• Kaifa Nuffasir al Qur’an by Sheikh al-Albani.
  • Sharh Kitab Bulugh al-Maram, by Sheikh Bin ‘Uthaimeen.
  • Sharh al- Aqidah al-Wasitiyyah by Sheikh Bin ‘Uthaymeen.
  • Madarij as- Salikeen by Ibn Al-Qayyim.

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aala) said in Surat al-An’am (6:25):

وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً أَن يَفْقَهُوهُ وَفِي آذَانِهِمْ وَقْراً

“And We have set veils on their hearts, so they understand it not, and deafness in their ears.”

Some people think that this Will of Allah is a kind of compulsion. Sheikh al-Albani (Radia-Allaahu ‘anhu) commented on this and said: “In order to understand this verse, we should explain the divine Will of Allah (Azza Wa Jall), which is divided into:

1-Legal Will (Iradah Shar’iyah) or Legal Command.

This is all what Allah has legislated for His slaves and encouraged them to do perform acts of worship and obedience; whether they are obligatory or voluntary acts. Allah loves and wills all these acts of obedience.

2-Decreed Will (or command) [Iradah Kawniyyah], which is related to His Pre-ordainment and Decree.

This will (or command) is called Kawni as derived from the statement of Allah (Azza Wa Jall) in Surat Ya-Seen (36:82):

إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُ إِذَا أَرَادَ شَيْئاً أَنْ يَقُولَ لَهُ كُنْ فَيَكُونُ

“Verily His Command when He intends (wills) a thing, is only that He says to it,’Kun’ (be), and it is!”

In Surat Maryam (19:35):

إِذَا قَضَى أَمْراً فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

“When He decrees a thing, He only says to it,’Kun’ (Be) and ‘it is’.”

When Allah (Azza Wa Jall) wills anything for anyone, wether it is to act in obedience or in sin, He just says “Be” (Kun) and it is, i.e. with His Leave (Permission), Pre-ordainment and Decree.

Therefore, this requires us to believe in the decree and pre-ordainment, because when Allah says to something “Be”, then He made it an existing Decree matter, which is certain. Everything Allah (Azza Wa Jall) does is with Qadar [Divine Pre-ordainment of all things before creation, as written in the Book of Decrees- Al-Lauh al-Mahfoudh]. This includes the good and the evil.

However, what is related to the humans and Jinn who are commanded by Allah (Azza Wa Jall), is to look at what they do of actions. Either what they do is by full choice and free will or by compulsion. The latter is not related to an act of obedience or sin, nor will it’s consequence be Paradise or Hell, but the former which the person does by his free will and choice and seeks by his free will and earns by his free will, is what he will be accounted for.  If he does good, then the recompense will be good, then if he does evil, then the recompense will be evil.

No one can argue, either legally or intellectually, that the human being has a choice in most of his actions. Legally, the texts of the Qur’an and the Sunnah successively order man to do what he is ordered with and abandon what he is forbidden from. If one has no choice, then these legal commands are meaningless [i.e. How can Allah command man with acts of worship if he has no choice? This is impossible and Allah is far above being attributed with oppression].

Intellectually, it is clearly shown that whenever man wills he talks, walks, eat and drinks. He has the choice in all that and is not (at all) forced or compelled. No one can force (free will) to talk on a certain topic or not and it is within his ability to stay in silent.

So the actions of the people are of two kinds: one is performed by choice and the other is performed by compulsion. The law is concerned or related to the actions which are performed by our choice.

When Allah (Azza Wa Jall) mentioned in the verse of Surat al-An’am (6:25):

وَجَعَلْنَا عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ أَكِنَّةً

“And We have set veils on their hearts.”

This is a decreed will of Allah, but is not despite man’s will.

كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِم مَّا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ

“Nay, but on their heart is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn.” (Surat al-Mutaffifin 83:14)

“Raan” (covering of sins and evil deeds) will cover man’s heart who chooses to remain astray in abstinence and infidelity. Allah has placed this cover over their hearts; it is not forced or imposed upon them. They have obtained and earned it by making their own choices.

This is decreed will which the disbelievers earn and reach, to a point which the ignorant think that this has been imposed upon them while they had no choice. However, they are the ones who earned it and Allah is never unjust to His slaves.

This is the decreed will which the disbelievers earn and reach, to a point which the ignorant think that this has been imposed upon them while they had no choice. However, they are the ones who earned it and Allah is never unjust to His slaves.

