Could you give detailed information about fate?

Details of the Question
Can I ask questions about fate? It is said that asking questions about fate is dangerous. But If do not ask questions then how can I learn about it?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

1-You can ask anything that occupies your about in fate. It does not mean that you deny fate. As a matter of fact, according to what we learn from the Quran, Prophet Abraham asked Allah how the dead would be resurrected and then said “My Lord, I am asking not because I do not believe but because I want my heart to be convinced.” For this reason, we can ask the questions in our minds. And we will try to answer them as much as we can do.

2- The true meaning of fate is the fact that Allah knows what happened and what will happen. We should pay attention that it does not ignore free-will. To know and to do are different. The one who knows is Allah and the one who does is His servant. Let us give an example regarding the issue:

Our Prophet informed us and gave the good news about the conquest and the conqueror of Istanbul hundreds of years ago. When the time came for it, it happened as he had told us. Now, was Istanbul conquered because the Prophet said it would be or did the Prophet said it would be conquered because he knew it would? Then, would it still have happened if Mehmet the Conqueror had not worked and had not prepared the army for it? So, it can be said that Allah knew that Mehmet the Conqueror would work and conquer Istanbul and informed His Messenger about it.

The focal point here is that we do things not because Allah knows, but because Allah knows we will do them. As a matter of fact, it is impossible to think that Allah will not know about the future. If He did not or could not know, He would not be the creator.

Let us give an example for it: think of a teacher from saintly slaves of Allah. He says to one of his students “I will test you tomorrow from this book”. However, the teacher knows that the student will not study because of playing football, having fun with friends or watching movies; so, he writes “0” point in his report beforehand. The following day, the student comes and he cannot answer the questions and when he realizes that he deserves “0” point, the teacher takes out his notebook from his pocket and says “as I knew you would not study and deserve 0 point from this test, I wrote 0 in my notebook beforehand”. In this case, can the student say “I got 0 from the test because you gave me 0. Otherwise, if you had written a higher point in your notebook, I would get a higher point now.”?

So we can say that we do not do so because Allah wrote it so, but Allah wrote them so because He knows we will do so. That is what we call “fate”.

3- Every person born into world is bound to be tested. Allah the Glorious knows with His infinite knowledge what one will do and what will happen to him. However, the fact that Allah knows does not force him to do so, because Allah has offered lots of options to people.

Whichever way one prefers using his own free-will, Allah creates that way. Therefore, it is the human being who is responsible.

It can be exemplified as follows: Imagine that the top floor of an apartment building is full of boons and the bottom floor is full of tormentors; and a person is in the lift of that building. That person was informed about the state of the building before. He will reach the boons if he pushes the up button and he will be tormented if he pushes the down button.

In this case, what the free-will of the person does is only to decide which button to push and then push it. And the lift does not work with that person’s free-will and power, but it works based on certain physic and mechanic laws. So, the person does not go to the top floor or to the bottom floor with his own power. Nevertheless, he is the one to decide where the lift will go, with his own free-will.

Everything one does with his own free-will can be evaluated according to that criterion. For instance, Allah the Glorious stated that it is sinful to go to a pub and virtuous to go to a mosque. And we are free to go to whichever one we want, just like the lift in the example given above.

Whichever button he pushes, that is, wherever he wants to go, his body will move towards there and thus, the reward or the punishment of the place where he will go belongs to him.

It is the same with marriage, too. There are lots of choices before a person who wants to get married. It is up to you to decide what kind of a person you want to marry. Allah creates the circumstances based on your choice. The fact that Allah knows whom you will marry does not force you into that marriage.

The Islamic criterion of marrying a non-Muslim person is as follows: a Muslim man can marry a woman from the people of the book, that is a Jewish or a Christian, but he cannot marry a non-Muslim woman who is not from the people of the book.

In addition, a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, even if he is from the people of the book.

4- We can divide the fate into two: forced fate and voluntary fate.

“We cannot have any affect on forced fate. It is totally out of our free-will. Our forced fate includes our place of birth, our parents, our shape, and our inborn skills. We cannot determine them. And we are not responsible for that kind of fate.

