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12. Isn’t Islam fatalistic?

[1] Isn’t Islam fatalistic?


Muslims know that all things are from God and occur by His will. Thus, they tend to worry less about material matters and view the life of this world in proper perspective. A Muslim believer relies completely on God and knows that whatever happens is always for the best, whether he recognizes it or not, so he graciously accepts whatever cannot be changed.


However, this does not mean that a Muslim sits around awaiting destiny and takes no positive action in life. On the contrary, Islam demands action and effort to change every undesirable situation and this is a requirement of the faith. It totally rejects the teaching that one should not go to a doctor when ill but only pray to God for cure. If human beings had no ability to act God could not justly expect them to do and not to
do certain things. Far from being “fatalistic,” Islam teaches that man’s main obligation in life is to exert effort in obedience to God, which includes seeking benefit and avoiding harm.


Islam teaches that human beings should take positive action in life and supplement it with prayer. Some people are lazy and careless and then blame the negative result on destiny or fate. Some even say that if God had willed they would not have sinned or committed crimes. All this is entirely incorrect because He has provided complete guidance and instruction on how to live and has ordered upright conduct at all times. God has not ordered anything that man cannot do or prohibited anything he cannot avoid because His justice is complete and perfect. Each individual is held responsible within the limits of his own ability, but not beyond it.

Although our deeds and our destiny are decreed by God and known to Him, it does not mean He compels us to do anything. Rather, He willed to give us options about our course of action; and thus, whatever decisions we make are within the framework of His will. God knows what every person will choose to do and then allows him to do it, while not necessarily approving of his choice. While He does not call anyone to account for what is beyond his control, human beings are indeed responsible for every free choice they make, and they will find the consequences of their choices and actions in both this life and the next.

“Cause and effect” is a natural law created by God to be utilized by His creatures. It is the law by which one’s destiny is determined. So the destiny of each individual is predetermined by God, but it is also the direct result and consequence of his or her own choices and actions, and this is what the Creator has willed and decreed.


[2] Are Muslims fatalists?



Praise be to Allah.

Fatalists are those who think that a person has no choice in what he does and is compelled to do it, and that his actions are like the actions of a tree which is moved by the wind. Their opposites are those who think that a person creates or initiates his own deeds. The Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah (Sunni Muslims who follow the way of the Prophet ` (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) follow a middle path between these two extremes and believe that man has a free will but that this will is subject to the Will of Allaah. A person does not initiate his own deeds, neither is he compelled to do what he does; he can decide for himself, within the framework of the Will of Allaah. And Allaah knows best.





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