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QADA, QADAR, AND FREE WILL PDF Print E-mail
Written by Reza Berenjkar   
Saturday, 23 September 2017 21:53


QADA, QADAR, AND FREE WILL

Reza Berenjkar

Full professor, the University of Tehran

Article acceptance date: Dec. 2016

Abstract

Believing in Qada and Qadar and being satisfied with them are of the prerequisites of being a faithful person; of course human beings are not capable of understanding the reasons and secrets behind Qada and Qadar. It is obvious that Qada and Qadar discard Jabr (force) and also do not reject Tafwid. In holy verses of Quran and traditions, Qada and Qadar have been used in various meanings. Actions of God have procedures of which are Qadar and Qada. Qadar means determining limits and geometry of something from different aspects like length, width and persistence. Qada is the decree of God in fulfilling what He predetermined. Qada and Qadar sometimes have legislative meanings and sometimes developmental meanings. Legislative Qadar is a religious destination of human beings deeds and put these actions under 5-fold Ahkams. Creational Qada is commanding to the religiously ordered Ahkams and also judging good deeds and bad deeds and giving suitable rewards or punishment. Qadar and developmental Qada in  actions of human beings done willingly mean ability and talents of each person is defined and is donated to him.

Abstract

Qadar, Qada, taqdir, Legislative Qadar, Takwini (creational) Taqdir



From infallible imams’ view points forcing human beings to commit sins and then punish them for those very sins is an oppression. Therefore, we should not accuse God of forcing human beings to do actions; in this way, God is not accused of being unjust.

How is this compatible with Qada and Qadar? God determines people’s destiny and deeds. Qada and Qadar include every thing such as human deeds. Then how can we reject force (jabr) and know human beings free? Generally, what do they mean and are they traceable in human beings actions?

The present article aims at finding the answer of this questions in traditions of infallibles. Of course what we mean here regarding God’s decision for our lives limits to human beings actions and not creating the world and other creatures but mankind. First it is better to mention some points about Qada and Qadar.

FAITH AND BELIEF IN QADA AND QADAR

Infallible leaders introduce believing Taqdir (predetermined destiny) as one of the obligatory principles and forbid its denial. They said this belief is the prerequisite of believing in God and the Unity of God and anyone who does not have this belief, should seek another God.[i]

Imam ‘Ali said in this regard,

الایمان اربعه ارکان: الرضا بقضا الله، و النوکل علی الله، و تفویض الامر الی الله، و التسلیم لامر الله.

“Faith has four pillars: be satisfied with God’s Qada, trusting Him, leaving affairs to God, and be submissive towards God’s order.”[ii]

After facing a catastrophic event, Imam Sadiq stated,

انا لنحب ان نعافی فی انفسنا و اولادنا و اموالنا. فاذا وقع القضا ، فلیس لنا ان نحب ما لم یحب الله لنا.

“We like health for our children, and ourselves and also security of our wealth. But when Qada has happened against our will, we can not desire anything than that God does not want for us.”[iii]

In a tradition from God, God has said,

من لم یرض بقضایی و لم یومن بقدری، فلیلتمس الها غیری.

“Anyone who is not satisfied with my Qada and does not believe in my Qadar, seek a god rather than me.”[iv]

Someone told imam Husayn, Abadhar had told, “ I like poverty more than wealth and diseases more than health.”Imam said,

“May God bless Abadhar. But I say, anyone, who believes in benevolence of God’s Will, does not like to be in a situation or state other than what God wants. To be like this is to be satisfied with God’s Qada. “[v]

In brief, in traditions narrated from Ahlul Bayt the issue of Qada and Qadar is undeniable and unquestionable issue and believing it is obligatory. To be satisfied with Qada and Qadar is connected to some concepts like trusting God and being surrounded in front of Him. This truth is one of the bases of religious and Islamic morality, which has ethical and spiritual impacts.

FORBIDDANCE OF SEARCHING ABOUT QADA AND QADAR

In some traditions we read that Qada and Qadar have been described as “God’s secret”, “ a dark way”, a deep sea”.

Imam ‘Ali was asked about Qadar. Imam answered,

طریق مظلم فلا تسلکوه و بحر عمیق فلا تلجوه و سر الله فلا تتکلفوه

“It is a dark way, do not put steps in it. It is a deep sea, do not enter. It is a secret of God, do not bother yourself to decode it.”[vi]

In a tradition from imam Sadiq we read,

“Anyone who contemplates on Qadar is similar to one who stares at the sun. The more he stares, the greater his wonder.”[vii]

Someone asked imam ‘Ali about Qadar. Imam warned him do not think about it but he kept insisting, imam said,

“Now that you are insisting, be aware that Qadar is not forced upon us and [ deciding for all affairs of our destiny does not ] delegated to us but it is something in the middle of them.”[viii]

From these traditions, we can conclude that the depth of Qada and Qadar are not understandable. Therefore, it should not be searched about. In addition to it, if it was necessary to talk about it, they should be explained in a way that they do not end up at complete freedom or absolute force. These two are of things that anyone can witness in his actions and feels in his heart.

