Fate and Destiny (Al-Qadaa wa Al-Qadar)
There has not been a topic that is more likely discussed, argued and debated as that topic of Al-Qadaa wa Al-Qadar. That’s because everyone wants to argue it, whether one is knowledgeable or ignorant about it. And a question being always asked is whether everything happening to us is pre-destined? So why is the call to Account then? And can I do anything that is not by the will of Allah? The questioning goes even further; if this is the truth, where I can’t do except what Allah has determined for me, why Allah punishes me by sending me to Hell? Is it just to be called to Account in the Hereafter
You will find that, this question is asked only by those who has transgressed against their souls and disobeyed Allah. On the other hand, you will not find anyone saying, that since everything is pre-determined by Allah, then why will Allah bless me with the Jannah? Definitely, that is a question that you never hear. You always hear people saying that the call to Account is unjust, because our actions have already been pre-destined by Allah.
Allah (SWT) has given man the freedom of choice throughout his life. From here came the debate; that is some people would think that the freedom of choice given to man conflicts with the consent of Allah in His universe, which is very far from the truth.
And those people refer to Al-Ayaat Alkarima
But ye will not, unless Allah wills; for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom --Ayah 30 from surat Al-Insan.
They also refer to the words of Allah (SWT) to Al-Rasoul (PBUH)
Verily,you (O Muhamed PBUH) will not be able to guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills Ayah 56 from surat Al-Qasas
And Allah also says
For Allah leaves to stray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills - Ayah 8 from surat Fatir
So, if those are the Ayat and this is the will of Allah, how are we called toAccount on the Day of Resurrection?Here we can say that Allah (SWT) has what He wills in His creation. There is nothing in the universe of Allah that can be considered to be exempt from his decree. This is the mere truth that we start with, and we can add to this the fact that the people are themselves contributing to their destruction. And that they will deserve either the punishment or the mercy of Allah according to their own deeds, as Allah says
Verily Allah will not deal unjustly with man in aught; it is man that wrongs his own soul- Ayah 44 from surat Yunus
Universe and Choice
Allah (SWT) created the whole universe on the basis of choice. There are creatures that had the option to choose only once and their choice was to be oppressed. And there are others who have chosen to be given the right of successive choice so that each of them would have the freedom of choice throughout his life
There are Angels that Allah did not inform us about how they have been created. They glorify Allah day and night and they never disobey what Allah has decreed. As Allah (Gal Galaloh) says
They (the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, they never slacken (to do so) Ayah 20 from Surat Al-Anbiya’a
And Allah (SWT) also says
(angels) who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded- Ayah 6 from surat At-Tahrim
Those are the angels that Allah (SWT) keeps in charge for whatever He wills throughout the universe. There is an angel in charge of every single thing in the universe according to the Will of Allah (Galla Galaloh). Among those angels are the Lifters of the Throne and the ones nearest to Al-Haqq(SWT). There are also the uppermost angels, the angels of death, the angels that are in charge of man, like Al-Hafaza Al-Keram who write down man’s acts, and many other angels.
All creatures except man and Al-Jin have deliberately chosen to be oppressed.If we read what Al-Haqq (SWT) says,
Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the Trust) to the heavens, and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it, but man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results)- Ayah 72 from surat Al-Ahzab
Then we will know that the heavens, the earth, the mountains and all other creatures were offered Al-Amanah, which is the freedom of choice. That is they were offered to be free to choose and to be able to obey or disobey. But allthose creatures except man and Al-Jin refused the offer of choice. They all said to Allah that they can’t handle themselves nor Al-Amanah and they asked Allah to make them oppressed.And if Allah (SWT) had not informed us about that in His book the Qura’an, we would not have known that the offer of choice was there for all His creatures, that they refused to carry Al-Amanah that man has accepted and that they preferred to be oppressed.
But let’s explain what is Al-Amanah. Al-Amanah is what another person leaves with you on a condition that he gets it back whenever he wants. He would leave Al-Amanah with you because you are trustworthy and this trust has to be without any written proof or any eyewitness. For example, if someone gave you some money and he got a receipt, a bank check or a money draft in return, it is not considered Amanah. It is considered a certified deposit. Also if someone left the money with you in the presence of some people, it is still not considered Amanah, but a witnessed deposit. It is called Amanah only if that trust was between the two of you, with no witness or proof. And Allah (SWT) offered Al- Amanah to the heavens, earth and mountains, but they all rejected it. Why? Because they felt they are incapable of returning it. That is because if someone left you some money as Amanah, you might hit some bad times and turn towards some of that money hoping that you can return it later. And you might even spend all the money, thinking that you will be able to return it by the time it is due. But actually when the time comes, you can’t get the money and by this, you have wasted Al-Amanh. So man before bearing Al-Amanah thought that he would be able to return it and that he would follow the law of Allah and pay back His rights (SWT) by praying, thanking Allah, serving Him and doing all what Allah orders him.
When man started the journey of bearing Al-Amanah, that is this life (Al-Hayat Al-Donia), the devil - Al-Shytan - seduced him, so he started doing sins and believed in more than one God. Eventually, man started believing in and serving the stones, the sun, the moon, the stars, the animal and more. By doing that he wasted Al-Amanah, and by the time Al-Amanah is due, when death approaches him, he is to meet Allah unable to pay back Al-Amanah that he chose to bear.
