Thoughts on Destiny (Qadar) and Free Will (Ikhtiyar)
As I was falling asleep last night I began thinking about destiny and free will. I cannot remember what initiated these thoughts but almost as soon as I began reflecting on this perennial problem the Day of Alastu (yawm al-mithāq), as Sufis call the primordial covenant with Allah, came to my mind. It might be better if I said that it came into my heart because it appeared like an immediate answer and solution to all the arguments in favour of one or the other. In that moment before creation all our souls were given a choice when they were drawn forth from the loins of Adam and asked:
Alastu bi Rabbikum?'(Am I not your Lord?), to which they reply, ‘Bala Shahidna’ (Yes, it is so). Qur’an 7:172.
Is this not both destiny and freewill in those few, all embracing words? I just pray that I continue to remember that covenant deep within me until every moment of my life is guided by my destiny to return and my choice to travel willingly.