An example of this earning is a man who is determined to study and acquire knowledge; he strengthens his mind while his body or muscles do not grow or become strong. On the other hand, a man who is determined to strengthen his body by doing exercise will find that some time, his muscles have grown and become stronger.

Did Allah create him like that or did he achieve it by his own choice? He has attained that with his efforts and choice.

Similarly, for the kafir who has chosen kufr (disbelief) over belief in Allah, there will be a covering of sin over his heart such that whenever guidance comes to him, he is not guided and on the Day of Judgment he will enter the Hell-Fire.” [Kaif Yajib An-Nufassir al-Qur’an al-Karim]

Sheikh us –Sa’dee (Rahimahullaah) said: “When the slave fasts, and did good or bad deeds, then it is he who is the doer of this good or bad act. The act referred to undoubtedly takes place under his authority. It is apparent that he has an awareness of it and that he is not under any compulsion to do or not to do this work. If he wished, he would not have done it. This is the reality which Allah (Azza Wa Jall) has stated in His Hadith, and both have related the deeds, regardless of their being good or bad, to the slaves. It has been stated that they alone are the doers. If they are bad, they will be condemned and punished for their bad deeds.

If you wish to know how these acts which are carried out by His slaves form part of fate and how they include the Will of Allah, then the answer is that these acts that take place by the slaves, whether good or bad, come into being by their everyone admits. Now the question is, who created their power, intention and will? The answer is:

The One whom everyone accepts that is, Allah. He created the power and the intention. The One Who created that being, which carried out the acts, has created the act also. This removes the ambiguity and so it becomes possible for the slave to understand the integration of fate, decision and power. Along with this, Allah has bestowed the resources, the means and various favors and rewards upon the believers and removed the obstacles, as the Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) has said: “Whoever is from amongst the blessed, he is provided with facilities (means) for doing the work of the blessed.” [Al-Bukhari]

Likewise, He has disgraced the corrupt and left them in their condition, for they did not have faith in Him, nor did they rely on Him. For this reason they were enabled to do that work which they close for themselves.”

Sheikh bin ‘Uthaymeen (Rahimahullaah) said regarding  Allah’s legal and decreed command :

Allah’s command is of two types:

a)    One is related to His Laws and Legislations and it is called legal command

b)    The other is related to His Pre-ordainment and Decree.

Allah (Azza Wa Jall) loves all the legal commands which imply the obligations and prohibitions. Allah (Azza Wa Jall) said in Surat al-Isra’ (17:23):

وَقَضَى رَبُّكَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَاناً

“And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents.”

However it is not necessary for the legal commands to happen, for example, Allah loves Islam and Muslims, but not all people are Muslims. Allah loves dutifulness to parents but not all people are dutiful to their parents. Whereas for the Decreed Command, whenever Allah wills, it happens, whether He like it or not; whether it is good or evil.

إِذَا قَضَى أَمْراً فَإِنَّمَا يَقُولُ لَهُ كُن فَيَكُونُ

“When He decrees a thing, He only says to it,”Be” and it is.” (Surat  Maryam 19:35)

We should believe that whatever Allah (Azza Wa Jall) wills happens and whatever He wills not, will not happen.

For example: His Decree of prosperity, adversity, richness, poverty, life, death, etc.

Allah (Azza Wa Jall) said in Surat Saba’ (34:14):

فَلَمَّا قَضَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَوْتَ

“Then when We decreed death for him (Solomon),”

The Will of Allah does not negate the freedom of the slave and his power to act. That is why Allah has combined His Wills in this statement:

لِمَن شَاء مِنكُمْ أَن يَسْتَقِيمَ (28)   وَمَا تَشَاؤُونَ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ .29

“To whomever among you who wills to walk straight, and you will not, unless (it be) that Allah wills, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).” (Surat at Takwir 81:28-29)

One may ask, does Allah will evil?  The answer: Legally no.  and yes, if He will, it will happen. If He says to it be, it is.

Sometimes Allah wills a thing which He does not like and likes such a thing whose occurrence He does not will. For example, His Will about the existence of Satan, and love of faith in Kafir, of obedience in the corrupt, of justice in the oppressor and of repentance in the sinful ones; if Allah wills, all these can happen. And only that happens which He wills and that which He does not, will not happen.

However, this evil is good because all what Allah wills is good; all of Allah’s actions are good; because they are agreement with His Great Wisdom. For example, poverty, death, drought, sickness, etc. are evil, but because Allah decrees them with wisdom. For example, rain could be good or evil. If it destroys things and harm, it is evil.