Man and Al-Amanah
So we can see that man deliberately carried Al-Amanah, but did he bear it against the will of Allah (SWT)? Did he give himself the right to freely do or not to do, or did Al_Haqq offer him that freedom? Definitely man didn’t give himself anything. Allah (SWT) with His mighty power and divine will gave man the choice, so He created him free to choose. And if Allah (Galla Gallaloh) wanted to create him oppressed, it would have been that way. And for this Al-Haqq (SWT) draws our attention to that truth in his words (Galla Gallaloh)
If We will, We could send down to them from heaven a Sign, to which they would bend their necks in humility -Ayah 4 from surat Al-Shu’araa
And Allah (Galla Gallaloh) says
Have not then those who believed yet known that had Allah willed, He could have guided all mankind (to the Right)-Ayah 31 from surat Ar-Ra’d
There hasn’t been anyone in the universe getting anything except through the decree of Allah. The creatures who chose oppression got it by the will of Allah (SWT) and the creatures that are capable of choosing got that choice by the will of Allah (Galla Gallaloh). So everything in the universe submits to the divine will of Allah, its Creator. The oppressed to obey and the free to disobey both got what they have by the will of Allah (SWT). None is exempt from Allah’s decree. In this way man has been created free to choose, because Allah (SWT) wanted him to have this freedom and Allah being Al-‘Adl- the Fair - would not oppress man to choose. Allah offered man the right of choice and he accepted it. And that offer was offered to him by the will of Allah.
Here the question to ask is, why man was created free to choose? And here we say that the oppressed creations of Allah (SWT) prove the majestic, oppressing and dominating qualities of Allah; that He is capable of oppressing who ever He likes to do what He wants. But there is also the loving quality of Allah (SWT) in His universe and this quality can’t be proved except from a creation that approach Allah with love, not because they are oppressed to do that. A Creation that would serve Allah out of love and that obey Him because they love to obey Him. And to have this achieved, that creation has to be capable of believing and disbelieving, capable of obeying and disobeying. A creation that say “ O God I love You and for that I believe in You, not because I am oppressed but out of love, O God I love to obey You and for that I do it. God I will do all what You order me and will get away from what You forbid and God if I am capable of doing any sin, it is the lust of my soul and the evil among men and Al-Jin that makes sins alluring to me. But God Your love in my heart is greater than that of the whole world and Allah, the God of the universe, all what You want me to do I will love to do because I love You Allah and I love to please You.”
That is the real meaning of choice in the universe. Allah (SWT) doesn’t want submitting figures but He wants humble hearts and that’s why He wants man to come to Him with a loving heart. And faith - Al-‘Eman would examine your love for Allah, if the love for Allah in your heart is great, then your faith in His curriculum will be greater. But if His love in your heart is not that strong, then you will be far away from His curriculum.
Priviliges to Man
When Al-Haqq (SWT) created man, the creature that will come to Him out of love, Allah wanted to make him a leader of the universe to reward him for choosing to be obedient. Allah also wanted to prepare man for the difficult test that will hit him throughout his life (Al-Hayat Al-Donia). That is because the lust of the soul together with the whispers of the devil - Al-Shytan - and the appeal of disobedience will need strength and power so that man does not fall into sins. So Allah gave man a universe to serve him, a universe that has everything that man would need to save his life and to keep it going. The sun provides him with warmth and brightens his day so that he can go on building the universe as Allah ordered him. The earth provides him with the food, not only the essential elements for man’s life, but also gives him the luxury of choice. It produces different kinds of food from which he can select what he likes; a lot of vegetables and fruits with distinct tastes, cattle that provides the meat to eat and the wool to wear. In that universe man also has the water from the sky - the rain - to save his life and to give life to animals and plants that serves him. And in that way Al-Haqq has provided man a universe with all the elements of life in it, so that he does not get distracted by those elements and forgets to serve and obey Allah, the provider of life. That universe is the first privilege that Allah (SWT) specified to man who is capable of choosing.
The second privilege is that Allah created all those elements of life subject to man. They can not stop doing their role in life, the sun can not say that it will rise today and not tomorrow, the moon can not suddenly leave the sky and disappear, the wind can not go far from the earth and prevent man from life, and the earth can not say it will not blossom the plants. Everything that serves man in the universe performs its role perfectly.And that oppressed universe is the unchanging universe, the good universe that never tires anyone or ruins anything. Its’ rules are rigid and continuous and it is all done by the decree of Allah so that man feels safe about his existence and survival. In that way man is not busy with the timing of the sunrise nor is he worried to find a way to get the water from the sky. He is not responsible of the succession of the night and day nor does he need to find out the ways to maintain the atmosphere around the earth. Allah relieved man from all those responsibilities so that he is not distracted by the universe from the Creator of the universe.
Ayat for the People
Then came the third privilege; Al-Haqq (SWT) wanted to show man that there is a God capable of everything, Allah who created man and everything in the universe for serving man and who also created the universe. He made things that are stronger than man millions of times and that no one can claim creating it, serve man. For example, the sun with all its strength and power, all people gathered cannot claim that they made nor created it. It can burn the whole universe and man doesn’t have any way to prevent its harm. But then Al-Haqq made the sun provides us with all what we need and with His wisdom, knowledge and precision in His creation prevented its harm from reaching us. Another example is the sea, it can cause havoc but Allah (SWT) made it provide us with the different kinds of fish, food to eat, jewelry to wear as in pearl and coral. He made it carry our ships from one country to another and prevented its harm from reaching us.A third example is the earth that can shake powerfully and destroy man and all what he has built, but Allah (SWT) submitted it and made it calm for us, to be able to live on it.
And then Al-Haqq (Galla Gallaloh) gave us the fourth privilege, our senses, the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the tongue to talk and all the senses that makes us aware of our surroundings. And Allah also gave us the mind that is capable of distinguishing. All those things that serves us can not be created by man, and so man should know that there is a tremendous power out there that had created that universe and its above all our strength and power. Al-Haqq (Galla Gallaloh) says
And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah)-Ayah 78 from surat An-Nahl
All the Ayat in His universe that shows that He (Galla Gallaloh) is the Creator - Al-Khaliq -, Al-Haqq (SWT) made them clear and obvious so that the human brain does not get tired of searching for it or trying to reach it. He (SWT) did not make His Ayat unknown or hidden nor did He make them hard to reach but He (SWT) made everyone able to see and watch them easily with no effort done. We see the sun, the moon, the stars, the plants, the earth and we breathe the air. We see that Ayat Allah draws our attention as if it is presenting itself and announcing its Creator with out any effort done from our side.Then Al-Haqq (SWT) demanded from us to look at the universe to see those Signs - Al-Ayat - so that we do not distract ourselves and get lost in searching for His Ayat in the universe, and so that we do not forget the Creator and spend all the time thinking about the creation. For the human brain in general with no required knowledge can see and recognize those Ayat easily. In that way Al- Haqq wanted to make us busy with Him and with His love, without getting lost in ambiguous Ayat in His universe.
