If Allah wishes, a person will take pleasure from beauty. If Allah so wishes he will make discoveries and invent new technologies. If Allah so wishes he will compose music, play the violin or write books. If Allah so wishes he will rejoice, grieve, feel delight or excitement, concern or joy. It is because Allah so wishes that he enjoys music. It is by Allah's leave that he appreciates beauty. It is because Allah so chooses that he enjoys a beautiful landscape, fine clothes, good behaviour, a flower, a rabbit, a picture or a slice of cake. But if Allah so chooses, he will possess none of these feelings and abilities.
The fact that the past and future have been created and have taken place concealed and ready made in the sight of Allah shows one very significant point: everyone is unconditionally the subject of destiny. In the same way that one cannot change one's destiny, neither can one alter one's future. Because, like the past, the future has already happened. Everything pertaining to the future, when and where one will eat what, who one will talk to, how much money one will earn, what diseases one will suffer and eventually when, where and how one will die, are all determined and one cannot change them. Because they have already happened in Allah's memory in His sight. It is only in our own memories that these things do not exist.
Therefore, those who are saddened by what they encounter, grow angry, shout and scream, worry about the future, or become overly ambitious, do so in vain. The future they worry about has already been lived. Whatever they may do, they have no means of changing it.
Some people develop a distorted conception of destiny by saying, "since whatever is in my destiny will inevitably happen, there is no need for me to do anything." It is true that everything that happens to us is determined in our destinies. Events take place in the sight of Allah long before we experience them and that knowledge and all the details thereof are written in the sight of Allah in Lawh al-Mahfuz (the Preserved Tablet). However, Allah gives people the impression that they have an opportunity of altering events and of acting in the light of their own decisions and preferences. When someone is thirsty he does not sit and wait and say "if I am destined to drink I will do so." He gets up, finds a glass and drinks from it. He is indeed drinking a specific amount of water from a glass that has already been determined in his destiny. However, in doing so he forms the impression this is through his own will and desire. And he feels the same thing with regard to everything he does during the course of his life. The difference between someone who has submitted to the destiny appointed for him by Allah and someone who is unable to grasp that reality is this: The person who has bowed his head knows, despite the feeling he is acting of his own free will, that he actually does all these things through Allah's will. The other is mistaken into thinking he acts through his own reason and power.
When a person who submits to Allah realizes that he is ill, he puts all his trust in Allah knowing that this ailment is his fate. His knowledge that Allah has created the illness as his destiny enables him to realize that it will turn out for the good. And knowing that he will get better if it is in his future to recover, he will be swift to see a doctor, watch his diet and take some medicine. But he never forgets that despite his going to a doctor, effecting the treatment and taking his prescription, whether of not he will recover are all in Allah's hands. He knows that all these events are in Allah's memory and were prepared for him even before he was born.
In the Qur'an, Allah tells us that everything that happens to a person is written in a book before it happens: Nothing occurs, either in the Earth or in yourselves, without its being in a Book before We make it happen. That is something easy for Allah. That is so that you will not be grieved about the things that pass you by or exult about the things that come to you. Allah does not love any vain or boastful man. (Surat al-Hadid: 22-23)
For that reason, someone who believes in destiny never grieves over what befalls him or falls prey to despair. On the contrary, he is always resigned, submitted and at peace. Because Allah says that whatever befalls people is appointed beforehand, and therefore commands us never to be saddened by what happens to us and never to become arrogant in the face of the blessings bestowed on us. The difficulties people encounter, their successes and the wealth they achieve are all approved beforehand by Allah. These are all things our Lord has determined beforehand with which to test us. As we are told in a verse, "Allah's command is a pre-ordained decree ." (Surat al-Ahzab, 38)
In another verse, Allah says, "We have created all things in due measure." (Surat al-Qamar, 49) It is not only human beings who have a destiny determined in the sight of Allah, but all living things, objects, the Sun, the Moon, mountains, trees and everything. For instance, an antique vase that breaks does so at the moment ordained in its destiny. Right from the moment of its manufacture, who will use a vase hundreds of years old, where it will stand, and what other things will be lined up alongside it are all predetermined. Every pattern on the vase and every colour used are all determined in advance. The day, the hour and the minute, and by whom, the vase will be broken have also taken place in Allah's memory. Indeed, the moment the vase was first made, the moment it was placed in the shop window, the moment it was placed somewhere in its owner's home and the moment it was shattered into pieces, every single moment in other words, are all but one single moment in the sight of Allah. The identity of the person who broke the vase was already known in Allah's sight, although the individual himself had no knowledge of this until a few seconds previously. That is why Allah tells people not to be saddened by what befalls them. Because these happen in their destinies, and the individual has no power to change them. However, people must also learn from events transpiring in their destinies; they must learn from them and, by seeing the wisdom and goodness in all events, turn to our Lord, the infinitely merciful, loving and just protector of His servants.