Similarly, mischief in land is evil; does Allah love it? No. Does Allah want it? Yes, for a reason:

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ لِيُذِيقَهُم بَعْضَ الَّذِي عَمِلُوا لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

“Evil (sins and disobedience of Allah etc.) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds, etc.), that Allah may make them taste a part of which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah and begging His Pardon).” (Surat Ar- Room 30:41)

Never is evil attributed to Allah or His actions. Therefore, it is a must to be pleased with that Allah decrees, even if it evil.

Allah says in Surat al-Baqarah (2:253):

وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا اقْتَتَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن بَعْدِهِم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءتْهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَلَـكِنِ اخْتَلَفُواْ

“If Allah had willed, succeeding generations would not have fought against each other, after clear verses of Allah had come to them, but they differed…..”

Allah (Azza Wa Jall) does not like fighting, but what He wills must occur. Allah (Azza Wa Jall) is stating the wisdom behind the afflictions in this world:

وَلَنُذِيقَنَّهُمْ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَدْنَى دُونَ الْعَذَابِ الْأَكْبَرِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

“And verily, We will make them taste of the near torment (i.e. torment in the life of this world, i.e. disasters, calamities, etc.) prior to the supreme torment (in the hereafter), in order that they may (repent and) return (i.e. accept Islam).” (Surat Sajdah 32:21)

الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلاً وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ

“(He) Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed [i.e. who amongst you do the good deeds in the most perfect manner] and He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-forgiving.” (Surat al-Mulk 67:2)

Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah  (Rahimahullaah) mentioned many aspects of the wisdom behind the creation of Iblees. Just one of these is extracting and bringing forth all the true forms of worship to Allah Alone. Some of these acts of worship include: Jihad for the cause of Allah, giving support and protection to the believers, loving and hating for Allah’s sake, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, seeking refuge in Him alone, disobeying Iblees and seeking refuge in Allah from his (Iblees’s) plots, staying away from arrogance, etc.

From belief in the Decree is to believe that Allah has given you a choice and that you are not compelled.

وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

“And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves.” (Surat Fussilat 41:46)

وَأَنَّ اللّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلاَّمٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ

“And certainly, Allah is never unjust to (His) slaves.”(Surat Aal-Imran 3:182)

How to Deal with Allah’s Decreed Commandالكونية :

1- To believe that one will never find the taste of faith until he knows that whatever happened to him was not going to miss him, whatever missed was not going to happen to him.

2- There are four ranks  showing the attitude of the afflicted people:

First Rank:

Indignation and displeasure. This is forbidden and considered one of the major sins. Actions such as to slap the cheeks, tear the clothes, pluck the hair or to invoke “with death’ for one’s self, indicate displeasure.

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “He who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and calls to or follows the ways and traditions of the days of ignorance, is not from us.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Second Rank:

Patience. By holding one’s self, heart, tongue and limbs from discontentment. This rank is obligatory (to be fulfilled).

Third Rank:

Contentment. The difference between this and patience is that the patient one tastes the bitterness (of the affliction) but cannot be displeased in as much as the matter is hard and bitter; while the contented person does not feel the bitterness of the affliction. However, he is calm and at the rest as if no affliction had befallen him.

The majority of the scholars are of the opinion that it is recommended to be content with the decreed matter. This is also opinion of Shaikh ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullaah).

Fourth Rank:

Gratefulness. To say “Al-Hamdulilah” with tongue and state (heart).  To believe that this affliction is a blessing. This cannot be attained except with Allah’s guidance.

Bear in mind that legal matter that is decided (willed) by Allah, is obligatory to accept, to be pleased with it and to act upon it (i.e. to perform what is obligatory to accept  and abandon  the prohibitions), whereas in the case of the Divine decreed matter:

I.  If it is from Allah’s Action, such as poverty, death, etc… it is recommended (desirable) to be pleased with it (not obligatory).

II. If it is from the action of the slave, then contentment with the obligatory matter becomes obligatory, and contentment with the desirable matter becomes desirable, and contentment with the disliked or unlawful becomes disliked and lawful.

III. Patience with the Decree of Allah. This is from the great status and sublime acts of worship. When afflictions befall someone (sickness, death, accident, loss of wealth , etc..)

What are the matters that help the person show patience?

a. To know that affliction  are from the Decree and the Decree refers back to the wisdom of Allah. Allah’s Wisdom is placing matters in their proper places that agree with the praiseworthy objectives for them (to attain Noble purpose), such as returning to Allah in repentance, or elevation of the person’s rank in Paradise through affliction, etc….

