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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0007-FUNDAMENTALS OF RELIGION (USUL AL DDIN) (PART II)

Lecture for 1st year medical students on July 7th 2000 by Professor Omar Hasan Kasule

1.2.4 THE LAST DAY & AFTER-LIFE

A. STAGES OF  HUMAN LIFE

THE APPOINTED TIME, AJAL:

Life on earth is temporary. It must come to an end so that another level of existence must start. This applies equally well to individuals, ajal al insan, and communities or nations, ajal al umam.

 

THE 4 STAGES:

The human has to pass through 4 phases: non-existence, ‘adam, life on earth, hayat al duniya, life in the grave or what is called the intermediate phase, hayat al barzakh,  and life in the hereafter, hayat al akhirat. Islam does not accept the concept of re-incarnation. Each human has only one earthly life which ends on death. Life in the hereafter, hayat al akhirat,  is a higher and better existence than the earthly life, hayat al duniyat (p 34-35 3:14-15, 3:185, 4:77, 6:52, 10:23, 13:26, 17:18-19, 18:45-46, 28:60-61, 28:77, 28:79-80, 29:64, 31:33, 40:39, 42:36, 43:32, 43:35, 47:36, 59:20-21, 62:11, 75:20-21, 76:27, 78:39-41, 87:16-17, 89:17-24, 93:4, 102:1-8). Good people look forward to it. Bad people fear it or ignore its existence.

 

DEATH:

Death is a transitional event. It is inevitable ( p 1154 3:154, 3:156, 3:168, 4:78, 33:16, 62:8). It occurs when the ruh is separated from the physical body. Humans do not know its appointed day (p 1155 31:34). Only Allah knows when death of each individual and that of the whole universe will occur (p 1154 2:28, 2:243, 2:258, 3:127, 3:145, 3:150, 6:95, 6:162, 7:158, 9:116, 10:31, 10:56, 15:23, 22:66, 23:80, 25:3, 26:81, 30:19, 30:40, 39:42, 40:11, 40:68, 44:8, 45:26, 53:44,  56:60, 57:2, 76:28). All humans will die and will have life after death (p 1156-7 3:168, 3:154, 3:168, 3:185, 4:78,  4:10, 21:35, 23:15, 29:57, 39:30, 55:26).

 

LIFE AFTER DEATH:

Life after death if first in the grave and in hell or heaven after resurrection. All humans will be resurrected from their graves for the everlasting life of the hereafter. On resurrection the ruh will rejoin its physical body. Life in the hereafter whether in paradise or in hell is everlasting, khuluud fi al jannat & khuluud fi an naar.

 

B. LIFE IN THE GRAVE (QABR):

BURIAL:

Humans are buried in graves (80:21). Burial in the grave, qabr, has both biological, social, and spiritual significance. On the biological level, burying the body prevents the spread of disease that would occur if it were left to decompose in the environment. Socially it is a demonstration of respect and honor for the human being who even in death is given a respectful send-off unlike most animals that just abandon their dead. Funeral prayer for the Muslim deceased is further consolidation of this respect. There is high reward for those who attend the funeral prayer, salat al janazat, ajr salat al janazat (KS 160). The Prophet even stood up in respect for a passing funeral procession of a Jew (ks 160, MB# 667 p 332). This occurred at a time when Jews were plotting against Muslims in Madina. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was forbidden to perform salat al janazat for the hypocrites (munafiqin) who had forfeited the respect due to humans by their unbelief and treachery (9:84).

 

EVENTS OF THE GRAVE:

Several events will occur in the grave after burial. Angels will question the deceased immediately on burial. The righteous will answer correctly whereas the evil ones will not know the answers. Knowledge of the correct answers is not academic; it is moral. Thus an evil person who learns the right answers to the questions while on earth will not be able to reproduce the answers on being questioned in the grave. Everyone will be told their fate while they are still in the grave whether they will go to hell or to heaven (MB# 694 p 343). While still in the grave, there will be rewards for the righteous and punishment for the wrong-doers (MB# 691 p 342). We have limited information and understanding about life in the grave. We know that it is transitional life, hayat al barzakh, between earthly life and life in the hereafter. We know that it is temporary and the stay of the human in the earthly grave is like a visit (102:2) in comparison with the length of the hereafter. Some authentic hadiths indicate existence of some physiological functions in the deceased in the graves such as shouting (MB# 674, p 334; MB# 692 p 343), hearing (MB# 689 p 342), and conscious understanding (MB# 690 p. 342).  We know that there are frightening punishments for the sinners in the grave, ahwaal al qabr (KS 430, 431)

 

COMMUNICATION WITH THE DEAD:

A lot of people have been confused about communication with the dead. There is no evidence for existence of ghosts or any other communication between the dead in the graves and living humans on earth. There is also no evidence that the dead can in any way influence events on earth. There is no evidence that the living can in any way influence events in the grave with the exception of prayers, dua, to Allah the almighty to have mercy on those in the grave and it is Allah’s privilege to do what He wants in such a situation; humans can not know for certain  the final result from their dua. There is no evidence that dreams of the living about the dead are a form of true communication between the living and the dead. It is only dreams by prophets that are considered true. Dreams of ordinary humans are not always true and their interpretation is not a valid method of knowing anything about the dead.

