1) Believing in Al-Qadar (The Divine Decree of Allaah) is one of the pillars of faith and cannot be accomplished except with the belief that:
i. The knowledge of Allaah is comprehensive.
ii. This knowledge was written in the Al-Lawh Al-Mahfoodh (The Preserved Tablet).
iii. Whatever Allaah wills shall certainly occur.
iv. Allaah created everything.
2) How a servant of Allaah should react towards unpleasant things happening to him.
All praise is due to Allaah, Who has comprehended everything by His Knowledge. He has power over all things. For all things Allaah has appointed a due proportion and a fixed term according to His knowledge and wisdom. He is the Most Wise and He is acquainted with all things. I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah, with Whom there are no partners in divinity, creation, governance or regulation. I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, the bearer of glad tidings and the warner, the Lamp spreading light. May Allaah bless him, his family, his companions and all those who sincerely follow them until the Day of Return.
O people! Fear Allaah and believe in His Divine Decree and Destiny. Belief in the Divine Decree of Allaah is one of the pillars of faith. The faith of a servant will be incomplete unless he believes in the Divine Decree, whether good or bad. This belief cannot be completely fulfilled unless the servant of Allaah believes in four things:
Firstly: That Allaah’s knowledge is comprehensive, for Allaah has full knowledge of everything. He knows all things, significant or insignificant, public or private. Nothing on the earth or in the heavens is hidden from Allaah.
Secondly: That Allaah has recorded in His Preserved Tablet the decree of everything that will occur until the Day of Resurrection, fifty thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “The first thing which Allaah created was the Pen. Then He ordered it to write. The Pen asked ‘What should I write?’ Allaah said: ‘Write down everything that will occur until the Day of Judgment.’”
What is ordained for man will definitely befall him, and that which is not ordained for him shall never befall him. The records have dried and the pen has been lifted after recording the destinies of humanity and the destinies have begun to become realised. Allaah, the Exalted and Glorified, said that which translates as: “No disaster strikes upon the earth or within yourselves except that it is in a register [i.e., The Preserved Tablet] before we bring it into being – indeed that, for Allaah, is easy. In order that you not despair over what has eluded you and not exult [in pride] over what He has given you. And Allaah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.” (Al Hadeed: 22-23).
Therefore, a servant should be content with Allaah’s Decree, even if it goes against his wishes, as Allaah’s Decree can never be averted. Gratification lies in receiving the decree of Allaah with contentment whilst acknowledging that all things come from Allaah and that He has the ultimate command and absolute power over His creatures.
When a person accepts Allaah as his Lord and is content with Him, he gets an immense reward in this life and the Hereafter. If a man observes patience during afflictions, Allaah will guide his heart and give him comfort and contentment. He will alleviate the effect of the afflictions on him due to the man’s anticipation of Allaah’s reward for his patience. On the Day of Resurrection, he will find the reward for his patience at a time when rewards are most desperately needed. Allaah says that which translates as: “…Indeed the patient will be given their reward without account [i.e., limit].”
Just as Allaah has recorded in the Preserved Tablet, or Al-Lawh Al- Mahfoodh, the decree of all things, He as decreed that on Laylat Al-Qadr, or the Night of Decree, all the decrees and events for the forthcoming year are determined. Allaah, the Exalted and Glorified says that which translates as: “Therein [i.e., on that night] is made apportioned every precise matter.” (Ad-Dukhaan: 4).
Allaah also decrees the destiny of a person whilst they are in the womb of their mother. ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that Allaah's Apostle sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, the truthful and truly inspired said: “(The matter of the creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allaah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature’s) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in the Hereafter). Then the soul is breathed into him. So a man amongst you may do (good) deeds till there is only a cubit between him and Paradise and then what has been written for him decides his behaviour and he starts doing (evil) deeds characteristic of the people of the Hellfire. And similarly a man amongst you may do (evil) deeds till there is only a cubit between him and the Hellfire, and then what has been written for him decides his behaviour, and he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise.”
According to another Hadeeth which explains the previous one, it seems that the man, who initially performed the deeds that are characteristic of the people of Paradise, and ended up performing the deeds that are characteristic of the people of the Hellfire, only performed those good deeds with the intention of showing off. He was not sincere in doing such deeds purely for the sake of Allaah. Therefore, for this reason, the conclusion of his life was terrible.
Thirdly: That Allaah’s Will prevails over all others and that His Power is far superior to all others. Nobody can will anything except that it is within the overall Will of Allaah; the Cherisher of the Worlds. Allaah has full power and control over His affairs; but most among humanity are ignorant of this.
Fourthly: That Allaah is the Creator, ruler and regulator of everything that exists. There is nothing in the universe, big or small, in motion or stationary except that it is subject to Allaah’s Will and creation. As human beings, sometimes we can appreciate the wisdom behind some of His creations, and at other times we cannot, but this does not have any bearing on the fact that Allaah created each and everything.
I implore Allaah by His beautiful Names and sublime Attributes to make you all and me content with Him as a Lord and Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as His Prophet. May Allaah decree for us that which entails our success in the worldly life and the Hereafter, for He is Most Generous and Supreme in Honour.