By this we know that when calamity afflicts the slave there is good for him in it. Either he will be patient and be rewarded or he will become angry and be condemned for it.

b. To know that afflictions are a means of expiation of sins and that the worldly punishment for them is much better and easier than delaying the punishment till Judgment Day. Hence, the affliction becomes a blessing and the person should thank Allah for it. The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

إنّ عِظَمَ الجَزٍاء مع عِظَم البلاء. وإنّ الله تعالى إذا أَحب قوماً ابتلاهم فَمَنْ رَضِيَ فَلَهُ الرَّضَا وَمَنْ سَخِطَ  فَلّهُ السَّخَط

“Verily, the greater reward is with the greater trial. Verily, when Allah the Most Him loves a people He tests them. Therefore, whoever is pleased, then he will have the pleasure of Allah, and whoever is angry, then for him is the anger (of Allah).” [At-Tirmidhi]

Bear in mind that pleasure of Allah is greater than Paradise! This also indicates Allah’s Love for the person.

c. The Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:

,إذا أَرَادَ الله بعَبْدِهِ الخيْر عَجَّل له العقوبة في الدنيا. وإذا أَراد بعبده الشر أمْسَكَ عنه بِذَنْبِه حتى يُوافي بِهِ يَومَ القيامة

When Allah wants good for His slave He hastens punishment for him in this life, and when He wants evil for His slave He holds back from him (the punishment) for his sin until He comes with it on the Day of Resurrection.” [Sahih al Jamie’ no.308]

Shaikh Bin ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah) said:

“The Punishment in this life is of different kinds, they are as follows:

1- Punishment related to the religion and this is the worst kind, such as the punishment for: leaving an obligatory act, or not to feel Ghira (anger) when Allah’s prohibitions have been violated, etc.

2- Punishment which befalls the self, such as sickness, etc.

3- Punishment  that befalls the family, such as loss of children, sicknesses that afflict them, etc.

4- Punishment that befalls the wealth and the property such as loss of wealth, destruction, etc.

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If Allah wills good for the slave,” so all these punishments are good for the slave.

لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ

“In order that they may (repent and) return (i.e. accept Islam or be good).” (Surat As-Sajdah 32:21)

The Prophet  (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) used to say after the Witr prayer:

سُبْحَانَ الُملِكُ القُدُّوس

“Glorified be (Allah) the King, al-Quddous (The One Who is Pure and free from all defects and defaults.”

He who purifies His slaves from their sins either by:

I. Taqdees Shar’i [legal purification] and that is through performing the acts of worship which Allah al-Malik has ordained [Salat, Siyam, Hajj,’Umrah,Sadaqah, etc..]

II. Taqdees Qadari [decreed purification] and that is through performing the acts of worship which Allah al-Malik has ordained [Sickness, loss of wealth, loss of job, etc..]

III. Taqdees Jaza’I [purification by recompense either in this is life or on the Day of Judgment]. When Allah al-Malik (the King) gives the Commands and the slave submits himself to the Will of Allah (Azza Wa Jall) and acts upon these commands and performs the good deeds, these good deeds may overcome his shortcomings and make him enter Paradise without punishment.

The Prophet (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If Allah (Azza Wa Jall) wants good for His slave, He purifies him before his death.” They (the companions said): “What is the purification of the slave?” He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Allah will inspire him to perform a good deed and then He will take his soul (when he I performing that good deed).” [Sahih al-Jamie no. 306]

In another narration, he (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If Allah wants good for His slave He would use him.” They said: “How would Allah use him?” He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If He would open a gate for him to do a good deed before his death, until all who around him will be please with him.” [Sahih al-Jamie 304]

These are all kinds of Tagdees Shar’i:

But if the slave’s good deeds are not enough to purify him, what will Allah do to him? As Allah’s Messenger (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “When Allah wants good for His slave He hastens the punishment for him in this life, and when He wants evil for His slave He holds back from him (the punishment for his sin) until the Day of Judgment.”

These are Taqdees Qadari and Jaza’i:

He (Salla-Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) also said:A Muslim, male or female, continues to remain under trial in respect of his life, property and offspring of his life till he or she faces Allah the Exalted, in a state that he or she has no sin in his or her record.” [At-Tirmidhi]

d- To know about the great reward that Allah (Azza Wa Jall) promised for the afflicted person if he shows patience. Allah (Azza Wa Jall) said in Surat az-Zumar (39:10):

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

“Only those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full, without reckoning.”

All Praise be to Allah.

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