The Pen

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He commanded the Pen: “Write!”
The Pen was bewildered and shocked!
With utmost humbleness and respect,
: “O! My almighty Master! What am I to write?”
“Write all that I have destined to each and every one of My creations.”
The Pen started to write; and having writ, moved on and on, writing the Destiny of all creations, till the Day of Judgment.
Having written the destiny of the last of creation, the last drop in the Pen also dried up.
Not a dot or a word can be changed by any force in the universe!
None can know what the Pen had written, except the Master Himself.
All claims that man can read and know others’ fate, are mere falsehood and fabrication.
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However, there are still a small number of Muslims, who believe in astrology and horoscopes! They believe that their fate can be read by people who claim to be experts in astrology! In certain groups of people, marriages are arranged only after studying the horoscopes of both parties by an ‘expert’; and, only if he says that the horoscopes of both parties are compatible and matching, further steps are taken to culminate the marriage. But alas! How many marriages thus arranged, ‘land on rocks’ and finally end in divorce!

This brings back to my memory of an incident, told by Prof.Abdul Kadir, of Vaniyampadi, Tamil Nadu, about 30 years ago, in one of his speeches. He was travelling in a train one night, in the upper deck of the ‘sleeper-coach’. Two men at the lower deck were chit-chatting; and one of them claimed to be ‘expert’ in reading palms. Holding the man’s palm, he told all sorts of things that this man would have undergone; and what will happen to him in future. The other man was dumbfounded, nodding his head. Suddenly, the chain that is meant to stop the train in emergency (in those days every train would have such ‘emergency chain’ running through all the all the coaches to the wheels of the engine to brake in cases of emergency. A passenger had simply to pull the chain hard, to stop the train) came off the hook, swung, and hit hard at the so-called astrology expert’s head; causing a big cut at the forehead with profuse bleeding! The professor, who was witnessing all this came down, helped the man who was hit by the chain; and then asked: “You claimed to know what would happen in future; but, you could not even know that the chain would hit your own head!” The ‘expert’ kept mum.

One may ask: “If Man’s destiny is as God’s Will, and cannot be changed, good or bad is not within Man’s means. So how can Man be responsible for his actions?”

God created Man as His viceroy on earth – His khalifah. (Al-Quran 2:30). He has created Man as the best of creation (Al-Quran 95:4). Hence, out of His extreme love for His khalifah on earth, He has given some leeway – freedom – to act as he likes. This also is the manifestation of His love for His khalifah. If there is no freedom to act as one wills, just as the angels (malaikat), life in this world would be totally boring. Man gets happiness only after achieving success in competition – exams, games and sports. Life itself is a competition – a challenge. To know how to succeed in this competition, He has given a guidebook (Al-Quran, also known as al-Furqan – the criterion or the standard to distinguish between good and bad). In this way, He has given freedom to Man, to act on his own – either good or bad.
In many places in Al-Quran, Allah SWT Himself has said that it is
Man who is responsible for his actions – good or bad.
“30. Whatever misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned; and yet He pardons much.” (42:30)
“What comes to you of good is from Allah , but what comes to you of evil, [O man], is from yourself…………..” (4:79)
“We have certainly created man in the best of stature; then We return him to the lowest of the low (because of his own doing), except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they will have a reward uninterrupted.” (95: 4-6)

However, Man’s destiny is determined in all other aspects – his position in this world (rich or poor; his marriage-partner; number of children; where he would live and die; his profession). My great ambition was to become an engineer, and I scored excellent results in the relevant subjects in Senior Cambridge; and H.S.C. But however, I ended up being a doctor! That’s my fate, which I could not change.
A man may work very hard, honestly and sincerely; but, he may not achieve high position – that is his fate.
A man may strike ‘luck’ at everything he touches – that is his fate.

However, God, being so very Gracious towards his khalifah (Man), has offered 2 ways by which Man can change his fate:
1. Sincere (ikhlas) donations;
2. Sincere (ikhlas) supplication (doa) with earnest piety.

To sum up, Man’s fate is determined by his destiny; but in all situations, Man himself is accountable for his deeds.
He cannot blame Fate.

Guest Columnists, Islamic Articles

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