If God has already decreed our destiny, then what is the need for prayer?


During a virtual mulaqat of Majlis Atfal-ul-Ahmadiyya Germany with Hazrat Amirul Momineenaa, which was held on 29 November 2020, a tifl asked, “When Allah the Exalted has decreed our destiny, then why do we pray and what is the need for prayer?” 

Huzooraa replied: 

“Certain types of destiny cannot be averted, and there are some which can be averted. So, that is why we supplicate. 

“Take death for example. Everyone must die. It is a proven fact that all must die. No one can live forever. This is the decree of Allah the Exalted [that cannot be averted]. However, if a person falls ill and their condition reaches the state where doctors say that they are close to death, but we pray, and accepting our prayers, Allah the Exalted brings them back from the brink of death and grants them life, then this decree of Allah the Exalted is one that was averted through prayer. Nevertheless, even if that person goes on to live to an age of 70, 80 or 90, they will ultimately have to die. 

“The Promised Messiahas has written:

گر سو برس رہا ہے، آخر كو پھر جدا ہے

“‘One may live to a hundred, but in the end, they must depart.’ Even if a person lives to a hundred years of age, he must die eventually. 

“However, if, for example, one is close to dying whilst still in his youth and we pray for them, then Allah the Exalted may avert it, and as a result, grant them a long life. 

“There are many such examples that people write to me and request prayers. I reply to them and by the grace of Allah, the prayers are accepted. People also write about their own accounts where they have supplicated and through that prayer, Allah the Exalted averted the misfortune which was to befall them. 

“So everything is happening in accordance with the decree of Allah the Exalted, but if we do not pray or make an effort with regard to our destiny, then the natural result of that will come to light. The reason why we pray [on such occasions] is so that we may avert or delay the decree of God Almighty which has the possibility of being averted and thus bring about a better outcome. 

“Allah the Exalted has placed two paths before us – one which is beneficial and one which is harmful. Now, if we obey Allah the Exalted, we shall avail of that which is beneficial and for this, we also make an effort and supplicate. However, if we do not listen to Allah the Exalted, nor make the right effort, nor pray, then the negative aspect of that decree will manifest itself. 

“There are two types of destiny; one which can be averted, and the other which cannot be averted. The decrees which cannot be averted are the verdicts of Allah the Exalted which must come to pass. Allah the Exalted does not accept prayers with regard to these and they cannot be averted. 

“As for the decrees which can be averted, Allah the Exalted can prevent them through one’s prayers and efforts. This is why Allah the Exalted has said that we should supplicate, which will enable us to form a bond with Him and our faith in Him will strengthen, and as a result, we will advance further in our faith and spirituality and we shall reap the benefits thereof.”

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