 

C. THE LAST DAY (yawm al akhirat)

BELIEF IN THE LAST DAY:

It is part of iman to believe in the last day (p 33 2:4, 2:8, 2:62, 2:177, 2:228, 2:232, 2:264, 3:114, 4:38-39,  4:59, 4:162, 5:69, 6:92, 9:18, 9:44, 9:99, 24:2, 27:3, 31:4, 34:21, 58:22, 65:2). Belief in the last day (p 173 2:4, 2:177, 4:162, 9:18-19, 9:99, 34:21, 58:22, 70:26) gives meaning to human strife on earth and gives it a humanly understandable goal in a temporo-spatial dimension. The occurrence of the last day is certain (p 18 2:223, 3:9, 3:25, 6:134, 7:57, 10:53, 15:85, 16:1, 16:77, 18:21, 20:15-16, 22:7, 29:5, 34:3, 34:29-30,  40:59, 42:7, 42:17-18, 45:25-26, 45:32, 51:5-6, 52:7-8, 53:57-58, 77:7, 78:1-17, 88:17-26). Denial of the last day is unbelief, kufr  (p 36-37 4:136, 6:113, 6:150, 7:45, 7:147, 9:29, 9:45, 12:37, 14:2-3, 16:22, 16:60, 16:107, 17:10, 17:45, 23:33, 23:74, 25:11, 27:4, 29:23, 30:16, 34:8, 39:45, 41:6-7, 42:17-18, 53:27, 83:10-12). It is not difficult to understand and believe in the last day. It is logical that anything that is dynamic and undergoes changes must have a beginning and an end. No physical structure or phenomenon can be everlasting; each has a finite life span. The earth and its contents can not be an exception to this general rule. Everything except Allah must have a beginning and an end. Only Allah is infinite and has a permanent eternal existence (p 203 2:248, 11:16, 20:71, 26:120, 37:77, 43:28, 53:51, 69:8).

 

QUR’ANIC NAMES FOR THE LAST DAY:

The Qur’an has described the last day in many ways; each of these ways gives us more understanding of the nature of the last day: al haaqat (p 25 69:1-3), dar al akhirat (p 25 2:94, 6:32, 7:169, 12:109, 16:30, 28:77, 28:83, 33:29), al sa’at (p 25-26 6:31, 6:40, 7:187, 12:107, 15:85, 16:17, 18:21, 18:35-36, 19:75, 20:15, 21:49, 22:1, 22:7, 25:4, 30:12, 30:14, 30:55, 31:34, 33:63, 34:3, 40:46, 40:59, 41:47, 41:50, 42:17-18, 43:61, 43:66, 43:85, 45:27, 45:32, 47:18, 54:1, 54:46, 79:42), al saaqat (p 26 80:33), the great calamity, al taamat al kubra (p 25 79:34), al ghashiat (p 26 88:10), al qari’at (p 26 101:1-3), al mi’ad (p 26 3:9, 3:194, 13:13, 39:20), al waqi’at (p 26 56:1, 69:15), yawm al akhir (p 26-27 2:8, 2:62, 2:126, 2:177, 2:232, 2:228, 2:264, 3:114, 4:38, 4:136, 4:162, 5:69, 9:18, 9:29, 9:44-45, 9:99, 24:2, 29:36, 33:21, 58:22, 60:6, 65:2), yawm al azifat (p 27 40:18), yawm al ba’ath (p 27 30:56), yawm al taghabun (p 27 64:9), yawm al talaaqi (p 27 40:15), yawm al tanadi (p 27 40:32), yawm al jam’u (p 28 42:7, 64:9), yawm al hisaab (p 28 38:16, 38:26, 38:53, 40:27), yawm al hasrat (p 28 19:39), yawm al khuruj (p 28 50:42), yawm al khulud (p 28 50:34), yawm al ddiin (p 28 1:4, 15:35, 26:82, 37:20, 38:78, 51:12, 56:56, 70:26, 74:46, 82:15-18, 83:11), yawm al fath (p 28 32:29), yawm al fasl (p 28 37:21, 44:40, 77:13-14, 77:38, 78:12), yawm al qiyamat (p 28-30 2:85, 2:113, 2:174, 2:212, 3:55, 3:77, 3:161, 3:180, 3:185, 3:194, 3:87, 4:141, 4:159, 5:14, 5:36, 5:64, 6:12, 7:32, 7:167, 7:172, 10:60, 10:93, 11:60, 11:98-99, 16:25, 16:27, 16:42, 16:124, 17:13, 17:58, 17:62, 17:97, 18:105, 19:95, 20:100-101, 20:124, 21:47, 22:9, 22:17, 22:69, 23:16, 25:69, 28:71-72,  29:13, 29:25, 32:25, 35:14, 39:15, 39:47, 39:60, 39:67, 41:40, 42:45, 45:17, 45:26, 46:5, 58:7, 60:3, 68:39, 75:1, 75:6), yawm al wa’id (p 30 50:20), yawm al waqt al ma’alum (p 30 15:37-38, 38:80-81). 

 

KNOWLEDGE OF THE LAST DAY:

The knowledge of the last day is with Allah alone and is considered unbsolutely unknowble by humans, ghaib mutlaq (7:187, 33:63, 67:26, 79:42-46).  Only Allah knows the time when an individual life will end or when the whole earth or the universe will come to an end. Humans must therefore continue working hard in the suspense that the end could come anytime. They must ensure that they are ready for the end whenever it comes. Once the last day comes, there is no opportunity to return to earth and do good in recompense. When the prophet was asked about the occurrence of the last day, he said that he did not know but he described the social malaise  that will pre-date it.

 

PRE-EVENTS BEFORE THE LAST DAY:

The last day will be preceded by several events that will herald its arrival, ashraat al sa’at & muqaddimaat al sa’at (p 30 47:18, 2:210, 6:158, 18:47, 18:98, 20:105-108, 21:96-97, 21:104, 27:82, 34:51-54, 44:10-11, 50:41-42, 52:9-10, 54:1, 55:37, 56:4-6, 69:13-17, 70:8-9, 73:14, 75:7-9, 77:8-11, 78:18-20, 79:6-7, 81:1-7, 81:11-13, 82:1-4, 84:1-5, 89:21-23, 99:1-5, p 37 82:30). Most of them will be drastic and frightening and will involve all the familiar physical phenomena of the universe that will change or even be destroyed. The Qur’an has in a very graphic way described changes in the mountains, heavens, the moon, the sun, and the earth. There will be violent shaking of the earth (zilzal) and frightening noises.