People who live heedless of this important reality spend all their lives in fear and worry. The fact is, however, that every moment in a person's life, from when he first leans to read and write, the answers he will give in university entrance exams, what job he will do in the firm he will spend his life working for, what documents he will sign and how many times, and eventually how and where he will die, are all determined in the sight of Allah from when he was no more than a single cell. All events are enshrined in the memory of Allah. At this very moment, for instance, one's state as a single cell, at primary school, at university, the moment one celebrates one's 35th birthday, the moment one is buried by one's relatives and the moment of accounting to Allah are all currently existing as a single moment in His sight.
Consequently, it is pointless to worry and be fearful about a life whose every moment has been lived, experienced and is still present in the memory of Allah. No matter how hard a person tries and no matter how anxious he may be, everyone, his children, spouse, friends and relatives will live the life that is present at Allah's sight.
If this is the case, a person of conscience and intelligence who grasps this reality must submit humbly to Allah and to the fate He has created.
Those who genuinely submit to Allah, however, may hope to earn His approval, compassion and Paradise, and live peaceful lives of security and happiness in this world and in the Hereafter. Because there is nothing for someone who submits himself to Allah, who knows that the destiny Allah has created for him is the very best possible, to grieve at, fear or worry over. That person strives to the utmost of his ability, but still realises that these efforts are also part of his destiny, and that he has no power, no matter what he may do, to change his fate.
The believer will bow to the destiny Allah creates, will do all he can to embrace the causes of the events that befall him, will take due precautions and will seek to turn events in the best possible direction, but he will nevertheless enjoy the ease of being aware that all these things happen in his destiny and that Allah had determined the most auspicious outcome beforehand.
The Koran mentions measures taken by Jacob for the security of his children. In order to make his sons beware of people with evil intentions, Jacob advised his sons to enter the city by different gates but he reminded them that this would never influence the fate determined by Allah. He said, "My sons! You must not enter through a single gate. Go in through different gates. But I cannot save you from Allah at all, for judgment comes from no one but Allah. In Him I put my trust, and let all those who put their trust, put it in Him alone." (Surah Yusuf, 67)
People may do what they like, but they will never be able to change their fate. This is revealed in this verse: Then He sent down to you, after the distress, security, restful sleep overtaking a group of you, whereas another group became prey to anxious thoughts, thinking other than the truth about Allah-thoughts belonging to the Time of Ignorance-saying, "Do we have any say in the affair at all?" Say, "The affair belongs entirely to Allah." They are concealing things inside themselves which they do not disclose to you, saying, "If we had only had a say in the affair, none of us would have been killed here in this place." Say, "Even if you had been inside your homes, those people for whom killing was decreed would have gone out to their place of death." So that Allah might test what is in your breasts and purge what is in your hearts. Allah knows the contents of your hearts. (Surah Al 'Imran ,154)
Even if someone flees something that is auspicious and a religious obligation in order not to die, he will still die if his death is so written. Indeed, the means he will use to try to avoid death are all set out in his destiny, and everyone will experience whatever lies in that destiny. In this verse, Allah states that the aim of the events He has created in destiny is to test people and cleans their hearts. In Surah Fatir He reveals that everyone's life span is determined in the sight of Allah, even that of babies still in the womb:
Allah created you from dust and then from a drop of sperm and then made you into pairs. No female becomes pregnant or gives birth except with His knowledge. And no living thing lives long or has its life cut short without that being in a Book. That is easy for Allah.(Surah Fatir,11)
In the verses from Surah Qamar quoted below, He describes how a person's every action is written down line by line, and the events experienced by the people of Paradise are described as having been lived beforehand. As we have already made clear, the true life of Paradise for us is the future. However, the lives, conversation and banquets enjoyed by the people of Paradise are at this moment already in Allah's memories. Before we were even born the future of all mankind, in this world and in the Hereafter, had already been experienced in a single moment in the sight of Allah and is preserved in His memory.
Everything they did is in the Books.Everything is recorded, big or small.The people who have taqwa will be amid Gardens and Rivers,on seats of honour in the presence of an All-Powerful King.(Surat Al-Qamar,52-53)