Islamic view of the Divine Will and Decree (Al-qada'sa wa'l-qadar). What is the difference between the two?
The most correct view is that there is no difference in meaning between Al-qada' and Al-qadar. Each of them point to the meaning of the other.
What is Al-qada' (the Divine Will) ? Al-qada' means "the certain belief that everything happens in this universe happens by the will and decree of Allah". Belief in Al-qadar or Divine decree, is the sixth pillar of faith and no one’s faith is complete without it. In Saheeh Muslim (8) it is narrated that Ibn ‘Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) heard that some people were denying al-qadar. He said: “If I meet these people I will tell them that I have nothing to do with them and they have nothing to do with me. By the One by Whom ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar swore, if one of them had gold equivalent to Mount Uhud and he spent it, Allaah would not accept it from him unless he believed in al-qadar."
The belief in Al-qadar is not valid unless one believes in the four aspects of it:
- Belief that Allah knows all things, in general terms and in detail, from eternity to eternity. Not a single atom is unknown to Him in the heavens or the earth.
- Belief that Allah has decreed all things in the al-Lawh al Manhfooz.
- Belief that the will of Allah is irresistible and that His decree is comprehensive, so nothing happens in this universe, good or bad, but by His will.
- Belief that all that exists was created by Allah. He is the Creator of all beings and the Creator of their attributes and actions, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
- "Such is Allah, your Lord! Laa Illaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped by He), the Creator of all things" (Al-An'aam 6-102)
The correct belief in the Al-qadar also involves believing in that the individual has free will by means of which he acts as Allah says:
- "To whomsoever among you who wills to walk straight" (al-Takweer 81:28)
- "Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope" (al-Baqara 2:286)
It also involves the belief that a person's will and ability do not operate outside the will and decree of Allah. He is the One Who has given the person that ability and made him able to distinguish (between good and evil) and the ability to make his choice. Allah says:
- "And you cannot will unless (it be) that Allah wills the Lord of the 'Aalameen (mankind, jinn and all that exists)' (al-Takweer 81:29)
- "Verely, We have created all things with Qadar" (Al-Qamar 54:49)
May Allah protect and bless everyone. Jazakumallahu khyran.
Sheikh Mostafa, Imam of Masjid Manhattan