Man's fate is recorded
Fatwa No: 12638

  • Fatwa Date:28-2-2011 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1432
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Question

Was man's fate recorded before his creation? Would supplication change this?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

In a Hadeeth on the authority of ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr ibn Al-‘Aas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) mentioned that Allaah The Almighty had established the fate of everything 50 thousand years before the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the Throne of Allaah was over the water. [Muslim]

He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) mentioned that the creation of man occurs in the form of sperm in the womb of his mother for 40 days, then it becomes a clot in a similar period of time, then it becomes a lump of flesh in a similar period of time, then Allaah sends an angel who breathes life into it and (the angel) is commanded to record four things about it: its provision, lifespan, deeds; and whether it will be happy or miserable. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim] Thus, whatever man does is preordained before his birth - even his marriage and other such things.

However Divine Decree has two forms: the Eternal Decree, which is unalterable, and the Suspended Decree, which is written in the records of the angels.

In other words, Allaah The Almighty has ordered the angels to write the lifespan of a person - if he gives in charity it would be such-and-such; if not, it would be such-and-such, but the prior Knowledge of Allaah and His Eternal Decree establishes whether a person will give charity or not.

Supplications and charity change the Suspended Decree, because it is contingent upon them. This is supported by the Quranic verse where Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {For every term is a decree. Allaah eliminates what He wills or confirms, and with Him is the Mother of the Book.} [Quran 13:38-39] It is also supported by the Hadeeth where the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) mentioned that only supplication changes the Divine Decree and only dutifulness and kindness (to kinfolks) increases a person’s lifespan. [At-Tirmithi]

Allaah Knows best.

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