Destiny & Pandemic: When Everything is Written in the Destiny, What is the Need for Planning & Act on Good Deeds? By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani

Compiled By: Mufti Umar Anwar Badakhshani

The Destiny is already decided then what is the purpose of doing good deeds?

Some people argue that since the fate of a man is already decided whether he will go to Paradise or to Hell, as pointed out in this Hadith, what then is the purpose of doing good deeds. We must understand that the Hadith does not mean to that a man will do what is prescribed for him. On the contrary, the Hadith tells us that whatever he will do at his own option is recorded in fate. Fate is the knowledge of Allah who knows beforehand what a man will do of his own free will. That is recorded in the Preserved Tablet (Lauh Mahfuz). So, a man’s entry into Paradise or Hell depends on his own actions, and it is not that a man will do what is predestined for him. It is actually the reverse, fate is what a man will do of his own accord. Allah has allowed man to choose and he acts according to his choice. Thus, it is wrong to sit idle because everything is predestined. When the Holy Prophet narrated this Hadith, the Companions ? asked him:

ففيما العمل يا رسول الله

What is the meaning of doing anything, then,O Messenger of Allah!

They asked him, what was the purpose of being good or bad when it has been decided already whether a man will go to Paradise or Hell? The Holy Prophet said:

اعملوا فكل ميسر لما خلق له

Go on performing deeds. Every person will have to do what he has been created for. (Therefore, let us use our discretion and perform our deeds).

When everything is written in destiny, then what is the need for strategy?

The belief in destiny is a wonderful belief which Almighty Allah has granted every believer. It is necessary to understand the full implications of the belief lest people should fall into diverse errors.

Destiny does not forbid taking preventive measures:

1) Firstly, before the occurrence of some event, this belief should not induce a man to succumb to idleness and inactivity. For example, man should not give up his efforts, thinking that what is destined-shall happen and there is no need to take any measures in the matter. Such an attitude is against the teachings of the Holy Prophet. The injunction of the Islamic Shari’ah requires that all efforts should be made in attaining one’s objective.

After taking the necessary measures leave the result to Allah:

2) Secondly, action on the belief about destiny commences after occurrence of an event. For example, if something unpleasant happens to a believer, should think that he did whatever was necessary to do to get a favorable result. If the result has turned out to be against his expectation, he should think that he had done his best to attain the desired result, but if the result turned out against his expectations it was Allah’s decision which could not be helped and he must remain contented with it. It is not the character of a believer to give way to remorse and regret after a result has come out and feel dejected, thinking that if this and that action had been taken the result would have been as desired. This trend of thinking goes counter to the belief in destiny.

Almighty Allah has shown us the right path between these two extremes. It is necessary for a believer to do his best to attain something as long as the destined result remains hidden, because we do not know yet what the fate has in store for us.

Destiny and pandemic: An incident with Hazrat Farooq A’zam

Once Hazrat Farooq A’zam was on a tour of Syria. On the way he was informed that the epidemic of plague had broken out in the territory of Syria. It was so virulent that its victims died in the matter of a few hours.

Many Noble Companions fell martyrs in the plague. The entire graveyard in Jordan near the grave of Hazrat Ubaidah bin Jarrah is occupied with the

graves of these martyrs. Hazrat Faraoq A’zam consulted the Companions whether he should pursue his tour or go back. On that occasion Hazrat Abdur Rahman bin ‘Auf narrated a Hadith of the Holy Prophet, saying:

If plague breaks out in any territory, then those who are out of that territory should not enter it while those who are already staying in the affected area should not leave it.

Afterhearing this Hadith Hazrat Farooq A’zam postponed the programme of his tour to that territory A Companion probably Hazrat Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah, said to Hazrat Farooq A’zam:

أ تفر من قدر الله

Are you fleeing from Allah’s destiny? If death has been ordained, it must come. If it has not been ordained it will never come. In reply to this question Hazrat Farooq A’zam said:

لو غيرك قالها يا ابا عبيده

O Abu Ubaidah! If any other person had said this, I would have considered him to be pardonable. How can you who are well aware of the truth say this? Thereafter he said:

نعم نفر من قدر الله الي قدر الله

Yes, we are fleeing from Allah’s destiny to Allah’s destiny.

The intention was to say that until the event takes place we have been advised to take all precautionary measures to attain the desired objective. This is not against the belief in destiny but it is a part of that belief. The Holy Prophet has advised us to take all possible precautionary measures. Hazrat Farooq A’zam said that, acting upon this advice he was going back. If the affliction with plague has been ordained for us, we cannot avert it, but we must take precautions as far as possible.

