There is no excuse in Qadr (divine decree) – Shaikh Uthaymeen

 

Shaikh Uthaymeen said in his Explanation of Thalaathatul Usool (translated by Abu Talhah Dawood ibn Ronald Burbank) p.184 – 192

 

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Belief in pre-decree as we have described it does not negate the fact that the servant has will (mashee’ah) and ability (qudrah) in those actions where he has a choice. Rather both the sharee’ah texts and the reality that is witnessed affirm this for him.

 

 

“So whoever wills shall act and prepare for the day when they return to their Lord.” [Soorah an-Naba (78):39]

 

 

“Enter your wives from any angle you wish.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2):223]

 

 

“And fear Allaah and fear His punishment, by doing whatever He has obligated, avoiding sins, and doing deeds that will draw one closer to Him, as much as you are able.” [Soorah at-Taghaabun (64): 16]

 

 

“Allaah does not place a burden on any soul greater than that it can bear. It will receive the good that it has earned and is accountable for the evil it has committed.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2):286]

 

 

In the reality that we witness, every person knows that he possesses will and ability, and through them is able to do or leave an action. Furthermore he knows that there is a difference between things that occur with his will, such as his walking along, and things that occur involuntarily, such as his trembling with fear. However the will and ability of the person exist by the Will and Ability/Power of Allaah, the Most High. Allaah, the Most High, says,

 

“For whoever from the creation wishes to follow the truth; and you will not wish it unless Allaah, the Lord of all creation, wishes that for you.” [Soorah at-Takweer (81):28-29]

 

Because all of the creation is part of the Dominion of Allaah, the Most High and there is nothing within His Dominion that exists without His Knowledge and Will. Also belief in pre-decree as we have described it does not provide any excuse for a person to abandon obligatory duties, or to commit sins, using the plea that this was pre-decreed for him. Such an argument is futile from a number of angles:

 

 

(i) The Saying of Allaah, the Most High,

 

“Those who worship others along with Allaah will say: *If Allaah had willed us to believe and worship Him alone, then we would not have worshipped others along with Him, nor would our forefathers; nor would we ourselves have declared things forbidden. So the fact that He did not prevent us shows that He is pleased with what we do’. In the same way did the evildoers before them deny and reject the truth, until our punishment came upon them. Say to them, O Muhammad: Do you have any proof that you can produce that Allaah is pleased with that?! Rather you are just following conjecture and inventing lies against Allaah.” [Soorah al-An’aam (6):148]

 

If they had been any excuse for them in pre-decree then Allaah would not have sent down His punishment upon them.

 

 

(ii) The Saying of Allaah, the Most High,

 

“Messengers who were sent with the good news of Allaah’s reward for those who obey Him, do as He commands and believe in His messengers, and warner’s of Allaah’s punishment, for those who disobey Allaah, contravene His commands and disbelieve in His messengers; so that those who disbelieve in Allaah and worship others besides Him may have no excuse to avoid punishment after the sending of the messengers, and Allaah is the All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Soorah an-Nisaa (4): 165]

 

If pre-decree were an excuse for the evildoers, then it would not be removed by the sending of the messengers, since their evil acts after the sending of the messengers would still be according to the pre-decree of Allaah, the Most High.

 

 

(iii) Al-Bukhaaree reports from ‘Alee ibn Abee Taalib, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, that the Prophet (sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) said: “There is not one of you except that his place in the Fire or in Paradise has already been written” So a man from the people said: “Shall we not just depend upon it, O Messenger of Allaah?” He replied: “No, act for everyone will have that made easy for him” (Then he recited Aayaat 5-10 of Soorah al-Layl). [Eng. transl. 8/392/no, 602]

 

In the wording reported by Muslim he said: “For everyone will have that which he was created for made easy for him” (Eng. transl. 4/1393/no. 6398). So the Prophet (Sallallahu alayhe wa sallam) commanded action and forbade inaction and dependence upon pre-decree.

 

 

(iv) Allaah, the Most High, gave the servant orders and prohibitions, and did not burden him except with that which he is capable of performing. Allaah, the Most High, says,

 

“And fear Allaah and fear His punishment by doing whatever He has obligated, avoiding sins and doing deeds that will draw one closer to Him – as much as you are able.” [Soorah at-Taghaabun (64): 16]

 

“Allaah does not place a burden on any soul greater than it can bear.” [Soorah al-Baqarah (2):286]

 

So if the servant was compelled to do (evil) actions, then he would have been duty bound with avoiding something which is impossible for him to avoid – and this is futile. Therefore it is the case that if he falls into a sin due to ignorance, forgetfulness or having been compelled then there is no sin upon him, as he is excused.

 

 

(v) Allaah’s pre-decree is a hidden secret that is not known except after what was decreed comes about; whereas the person’s will and desire in his deeds is something that precedes them. So his will to commit the actions is not based upon his having knowledge of what Allaah has decreed. Since this is the case it invalidates his attempt to use pre-decree as an excuse, because there is no proof for a person in something that he doesn’t know.

 

 

(vi) We see that in a person’s worldly affairs he strives to take care of that which is in his best interests, seeking to attain it; and he does not, instead, strive to attain what is not in his best interest and excuse himself in this with pre-decree. So why then does he turn away from what benefits him in the matter of his Religion, and instead does that which will harm him, and then use pre-decree as his excuse?! Are not these two matters the same?! We will quote an example to make this clear:

 

If a person stood at the head of two roads, one of them led to a land where there was total anarchy, killing and looting, destruction of property, fear and famine; and the second road led to a land of complete order, total stability and security, affluence, and where peoples live and property and wealth were respected, then which road will he take? He will certainly take the second road to the land of order and security. It is not possible that any sane person would take the road to the land of anarchy and fear and then use predecree as his excuse.

 

So why with regard to the affairs of the Hereafter does he take the road to the Fire and not the road to Paradise and seek to use pre-decree as his excuse?!

 

Another example is that of a sick person who is told to take a medicine that he does no like or desire so he drinks it; and he is told to refrain from some food that he likes to avoid its harm, so he refrains from it. He does all of this hoping to be cured and restored to wellbeing. It is not possible that he will abstain from drinking the medicine, and will eat the harmful food, and then seek to use pre-decree as his excuse in this.

 

So why does a person leave that which Allaah and His Messenger have commanded, or do that which Allaah forbade and His Messenger forbade and then seek to use pre-decree as an excuse?!

 

 

(vii) That the one who seeks to use Pre-Decree as an excuse for abandoning the obligatory duties or for committing sins, if a person were to transgress against him either stealing his wealth or violating his rights, and then sought to use Pre-Decree as an excuse for his actions, saying: ‘Don’t blame me since my transgression was something decreed by Allaah’ – then he would not accept this excuse from him.

 

So how is it that he will not accept Pre-Decree as an excuse for someone who transgresses against him, yet he himself seeks to use it as an excuse for himself when he transgresses against that which is the right of Allaah, the Most High?!

 

In this regard it is mentioned that a thief who deserved the punishment of having his hand amputated was brought before Ameer ul-Mumineen ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, radiyallaahu ‘anhu, so he ordered that his hand be amputated, so he said: “Wait. O chief of the Believers, I only stole by the pre-decree of Allaah.” So ‘Umar replied: “And we only amputate by the pre-decree of Allaah.”

 

 


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