Does the Faith of Islam advocate fatalism?

31 Aug

1. Anyone who reads and meditates upon the verses of the Qur’an shall realize that Islam is a religion that urges man to action, for work is life and without work life shall cease to exist. Consequently, we find in many Qur’anic verses that God Almighty linked righteous deeds and true faith. Righteous deeds are every good deed or act performed whether it be of a religions or a worldly nature which benefits mankind or repels evil: ‘And say: Work (righteousness): soon will God observe your work, and His Apostle and the believers". [9/105] The Qur’an urges people to work even on Fridays, the day of rest and worship of the Muslims: "And when the (Friday Noon) Prayer is finished, then you may disperse through the land and seek the Bounty of God". [62/10].
2. The Prophet urged people to work until the last moment of their lives and till the end of the world. He is related to have said: "Should the last hour come upon you while you have a palm shoot in your hand that you are about to plant, plant it if you can". The Prophet also refused to approve of people who spent all day and night long praying in mosques and depending on others to provide for them and maintain them. He also praised and blessed the person who earned his livelihood from his own toil and he said that the hand that toils in labor is blessed by God and by His Apostle.
3. The Prophet, who is the ideal of all Muslims, as stated in the Qur’an, used to work, plan, deliberate, and prepare everything that was needed and then put his trust in God. Putting trust in God does not mean neglecting work and praying to God to fulfill our hope. The reason for this is that faith and trust in God is not only necessary but also obligatory, to remind us of God Almighty, which inspires us with a spiritual energy that enables us to overcome obstacles or problems with determination and resolution. This trust and dependence on God should be a strong and positive force and not a passive and an apathetic attitude. Relying completely upon God, without making any effort to realize one’s aims on the pretext that God’s Will will be done as He Wills, is not accepted by Islam, for God does not assist a person who makes no effort to help himself. God, however, aids the person who strives to attain his aim: "Verily God will never change the condition of a people until they change it themselves". [13/11]. ‘Omar Ibn Al-Khattab expressed his great displeasure concerning a group of men who spent all their time praying in a mosque and depending upon others to work to maintain them and he exclaimed: "The sky does not rain gold or silver". He supported his statement by relating one of the Sayings of the Prophet and said: "Do what birds do. They go out every morning with empty claws and return at the end of the day with full claws". People should learn a lesson from the birds that go out every morning in search of food and return at the end of the day with full claws.

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