Sharh as-Sunnah : Lesson 43 : Point 67
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
Imaam Barbahaaree rahimahullaah said:
And speech and argumentation and disputing about al-Qadr (pre-decree) in particular are forbidden with all of the sects because pre-decree (al-Qadr) is Allaah’s secret.
And the Lord, the Majestic, the Most High, He forbade the prophets from speech concerning pre-decree and the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam forbade argumentation about pre-decree and it was detested by the companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and by the taabi`een and it was detested by the scholars and by the people of piety and they forbade argumentation concerning pre-decree (al-Qadr).
So upon you is to submit, to affirm, to have eemaan in and to hold as your belief whatever Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said about all matters and to be silent about other than that.
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From the fundamentals of eemaan (true faith) and from the pillars of eemaan is to have eemaan (true faith) in pre-ordainment and pre-decree. And al-Qadaa w’al Qadr (pre-ordainment and pre-decree) refers to the events that will occur that Allaah has pre-decreed and pre-ordained since eternity. And everything which occurs then it does not happen by chance, randomly or without having been pre-decreed by Allaah, the Majestic and Most High. Rather, Allaah, the Perfect and Most High, knew whatever was, whatever has been in the past and whatever will be in the future. Then He wrote that in al-Lawh al-Mahfudh (preserved tablet). The saying of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam:
“The first thing that Allaah created was the pen. He said to it, “Write whatever is going to occur until the Day of Resurrection”. So, the pen wrote whatever was going to occur until the Day of Resurrection.”
And the creation of the pen was before the creation of the heavens and the earth by fifty-thousand years and the Throne of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, was upon the water.
So, here there has been a problematic point for the scholars, was the throne created before the pen or was the pen created before the `Arsh (Throne)? And what is correct is that the `Arsh (throne) was created before the pen because at the time when Allaah created the pen and commanded it to write whatever it was going to be then His throne was upon the water and this is why the Allaamah; the great scholar Ibn ul-Qayyim rahimahullaah said:
“And the people differ with regard to the pen with which the decreed matters were written by the Great Recompense r(Ad-Dayyaan), Allaah, the Most High,
Was it before the Throne or after it?
There are two sayings mentioned by Aboo `Alaa al-Hamathaanee,
And the truth is that the Throne was before because it was there before the writing,
Before the writing, it stood upon its supports,
And the writing of the honourable pen came afterwards,
After it was brought into existence without any time between.”
And speech with regard to pre-decree has already preceded. However, what is intended now is the prohibition of delving into it.
His saying, “And speech and argumentation and disputing with regard to Qadr (pre-decree) is specifically forbidden,” We already have known that eemaan in pre-decree and pre-ordainment with its levels is a pillar from the pillars of eemaan in Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic.
So, whoever does not believe in pre-decree and preordainment, he is not a mu’min (believer) because he has denied a pillar from the pillars of eemaan. And likewise, it is not permissible to argue about pre-decree and pre-ordainment to say “Why will Allaah punish like that? Why does Allaah do such and such?” as has preceded. It cannot be said why and how? So, no objections, no queries are to be made with regard to Allaah, the Perfect and Most High. And you are not to enter into pre-ordainment and pre-decree with argumentation for you will not reach any nateejah (result or conclusion).
What is upon you is to submit and to have eemaan and that you do not enter into any affair from the affairs of Allaah. This (pre-decree) will not be known except by Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, and you will not reach any results and therefore it is said, “Pre-decree is Allaah’s secret.”
So, Allaah’s secret cannot be reached and cannot be encompassed so therefore don’t try to enter into it. It is upon you to have eemaan (believe) in whatever occurs in the texts of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and that you stop at that. And that you turn your attention to performing righteous deeds and to leaving off sins and acts of disobedience and that you do not say, “If Allaah has decreed for me that I am from the People of Paradise then I’ll be from the People of Paradise even if I don’t do any action and if Allaah has decreed for me that I am to be from the People of the Fire then I’ll certainly be from the People of the Fire.” So this is false and futile speech, he should not say the like of that.
So, it is not permissible to enter into these affairs because this is not the business of the servant, this is Allaah’s affair. Your business is to act, this is what is required from you. As for entering into pre-ordainment and pre-decree then it is to enter into a maze or a labyrinth from which the servant will never emerge.
His saying, “This is prohibited with all of the sects because the pre-decree is Allaah’s secret,” With all nations because pre-decree is the secret of Allaah and a secret cannot be encompassed.
Allaah, the Majestic and Most High says:
وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلَّا بِمَا شَاءَ
And they cannot encompass anything from Allaah’s knowledge except what He wishes. (Sooratul-Baqarah (2), aayah 255)
وَلَا يُحِيطُونَ بِهِ عِلْمًا
And they cannot encompass Allaah with their knowledge.
