Q&A – How to Understand the Hadith “Nothing turns back the Divine Fate (qadaa’) except supplication”
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
In the book At-Tafkeer Al-Islami, which is one of the adopted books, it mentions that supplication (du’aa) does not turn back the Divine Destiny (qadar) and does not change the Divine fate (qadaa’) or the knowledge of Allah (swt)). However there are texts from the Qur’an and the Sunnah that seem to me to contradict this understanding; it has been narrated that the Prophet (saw) said:
«لَا يَرُدُّ الْقَضَاءَ إِلَّا الدُّعَاءُ»
“Nothing turns back the Divine Fate (qada) except supplication.”
There are other numerous Hadiths with this meaning, and they prove that supplication (du’aa) changes the Divine Destiny. So how can we reconcile between what is mentioned in the book and these texts? May Allah reward you with the good.
I think you are referring to what is stated in the book Al-Fikr Al-Islami (Islamic Thought) and not At-Tafkeer Al-Islami which was a mistake in the question. Also another mistake in the question was stating that (it is one of the adopted books); it is not adopted and it is mentioned in the Administration file under (The nonadopted books that are published by Hizb ut Tahrir, whether they carry the name of the Ameer, or a name of another member for other considerations, and they are not taught in Halaqas (closed circles), and then it mentions from these books: (Al-Fikr Al-Islami (Islamic Thought)). In any case, as I mentioned previously, it seems that you are referring to what was mentioned in the book: (But it must be clear that supplication (du’aa) does not change what is in the knowledge of Allah, does not avert a Divine fate, does not take away the Divine destiny, and nothing happens without its cause, because the knowledge of Allah is inevitably accomplished, and Allah’s Decree will take place inevitably. If it was turned back by supplication (du’aa), then it would not be a Divine fate (qadaa’), and the Divine destiny is founded by Allah; therefore, it is not taken away by supplication (du’aa)). You said that this contradicts this Hadith:
«إِنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يَرُدُّ الْقَضَاءَ»
“Supplication turns back the Divine fate (qadaa’).”In another narration:
«لَا يَرُدُّ الْقَدَرَ إِلَّا الدُّعَاءُ»
“Nothing averts the Divine Destiny (qadr) but supplication.” Your question is how to reconcile this contradiction?
Before I answer you, I will mention to you some related matters as an introduction to the answer:
1- The status of supplication (du’aa) in Islam and response to it, by Allah’s permission. There have been verses and Hadiths on this subject, including:
– Allah (swt) says:
[وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ]
“And your Lord has said, ‘Call upon Me, and I will respond to you.’ Indeed, those who disdain My worship will enter Hell in disgrace.” [Ghafir: 60]
– Al-Hakim narrated in his Mustadrak from Abu Huraira (ra) that he said: the Messenger of Allah (saw) said:
«لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ أَكْرَمَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مِنْ الدُّعَاءِ»
“There is nothing more noble to Allah than supplication (du’aa).” Ahmad narrated in his Musnad from Abi Saeed that the Prophet (saw) said:
«مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يَدْعُو بِدَعْوَةٍ لَيْسَ فِيهَا إِثْمٌ وَلَا قَطِيعَةُ رَحِمٍ إِلَّا أَعْطَاهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا إِحْدَى ثَلَاثٍ إِمَّا أَنْ تُعَجَّل لَهُ دَعْوَتُهُ وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَدَّخِرَهَا لَهُ فِي الْآخِرَةِ وَإِمَّا أَنْ يَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ مِنْ السُّوءِ مِثْلَهَا قَالُوا إِذاً نُكْثِرُ قَالَ اللَّهُ أَكْثَرُ»
“There is no Muslim who calls upon Allah with words in which there is no sin or severing of family ties but Allah will give him one of three things: either He will answer his prayer soon, or He will store it up for him in the Hereafter, or He will remove something bad from him that is equivalent to what he is asking for.” They said, “Then we should make a great amount of du’aa’.” He said, “Allah is greater.” It is also narrated by Al-Hakim in his Mustadrak from Abi Saeed (ra).
These evidences show that Allah loves that His faithful servant supplicates to Him (swt) and increase his supplication, and that there is an answer to the du’aa by one of three as in the Musnad of Ahmad. And the response is recorded in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz (protected Decree); everything that takes place is recorded since eternity as shown in the evidence of the Divine destiny (qadar) below.