The second kind of fate is voluntary fate. Allah knows with His infinite knowledge and ordains whatever we will decide and whatever we will do. Your question must be discussed in this category. That is to say, you are deciding on a type of person to marry and look for him/her. And Allah introduces some people who have got the characteristics which you desire to you. You like one of them and accept him/her with your own free-will. The fact that Allah knows whom you will marry is fate and the fact that you choose your spouse with your free-will is a responsibility of human beings, which is called partial free will.

Our hearts beat, our blood is refreshed, and our cells grow, reproduce and die. Many things which we do not know happen in our bodies. We are not the doers of any of them. Those things continue to happen even when we are asleep.

However, we know very well that there are things which we do of our own accord. It is us to decide to eat, drink, speak, and walk and so on. We have got a free-will though weak, knowledge though little and power though slight.

It is us to decide which way to go at the crossroads. And life is full of crossroads.

In this sense, on whom else but ourselves can we put the blame of the things we choose consciously and decide to do without any enforcement?

The will of man, which is called partial free will, causes many significant things benefiting from the laws ruling in the universe, although it seems insignificant.

Imagine that the top floor of an apartment building is full of boons and the bottom floor is full of tormentors; and a person is in the lift of this building. That person was informed about the state of that building before. He will reach the boons if he pushes the up button and he will be tormented if he pushes the down button.

In this case, what the free-will of the person does is only to decide which button to push and then push it. And the lift does not work with that person’s free-will and power, but it works based on certain physic and mechanic laws. So, the person does not go to the top floor or to the bottom floor with his own power. Nevertheless, he is the one to decide where the lift will go, with his own free-will.

Everything one does with his own free-will can be evaluated according to that criterion. For instance, Allah the Glorious stated that it is sinful to go to a pub and virtuous to go to a mosque. And we are free to go to whichever one we want, just like the lift in the example given above.

Man’s will does not have any role in the occurrences in the universe; similarly, he does not have any role in the activities occurring inside his body. Human body works in accordance with divine rules which are called the universal law. However, where he will go is up to his decision. Whichever button he pushes, that is, wherever he wants to go, his body will move towards there and thus, the reward or the punishment of the place where he will go belongs to him. So it can be said that a person who complains saying “what is my fault here?” using the fate as his excuse, is indeed ignoring his free will.

If human beings are “leaves blown by the wind”, if they do not have the ability to choose, if they are not responsible for what they do; then what is the significance of crime? Does a person who says “what is my fault” not resort to court when he is wronged?

However, in this sense, that person should have thought like this: “that man put my house on fire. He defamed my honor, killed my child but he has got excuses. It was his fate to do those things, what could he do, he could not have acted otherwise.”

Do people who are wronged really think so?

If man were not responsible for what he did, words like “good” and “bad” would be meaningless. There would be no need to appreciate heroes and to despise traitors. Both of them would have done the things unwillingly. However, nobody can claim like that. Everyone admits in their hearts that they are responsible for what they do and they are not leaves blown by the wind.

5- There are different kinds of supplications (dua). For instance, you have an examination tomorrow. The supplication for the examination is studying. It is called practical supplication. After finishing studying, we raise our hands and say “My Lord, give me what is good for me”; and it is verbal supplication. One should supplicate sincerely and be ready to accept the result because Allah knows that what we want sometimes may not be good for us, but we do not know. As Allah who has infinite mercy knows that it will not be good for us, He accepts that supplication in a different way. Hazrat Mary’s mother vowed her to the mosque when she was about to be born. And when she saw that her child was not a boy but a girl, she was surprised and sad. Emphasizing that example, Islamic scholars say that Allah definitely accepts our supplication. Sometimes He accepts them in a different and better way. And Hazrat Mary was a girl equal to a hundred boys. One cannot say that Allah did not accept her supplication. As a matter of fact, He accepted her supplication in a better way. And sometimes one thinks that his supplication is never accepted on the earth. However, his supplication is accepted in a better and more elevated way in Heaven.

According to those explanations, what we must do for a good spouse is to search within the frames of religious criteria and to supplicate to Allah.

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