A Destiny Decreed
Insights into destiny and what Islam teaches regarding it.
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful Allah.
Indeed all praise be to Allah. We praise Him, seek His help, seek His forgiveness and believe in Him. We seek refuge in Him from the evil of our selves and the evil of our deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides, no one can misguide. And whomsoever He sets astray, no one can guide.
We bear witness there is no god but Allah, who is Alone, without any partners for Him, and we bear witness Muhammad ﷺ is His slave and Messenger, blessings and peace be upon him.
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
O you who have believed, have Taqwa [i.e. be cautious of] Allah the caution He deserves and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. (Al Qur’an, Family of Imran, 3:102)
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ اتَّقُوا رَبَّكُمُ الَّذِي خَلَقَكُم مِّن نَّفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ وَخَلَقَ مِنْهَا زَوْجَهَا وَبَثَّ مِنْهُمَا رِجَالًا كَثِيرًا وَنِسَاءً ۚ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ الَّذِي تَسَاءَلُونَ بِهِ وَالْأَرْحَامَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلَيْكُمْ رَقِيبًا
O mankind, be cautious your Lord, who created you from one self and created from it its mate and spread from both of them many men and women. And be cautious of Allah , through whom you ask one another, and the wombs [the ties of blood]. Indeed Allah is ever, over you, an Observer. (Al Qur’an, the Women, 4:1)
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا * يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا
O you who have believed, be cautious of Allah and speak straightforward speech. He will set right for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly won a magnificent success. (Al Qur’an, the Combined Forces, 33:70–71)
Honorable Muslims, part of a Muslim’s belief is the qadr, the predestination. Allah ta’Ala knows already what is to happen, and His knowledge encompasses everything.
The belief in Destiny
إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ * وَمَا أَمْرُنَا إِلَّا وَاحِدَةٌ كَلَمْحٍ بِالْبَصَرِ
Indeed, all things We created with predestination (or a measure). And Our command is but one, like a blink of the eye. (Al Qur’an, the Moon, 54:49–50)
Allah mentions about Maryam, the mother of Jesus (peace be upon him and her):
قَالَتْ أَنَّىٰ يَكُونُ لِي غُلَامٌ وَلَمْ يَمْسَسْنِي بَشَرٌ وَلَمْ أَكُ بَغِيًّا * قَالَ كَذَٰلِكِ قَالَ رَبُّكِ هُوَ عَلَيَّ هَيِّنٌ ۖ وَلِنَجْعَلَهُ آيَةً لِّلنَّاسِ وَرَحْمَةً مِّنَّا ۚ وَكَانَ أَمْرًا مَّقْضِيًّا
She said, “How can I have a boy while no man has touched me and I have not been unchaste?” He said, “Thus [it will be]; your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, and We will make him a sign to the people and a mercy from Us. And it is a matter decreed.’” (Al Qur’an, Mary, 19:20–21)
The Prophet ﷺ said, as narrated by Abu Huraira:
احْرِصْ عَلَى مَا يَنْفَعُكَ وَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَلاَ تَعْجِزْ وَإِنْ أَصَابَكَ شَىْءٌ فَلاَ تَقُلْ لَوْ أَنِّي فَعَلْتُ كَانَ كَذَا وَكَذَا . وَلَكِنْ قُلْ قَدَرُ اللَّهِ وَمَا شَاءَ فَعَلَ فَإِنَّ لَوْ تَفْتَحُ عَمَلَ الشَّيْطَانِ
Be keen on what benefits you and seek help from Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, “if only I had done such and such” rather say “Qadarullaha wa ma sha’a fa’al (Allah has decreed and whatever he willed, He did).” For indeed (saying) ‘If’ opens (the way) to the work of Satan.’”(Muslim, 2664)
When something negative hits you, don’t say “if only I had done this this wouldn’t have happened”, but say “Allah has decreed and whatever He wills He does.” Accept Allah’s decree and be pleased with it.
Allah knows the past, present and future
Honorable Muslims, the qadr, destiny, is part of the perfection of Allah’s knowledge. Nothing escapes His knowledge, what is past and what is to come. He knows everything, past, present and future. Allah says:
وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ
And Allah is Knowing of all things. (Al Qur’an, the Light, 24:64)
لَّا يَضِلُّ رَبِّي وَلَا يَنسَى
My Lord neither errs nor forgets. (Al Qur’an, Taha, 20:52)
Destiny has been written down
Indeed Allah has recorded what is to happen and what has happened.
