Knowledge is dependent on the known - Is Man a Prisoner of Qadar (Destiny)?

Is Man a Prisoner of Qadar (Destiny)?

We had stated that the two issues had to be understood very well to understand the issue of qadar (destiny). One of them was the pre-eternity of Allah. We analyzed this issue in detail and understood that the knowledge of Allah encompassed all times, the past, the present and the future at the same moment. Allah knew our all deeds before we did them through His pre-eternity.

Now, we will analyze the second of the two issues which must be understood very well: the rule, "knowledge is dependent on the known." When this issue is also understood well, you will see that qadar, which is regarded as an enigma, is a concept that can be understood very easily and that there are no unanswered questions about it. To be able to understand the issue of qadar, we must understand the rule, "knowledge is dependent on the known" as well as "pre-eternity of Allah". Therefore, we will give ten examples related to this rule. After these ten examples, a question like the following will no longer come to your mind: "Allah wrote in qadar that I was going to commit sins. Then, what is my fault?"

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 1:

Knowledge is the shape of things in the brain;

The thing known is defined as the real state of that thing outside.

For example, we will look at the apple. The apple's shape in our mind is knowledge. The shape of the apple outside is the thing known.  Does the apple have this shape because I know it in this shape? Or, do I know the apple in this shape because the apple has this shape? To put it more clearly, is my knowledge about the apple dependent on the thing known (the shape of the apple)? Or is the thing known (the shape of the apple) dependent on my knowledge? In other words, if I had known the apple as a watermelon, would the apple have turned into a watermelon? Definitely not; because the thing known, which is the shape of the apple, is not dependent on my knowledge. It has not assumed this shape because I know it to be like that. On the contrary, I know the apple with this shape because the apple has this shape. Then, knowledge, that is the shape of the apple in my mind is dependent on the thing known, that is, the real shape of the apple.

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 2:

Suppose that 500 lira is available in my safe box and I know that there is 500 lira in my safe box. My knowledge about the existence of 500 lira in my safe box is knowledge. 500 lira in my safe box is the thing known. Now, we will ask the same question: Is 500 lira available in my safe box because of my knowledge about it? Or do I know it because 500 lira is available in my safe box? That is, is my knowledge dependent on the thing known? Or is the thing known, which is the money in my safe box, dependent on my knowledge?

Doubtlessly, knowledge is dependent on the thing known. In other words, 500 lira does not exist in my safe box because of my knowledge. On the contrary, I know it because 500 lira is available in my safe box. If the opposite had been true, that is, if the known had become dependent on knowledge instead of the rule, "knowledge is dependent on the known", there would have been 500 million lira in the safe box when I assumed there were 500 million lira in the safe box. However, it is not the case because knowledge is dependent on the known; the known is dependent on knowledge.

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 3:

Suppose that we are on a high hill. There is a curved railway line at the bottom of the hill. You are at the top of the hill; so, you can see both the right and the left part of the railway. And you see that there are two trains moving on the same rail from opposite directions. You see that they will crash in two minutes; so, you wrote: "They are going to crash in two minutes." in your notebook. And the trains crashed in two minutes.

Now, if you say to the engine drivers who survived the crash: "Here is my notebook." I wrote this accident before the accident happened."

Do the engine drivers have the right to say, "We crashed because of you. If you had not written this accident in your notebook, we would have not crashed. We crashed because of your writing. You are the cause of this accident." Doubtlessly, they can never say so because your writing, that is, knowledge is dependent on the accident, that is, the thing known.           

In other words, you saw that they would crash; so, you wrote this writing; your writing did not cause this accident. You were on the hill; so, you saw that they were moving on the same rail, something that they could not see.

In addition, your writing only shows the thing known. It does not force and it is not the cause of the accident. If the accident had happened because of your writing, then this would have happened: You would have written about these trains, "they are not going to crash" and they would have not crashed although they were on the same rail coming from opposite directions. If the thing known had been dependent on knowledge instead of the rule “knowledge is dependent on the known", no accidents would have happened in the world. A man would have written in his notebook, "today no accident is going to happen" and he would have prevented the accidents. However, it never happens. Now, we will summarize this example as follows: 

1- They did not crash because your writing; on the contrary, you wrote it because you saw that they would crash.  That is, your knowledge and writing is dependent on the known, namely, the accident.

2- The second, your writing does not eliminate their responsibility because they caused this writing to be written.

Similarly, that Allah knows what we are going to do and that He wrote this knowledge in the book of qadar is "knowledge". What is this knowledge dependent on? It is definitely dependent on our deeds and what we will do. That is, Allah knows them because we are going to do so. We do not do them by force because Allah knows them.