(Soorah Taa Haa (20), aayah 110)
Do not try to enter into the affairs of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, stick to your own affairs, stick to righteous deeds and leaving off sins and performing repentance from them, set your own record in order whilst you are still alive, occupy yourself with yourself. As for occupying yourself with pre-decree and pre-ordainment and “why did such and such occur” and “If Allaah has decreed all things then in that case I don’t need to act“. All of this is false and futile speech, there is no value to it and when the companions said to the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam:
“Should we not just rely upon what has been decreed for us? He said, “Rather act for everyone will have that which he was created for made easy for him.”
Allaah, the Most High, sent down:
إِنَّ سَعْيَكُمْ لَشَتَّىٰ – 92:4
فَأَمَّا مَنْ أَعْطَىٰ وَاتَّقَىٰ – 92:5
وَصَدَّقَ بِالْحُسْنَىٰ – 92:6
فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْيُسْرَىٰ – 92:7
وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَىٰ – 92:8
وَكَذَّبَ بِالْحُسْنَىٰ – 92:9
فَسَنُيَسِّرُهُ لِلْعُسْرَىٰ – 92:10
Your deeds are diverse so as for the one who gives in charity and is dutiful to Allaah and believes in Allaah’s reward then We will make easy for him acts which are pleasing to Allaah. And as for the one who is miserly and thinks himself to be self-sufficient and denies Allaah’s reward then We will make easy for Him actions, which Allaah hates.” (Sooratul-Layl (92), aayah 4-10)
So you should carry out the sabab (means), either for the salvation of your own soul or for its destruction by your actions, which you perform by your own choice and your own will. He sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“All the people go out in the morning and the person then either sets his soul free or he destroys it.”
His saying, “And, the Lord, the Majestic, the Most High, forbade the prophets from speech with regard to pre-decree,” Allaah forbade the creation; the prophets and other than them from speaking about pre-decree. And it is not mentioned from the prophets that they ever raised any objection to pre-decree because they knew the tremendousness of Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, and His wisdom and they submitted and they adopted correct manners with respect to Allaah, the Majestic and Most High, and they had not used to ask about anything, which did not contain a point of welfare for them or a benefit, so the prophets would not ask about it. Likewise, the followers of the prophets would never ask about it. Rather, the prophets and their followers used to turn themselves towards action and give attention to it. They did not used to ask about pre-decree and pre-ordainment except from the aspect of belief and having eemaan in it. And having eemaan in pre-decree and pre-ordainment, if you have eemaan in it, it renders you at peace from doubts and from false ideas and from grief. He sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“You should know that whatever befalls you was never going to miss you and whatever misses you was never going to befall you.”
So do not say: “If only I had done such and such then such and such would have been the case but rather, you should say, “Qadr Allaah wa maa shaa·a fa`al (it was the decree of Allaah and whatever He wishes He does.)”
His saying, “And the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam forbade disputing about pre-decree and the companions of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam; radiyAllaahu `anhum, they detested it and the taabi`een, they detested it and the scholars and the people of piety detested it, arguing about pre-decree.” When the Qadariyyah (those people who denied pre-decree) appeared at the end of the time of the companions, the companions strongly rebuked and refuted them and warned against them and made it clear that a servant, what is upon him is to have eemaan (truly believe) that whatever befalls him was not going to miss him and whatever misses him was never going to come to him and that whoever does not believe this then Allaah will burn Him in the Fire. So upon this, their sayings were united when the sect of the Qadariyyah appeared in their time.
His saying, “So upon you is to submit and to affirm and to have eemaan,” this is what is obligatory upon you with regard to pre-decree and pre-ordainment; submission to the pre-ordainment of Allaah and His pre-decree and not to raise objections to it and that you believe as your `aqeedah (creed and belief) that Allaah does not do anything except for a wise purpose and that He does not punish anyone except on account of his deeds. So, any deficiencies are from you so instead of blaming pre-decree, you should blame yourself and you should repent to Allaah. So, no-one can prevent repentance (tawbah) and Allaah accepts repentance from those who repent. So, why do you then occupy yourself with something, which will have no benefit for you? So, upon you is to submit and to yield and comply and not to enter into that which is not your concern, There occurs in the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu that he sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“From the excellence of a person’s Islaam is that he leaves off that which is not his concern.”
His saying, “And believing whatever Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said about all matters and be silent about whatever is besides that,” Meaning believe whatever the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said, the one who does not speak from his own desires and do not make accusations against the ahaadeeth or raise doubts about them. As long as they are established from the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam then they are not an arena for hesitation.
