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 Is Destiny Fixed?

Is destiny (qadar) already pre-determined? If yes, can’t we change our future mistakes with our acts, precautions or prayers (dua)? Is destiny fixed?

" ... Indeed, Allah knows all things." [Al-Qur'an 8:75]

" ... so that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that He has encompassed everything in knowledge." [Al-Qur'an 65:12]

“Allah blots out what He wills and confirms (what He wills). And with Him is the Mother of the Book (The Preserved Tablet of Divine Decrees)” (Surah al Ra’d, 39)


As Allah swt is eternal and ever-lasting, so are His Divine attributes. And one of His attributes is “Ilm” (knowledge) which means Allah swt knows anything in the past, in present and in the future with His eternal knowledge. The Divine Knowledge surrounds anywhere and anytime, nothing is out of His ilm and it never changes.   As Allah swt is All-Knower, neither a decrease nor an increase is in question for His eternal ilm. Because His eternal knowledge already knows a tiny change, detail and encompasses anything in past, present and future which are concepts about time for creatures like us who are stuck in time and never restricts the Creator who is free of time and place.

With His pre-eternal knowledge, Allah knows everything and action with all their aspects before their existence and before they happen. Allah has the pre-eternal knowledge of which results connected to which reasons, and who will try them and what sort of an outcome they will get, in short He knows things and actions with His pre-eternal knowledge.

Two books of Destiny

There are two names taken from the following ayah, regarding the Divine Knowledge:

“(For) each and every matter there is a Decree (from Allah).Allah blots out what He wills and confirms (what He wills). And with Him is the Mother of the Book (The Preserved Tablet of Divine Decrees)” (Surah al Ra’d; 38, 39)


1.       Lawh al Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet)

There is a term mentioned in the Quran which is defined as “the tablet where destiny is written”: Imam Mubin (Clear Record):

"...And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record (Imam-I Mubin)." [Surah al An’am: 59]


The term Imam-i Mubin, which is interchangeably used with Lawh al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet) by many Islamic scholars, is associated with Divine Knowledge and Command. Since Divine Knowledge encompasses everything, the Lawh al Mahfuz includes the past, present and future as well as the world of unseen. Time from azal (eternity in past) to abad (eternity in future) are found in Lawh al Mahfuz. As there  is no change in the Divine Knowledge since Allah swt already knows any changes with His eternal Ilm, “lawh al mahfuz” doesn’t change.


2.       Lawh al Mahw wa Ithbat” (The tablet of erasure and writing).

Then a question arises here, if destiny does not change, why do we pray for our life and future?

Here, we must mention the second type of “book of destiny” which is “Lawh al Mahw wa Ithbat” (The tablet of erasure and writing).

In this tablet, the events are not written in consequences, as they are in Lawh al Mahfouz, but they are written with “conditions”.  For example, it is written “He will have an accident, but if he gives sadaqa or makes dua before that, his sadaqa or dua will protect him and save from the accident.” Then it ends up according to his act.

However, as the eternal knowledge of Allah swt, who is free from time, surrounds everywhere and everything, He swt already knows the consequence and it is already written in “Lawh al Mahfuz.” In other words, it is written in Lawh al Mahfuz wa ithbat what will happen in which condition. What happens if he gives sadaqa? Or what happens if not? What happens if he makes dua or else what happens? They are written there and He has the will to make his choice. But what will he do in the end? What will his decision be? Will he make dua or not? Will his dua be accepted or not? They are the questions which the answers are already known by the Eternal Knowledge of Allah swt and are written in Lawh al Mahfuz.

So, making dua, performing sincere good deeds that please Allah swt and charities can protect man from future troubles and mistakes.


Islamic History Confirms that Acts and Decisions Effect Destiny

Islamic sources report a meaningful event as an example for the effect of acts on destiny that took place between Hadrat Omar (ra) and Hadrat Abu Ubayda bin Jarrah:

When Khaleefah Umar ibn al-Khattab learned, while on his way to Ash-Sham (Syria) that it was afflicted with the plague he did not enter it, and returned back with his people. Abu Ubayda ibn

al-Jarrah said to Umar:

"O Ameer al-Mu'minen, are you running away from the decree (qadar) of Allah?"

Umar replied,

"If only someone other than you had said this, O Abu Ubayda! Yes, we are running away from the decree of Allah towards the decree of Allah. Do you not see that if you had a camel and you came to a valley where there were two patches of land, one green and fertile, and the other dry and barren, if you let it graze in the green land, you do so by the decree of Allah, and if you let it graze in the dry land, you do so by the decree of Allah." And 'Abdur-Rahman bin 'Auf said,

"I have heard Allah's Messenger saying, 'If you hear about it (an outbreak of plague) in a land, do not go to it; but if plague breaks out in a country where you are staying, do not run away from it.'" (Bukhari, Muslim) Kaynak: http://askaquestionto.us - Is Destiny Fixed?

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