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 4:

When we buy a calendar at the beginning of the year, we see that, the times of sunrise and sunset for all of the days of the year are written. For example, when we look at the 31st of December, we see that the sunrise is at 7:15 and the sunset is at 16:45.

This writing in the calendar is knowledge.

The thing known is the sunrise and the sunset times. Our question is the same: Does the sun rise and set at those times because they are written in the calendar? That is, is the known (the time of the sunrise and the sunset) dependent on knowledge (the writing in the calendar)? Or, is knowledge about the times of sunrise and sunset written in the calendar because of the calculations about them? That is, is knowledge dependent on the known? Doubtlessly, the latter is true (knowledge dependent on the known).

For, the times of the sunrise and sunset were calculated and written. If the opposite had happened, the known would have been dependent on knowledge and when we wrote in the calendar the sunrise as 12:00 instead of 7:15, the sun would have risen at 12:00; and when we wrote "today the sun is not going to rise" the sun would not have risen at all. However, none of them happens because knowledge (the writing in the calendar) is dependent on the known (the sun itself).

Now, let us think of this: Although man is extremely weak, ignorant, and dependent on time and place, he can know what time the sun will rise and set next year, and writes them in the calendar. And nobody has wrong ideas like this: "In the calendar, the times of sunrise and sunset were written; so, the sun is bound to rise and set at these times. If this writing had not existed, the sun would not have risen and set at these times."

Then, why cannot we understand that Allah, who has infinite power, endless knowledge, who is free from time and place, who is pre-eternal, can write in the book of qadar, which is like a calendar, the day we would be born and the day we would die and all of our deeds between these dates?

We know that the cause of sunrise is not the writing in the calendar.  Then, why cannot we understand the fact that the cause of our deeds is not the writing in the qadar calendar; on the contrary, they were written there because we would do these deeds in the future; that is, the knowledge of Allah is dependent on the known (our deeds)? Why do we try to blame qadar for our sins?

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 5:

The distance between Istanbul and Ankara is 500 kilometers. Our knowledge about the distance and the recording of it in the books are knowledge. The thing known is the distance itself. The same thing is valid here, too. Our knowledge is dependent on the known. In this example, the known is that the distance between Istanbul and Ankara is 500 kilometers. Instead of the rule "knowledge is dependent on the known", if the known had been dependent on knowledge, that is, if this distance had been 500 kilometers because of our knowledge, when we supposed the distance as 1000 kilometers, the known (the distance) would have gone up to 1000 kilometers. When we supposed the distance as one meter, we would have reached from Istanbul to Ankara by taking only one step. However, none of them happens. No matter what we know, our knowledge has no effect on the thing known. Only when we know that the distance is 500 kilometers miles, we know it truly. In our other assumptions, we know it wrongly.

Likewise, the distance between our birth and our death and all of our deeds at this distance are the things known. The knowledge of Allah about "the things known" and writing them in the book of qadar, which is the title of the knowledge of Allah, is "knowledge".

What was our rule? "Knowledge is dependent on the known. Then, the cause of our deed is not the writing of Allah. Allah knows our all deeds at all times with His infinite knowledge and He wrote them in the book of qadar. Here, the important point is thinking of the rule of "knowledge is dependent on the known" together with the pre-eternity of Allah. Without understanding the pre-eternity, understanding this rule is impossible. Therefore, before the explanation of this rule, we tried to understand the pre-eternity of Allah through different examples. The pre-eternal knowledge of Allah about our deeds is never a cause of enforcement. It is only a determination.

Since this is the truth, it is extremely meaningless to think of the opposite and to blame qadar by saying, "I am a prisoner of qadar" and blaming qadar is. Their statements mean that knowledge is not dependent on the known but the known is dependent on knowledge. That is, according to them, Allah decided that this servant was going to be one of the people of Hell and so he became one of the people of Hell or Allah decided that this servant was going to be one of the people of Paradise and he or she became one of the people of Paradise.

However, it is not the case. On the contrary, the knowledge of Allah is dependent on the events that will happen in the future. That is, Allah knows whatever will happen; so He wrote them in the book of qadar. In fact, people who claim this wrong idea expect the following: To be responsible for our deeds, Allah should know our deeds after we made them; that is, Allah should not know about tomorrow. However, not knowing is not suitable to the glory of Allah because not knowing is a fault and lack; Allah is free from all faults.

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 6:

Think of a commander. With his camera, he is controlling the soldiers keeping guard and he sees that two soldiers are sleeping during their duty. And the commander records them. In this event, knowledge is the recording in the camera and the knowledge of the commander about the conditions of these soldiers. The thing known is their sleeping.