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا – 4:65
So know by your Lord they will not be believers until they make you (Muhammad sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam) judge in whatever disputes occur between them then they do not find any difficulty in themselves from the judgement you have passed, rather they accept with full submission. (Sooratun-Nisaa· (4), aayah 65)
وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ ۗ وَمَن يَعْصِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ ضَلَّ ضَلَالًا مُّبِينًا
And it is not right for any believing man or any believing woman that when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they have any other choice in their affair and whoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger then he has strayed far away. (Sooratul-Ahzaab (33), aayah 36)
And the like of these aayahs. So, what is obligatory upon you is to follow and to submit and to yield and comply. With regard to matters; meaning in all matters, the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam conveyed from Allaah everything, which the people need from the matters in their religion and he made it clear and Allaah completed the religion through him and there is no good except that he guided his nation to it and there is no evil except that he warned them from it and he left them upon the clear white path, its night is just the same as its day, no-one strays away from it except one who is destroyed.
His saying, “And stay silent upon whatever is other than that.” This is just as has occurred in the hadeeth:
“Allaah has made certain duties obligatory upon you so do not neglect them and He has made certain things forbidden for you so do not commit them and He has remained silent about some things as a mercy upon you, not forgetting so do not ask about them.”
You should not ask about anything except something which you need in your religion or your worldly life. And from the excellence of a person’s Islaam is his leaving off that which is not his concern. As for that which you do not have need of then asking about it is from the superfluous matters; extra unnecessary matters :
“The Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam forbade qeel wa qaal (loose conveying of useless speech) and asking too much and wasting wealth.”
So your questions should be in accordance with the level of your need and do not ask about that which you do not have a need of.
 Translator’s side point: In some wordings; “He whose name is Majestic” or in some of the narrations; “The Exalted and Most High.”
 Reported by Aboo Daawood in his Sunan and by a list of others; Imaam Ahmad, at-Tirmithee and by others besides.
Translator’s side point: This hadeeth is declared saheeh (authentic) by Shaykh al-Albaaniyy and it’s a narration of the companion `Ubaadah ibn as-Saamit radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 That’s also been taken from the authentic hadeeth where they mention in a footnote that Muslim reported in his saheeh from `Abdullaah ibn `Amr ibn al-Aas radiyAllaahu `anhumaa who said that Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“Allaah, the Most High, wrote the pre-decreed measures of all the created things fifty-thousand years before He created the heavens and the earth and His `Arsh (Throne) was upon the water.”
 Translator’s side point: This is the saying of the majority of the scholars and you can refer to the book Bughyat ul-Murtaad of Shaykh ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah and likewise al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah of al-Haafidh ibn-Katheer, (right at the start of al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah) and in that reference al-Haafidh ibn-Katheer mentions that, “The saying that the pen was created first was the saying of some people and he mentioned it was the saying of the famous mufassir; Ibn Jareer at–Tabariyy and it was the saying of Ibn al- Jawzee and others besides them and as for the saying that the Throne was created first then the pen then this as he mentioned is the saying of the majority of the scholars, W`Allaahu A`lam.”
Translator’s side point: From the famous scholars of these days who said that the Throne was created first before the pen was Shaykh ibn `Uthaymeen rahimahullaah and from those scholars who said that the pen was created before the Throne then Shaykh al-Albaaniyy rahimahullaah. Then there is some difference amongst the people of the Sunnah with regard to which of those two were created first Allaahu A`lam.
 From the famous poem Nooniyyah of Ibn ul-Qayyim.
 Ibn `Abdul Barr said in his book al-Istidhkaar, “The scholars said and the wise people from olden times said, “Pre-decree is Allaah’s secret thing so do not look into it.””
 Translator’s Side Point: Shaykh Ahmad an-Najmee rahimahullaah in his explanation something that is very commonly brought by people with regard to pre-decree,
“The intellect may say – “Allaah has decreed all the decrees of the creation and He has made some of the people; People of Bliss (People of Paradise) and some of them wretched people; People of the Fire. So, the wretched people are therefore not able to be People of Bliss”, then the intellect becomes bewildered. Therefore, it is obligatory to withhold and to have eemaan that Allaah does not oppress anyone from His creation and He does not punish anyone from them except with the proof being established.
قُلْ فَلِلَّهِ الْحُجَّةُ الْبَالِغَةُ ۖ فَلَوْ شَاءَ لَهَدَاكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ – 6:149
And with Allaah is the decisive proof so if He had wished He would have guided you, all of you. (Sooratul-An`aam (6), aayah 149)
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy (6,605) and Muslim (2,647) from a hadeeth of `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 Reported by Muslim (223) from a hadeeth of Aboo Maalik al-Ash`ariyy radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 This hadeeth has preceded on page (319) from a hadeeth of `Ubaadah radiyAllaahu `anhu and preceded on page (322) from a hadeeth of Ibn `Abbaas radiyAllaahu `anhumaa.
