times, we hear people say “Oh well, It was never in my destiny for this to
happen” or “What’s written for you will happen”. But is it really like that? I
mean, we Muslims believe that God has created us with free will to make our own
decisions, that’s why there is a Day of Judgement. Because if we didn’t have
free will and everything was written for us already, then there would be no
point of having a Judgement Day as we couldn’t be rewarded nor punished because
nothing was in our hands. But it isn’t like that.
to write about this because I was going through a difficult situation whereby I
wanted an issue I had to be resolved, but then there were some people telling
me to give up on that because maybe it just wasn’t meant to be for me and that
only what is meant to be will happen. Then I thought to myself, if only what is
meant for me is to happen, then what is the point of Islam encouraging us to
always supplicate and ask God for what I want when if it was meant to be, it
would come to me regardless of me doing Dua or not. And if it was not meant to
be, then there should be no point in praying for it, because it wouldn’t
happen. This kind of mentality actually nullifies the whole practice of Dua.
Which means it is a wrong way of thinking. And not just that, but it can make
me lazy and not make any effort towards achieving my goal because regardless of
what I do or don’t, what is meant to be for me will come to me. This kind of
thinking is wrong and un-Islamic.
does Islam say? Is something destined for me or do I make my own destiny or
change my destiny through the power of prayer? Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq (a) often
encouraged his companions to ask from Allah. He once said to Maysar, his
companion : “O Maysar! Supplicate, and do not say the affair has been destined.
Surely there are ranks with Allah which cannot be reached except through
asking. If the servant (of Allah) closes his mouth and does not ask, he will
not be given anything, so ask and you will get. O Maysar, the door that is
knocked often is most likely to open.”
hadith proves that even when something may be destined by God, one should not give
up his efforts and his prayers because we are supposed to always try our best
to achieve what we want rather than just give up and blame ‘fate’.
to Ayatullah Jafar Subhani: “A successful student who had studied day and night
has improved his destiny ever since he entered the university. To summarize,
our efforts today construct our future. Worldly affairs are interconnected like
the rings of a chain. If an intermediary ring breaks off the whole series or
scheme of life is disturbed. Every ring is the cause for another.
happening is based on a series of causes and effects. For example, today’s
events will become the cause for tomorrow’s events. Similarly the causes of
tomorrow will be the reasons for the happenings of the day after. The story of
future is inscribed on the forehead of the present day. Previous events
themselves tell us that today’s happenings are the harbingers of tomorrow’s
events. The relation between the two is unmistakable. If somebody ponders over
the management of the Creator he can clearly predict tomorrow’s events.
If we read
in religious books or in the holy Quran that man lives within the limits of
destiny or if it is written in the holy Quran that whatever you do has been
inscribed in the Lauh e Mahfuz (Protected Tablet) from the beginning, it
does not mean that we are the prisoners of destiny and are bound to act
accordingly. Rather what is meant thereby is that the Omniscient God is aware
of all the events of the past and the future and knows who will work voluntarily
for what and will consequently decide his own good or bad fortune.
aware of what man will do but man is absolutely free to shape his destiny.”
we see that from an Islamic perspective, destiny is something that is shaped by
us human beings, so saying things like it’s meant to be or not meant to be for
us is incorrect, as we determine what is meant to be for us. How we determine
this is by making efforts for what we want to achieve in life, as well as
supplicating to God for what we want. As we also need to realize that just
because our destiny is in our hands does not mean we are independent of God.
What it means is that God has mercifully granted that power to us, and if we
want to get what we want, we need to trust in Him, seek from Him, and try our
just in case you’re curious about the outcome of what happened to me, well, I
prayed and prayed to God and kept trying
my best despite all the obstacles and what I wanted, did eventually happen with
Zeynab Ladak is currently a final year Bachelors
in Media, Communication and Culture student at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan
University, South Africa.