From the other hand, human beings by contemplating on his life and actions can realize there is no absolute freedom. If human being by relying on his thoughts only wants to scrutinize this issue, inevitably he will lean towards force or freedom.

Imam Sadiq made a good example in this regard. He said, each person can see the sun and feel it. But when he stares at it to see more, he will have headache and feel dizzy.

THE MEANING OF QADA AND QADAR

Qada (قضا ) literally means fasten, fixing and finishing something.[ix] The literal meaning of Qadar (قدر ) is size and amount. تقدیر [taqdir] means to clarify and determine amount and limitations of something.[x]

In the verses of Quran and traditions, these two words “Qada and Qadar” have been used in different meanings.

In a tradition from Imam ‘Ali ten meanings for Qada and Qadar mentioned in Quran have been introduced.[xi]Here that meaning of Qada and Qadar is focused which is related to human beings actions. Anything which is made should go through procedures and prerequisites.  And two significant steps of these prerequisites and procedures are Qada and Qadar. Imam Musa Kazim was asked about Qadar. He replied,

تقدیر الشی من طوله و عرضه.

“Qadar is measuring width and length of something.”[xii]

هو الهندسه من الطول و العرض و البقا.

“Qadar is measuring width, length and durability of something.[xiii]

Imam Rida said in this regard,

هو وضع الحدود من الاجال و الارزاق و البقا و الفنا.

“It is determining limitations of something in terms of end points, daily bread, the extent of lifetime and death point.”[xiv]

Therefore, before God takes an action and creates something, He determines the features of His creation from all aspects. All creatures have their own specific limitations. God states in holy Quran,

إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَر

“Indeed, We have created all things according to a measure.” 54:49

قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا

“Indeed, Allah brings about whatever He decrees. Allah has set a measure for all things.” 65:3

كُلُّ شَيْءٍ عِنْدَهُ بِمِقْدَارٍ

“And everything with Him has its measure.” 13:8

Each creature has its own limitations. In fact having limitation is in the essence of being a creature. But determining Qadar, i.e. creatures’ limitations from various aspects like length, width, height, durability, is of God’s Acts which is called Taqdir (تقدیر). Qada means God’s Command to get something done or creates something. When God determines limitations and size of everything, creates it and eventually that thing finds existence.

As we can infer Qadar is prior to Qada. It means God firstly determines size and features of something and then creates it. Therefore, Qadar should be studied before Qada. It is better to say “Qadar and Qada” instead of “Qadaand Qadar”. In the following, we will talk about them and their relationship with free will of human beings.

TYPES OF QADAR AND QADA

Qadar and Qada, when  are mentioned regarding human beings free will, both are used in legislative meaning  and creational meaning. Therefore, we have four issues ahead: legislative Qadar, creational-bound Qada, legislative Qada, creational Qadar.

LEGISLATIVE QADR AND QADA

Legislative Qadar for deliberate actions of human beings means God has determined and measured actions religious-wise ( has determined what they should do and not do if they are religious). According to this, all actions done due to free will can be divided into these groups: obligatory ([wajib]واجب) , Forbidden (حرام haram]), recommended (مستحب[mustahab]), discouraged (مکروه [ makruh]), permitted ( مباح[ mubah]). Another aspect of this kind of Qadar says this is God Who determines amount of human beings rewards or punishments.

Legislative Qadar means judging upon those determined legislative laws and setting suitable reward or punishment in return for people’s deeds. A person asked imam ‘Ali about Qadaand Qadar; he answered,

الامر بالطاعه و النهی عن المعصیه ... الوعد و الوعید و الترغیب و الترهیب

“Qadaand Qadar mean ordering to obey God and forbidding sins, glad tidings of reward, and threatens of being tortured, [they mean] encouragement and warning”.[xv]

Imam Rida explained about Qada,

الحکم علیهم بما یستحقونه علی افعالهم، من الثواب و العقاب، فی الدنیا و الاخره

“Qada means judgment in order to give rewards or punishment which human beings deserve in return for their deeds in this world and hereafter.”[xvi]

Therefore, accepting Qadar and Qada means accepting prophethood and divine law. In another word, God has sent prophets to convey law of God, clarify does and don’ts, and lead the path to salvation. And He (God) in return for human beings actions determines rewards and punishment.

It is clear that this meaning of Qada and Qadar do not force human beings to take action. Accepting this truth is of necessities of each religion including Islam. Because in all divine religions we have laws, obligatory duties, forbidden issues, punishment and rewards.

Against belief in Qadar and Qada, there is another belief which is Tafwid. It means all deeds of human beings are allowed and God leaves mankinds to themselves without setting laws for them. in another words, tafwid is denying any responsibility. Tafwid in divine legislation means humankind are responsible and they do not need any law or regulation. Accordingly, Tafwid regarding divine legislation will result in denying prophethood. And in the opposite, divine legislation-Qadar and Qada will result in accepting divine regulations and divine religions.