Taken directly from the hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu that Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allaah than the weak believer and there is good in all of them, be eager upon that which can benefit you and seek the aid of Allaah and don’t be incapable and if something befalls you then do not say if only I had done such and such then such and such would’ve happened but rather you should say, Qadr Allaah, it was the decree of Allaah and whatever He wishes He does because saying ‘if only’, this opens up the door to the action of Satan.”
Reported by Muslim (2,664).
 From `Abdullaah ibn Fayrooz ad-Daylami who said, “Something occurred in myself regarding this matter of pre-decree and I feared that it would corrupt for me my religion and my affair so therefore, I went to Ubayy ibn Ka`b and I said, ‘O Aboo Mundhir, something has occurred in myself with regard to this matter of pre-decree so I feared for my religion and my affair, so tell me something about that so that hopefully Allaah will benefit me through it.”
So he said, ‘If Allaah were to punish all the inhabitants of the heavens and the people of His earth then He would be punishing them and He would not be being unjust to them. And if He were to be merciful to them then His mercy would be better for them than their deeds. And if you had the like of Mount Uhud in gold or like the mountain of gold, which you spent it in Allaah’s cause, it would not be accepted from you unless and until you believed in pre-decree so that you know whatever happens to you was not going to miss you and whatever missed you was not going to come to you and if you were to die upon other than this, you will enter the Fire. And there will be nothing wrong for you to go to my brother `Abdullaah ibn Mas`ood and ask him.’
He said, ‘So, I went to `Abdullaah and I asked him so he mentioned the like of what was mentioned by Ubayy and he said to me’, ‘There will be no harm if you go to Huthayfah.’
So I went to Huthayfah and I asked him so he said the same as the two of them had said and he said, “Go to Zayd ibn Thaabit and ask him.’ So I went to Zayd ibn Thaabit and I asked him so he said, ‘I heard Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam say:
‘If Allaah were to punish the inhabitants of His heavens and the inhabitants of His earth then he would punish them and he would not be wronging them and if He were to have mercy upon them then His mercy would be better for them than their deeds deserve and if you had the like of the Mount Uhud in gold and you spent it in Allaah’s cause, Allaah would not accept it from you until you believed in pre-decree, all of it so that you know whatever befalls you was not going to miss you and whatever misses you was not going to befall you and if you die upon other than this, you will enter the Fire.”’
Reported by Imaam Ahmad and Aboo Daawood and Ibn Maajah and the wording is his and declared authentic by Ibn Hibbaan and by Shaykh ul-Islaam Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhaab in Kitaab at-Tawheed and likewise declared saheeh by Shaykh al-Albaaniyy as well.
 Reported by at-Tirmithee who said it’s ghareeb and by Ibn Maajah and by Al-Bayhaqi in Shu`b al-Eemaan and Ibn Hibbaan and others from a hadeeth of Aboo Hurayrah radiyAllaahu `anhu.
Translator’s side point: There is some speech with regard to the scholars about the authenticity of this hadeeth, some of them don’t accept the hadeeth being authentic from the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam and as for Shaykh al-Albaaniyy rahimahullaah then he declared the hadeeth saheeh in his checking of Tirmithee, hadeeth being saheeh from Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, W`Allaahu A`lam.
 Reported by Tabaraanee in Mu`jam al-Kabeer, ad-Daaruqutnee in his Sunan, al-Haakim, al-Bayhaqi and others besides from a hadeeth of Aboo Tha`labah al-Khushaniyy and the wording of the text of it was declared authentic by Ibn Katheer in his Tafseer.
Translator’s side point: Shaykh al-Albaaniyy declared this hadeeth (hadeeth occurs as no. 30 in Imaam an-Nawawi’s 40 hadeeth) to be da`eef (weak) in his checking in his book Ghayatul Maraam as hadeeth no. 4 because he mentioned the Taabi`ee is not established; Maqhu who heard from the companion Aboo Tha`labah radiyAllaahu `anhu. However Shaykh al-Albaaniyy before that in the book 2 hadeeth that declared hasan (good) a narration with the wording from a hadeeth of Aboo Dardaa` radiyAllaahu `anhu that the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said:
“That which Allaah has declared lawful in His Book then it is lawful and whatever He forbade then it is what is forbidden and whatever He remained silent about then it is that which He has pardoned so accept from Allaah that which He has pardoned for Allaah does not forget anything.
وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّا
“And your Lord never forgets.” (Soorah Maryam (19), aayah 64)
Reported by al-Haakim.
 Reported by Al-Bukhaariyy (2,408) and reported by Muslim (593) from a hadeeth of Mugeerah ibn Shu`bah radiyAllaahu `anhu.
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Transcribed by Saima Zaher.
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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