Even if something did not happen, Allah knows what would have happened had it occurred. Allah loves His servants and wants us to draw closer to Him.
Arzaq hesitated at the door of my room before she entered, her dark eyes locked on to mine through the tiny slit in her niqab as she approached my bed. I had not been able to muster a word since the night before, as fever had taken over and I hadn’t much to say but I gave her a nod and returned her salaams. My friend had brought her for a visit. She pulled up a chair and began to tell me her story. She was from Al Arish in the Sinai, and had come to the crowded city of Cairo with her husband who was a professor at Al-Azhar University. They had three children together. After two boys she was thrilled with the baby girl she was cuddling in her lap that fateful day when the driver made a wrong move. Their car went screeching across the road into oncoming traffic; her husband, who was blind, had been in the front seat. She woke up in her hospital bed with her breasts engorged so she cried out for her baby. The room was silent. “What’s wrong? Where am I?”she asked. Family gathered around her giving words of comfort in hushed tones, “inna lillahi wa inna lillahi raja’un.” Her husband and baby had returned to their Lord.
And the Command of Allah is a decree determined (Al-‘Ahzab:38)
As I looked at her, my tears gently tapped on my pillow. May Allah bless her for being that rope; a reminder that things can always be worse and that others understand your pain. Sisterhood is such a blessing. I believe Allah sent her to me with His words of comfort.
But (you met) so that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained (in His Knowledge) (Al-‘Anfal:42)
I placed my hand on my belly. My baby boy Mohamed had passed away. I knew instinctively when he stopped moving as I began the 9th month of my pregnancy. From his death, toxemia had entered my blood. They were unable to induce my labour so as my fever began to increase, the doctors began to scurry around. I watched them in silence as they prepped me for an emergency c-section to save my life.
It took me a whole year to recuperate fully, but longer than that to realise that there was nothing I could have done to change the qadr of Allah. “If only I would have…”, “Maybe if I…” were phrases that popped through my mind but it had been written for that baby when the angel breathed his soul into his tiny perfect little body.
Knowing is a relief.
When any baby has lived for forty days in the womb, Allah sends an angel to breathe a soul into him. Then the angel is commanded to write four decrees (qadr): the baby’s provision, his lifespan, his deeds, and whether he will be doomed or blessed (in the Hereafter).
On Laylat Al –Qadr, the Night of Power, the decree for the year is sent down from Al-Lauh al-Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet). All of the details of who will return to his Lord and who will remain and what their rizq (provision) will be is transferred to the angel’s book. Also the details of the years’ rain, how much and where is inscribed. That means that my son’s name had been written down as the one who would return to his Lord while I would remain behind.
Verily we have created all things with qadr (Al-Qamar:49)
Al Lauh al Mahfooz was written well before Adam was created. ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Aas said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say: “Allah wrote down the decrees of creation fifty thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth.” He said: “And His throne was upon the water.” (Muslim)
Yes He surely is able to do all things. (Al-‘Ahqaf:33)
What is qadr?
The linguistic meaning of the word ‘qadr’ implies ability or power, which exists in the knowledge of Allah. (Fath al-Baari). Different forms of the word are among Allah’s names and attributes: Al-Qaadir (The Able), Al Qadeer (The All-Powerful), Al-Muqtadir (The Omnipotent, Able to do all things) and Qudrah (capability) is one of Allah’s attributes.
Ibn Abbaas said, “qadr is the essence of tawheed. Whoever worships Allah, the Almighty, alone and believes in qadr has perfected his tawheed, but whoever worships Allah alone but does not believe in qadr destroys his tawheed by this disbelief.” (Majmoo’ al-Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam)
Ibn Hajjar said in his definition of qadr, “What is meant is that Allah knows how things will be and when they will happen, before He initiates them. Then He creates that which He already knows will happen. Hence everything that happens stems from His knowledge, power and will.” (Fath al-Baari)
So how does a Muslim believe in qadr?
There are four pillars which need to be understood for the correct belief in qadr.
1. The knowledge of Allah is all-encompassing
2. Allah has written in Al-Lauh al-Mahfooz (the Preserved Tablet) everything that will come to pass until the Day of Resurrection.
3. In the perfect power and will of Allah; nothing happens except by His will.
4. Allah has created everything that exists, and Allah has no partner in His creation.
Even if something did not happen, Allah knows what would have happened had it occurred. Allah loves His servants and wants us to draw closer to Him. I understand that my baby passing away was best for him and I. After all, Allah knows our circumstances better than we do.
It is Allah who is Al ‘Aleem, (the All-Knowing), Al Khabeer (the All-Aware), Al-Samee’ (the All Hearing), Al Baseer (the All-Seeing). Nothing escapes His knowledge. (At-Talaq:12) To not believe in qadr, is to reject the power of Allah, to say that He is not in control. It means you think you know better than Allah does, negating belief in La illaha illa Allah.
Allah knows when it is time to test us and by what means. You may be sad about what has happened and it may take time for the pain to pass but it’s the patience at the initial time of a test that shows deep faith and brings great rewards.
My baby is in the heavens praying for me and my family. Perhaps he will be the way for us to enter heaven. Arzaq and I are still friends, although I hardly ever see her. She lost her second oldest son in the revolution which overthrew Mubarak, yet whenever I have seen her she always has a smile and a kind word.
May Allah help us to accept our qadr and to strive for His cause in everything we do.
Divine Will and Predestination, In the Light of Qur’an and Sunah, Dr. ‘Umar S. al-Ashqar
Ann (Umameer) Stock reverted to Islam 27 years ago and lives back and forth between Cairo and Jeddah with her Egyptian husband. She wants to help the next generation of Muslims understand more about their faith. You can follow her at http://umameerblog.wordpress.com/ Musings of a Muslimah