarly
if the man chooses the path of evil, Allah makes following
this path easier for him. A verse from the Holy Qur'an will
amply describe this issue.
"So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah) and
(in all sincerity) testifies to the best, We will indeed
make smooth for him the path to bliss. But he who is a greedy
miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, and gives the lie
to the best, We will indeed make smooth for him the path
to misery." [Al-Lail: 5-10]
The option that the person will ultimately choose is known
to Allah because He created Man and is fully aware of the
nature of each individual.
An example will demonstrate this:
A man lives in the neighbourhood of a naughty and disobedient
child. The man warns the boy that if he continues like this,
he may end up in the gallows. The boy takes no notice and
continues with his bad habits. Years later he becomes and
established criminal, and one day he is eventually caught,
prosecuted and found guilty, and so condemned to death by
hanging. As he is being led to the gallows, will the boy
be justified in saying that his neighbour should be held
responsible for his crimes because years previously, he had
predicted what was now actually happening? Obviously there
is no logic in this argument being put forward by this criminal.
This is how a man can speculate with his limited knowledge.
What then about Allah Almighty whose knowledge is so vast
that nothing can escape Him.