Islamic perspective on 'Karma'
Fatwa No: 343198

  • Fatwa Date:13-3-2017 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 15, 1438
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Question

Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu. Is there anything in Islam about karma, the belief that the things you do come back at you, so if I misbehave with people or cheat them, I will also suffer their pain later on. As a muslim, should I believe or disbelieve in this ideology?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Recompensing a person with what is similar to his deeds, whether with reward or punishment, is confirmed in terms of the Sharia and in terms of predestination (fate). There are many proofs for this. Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said:

Reward and punishment are of the same genre of the deeds in the Predestination of Allah and His Sharia, as this is part of the justice upon which the heavens and the Earth are based; Allah says (what means): {If you show [some] good or conceal it or pardon an offense - indeed, Allah is ever Pardoning and Competent.} [Quran 4:149] Allah also says (what means): {…and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.} [Quran 24:22] Moreover, the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, ‘The one who does not have mercy on others is not treated mercifully (by Allah).’

But you should know that recompense according to the deeds is governed by what governs all the texts of promise and threat: that it is restricted by what is mentioned in other texts of conditions that must be met and impediments that must be eliminated; so if the conditions are met and there are no impediments, then the promise and threat are fulfilled. If a condition is not met or if there is an impediment, then the promise and threat may not be fulfilled.

Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “It is for this reason that the general punishment in the Quran and Sunnah is conditional on the existence of certain conditions and non-existence of certain impediments, so it does not apply to someone who repented from the sin according to the consensus of scholars.

He also said, “Any hadeeth that mentions that a believer enters Hellfire or does not enter Paradise is interpreted in the Quran and Sunnah to be the case when these impediments do not exist. Also, the texts of promise (to enter Paradise) are conditional on the non-existence of reasons that prevent one from entering Paradise, the greatest of which is to die as a non-Muslim.

Allah knows best.

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