(1) When a person realizes that all things are under the control and decree of Allah, he is freeing his belief from any form of shirk or associating partners with Allah in His Lordship. There is truly only One Creator and Master of this creation. Nothing occurs except by His will and permission. When this is firmly in the heart of the person, he then also realizes that there is none worthy of praying to, seeking assistance from, relying upon, and so forth, except that one Lord. Hence, he directs all of his acts of worship toward that One who has decreed and determined all matters. Thus, both tauheed al-ruboobiyah and tauheed al-uloohiyah are correctly and completely fulfilled with the proper belief in al-Qadar.
(2) A person will put one’s reliance upon Allah. A person should follow the outward “causes and effects” that one sees in this world. However, he must realize that those “causes and effects” will not bring about any ends unless Allah so wills them to do so. Hence, a believer never puts his complete trust and reliance upon his own actions or the worldly aspects that he might have some control over. Instead, he follows whatever causes he may know of which lead to a desired end and then he puts his trust in Allah to bring about that desired end.
(3) Ibn Uthaimeen argues that with proper belief in al-Qadar, one does not become arrogant and boastful. If he achieves any goal that he desired, he knows that such goal only came about because Allah, in His mercy, had decreed it for him. If Allah had so wished, He could have put many obstacles in his way and prevented him from reaching his goal. Therefore, instead of becoming full of himself and arrogant upon reaching his goal, the person who truly believes in al-Qadar becomes very thankful to Allah for bringing about that blessing.
(4) The proper belief in al-Qadar brings about tranquility and peace of mind. The person realizes that everything that occurs is according to Allah’s Divine Decree. Furthermore, there is a wisdom behind everything Allah does. Hence, if the person loses a beloved or something of this world, he does not go insane, despair or give up hope. Instead, he realizes that such was the will of Allah that he must accept. He must also realize that such has occurred for a purpose. It did not occur haphazardly or accidentally, without any reason behind it.
“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book [of Decrees] before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah. In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to achieve, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters”
(5) Belief in al-Qadar gives a person strength and courage. He knows that Allah has recorded his life and his sustenance for him. Such comes only from Allah and is already decreed. Hence, he need not fear struggling and fighting for the sake of Allah as the time of his death is already recorded. He need not fear anyone when it comes to his sustenance and provision as such come only from Allah and have been already recorded for him. No human can cut off his sustenance and livelihood if Allah has decreed that he shall continue to receive provisions and sustenance from some source.
This chapter has provided a brief synopsis of the basic beliefs of a Muslim. Every Muslim must know what he is supposed to be believe in, at least at an elementary level. However, as his knowledge of the articles of faith increases, his faith itself will become stronger and greater.
For more details about the articles of faith, the author would like to recommend Umar al-Ashqar’s eight part series that touch upon the various aspects of faith, such as belief in Allah, the angels and so forth. These books are published by the International Islamic Publishing House in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and are easily available via the internet. The books of Bilal Philips and Muhammad Jibaly on aspects of belief are also well worth reading for the new Muslim.