 

EVENTS OF THE LAST DAY:

Hadiths have described in graphic detail the events of the last day (KS 120). After resurrection, humans will experience all events of the last day in their physical human form as conscious participants. The events and phenomena on the last day, mashahid al qiyamat are mentioned below. The horn will be blown to herald resurrection (p 25 6:73, 18:91, 20:102, 23:19, 27:87, 36:51, 37:19, 39:68, 50:20, 69:13, 74:8, 78:18, 79:7, 79:13 ?33:29).  Resurrection (ba’ath) will be the first event of the last day (p 19 6:36, 7:29, 7:57, 10:4, 10:34, 11:7, 16:38, 17:48-52, 18:48, 21:104, 22:7, 23:16, 23:100, 26:87, 28:85, 29:19-20, 30:4, 30:23-27, 30:50, 30:56, 31:28, 32:10-11, 34:7, 36:12, 36:32-36, 36:78-83, 37:16-21, 46:33, 56:47-50, 58:6, 71:18, 75:3-4, 83:4-6, 86:8-10). People will be gathered (hashr, p 23 2:203, 2:281, 3:158, 4:87, 5:48, 5:105, 5:109, 6:12, 6:22, 6:72, 6:128, 6:164, 8:24, 9:94, 10:28, 10:45, 14:21,  14:48, 15:25, 17:97, 18:47, 19:85-86, 19:95, 20:108, 20:120, 25:17, 27:88, 34:26, 34:40, 36:29-32, 36:51-53, 37:19-23, 40:16, 41:19, 42:15, 50:44, 64:9, 67:24, 70:43-44, 77:38, 99:6, 100:9-10), their work record will be presented (‘ardh p 24 11:18, 18:48, 18:100, 40:46, 42:45, 46:20, 46:34, 69:18, 17:13-14). Accounts of their deeds will be made, hisaab, (p 20 2:281, 3:25, 3:30, 3:115, 3:195, 4:85, 4:111, 4:123, 5:48, 5:105, 6:60, 6:62, 6:108, 6:132, 6:157, 6:159-160, 6:16, 7:6-7, 9:89, 9:105, 10:23, 10:30, 10:52, 11:111, 14:51, 15:92-93, 16:111, 17:12-14, 17:71-72, 18:49, 20:111-112, 21:1, 21:47, 21:94, 23:62, 24:24-25, 24:39, 24:64, 29:8, 30:43-44, 31:23, 31:33, 34:3-4, 34:25, 36:54, 36:65, 37:24, 37:39, 39:?., 39:69-70, 40:17, 40:40, 41:20-22, 41:46, 42:15, 45:14-15, 45:22, 45:28-29, 46:19, 52:16, 52:21, 53:31, 53:38-41, 58:6-7, 66:7, 69:19-34, 73:20, 74:38, 75:13,  81:14, 82:5, 83:18-20, 88:26, 99:6-8, 102:8). Justice will be established, tahqiiq al ‘adl (p 33 2:212, 3:181-182, 6:160, 14:42-51, 16:38-39, 18:49, 21:47, 22:56-59, 40:58-59, 50:24-29). The balance or scale, mizan, will be set up to weigh the good and the evil acts ( p 24 7:8, , 7:8-9, 21:47, 23:102-103, 101:6-11). Each will be judged according to their performance (p 32 2:212, 3:181-182, 6:160, 14:42-51, 16:38-39, 18:49, 21:47, 22:56-59, 40:58-59, 50:24-29). Every act however small will be accounted for (21:47, 99:7-8).

 

RESURRECTION:

Belief in the hereafter is closely related to belief in resurrection (KS 120). People will have to rise from the dead to face judgment and to be rewarded or punished. It is surprising that some people find it difficult to believe in resurrection. The concept of resurrection is quite logical and is commonsense. Allah who created humans and the whole universe from nothing could surely bring them back to life! . A lot of empirical evidence points to the occurrence of resurrection (p 199-200 35:9, 36:32-44, 36:78-83, 39:21, 40:57, 41:39, 43:11, 50:6-11, 51:20-23, 56:57-73, 57:17, 57:20, 77:25-27, 78:6-11, 79:27-33). There are many biological phenomena that people see daily that should convince them that resurrection will occur. Human biology itself is evidence of resurrection (p 200 36:77-79, 39:11, 50:15, 56:57-62, 76:28, 77:20-24, 82:6-8). Cells in living things die every day and new ones arise by the processes of mitosis and meiosis. All living things go through a life-cycle of birth, growth, maturation, reproduction, and death. The dead will be resurrected in a physical form on the last day (ba’ath, ihya al mawta, al hayat ba’da al mawt). On resurrection people will be gathered in one place; all generations and all geographical areas will be together, al hashr ba’da al mawt. Those who committed transgressions will be punished in hell for a limited time with the exception of those who committed shirk who will be condemned to stay in hell for ever. Paradise, jannat, will be the permanent abode of the righteous.

 

 

JUDGMENT, REWARD, AND PUNISHMENT:

The last day with the associated rewards and punishment acts as a motivator for humans to work hard and to do good. There will be reward for good work and punishment for bad work (23:101-115, 30:12-16, 64:9-10, 84:1-15, 79:34-41, 32:20, 39:71-74, 69:18-37). Humans, unlike other living things, were given a free will. They will be judged on how well they used that free will. Animals without such a free will not face any judgment or punishment. There is so much transgression/aggression (dhulm) in the world that a fair God can not let the wrong-doers go without punishment. If this were the situation there would then be no motivation for doing good.

