What is destiny (qadar), decree (qada) and partial free will (irada al-juz’iyya)?

Since our issue is destiny we must know the meanings of some words before we start explaining destiny. One of them is the concept of “destiny”.

Destiny is the preordination by God (Allah) Almighty of everything from pre-eternity to post eternity by knowing the state, time, place, attributes and features of everything. God is timeless and perfect so God knows everything with all details, characters and cases. And before the creation God wrote everything with all details, cases, characters in the destiny tablet called lawh al-mahfuz. This destiny tablet is the Book of destiny.

Decree is “the creation of the planned things and events by God”. God creates the planned things and events and it is named as decree. In other words, destiny is a result of the eternal knowledge of God. Decree is the manifestation of the power of God. Namely, God writes with the eternal knowledge and God creates with eternal power. Writing is destiny, creation is decree.

For example, the time to be born and the time to die for a person were determined and it was written in the destiny tablet. Here, this determination is destiny. To be born when its time comes and to die when its time comes, namely, the creation of birth and death is decree.

Partial free will is the ability to act freely and the freedom of choice given by God. In other words; God gave human many abilities such as reading, writing, running, eating, drinking, sitting… Each of these abilities are named as “the first kind of compulsory destiny”. However, this compulsory destiny is different than “the second kind of compulsory destiny”.

“The second kind of compulsory destiny” means God can do everything and nobody can prevent this situation.

However, “the first kind of compulsory destiny” means abilities that are given to human by God. When a man decides to make an action by one of these abilities “the first kind of compulsory destiny” is transformed into a partial free will. Here, “partial” does not mean “smallness”; it means “specificity”.

For example, man has the ability to eat. This is “the first kind of compulsory destiny.” When man starts to drink water, thanks to this ability, this ability becomes “partial”. Now, man uses his first compulsory destiny in a specific way and starts to drink water. Here, it is named as “partial free will”. Here, man is free. Man can eat simit (food like pretzel) but he can also prefer to drink a forbidden beverage.  In short, God gave man the opportunity to prefer; so, man is held responsible.

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