The Twenty-Sixth Word
THE TREATISE ON DIVINE DETERMINING
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And there is not a thing but its [sources and] treasures [inexhaustible] are with Us, but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.1 * And of all things have We taken account in a Clear Book.2
[Divine Determining3 and the power of choice4 are two important matters. We shall attempt to disclose a few of their mysteries in four ‘Topics’.]
Divine Determining and the power of choice are aspects of a belief pertaining to state and conscience which show the final limits of Islam and belief; they are not theoretical and do not pertain to knowledge. That is to say, a believer attributes everything to Almighty God, even his actions and self, till finally the power of choice confronts him, so he cannot evade his obligation and responsibility. It tells him: “You are responsible and under obligation.” Then, so that he does not become proud at his good deeds and his achievements, Divine Determining confronts him, saying: “Know your limits; the one who does them is not you.” Yes, Divine Determining and the power of choice are at the final degrees of belief and Islam; the former has been included among the matters of belief to save the soul from pride, and the latter, to make it admit to its responsibility. Obdurate evil-commanding souls clinging to Divine Determining in order to clear themselves of the responsibility of the evils they have committed, and their becoming proud and conceited on account of the virtues bestowed on them and their relying on the power of choice, are actions totally opposed to the mystery of Divine Determining and wisdom of the power of choice; they are not matters pertaining to knowledge which might give rise to such actions.
Divine Determining (Qadar; T. Kader) is also known as fate or destiny. [Tr.]
The power of choice or faculty of will (juz’i irada, juz’-i ikhtiyari), also known as free will. [Tr.]