The Four Levels Of Belief In Qadar (Destiny)
This is continuation from last week’s post about Qadar and Qadaa, Destiny and Decree.
And last week’s post is an extension of an earlier article I wrote called Fate and Destiny in Islam.
I mentioned that there are four levels of belief in Qadr (Destiny). If you attain these four levels of belief, then your belief in Qadr is complete, Inshallah.
The four levels are:
- Belief in Allah’s Knowledge.
- Belief in the writing or recording of this knowledge.
- Belief in Allah’s will.
- Belief that Allah is the Creator of everything.
Before going further, I want to stress that these levels of belief in destiny are not set in stone. Actually, if you believe in any of these four levels properly, then you will believe in all of the other levels as well.
Furthermore, these four levels are not a codified part of the Islamic religion; that is, they are not mentioned specifically in the Quran or Sunnah like the 5 Pillars of Islam or the Six Articles of Faith in Islam.
These levels were identified by different Islamic scholars of the past. So if you did not know them before, don’t be concerned that your faith was in jeopardy.
However, if you deny any of these levels of belief in Qadr, then your understanding of Tawheed, or Islamic monotheism, is deficient.
Belief In Allah’s Knowledge
It was previously established that belief in Qadar, Destiny, is an essential part of Muslim beliefs. This is verified in the famous Hadith of Jibreel when he (prayers be upon him) asked Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “What is Faith?”
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) replied that Faith was:
- Belief in Allah.
- Belief in His Angels.
- Belief in His Books.
- Belief in His Messengers.
- Belief in the Last Day.
- Belief in Destiny, the good of it and the bad of it.
From this and from many other proofs, it is obvious that one cannot have complete faith unless one believes in Qadr (Destiny).
And to believe in Qadr, one must believe that Allah has knowledge of EVERYTHING.
He knows what has happened.
He knows what is happening.
He knows what will happen.
NOTHING escapes His knowledge.
He knows what is hidden and what is evident, as the Quran states:
He is Allah , other than whom there is no deity, Knower of the unseen and the evident. He is the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
Chapter 59, Verse 23.
There are some Islamic sects that deny Allah’s knowledge. They say that Allah doesn’t know anything until right before it happens.
These beliefs limit Allah’s knowledge and infer that Allah is ignorant of certain things. This is a blasphemous belief and I encourage you to stay away from such thoughts.
I can document proof after proof of Allah’s complete knowledge, but I don’t believe that is necessary. There is one specific verse from the Quran that beautifully sums up Allah’s knowledge and should leave no doubt in your mind of its perfection.
And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darkness of the earth and nothing wet or dry but that it is in a clear record.
Chapter 6, verse 59
A few things to take note of from this verse:
- Not only does Allah know those things that we can see and observe, but He also knows those things we cannot see like the angels, the jinn, heaven and hell.
- He knows the big things such as those things that happen on land and in the sea.
- He knows the little things that do not matter to us, like a single leaf falling from a tree. To me, this is a powerful example of Allah’s perfect knowledge. He knows of every single leaf falling from every single tree in every part of the world. This should also be a reminder to you that nothing you do, good or bad, escapes His knowledge.
- He knows even the smallest grain, or molecule hidden deep within the darkest recesses of the earth or space.
- He knows the past and the future and the present.
- All of this knowledge has been recorded in a preserved tablet. This verifies what I mentioned above that correct belief in one of the levels of Qadr will give you correct belief in ALL of the levels of Qadr. Allah’s knowledge and the recording of that knowledge are related.
The Relationship Between Belief in Qadr and Belief in Allah’s Knowledge
Consider the following hadith:
Narrated Imran Ibn Husayn:
A man said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Are the people of paradise known from the people of the Fire?”
The Prophet replied: “Yes.”
The man said: “Why do people do good deeds?”
The Prophet said: “Everyone will do the deeds which are easy for him.”
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 595
There are several other hadiths like this and they confuse many Muslims. You might look at this hadith and wonder, what’s the point of doing good if it’s already been decided that I’m going to heaven or hell.
And that’s the misunderstanding. Your destiny is known to Allah. But it is not known to you.
And since you do not know where you’re going to end up, you should try to do as many good deeds as you can. If you do that, then you will only be doing those things which are easy for you, and you will be living out your destiny.
If you decide that there’s no reason to do good, and you begin to do evil habits, then you will only be doing those things which come easy to you and you will be living out your destiny.
You do not know your destiny until it actually happens. But Allah knew it long before.
Belief in Allah’s complete knowledge of all things, including your destiny (Qadr), should give you comfort when bad things happen, and gratitude when good things happen.
For if it happened with His knowledge, and it most certainly did, then there is wisdom and justice behind it, and it is connected to other parts of your destiny that have yet to unfold.
And Allah knows best.