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Fate - how would one interpret it?

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Author Topic: Fate - how would one interpret it?  (Read 1429 times)
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« on: July 23, 2010, 09:50:55 am »


Frequent visitors of this website would recall that we have already had several discussions on this topic on different threads.  That itself highlights its importance.  
A few days ago I came across some Quranic verses in Surah Nissa, and it reminded me yet again that we are responsible for our fate, something which I've always emphasized in all previous discussions involving fate and destiny.  
Another reason I brought this up yet again is because this time I intend to keep it brief which will help readers to understand it better.
The universal concept is that God Almighty ordains the fate of every person from start to finish.  Subsequently many people often get muddled up with a standard confusion.  They ask, if fate is firmly pre-ordained by the Divine Power, then why blame anyone for their faults, blunders or even their misguidance?  
Let's check what's being overlooked in the above concept.

"Yet if a happy thing befalleth them they say: This is from Allah; and if an evil thing befalleth them they say: This is of thy doing (O Muhammad). Say (unto them): All is from Allah. What is amiss with these people that they come not nigh to understand a happening ?"   (4:78)
"Whatever of good befalleth thee (O man) it is from Allah, and whatever of ill befalleth thee it is from thyself. We have sent thee (Muhammad) as a messenger unto mankind and Allah is sufficient as Witness."  (4:79)

Plesse focus on the underlined words of the above two verses.  Those folks with little understanding of fate and how it's ordained, would be quick to misconstrue these lines by saying that they are "contradictory."  But needless to say, these lines are not contradictory.   There's nothing in the Quran that's ever been found to contradict its principles.
The most appropriate interpretation of these two verses constitute the shortest, clearest and most comprehensive explanation of fate that clarifies the standard confusion of shallow minds.  
The two verses of the Quran quoted above refer to the reverse which the Muslim army suffered at the Battle of Uhad, which was an outcome of their own disobedience to the battlefield instructions of the Prophet (SAAW).  Their disobedience led to a near-defeat situation and thus Allah allowed the odds to fall upon them as a lesson for the future.  Therefore, the judgment of Allah which ordains fate is based upon the intent / conduct /  behaviour of the people, making each one of us directly responsible for our fate.

Verse 4:88 of Surah An-Nissa is another clear example of humans being responsible for shaping their fate based on the Judgment of Allah.  "What aileth you that ye are become two parties regarding the hypocrites, when Allah cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they earned ?"  According to historical reports, this verse refers not to the main group of hypocrites of Medinah, but to another particular group of alleged converts from among the Arabs who later relapsed to idolatry and concerning whom there were two opinions among the Muslims.  Please note and reflect upon the underlined words of this verse.  Concerning those alleged converts, their act of returning to idolatry was a part of their fate ordained by Allah, but it came as a result of their own insincerity and disloyalty.

To say that Allah ordains fate from beginning to the end is correct but not quite in the way we think it to be.  Indeed, Allah ordains our fate, but He ordains it gradually, step by step, on the basis of our motives and deeds.   This aspect is also vividly expressed in Verse 13:11, "Lo! Allah changeth not the condition of a folk until they (first) change that which is in their hearts;"  Thus, our fate is constructed and adjusted by Allah as an after-effect of our worldly actions, making us fully accountable for our deeds.

Furthermore, Verse 13:11 also confirms the freedom of choosing their path of conduct bestowed upon humans by Allah.  What one needs to remember is that Allah has every Power to intervene into our decisions and choices anytime He pleases, and indeed He does intervene whenever He deems proper, the reasons of which are only known to Him.  But generally as per the Law and Will of Allah, human beings make their own decisions leading to the course of their life, fate and destiny ordained by Allah.  In other words, the ordainment of fate by Allah is the outcome of human thoughts and acts, except in those cases where Allah decides to intervene for other reasons which only He knows.  

In plain terms, fate can be described as 'what goes around, comes around.'
"Whoso interveneth in a good cause will have the reward thereof, and whoso interveneth in an evil cause will bear the consequence thereof.  Allah overseeth all things."  (4:85)
Praise be to Allah Almighty.

Links to many more discussions on fate and destiny given below:

Fate and Destiny - How would one interpret this?

We cannot say that we are not responsible for our fate


More on fate, and how Allah preordains it

On Fate and Destiny
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 06:39:38 am »

Interesting points. I have taken fate as a simple definition of Allah's Omniscience, and His ability to act in the world as He chooses as well.

Your article makes a more comprehensive outlook based on the Quran. Thanks

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