We have created all things according to a fixed decree. (Surat al-Qamar: 49)
As is stated in the verse above, Allah the Almighty ordained everything. For Allah, Who needs only to command “Be” and it is, has not only ordained the fate of people, but also of all beings. Those who truly believe in this absolute truth unconditionally submit to the destiny Allah has ordained for them with His infinite wisdom. Either willingly or unwillingly, everything is under Allah’s control and is subject to Him.
However, people hold many errant opinions about fate. These opinions, mainly inspired by various deviant outlooks, are voiced without giving much thought to them. Moreover, they ignore that this is something that displeases Allah. They do not avoid using common catch phrases, lyrics or poems that imply a rejection of destiny. Evidencing this flawed understanding, nonsense phrases such as “to overcome destiny” or “to change destiny” come about. People who believe such notions consider their expectations and aspirations as “destiny,” and, in their failure to realize that these are mere expectations, they assume that destiny has failed to proceed as ordained and thus been altered. Such irrational reasoning is typical of those who fail to have a true grasp of destiny.
Destiny is Allah’s creation and infinite knowledge of all events, either past or future. Allah creates time and space from nothing, keeps them under His control, and is not Himself bound by them. Moment by moment, every detail of everything that occurs, or has or will occur, are predetermined in the sight of Allah.
Allah creates time and thus is not bound by it. Therefore, He does not merely watch what is happening and wait to see their consequences. In His sight, the beginning and conclusion of every event, and its respective position on the timeline of eternity, is known. Everything is determined and comprised in destiny. Therefore, man lacks the power to make any changes to it. Conversely, destiny is a decisive efficient factor over man. Every moment of his life is bound within it. A person cannot even step out of the boundaries of fate, let alone change it. This is similar to the case of an actor, who slips outside of a video-cassette, acquiring a separate existence to make deletions or additions to the scenes of the film in which he is an actor. This is certainly an illogical and impossible situation to expect.
Evidently, phrases such as “overcoming destiny ” or “changing the course of destiny” are but fallacies. A person who says he has changed his destiny is actually uttering something he was destined to say.
For example, there may not be a ray of hope that a patient be restored to health. But, his unexpected recovery would neither mean that he overcame his fate, nor that it had been changed by his doctors. It just reveals that the time determined for him was not yet due. Like everything, this is, too, determined in the sight of Allah and a part of destiny:
… And no living thing lives long or has its life cut short without that being in a Book. That is easy for Allah. (Surah Fatir: 11)
No self can die except with Allah’s permission, at a predetermined time… (Surah Al ‘Imran: 145)
Being bound by time and space, it is unlikely for us to have a full grasp of fate because Allah creates us and our destinies, and He is unbounded by anything. Whatever happens to you, believe that Allah is entirely unbounded by time and space.
There is yet another fact you need to keep in mind: Allah plans all events in a way to benefit the religion and believers. This being the case, a person of faith always shows deference to the events he encounters. Forgetting or ignoring the fact that Allah ordains all situations in life is the greatest harm one can ever do to oneself; bringing nothing but deep distress. In any case, whether one acknowledges this fact or not, it does not change what is predestined for him; ultimately the course of all affairs is predetermined by fate:
Nothing occurs, either in the earth or in yourselves, without its being in a Book before We make it happen. That is something easy for Allah. (Surat al-Hadid: 22)
As is also evident from this verse, whatever happens to someone is definitely predestined, and whether one believes in it or not does not alter this fact. All affairs taking place on the face of this earth, including the birth and death of every person, occurs by Allah’s Will at just the predetermined time—not a moment before or later.
It is He Who created you from clay and then decreed a fixed term, and another fixed term is specified with Him… (Surat al-An’am: 2)
Since nothing happens either on earth or within people’s souls without Allah’s Will, always putting one’s trust in Allah is a disposition that Allah demands from His servants. Also, this is what man is inherently inclined to:
Say: “Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.” (Surat at-Tawba: 51)
As Allah states in the verse:
“… We test you with both good and evil as a trial. And you will be returned to Us.” (Surat al-Anbiya’: 35)
He puts believers to test in a number of ways. To this end, besides things that they deem good, other things that seem harmful to believers happen to them. Since everything is created by Allah’s Will, they always yield the best results:
… It may be that you hate something when it is good for you and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows and you do not know. (Surat al-Baqara: 216)
Those who have faith in Allah and follow His path always enjoy the security and peace of mind of being submissive to destiny. Nothing frightens or distresses a person who submits himself to his destiny. Allah will grant His believing servants a good life both in this world and beyond, and keep them under His protection as long as they seek His pleasure. However, Allah may not always reveal the good of something that happens in this world. Yet, it remains that which may be seemingly adverse may lead a believer attain a better reward in the hereafter. A believer who is seriously ill, for instance, does not feel grief for what he experiences. On the contrary, he sees his disease as a way to get nearer to his Lord. The most important thing to remember is that Allah plans all events to protect His true servants and to enable them to earn Paradise.
My Protector is Allah Who sent down the Book. He takes care of the true believers. (Surat al-A’raf: 196)
Those who never forget that there is a divine purpose in whatever happens to them feel the nearness of Allah’s company in every step they take. Wherever they are, or whatever they are doing, they never forget that Allah knows it all very well.
Therefore, never forget that everything, past and future, in all its detail, is recorded in Allah’s sight, that nothing happens to man except for what Allah wills, that Allah is knowledgeable about our actions wherever we are or whatever we are doing, and that we are all bound within the destiny ordained for us.