Correct Concept: The belief in Destiny Do not lead to inaction

It is the belief of a believer that after all necessary steps to achieve something have been taken he should leave the result to Almighty Allah, saying: O Allah, I have taken all possible steps in the matter and now I am waiting for your decision. I shall remain contented with your decision whatever it may be. The belief in Destiny should not induce anyone to sit idle and do nothing before the happening of the event as some men make the belief in destiny an excuse for sitting idle under the notion that whatever has been ordained must come out whether one works or does not work to attain the desired result. This attitude is not right. Islam teaches that we should do our best to achieve our objectives, but if all our efforts fail to produce the desired results against our expectation, then we should accept the situation with a good grace. On the other hand if we feel dejected and express dis-satisfaction at the un favorable results, this will only add to our grief and dejection, because what has happened cannot be averted and there is no alternative for us but to put up with the situation, however unpleasant it may be. We should, therefore, surrender ourselves to the will of Allah and His decision on the very first day.

The word “IF & but” is the key which opens the door to Satanic acts

It is mentioned in the hadith that:

و ان اصابك شيئ فلا تقل لو اني فعلت لكان كذا و كذا ولكن قل قدر الله وما شاء فعل فان “لو” تفتح عمل الشيطان

If some mishap strikes you in the life of this world, do not say, this would had not happened, if I had done this and that. Do not use the word “If and “if not”. You should say: This happened, because it was so destined by Almighty Allah. What Allah willed happened. The word “If” opens the door of Satanic activities. For example, if a relative dies, it is generally said that if such and such physician had treated the patient, he would have been saved. Similarly, when theft or robbery is commtited in anyone’s house, it is said that if such and such precautionary measures had been taken, the crime would not have been committed. Such things should not be uttered. All that should be uttered on such occasions is: What has happened was pre destined by Allah and Allah’s destiny cannot be deferred in any way.

The world is a mixture of comfort and discomfort

May Allah let the truth of this wonderful teaching contained in this Hadith descend into the recesses of our hearts. Be sure that the only way of attaining peace, safety, comfort and contentment in this world is to have trust in, and reliance on, Allah’s destiny along with belief in Allah. There is no man in this world who can claim that he has not been afflicted in this world with some worry, grief or misfortune. This world contains both sides, namely, ease joy and comfort and difficulties, grief and hardships. There is in this world neither unmixed joy nor unmixed grief. All men have to taste the sweetness of joy as well as the bitterness of hardship. One cannot purchase joy and comfort unmarred by hardships and torments even at the price of the entire wealth of the world.

Be contented with Allah’s Decision

When Almighty Allah has taken a decision on some event then it is to express dissatisfaction with Allah’s decision or destiny to say that it was better if this did not happen or it should have happened in this or that way. It is demanded of a believer that he should yield to Allah’s decision and His destiny without the slightest complaint in his heart about that decision and destiny which should be accepted whole-heartedly. In another narrative Hazrat Abu Darda has said:

اذا قضى الله قضاء احب ان يرضى بقضائه

When Almighty Allah takes a decision on anything, He desires that His servant should gladly accept His decision.

If the decisions apparently undesirable and a source of inconvenience and grief, it should be accepted without murmur instead of saying that if one had done this or that the event would not have occurred. The Holy Prophet  has forbidden this attitude with Allah’s destiny. This is because what has happened was Allah’s destiny which had to come to pass at any rate and it was not possible to avert it in any circumstances. It is, therefore, not a believer’s conduct to pass remarks on the divine decision as this is tantamount to expressing dis-satisfaction.

If we look into the matter a bit deeply we shall find that there is no alternative for man but to surrender himself to Allah’s destiny. Your dis satisfaction with the destiny cannot change the event and the grief that has stricken you cannot be averted by your resentment. On the other hand this negative attitude on your part will aggravate your grief by your pining over the event that has already taken place. If looked at from this viewpoint, it will be realized that contentment with Allah’s destiny contains a source of solace which Almighty Allah has provided for a believer.

Is Expressing grief and suffering against the contentment with destiny?

If some undesirable event takes place or some grief or shock afflicts a person, then it is not against the principle of patience to express that grief or shock by weeping or lamenting, nor is it a sin. How to reconcile between the two apparently opposite views that it is lawful to express grief and to weep on some undesirable event and on the other hand one has been advised to accept submissively what has been ordained by Allah. Are they not two contradictory views?

Try to understand well that expression of grief and shock is one thing and submission to the Divine Destiny is quite another thing. Submission to Allah’s decision and Will implies admission that Allah’s decision is based on divine wisdom and we are not aware of this wisdom. This ignorance of the divine wisdom is the source of our grief and shock and the cause of our weeping. However we also know at the same time that what Allah has ordained is quite true and correct and based on Allah’s unfailing wisdom and prudence. Thus submission to destiny implies a mental and rational attitude of submission but in actual practice the apparent feeling may be different.

“Doubts and misconceptions about Islam and the present time” Page 34 to 36, and Page 42 to 43


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