The Submission of People of Perfected Faith to Destiny
"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)
"Indeed, all things We created with predestination."
(Surat al-Qamar, 49) As the verse states, Allah has created every
thing, living or non-living, with its own destiny. This destiny that Allah
ordained is invariable; any good or evil that is preordained can in no
way be prevented or diverted by anyone. The people of perfected faith
are those who are aware that "nothing can happen to them except
what Allah has ordained for them."
This fact is, in actuality, a source of infinite comfort. Each event
on earth, whether important or insignificant, is planned, in all its details,
by an infinite intelligence. Therefore, each one of them develops in a
controlled way, to bring the best of benefits to believers.
Aware that Allah creates each event to the advantage of the religion
and for the benefit of the believers' lives in the hereafter, the people
of perfected faith live in sincere submission to Allah's eternal wisdom
and the destiny He has preordained. As the verse, "...
Allah will not let the disbelievers triumph over the believers" (Surat
an-Nisa', 141) makes clear, all events culminate in a way which
is, in all cases, in favour of believers. "... Allah
will certainly help those who help Him," (Surat al-Hajj, 40) for
Allah is the friend and protector of believers.
The people of perfected faith who take Allah as their Protector and put
their trust in Him never despair of Allah's help. Especially in the case
of a seemingly disadvantageous situation, they never swerve from this
stance, aware that there is goodness in whatever happens.
The world is a setting in which Allah puts human beings to the test.
The majority of the people display submission to Allah and feel grateful
to Him when they receive some form of goodness or blessing, thinking that
it is bestowed upon them by Him. But when it comes to an unfavourable
event that is not going their way, they suddenly lose their submissive
attitude. They display mistrust and ungratefulness that may at times be
as serious as rebelling against Allah. This attitude is referred to in
the Qur'an as follows:
… When We let a man taste Our mercy, he exults in it. But if something
bad strikes him for what he has done, he is ungrateful. (Surat ash-Shura,
The people of perfected faith, however, have grasped the secret revealed
by the verse, "…We put you to the test with both
good and evil. And you will be returned to Us." (Surat al-Anbiya', 35)
Never forgetting that any event that seems favourable or unfavourable
is specially created to test their faith, they are never lacking in the
submission they display to the will of Allah and their trust in their
Creator never lessens. They know that any seemingly unfavourable event
befalling them may, in actuality, produce very good results when the next
life is considered, since Allah creates every event with many hidden purposes
that man fails to see. This fact is recorded in a verse as follows:
… 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)
As stressed in the above verse, an event initially deemed to be bad might
do good to man, because Allah, the Possessor of infinite wisdom, has planned
all events befalling him. Man's wisdom and faculty of thinking are limited.
This being the case, what a man is expected to do is to submit himself
to the destiny Allah has preordained with His eternal wisdom. That is
what will benefit man in all cases.
An event might seem to be unfolding unfavourably; but never forget that
it may well be a trial of one's submission to Allah. This event may turn
out to be a great blessing at some time. People failing to put their trust
in Allah initially forget this fact and thus suffer great loss. Those,
on the other hand, having perfected faith, and displaying a good attitude,
both gain the pleasure of Allah and ultimately enjoy the beneficial consequences
of so doing.
The Qur'an provides us with some excerpts from the lives of those prophets,
who became role models for all humanity in the perfected faith they displayed.
One of these concerns the seemingly hopeless situation of the Prophet
Musa (as), who led his people out of Egypt to escape the Pharaoh's oppression.
As they reached the shore, Pharaoh and his army were almost upon them.
This difficult situation, which in no way inspired the faintest hope of
salvation, became a means by which those who sought goodness in destiny
under all circumstances and the ones who doubted were set apart from each
other. In the Qur'an, Allah relates this event as follows:
So they pursued them towards the east. And when the two hosts came into
sight of one another, Musa's companions said, "We will surely be overtaken!"
He said, "Never! My Lord is with me and He will guide me." So We bade
Musa strike the sea with his staff, and it split in two, each part like
a towering cliff. In between We made the others follow up. We rescued
Musa and all those who were with him. Then We drowned the rest. There
is certainly a Sign in that, yet most of them do not believe. (Surat ash-Shu'ara',
As the verses also inform us, some of the Prophet Musa (as)'s people
quailed and thought, "We will surely be overtaken." The Prophet Musa (as),
however, did not despair for a moment. He remembered that Allah's help
was at hand. Following this trial, Allah miraculously divided the waters
of the sea, leaving a dry path in the middle, and guided them to the other
shore. Meanwhile, the waters suddenly began to close in on the Pharaoh
and his soldiers, who blindly set foot on the same path, and they all
drowned. Once the submission of believers became obvious, Allah turned
a bad situation into a great blessing.
In the Qur'an, Allah also gives the submission of Our Prophet (saas) to
His will as an example:
If you (the believers) do not help him (the Prophet), Allah will help
him as He did when the disbelievers drove him out and there were two of
them in the Cave. He said to his companion, "Do not be despondent, Allah
is with us." Then Allah sent down His serenity upon him and sent to his
aid invisible warriors. He routed the unbeliever and exalted the word
of Allah. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat at-Tawba, 40)
In times of difficulty, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) put his trust in
Allah and called upon his companions to be submissive to Him.
People of perfected faith take the Prophet (saas)'s good conduct as their
example. Never swerving from this standard of moral perfection, they meet
every difficulty they face with the words:
… "Allah is enough for me. All those who truly trust put their trust
in Him." (Surat az-Zumar, 38)