TAKWINI QADAR AND QADA AND ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH FREE WILL OF HUMAN BEINGS

Takwini (creational) Taqdir (predetermined destiny) regarding human beings free deeds means God has given this free will (of choosing his actions and performing them) to human beings. This potentiality is limited by some issues and to a pre-determined extent.

Human beings have limitations like personal, situational or social limitations which is due to Takwini (creational) Taqdir (predetermined destiny). Making these limitations and setting them are resulted from Takwini (creational) Qada of God.

On the other hand, this limited power and freedom do not delegate to human beings in price of God’s powerlessness over human beings’ affairs, as God is the Owner. Therefore, whenever He wants He could take it back, limit its impacts, or increase or decrease it.

In fact, human beings can not put their free will into action unless by God’s permission. Human deeds can put into practice if God does not hinder its happening and signs it. If God allows then human beings could act freely in the realm of his given freedom and in return for his actions, they will be punished or praised.

Thus Takwini (creational) Qadar and Qadawill reject total freedom in the creation system. It regards God’s overcome in all affairs. This is not, though, in contrast with human beings free will.

Now we refer to some proofs from Quran and traditions:

God Almighty states in Quran,

وَمَا تَشَاءُونَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ

“But you shall not, unless Allah wills, the Lord of all the Worlds.” (81:29)

Imam Sadiq said,

فما امرهم به من شی ، فقد جعل لهم السبیل الی الاخذ به. و ما نهاهم عنه من شی فقد جعل لهم السبیل الی ترکه. و لا یکونوا آخذین و لا تارکین، الا باذن الله.

“[ If someone does not want to do what God has ordered, or if someone wants to do according what God has ordered ] God opens a way towards them [ to do or not to take God’s order]  but human beings can get things done or left by His Will.”[xvii]

Imam Rida said,

ان الله عزوجل لم یطع باکراه، و لم یعص بغلبه، و لم یهمل العباد فی ملکه. هو المالک لما ملکهم، و القادر علی ما اقدرهم علیه. فان ائمر العباد بطاعته، لم یکن الله عنها صادا و لا منها مانعا. و ان ائتمروا بمعصیه، فشا ان یحول بینهم و بین ذلک، فعل. و ان لم یحل و فعلوه، فلیس هو الذی ادخلهم فیه.

“God does not force His servants to obey Him. Disobedience of servants also does not mean their domination to God. God does not leave His servants to themselves. He Himself is the Owner of whomever He gives ownership to. He has power to whatever He gives its power to people. If people decide to obey God, he would not stop them. But if they decide to disobey, it depends on God’s decision. If He wants, He will hinder, but if he doesn’t and people commit sins, [it was not Him Who force them ] He does not force them to commit sin.”[xviii]

In a tradition from imam Sadiq, it is narrated,

“People hold three views regarding Qadar. A group who thinks God forces them to act wrongly. This group knew God as an Oppressor so they are Kafir (pagan). A group who thinks everything is at their control. They know God weak in His kingship, so they are kafir (pagan). A group who believes God expects them to do what they have ability and power for. So if they carry out good deeds, they thank God and if they perform wrongly, they ask for forgiveness. These are the men of submission ( to God) who find God.”[xix]

In conclusion we can say, the most important issue regarding Qadar and Qada are as follows: the freedom of  human being in his actions, and God’s decision regarding amount of his daily bread, his longevity, and death time can be changed by God’s Will and it does not mean when something is predetermined it is unchangeable.

END NOTES:


[i]TuhiSaduq, p.279; Al-Khisal, vol.1, pp.198,203,338-350; Kanzul Ummal, vol.1, p.139, no.661

[ii]Usul Kafi, vol.2,p.56

[iii]Usul Kafi, vol.3, p.226

[iv]TuhiSaduq, p. 371; ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Rida, vol.1, p.141

[v]Ta’liqat Ihqaq al-Haq, vol.11, p.591

[vi]Nahjul Balaghah, hikmah, 287

[vii]Jami’ Bayan al-‘Ilm, p.418

[viii]Kanzul ‘Ummal, vol.1, p.349, no.1567

[ix]Al-Sihah, vol.6, p.2463; Mu’jam Maqaiis al-Lughah, vol.5, p.62

[x]Al-Sihah, vol.2,p.786; Al-Misbah al-Munir, p.492; Mu’jam Maqaiis, vol.5,p.62

[xi]Bihar, vol.93,p.18; refer to Bihar, vol.5, p.124, no. 73

[xii]Usul Kafi, vol.1,p.150

[xiii]Al-Mahasin,p.380

[xiv]Tafsir Qumi, vol.1,p.24

[xv]Al-Ihtijaj, vol.1, p.492, no. 121; refer to. Tuhid Saduq, p.384; Musannafat al-Sheikh al-Mufid, vol.5, p.56

[xvi]Uyun Akhbar Al-Rida, vol.1, p.124, no.17

[xvii]TuhiSaduq, p.359

[xviii] Ibid, p.361

[xix] Ibid, p.360

 

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 September 2017 22:03
 

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