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Belief in Destiny: Allah’s Knowledge

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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:

  1. Belief in Allah’s Knowledge.
  2. Belief in the writing or recording of this knowledge.
  3. Belief in Allah’s will.
  4. Belief that Allah is the Creator of everything.

Allah's knowledge encompasses everything, even the falling leaves
Photo courtesy moonlightbulb

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.

To increase your understanding of Allah’s knowledge and Qadr, listen to this audio from Suhaib Hasan.


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7 Responses to Belief in Destiny: Allah’s Knowledge

  1. Extermely interesting ,one of things which can easily improve your belief in Allah an Micheal Jackson story is an execellent example and reminder ,life without faith in Allah mounts to total failure .

  2. Thank you for this Article :) I just have some questions in regards to it- I believe that should a person perform good deeds, that it is wished by Allah. Whether this be by a person who is pure or one who has Sinned. Allah is the most merciful and most forgiving, and I wanted to try and seperate some myths from facts. I have heard that should a person who has Sinned, decide to redeem themself by carrying out good deeds in order to be granted Jannah then Allah takes that into consideration because he is the most forgiving. But if we have already been decided by Allah what our path is, then how does this work? Does this mean to say even the purest individual may not even be granted Jannah?

    Also, about some non-believers and/or those with low faith. My mother was born Catholic and reverted to Islam when she married my father who is Muslim. She is not practicing. My mother is extremely sick, and I read somewhere that people afflicted with ill health and sickness are granted Jannah. Is this a person born into ill health or someone who is unfortunately given ill health later in life? But after reading your article this would come across as incorrect and it seems as if nothing matters since it has already been decided for us, and it is something we will never know. Sorry. I am just trying to figure out what is untrue and what is correct. Thank you :)

    • As Salaamu Alaikum,

      You should not think that Allah has already decided what we are going to do. Were He to decide and force us to do certain things, then punish us for doing them, that would be a form of oppression and Allah does not oppress us.

      Instead, He KNOWS what we’re going to do. That is a big difference. He knows our actions yet He doesn’t force us to do what pleases Him. He has given us free will to do almost anything we want.

      I do not know why your mothers faith has fluctuated so much. Only Allah knows what’s truly on the hearts,

      Be patient with your mother, give her the respect she deserves, and give her good advice.

      Only Allah can guide the hearts, all we can do is spread the message.

  3. Choices and actions are ours, consequences rely on them and comes down from Allah accordingly. Just because HE knows doesn’t give anyone the right to sit back and say its pre ordained…your actions and choices are yours to make and that paves your destiny which happens to be known to Allah and doesnt mean he created your choices and action and if you end up in hell or heaven its because of your choices and intentions and what lies in your heart…intentions lead to choices, choices lead to action, actions lead to destiny and destiny leads to your final abode.

  4. Salaam brother ,

    You have explained the hadith (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 77, Number 595) which states that Allah has knowledge of all things(including people of hell/paradise) but you didn’t explained the hadith which you mentioned earlier(sahih bukhari: 4/54/430) which explicitly mentions “and then what has been written for him decides his behavior(which takes him to hell/paradise)” . I very well know the difference between the Knowledge and Decree but the above hadith clearly states that whatever was decreed has a clear effect on behaviour as you can see from the word “decides” or the word “overcomes/overtakes him” in hadith (Sahih Muslim ,Book 033, Number 6390).
    It will be nice of you if you explain these ahadiths with regards to the words I have highlighted.

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