We are following the issue of divine justice and having discussed the issue of free will and negating the predestination, there is another issue related to the same subject and that is Al Qadha and Al Qadar, unfortunately there are a lot of misconception and misunderstanding about this Qadha and Qadar in a way that Qadha can be translated and interpreted as divine decree but some people consider that whatever happened it is as predestined and the divine will was the main reason for it. For example, if someone fails in an exam or loses his trade or does not take the necessary measures and precautions for his health and whatever diseases might attack him and in the end he falls ill, he says "this was the Qadha and Qadar of Allah."
According to the Sunni schools they consider the Qadar as something which we have to believe in, in a sense that it is part of the essential beliefs and the core thoughts of Islam (الإيمان بالقدر خيره وشره) whatever good or evil is all from Allah and what has befallen us it is decreed by God so we have no role in it at all.
We have to open up this issue, first of all to see the misconception or misunderstanding of Qadar. We have to differentiate between three technical terms used in the Quran. One is Qadr ((قدْر , the second is Qadar (قدَر) and the third one is Qudra ( (قُدرةwhich is power. So Qadar and Qadr, although Allah explains to us that the night of Qadr is the night of measure where everything is measured in a precise way, unfortunately many people translate the night of Qadr as the night of power and power is Qudra. This confusion based on not really understanding the difference between Qudra and Qadr.
Let's start with a very important issue and that is Allah has given a measure for everything, the abundant is with Allah, the source is with Allah but we are only given shares and dividends. We are given only a particular measure of anything. Allah in one aya says (إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ) so Allah here tells us that it is not left wide open, it is rather restricted and measured. Let's look at our sight; we have certain limited ability to see for certain distance and that if something is far away of course we can't see it. Our ability to hear again is limited to certain frequencies not above that and not less than that, we are not able to comprehend or receive it. The oxygen or the air that our lungs are able to inhale and contain is limited. The quantity of sugar or cholesterol or hemoglobin or other things in our blood are measured in a very nice way. So this means that Allah has the treasures, the sources, (وَإِنْ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا عِنْدَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلَّا بِقَدَرٍ مَعْلُومٍ.) This aya clearly specifies the source and the treasure of everything is with Allah (there is nothing but the main source of it is with us (with Allah) and we don't send it down unless it is in measures) nbsp;
Unfortunately those who confuse and mix up the Qadar with Qadr in this way they don't get the fact or the real aqeeda of it. Let's conclude that when Allah mentions the Qatha as a decree and Qadar as certain things, measure to every creature. Allah has given certain strength to other born, has created gravity which pulls everything down but when somebody goes on the fifth floor and does not take the necessary measure for precaution, goes to the edge of the roof then when he falls of course the surface is tough and his bones are easily breakable and the gravity works itself, so we can't say that he fell down only because Allah decreed that, this is the problem.
In other presence we see that these people who misunderstood the Qadar( (خيره وشره nbsp;whether it is good or evil they translate or elaborate all the historical facts as something had to be happening which means that if Imam Hussain (a.s.) was martyred or his family were killed, this was the divine decree. If Imam Ali (a.s.) was stricken in the mihrab of Kufa, this again was the divine decree. If someone falls ill, then the same thing. But we have to know that Allah orders us, commands us that we take every precautionary measure, we study everything and weigh the positive and negative points of any step we are taking in order to reach some sort of conclusion and in the end if the gravity pulls the person who falls from the roof or the bones are easy to break, this is the measure for everything.
We spoke about Qadha and Qadar and we said that some people think that because of divine decree everything that happens and we face in our lives we have no choice, no role in changing it at all. But we see that in many ahadeeth from the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.) and the error free Imams (a.s.) there are certain acts which change the whole scenario. For example when there is a calamity to be fallen on you but you pay charity the Prophet says (الصَّدَقَةُ تَمنَعُ سَبعينَ نَوعا مِن أنواعِ البَلاءِ،) which means that somebody was on the verge of an accident, some misfortune, on the verge of seeing something extremely dangerous but because when he left home he paid charity, he paid alms, he contributed to something charitable and Allah because of that charitable act removes that calamity.
So it is not fixed in a way that even for those who believe in the divine decree that something happened because the will of Allah. No, one has a role; one can change it by paying sadaqa or alms.
In some other similar issue we know that when somebody goes to an area that is infected by certain diseases, for example when you go to Africa the doctors advice you to take some tablets for malaria two weeks before you go, you continue to take them and when you return again you keep taking them for two or three weeks just to keep yourself immune against that particular disease. So if you neglect that, if you ignore the advice of the doctor in this way, of course the result is that you fall ill. But you can change that by taking the precautionary measures.
The same applies to business and trade, if you risk something, if you enter something which is always unknown like gambling so people try to bet, there is a possibility of winning one in a thousand or the higher possibility of losing. When you are advised not to gamble, not to take the risk, not to do the dangerous things, of course when you take the precautionary measures you will be safe and if you ignore them and don't take care of them the result is clear.
When Allah tells us in the Quran and this is clear (يَمْحُو اللّهُ مَا يَشَاء وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ) Some scholars try to criticize the Shia Ulama for believing in (بداء) and that means Allah in the beginning may indicate something but knowing that you are going to change it by your own decision. For example Allah has written that if you keep your relations with your relatives this will increase your provision and prolongs your life but if you cut off your relations from your relatives and that is (قطع الرحم) Allah as we read in many ahadeeth will reduce your span of life from for example thirty years to three years. The other way round, if you treat your relatives well and you are caring, you try to assist others especially close friends and relatives, in this way Allah will prolong your life. Prolonging life is a change and this change is based on your action, on your deeds, on your endeavor that you do to exercise the ability of pleasing others and the more you please others and assist them, the more care you show to others Allah will give you more in life, in ability, in provision and all other bounties and graces.
In this way we can't say that good and evil are all from Allah. Good is from Allah and evil is only related to our decision when we misuse the abilities given to us.
To conclude we notice that Allah is the absolute Just, He does not wrong anybody, He has given us the free will and at the same time he shows us the path of salvation and the path of going astray. He puts us on the crossway, either we choose this way and the consequences are clear or we choose the other way and the results and consequences are known. And the last word is somebody who used to spend most of his life in agony, in disobedience, in the dark and filthy practice but later on when he changes and repents and Allah by accepting his repentance puts him on the right path so always these two elements area working together; the blessing of Allah and the way you act, you work and put your effort to use those elements in the right way. Whatever's given by Allah you choose to put it right and of course the salvation is with you.
Insha'Allah in the next session we will discuss the issue of prophet hood, who are the prophets? What is the difference between the prophets and the messengers? Talking about prophet hood in general and the prophet hood of our final messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and all the related issues.
We pray to Allah to guide us to the right path.