Man and the Devil
Then there is the fifth privilege; before we start the period of test, Al-Haqq (SWT) wanted to teach us that we are going to be exposed to the seduction of Iblis - Al-Shytan. He (SWT) wanted us to know that Iblis seduction is a lie and that he is our enemy. He (Al-Shytan) deceives us with wishes that never come true and whispers to us with lies that has nothing to do with the reality and he tries to distract us from the path of love and obedience of Allah. So there was the experience of Adam and Hawa’a; Allah made them live in Heaven and allowed them to eat from all its fruits except for one tree, exactly in the same way Al-Haqq (SWT) allowed us so many things in this life and prevented us from the least.
Adam and Hawa’a were allowed all the fruits in Heaven except that one tree, when Iblis - Al-Shytan - came and tempted them to eat from it. Al-Shytan lied and told them that the tree would give them eternity and an everlasting kingdom. Al-Shytan witnessed what he promised them and it was a lie, but Adam and Hawa’a believed him and they did eat from the tree. Thereupon, instead of having the eternity, their nakedness was manifest to them. And instead of providing them with the everlasting money, the tree took away the sustenance of Allah that they used to get without any work or effort. So they descended to the earth to work hard and suffer for their living. That was an introduction to life on earth and to the lies that Iblis - Al-Shytan - promises man to let him fall into sins and disobedience.And for man not to fear Iblis, get overwhelmed by this fear and forget about serving Allah, He (SWT) informed him that Al-Shytan is weak and that he cannot have power over man unless man listens to him and obeys him. And He (Galla Gallaloh) told us that Al-Shytan has no power to make us do what we don’t want to do, for Allah did not give him the power of oppression to force us to disobey nor did He (SWT) give him the power of persuasion to convince us to do sins. Allah (SWT) says
(Shytan) had no authority over youAyah 22 from Surat Ibrahim
That is Al-Shytan has no strength to oppress or convince us with wrongdoing. Then Allah (Galla Gallaloh) wanted to ease us from all this, so He told us that if we are sincere in serving Him and honest in our love to him then He (SWT) will save us from the evil of Al-Shytan. And this is proved in His words (SWT)
[Iblis (Satan)] said: “ O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all. Except Your servants among them, sincere and purified (by Your grace).” Allah said: “This (Way of My sincere servants) is indeed a Way that leads straight to Me. Certainly, you shall have no authority over My servants, except those who put themselves in the wrong and follow you)-Ayat 39-42 from surat Al-Hijr
And by those words Al-Haqq (SWT) wanted to tell us that whoever stays close to Him, serve and love Him sincerely will be safe from Al-Shytan and that Iblis evil whispers will have no effect on him. But then if the human self weakens, Al- Haqq (SWT) informed us to seek protection from the wicked devil by Allah so that the evil temptation of Al-Shytan would not approach us. In that Al-Haqq (Galla Gallaloh) says
And say: “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! Lest they should come near meAyat 97,98 from surat Al-Mu’minun
And Allah says
Verily, those who are Al-Mutaqun (the pious) when an evil thought comes to them from Al-Shytan (Satan), they remember (Allah), and indeed they then see (aright)
Ayah 201 from surat Al-Aaraf
So by that, Al-Haqq (SWT) showed us the way to overcome Al-Shytan, and all what we have to do is to seek protection by Allah and be sincere in serving Him so that our minds do not get paralyzed with fear from Iblis and his seduction.
Witness of Allah
Then there is the sixth privilege; Al-Haqq (SWT) made us witness Him since we were still in the world of dispersion, and by that He put the instinct - fitra - of belief in our souls and so we became with that fitra believers of Allah the Creator - Al-Khaliq, the Magnificent - Al-‘Azim. And that witness was necessary so that man would not come on the Resurrection Day arguing as he always do and deny knowing Allah. And although we cannot see Allah, whenever His name is mentioned to anyone he finds Allah familiar to him and close to his soul. It is the fitra of belief that Allah (SWT) plants in us before we come to this world and start our experience with the choice that Allah wanted for us and that we willingly accepted. He (SWT) says
And (remember) when Your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their descendents (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “ Am I not Your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily we have been unaware of this.” Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers before us who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practiced Al-Batil (men who are futile committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshiping others besides Allah)Ayat 172, 173 from surat Al-A’raf
We have showed so far that we were created with the privilege of choice that Allah wanted for us and that we have accepted. And this Ayah Al-karima approves that same concept,
But ye will not, unless Allah wills; for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom-Ayah 30 from surat Al-Insan
That is first Allah wants for us to be free to choose and our choice comes out of His divine will (SWT). And Al-Haqq (Galla Gallaloh) guarantees this choice in His creation of the universe and in His Ayat in the universe as well as in the journey of life, so that nothing distracts us from serving Allah, which is the main reason behind our creation, and so that nothing stops us from loving Allah who arranged this life for us.When Al-Haqq (SWT) sent His messengers to show us the right path that we should follow, it was all out of His love to us. He loves us so much that he did not want to trouble us with looking for the truth, that the creator is Allah, nor with trying to find out what He (SWT) wants us to do. So there have been the messengers to inform us that the Creator - Al-Khaliq - is Allah and that He wants us to love and serve Him using a moderate defined law;. By this law Allah spared us the confusion of searching for Him, the Creator and finding out what He wants from those whom He created.Yet, the human choice was not an infinite choice. It was limited in what to do and what is not permissible by the law of Allah.