 

AFTER-LIFE:

PARADISE (JANNAT):

Names of paradise: The Qur’an has used several names to refer to paradise, jannat: ‘Adn (p 290 9:72, 13:22, 16:81, 18:31, 19:61, 20:76, 35:33, 38:50, 40:8, 61:12, 98:8) , ghurfat (p 291 25:75, 29:58, 34:37), firdaus (18:107, 23:11), jannat al khuld (25:15), jannat al ma’wat (32:19, 53:15, 79:41), jannat al naim (p. 291 5:65, 10:9, 22:56, 26:85, 31:8, 37:43, 56:12, 56:89, 68:34, 70:38), dar al salam(6:127, 10:25), dar al muqamah(35:35).

 

Life in jannat: The Qur’an has described life in jannat as very good such that the righteous look forward to it (p 291-2 2:25, 3:15, 3:133-136, 10:26, 18:31, 18:107, 19:60, 19:66, 20:75-76, 22:23, 23:1-11, 29:58-59, 32:19, 38:49-50, 39:20, 43:68-70, 47:15, 55:46, 57:21, 61:12, 89:30, 89:8). There are many bounties and comforts (p 293-296 2:25, 3:15, 3:136, 10:9-10, 13:35, 14:23, 16:30-32, 18:31, 18;107-108, 19:61-63, 20:118-119,  25:75-76, 29:58, 35:33-35, 36:55-58, 39:41-49, 38:49-54, 39:20, 43:70-73, 44:51-57, 47:15, 52:17-28, 55:62-76, 56:12-40, 61:1, 69:21-24, 76:5, 76:12-21, 78:12-16, 88:12-16, 98:8 & 2:265-266, 6:99, 6:141, 13:4, 17:91, 18:32-33, 18:39-40, 23:19, 25:8, 26:134, 26:147, 34:15-16, 36:34, 44:25, 50:9, 71:12, 78:16). These will be enjoyed in a physical form like eating, drinking and sexual pleasure. There will be comfortable houses, carpets, and servants. People in jannat will drink (p 620 7:50, 37:45-47, 38:51, 47:15, 52:19, 69:24, 76:24, 76:21, 77:43, 83:25-28) and eat (p 744 13:35, 43:73, 47:15, 52:19, 56:20-21, 69:23-24, 77:42-43) what is not even imaginable on earth. They will enjoy these physical comforts without the biological and psychological stresses of life on earth. They for example will have no want or craving for anything because whatever they just think about will immediately be available. There will be no jealousies and bad feelings that arise among people on earth who look at the resources as limited and not enough to satisfy everybody.

 

HELL, JAHANNAM:

Names of hell: The Qur’an has used several names to describe hell: jahannam (p 1173-4 2:206, 3:18, 3:16, 3:197, 4:55, 4:93, 4:97, 4:115, 4:121, 4:140, 4:169, 7:15, 7:41, 7:179, 8:16, 8:36-37, 9:35, 9:49, 9:63, 9:68, 9:73, 9:81, 9:85, 9:109, 11:119, 13:18, 14:16, 14:29, 15:43, 16:29, 17:8, 17:18, 17:39, 17:63, 17:97, 18:100, 18:102, 18:106, 19:68, 20:74, 21:29, 21:98, 23:103, 25:34, 25:65, 29:54, 29:68, 32:13, 35:36, 36:63, 38:56, 38:85, 39:32, 39:60, 39:71-72, 40:49, 40:6, 40:76, 43:74, 45:10, 48:6, 50:24, 50:30, 52:13, 55:43, 58:8, 66:9, 67:6, 72:15, 72:23, 78:21, 85:13, 89:23, 98:6), hatamat (10:4-5), sa’ir (p 1174 4:10 … 84:12), and saqar (54:48, 74: 26-27, 74:42).

Life in hell: Hell is the abode of the unbelievers and wrong-doers (p 1176 6:27, 14:28-30, 19:68-70, 38:55-60, 56:41-44, 69:25-33, 92:14-16, 102:6-7). It is a place of punishment (p 1177 14:15-17, 14:49-50, 25:11-14, 25:65-66, 35:36-37, 37:62-68, 38:55-60, 43:74-77, 67:5-11, 69:30-32, 77:32-33, 78:24-30, 87:13, 88:5-8). The Qur’an has described life in hell as bad and frightening (p 1175 2:21,  3:131, 39:16, 50:30, 66:6, 92:14). There are many punishments one of which is physical burning (p 1175-6 3:181, 8:50, 22:9, 22:22, 40:72, 85:10). The physiological processes on earth will also occur in hell but will be a means of punishment and not satisfying physiological needs. The drink (p 620 6:70, 10>4, 14:16-17, 18:24, 56:54-55, 78:24-25) and food (p 744 44:43-45, 56:52-53, 69:36-37, 73:13, 77:48, 88:6-7) of the people of hell will not quench thirst or relieve hunger but will be a punishment.

 

E. NATURE OF THE AFTER-LIFE

PHYSICAL NATURE OF THE AFTER-LIFE:

There will be life after death (p 1155-6 2:28, 2:56, 2:73, 2:154, 2:243, 2:259, 2:260, 3:49, 3:169, 5:110, 6:36, 6:122, 7:25, 7:57, 11:7, 16:21, 16:38, 19:15, 19:33, 19:66, 22:6, 22:66, 23:35, 23:37, 23:37, 23:82,  26:81, 30:40, 30:50, 36:12, 37:16, 37:53, 41:38, 42:9, 44:35, 45:26, 46:33, 50:3, 56:47, 75:40, 80:21-22). This is in fulfillment of one of Allah’s constant laws in creation: the parity of life and death and the interchange between life and death. Life after resurrection from the graves will be physical and not metaphysical or spiritual. The Qur’an has not provided details about this life. We do not know whether it will be exactly like that on earth or there will be some differences. The Qur’an makes it clear that it will be physical life with physical bodies. It has described many physiological functions of that life that are similar to those on earth. The resurrected humans will experience all events of the hereafter as physical beings.

