What is the meaning of qadha’ and qadar?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
In Arabic, qadha’ means placing and deciding a certain ruling.
While from syarak’s perspective, qadha’ is something that has been decided by Allah SWT for all His creations, whether it is in terms of its creation, destruction or changes.
In Arabic, qadar means setting something to a certain amount.
While in syarak, qadar is something that has been set at a certain amount since the beginning of time, so that it follows His knowledge which precedes everything.
The Differences Between Qadha’ and Qadar
Qadar is setting an amount or extent of something before deciding that it would happen. While qadha’ is making something happen according to a set condition. This means, qadar happens first before qadha’, both are complementary to each other and are inseparable.
Ibn al-Athir gave analogy of qadar as a base of a construction and qadha’ as a building being constructed on top of the base. Sayyid Sabiq in his book Aqidah Islam said, it has been stated numerous times in the Quran regarding the issue of qadar or fate, among them are:
- Everything that happens is according to the will of Allah. Allah SWT state:
وَكُلُّ شَىْءٍ عِندَهُۥ بِمِقْدَارٍ
And everything with Him is by due measure.”
Surah al-Ra’d (8)
Al-Maraghi commented: Everything has its own limits set to it not going beyond or below it.
- Everything created according to fate as stated by Allah SWT:
وَإِن مِّن شَىْءٍ إِلَّا عِندَنَا خَزَآئِنُهُۥ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُۥٓ إِلَّا بِقَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ
“And there is not a thing but that with Us are its depositories, and We do not send it down except according to a known measure.”
Surah al-Hijr (21)
Sayyid Qutb said: Only to Allah SWT will everything return to and every person will go back to his creator in its accurate time.
- Everything is created as determined by Allah SWT in accordance with the statement of Allah SWT:
إِنَّا كُلَّ شَىْءٍ خَلَقْنَـٰهُ بِقَدَرٍ
“Indeed, all things We created with predestination.”
Surah al-Qamar (49)
Al-Maraghi said: “Indeed, everything that happens in our lives in this world is the predetermined by Allah SWT and its formation is in accordance with the determination of His wisdom the All-Knowing and His law is comprehensive and suitable with the sunnah He has set on His creations.”
The conclusion that could be drawn from the above verse is that the meaning of qadar or fate is set laws created by Allah SWT for everything that is created by Allah SWT in this universe.
Thus, these laws are the general rules or certainty bound by reasons and among the law of cause and effect. Imam al-Nawawi Rahimahullah defined fate as: “Indeed, everything that is created by Allah SWT has its own set of laws governing it. Allah SWT is the All-Knowing of every single thing that happens to anything in the set times, in accordance with the set rules set by Him. Thus, when this happens, surely, it will follow the attributes and situations specific and accurate as what has been set by Allah SWT.”
In Syarah Jauharah al-Tauhid by Syeikh Ibrahim al-Laqqani said, regarding the meaning of qada’ and qadar, there are differing opinions between Asya’irah and Maturidiah. The meaning of qadar according Asya’irah is:
إِيْجَادُ الله الأشْيَاء عَلَى قَدَرٍ مَخْصُوصٍ وَوَجْهٍ مُعَيَّن أَرَادَهُ تَعَالىَ
“Allah makes something in accordance with particular set of laws and form determined by the will of Allah SWT.”
According to the above stated meaning, then Qadar is a verb for it is like an occurrence and an occurrence or al-ijad is an af’al. According to Maturidiah, qadar means:
تَحْدِيْدُ الله أَزْلاً كُلَّ مَخْلُوقٍ بِحَدِّهِ الَّذِى يُوْجَدُ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ حُسْنٍ وَقُبْحٍ وَنَفْعٍ وَضُرٍّ إِلىَ غَيْرِ ذَلِكَ أَي عِلْمُهُ تَعَالَى أَزْلاً صِفَاتِ الْمَخْلُوقَاتِ.
“The limitations Allah SWT has set from the beginning of time on His every creation with His limitations, He made upon it goodness, danger, benefit and harm with the meaning that Allah SWT is the All-Knowing from the beginning of time on His every creations.”
According to the above meaning, then qadar is among the attributes of an essence, while qadha’ according to Asya’irah means:
إرَادَةُ الله الأَشْيَاءَ فِي الأَزْلِ عَلَى مَا هِىَ عَلَيْهِ فِيْمَا لاَ يَزَالُ
“The will of Allah upon everything from the beginning of time in accordance with whatever is suitable on it to this time,”
Hence, qadha’ is among the attributes of an essence according to this meaning. While qadha’ according to Maturidiah is:
إِيْجَادُ الله الأَشْيَاء مَعَ زِيَادَةِ الإحْكَامِ وَالإِتْقَان
“Allah created something with a supporting addition and assessment.”
Qadha’ according to this meaning is among the attributes of af’al. Hence, the meaning of qadar is like hadith and qadha’ is qadim according to Asya’irah. Whereas, according to Maturidiah, qadha’ is hadith and qadar is qadim.
The commentator of the above statement brings the words of the author in madhhab Maturidiah in matters pertaining qadha’ and qadar, not in the madhhab of Asya’irah for qadha’ through the lexicon perspective has approximately seven meanings and the most renown definition is al-Hukmu which means “conviction” which comes back to fi’il (verb) which is suitable when commenting the term with fi’il. As for qadar, its meaning is not fi’il, thus, it is not suitable to define the term with fi’il unless with knowledge.
Thus, we can see that Ajhuri defined qadha’ as iradah (will) together with taalluq (attachment) from the beginning of time according to the first qaul or knowledge together with taalluq (attachment) from the beginning of time according to the second qaul. According to each of these qaul, then qadha’ is qadim. Qadar is the creation according to the suitability of iradah (will) or creation in accordance with knowledge. According to each of these qaul, then qadha’ is new.