Q is for Qadr
Qadr is more of a concept in Islam than simply a word. It is the Islamic belief and acknowledgement that God has control over all things. Everything that happens, everything that lives, everything that was ever created, God controls it all and allows it to be.
At the same time, Muslims believe in the concept of free will. This is something that I have noticed many Muslims (and non-Muslims) have trouble wrapping their heads around. How can we have free will when God controls everything?
For some reason, I have never had a problem with this concept. Maybe it’s because I learned it at such a young age, when my mind was more moldable. A teacher of mine once said that when talking about Qadr, he finds that his younger students rarely have a problem with the concept. More often it is his adult and older students who have so many questions relating to Qadr and free will.
Part of how it makes sense in my head is due to one understanding about humans: we don’t know everything.
Often, when talking about God and the unseen, people come in to the discussion with the assumption that we as humans have gotten to the point where we know everything there is to know about the world.
That is simply not true. The fact that scientists are continuously discovering new things every day proves that there is so much out there that we don’t know and may never come to understand.
That is precisely why I have no problem with both Qadr and free will existing simultaneously. To my understanding, we humans have the ability to act out of our own free will. At the same time, the choices we make and the actions we do only come to be by the will of God. Both concepts exist in a way that is bigger than us, in a way that we don’t have the capability of understanding.
And that is fine with me. I’m just a human. How could I expect myself to understand the workings of the being who created the very concept of “concept” itself? It just doesn’t make sense to try to define something that exists beyond this world in worldly terms.
Just because something doesn’t makes sense in our finite minds doesn’t mean it can’t exist.