Qada’ and Qadar are one of the pillars of Islam. This is the belief of fate and destiny. Although these two words are used interchangeably, depending on the context, they do have their individual definitions.
Qada/Qadha refers to Decree. Whereas, Qadr/Qadar refers to destiny. The reason why they are used interchangably is because destiny (Qadr) is based upon Allah’s decrees (Qada’). What this basically sums down to is that Allah (s.w.t) is the All-Powerful and the All-Knowing and nothing in this world happens except by the will of Allah (s.w.t). But this is not to be confused with a loss of free will. Yes, everything is destined and determined by Allah (s.w.t) but Allah (s.w.t) gives us free will. He allows us to make our own decisions and our own choices. And all the choices that we make are within Allah (s.w.t)’s knowledge as well.
According to a hadith, narrated by At-Tirmithee and Abu Daquud, Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said
“Verily, the first thing Allah created was the pen. He said to it : ‘Write.’. It replied: ‘My Lord, what should I write?’ So He said: ‘Write all that will occur.’ So in that hour, everything that will occur until the Day of Recompense was recorded.”
The concept of this all is that as Muslims, we have to accept (genuinely in our hearts) that Allah (s.w.t) has control over everything in this world. He has the most knowledge of our futures, of what is destined to be our futures. Everything that happens to us, the events in our life, everything has been decreed by Allah (s.w.t).
Now, this is where it gets difficult for us mere mortals. The loss of control, the lack of a grasp of control over our lives. As someone who is a control-freak, I have definitely had my own inner battles with Qada’ and Qadr. It was not that I did not accept destiny and Allah (s.w.t)’s decree, but it was rather my resistance it.
Our lives on this Earth is temporary. On one fateful day, we will return to our creator : Allah (s.w.t).
“Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return” (Holy Quran 2:156)
In this temporary life, we must accept that Allah (s.w.t) has control over everything around us. He has control over our hands, our lives and the world’s rotation. He has control over everything. But He gives us free will, so that we can make our own choices : choices that are either for Allah (s.w.t) or against Allah (s.w.t). Verily, he is the All-Knowing and He knows what choice we make.
With that understanding that Allah (s.w.t) has control over everything, it means that we have control of nothing at all. That does not mean stop trying, it just means : surrender yourself to the Almighty. Surrender your heart to Allah (s.w.t). All that we can do is to be patient and trust Allah (s.w.t) and Allah (s.w.t)’s plan for us. It may not be what we want, or what we think is the best but surely Allah (s.w.t) knows what is best for us. All our hardships and trials are there for a reason, it is a true sign of love that Allah (s.w.t) has for us. We must believe that. We must believe. Allah (s.w.t) loves us, He will never be against us. He will always guide us, when we are lost. He will always forgive us, when we repent. He will always be with us. Therefore, we must surrender to Him. Make prostration (sujood) to Him and let go of everything. Hand all your worries and fears to Him, and surely He will take care of you.
Whatever that you may be going through in life right now, know that this is all a test from Allah (s.w.t). And He tests us because He wants us to grow, to be stronger, to strengthen our Iman and Taqwa. And once you surrender to Allah (s.w.t) and trust His plan for you, your heart will be filled with inner peace, that Allah (s.w.t) grants for you. Therefore, believe in fate, believe in His plan and destiny for you. Be patient and trust Allah (s.w.t). Ameen.