Ahmed: How are you doing today?
Ehab: Ughhh! I hope to get better soon! My arm pain is killing me!
Ahmed: Sure! I wonder how you could do this to yourself! Such reckless jump!
Ehab: Don’t start blaming me now! It was my fate.
Ahmed: Really?! It was you who jumped; no one pushed you!
Ehab: Who knows?! Maybe, I fell, because it was simply predestined for me…
Ahmed: “It is easier to blame than to do better”! Yes, your fall was predestined, but that does not mean that it was not your own choice!
Maybe, you experienced a conversation like this with somebody one day, or even it crossed your mind. Many questions pop up regarding fate, belief in it, its consequences, etc. Here are some of them to highlight and answer:
1- What Is Belief in Fate?
2- How Crucial Is to Believe in Fate, in Islam?
3- Does Fate Contradict with Our Free will?!
4- The Fruits of Being a Believer of Fate.
What Is Belief in Fate?
To believe in fate is to believe that Allah has already predestined and decreed every happening to every creature in this world and the hereafter. He, the Creator, has measured every single detail in a very certain way and time and already wrote it down in the Preserved Tablet (Al-Louh Al-Mahfouz). As He is the Knowing, Allah’s limitless knowledge encompasses every single matter, whatsoever, about everything, before its actual happening in reality. In Qur’an, Allah says:
Indeed, all things We created with predestination. [Al-Qamar:49]
And there is not a thing but that with Us are its depositories, and We do not send it down except according to a known [i.e., specified] measure. [Al-Hijr:21]
He knows what is within the heavens and earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare. And Allah is Knowing of that within the breasts. [At-Taghabun: 4]
Your god is only Allah, except for whom there is no deity. He has encompassed all things in knowledge. [Taha: 98].
The prophet, peace be upon him, said: “The first thing Allah created was the pen. He said to it: Write. It asked: What should I write, my Lord? He said: Write what was decreed about everything till the Last Hour comes.” (Sahih-Al-albani)
How Crucial Is to Believe in Fate, in Islam?
Believing in fate is part and parcel of Islam belief; it is a pillar of believing in Allah. When the Prophet, peace be upon him, was asked about the belief, he replied: “It is to believe in Allah, His angels, His Books, His Messengers and the Last Day and that you believe in preordainment (destiny), its bad and good consequences.” (Sahih-Muslim).
Does Fate Contradict with Our Free Will?!
As mentioned above, every single happening has been already measured and decreed by Allah, the Almighty, with His divine wisdom and all-encompassing knowledge. Does that contradict with our free will?! Essentially, Allah wills us to have free will! In Qur’an, Allah says: And you do not will except that Allah wills – Lord of the worlds. [Al-Takwir:29]. It is true that there are some matters that you do not choose in life, like your gender, color, race, physical appearance, some calamities, etc. However, as a human being, Allah has honored, you, over other creatures, with mind and free will. Allah, the Most-Merciful, created the whole universe for helping man throughout his lifetime. Allah says: And He has subjected to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth – all from Him. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. [Al-Jathiyah: 13].
Having the free will to choose what to do and what not to do, you become justly accountable for the actions you do and the decisions you make. Accordingly, you should shoulder the responsibility of your acts and their consequences in life and in the hereafter. Allah will hold us accountable for our own choices and actions, whether good or bad, not for the matters over which we have no control. Allah says: Whoever does righteousness – it is for his [own] soul; and whoever does evil [does so] against it. And your Lord is not ever unjust to [His] servants. [Fussilat-46].
Some people claim that our whole lives are predestined long ago and we are totally powerless, because Allah has already written our fate, much earlier than our actual living times. If they are right, how could we know that a certain matter is Allah’s will for us and not our own choice, before its actual happening?! Allah has decreed what is going to happen before its happening, because He is the One and Only God; He is our Creator; In Qur’an, He says: How could He not know His Own creation? For He ˹alone˺ is the Most Subtle, All-Aware. [Al-Mulk: 14]. We do not know what He knows, so we cannot decide whether our actions are that ones predestined for us or not, before their happening; [He is] Knower of the unseen, and He does not disclose His [knowledge of the] unseen to anyone. [Al-Jinn: 26].
Therefore, aside from the sudden calamities and unexpected incidents, Allah does not force us to do certain acts and then holds us accountable for them! Allah, the Just, has provided us with the tools (limited power and will), along with His protecting recommends and warnings, so that we can pass our test in life. Then, He lets us take the responsibility for our choices and actions.
The Fruits of Being a Believer of Fate
1- Acting as a responsible person, bearing in mind that life is a test, in which you should keep careful and aware of your choices and actions, because they really count and pave your way.
2- Believing wholeheartedly in the limitless knowledge and wisdom of Allah. That makes you at ease somehow, even in the difficult times; instead of breaking down, you try to figure out Allah’s messages for you, asking Him for guidance.
3- Realizing the human’s limited power. You can use it in good ways to be better. At the same time, you fear no one, but only Allah, the All-Powerful.
4- Blaming less, as you comprehend that it is all about your choices and their consequences, as well as Allah’s better plans for you in the unexpected incidents.
5- Being thankful to Allah, grateful in success and patient in calamities.
6- Keep striving, believing that Allah will definitely reward you for that. Allah says: And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways.1 And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good. [Al-Ankabut-69].