Reading Texts: The Qadar Understanding of Hazrat Ali

An old man asked Hazrat Ali:

– Did our walking toward Damascus (Battle of Siffin) take place as a result of Allah’s qada and qadar? Tell us about it!

Hazrat  Ali gave the following answer:

– I swear by Allah who makes plants and grass grow and gives life to creatures and I say wherever we go and wherever we stay is as a result of Allah’s qada and qadar.

– Then, we work in vain; it looks as if there is no reward for us...

– O old man! Allah gave you great rewards while you were going. He also gave you rewards while you were returning because you were not forced to do it. You did it of your own accord.

– Did qada and qadar not lead us?

– Alas! You think that qada stuck to you and qadar was fixed to you. If it had been like that, reward and punishment would have been annulled. There would have been no need for the threat of punishment, orders and bans. Allah would not have punished those who committed sins and would not have praised those who did good deeds. The one who did good deeds would not have been worthy of praise more than the one who did bad deeds. The one who did bad deeds would not have been worthy of condemnation more that the one who did good deeds. Those nonsense words are the words of idolaters, the armies of Satan, false witnesses and the blind who do not see the truth. They are the fatalists and fire-worshippers of this ummah. Allah gave people commands by making them free to choose. He prohibited some things to keep people away from them. He ordered easy things. He did not make people rebel by force or obey by pulling them. He did not send prophets in vain. He did not create the sky, the world, and the things between them in vain. “Such ideas are the thoughts of unbelievers; shame on them; Hell is awaiting them.”

Thereupon, they asked again:

– Then what is qada and qadar that leads us?

Hazrat Ali said:

– It is the order and decree of Allah; and he read the following verse:

“Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him.”

The old man stood up happily and said:

– You are a person that one can expect the consent of Allah by obeying you. You clearly explained a fine issue of our religion that we could not understand. May Allah give you the reward of it.”

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