The Human Choice
Man was created free to choose. But was he given a boundless choice? Some of the people with superficial knowledge who claim that they are free to follow their mind and their own thoughts say with enthusiasm that they have the ultimate freedom. Some people even go further and say that a smart person is capable of creating his own destiny and that he can place himself in life wherever he likes.We tell those people not to be hasty, for what they are saying is dismissed by the facts of life. Al-Haqq (SWT) did not give man ultimate choice, He gave him the choice that best suits his role in life for He (SWT) is the perfectly wise - Al- Hakim - and everything He does is with great Wisdom. Allah (SWT) is the knower of all - Al-‘Alim - and everything going on in His universe happens within His knowledge and not just haphazardly. Actually, things going on are inter-related and linked in a way or another, and man has not been given the ultimate choice in life.And if everyone of us looks back throughout his life or if one even looks to himself and his soul, he will find a lot of things that is not submitted to his own will or choice. He will find that the majority of man’s life is not submitted to his choice.
Let’s start the story from the very beginning, when man comes to this universe, when he starts the first moment of his life breathing air into his lungs, the moment of his birth. Did he choose his place of birth? His date of birth? The hour he was born in? None of us ever chose his hour of birth, we all come to life by the decree of Allah (SWT). The introduction of anyone to life is not by his own choice nor is the place of his birth nor is his mankind, male or female. He does not choose his nationality whether Arabic, Britain or American. And he does not even have any choice over his own body whether he is short or tall, the color of his eyes, his hair, how his features look like. He does not choose his parents and he does not know if he can hear and see, if he has perfect hands and legs, if he has any illness in his body. All this and many other things man does not choose and by this Al-Haqq (SWT) draws our attention to the boundaries of man’s choice from the moment he is born. And in that Allah (Galla Gallaloh) says
He it is who shapes you in the wombs as He wills. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Might, the Wise-Ayah 6 from surat Al-Imran
By this Al-Haqq (SWT) relates everything linked to the moment of birth and human configuration to His own ultimate power and He does not give man any choice in being born white or black, healthy or ill, and no choice in how his face or body looks.
Choice and its Boundaries
To those who say that man has been given ultimate choice in this universe, we tell them that the moment of giving birth dismisses what they are saying and that man even at the moment when he is born does not have any choice. And to complete the picture, let us move from the time of birth when man comes to this world up till the time of death when he leaves it. Does man have any choice when it comes to death? Is he capable of saying no to death? Saying that he does not want to die now or that he will delay his death to the next day or the next year? Definitely not, Allah (SWT) warns us about that truth in many of his Ayat in Al-Qur’an Al-Karim. He (Galla Gallaloh ) says
And every nation has its appointed term; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment) Ayah 34 from surat Al-A’raf
About those who think that death is related to the events of life like war and conquests and who think that man by staying at home will escape death, Al- Haqq (SWT) says
O you who believe! Be not like those who disbelieve (hypocrites) and who say to their brethren when they travel through the earth or go out to fight: “If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed. Ayah 156 from surat Al-Imran
And his saying (Galla Gallaloh)
(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves stayed (at home): “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.” Say: “Avert death from your own selves, if you speak the truth-Ayah 168 from surat Al-Imran
And the two Ayat Al- Karima talks about the infidels and the hypocrites and how they linked death to the human will and the universal events. In the first Ayah the infidels told their brothers that if they traveled and risked their lives or if they went to fight they might die or get killed. But if they stayed at home they will save their lives. So those infidels related the time and place of death with the path they would decide to take or with their decision to join Jihad, and they claimed that it would be a reason for their death. They thought that those who died or got killed would have been alive, if they had stayed in their homes. Death is a decree by Allah (SWT), there is no reason for it. Man dies because his life term has reached an end. A fighter who fights in lots of wars may stay alive, when another man staying in his room may die. For example Khaled Ben Al-Walid who fought in many wars died in his bed and he said before dying “ I have joined a lot of conquests and in every inch of my body there is a hit by a sword, a wound by an arrow or a stab by a spear and here I am dying in my bed same way the animals . May the eyes of the cowards not sleep.”
So actually death is not related to being in war joining a conquest or not. A man staying at home may die while another joining a battle may come back safe. And then the second Ayah shows the hypocrites who refused to go to Jihad, and how they were saying to their fellow hypocrites that if the believers had listened to them and had not gone to fight, they would have not died and that they would have been living among them. Al-Haqq (TWT) tells them that they have stayed and refused to fight but yet if their concept is true they should be able to keep death away when it approaches them. Truly, no one can stop death whether one is in a battle, hiding at home or anywhere else. Al-Haqq (SWT) explains this thoroughly in the Ayat that were descended at the time of Uhud when Muslims were defeated and the hypocrites and the unconfident said that if the decision was in their hands, they would have not gone to fight and those who died would not have been killed.
Al-Haqq (SWT) answers them by saying
They said, “Have we any part in the affair?” Day (O Muhammad PBUH): “Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allah.” They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you, saying: “if we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.” Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death.-Ayah 154 from surat Al-i-‘Imran
They kept what they said to themselves and did not show it to the messenger of Allah (PBUH), so Al-Haqq (SWT) wanted to reveal the truth and inform his messenger (PBUH) about it. So then the reply came from Heaven, from Al- Haqq (Galla Gallaloh) and He asked his prophet to tell them that being in the battle does not bring them death and does not drive it away either. For those who were at home and were pre-destined to die would have left their homes to the place of their death where they would rest. That is, being conscious about danger and trying to get away from it will not give you more life because death is pre-destined by Allah and it is going to happen no doubt. Moreover you may find that a person pre-destined to die, is struggling to reach the place of his death. For example a man insisting to find a seat in a flight and may be paying more money for it not knowing that it is the reason for his death, that this flight is going to crash and all on board will die. And you may find someone else trying to reach a certain place and has suffered a lot of trouble to reach that place and then find death facing him there. Merely death is a decree by Allah and no one can run away from it.
