What do the scholars and muftis of the noble Shari’ah say regarding the following matter; if everything has been predestined, then what’s the use of struggling? What’s the use of supplicating for increase in sustenance when it has already been decreed how much sustenance a person shall receive? What’s the purpose of supplicating for the aversion of a calamity when it has already been decreed? Does supplication change predestination?
Questioner: Salman from UK
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Yes, supplication changes preordainment. Calamities are averted due to supplication. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ stated:
لَا يَرُدُّ القَضَاءَ إِلَّا الدُّعَاءُ، وَلَا يَزِيدُ فِي العُمْرِ إِلَّا البِرُّ
Translation: “Nothing averts decree except supplication, and nothing increases life-span except righteousness.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi, hadith no. 2139]
However, this aversion of calamities and changing of decree is also according to decree. The existence of anything involves some or the other cause. For instance, when the seed is sown, the tree grows; and when something is prepared it gets prepared. Similarly, to avert or stop something, a cause is fixed. When medicine is consumed, treatment is caused. Likewise, supplication is a cause for stopping calamities and changing decree. Taking remedies when afflicted with a disease is not against predestination. Similarly, supplicating in order to avert a calamity is also not against predestination.
According to research, there are two types of decrees:
Taqdir mubram haqiqi: No thing or cause is pending in the knowledge of Allah ﷻ. That which is in His knowledge is bound to happen. Change in it is not possible. It cannot be changed by supplication or good deeds. If the beloved servants of Allah ﷻ, i.e. the Prophets, etc., incidentally say something regarding this, they are stopped.
Taqdir mu’allaq: The decree which is pending on something. For instance, it is written in the decree that the life-span of a person X will be 60 years, and if he supplicates or performs Hajj, he will live for 80 years. Meaning, the increase in his life-span is pending on supplication or the performing of Hajj. Thus, if he supplicates or performs Hajj, his life-span will increase. Likewise, if it is written in the decree that he will get a certain amount of sustenance, and if he supplicates, it will increase to a certain amount. Thus, the increase in his sustenance upon supplicating is in accordance with predestination.
Imam Naqi ‘Ali Khan al-Baraylwi (may Allah have mercy upon him) states: “Life-span of a person increases or decreases due to certain reasons and this is written in al-Lawh al-Mahfuz (The Preserved Tablet). Thus, change in qada’ (decree) is in accordance with qada’. [Ahsan al-Wi’a li Adab al-Du’a, pg. 244]
Taqdir mu’allaq is further divided into two categories:
Mu’allaq mahad: The pending nature of which is mentioned in the Tablet of Negation and Affirmation or in the scriptures of the angels. It has also been made evident in the scriptures of the angels that so-and-so decree is pending on so-and-so cause. If the person performs the cause, the decree will take place. The generality of the awliya’ (Friends of Allah ﷻ) who come to know about such decrees through their knowledge can also overcome it through supplication. They have knowledge that due to its pending nature, the decree has ability to get averted.
Mu’allaq shabih bi al-mubram: The decree which in the knowledge of Allah ﷻ is pending on some cause but the reason for its pending nature is not made evident in the Tablet of Negation and Affirmation or the scriptures of the angels. Such decree is mubram according to the knowledge of these angels and the generality of the awliya’. However, the elite among the awliya’, who have a special status, are informed regarding the pending nature of such decrees. They have permission to supplicate in order to change or avert such decrees. Also, when general believers, who are not informed regarding matters of the Tablet or the scriptures (of the angels), customarily supplicate, the decree changes as it is originally of pending nature. The generality of the awliya’ do not have access into this matter. Thus, this is a type of taqdir mubram which can be averted. It is stated in a hadith:
أکثر من الدعاء فإنّ الدعاء یردّ القضاء المبرم
Translation: “Supplicate excessively as supplication averts irrevocable decree.” [Kanz al-‘Ummal, hadith no. 3117]
Therefore, one must definitely supplicate to avert a calamity, increase sustenance, or achieve something, as it may be that the aversion of a disease or calamity, or the achievement of something, is pending on this supplication. Thus, when supplication is made, the disease or calamity gets averted.
Imam Naqi ‘Ali Khan al-Baraylwi (may Allah have mercy upon him) states: “Supplication is not against (Divine) contentment. It may be that the achievement of something or the aversion of a calamity, is decreed (to be pending) on this supplication.” [Ahsan al-Wi’a li Adab al-Du’a, pg. 249]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by the SeekersPath team
Read the original answer in Urdu here – [Q-ID0424] What is the point in making dua if everything is predestined by Allah?