 

ETERNITY:

There will be no more death after the last day ( p 1158 14:17, 20:74, 35:36, 44:5687:13). Those who enter paradise will stay there permanently (p 402 2:25, 2:82, 3:15, 3:107, 3:136, 3:198, 4:13, 4:57, 4:122, 5:85, 5:119, 7:2, 7:42, 9:21-22, 9:72, 9:89, 10:26, 11:23, 11;108, 14:23, 18:107-108, 20:76, 20:120, 21:102, 23:11, 25:15-16, 25:75-76, 29:58, 31:8-9, 39:73, 43:71, 46:14, 48:5, 50:34, 56:17, 57:12, 58:22, 64:9, 65:11, 76:18, 98:8). Hell will be permanent for certain categories of offenders (p 403-4-404 2:39, 2:39, 2:81, 2:162, 2:217, 2:257, 2:275, 3:87-88, 3:116, 4:14, 4:93, 4:169, 5:80, 6:128, 7:36, 9:17, 9:63, 9:68, 10:27, 10:52, 11:106-107, 13:5, 16:29, 20:100-101, 21:98099, 23:103, 25:68, 32:14, 33:64-65, 39:72, 40:76, 41:28, 43:74, 47:15, 58:17, 59:17, 64:10, 72:23, 98:6). Those with minor offences will spend a time of punishment in hell and then be forgiven and enter paradise.

 

1.2.5 PRE-DESTINATION, qadar

A. DESCRIPTION

QADAR IS PRE-DESTINATION.

Everything is fixed, kullu shay bi qadar. All events are under Allah's pre-destination, qadar ilahi (20:40, 65:3, 86:16). Allah (SWT) is the disposer of everything, tadbir al amr li laahi. His power and knowledge cover everything, ihatat al laah bi kulli sha'y. Nothing can occur without His knowledge or deliberate order or action. Much of what will happen to the human is already programmed. Allah’s will changes this pre-destination, iradat llah fawqa qadrihi,  at any moment and without any warning or explanation. Humans have no way of knowing when any of these processes change.

 

BELIEF IN QADAR:

Belief in qadar is a cardinal principle of iman (KS 112, KS 433). Its denial abrogates iman. A human must accept the good, khair, and the bad, sharr of qadar (KS p. 433). All human affairs are in the hands of Allah (KS p. 433). The human should seek support, isti ’nat, from Allah and surrender, tafwidh, all affairs to Allah (KS p. 433). A human can do nothing to change established qadar except to pray (dua) (KS p. 433).  In practice the limited knowledge of humans does not enable them to tell the end of events. A severe disease that seems terminal may turn out to be curable. The assumption of any human that such a severe disease is terminal qadar may be wrong and if acted on may prevent necessary preventive or curative measures.

 

SCOPE OF QADAR:

There is no escape from qadar. Human attempts to escape one phenomenon, firar min al qadar, is just going to another pre-destined situation, firar ila al qadar. The divine pre-destination operates in the universe, al qadar al ilahi fi al kaun (p 917 6:96, 10:5, 13:8, 33:38, 34:18, 36:38-40, 41:12, 54:49, 56:60, 73:20), individuals (     ) , societies & communities, al qadar al ilahi fi al umam,( p. 916 15:60, 27:57, 54:12), in creation, al qadar al ilahi fi al khalq  (p 916 25:2, 54:49, 77:20-23, 80:18-19), disease, al qadar al ilahi fi al maradh (   ), in death, al qadar al ilahi fi al mawt (p. 1154-5 2:28, 2:243, 2;258, 3:27, 3:145, 3:156, 6:95, 6:162, 7:158, 9:116, 10:31, 10:56, 15:23, 22:66, 23:80, 25:3, 26:81, 30:19, 30:40, 39:42, 40:11, 40:68, 44:8, 45:26, 53:44, 56:60, 57:2, 67:2, 76:28), in cure of disease, al qadar al ilahi fi al ‘ilaaj (p. 637 3:49 , 5:110, 9:14, 10:57, 16:69, 17:82, 26:80),  and in sustenance, al qadar al ilahi fi al rizq  (p 916 13:17, 13:26, 15:21, 17:30, 23:18, 28:82, 29:62, 30:37, 34:36, 34:39, 39:52, 41:10, 42:12, 42:27, 43:11, 65:7, 89:15-16).

 

THE RECORD OF QADAR:

Everything was pre-destined before the creation of the earth and the heavens (KS p. 434). All what happens in the universe from its start is already recorded in Allah’s great record, kitaab al qadar (p 978-979 3:145, 6:38, 6:59, 7:37, 8:37, 8:68, 10:61, 11:6, 13:38-39, 15:4, 17:4, 20:52, 22:70, 27:75, 30:56, 33:6, 34:3, 35:11, 43:4, 57:22). Everything that happens or will happen is written, kitabat al qadar (p. 980-981 2:187, 3:181, 4:66, 4:77, 11:81, 5:21, 5:32, 5:45, 5:83, 6:12, 6:54, 7:145, 7:156, 9:51, 19:79, 21:94, 21:105, 36:12, 57:27, 58:21, 58:22, 59:3). The record is so comprehensive. Nothing is left out whether big or small. There is no discrimination between important and unimportant matters. All phenomena and events in the universe follow the program in the record. For example the place in hell and paradise of every human (KS p. 433, KS p. 434) as well as events of pregnancy and its outcome (KS p. 433, 434) are known. Ordinary humans have no way of knowing what is in the record. Only Allah has access to it. Angels and some prophets could be given some of the information as Allah wishes them to know.

