Does “Chance” have the chance to exist? What is the effect of Qadar (fate) in games of chance?

The Details of the Question

I think my question is clear and its answer is easy. Is there anything called chance? Do we have to use the word tawafuq? Allah knows everything and we believe in qadar; there is no problem about it. If there is no chance, how can we explain games of chance? If a person who has gambled cannot win any money, repents and says, “Thank Allah! He has not given me any share from gambling”, will it be an appropriate sentence? It can be deduced from that sentence that other people win money from gambling by the help of Allah – God forbid – , which is something wrong. What is the effect of qadar and the place of chance in the things like football and other games in which a lot of money is circulated? Does the concept nasib (kismet) exist in football?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Chance is the supernatural powerthat is believed to have arranged coincidences and good or bad states/situations for people. One of the following might be meant with the word chance: Luck, possibility, coincidence. (Wikipedia)

According to this definition, if chance is something that is believed to be created by any power other than Allah, it is clear shirk (polytheism) and unbelief.

If it is used in the sense of coincidence, it is a wrong thought and it is not unbelief – if it originates from heedlessness.

- In fact, chance is neither luck nor coincidence; nor is it something arranged by a supernatural power. It can only be the name given, due to ignorance originating from heedlessness, to nasib and kismet predestined in qadar. In that sense, the words luck and chance are regarded as appropriate.

In fact, it is wrong to call divine predestination chance but it is true that it takes place within the framework of a divine system and is based on certain criteria.

- The principle “There is no real doer other than Allah in the universe” exists in Islam; a person’s being lucky/unlucky, fortunate/unfortunate is the predestination of Allah. Human will has a share related to the issues in which it is present. However, the creation belongs only to Allah. 

- In our opinion, the word CHANCE is generally used in the sense of coincidence among people. Coincidence is a product of imagination about which a certain reason is not seen, a wise and known target is not known and that whitewashes our ignorance; it is not existent; it has only a name.

The reason why Badiuzzaman Said Nursi calls this coincidence “blind coincidence” aims to indicate this reasonless and purposeless state.

“The term blind chance and coincidence attributed to nature, which heedless people regard as the creator, are delusions invented by devils originating from deviation as a result of perversion.” (Mesnevi-i Nuriye, 144 )

According to Badiuzzaman Said Nursi, The decree issued by Risale-i Nur that the mischievous network consisting of “coincidence, polytheism and nature” be deported from the Islamic world was carried out.” (Mesnevi-i Nuriye, 181)

- When a believer says, “by chance, coincidentally”, he aims to say that its real reason and wisdom is not known. Those words are generally used in this sense among Muslim people.  

- The reason why the term “games of chance” is used for all kinds of gambling is to show that winning is not based on a certain rule or reason in the game, but on coincidental success. In fact, there is no coincidence; to win or to lose is based on Allah’s predestination. For, Allah is the creator of both the good and the evil. It is not evil to create evil. It is evil to obtain evil. 

- If a person who has gambled cannot win any money, repents and says, “Thank Allah! He has not given me any share from gambling”, it is an appropriate sentence. For, it is a great boon for him to be kept away from haram by Allah and to be prevented from eating haram food though he himself has wanted to win haram things. This boon also necessitates thanking like other boons.

The meaning “other haram earnings take place with the help of Allah” is not deduced from it. However, Allah’s preventing a person from committing a haram with his own will is a kind of help.

As we have mentioned above, Allah is the creator of all bad deeds too. A person wants and Allah creates. For, he wants it and it is enough for him to be held responsible because man has no power to create.

The general principle is as follows: When man wants to commit a sin, if Allah allows him to do it, it is justice. If He prevents him from committing it, it is a grace and favor.

- Qadar is a kind of ilm. Allah knows everything that took place, is taking place and will take place in the past, now and in the future with His pre-eternal knowledge. This is qadar.   

However, the existence of qadar, which is a kind of ilm of Allah, does not force people to do things. For, the attribute ilm (knowledge) has no power of sanction. Knowledge is subject to what is known. Allah knows something in the form that it will happen.

When all of those explanations are read carefully, it is not possible for us to accept the existence of a concept called chance in the sense of coincidence. 

To sum up, since Allah’s infinite and comprehensive knowledge, power and will is everywhere and in every incident, “chance” has no chance to exist.

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