Believing in Divine Decree

If Allah decrees good for person, he makes his heart disposed towards accepting sincere advice and guides a voice of admonition to echo in his mind during its periods of leisure and inactivity, just as rain is led to the barren land, “He produces thereby crops of varying colours.” (al-Zummar 39:21)  However if Allah turns away from a person, He throws him into an ocean of heedlessness, so that whenever he opens his eyes he only sees layer upon layer of darkness, one on top of the other. The means of safety are prepared for the chosen one, while the destiny of the wretched is chained with inadvertence. How wishful is the doomed as he hopes to reach out to Allah but far removed is this wish when fate denies him this wish just as it denied many before him.

The created is a target and fate is a set of arrows and the One who you know [Allah] is the shooter; so what is the way out? If pillars of fate shake, even the necks of the favoured will be troubled; if He is angry at some people their good deeds will never benefit them, but if He is pleased with someone then his bad deeds will not cause them any harm at all. As the storms of fate are instigated, the oceans of divine obligations [upon humans] pressings, and space of existence pitches its inhabitants, thus roots of lineage are uprooted and tents of arrogant are pulled out, the palace of Cesar is torn down and the strength of Abu Talib is dismissed, the work of Abu Jahl is in vain, and the army of Chesoeros is defeated, all the while, the robe of, “I turn to You in repentance.” (al-Araf 7:143) sprouts. Afterward, when dawn commences and the ocean calms down, it appears that the highly esteemed Abu Talib has drowned, whereas Salman the Persian stands on the shore of safety, and while al-Walid ibn al-Mughirah was leading his people toward the loss, Suhayb the Roman has just arrived from the Roman territory to embrace Islam, and while Abu Jahl laid down in the back of the abandoned, Bilal calls out: Praying is indeed better than sleeping.

Seeds of Admonishment and Reform by Imam Ibn Jawzi pages 142-144

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