 

 

REASONING ABOUT QADAR:

It is part of belief in the unseen, al iman bi al ghaib, because human intellect can not on its own logically work out all aspects of qadar, internalise,  and undertstand them. The prophet forbade arguments about qadar (KS p. 434, 434-5). Many who have tried employing reasoning, ra’ay, without a foundation of strong belief ended up being confused and going astray. Two extremes of false reasoning on qadar, qadriyyat and murjiyat are outside the fold of Islam (KS 435). The process of qadar and its reversal, radd al qadar, are beyond human comprehension and should not be subjects for research. Humans should stick with the empirical realities that they understand in the full knowledge that there is power and authority beyond them  that affects human action and human destiny.

 

B. WILL, iraadat, KNOWLEDGE, ‘ilm, and POWER, qudrat

WILL and QADAR

Allah’s unlimited will: Every event and every phenomenon is according to Allah’s will, iradat Allah, (p 676-677 2:26, 2:117, 2:185, 2:253, 3:108, 3:176, 4:26-28, 5:1, 5:6, 5:17, 5:41, 6:73, 6:125, 8:7, 8:67, 9:55, 9:85, 10:107, 11:34, 11:107, 13:11, 17:16, 22:14, 22:16, 28:5, 33:17, 33:33, 36:23, 36:82, 39:4, 39:38, 40:31, 48:11, 54:50, 74:31). What Allah wishes is what happens, mashi’at Allah  (p 917 13:26, , 13:26, 17:30, 28:82, 29:62, 30:37, 34:36, 39:52, 42:12). There is no limitation on the scope or magnitude of this will. Humans can not understand or even conceptualise the scope and magnitude of this will because it is beyond their intellectual faculties.

 

Limited human free will, mahdudiyat al iradat al bashariyyat: Although humans have limited free will; they can do some things on their own free will and initiative. There are many other things over which they have no control. Possession of this free will is what makes humans what they are. No other creation of Allah has any form of free will. Human will is under Allah’s authority (p 86 5:37, 9:32, 21:70, 22:22, 32:20, 37:98, 61:8). It may be positive as in doing good, ihsan (4:62, 9:107), improving, islah (4:35, 11:88) and guidance, hidayat (p 88 4:88, 6:52, 18:28, 25:62, 30:38-39, 35:10). It may be negative as in deception, khidau (8:62), treachery, khiyanat (8:71), evil, su’u (p 87 11:79, 12:25, 17:103, 20:86), misguidance, dhalal (p 87 4:27, 4:44, 4:60, 4:150, 37:86, 48:15), transgression, dhulm (22:25)., fujuur (75:5), fasad (28:83),  and trickery, kayd (21:70, 37:98, 52:42).

 

Shaitan and misguidance of human free will (4:60): Shaitan’s field of operation is the human limited free will. Shaitan tries his best to misguide humans to wrong choices and alternatives. Prophets and the righteous are protected from him, ‘ismat al anbiya wa al salihin). For ordinary humans it is a daily struggle to guard against shaitan in the exercise of free will. The stronger the iman and ibadat the better the protection. Humans sometimes succeed in escaping shaitan sometimes they fail. They however at all times must never let their guard down because shaitan is indefatigably active.

 

KNOWLEDGE and QADAR

Allah's knowledge, ilm: Allah knows everything that happened in the past and what will happen in the future. He already knows the fate of humans whether they will go to hell or paradise (MB #2137, KS 433, 434). Allah has advance knowledge of humane exercise of free will. Allah knows in advance what choices of actions humans will make. This is because Allah created humans and knows their nature and inclinations. This is quite logical and should not be a difficult concept to grasp for any perceptive parent. A parent who knows the habits, desires and capabilities of an infant can to a remarkable degree of accuracy predict what choices of actions that infant will make when presented with 2-3 alternatives. In the case of Allah the Almighty, it is not a question of predicting but a case of certain knowledge of what choices the human will make.

 

Limited human knowledge: Human knowledge is limited in many ways. Human knowledge and understanding of self is limited even in a biological sense. The senses that bring information from the external environment have their limitations. The perception and interpretation of the sensory stimuli is not perfect. There are intellectual limitations because the human brain has finite power and function. Humans can only perceive and understand a few phenomena at a time and lack the integrative capacity to see and understand the whole picture. Humans have no access to the unseen world, ‘alam al ghaib, in the past and the future.

 

Knowledge of the good and the bad , sharr al qadar & khair al qadar: A human in the course of normal life gets good and bad experiences. A believing Muslim knows that all is part of qadar and says ‘praise be to Allah’ (alhamdu li llaah) for both good and bad experiences. The terms good and bad in human experience and knowledge are relative. What may appear to be good may turn out to be bad. What may appear to be bad may turn out to be good. Humans can not see the whole picture. They may see some aspects of the whole picture and judge them to be good or bad. If they had knowledge of the whole picture and the correct context they would have interpreted the observed events or phenomena differently.

 

POWER and QADAR

Confusion of qadar and qudrat: Two Qur’anic terms should not be confused: qadar and qudrat. Qadar is pre-destination, the fixing of the fates of various events in advance and in the knowledge of Allah. Qudrat is power to change. Qadar is the prerogative of Allah only; Allah has unlimited qudrat. His will is translated automatically and instantaneously into action because of His unlimited qudrat. Humans have limited qudrat given to them by Allah.  Human qudrat is limited thus human will does not translate always into action.

 

Allah's unlimited Power (qudrat): Allah’s power has no limits (p 681-682 2:20,  2:148, 2:289, 3:189, 4:133, 5:120, 6:17, 6:37, 6:46-47, 6:65, 6:133-134, 9:2-3, 10:4, 10:34, 10:50, 10:53, 11:20, 11:33, 11:63, 14:19-20, 16:45-47, 17:89, 18:45, 23:95, 24:57, 28:71-72, 29:22, 31:28, 35:2, 35:16, 35:44, 36:81, 41:39, 42:31, 46:33, 56:60-61, 67:28-30, 70:40-41, 72:12, 86:8, 85:13). He can do whatever He wants, when, where, and how. Nothing can happen without His power being behind it.