LIFE and DESTINY
Al-Haqq (SWT) explains that case more thoroughly by saying
Did you (O Muhammad PBUH) not turn your vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (in number), for fear of death? Allah said to them, “Die”: Then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but most men are ungrateful
Ayah 243 from surat Al-Baqarah
This Ayah was descended for the people of a village who were so scared from death due to a plague, that they had to leave the village. Allah (SWT) wanted to teach them that they can never escape His destiny and that if Allah (SWT) wants them to die they will not be safe by leaving that village to anywhere else. So Allah made them all die and then He, answering the prayers of their prophets, gave them life again.
Decree of death comes at a pre-destined time that cannot be delayed or anticipated for a single minute and it is impossible to run away from it. Allah has hidden the reason of death and the time it is appointed so that no one thinks that it is a mechanical procedure where we are born and then after aging we die, as if the length of our life is fixed and after reaching sixty or seventy we should die. For that the ultimate power of Allah made death with no fixed reason, the infant dies in his mother’s abdomen, the sick man dies as of his illness and the healthy dies without any known reason. The kid dies, the young man dies and the old man dies as well. This proves that death happens by the decree of Allah and that reason has nothing to do with it, for two men may have the same illness and both are treated by the same physician and you find that one dies in few days and the other lives for years.
Yet there are people who debate the issue of death saying that one can order the execution of a man or that one can decide to kill a man by a knife or a gun and by that he is capable of controlling death. Those people try to doubt the issue of death being a decree by Allah and they claim that it can be in the hands of man. We say that those people are confused between death and murder. Allah (SWT) only can give and take life and man can never do that but yet he can murder.
Al-Haqq (SWT) says
Muhammad (PBUH) is no more than a messenger, and indeed many messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful-Ayah 144 from surat Al-Imran
So death is different than murder, because Al-Haqq (SWT) says “Died or got killed” and Al-Haqq (Galla Gallaloh) differentiated between death and murder in many of the Ayat in the qur’an
If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed Ayah 156 from surat Al-Imran
Those who emigrated for the cause of Allah and after that were killed or died, surely, Allah will provide a good provision for them Ayah 58 from surat Al- Hajj
And Whether you die or are killed, verily, unto Allah you shall be brought together Ayah 158 from surat Al-Imran
Death and Murder
So Death is different than murder because in the case of the former, death comes first and then after that the body is destroyed. But in the case of the Murder the body should be destroyed first to cause death, for example by hitting one’s head and breaking it or by shooting him several times in the head or chest.So in the case of Murder, you have to destroy the body first to get the soul out and cause death. On the other side, death is a way of getting rid of life first and then the destruction of the body follows, and that can happen only from Al-Haqq (SWT) and man has no hands in it. Yet, murder is the ruining of the body first and consequently death follows. And that man who disputed with Ibrahim (PBUH) about his God because Allah has granted him the kingdom argued with Ibrahim (PBUH) also about the issue of Death and Life as in the Ayah
When Ibrahim said (to him): “My Lord is He who gives life and caused death.” He said: “I give life and cause death Ayah 258 from surat Al-Baqarah
And that king had been lying about what he said because only Al-Haqq (SWT)can give and take life and man can only murder, he can not cause death.And as we reach the point where man has no control over life and death, we also need to consider sleep that is also not in the hands of man. Sleep is a miracle that is confusing the whole world because it is still an unknown phenomenon. How man by just closing his eyes moves from one set of laws to another in a moment. For in the life of vigilance man hears with his ears, sees with his eyes, talks with his tongue and walks with his legs and he is bounded in time and space, limited by specific rules; for he can not travel from Egypt to the United States in less than few hours and he has to follow certain procedures. In that case he should go to the airport, check in, take the flight and spend some hours before he reaches the States, and then he checks out and so on...And man in the life of vigilance (day life) sees with his eyes according to the strength of his sight; there is someone with good sight who can see from a far distance and another with weak sight who needs medical glasses and then material objects will obstruct his sight so he cannot see beyond a wall. Also man in the day life walks with his legs and his pace is limited even if he walks faster and he is bounded by his materialism so that if he falls from a high place he is killed or his bones are broken. Moreover, there is a lot of things hindered from man in his day life, for he can not see the dead, who relocated to the mercy of Allah, even if he stands in front of their tombs nor can he talk to them. And there is an endless set of rules in the life of vigilance that we all know about.
Dream and Consciousness
The moment man sleeps all those rules are cancelled, for he can travel to the States and come back several times in few moments. He can also see strange things and new places that he has never visited before. All that he can see with closed eyes although if someone approaches his eyes and almost touches it, he will not see or feel it because the eyes are closed, but yet with those eyes closed he can see very clear and he may say strange things that no one can argue about just like the king of Egypt saw in his dreams at the time of prophet Youssef (Joseph) (PBUH). Allah says about what the king saw in his dreams:
I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones were devouringAyah 43 from surat Yousuf
Is it possible that a cow can eat another in our day life? Of course not, we have never seen that happen before. And can the weak cow eat the strong one? No, that is really unbelievable. And man walks in his dreams with his legs on bed not even moving, and he moves from one place to another with his body staying in the same place, not even few centimeters away. Man also sees the people who died many years ago and chats with them. He sees himself young when he is already old and he sees himself fighting a lion and killing it.All those and other things happen to us in our sleep, we dream about it and we see it and it never happens outside the area of mind and memory and that’s why when we wake up we can tell people what we saw in details because it is stored in our memories. And some kind of seeing device other than the eyes saw what happened clearly with all the details or else how could we describe our dreams. And the discussion with the people that moved to the hereafter life is one that we are aware of because we can remember it and repeat may be the same phrases and words.
