Can Dua change Qadr (divine decree)?

Quran

Hadith

Islamic Text

Yes, it can.

عَنْ سَلْمَانَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «لَا يَرُدُّ القَضَاءَ إِلَّا الدُّعَاءُ، وَلَا يَزِيدُ فِي العُمْرِ إِلَّا البِرُّ»: وَفِي البَابِ عَنْ أَبِي أَسِيدٍ وَهَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ

Salman (al-Farisi)  narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ  said, ‘Nothing repels decree except supplication, and nothing increases life-span except righteousness.’ (Tirmidhi 2139, Hasan).

As well as the Hadith above there are many other narrations that speak about this issue (see Ibn Maja 90 and 4022, Ahmad 22044). Therefore, it is established that Dua can change Qadaa or Qadr (divine decree). However, the issue is understanding what this means. It certainly does not mean that the Knowledge of Allah (Most High) did not encompass the reality of events (such a belief would be Kufr). Rather it is referring to a type of Qadr and Qadaa that is changeable.

Imam Ali al-Qari in his commentary on this Hadith mentioned several opinions and ultimately concluded that Qadaa (or Qadr) is of two types, that which is changeable and that which is fixed.  Therefore, Dua may impact Qadaa or Qadr that is changeable.

وَالْحَاصِلُ أَنَّ الْقَضَاءَ الْمُعَلَّقَ يَتَغَيَّرُ، وَأَمَّا الْقَضَاءُ الْمُبْرَمُ فَلَا يُبَدَّلُ وَلَا يُغَيَّرُ (مرقاة المفاتيح)

In conclusion, contingent decree changes and determined decree does not vary or change. (Imam Ali al-Qari, Mirqaat al-Mafateeh).

These are complex issues and must be studied in classes of Aqeedah, Hadith or Tafseer. They cannot be covered sufficiently via Q and A. Sometimes people try to understand the Deen through Q and A rather than studying the Islamic sciences and this leads to greater confusion rather than clarity. Q and A must be recognised as a supplementary means of learning for those who study the Islamic sciences and not a substitute to such study.

And Allah (Most High) Knows Best.

– Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen (01.06.2021)

See also:

Are there different types of Qadr?

Is it sufficient to learn the Deen through questions and answers (Q&A) only?

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