2- If there is a definite evidence on an issue that indicates to a particular ruling and there is an indefinite evidence with Sahih narration (sanad) on the same matter that indicates another ruling in which there is a doubt (shubha) that contradicts the definite evidence, then in this case the two evidences are combined, because using the two evidences is more important than to ignore one of them. If it is not possible to combine the evidences then the definite evidence is taken, and the indefinite evidence is rejected in meaning (diraya) because its sanad (narration) is Sahih, but if its sanad is weak, it is rejected for its weakness.
3- From the evidences of Divine Destiny (qadr):
– Allah (swt) says:
[وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَراً مَقْدُوراً]
“And ever is the command of Allah a destiny decreed” [Al-Ahzab: 38]. The meaning of
‘Divine Destiny’ here is any matter that has been decreed in eternity, and the meaning of
is that it will take place inevitably. Therefore it means that it is a decreed judgment that must happen.
[ومَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْ رَبِّكَ مِنْ مِثْقَالِ ذَرَّةٍ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلا فِي السَّمَاءِ وَلا أَصْغَرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَلا أَكْبَرَ إِلا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِينٍ]
“And not absent from your Lord is any [part] of an atom’s weight within the earth or within the heaven or [anything] smaller than that or greater but that it is in a clear register” [Yunus: 61]
[عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ لا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلا فِي الأَرْضِ وَلا أَصْغَرُ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَلا أَكْبَرُ إِلا فِي كِتَابٍ مُبِين]
“[Allah is] the Knower of the unseen.” Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth or [what is] smaller than that or greater, except that it is in a clear register” [Saba: 3]
[مَا أَصَابَ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فِي الأَرْضِ وَلا فِي أَنْفُسِكُمْ إِلا فِي كِتَابٍ مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ نَبْرَأَهَا إِنَّ ذَلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ]…
“No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being – indeed that, for Allah, is easy” [Al-Hadid: 22]
– Also there are Hadiths on the subject of Divine destiny (qadr) or the writing on Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz (Protected Decree), including:
On the authority of Abu Huraira, he said, the Prophet (saw) told me:
«جَفَّ الْقَلَمُ بِمَا أَنْتَ لاَقٍ»
“The pen has dried after writing what you are going to confront” [Bukhari]; that is, everything you will face that which has been written in eternity for it.
The Hadith of Umar from the Prophet (saw) about the arrival of Jibreel who asked about Islam and Iman; the Hadith states: “Inform me about Iman (faith).” He (the Prophet) answered,
«أَنْ تُؤْمِنَ بِاللَّهِ وَمَلائِكَتِهِ وَكُتُبِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ»
“It is that you believe in Allah and His angels and His Books and His Messengers and in the Last Day, and in fate (qadar), both in its good and in its evil aspects.” [Muslim] i.e., to believe that Allah has decreed the good and the bad before creating the creation.
On the authority of Jabir, he said: The Prophet (saw) said:
«لاَ يُؤْمِنُ عَبْدٌ حَتَّى يُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ حَتَّى يَعْلَمَ أَنَّ مَا أَصَابَهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُخْطِئَهُ وَأَنَّ مَا أَخْطَأَهُ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيُصِيبَهُ»
“A slave (of Allah) shall not believe until he believes in Al-Qadar, its good and its bad, such that he knows that what struck him would not have missed him, and that what missed him would not have struck him.” [Tirmithi]
On the authority of Abi Al-Abbas Abdullah Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them) that he said: One day, I was riding behind the Prophet (ﷺ) when he said:
«يا غُلاَمُ، إِنِّي أُعَلِّمُكَ كَلِمَاتٍ، احْفَظْ اللَّهَ يَحْفَظْكَ، احْفَظْ اللَّهَ تَجِدْهُ تُجَاهَكَ، إِذَا سَأَلْتَ فَاسْأَلِ اللَّهَ، وَإِذَا اسْتَعَنْتَ فَاسْتَعِنْ بِاللَّهِ، وَاعْلَمْ أَنَّ الأُمَّةَ لَوْ اجْتَمَعَتْ عَلَى أَنْ يَنْفَعُوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَنْفَعُوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ لَكَ، وَلَوْ اجْتَمَعُوا عَلَى أَنْ يَضُرُّوكَ بِشَيْءٍ لَمْ يَضُرُّوكَ إِلاَّ بِشَيْءٍ قَدْ كَتَبَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكَ، رُفِعَتْ الأَقْلامُ وَجَفَّتْ الصُّحُفُ»
“O boy! I will instruct you in some matters. Be watchful of Allah (Commandments of Allah), He will preserve you. Safeguard His Rights, He will be ever with you. If you beg, beg of Him Alone; and if you need assistance, supplicate to Allah Alone for help. And remember that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah had foreordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you. The pens had been lifted and the ink had dried up”. [Tirmithi]
