Limits of discussing Fate
Fatwa No: 34841

  • Fatwa Date:7-3-2012 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 14, 1433
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Is it permissible to investigate the issues of Fate and Divine Decree?


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 ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.


It is obligatory to investigate Fate and Divine decree for the sake of learning all that is obligatory to believe in and to correct one’s Faith. Part of the answer of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to Jibreel’s (Archangel Gabriel)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention question about Faith was that it means believing in Fate with its good and bad (consequences). [Muslim] This denotes that belief in Fate is one of the pillars of Faith that a Muslim must believe in. Faith can only be achieved with knowledge.

It is impermissible to indulge in discussions that are based on assumption, ignorance and attempting to know what reason cannot perceive. On the authority of ‘Abd Allaah ibn ‘Amr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him once the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, came out while people were discussing the issue of Fate. He became angry, objected to what they were doing and told them that discussing issues of this kind was the reason for the destruction of most of the past nations. [Ahmad and Ibn Maajah (Al-Arnaa’oot: Saheeh)] On the authority of Thawbaan,  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered that the Companions are mentioned in an offensive manner, one should refrain from (participating in) that discussion; and if Fate is mentioned, one should not try to discuss its details or anything of which there is no conveyed knowledge.

It is better to refrain from discussing such issues. [At-Tabaraani (Al-Mubaarakfoori: Hasan; Al-Albaani: Saheeh)] Discussions that are based on falsehood and assumption are the ones that are prohibited. Shaykh-ul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him justified this prohibition, saying that taking part in such discussions leads to the deviation of the common people of the nations. therefore, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, prohibited it. The latter Hadeeth supports these words. The command of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to refrain from talking when his Companions are mentioned in a negative way does not mean we cannot mention their merits and striving; rather, it means refraining from speaking ill of them. The same thing applies to discussions about Fate.

It is true that Fate is the secret of Allaah The Almighty about His creation  and anyone who investigates Fate should realize this. However, this is confined to the hidden aspect of Fate; mainly, the fact that Allaah The Almighty leads astray and guides; causes death and gives life; withholds and bestows; and apportions that among His slaves according to His Omnipotence and All-Powerful Will. It is impermissible to try to know the secret of Allaah The Almighty in this regard because He conceals its knowledge even from the nearest slaves to Him.

Other aspects of Fate; its great rationales, stages, degrees and effects, are permissible to discuss, and they should be clarified to people. It is recommended to clarify them to people because belief in Fate is one of the pillars of Faith that people must learn and know about.

Allaah Knows best.

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