So man moves within a moment from some set of laws to another that we know nothing about, but to which we submit in our sleep. The question here is whether we have will or control over those laws that we submit to while sleeping, or not? That is can any of us while sleeping chose the events that he would like to see in his dreams? Can he say that he is going to see this and not that? Or say that this night he can go to Europe and the following night to the Soviet Union? Of course not, because when man is asleep he is out of the area of human choice. He is not free to choose what he can or cannot see and he is no more able to choose the words that he talks with and those that he hides within himself and does not utter.He is not controlling anything he sees although his dream coincides with the notion of the human brain. For example if someone tells you that he saw something in his dream, you do not deny him that and you do not argue with him because you know that there is dreams and that sometimes you are exposed to it. So you do not accuse him of bringing out a subject that is above the human mind, but instead you give the day life laws a break so you do not use it as a measure to what happens during sleep. Your mind also does not question anyone’s dream and you do not try to argue with him about it because you know from your own experience that man can see in his dreams things that does not submit to the normal day life laws.
But still no one is able to give us a scientific explanation for the laws that controls man in his sleep and how the soul moves from one set of laws to another within the same moment and then returns to the day life laws the moment he wakes up from his sleep and again back to the sleep time laws. And no one regardless of the scientific degree that he reaches, can explain how this transfer from one law to another happens, but we know that sleep is a reality and that everyone experiences it. We also know that in the sleep time laws we go beyond the measures of time and that’s why when Allah (SWT) made the people in the cave (Ahl Al-Kah) asleep for three hundred and nine hijri years, by the time they were awake they did not know how long they slept. And although they have slept all those years, what did they say by the time they woke up? Al-Haq (SWT) says
Said one of them: “How long have you stayed (here)?” They said: “We have stayed (perhaps) a day or part of a day” Ayah 19 from surat Al-Kahf
So man when sleeping does not feel the time and that’s why the seven sleepers - Ahl Al-Kahf - measured the time that they have slept by the normal sleep time measures which is usually part of the day or by most a whole day if he is very exhausted, but not more than that.And to apply that on our selves, when we go to sleep and then wake up we do not know for how long have we been sleeping until we look to some kind of time measurement device as the watch or any other sign for time measurement like day and night. So we might have slept in the day light and then wake up late at night or vice versa, but no one can know the actual number of sleeping hours unless he turns his eyes to the watch.
Al- Haqq (SWT) wanted to save us from searching for the laws that governs sleep and to let us know that we will not be able to discover it. So Allah (Galla Gallaloh) said
It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep; those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect-Ayah 42 from surat Az-Zumar
So we know that sleep submits to the laws of Al-Barzakh , and we don’t know anything about the rules of life in Al-Barzakh, except what Allah has informed us about. All what we know about that laws of sleep is that there are things that we can see with and that it is different than the eyes that we use in the day life, and that we can move with something other than our legs that keeps us moving in the day life, and that there are words uttered with what is different than the tongue that we speak with in the day life, and that the world of Al-Barzakh does not rely on the physical senses that is totally idle during sleep. Actually we have other senses that we use in the world of Al-Barzakh and that world just like sleep does not have any human choice or any feel of the time and in that world we meet with people who have left this life and moved to the mercy of Allah before us, just as we meet them in our sleep world.
Allah (SWT) gave us all that in mercy of our minds and to know that there are things existing in the unseen that we know nothing about so that the image of the world of Al-Barzakh gets closer to our minds and also to know that moving from the day life to the life of Al-Barzakh can happen in a moment and then we can understand the meaning of what Rasoul Allah (PBUH) said “By the witness of Allah you are going to die in the same way you sleep and you are going to be resurrected in the way you wake up”
By now we have agreed that the human choice in life is not absolute choice, but a limited one and we have explained how man cannot choose the time and place of his birth, his parents, nationality, sex, homeland, how he looks, the color of his eyes and hair and many others. He also can not choose the time of his death and he does not choose anything in his sleep which actually narrows down the area of choice that will get much more narrower as we proceed in specifying the choice that Allah gave to his servants.
Choice and The Body
We mentioned that man was not given the ultimate choice from Allah, only a limited choice that best suits his mission in life and that coincides with the needs of the law of Allah that He (SWT) assigned to man.
And now we move to another area, the human body, to see whether the body is a property of man that he can do whatever he wants with or whether Allah (SWT) wanted us to know that the human body is owned by Allah and that we are only heirs of it in our life time which is actually a testing period for us.
Most of the parts in the human body, the parts that are related to life and its functionality, and more are oppressed by Allah (SWT).For in our bodies there are many organs that we know nothing about and we do not notice them unless they are destroyed or infected, but as long as they function in a normal way we do not feel them.
First we will start with those parts of the body that are completely oppressed by Allah (SWT) and then we move to those parts that are still oppressed by Allah (Galla Gallaloh) but that we have some kind of control over them.If we look to the life cycle in our bodies we find that we eat the food, chew it with our teeth and then it goes through the esophagus to the stomach where it is digested in a complex mechanical process. Then the food goes to the small intestine where the nutrients that are the fuel of human life get absorbed and carried by the blood to different parts of the body and then the body gets rid of the waste through the intestine. Starting with the food, do we have anything to do with the reacting process taking place between food and the body? Truly not, when the food reaches the stomach where different enzymes are secreted upon it, it is a question of oppression, for no one willingly tells his stomach to start secreting the required enzymes and no one can stop the secretion of enzymes from digesting the food. It is a process that takes place in our bodies and we don’t feel it. If we watch a movie showing what happens to the food inside our stomach we will sure be stunned from the divine power that made all those processes take place in the stomach without man knowing anything about it. There have been a lot of people that lived and died without knowing how their stomach digested the food or what were the glands that secreted the enzymes necessary for the digestion process.