4- Now we discuss the two Hadiths; that Du’aa turns back the Divine fate and in another version, it turns back the Divine destiny:
– Al- Hakim narrated in Al-Mustadrak on the two Sahih from Ibn Abbas, from Thawban, that the Prophet (saw) said:
«إِنَّ الدُّعَاءَ يَرُدُّ الْقَضَاءَ»
“Supplication turns back fate (qadaa’)”In another narration by Al-Hakim from Abdullah Ibn Abi Al-Ja’d, from Thawban (ra), he said; the Prophet (saw) said:
«لَا يَرُدُّ الْقَدَرَ إِلَّا الدُّعَاءُ»
“Nothing turns back Divine Decree (qadr) except supplication.” Al-Hakim said: (this is Hadith has a Sahih Sanad, but they did not narrate it)
5- By studying what is mentioned on the Divine destiny (qadr), especially the verses of definite in meaning, it is understood from this evidence that there is nothing on the earth or in the heaven except that Allah has decreed and recorded it with Him. Nothing takes place in existence except that it has already been decreed by Allah and is in His record. What is already decreed must take place and is inevitable, that is, nothing stops and prevents what is destined (qadr).
It is understood from the aforementioned two Hadiths that the du’aa averts Divine destiny (qadr), or the fate (qadaa’). The meaning here is the same, so there is a doubt (shubha) that contradicts the definite evidence on the qadr, and as mentioned above, the first is to combine the two Hadiths with the definite evidence, if possible; otherwise, the meaning of the Hadith is rejected (diraya).
6- Hence, after studying this matter, I say with Allah’s tawfeeq:
A- The Hadith:
«لَا يَرُدُّ الْقَدَرَ إِلَّا الدُّعَاءُ»
“Nothing turns back Divine destiny (qadar) except supplication,” in the real meaning of the word (turns away qadr) i.e. removes it from Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz (protected decree), this Hadith in this meaning is rejected by diraya (in meaning), because the decreed matter or destined is recorded in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz (Protected Decree), and it must inevitably take place and nothing will stop its happening , i.e. it will not be wiped out of Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz (Protected Decree); therefore, the Hadith is rejected by Diraya (in meaning) if it cannot be combined (with the other Hadith), then the definite evidences on qadr are taken, i.e. the qadr must take place and is not averted. But before rejecting the meaning (diraya), effort must be exerted to combine all the definite and indefinite evidences, because using both evidences is of more priority than to ignore one of them.
B- In the Usul (of Fiqh) when it is impossible to find the truth due to a qareena (indication), obstructing the real meaning, which here is the definite evidences on qadr mentioned above, therefore the metaphoric understanding of the Hadith is taken if it is possible according to the language. This is possible here; the word qadr or qadaa’ in the Hadith is in the metaphorical sense and is understood by its consequences i.e. its effect; in other words, what is caused by it due to causation, so it mentions the reason, but the meaning is what is intended, like if you say: (the rain grew the earth) and you mention the cause (rain) and mean the result, the product, (the plant), and here qadr is also mentioned but what is intended is metaphoric meaning, i.e. its effect or what is its result, and therefore the aversion is not to the qadaa’ or the qadr, but to their effect, for example, if a qadaa’ or qadr befalls a Muslim, like an illness or a loss of a child, a loss of money, and a loss of trade etc, then the du’aa turns back the effect, as in the Hadith of Al-Hassan Bin Ali (ra) he said: that the Messenger (saw) taught me to say words in the Qunut of Al-Witr:
«اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنِي فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ… وَقِنِي شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ…»
“O Allah, guide me among those whom You have guided … and save me from the evil of what You have decreed.” The believer, when he calls Allah in du’aa and increased the du’aa to protect him from the evil of the qadaa’, then Allah will ease its impact and help him to endure it and be patient upon it. Then Allah will make his life comfortable even after the qadaa’ has befallen on him. That is, Allah will ease the qadaa’ on him and lighten its impact. it is as if his du’aa has averted the qadaa’ metaphorically. That is, Allah has helped him to withstand the qadaa’ and gave him patience. How many men are injured by thorns, and they are weakened and shaken?, And how many men undergo disasters and yet their tongues are moist with the Zikr of Allah; a man supplicates to Allah to protect him from the evil of the calamity and its impact, and he is granted patience and his matters are straightened, as if his du’aa have averted the calamity metaphorically.