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ كُنْتُ خَلْفَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَوْمًا فَقَالَ “ يَا غُلاَمُ إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ احْفَظِ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ احْفَظِ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَكَ إِذَا سَأَلْتَ فَاسْأَلِ اللَّهَ وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللَّهِ وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الأُمَّةَ لَوِ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ لَكَ وَلَوِ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ رُفِعَتِ الأَقْلاَمُ وَجَفَّتِ الصُّحُفُ ”
Ibn ‘Abbas narrated: I was behind the Prophet ﷺ one day when he said: ‘O boy! I will teach you some words: Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you. Be mindful of Allah and you will find Him before you. When you ask, ask Allah, and when you seek aid, seek Allah’s aid. And know that if the nation were to gather together to benefit you with anything, they would not benefit you except with what Allah had already written for you. And if they were to gather together to harm you with anything, they would not harm you except with what Allah had already prescribed against you. The pens have been lifted and the pages have dried..’” (Tirmizi, 2516, who said it is Hasan Sahih)
Ubada bin As-Samit narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say:
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ الْقَلَمَ فَقَالَ لَهُ اكْتُبْ فَجَرَى بِمَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ إِلَى الْأَبَدِ
Verily, the first to be created by Allah was the pen. Allah told it to write, so it flowed (given meaning — it wrote) what will be until forever (Tirmizi: 3319, who said it is Hasan Sahih Ghareeb)
Ubada bin As-Samit narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say:
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ مَا خَلَقَ اللَّهُ الْقَلَمَ فَقَالَ اكْتُبْ . فَقَالَ مَا أَكْتُبُ قَالَ اكْتُبِ الْقَدَرَ مَا كَانَ وَمَا هُوَ كَائِنٌ إِلَى الأَبَدِ ” . قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ غَرِيبٌ مِنْ هَذَا الْوَجْهِ
Verily the first of what Allah created was the Pen. He said: ‘Write”. It said ‘What shall I write?” He said “Write Al Qadr (the destiny), what has been and what shall be, until forever.”(Tirmizi, 6:2155, who said its isnad is Ghareeb, Sahih — Darussalam, sahih — Zubair `Aliza’i, Daif — Al Albani)
Allah Created Everything, both good and evil.
Honorable Muslims, Allah created everything, including those who can do evil and cause harm, Allah says:
قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الْفَلَقِ * مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of daybreak. From the evil of that which He created (Al Qur’an, the Daybreak, 113:1–2)
But Allah is not evil, exalted is He above such a claim! The Prophet ﷺ would say:
وَالْخَيْرُ كُلُّهُ فِي يَدَيْكَ وَالشَّرُّ لَيْسَ إِلَيْكَ
All goodness is in Your hand and evil is not to you (evil cannot be attributed to You — one interpretation) Muslim 771a
He creates both good men and evil men, and gives choices for good and evil, even though He prefers the good and not the evil.
وَلَا يَرْضَىٰ لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ
He is not satisfied with disbelief from His slaves. (Al Qur’an, the Troops, 39:7)
He gives people the choice, as a test for them.
Whatever Allah wills happens and what He does not will does not happen
Honorable Muslims, whatever Allah wills happens. Narrated Abu Musa, the Prophet ﷺ said:
لاَ حَوْلَ وَلاَ قُوَّةَ إِلاَّ بِاللَّهِ
There is no power and no strength except with Allah (Bukhari, 6384)
The intelligent person understands that true victory, true power, true might is with Allah. That the religion and the way of Allah and the party of Allah will be the victors. Allah says:
أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
Unquestionably, the party of Allah — they are the successful. (Al Qur’an, the Pleading Woman, 58:22)
So take Him as an ally, and walk along His straight path. Side yourself with Allah, and His Messengers, and the believers, even if the believers may appear to be in a weak position, Allah is with them. Allah says:
وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
And that Allah is with the believers. (Al Qur’an, the Spoils of War, 8:19)
كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَأَغْلِبَنَّ أَنَا وَرُسُلِي ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَوِيٌّ عَزِيزٌ
Allah has written, “I will surely overcome, I and My messengers.” Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might. (Al Qur’an, the Pleading Woman, 58:21)
Honorable Muslims, what Allah does not will will never happen. He is not a god who lacks power and authority over His creation. Allah says through the words of Hud alaihis salam:
مَّا مِن دَابَّةٍ إِلَّا هُوَ آخِذٌ بِنَاصِيَتِهَا ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي عَلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
There is no creature but that He holds its forelock. Indeed, my Lord is on a path [that is] straight.” (Al Qur’an, Hud, 11:56)
The Prophet ﷺ said in a dua:
My forelock is in Your Hand (i.e. you have control over me). (Ahmad 1/391, and Al-Albani graded it authentic.)
