al-Qaḍaaʼ and al-Qadr: al-Raghib al-Isfahani

Al-Rāghib al-Isfahāni (d. 502 AH) wrote the following in his famous dictionary of the Qur’an in part of his discussion on the Arabic root for Qaaaʼ [ق ض ى]:

والقضاء من الله تعالى أخَصُّ من القدر , لأنه الفَصلُ بين التقدير , فالقدر هو التقدير والقضاء هو الفصل والقطع ، وقد ذكر بعض العلماء أن القدر بمنزلة المعد للكيل والقضاء بمنزلة الكيل ، وهذا كما قال أبو عبيدة لعمر رضي الله عنهما لما أراد الفرار من الطاعون بالشام : أتفر من القضاء؟! قال : أفر من قضاء الله إلى قدر الله . تنبيهًا أن القدر ما لم يكون قضاء فمرجوٌّ أن يدفعه الله فإذا قضى فلا مدفع له. ويشهد بذلك قوله : وَكَانَ أَمْرً‌ا مَّقْضِيًّا وقوله : كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكَ حَتْمًا مَّقْضِيًّا و قوله : وَقُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ أي فُصِلَ تنبيهاً ‌أنه صار بحيث لا يمكن تلافيه

The Qaaaʼ of Allah is more specific than the Qadr, because it is the execution which fulfills the decree. So al-Qadr is the decree and al-Qaaaʼ is the execution and fulfillment. And it has been mentioned by some of the scholars that al-Qadr is the station of destining the measure while al-Qaaaʼ is the station of the measure (itself, i.e. its actualization).

And this is similar to what Abu ‘Ubaydah said to ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with both of them) when ‘Umar intended to flee from Great Plague in al-Shām. He said, “Are you fleeing from al-Qaaaʼ?!” And ‘Umar responded, “I am fleeing from the qaaaʼ of Allah unto the qadr of Allah.” That is informing us that for the Qadr which has not yet been fulfilled, then there is hope that Allah might repel it, but as for that which has been executed [of the qaaaʼ] then there is no preventing it. And His statement,

وَكَانَ أَمْرً‌ا مَّقْضِيًّا

This is a decree already accomplished [19:21]

attests to that, as does His statement,

كَانَ عَلَىٰ رَ‌بِّكَ حَتْمًا مَّقْضِيًّا

This is upon your Lord a settled inevitability [19:71]

and His statement,

وَقُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ‌

and the matter was accomplished [11:44]

– meaning it was carried out, informing us that it became such that it could not be avoided.

[al-Mufradāt fi Gharib al-Qur’an pg.526]

See also: The meaning of al-Ma’roof and al-Munkar: Ibn Rajab

See also: The Tawakkal and Understanding of Ya’qub (‘alaihis salaam)

See also: A Note on Qur’anic Dictionaries: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool

2 thoughts on “al-Qaḍaaʼ and al-Qadr: al-Raghib al-Isfahani

  1. Pingback: The Meaning of “Laylah al-Qadr”: Sheikh ibn ‘Uthaymeen | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: A Note on Qur’anic Dictionaries: Sheikh Muhammad Bazmool | Tulayhah

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