Thus, it is understood that qadr is inevitable and must take place, but the du’aa of the believer sincerely and faithfully will avert the impact on him, i.e. the impact will be eased and he will be helped to endure it and have patience dealing with it, and to lighten the weight of the calamity on him, and then he will enjoy the life as if the calamity did not occur. All that is recorded in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz; Allah has decreed it and knows it since Eternity. That is, it is recorded in Al-Lawh Al –Mahfouz, that it is destined that a calamity will befall on this slave and it will happen, and this slave will call on Allah (in du’aa) to protect him from its evil. Allah (swt) will respond to him and help him endure it and have patience dealing with it as if it did not fall on him metaphorically.
This is how the Hadith understood. this is what I see as stronger (in opinion) Allah Most Knowledgeable and Most Wise.
7- For further information, I will mention the following:
A- In my book (At-Tayseer Fi Usul At-Tafseer) it states:
[Answering the du’aa (supplication) does not mean a change in fate or what is written in the Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz (protected Decree) or in the knowledge of Allah, i.e. Allah’s response does not mean that He (swt) did not know about the du’aa of his servant and that Allah will answer it, and therefore is not recorded in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz, but rather Allah knows it and it’s recorded since eternity. Qadar is the knowledge of Allah, that is, what is written in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz and everything that will take place is written in it since eternity. Allah (swt) knows that someone will supplicate to Him. If Allah decreed to answer, it is written that someone will call in supplication with such and such and that this will be achieved with such and such. Du’aa is not a new composition that is not in Allah’s knowledge or not written in AL-Lawh Al-Mahfouz, as well as the response. Rather all that will take place is recorded in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz; Allah knows the unseen and knows what the servant does in word or deed, and everything is already written previously since eternity. Du’aa made by the servant is known to Allah and is recorded as it is. As well as His (swt) answer as desired by Allah (swt) is recorded since eternity. Du’aa and the answer are not above the knowledge of Allah, but they are recorded in Al-Lawh Al-Mahfouz as they are and as how they will happen. Allah is the Knower of the unseen and the seen
[لَا يَعْزُبُ عَنْهُ مِثْقَالُ ذَرَّةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَلَا فِي الْأَرْضِ]
“[Allah is] the Knower of the unseen.” Not absent from Him is an atom’s weight within the heavens or within the earth” [Saba: 3]
B- It is stated in Sharh As-Sunnah by Abu Muhammad Al-Hussein Al-Baghawi Ash-Shafi’i (died 516 AH): [(Abdul Wahid ibn Ahmad Al-Malihi told us…from Abdullah Ibn Abi Al-Ja’d from Thawban, he said: The Prophet (saw) said:
«لا يَرُدُّ الْقَدَرَ إِلا الدُّعَاءُ»
“Nothing turns back Divine destiny (qadar) except supplication” …I said: Abu Hatim Al-Sajistani said (that one who continues to do du’aa (supplication) will accept the receipt of the qadaa’, as if it is averted)].
C- It is stated in “Murqat Al-Mafateeh Sharh Mishkat Al-Masabih” by Abu Al-Hassan Nur ud-Din Al-Mullah Al-Harawi Al-Qari (deceased: 1014 AH):
«لا يَرُدُّ الْقَضَاءَ إِلا الدُّعَاءُ»
“Nothing turns back the Decree destiny (qadaa’) except supplication” Qadaa’ is the decreed matter … or he meant by “averting” of qadaa’ if he meant easing it and making the matter light, as if it has not been sent…]
I hope that this is sufficient, and Alhamdulillah, Lord of the Worlds.
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