If you were to listen to any Muslims (ustaz, politicians and just about anyone) speak publicly, very likely you will hear them end their speech by saying “segala yang baik itu dari Allah, dan yang buruk dari kelemahan diri saya sendiri” , or which basically means that all that's good is from God meanwhile anything bad/less good is my own doing. I am not quite sure I fully understand this…well actually, I am not fully sure I can agree with this. Why do we pick and choose…its either everything good and bad is from God, or everything good and bad is your own doing. Now before you shoot me down or accuse me of being un-Islamic or anything else for that matter, just hear me out. If you say that the good is from God, then even the bad should be from God….but that does not mean to say that God is bad…it just means that God has given you good as well as bad…hence why we are not perfect human beings…we are allowed to be imperfect. Right? No? Do correct me if my logic is amiss… I am just thinking out loud and would be happy to be corrected if I am wrong…
I have been thinking about this for a bit now, and somehow my thinking led me to the idea of fate/destiny..basically “takdir”. What does takdir actually mean? What is the concept of fate?… I have been brought up to understand takdir to mean that our entire path in this life has already been pre-determined by God. So does this mean that everything I do or say has already been pre-determined? To what extent are my actions pre-determined? Do I still have control over what I say and do ? Or maybe fate is not about being pre-determined..maybe it is about being predicted..no? I don’t know…So if i am writing this article now, is this my voluntary action (predicted), or is it an action that I have been set to do (pre-determined)?
Somehow I feel that takdir is not about being pre-determined..it is more about being predicted. It should not be about being pre-determined because what being pre-determined says is that I don't have control over my actions. And if I don't have control over my actions, then why should I get penalized on judgment day? No? I think, and I may be wrong here, that takdir is about being predicted. So I have control over my actions, and my action is a result of my own doing…but whatever I do, God knew I would do it. Possible? No?
But I have heard many people saying that takdir is about ketentuan Allah..i.e. destined (I prefer the word pre-determined). Hhmm…I think things that are beyond our control, i.e. the bigger picture is ketentuan Allah. For example, if I were to suddenly jump off the building, then that's my own action (and God knew I would do it). But if a plane hijacked by a terrorist suddenly flew into my building killing me, then I am destined (pre-determined) to die in such manner…but the actions of the terrorists are his own actions (and God knew he would do it and he shall be judged for that!).
I think this is fundamental. If we say that takdir is about being predetermined, then a Muslim is a Muslim because he is destined to be one, meanwhile a non-Muslim is a non-Muslim because he is destined to be one. And I think that is not right. God is fair. I don't think God would punish you for something you have no say or control over. You are a Muslim because you chose to be one, and you are a non-Muslim also because chose not to be one. And you shall be judged for that. No? So if you are born a Muslim (like myself and many other Muslims in the world), it does not necessarily make you a Muslim. Because if it is automatic as such, then that is again destiny. You have to want to be a Muslim to be a Muslim. It must be a conscious decision. And you have to do what a Muslim is supposed to do to be a Muslim. And don't ask me what that is, because I am still trying to understand how you define Islam and what it takes to be one.
What I have written so far is what I think. I admit I have yet to go through the Quran in detail to find the answers. It may be explicitly explained in the Quran and what I say may be a complete nonsense. And if so, please do correct me. I am learning and I still have too many unanswered questions.