Qadar or predestination is the sixth pillar of faith in Islam. Without belief in this, our faith is incomplete. Qadar is derived from the root word qadara meaning measurement or evaluation. Allah tells us in the Quran that He has created everything according to his decision and prior knowledge:
Indeed, all things We created with predestination. (The Quran, Chapter 54 Verse 49).
Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be”, and it is. (The Quran, Chapter 2 Verse 117).
There are also several hadeeth which stress the importance of belief in Qadar. Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said that Muslims must believe in “the divine decree, its good and its bad”, and “Know that whatever has befallen you could never have missed you, and that which missed you could never have befallen you.”
Qadar does not mean we can become complacent or fatalistic in our outlook. However, Qadar functions as a means of being receptive to the good and bad events in our life and to be patient in times of calamity and to be grateful to Allah at times of happiness.
The Quran guides us towards the most Islamic way of conducting ourselves at times of distress, which should be premised on our belief in predestination:
Who, when disaster strikes them, say “indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.”
Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided. (The Quran, Chapter 2 Verses 156-7).
Qadar acts as a deterrent to becoming arrogant because we have been advised by Allah’s messenger that “Everything is by Qadar, even inability and capability”.