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The Qur’anic Concept of Pre-determination
Question asked by Adeel Zaffar.
Posted on: Sunday, February 27, 2005 - Hits: 3137

What does the Qur'an say about predetermination and freedom of actions? I know that there is a Hadith, which says that one should not get into an argument about ‘Taqdir’ and that there is no end to such discussions.

We believe that the idea of pre-determination is totally against Qur’anic guidance. This idea leads us to the conclusion that the Almighty has created the world and human beings for amusement, which of course is not true. The Holy Qur’an says that our life on this earth is a test. It is part of every Muslim’s faith that one has been put through a test and that one is responsible of one’s actions.

This Qur’anic picture of test and trial can only be explained if humans are given the free will to choose between good and bad and to freely react under different circumstances. If we are not free to choose our response to the external world then we are indeed subjected to predetermination and justice demands that we must not be later questioned for what lies beyond our control.

However, it is also clear that the circumstances we are tried under are totally beyond our control. God has created us in particular surroundings with particular abilities and blessings. This is what that is beyond our reach and such things as to where and to whom we are born, our financial resources and available opportunities are matters already determined. But these situation and circumstances do not hinder the test but facilitate it. After all someone has to select the nature of the exam and the test system.


Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
Research Assistant, Studying Islam

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