Our question is the same again: "Did the soldiers sleep because the commander recorded them; that is, is the known (the soldiers' sleeping) dependent on knowledge? Or did the commander record them because of their sleeping; that is, is knowledge (the knowledge of the commander and his recording them therough the camera) dependent on the known?  Doubtlessly, the knowledge of the commander and the camera recording is dependent on the known, namely, the conditions of the soldiers. The cause of their sleeping is not the knowledge of the commander and the camera recording that was made by him. On the contrary, the commander knew it because he saw that they were sleeping during the duty and recorded them.

If the commander calls these soldiers the next day and he shows the camera recording to them and says to them, "Why did you sleep during the duty and why did you disobey the law of the military service? This is a crime. You are going to be punished." Can the soldiers who were reprehended by the commander say, "We committed this crime because of you. You forced us to commit the crime because you recorded us with the camera. If you had not recorded us with the camera we would have not slept." Doubtlessly, they cannot say so because our rule was this: The knowledge of the commander is dependent on the known (the soldiers' sleeping). Let us repeat it once more. The cause of their sleeping is not the knowledge of the commander. The commander knew it because he saw that they were sleeping; so he recorded them with the camera. If they had not slept like the other soldiers, the commander would have known them as "awake" and he would have recorded them as "awake".

Now, suppose that this commander is also a spiritual commander and he can travel in time. That is, he can travel to tomorrow and other days whenever he wants; so, he knows the events in the past and in the future before the present. Suppose that this commander travels to one month further in the future and he records the soldiers’ sleeping during the duty with the camera and then he returns to the present day. One month later, these soldiers slept as the commander saw and recorded them with the camera. Namely, the knowledge of the commander about the future came true. He called these soldiers to his room and he showed the camera recording which he had made one month ago and he said to them: "Look! I knew a month ago that you would sleep during the duty; I even recorded your state with the camera." Can these soldiers have the right to say to the commander: "Commander! Then, you are guilty. Why did you not record us when we were awake?  If you had not known this state of ours and if you had not recorded us when we were sleeping, we would have not slept; so we do not accept the punishment." Doubtlessly, they cannot say so because the knowledge of the commander is knowledge and it is dependent on the known (the soldiers' sleeping). The soldiers did not sleep because the commander knew and recorded about their situation; on the contrary, the commander travelling in time went to one month further, saw their state and recorded them. In other words, the cause of their sleeping is not the knowledge of the commander. On the contrary, the knowledge of the commander is dependent on their preference of sleeping and their sleeping. If they had not preferred sleeping, the commander would have not recorded them like that.

Likewise, Allah, the commander of pre-eternity and post-eternity, is free from time and place; so, He sees and knows all events at all times as if they are taking place now. We had analyzed this issue in the issue of the "pre-eternity of Allah."

Allah recorded our all deeds that we will do in the future with our partial free will. That is, He recorded them in the book of qadar, which is a title of His knowledge. If a sinner, like the soldiers in our example, says: "The cause of my sins is the knowledge of Allah. It is the fault of the knowledge of Allah. If He had not known, I would have not sinned", does he not fall into a foolish situation like the soldiers in the example?

A person can easily understand that the commander in the example did not force the soldiers to sleep and that he is not guilty.  It is surprising how a person can try to blame the writing and the knowledge of Allah, who is the commander of the universe instead of blaming or himself!

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 7:

At the train stations, the times that the trains will arrive are written. This writing is knowledge. The thing known is the arrival of the train at that time.

Our question is the same again: "Does the train arrive because of the writing, or was this writing written because of the knowledge about the arrival of the train?

What was our rule? "Knowledge is dependent on the known" Then, the answer to our question is: The arrival of the train is known; so, it was written. If the opposite had happened, that is, if the known had been dependent on knowledge, when a naughty boy changed the arrival time of the train, the arrival of the train would have changed. Furthermore, if the train timetable which shows the arrival and departure times were broken accidentally, no train would arrive at that station. However, none of them happens because the thing known is never dependent on knowledge.

The knowledge of Allah and the book of qadar board is like the train timetable in which arrival and departure times are written; and this is knowledge. Everything we do is like the train which is going to arrive at the station; it is known. In our example, the cause of the arrival of the train is not the writing on the timetable; on the contrary, such a writing was written because the train is going to arrive at that time.  Likewise, the cause of our deeds is not the knowledge of Allah; Allah knows that we will do them in the future.

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 8:

Think of an experienced judge in his job. Because of his experience, he almost knows the character of a person by looking at his or her eyes. When this judge walks on the road, he sees a man who looks like guilty and because of his experience he writes in his notebook that this person will commit a crime and he will appear in court as a criminal. Sometime later, that man appears in court and he meets the experienced judge here. After deciding his punishment, the judge says to him: "Look! This is my notebook! I had seen you in the street and I had predicted that you would commit a crime and I wrote it in my notebook."

