Will you give information about the fact that Allah knows what we will do and qadar?

The Details of the Question

Question 1: If everything is written in qadar, why are we held responsible for what we do? Question 2: If everything is certain in qadar, why did Allah send us to the world for testing? Does He not know everything beforehand? He could have sent us to Paradise or Hell without testing us; why did He not do so? He knew the result of the testing beforehand.

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

We can think as follows: We know when the sun will rise and set. It is written in the calendar that the sun will rise at a certain time tomorrow. And the sun rises at that time. The writing on the calendar does not have any effect on the sun’s rising at that time; it will be a mistake to say, ‘we know that the sun will rise tomorrow; so, it does not have to rise tomorrow'. If the sun does not rise, many benefits that will be caused by it will not take place.

One of the reasons why Allah created man is worshipping.

1- Allah created man to test him. That reason cannot take place without the creation of man.  

2- Allah wants to see himself – in a way peculiar to Him – and with the eyes of others His beauty and perfection manifest in the universe. The first one that is meant by others is man. This also necessitates the creation of man.

3- Allah created man so that he will worship Him. For this reason, an existing being is necessary. Worshipping is not possible without the creation of man. Our place in Paradise is prepared depending on the amount of our worshipping in the world.

4- To declare that Allah is greater than everything and to spread the orders of Allah. For this reason, the creation of both, the one who conveys the message and the one to whom the message is conveyed, is necessary.

5- A seed needs to enter the ground in order to become a tree; similarly, man was sent to the field of the world so that it would become mature and develop.

6- If we were created in another realm, we would ask 'why we were created in that realm?' It can be said that 'man was sent to this world because it is the perfect examination hall for testing.'

7- It is necessary to emphasize that to know and to do are very different things. We had given an example above. The fact that we know that a seed will become a tree does not mean that that seed does not have to become a tree.

8- One of the reasons why man is tested is the fact that it is important for man to know what he did. As a matter of fact, man will be shown what he did in the Gathering Place and he will not have the opportunity to say anything against the justice of Allah. If He threw people into Paradise or Hell without testing, the soul would complain about it by saying it was injustice to throw a person into Hell without testing.

Think of a teacher. He knows the marks that his students will get. If he said to the students when he entered the class that he knew the marks they would get and he gave them marks without giving them any exams, the students would oppose. Our Lord tests us to prevent us from opposing.

If a plan is made for a machine or building, is it possible to say ‘since there is a plan, there is no need to construct the building or the machine’?

Suppose that we plan to go somewhere and eat certain things to morrow. Do we ever say, ‘since it is certain what we are going to do, there is no need to go there and eat those things’?

If we cannot say it even for simple things, we cannot say why Allah, who created man based on innumerable reasons, tests people since He knows what they will do.

Allah Almighty is wise and just. He does not do things without any reason; He is just. He does not oppress His slaves.

One meaning of qadar is the fact that Allah knows the life programs of the creatures He created through His pre-eternal knowledge. That is, everything from the moment a person starts to exist in the womb to the moment he is born and to the breaths he takes is written in qadar and they are all known by Allah.

Qadar is a program designed by knowledge and will. Qada is the name of the phase of the application of that program.

Qada is the manifestation of Allah’s power. Qadar is the reflection of Allah’s knowledge. Therefore, when qadar is mentioned, knowledge comes to the mind. As a matter of fact, the following verse shows that qadar means the fact that Allah knows everything:

“And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.” (al-Hijr, 21)

Since qadar is a program originating from knowledge, it does not have a forcing aspect regarding the deeds of man. As a matter of fact, the sentence, “Knowledge depends on what is known”, which is a rule of the science of Kalam regarding qadar expresses it more clearly. We can express it more clearly by giving the following example: The fact that we know when the sun will rise and set tomorrow does not affect the sunrise and the sunset. The sun does not rise or set at those times because we know it; on the contrary, we know it because the sun rises and sets at those times.

That Allah knows who will go to Hell and who will go to Paradise is an attribute of His divinity. Man has the qualities that can do the deeds that cause him to go to Paradise or Hell. Man can do the deeds of the people of Paradise or Hell through the partial free will given to him. The responsibility lies with him regarding the issue.

Qadar has two aspects: Things that are out of man’s will like being born, his parents, his time of death, etc. Man is not responsible for them since he cannot decide about them.

However, he is responsible for the deeds that he decides to do of his own accord. Everybody knows that a person goes to the mosque or to the pub of his own accord. Nobody forces him regarding the issue.

With the expression of a hadith of the Prophet, “every child is born with the nature of Islam.” One of the meanings of the word 'Islam' mentioned in hadiths is high ethics. That is, each person is created with the nature of high ethics and with the characteristic to approve the principles of belief. However, if a person changes that characteristic and accepts the belief of the people of Hell, doing the deeds of the people of Hell, he will definitely be held responsible.

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