Then if we move to the liver for example, that has main functions in the body, do we know what the liver does? Do we feel it starting to work? Of course not, for the liver is working in the body without us knowing or feeling that process and it can go on like that for years as long as it is functioning in a normal way.
Do we know what does the small intestine do? And can we make the heart beat or stop beating when we want? And with the process of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange taking place continuously in your lungs day and night, is it you that manages that exchange? And the blood circulation that is taking place in your body, do you know anything about it? The blood contains tens of the cells among which are the red and white cells and many more, do you know about them?
There is battles going on inside your veins, by the time the microbe enters the patient’s body the white blood cells starts to face it by preparing the immune necessary to kill the microbe and retain your health. Do you do that? Of course not for that is all subjected to Allah (SWT), you do not know anything about it and if you see it you are stunned that all those processes are taking place in your body without you knowing anything about it.
And more important is that you have no control what so ever over all those processes taking place in your body, they do not take any instructions from you and you cannot make them function or stop functioning and that is mercy from Allah (SWT). For, if they were subject to your will, it would have been a big problem.
Imagine that you are asked to order the heart to beat, the stomach to work and the lungs to breath. Surely you will not have the time to do all this and even if you have the time you will not be able to seek your living, improve your civilization and apply the laws of Allah. You will not be able even to sleep and how can you sleep when you are the one who orders the heart to beat, it will sure stop beating by the time you sleep. And how could a little kid who still doesn’t know anything, make those devices work without stopping?
Oppression and The Body
You are oppressed in most of your body and that oppression is a mercy from Allah (Galla Gallaloh) so that you can go on with your life and do your work, otherwise if you had choice in your body, you would not have been able to survive.So the majority of the human body is subjected to Allah (SWT) and it functions by oppression and not by choice, it does what Allah (SWT) wants it to do and it stops when the Creator orders it to stop.And so you have no choice in that majority of your body and you do not have knowledge about it, except what Allah wants you to know. If He (Galla Gallaloh) wills to hide information about your body from the whole humanity, He sure will hide it. And if you find that this is awkward, remember that Allah (SWT) hides the information about the soul from all His servants. He (SWT) says:
They ask you concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: “The spirit (comes) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you (O! men) Ayah 85 from surat Al – Israa
Where is The Soul
All of the scholars in religion could not tell us where is the soul that gives the life to the body. Is it in the heart? Or in the brain that thinks? Or in the blood circulation that never stops? Or in the feet that moves? Or in the eyes that see? Or in the ears that hear? Where is it? A question that science cannot answer, because it is a secret that no one knows except Al-Haqq (SWT), and it will remain a secret that only Allah knows.
So if you could feel the soul that is a creature in your body and you know its effect because it is giving you life, but yet you do not know anything about it because Allah (SWT) hides all information about it from you, how come you say that your body is subject to your will? No it is not subjected to you but to the will of its Creator, Allah (SWT).
If we move after that to the things in your body that Allah has made subject to your will. For example, Allah has made the tongue subject to your will, that’s why it obeys you when you want to witness that there is no God but Allah La illah illa Allah and it speaks the words – Al-Shahadah. And it also obeys you when you want to say the word of infidelity, Allah forbids. And your eyes obeys you when you want to see what is Halal and when you want to meditate the Signs – Ayat - of Allah throughout His universe, or when you look to what does not belong to you and is forbidden by Allah – Haram.The hands obey you when you want to help with it a disabled man to cross the street and it also obeys you when you want to physically assault someone weak or to kill your enemy. And the feet obey you by going to the mosque or by going to places that serve wine and allow iniquity.
All those organs will obey you in all that you order, whether it is to obey Allah or to disobey Him, because they are tools subjected to your choice. But you should know two important facts: first that all those organs are praising Allah (SWT), and Allah Jalla Jallaloh has created your body from dust. And the atoms of dust that the body is created from chose to be oppressed to obey and so they are by themselves praising Allah. They obey the infidel in what he wants but at the same time curse him and at the Day of Resurrection, will bear witness against him and that witness will be a cause for sending him to Hell. Read what Al-Haq (SWT) says:
On the Day when their tongue, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions Ayah 24 from surat Al-Nur
And Galla Gallaloh says:
They will say to their skins: “Why do you bear witness against us?” They will say: “Allah has caused us to speak, He causes all things to speak: and He created you the first time and to Him you are made to return-Ayah 21 from surat Fussilat
Therefore all those organs that are submitted to your choice are only apparently submitted to your orders, but in fact they are praising Allah and at the Day of Resurrection when the infidel will go to Hell, those organs of the body will be in ultimate happiness because they cause pain for the infidel and punish him for his sins.
And if you want to go through a perceptible experience that confirms those meanings, look at the pilgrims at the time of HAJ and you will find that they sleep very little of the night. Yet their bodies can endure the fatigue and short of sleep to a marvelous extent so that one can wake up after two hours sleep full of energy. Why? Because the body that is praising Allah is comfortable with the praise, the prayers and all the HAJ ceremonies. For that the body does not want to sleep or to overlook the glorification of Allah, the praise and the prayers except for the least time possible and with that harmony the believer does not feel any fatigue in his body.
On the contrary, the infidel who does not do anything except the sins, you will find the atoms of his body always exhausted from those sins. That is why he sleeps till noon and even when he wakes up, he would still have the feeling that he wants to sleep again because the parts of his body that are tired from doing sins are hating to do them and are trying to have a break from those sins, and sleep is the only way to keep that infidel away from performing sins and so the body will look tired and exhausted pushing that man to sleeping for long intervals of time.That is why when the people go to Al-HAJ, you will hear many of them say to you that they had an incredible strength while performing the HAJ ceremonies, so that they used to sleep few hours of the night and still were extremely active. They will tell you that they never had the feel of sleep and they wanted to remain awake all the night as well as the day.Truly that happens but no one notices the reason behind it. The atoms of the body are harmonious with the obedience of their Creator and they do not want to overlook that obedience except for the least possible. This is the fact of Faith related to the human body.
