How can one understand the relationship between freewill and destiny?

We accept Allah (swt) has both written our destiny and has simultaneously given us freewill.

Given our premise is correct, it is obvious the latter will consequently be devoid of any kind of value (destiny > freewill)

I suspect my personal failure to solve this problem is my definition/perception of destiny itself.

To further clarify my queries, I will more or so present scenario....

If an individual was not able to, say get an education, after repeated number of attempts to do so- who would he/she take responsible for their inability to receive an education?

Will it be destiny (Qadr) or will be their incapability in the sphere of freewill? As Allah (swt) states that he bestows education to those who seek it, and bestows wealth to whom he wishes.

Regards, DK

  • Salam and welcome to IslamSE the Q&A site about Islam. To learn more about our site and model I recommend you to take the tour and check our help center. As to your post maybe you should explain your issue (use the edit link)! We have a lot of similar questions which don't seem to have satisfactory answers. IMO both are two distinct things can clearly co-exist.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 14:08
  • I think this is a very important subject which is not quite often talked about and I asked some questions on this issue on reddit a few days ago. Hoping to see some good answers on it from this site.
    – Yosef
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 14:48
  • Thank you for the reply Yosef, I cannot agree more. The subject is very much ignored/deliberately overlooked as it is possibly too complex for our simple minds, as Allah has restricted us in terms of knowledge, so there's a specific span that we are able to comprehend. Indeed, I am also desperately waiting for a satisfactory response (albeit rare :P)
    – Kayhan
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 15:11
  • In case of that person not getting the education he/she strives for is entirely up to her freewill as there are numerous videos on youtube or books in the local library to learn things yourself. I understand that if that person wants to learn mathematics or physics which is impossible (in the sense no one really has learned university level maths or physics or another science entirely on his own till the point he can discuss issues with professor in that field). There I'd suggest you just learn the secondary (high school) level on your own and then move forward by asking questions on ...
    – user24306
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 20:38
  • 1
    For the difference of Qadr and free will also known as iradah in Arabic I'd think there won't be an answer which there will be a consensus about. Since people have different kinds of concepts about this issue. I'd say that Qadr is something is out of your reach you won't get it no matter how hard you work for it until Allah will give it to you. Free will is a choice of human beings of their own. If you want to become rich and still follow the islamic jurisprudence concerning money you can get it provided that you sacrifice some things that hinders you from getting it.
    – user24306
    Commented Jul 18, 2018 at 20:43

3 Answers 3


We have free will. Thus, we are responsible for our actions. Utterances like whether Allah has written our destiny are potentially misleading. Just because He has written it does not mean that He has decided them. If that would be the case, why should you be accountable for anything at all? Allah is All-Knower and He knows what you and everybody else will do. Simple.

Further, utterances like if Allah knows this and that why does He do this and that is the ultimate ignorance ... and sin. Allah does everything with His unlimited Knowledge and Wisdom and Might. We humans cannot even understand (let alone solve) our minor petty problems, how can we hope to even begin to understand why and how Allah does what He does.

And, no, all this does not mean that Allah left everything to its own devices. He is watchful over every single atom and interrupts as He wills.

As to examples like:

If an individual was not able to, say get an education, after repeated number of attempts to do so- who would he/she take responsible for their inability to receive an education?

We must have faith that among the web of things which might have happened, the best is what has already happened. Always.

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger as saying: A strong believer is better and is more lovable to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don't say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your if opens the (gate) for the Satan.

Reference: Sahih Muslim 2664

The hadith clearly says that one should not indulge with if I had done this or that. You do your best and do not think about the rest and have in Allah that whatever happens will be the best.

The problem, as I see it, for most people cannot comprehend the fact the unlimited knowledge of Allah is not equivalent to predestination. They think this like a sport game, yet to be played, and already published in YouTube. So what is the point of playing, right?

It is not quite like that. Allah knows everything. And, to our knowledge, everything that happened and will happen is written in a Book. The Book. But none except Allah has access to that book. And that makes the big difference between this and the above YouTube example. (Here is your exercise: why does that make all the difference?)


The following answer can help reduce the confusion. I'll try to translate it as good as I can and you can copy the original text and translate it using any Arabic / English dictionary.

*Faith is divided in two types, one can be changed by many ways by performing duaa, strengthen family ties and this is called (moalq) so Allah makes the angels write more than one way for everyone. Ex: If he kept in touch with his relatives, did good to his parents, Allah gives order to angels to make him live longer. If he didn't? Allah doesn't give those orders. This point refers to the free will we have. We choose this way not the other and each of them you will take, the scenario has already written and known.