 

Limited Human power: Humans have limited power, mahdudiyat qudrat al insan, (p. 917-918 2:184, 2:217, 2:249, 2:264, 2:273, 2:282, 2:286,  3:97, 4:25, 4:98, 4:129, 5:34, 10:24, 10:38, 11:13, 14:18, 16:75-76, 17:48, 18:41, 18:67, 18:72, 18:75, 18:78, 18:82, 18:97, 18:101, 21:40, 21:43, 25:19, 36:50, 36:67, 48:21, 51:45, 55:33, 57:29, 58:4, 68:25, 68:42). Even their limited free will can not always translate into action because of this limited power, iradat al insan mahdudat bi qudratihi. The limitations are intellectual, emotional, and physical. Believers are aware of limited human power; non-believers are not.

 

C. HUMAN ACTION

RESPONSIBILITY OF HUMANS FOR ACTIONS, AL MASULIYYAT AL BASHARIYYAT:

Free will entails responsibility. Adult humans in full possession of their mental faculties and under no physical or psychological duress or compulsion are responsible for their actions and the consequences of those actions. The intellectually incompetent (minor children and the insane) are not responsible to the same extent (KS 434). There is a lot of confusion about qadr because people fail to find answers to the following questions: If everything is pre-destined why then make any effort? Why should people be rewarded or punished for actions whose results were pre-destined? These questions can be answered easily if one thinks logically. Humans are a special and unique creation of Allah. They were given a limited free will (81:28-19). They are capable of making some choices on their own. They are accountable for their choices and actions because of that free will (81:28-29, 39:41, 90:8-10). No one can give up struggling relying on qadar (KS p. 434). The laws of causality are fixed such that an action is inevitably followed by the predictable result unless there is special divine intervention. When a human makes a certain choice, the expected result is seen. A bad choice is followed by a bad result. A good choice is followed by a good result. Children and qadar:  KS 434, children of non-believers KS p. 434

 

HUMAN GUIDANCE, HIDAYAT AL INSAN:

A human can be guided or misguided. Guidance in the long run is from Allah (iradat Allah fi al hidayat, p 1280 2:120, 2:159, 3:73, 6:71, 6:125, 6:149, 7:30, 7:43, 7:178, 7:186, 10:25, 10:35, 13:33, 14:21, 16:36-37, 17:97, 18:17, 24:40, 33:4, 34:6, 34:50, 39:23, 39:57, 40:33, 42:44, 42:46, 45:23, 48;20, 92:12). Humans within their limited will can exert effort to be guided (iradat al insan fi al hidayat (p 1281 3:101, 4:175, 5:105, 10:9, 10:108, 13:27, 17:15, 19:76, 20:135, 27:92, 39:17-18, 39:41, 42:13, 47:17, 64:11). They can choose actions and environments that are conducive for guidance. Human will can overcome the impact of early environmental influence. The adult may behave in ways opposite the expectations from childhood experiences.

 

HUMAN LIFE A TRIAL ON THE GOOD USE OF LIMITED WILL:

All of the human’s life on earth is a great test of how well the free will is used. Some succeed in this test whereas others fail. The test involves choices in matters of belief or non-belief, and good work or bad work.  Humans are born pure and if life remained in that pristine state they would automatically be rightly-guided. Parents and the initial upbringing can help guide or misguide children to their choices as adults.

 

HUMAN ENDEAVOUR ON EARTH, ‘AMAL AL INSAN:

The human within his limited free-will chooses what work to do and how to do it. In that sense the human is free to make a choice, hurriyat al insan fi al ‘amal  (p 841 4:66, 17:18-19, 17:84, 41:40, 73:19, 74:37, 76:29, 78:39, 81:28, 92:4-10, ?46:16). The choices and their consequences indicate how well humans use their free will. Allah knows in advance what the human will do and none of what they do is hidden from Him (p 847-848 2:74, 2:85, 2:96, 2:110, 2:140, 2:194,  2:197, 2:233, 2:234, 2:237, 2:265, 2:271, 2:283, 3:98-99, 3:120, 3:153, 3:156, 3:163, 3:188, 4:94, 4:108, 4:127-128, 4:135, 5:8, 5:71, 5:105, 6:60, 6:108, 6:132, 6:159, 8:39, 8:49, 8:72, 9:16, 9:94, 9:105, 9:120, 10:23, 10:36, 10:46, 10:61, 11:92, 11:111-112, 11:123, 12:19, 14:42, 16:28, 16:91, 18:30, 22:68, 23:51, 24:24, 24:28, 24:41, 24:64, 26:188, 27:88, 27:93, 29:8, 31:15, 31:23, 31:29, 33:2, 33:9, 34:4, 35:10, 39:7, 39:70, 41:22, 41:40, 42:25, 45:29, 47:30, 48:11, 48:24, 49:28, 54:52-53, 57:4, 57:10, 58:3, 58:6-7, 58:11, 58:13, 59:18, 60:3, 62:8, 63:11, 64:2, 64:8, 99:6). The human is fully responsible for what he does and Allah’s advance knowledge of what work will be done does not decrease this responsibility and accountability (p 849-50 2:134, , 2:139, 2:141, 2:234, 2:240, 2:181, 2:286, 3:25, 3:161, 4:66, 4:111, 6:164, 7:155, 7:173, 10:41, 14:51, 21:23, 24:11, 26:112, 26:168-169, 26:216, 28:55, 34:25, 40:17, 42:15, 45:22, 52:21, 66;11, 74:38). Allah will reward or punish humans based on what they did, jazau al ‘amal, (p 830 2:85, 3:30, 6:132, 11:15, 11:111, 16:93, 16:111, 18:49, 21:59, 23:63, 24:64, 36:54, 37:39, 39:70, 41:46, 45:15, 45:15, 45:28, 46:19, 47:33, 47:35, 49:14, 52:16, 52:21, 58:6-7, 64:7, 99:7-8). Correct use of the  free will and correct choices are associated with rewards on the earth and the hereafter. Wrong or misguided choices incur Allah’s wrath and punishment on earth and in the hereafter except when Allah in His infinite mercy forgives.

