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The Inescapable

Reader comment on item: Are Muslims Fatalists?

Submitted by Pied Piper (Saudi Arabia), Sep 18, 2015 at 02:42

Fatalism may not completely help in explaining Muslim life, but without it, any description of the Islamic experience is seriously flawed. That is to say, fatalism and its epigones constitute a foundational component of Islamic reality.

The Hadith is replete with this kind of inspiration. For example, in Nawawi's 40 Hadith we get the famous line:

رفعت الاقلام وجفت الصحف (The Pens have been Lifted and the Pages have Dried)

A poetic yet clear admonishment that whatever happens in the world has long since been decreed by the Creator.

Even the Koran will advise the believer that his every action and even intention has been pre-determined in a realm not of this Earth. Thus the Sura of the Cave (K18: 23-24) proclaims:

٢٣ وَلَا تَقُولَنَّ لِشَا۟ىْءٍ إِنِّى فَاعِلٌ ذَٰلِكَ غَدً

٢٤ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ۚ ...........

"Refrain from proclaiming your future action without also affirming its realization only "If Allah so Wills It"........ (my translation).

Allah's potency and transcendence are universal and unimaginable by man. Whether this worldview is ultimately compatible with the modern world is at the core of the current troubles in the Middle East. So far, the score card doesn't look very promising


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