The obligation of believing in the Divine Decree, whether good or bad

Q: What is the meaning of the following Ayahs (Qur'anic verses): To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allâh wills - the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). So whosoever will (let him read it), and receive admonition (from it)! And they will not receive admonition unless Allâh wills; He (Allâh) is the One, deserving that mankind should be afraid of, and should be dutiful to Him, and should not take any Ilâh (god) along with Him, and He is the One Who forgives (sins). I heard some scholars say that the meaning of these Ayahs is that Allah (Glorified be He) granted humans volition and then left them to make their own choices as they wished, and that He did not single out a favor or blessing for those who believe nor single out disgrace for those who disbelieve. Is this in conformity with the view of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah (adherents to the Sunnah and the Muslim mainstream)? What is the meaning of these Words of Allah: ...and your Lord treats no one with injustice. And other Ayahs that show that Allah does not treat any of His Servants unjustly? I heard some scholars interpret these Ayahs as meaning that Allah (Glorified be He) is Just and would not make anyone a Kafir (disbeliever) and then punish them due to their Kufr (disbelief), but that it is humans that initiate the Kufr and then Allah increases them in it, but He does not mislead people. Is this meaning and Tafsir (explanation) of injustice, which is denied from Allah, true? I read what Ibn Hazm Al-Zhahiry wrote in his book "Al-Milal wa Al-Nihal" regarding Divine Decree, does what he wrote reflect the view of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah or the Jabriyyah School of Thought (those who hold the view that humans have no choice)?


A: Firstly: A Muslim has to believe in Divine Decree, whether it is good or bad. (Part No. 3; Page No. 514) We issued Fatwa no. 4088 regarding the meaning of Divine Decree, and this is what it said: "What is the meaning of Divine Decree in detail? It means that Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) has knowledge of everything before it existed, and that He wrote it down. He willed what was to happen to everything, and He created what He wanted to create. There are the four levels of Divine Decree that have to be believed, and a Servant will not be a true Mu'min (believer) in Divine Decree until they believe in these levels as they were authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he answered Jibril (Gabriel) after he asked him about Iman (Faith) saying: 'To believe in Allah, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, the Day of Resurrection, and to believe in Divine Decree, whether it is good or bad.' (Related by Muslim in his "Sahih [Book of Authentic Hadith]") It is also authentically reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) in the Hadith, which was narrated on the authority of `Ubadah ibn Al-Samit, that he (peace be upon him) said, 'You will not have the taste of Iman until you believe in the Divine Decree, and know that what has happened to you was not going to miss you and that what has missed you was not going to happen to you.' Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah be merciful to him) clarified the meaning of this in his book: 'Al-`Aqidah Al-Wasitiyyah', which we advise you to read and memorize." In another Fatwa, no. 4513, regarding the meaning of Divine Decree and free will, the following was written: "Humans have free will and are predestined, but the universe is just predestined, because Allah (Glorified be He) gave them minds, hearing, sight, and volition. By these, they know what is good and bad, what will benefit and harm, and they choose what suits them. In this way, they are responsible regarding the commands and prohibitions that they were given, and have the right to be rewarded for obeying Allah and His Messenger and punished for disobeying Allah and His Messenger. In regard to being predestined, this occurs because humans cannot escape, due to their words and deeds, (Part No. 3; Page No. 515) the Divine Decree and the Will of Allah (Glorified be He), Who says: No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfûz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allâh. And: To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight. And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allâh wills - the Lord of the ‘Alamîn (mankind, jinn and all that exists). He (Glorified be He) also says: It is He Who enables you to travel through land and sea There are many Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) and sound Hadiths that indicate what we have mentioned, for those who reflect on the Qur'an and the Sunnah." Secondly: The Tafsir of the Ayahs mentioned in the question, and others with the same meaning, show that everything is running according to Allah's Divine Decree and Will. It is His Will that determines everything, not His Servants', and nothing occurs but what He wanted for them and what He did not want to happen will not happen. This was illustrated in the Fatwa. What we have mentioned is the view of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah, and what was mentioned in the question about denying the Divine Decree contradicts the view they hold. Thirdly: The evidence from the Qur'an and the Sunnah that indicates Allah's dissociation from Him being unjust with His Servants is a middle view in between those of Al-Qadariyyah and the Jabriyyah. Every unjust and ugly deed performed by humans cannot be attributed to Allah (Exalted be He) as injustice and ugliness in the view of Al-Qadariyyah, who hold the view of Divine Decree and those who deny Divine Decree, are rejected, as this is Tamthil (likening Allah's Attributes to those of His Creation), which cannot be ascribed to Allah (Exalted be He above all that). Allah (Exalted be He) says: So put not forward similitudes for Allâh (as there is nothing similar to Him, nor He resembles anything). And: There is nothing like Him; and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (Part No. 3; Page No. 516)  Fourthly: From what is mentioned above, the view of Ahl-ul-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah in this concern is clear and other views are void. We advise you to read: "Shifa' Al-`Alil fi Masa'il Al-Qada' wa Al-Qadar wa Al-Hikmah wa Al-Ta`lil" by Ibn Al-Qayyim (may Allah be merciful to him), as it is very beneficial.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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