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17. Understanding Islam

3.6. AXIOM 6: Belief in fate

Islam teaches the belief in absolute fate, or divine decree, which means Allah directly creates every event and action. This is very clear in most Islamic schools of thought and it is firmly accepted by the majority of Muslims. There are some schools of Islam which reject free will altogether, though some give humans limited free will.

The Qur’an describes how the fate of all of Adam’s descendants was predestined:

“Remember when your Lord brought forth from the loins of the children of Adam their descendants and had them testify regarding themselves. Allah asked, ‘Am I not your Lord?’ They replied, ‘Yes, You are! We testify.’ He cautioned, ‘Now you have no right to say on Judgment Day, “We were not aware of this.” ’ ” (Qur’an 7:172)

This is expanded on in a Hadith which quotes Mohammed as saying:

“Allah created Adam, extracted from his loins every human that will be, and said these are destined for Paradise and I don’t care, and those for hell and I don’t care.”

It goes on to say:

“One of Mohammed's companions asked him ‘Why should we work then?’ and he replied ‘According to fate.’ ” (Sahih Ibn Hibban)

As noted above in the section on Allah, this means that Islam is fatalistic in the extreme, and this influences the decisions and attitudes of every Muslim to at least some degree.

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