In reply to the judge's saying can the guilty man have the right to say this: "Then, I committed this crime because of your writing. If you had not written it, I would have not committed this crime"? Certainly, he cannot say so because the cause of his crime is not that writing and it did not force him to commit the crime.  On the contrary, the knowledge of the judge is dependent on the guilty person. The experienced judge knew that this person would commit a crime and he recorded it in his notebook.

Similarly, Allah who is the only judge of this universe knows all of the deeds of his servants with His pre-eternal knowledge and He wrote them in the book of qadar. The cause of our deeds is not the writing of Allah. On the contrary, Allah wrote them because He knows that we will do them in the future.

In that case, the defense of the guilty person against the judge and blaming the writing of the judge instead of blaming himself is extremely wrong. If we do these wrong deeds against Allah, that is, blaming the writing of Allah because of our sins and saying wrong things like: "If Allah had not written, we would not have sinned", are those sayings not regarded as a greater sin than our sins?  

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 9:

Think of a very experienced teacher. With the experience, he guesses which students will pass the class and which students will fail at the beginning of the year and he records this prediction in a notebook.       

And when the end of the year comes, the students whom the teacher had predicted that would pass become successful and other students fail. The teacher gives the students their school reports and the students see them. After they see them, the teacher says: "Look! This is my notebook. I had predicted that you would fail and I had written it at the beginning of the year. And you failed as I had predicted." In response to the words of their teacher, do these lazy students have the right to say this:

"O teacher! You wrote this writing before our failure. Then, the cause of our failure is this writing of you. If you had written about us, 'They will pass the class', we would have not failed."  Doubtlessly, they cannot say it because the knowledge of the teacher is dependent on the known (laziness of these students) In other words: The cause of their failure is not the writing of the teacher. On the contrary, the teacher knew with his or her experience that they would not study and act lazily; and the teacher wrote it in the notebook.

If they had failed because of the writing of the teacher, the teacher would have written for the hardworking students: "They will fail"; and the hardworking students would also have failed. However, none of them happens.  Nobody fails or becomes successful because of the writing of the teacher since the knowledge is not a means of force and compulsion. It is only a determination and declaration.

Likewise, Allah, who is the teacher of the unseen realms, knows with His eternal knowledge which people will fail the test of life and which people will pass and go to Paradise; and He wrote this knowledge in the book of qadar, which is a title of the knowledge of Allah. If the students who fail blame their teachers and attribute their failure to the writing of the teacher, they do a meaningless deed. Similarly, if a sinner person blames qadar because of his or her own sins, this person also does a meaningless deed and it is far from reality.

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

EXAMPLE 10:

To be able to understand the rule, "knowledge is dependent on the known", we gave nine examples because understanding this rule and the pre-eternity of Allah means understanding qadar. We will finish the rule, "knowledge is dependent on the known" with a final example.

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned about the unrests and disorders at the end of time and the signs of the Judgment Day.

The statements of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) are knowledge. The thing known is the events themselves.

Our question is the same again: Is the cause of the occurrence of these events the notification of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)? Or is the cause of the notification of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) the occurrence of these events at the end of time?

Knowledge is dependent on the thing known; so, the cause of the notification of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is the occurrence of these events at the end of time. If we thought of the opposite, it would be necessary to blame the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) because of these events and to say, "If he had not said them, they would have not occurred"; everybody who is sane can know that this thinking and this saying is extremely wrong.

KNOWLEDGE IS DEPENDENT ON THE KNOWN

The Result Obtained From Ten Examples:

With these ten examples, we have understood that "knowledge is dependent on the known." Now, we will analyze this rule about qadar: The knowledge of Allah about what we do and the writing of Allah about it in the book of qadar board is knowledge. What is this knowledge dependent on?

-Doubtlessly, it is dependent on the thing known, namely, our deeds and what we will do.

That is, Allah knows it because we will do these deeds.

We are not forced to do them because Allah knows them.

Then, we can say this: A person who blames qadar because of his sins is not aware of two things.

1- He does not know the meaning of pre-eternity and the pre-eternity of Allah.

2- He is unaware of the rule, "knowledge is dependent on the thing known."

And when these two issues are understood, all questions about qadar will be answered. 

Up to this part of our work, we have tried to explain that the cause of our deeds is not the enforcement, compulsion of Allah and the writing in the book of qadar; on the contrary, whatever we will do is written in the book of qadar.

In the following chapters of our work, we will analyze the questions about qadar and we will analyze their answers under separate headings.

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