وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَى
The Almighty God, the Creator has beforehand determined the function of every thing He has created. What is its purpose of life, what would be its size, its form and shape, its qualities, its locality, and what opportunities and means would be provided for its survival, existence and functioning, when it should come into being, and when and how it should cease to be after completing its part of the work. Such a scheme for a thing is its "destiny" (taqdir). And this destiny AIIah has set for everything in the universe and for the entire universe as a whole. This means that the creation has not come about without a pre-conceived plan, but for it the Creator had a full plan before Him, and everything is happening according to that plan.
Not only Allah T'ala created everything with its Taqdir, He also did not leave anything without its Hidayah. Nothing was just created and left to itself, but whatever was created to perform a certain function, it was also taught the method of performing that function. In other words, He is not merely the Creator but also the Guide. He has taken the responsibility to give guidance to whatever He has created in a particular capacity to fit its nature and to guide it in the way suitable for it.
One kind of guidance is for the earth, the moon, the sun, and the stars and planets, which they are following in performing their role. Another kind of guidance is for water, air, light and the solid and mineral elements, and they are performing the same services for which they have been created accordingly. Still another kind of guidance is for vegetables, according to which they take root and spread in the earth, sprout up from its layers, obtain food from wherever AIIah T'ala has created it for the task, produce stem, branches, leaves, blossom and fruit, and fulfill the function which has been appointed for each of them. Still another kind of guidance is for the countless species of animals of the land, and water, and for each member of the species, the wonderful manifestations of which are clearly visible in the life of the animals and in their works, so much so that even an atheist is compelled to concede that different kinds of animals possess some sort of inspirational knowledge which man cannot obtain even through his instruments, not to speak of his senses.
When it comes to human beings, there are two different kinds of guidance for a person, which correspond to his two different capacities. One kind of guidance is for his animal life, by which each child learns to suck milk spontaneously on birth, by which the eyes of man, his nose, ear, heart, brain, lungs, kidney, liver, stomach, intestines, nerves, veins and arteries, all are performing their respective functions, without man's being conscious of it, or his will's having anything to do with the functions of these organs. This is the guidance under which all physical and mental changes pertaining to childhood, maturity, youth and old age go on taking place in man, independent of his will, choice, even his consciousness.
The second kind of guidance is for his intellectual and conscious life, the nature of which is absolutely different from the guidance for unconscious life, for in this sphere of life a kind of freedom has been transferred to man, for which the mode of guidance meant for voluntary life is not suitable. For turning away from this last kind of guidance, man may offer whatever arguments and excuses he may like, it is not credible that the Creator Who has arranged guidance for everything in this universe according to its capacity, might have set for man the destiny that he may appropriate numerous things in His world freely, but might not have made any arrangement to show what is the right way of using his choice and what is the wrong way. Allah T'ala has arranged the Right Way for every person through His messengers. With the coming of the Final Messenger, Muhammad (s.a.a.w.), that guidance can now only be found in the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.).
(based on Tafheemul Quran)
Dr. Ishaq Zahid