No Choice in Your Body
So there are organs of your body that are oppressed and do not submit to your choice, and there are other organs that submit to your choice by Allah’s exploitation of those organs to obey you and not by your own subjectivity. Allah (SWT) gave you that choice and made those parts of your body submitted to your orders so that they will witness you on the Resurrection Day and will witness the best of the obedience that you offer and the most evil of the sins that you commit.
Al-Haqq (SWT) wanted to draw our attention to that so that we do not think that those organs are submitted to us by our subjective abilities. For example, we think that we see with our own abilities and there are people with open eyes and yet cannot see. And if sight were subject to man, there would not be anyone that cannot see with his eyes. Also Allah (SWT) made some men with feet that cannot walk so that we know that the feet do not walk by the ability of man but with the power of Allah (SWT) or else how would it be possible that there are people that cannot walk with their feet. And He (SWT) also made those people with ears that cannot hear and if hearing was subject to the ears, everyone with ears would have the ability to hear and everyone with a tongue would be able to talk.
Those few examples Allah made in His universe to give us a hint that our organs are subjected to us by the power of The Creator and not by our own abilities.And Allah compensated all those people whom he denied the sight, hearing, walking or any other senses by providing them with other abilities that give them privileges that exceeds what the have lost and more. And He gave us examples of his power (Jalla Jallaloh), by showing that loosing those senses do not prevent the people from reaching superiority in life especially in the area that needs those missing senses. So He made Beethoven, the famous deaf musician who cannot hear and yet creates the best music melodies. And He also made Taha Hussein who was superior in knowledge, although he was blind and not able to read. And He made other examples of superiority in many fields that man would not be superior in without loosing some senses.Allah (Jalla Jallaloh) wanted by those limited examples among His people to give us the proof that the human power over anything is not subjective to man, but it is dedicated from Allah who made it subject to man.
We can see that man’s choice over his own body is bounded by the energy that Allah gave him and made it subject to his obedience. And all that man could do is to direct that energy which is created by Allah to take the action that he wants. But is that it? Is it the scope of choice wide open?
We say that there are a lot of things in this life that goes beyond your scope of choice, first of all is the power of Allah. For you have no choice over the pre- destined things that happen to you, they occur beyond the choice domain.
For example if you are walking down the road and a car hits you, or if a stone falls on you, or even if you get ill with some disease, is it within the domain of your choice? Could you stop an accident that is pre-destined by Allah(SWT) from happening to you. Could you prevent a disease or stop it from attacking your body. Of course you could not, for none of us has the power to push the fate of Allah that inevitably happens to us and over which we have no control.
This is the first thing that narrows down the scope of choice, for all of us are subject to the fate of Allah that we cannot do anything about. None of us nor the people around us can do anything about it and that is why regardless of what has been said about the human choice it could not exceed the limits that Allah (SWT) has drawn around it. For you cannot push harm that has been pre- determined by Allah (SWT) away from yourself or your children and you cannot also stop benefits pre-destined for you by Allah (Jalla jallaloh). And that applies to all of us, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the powerful among us (Kings and Emperors) and the powerless who do not own anything. And we should consider what Al-Haqq (SWT) says in that:
Say: “O Allah! Possessor of Power and (Rule), You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honor whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. You have power over all things
Ayah 26 from Surat Al-Imran
If we read this Ayah, we will know that the power and kingdom come from Allah and they are not a result of human planning. Allah (SWT) provides the reasons leading to power and kingdom to those whom He wills, and by that He enables them to have it.
And how many times has fate played a role where a man could find himself in great power without being qualified or powerful enough to acquire it. Everyone likes kingdom and power and everyone works on getting it, but they never have it except by the pre-determination of Allah (SWT). Because He is the true Possessor of Power and Rule and because earth with everyone and everything on it, all belong to Allah (SWT) and Allah gives his kingdom to who ever He pleases. And if the kingdom has been reachable by the subjective abilities of human beings, they would have kept it for themselves and it would have not been taken away from them. But Allah (SWT) says:
In Your Hand is the good. You have power over all things Ayah 26 from Surat Al-i-Imran
And this Ayah is a proof that the kingdom is taken by force from man and that no one would ever want to leave it deliberately. And that is why you find the person with the top most power, his orders being obeyed and everyone is submitted to him and all of a sudden, in a moment when the fate of Allah applies you will find the closest people to him are walking out of him and he then becomes scared trying to hide away and save his life by any means.The diminishing of power away from him is not within his own abilities, but it is by the power of Allah (SWT) and it is totally a question of inheritance on earth. For no one believes that he reaches power or even maintains it with his own abilities. Allah (SWT) gives kingdom to who ever He likes and removes it from who ever He wants.
Fate and Choice
The events of the universe are the fate of Allah (SWT) and they are the real aim of Allah in His universe and no one could prevent or stop or even intervene in the real will of Allah in His universe as it is executed on everyone and there is no choice in it.The events that happen by the fate of Allah are not within the bounds of choice, the same as the events that happens to you from some other person, you have no choice in it. If you are walking down the street and someone came and slapped you on the face or threw a stone at you or shot a bullet at you or even attacked you at home, all those events and others that happen to you by some other person are outside the scope of your choice. For you have no choice in people verbally or physically assaulting you, by making you hear what you do not like or by beating or killing you. All that is outside the boundaries of your human choice.
By that, we see that the scope of choice is narrowed so that it is restricted to one thing, and that is what you do or what you say. All other remaining life events you have no choice in. You have no choice in your birth, death or hours of sleep. You also have no choice in what happens to you and is pre-destined by Allah (SWT) nor in what is happening to you by some one else. So the remaining scope is what you really do and even in that narrow scope, your choice is bounded by part of it and the rest you have no choice in.
Note: The article will be concluded in part 2.