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Search Fatawaa

Subject : No Difference between Appointed Term and Term Appointed to be Fulfilled

Fatwa Number : 3477

Date : 13-03-2019

Classified : Eschatology and Related Matters

Fatwa Type : Search Fatawaa

Question :

Do people die when their appointed term is reached? And, is there a difference between the appointed term and the term appointed to be fulfilled, because people are circulating an article stating that those who failed to take the precautionary measures died because their appointed term was fulfilled and not reached?

The Answer :

All perfect praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

One of the confirmed doctrines of Islam is that creation, death and life are all in Allah`s Hand and not possessed by any human being. Therefore, none can bring any of these or repel any upon its happening. Allah the Almighty said, "He Who created Death and Life, that He may try which of you is best in deed: and He is the Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving;-"{Al-Mulk, 2}.

When a person dies, it is because their appointed term, known to Allah, was fulfilled. This is whether he/she died because of disaster, disease, murder, or of no direct cause. Therefore, the People of the Sunnah And Jama`ah say: both the dead and the killed die because their appointed term was fulfilled. Our beloved Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, ""At every womb Allah appoints an angel who says, 'O Lord! A drop of semen, O Lord! A clot. O Lord! A little lump of flesh." Then if Allah wishes (to complete) its creation, the angel asks, (O Lord!) Will it be a male or female, a wretched or a blessed, and how much will his provision be? And what will his age be?' So all that is written while the child is still in the mother's womb."{Al-Bukhari}.

This doctrine is agreed on by the People of the Sunnah and Jama`ah. Al-Lakhanni says in {Jawharat At-Tawheed}, "The killed has reached their appointed term, and saying otherwise is unacceptable." Al-Baijoori commented on this on page (263): "What Al-Lakhanni mentioned is the Madhab of the People of Truth, because a person`s term, according to them, is one, so it can`t be delayed or advanced. Allah the Exalted said, "To every people is a term appointed: when their term is reached, not an hour can they cause delay, nor (an hour) can they advance (it in anticipation)."{Al-A`raf, 34}.

Many Prophetic narrations have indicated that a person`s term can neither be delayed nor advanced. The appointed term is the one known to Allah, and once it is reached man`s life ends, and, in fact, term is one; whether we called it appointed or appointed to be fulfilled. Allah the Almighty said, "It is He who doth take your souls by night, and hath knowledge of all that ye have done by day: by day doth He raise you up again; that a term appointed be fulfilled; In the end unto Him will be your return; then will He show you the truth of all that ye did."{Al-An`Am, 60}.

The term appointed by Allah is neither advanced by sin or negligence, nor delayed by an act of devotion. Allah the Exalted said, "If God were to punish men for their wrong-doing, He would not leave, on the (earth), a single living creature: but He gives them respite for a stated Term: When their Term expires, they would not be able to delay (the punishment) for a single hour, just as they would not be able to anticipate it (for a single hour)."{An-Nahel, 61}. Allah pardons peoples`wrongdoings and their negligence and doesn`t, necessarily, punish them for that. Their negligence to take the necessary means isn`t a cause for their death. Rather, the cause is having reached their terms which can neither be delayed nor advance for a single hour. This is since man dies once his appointed term is fulfilled, be he a believer or a disbeliever; have adopted the means or neglected them. Believing in the doctrine of predestination as decided by the People of the Sunnah and Jama`ah doesn`t negate adopting the means. Allah the Almighty said, "Verily We established his power on earth, and We gave him the ways and the means to all ends. One (such) way he followed,"{Al-Kahf, 84-85}. Allah the Exalted has determined punishment and expiation for intentional and unintentional killing, because man is held accountable for his actions and what he causes, and he may not escape accountability by virtue of the doctrine of predestination. Rather, people will be held to account, in this life and the next, for their errors and negligence. In conclusion, man`s term is the one known to Allah and decreed by Him, and man dies once his term is fulfilled, and there is no difference between the appointed term and the term appointed to be fulfilled. We advise Muslims to consult specialized scholars in this regard and avoid thoughts promoted by unreliable sources. And Allah the Almighty knows best.



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