Monday, October 5, 2009

Is it Taqdeer of just bad choices?

The Islamic view on taqdeer or destiny, is very straight forward.

"The overwhelming majority of religious minded people in general, and that of Muslims in particular, holds the following view. At the moment of Creation, Allah Almighty laid down the rules, which were to govern the operation of the Universe. He also decided the chronology, the timing and the manner of each and every event that was to take place till eternity (the end of the Universe). He also decided the actions and behavior of each and every individual product of His creation non-living matter, the living beings and of course Men. As the popular statement in Urdu says : ‘Not even a leaf stirs without His permission.' Many hold the belief that God alone has the authority to allocate Rizq (sustenance): that is why we see so much disparity in the distribution of wealth. Some believe that one's pre destiny can be changed through extensive prayers, good deeds and exalted intermediaries like saints. It is all a matter of pleasing God either by individual action / pleas or influencing His decisions through someone.

Many also believe that only the major events in one's life are pre determined (such as marriage and education) but not the minor steps leading to a particular major event. That, they say, is the demarcating line between Man's freedom of choice and his pre decided destiny. It is believed that each and every individual is subtly taken through life being driven Willy Nilly to one's destiny by the invisible hand of Fate. This view raises a number of intriguing questionns."

Taken from Short Articles: Religion, Science & Islamic Perspective

Does this mean that all our choices have been pre decided? So if some girl gets raped does it mean that Islam believes that it was already decided by god? What about the external physical aspects that influences our lives? If we get cheated or betrayed was it because we were meant to be or because of actions of other devious people? Or is it that the bad actions of others are justified because God knew about it in the first place?

Obviously logically this cannot be what it means by Taqdeer. As in the article in the link above, the author tries to to logically translate it to a more broad thinking modern populace. Whatever meaning the different scholars agree on, fundamentalists would not hesitate to take the verbal meaning straight from the Quran and warp it to their own liking, just as they have done to every other teaching of Islam.

He has created everything in a particular proportion and has determined the measures for its capabilities and potentialities.
Quran chapter 25, verse 2


bluebooze said...

free will vs determinism.

free will is regarded as a special gift from God.

If people do not have free will, then it is difficult to argue that they are personally and morally responsible for their actions.

And if that is the case, how can they be punished for their misdeeds? In fact, how can they be praised for the good things they do, if those actions were not also freely chosen?

Others, however, argue that if the universe itself is deterministic in nature, then human actions must also be deterministic.

Anonymous said...

Qala-qadar is one of the subjects in the school we had difficulty understanding. Even with so much indoctrination on absolute faith on whatever is thrown at, we had a huge problem with free will and the devine plan.
what we were finally made to believe by our very well read teachers were that, God does not determine your fate. We have free will, BUT god knows what our choices will be. He is omniscient and he aware before you make the choice what you will chose and that is the meaning of taqdeer.
Most pupils bought that, and it seems pretty convincing when you put it that way.

Its pretty convenient now isn't it? God knows what our choices will be even before we were born and he writes it. this is very tricky and its one of those puzzle questions where there is no way out. I still have hard time to argue with this, although in my head im pretty sure its complete nonesense.

Anonymous said...

Anon, yes it's complete nonsense because it makes God an evil bastard.

He knows all the good and evil that will happen, but does not prevent the evil.
This goes against his All-Merciful nature.
So God is Evil.

You might say that this is the way He tests us. I say, since he is All-Powerful, he should be able to come up with Merciful ways to test us.
If he can't, then he's not Omnipotent.

An interesting story about qada qadar is the Khidr story in Sura Kahf. Khidr had been given knowledge of the future and he intervenes in people's fates to prevent evil. Ironically his interventions are sometimes morally questionable. But the Quran seems to say that a evil means to a good end is alright.

Ofcourse all this 'intervention' will not be necessary if God had just prevented the evil in a merciful way. After all he is all-knowin of the evil, all merciful to prevent such evil, and all-able to prevent such evil.