By Mawlānā Ashraf Ali Thānawi
The belief that everything which happened, is happening and will happen is according to the knowledge, will and command of Allah (SWT) is called Taqdīr. Belief in Taqdīr is compulsory.
The advantages of belief in Taqdīr and Tawakkul (Trust in Allah) are as follows:
No matter what hardship or misfortune befalls one, it will be accepted without panic and the heart will remain strong in the face of such hardships. Strong belief in Taqdīr will indicate that Allah’s wish is in this occurrence and it cannot be opposed. The hardship will disappear only when so desired by Allah (SWT). Thus the man of Taqdīr accepts what comes his way with contented resignation.
One who has understood and accepted this conception of Taqdīr will not be overcome with frustration at the delay in the passing of the hardship. He will not become despondent and lose hope when the misfortune endures for any length of time. He will banish weakness.
The adherent of Taqdīr will not adopt unlawful ways and means of combating the difficulty, for he knows that the adversity has been brought about by Allah (SWT). He understands well that elimination of the hardship is not possible without the Will of Allah (SWT). He therefore realizes the futility of his efforts in trying to eliminate what Allah (SWT) has willed. He will thus not unnecessarily court the displeasure of Allah by the adoption of unlawful measures. Why court Allah’s wrath when one’s purpose cannot be achieved even after having displeased Him?
The believer in Taqdīr and Tawakkul will not rely solely on material and mundane measures, but will resort to du’a as well. He believes that nothing can be gained without His Will. He thus derives greater hope and strength by supplicating to Allah (SWT). An additional benefit of engaging in du’a is the strengthening of one’s relationship with Allah (SWT). A strong bond of love with Allah (SWT) is the basis of peace and all comfort.
The believer in Taqdīr will not attribute success, accomplishment and excellence to his efforts. He will attribute everything to the Will and Pleasure of Allah (SWT). He will thus be imbued with humility. Such a man will not be arrogant and haughty.
The summary of what has been said above is:
The believer in Taqdīr and Tawakkul will be grateful in times and occasions of success and prosperity, and he will be patient when failure and adversity overtake him. This is the great advantage which Allah (SWT) points to in the following verse:
“…so that you do not lose hope over what you have lost nor do you become elated because of what you have gained.” (Surat Hadīd)
The Islamic conception of Taqdīr should not be misconstrued and the essential and correct ways and means for worldly affairs should not be discarded on the pretext of resignation to Taqdīr. Discarding the lawful means and agencies which Allah (SWT) has created for worldly affairs is weakness as well as erroneous. Such error and weakness have been criticized in the hadith. Hadhrat `Awf bin Mālik (R) narrates that once when Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم decided a dispute, the one against whom the verdict went, exclaimed:
حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل
“Sufficient for me is Allah and He is a good Protector.”
This exclamation was intended to convey that Allah’s pleasure was the cause of the setback which he suffered. Hearing this, Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,
“Allah (SWT) does not like weakness. Be alert!”
Here Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم exhorted that one should harness the correct means for one’s case and activity. However, if despite instituting the correct measures, failure results, then one will be justified in saying: حسبنا الله و نعم الوكيل . This hadith appears in Abu Dawūd.
Hadiths on Taqdīr
Hadhrat Jaabir (R) narrates that Rasulullah صلى الله عليه وسلم said, “You can never be a believer as long as you do not believe in Taqdīr – in its good and its bad – to such an extent that whatever is to happen will not be warded off and whateve.........