Fate, Fatalsim, Islam, Quranic Thought, Quranic teachings, Ahadith literature, Prophetic teachings, Post-Prophetic, Thought, Asharites, Mutazilites, Rationalistic thought
CHAPTER I Introduction
In the introductory chapter an attempt is made to show the' Islamic religious approaches towards
fate and fatalism. This brief survey indicates that this problem is central to human life. Our socio-moral and religious responsibility virtually hangs upon this issue.
CHAPTER II Quranic Thought
In this chapter the problem of fate and fatalism is examined in the light of the Quranic teachings. Central contention of this chapter is that the Quran pre-supposes two basic qualities of man, that is, intelligence and freedom. Man needs intelligence to see the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, vice and virtue. And he needs freedom to opt for a certain course of life which he deems fit for his future. If these two basic qualities are dismissed, and denied, then the whole process of religion would lose its relevance and significance.
CHAPTER III PROPHETIC AND POST PROPHETIC (OR EARLY MEDIEVAL
Section A: Section A is devoted to Ahadith literature
This chapter is divided into two sections. Section A is devoted to Ahadith literature or the prophetic teachings concerning the nature of man and his freedom. While section B covers the Post-Prophetic (or early medieval Muslim) Thought. In Section A an attempt is made to show that the Holy Prophet (peace be upon Him) does insist that man is essentially responsible for his own fate. It is he who determines and defines his own destiny. It is imperative for him to put in the necessary struggle for the establishment of a just socio-moral order. If man takes the initiative, he would find God on his side. History moves on certain moral principles and it is the responsibility of a community to safeguard its moral foundations otherwise it will drift towards decay and destruction.
Section B: POST PROPHETIC (or early Medieval Muslim) Thought
However, when Islam moved out of Arabian penensula, new nations entered the fold of Islam. These new entrants brought with them their own socio-cultural and ethico-
Philosophical background. Some of them were given to deterministic and fatalistic views of life. Naturally they wanted to read their own socio-cultural contentions in Islamic teachings. This gave birth to diverse movements. Asharites, for example, pleaded for determinism while the Mutazilites were staunch advocates of human freedom. It is really unfortunate that inspite of Quranic insistence and emphasis on human freedom, it was the Asharites' view that prevailed in Muslim society. Attempt is also made to assess the views of some of the most outstanding individual thinkers of early Muslim thought.
CHAPTER IV MUSLIM THINKERS AND THEIR CONCEPT OF FATE AND FATALISM
Again this chapter is divided into two sections. Section A deals with medieval muslim thinkers while Section B covers the modern muslim thinkers. In Section A Medieval Muslim philosophers have received adequate attention. Central contention of this chapter is that while Islam does not minimize the importance of "Know thyself", it does lay heavy emphasis on "Choose thyself". "Choose thyself" naturally entails action oriented life as opposed to speculative trends of "Know thyself". Here we have tried to focus our attention on some of the leading muslim thinkers, such as, AI.kindi, Al.Farabi, etc. Section B: Modern Muslim thinkers contend that it is indeed the actions of man that determine his destiny; and his actions pre-suppose his choice and his freedom. We have examined some of the outstanding Modern Muslim thinkers, such as Shah Wali ullah, Iqbal, Fazl-ur-Rahman, Hussain Nasr, Ismael al- Farooqi and Ali Shariati.
CHAPTER V Conclusion
On the basis of our survey of the Quranic thought, Prophetic and Post-prophetic (or early medieval muslim) thought and the rationalistic thought (i.e later medieval and modern medieval thought) we are driven to the conclusion that unlike all other ideologies, Islam is uncompromisingly committed to the freedom of man. For Islam man is free, man is freedom. If he trades away his freedom, he virtually trades away his own being. Freedom along with intelligence, are essential ingredients of human life. These are the primary qualities of man. If we dismiss these qualities, we dismiss the foundations of moral judgment/responsibility. Of course some sort of confusion still persists in Muslim societies and it is the responsibility of the intellectuals of the Muslim world to dispel this confusion, and bring home to them that both intelligence and freedom of man are indispensable pre-requisites of the vice-generency of man in this world. Without asuming these elements, the whole process of religion would turn into a farce.