This much I say, and I seek Allah’s forgiveness for me and you and the rest of the Muslims. Seek Allah’s forgiveness. He is the Extremely Forgiving, the always Merciful.
Praise be to Allah whose knowledge encompasses everything, and who has written down everything. Honorable Muslims, be cautious of Allah the caution He deserves. Allah says:
وَكُلُّ شَيْءٍ فَعَلُوهُ فِي الزُّبُرِ * وَكُلُّ صَغِيرٍ وَكَبِيرٍ مُّسْتَطَرٌ
And everything they did is in books. And every small and great is inscribed. (Al Qur’an, 54:52–53)
Indeed destiny is part of the belief of Muslims. Angel Jibril asked the Prophet ﷺ about iman and he mentioned destiny in the answer.
قَالَ فَأَخْبِرْنِي عَنِ الإِيمَانِ . قَالَ ” أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلاَئِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ ”
He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Prophet ﷺ) replied: That you believe in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Last day, and you belief in the Destiny, its good and its evil. (Muslim. 8a)
مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ إِلَّا بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَمَن يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ يَهْدِ قَلْبَهُ
No disaster strikes except by permission of Allah . And whoever believes in Allah — He will guide his heart. (Al Qur’an, the Mutual Disillusion, 64:11)
مَا أَصَابَ مِن مُّصِيبَةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي أَنفُسِكُمْ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مِّن قَبْلِ أَن نَّبْرَأَهَا ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ * لِّكَيْلَا تَأْسَوْا عَلَىٰ مَا فَاتَكُمْ وَلَا تَفْرَحُوا بِمَا آتَاكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يُحِبُّ كُلَّ مُخْتَالٍ فَخُورٍ
No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a Book before We bring it into being — indeed that, for Allah , is easy — In order that you not feel sad over what has eluded you and not rejoice over what He has given you. And Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful (Al Qur’an, the Iron, 57:22)
Honorable Muslims, we spoke about destiny in this khutbah. The belief in destiny can revolutionize us as human beings. It gives us peace. It gives us satisfaction. It saves us from going to extremes in sadness and joy. When we realize what was to hit us can never escape us, in good or bad, it gives us a sense of peace.
When things reach us beyond our control and determination, we can say ‘this is from Allah’ and we are satisfied with it. We are satisfied with our Lord. We are satisfied with His decree.
Abu Sa’id al-Khudri reported the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying:
مَنْ قَالَ رَضِيتُ بِاللَّهِ رَبًّا وَبِالإِسْلاَمِ دِينًا وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولاً وَجَبَتْ لَهُ الْجَنَّةُ
If anyone says “I am pleased with Allah as Lord, with Islam as religion and with Muhammad (ﷺ) as Messenger” Paradise will be obligatory for him.
(Abu Dawud, 1529, Sahih — Al Albani)
For being satisfied with Allah in times of ease and difficulty, and joy and sadness is a lofty goal. It is of the quality of the people of Jannah.
رَّضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمْ وَرَضُوا عَنْهُ
Allah being pleased with them and they with Him. (Al Qur’an, the Clear Proof, 98:8)
Belief in destiny does not mean we don’t have a free choice, or that we are not responsible for our actions. We are. We have free will. Free choice. But it is to know that Allah knows everything and has power over everything.
The Final Words
Dear Muslims, you should sent blessings and peace upon the Prophet ﷺ. Allah says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Indeed Allah and His angels bless the Prophet. O you who have believed, bless him and greet him with greeting of peace. (Al Qur’an, the Combined Forces, 33:56)
O Allah, bless Muhammad, and the family of Muhammad, as you blessed Ibrahim, and the family of Ibrahim, indeed You are the Praiseworthy, the Glorious.
O Allah, be pleased upon the rightly guided caliphs, Abu Bakr, and Umar, and Uthman and Ali, and upon the Sahabas, all of them. O Allah grant honor to Islam and Muslims. O Allah disgrace shirk and the mushrikeen. O Allah grant us good in this world, and in the hereafter good and protect us from the punishment of the fire. O Allah make our best deeds our last deeds, and grant us a good end, and join us with those whom you had bestowed favour, the Prophets, the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous, and excellent are those as companions.
Slaves of Allah, may Allah have mercy upon you.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. (Al Qur’an, the Bee, 16:90)
Establish the prayer.