Supplication does not imply discontentment with Divine Decree
Fatwa No: 9803

Question

What is the reward of believing in fate and Divine Decree? If a person was deprived of something like having children, yet asked Allaah The Almighty to grant him that thing, would this contradict belief in fate and Divine Decree?

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

 

Believing in Divine Decree, whether good or bad, is one of the pillars of faith. Without this belief, one would not be considered a Muslim. If a  Muslim believes in Divine Decree and fate along with belief in the other pillars of faith, he would be considered a true believer. The reward for true believers  is Paradise. If Allaah The Almighty makes one of  His slaves undergo an unpleasant experience, such as being unable to have children, or being poor, or ill, it does not necessarily mean that Allaah The Almighty is angry with this person.

The purpose of this test may be to expiate the person’s sins; everyone commits sins. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And whatever strikes you of disaster— it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.} [Quran 42:30]

Moreover, this unpleasant experience may be a test that shows those who are sincere in their faith and those who falsely claim that they believe in Allaah The Almighty, yet they disbelieve in Him. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Alif, Laam, Meem. Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried?} [Quran 29:1-2] 

This verse means that Allaah The Almighty tests His believing slaves; each in proportion to the strength of his faith.  The prophets faced the most difficult trials, then the most righteous people, and so forth. Such tests expiate one's sins. This is verified in a Hadeeth narrated by Ahmad and others, and authenticated by Al-Albaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them all.

Therefore, when someone has an unpleasant experience, he must be patient and never say anything that may displease Allaah The Almighty. The Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said that everything that happens in a Muslim's life are good for him: if he undergoes a pleasant experience, he thanks Allaah The Almighty; and if he undergoes an unpleasant experience, he shows patience and this is also good for him. Muslim narrated this Hadeeth on the authority of Abu Yahya Suhayb Ibn Sinaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him.

However, this does not mean that it is impermissible for a Muslim to ask Allaah The Almighty to rid him of the unpleasant experience he is going through. It is permissible for him to do so and this does not contradict patience. The prophets used to ask of Allaah The Almighty to rid them of their unpleasant situations. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

·        {And [mention] Ayyoob (Job), when he called to his Lord, "Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful."} [Quran 21:83]

·        {And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, "There is no deity except You; Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers."} [Quran 21:87]

·        {And [mention] Zakariyya (Zechariah), when he called to his Lord (Allaah), "My Lord, do not leave me alone [with no heir], while You are the best of inheritors."} [Quran 21:98]

It is well-known that Allaah The Almighty gave Zakariyya (Zechariah)  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention a child in response to his  supplication. Although Zakariyya  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention was very old and weak and his wife was infertile, he did not despair. He asked Allaah The Almighty to give him a child. The prophets never despaired of the mercy of Allaah The Almighty. Therefore, a childless couple must retain their hope in Allaah The Almighty as He determines fate and orders His slaves to supplicate to Him. He promises to respond to our supplication and His promise will be fulfilled. Supplicating to Allaah The Almighty is one of the means for attaining one's goals. It is also a shield that protects believers from harm and unpleasant experiences.

Ibn Taymiyyah  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him maintained  that Du‘aa’ (supplication) rids a Muslim of unpleasant experiences. If his Du‘aa’ is stronger than the unpleasant experience he is facing, he would be totally rid of it. If his Du‘aa’ is weaker than the unpleasant experience he is facing, the experience would be relieved, in proportion to the strength of the supplication.

For the supplication to be permissible, one must  not ask Allaah The Almighty for anything that is unattainable whether in terms of Sharee‘ah or in terms of logic, otherwise it would be considered a form of transgression in supplication. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Call upon your Lord (Allaah) in humility and privately; indeed, He does not like transgressors.} [Quran 7:55]

Therefore, one is allowed to ask Allaah The Almighty for anything that is not prohibited or impossible.

Allaah Knows best.

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