 

HUMAN TRANSGRESSION and ALLAH's FORGIVENESS

Human sin and qadar: Humans unlike angels commit sins. This is a result of their using their free will wrongly. The immediate reason behind a sin may be ignorance (MB #28) or human weakness, dhu’uf al insan (4:28). In either case, the human can not deny responsibility for the actions because Allah did send prophets and revelations to equip humans with the necessary knowledge and also to strengthen them spiritually to resist sin. The first human transgression was by Adam and Hawa when they ate the forbidden fruit (KS p. 434). The second was homicide by Adam's son. Since then humans, as individuals and communities,  have committed many transgressions.

 

Allah’s forgiveness (af’wu allah): The door of forgiveness and hope for Allah’s mercy, rajaa, is very wide (RS #413, RS #419, RS #420, RS #421, RS #422, RS #423, RS #433, RS #437, RS #440, RS #442). Allah’s mercy is more and comes before His anger (MB #135). He is oft-forgiving of human trespasses when they misuse their free will, afwu Allah (p 816 2:52, 2:187, 2:286, 3;152, 3:155, 4:99, 4:149, 4:153, 5:95, 5:10, 9:43, 9:66, 42:25, 42:30, 42:34). In the final analysis all humans who did not associate Allah with anything else will be forgiven even if some will have to undergo some punishment for a limited time.

 

D. CAUSALITY and CAUSAL RELATIONS

CASUALITY AND CAUSAL ASSOCIATIONS, AL SABABIYYAT WA AL QADAR: 

In most human situations phenomena follow the fixed causal laws ie action is followed by an effect. Each event has a cause, sabab (18:84-85). All causes are from Allah, Allah musabbib al asbaab. The causal laws are called ‘sunan Allah fi al kawn’ in Qur’anic terminology. There are laws that govern change, sunan Allah fi al taghyir (p. 6:89, 8:53, 13:11, 47:38) and in human responsibility and accountability, sunan Allah fi al mas’uliyyat al fardiyyat (p 601-602 2:134 .. 53:38-41). These laws are fixed and are stable, thabat sunan Allah (p. 17:77, 33:62, 35:43, 48:23). Allah is not bound to obey these laws because they are His laws. His will is above them and can alter them, iradat Allah fawqa sunnatihi.

 

 

DIVINE INTERVENTION IN CAUSAL RELATIONS:

The cause is followed by the expected result (18:89, 18:92). There are situations in which divine intervention breaks those physical laws known to humans. In such situations one qadar is reversing another qadar, radd al qadar bi al qadar. The miracles of prophets are an example. Ibrahim (PBUH) was for example not burned by fire because divine intervention did not allow the usual causal relations to operate. Musa's inanimate stick turned into a living snake. Isa revived the dead. People of the cave hibernated for a century. When a phenomenon appears to contradict the normal laws of causality there are two alternative explanations. It may have followed another law of causality that humans are not aware of or there was divine intervention. Humans do not have the ability to know whether divine human intervention is operating to produce a miracle or not unless told so by revelation. It is futile to try to find out whether there is divine intevention to suspend the laws because humans are incapable of identifying and understanding such intervention.

 

E. MISUNDERSTANDING OF QADAR

HUMAN MISUNDERSTANDING OF QADAR AND RELIANCE ON ALLAH , MAHDUDIYAT AL IDRADAAK AL BASHARI LI AL QADR WA AL TAWAKKUL:

Correct understanding of qadar requires distinguishing tawakkul from tawaakul. The two terms have the same root word but are very different. Tawakkul in relying on Allah after taking all the necessary measures to achieve an objective following the laws of causality. Tawaakul is giving up all effort and just wait for things to happen. The former is Islamic the latter is not. Tawakkul, a manifestation of strong iman,  is encouraged (p 259-60 3:122 … 73:9) and is a basis for success on earth and in the hereafter. Tawaakul is condemned since it is abandoning responsibility and accountability, mas’uliyyat insaniyyat. Humans manifest a logical contradiction when dealing with tawakkul and tawaakul. A taxi driver may speed and drive carelessly claimimg that an accident is part of Allah’s qadar and will occur however way he drove his car. He however will not agree to sit at home and refuse to go to work on the argument that rizq is part of Allah’s qadar and if Allah pre-destined he will get it it will come to him even if sitting at home.  It seems that people resort to tawaakul when they are called upon to exercise self-control. They employ tawakkul when they have to search for something they need or that is in their immediate interest.

 

MISUNDERSTANDING OF QADAR IN DISEASE CAUSATION, TREATMENT, AND PREVENTION, MAHDUDIYAT IDRAAK AL BASHAR LI AL QADAR FI AL MARADH:

Human illness is part of qadar. Medical treatment is not denial of or attempting to reverse qadar. Both the disease and its treatment are part of Allah’s all-embracing qadar. The human in his limited knowledge can not distinguish between curable and incurable disease. Human experience has shown that diseases considered incurable a few years ago are now curable. It is therefore logical that humans in ignorance of the true situation should play safe by treating all diseases to the best of their ability being fully aware that this is an attempt and leave the rest to Allah.

 

MISUNDERSTANDING OF QADAR IN DEATH:

Allah alone determines the life and death of cells, tissues, organs, and the whole human organism. No human can give life or take it away. The human can be involved as an agent but not as a cause. This is a matter that King Nimrod could not grasp in his arguments with Ibrahim (PBUH). Ibrahim told the King that Allah gave and took away life. The King countered by killing one person and sparing the life of another one. The king either did not understand or chose to ignore the issue at stake, creating life de novo.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule July 2000