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The Pen and Destiny: Can Dua Change What’s Already Written?

Q: Concerning “the pen has been lifted and the ink has dried”, what is this referring to? i.e. What aspects of destiny? I was of the opinion that dua can change destiny, but how does dua changing destiny fit into the qouted hadith?

I guess what i’m asking is:

  1. What exactly has been written in ink? i.e. Is every action of every insaan written down?
  2. Can dua change any of what has been written in ink?
  3. If I make dua to change my destiny, is me making this dua written down? If so then is it not true that my dua hasnt really changed anything as it was already written that I would do this and my destiny would change? I just can’t quite get my head around this, any light shed on the matter would be appreciated.


A: Everything is written in taqdeer; one’s eating, drinking, studying, etc. Even the dua that one will make is written in taqdeer. However, the Hadith that explains that dua can change taqdeer means that despite how difficult and impossible a task might outwardly seem, but if one turns to Allah Ta’ala and makes dua, Allah Ta’ala will make that task simple and easy on account of the dua one made. As though the impossible has become possible on account of the dua. In other words the Hadith has come to explain that one should not become despondent or lose hope in whichever difficult condition one may find oneself in. Instead one should revert to dua. However, one’s making dua and turning to Allah Ta’ala is also written in taqdeer.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

قوله: لايرد القضاء إلا الدعاء كأنه مبالغة في أثر الدعاء في دفع البلاء حتى لو أمكن رد  القضاء لحصل بالدعاء وقيل المراد من رد القضاء تهوية أو تيسيرا الأمر منه حتى كان القضاء النازل كأن لم ينزل وقيل المراد بالقضاء ما يخافه العبد من نزول المكروه ويتوقاه فإذا وفق للدعاء دفع الله به عنه والكل تكلف وحقيقة المعنى أن المراد القضاء الذي علق رده به وجعل سببا له فإن قلت فما فائدة هذا الكلام وما جرى به القضاء كائن لا محالة قلت لعل المراد مدح الدعاء والمبالغة فيه بمثل ماذكر في أول الحاشية والله أعلم (لمعات – مشكاة ص195) 

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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