The other type of faith is never changed which is called (mobram). Allah only knows it. And this actually is the choice or the way we'll take according to the first type of faith.

I hope you understood anything of my answer. And I'm sorry for mistakes because I am not a native speaker. :') may Allah bless you.

القدر نوعين ... أقدار مُعلقة ...وأقدار مُبرمة

بمعنى إن في نسختين من القدر .. قدر أزلي عند ربنا ده اسمه مُبرم مفيش أي حاجة ينفع تغيّره .. وهو ده الي ربنا قال فيه ( مَا يُبَدَّلُ الْقَوْلُ لَدَيَّ) ..

وقدر في الصُحف الي ماسكاها الملائكة .. ده اسمه مُعلّق وإحنا بإيدينا نغيّره بـ حاجات موصوفة لينا اصلا في الكتاب والسنة .. ومنها مثلا إن "العُمر" ممكن يزيد بـ صلة الرحم ..

فـ القدر المُعلّق بيتغير حسب تصرفاتك .. وده الي ربنا قال عليه ( لِكُلِّ أَجَلٍ كِتَابٌ يَمْحُو اللّهُ مَا يَشَاء وَيُثْبِتُ وَعِندَهُ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ) ..

لما نرجع لأصل الموضوع نلاقي إن ربنا لما خلّى الملائكة تكتب أقدارنا المُعلقة خلاهم يكتبوا كذا طريق لكل شخص ...فـ بيقولهم "مثلا" اكتبوا عُمر فلان كذا لو ما تصدقش ... ولو تصدّق يبقى عُمره كذا .. هنا القدر بيبقى مُعلق بتصرف فلان دا وإختياره ... لو إختار إنه يتصدّق هيطول عمره ..

ومن هنا هنعرف إن إحنا مُخيرين .. ربنا عمل نسخة كاملة من القدر وسمّاه القدر المُعلّق عشان إنت تختار طريقك بنفسك ومايجبركش على حاجة

الملائكة الي ماسكة الصٌحف ماتعرفش فلان هيختار إيه [ فهو قدر مُعلق بالنسبة للملائكة ]

بينما ربنا وحده بيكون عالم باللِ هيحصل وعالم باختيار فلان ده هيكون ايه وقدره هيتغير ولا لا .. [ فـ نتيجة الإختيار هي الي بتكون قدر مُبرم بالنسبة لله عز وجل ]

بمعنى إن الربط بين القسمين هو إن مصير القدر المُعلق بيكون مجهول لغير الله ومعلوم عند الله وحده في عِلمه وقدره الأزلي

والخلاصة إن القدر المُبرم هو [ كافة النتائج النهائية ] للقدر المُعلّق ..

وعلي كلّ حال .. المقدور إتقدّر بـ أسباب ... ومن أهم أسبابه العمل الصالح وبر الوالدين وصلة الرحم.... والدعاء وده من أكتر الحاجات اللي ممكن تغيّر الأقدار ... وأكتر حاجة بيعملها الدعاء هي رد البلاء .. زي ما قال رسولنا الكريم "لا يزيد في العمر إلا البر، ولا يرد القدر إلا الدعاء، وإن الرجل ليحرم الرزق بخطيئة يعملها."

بإتباع الاسباب بيتحققلنا الي إتقدّر لنا ... بينما لو يأسنا وبطلّنا دعاء وأعمال يبقى هنخسر الحاجة العظيمة الي كان ممكن ناخدها وتتحققلنا .... لإن بإنتفاء السبب ينتفي القدر المُعلق عليه

روي في الأثر عن ابن عبّاس رضي الله عنه ( للعبد مع الله قدران ...قدر بالدعاء.... وقدر بغير الدعاء )

  • That's mostly Egyptian slang written in Arabic letters. I hope you are able to distinguish both. You should quote your sources and support your claims by evidences, see How to Answer.
    – Medi1Saif
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 5:14
  • @RanaSamir : Can you provide some sources? And I don't
    – user24306
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 17:42
  • @RanaSamir: I don't understand your first conclusion in the alinea about free will. You say human beings have free will but everything is already written down somewhere. So does Allah have nothing do with our free will if He already knows what is going to happen? I don't understand this issue. What source did you use?
    – user24306
    Commented Jul 20, 2018 at 17:46

Al-qadar means to measure out or calculate and believing in it is a must in Islam. Yes Allah SWT has already measured out many things e.g. your lifespane and the trials but this does not means that Allah SWT has already decided that you will go to hell!!! for more information about about this topic see this!! Predestination in Islam.

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