The Ummah’s backwardness is an issue of reality and fate and not Sharee‘ah-related
Fatwa No: 18046


Has Allaah The Almighty willed for us to lag behind other nations?


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alyhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.


The will of Allaah The Almighty is of two types:


1- The will that pertains to the creation and command of Allaah The Almighty, and this refers to all that which Allaah has allowed to exist.


This type has two characteristics:

   -   It is inevitable.

   -   It might be something which is loved by Allaah The Almighty or disliked by Him.

For example, Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {And my advice will not benefit you - although I wished to advise you - If Allaah wills to put you in error. He is your Lord, and to Him you will be returned.} [Quran 11:34]


2- The religious and Sharee‘ah related will, which represents what Allaah The Almighty likes and loves, and this also has two characteristics:

-        It may or may not take place.

-        It can only be something which is loved by Allaah The Almighty and pleases Him.

For example, Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Allaah wants to accept your repentance.} [Quran 4:27]


This classification provides the answer to this question, namely, that Allaah The Almighty has willed for us to lag behind other nations as an actual reality and fate, because everything in this universe occurs by the will of Allaah The Almighty, who Says (what means):

  • {If He had willed, He would have guided you all.} [Quran 6:149]
  • {And if Allaah had willed, they would not have fought each other, but Allaah does what He intends.} [Quran 2:253]

In other words, Allaah The Almighty has not willed for our Ummah to lag behind from a religious or Sharee‘ah related sense, because He does not like this; rather, He would love the Muslim Ummah to be the leading nation on earth through achieving true faith and obedience to Him. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {So do not weaken and do not grieve, and you will be superior if you are [true] believers.} [Quran 3:139]


Taking this into consideration, the Muslim Ummah will be held accountable for its backwardness and subordination to the disbelieving nations, not to mention negligence towards utilizing every possible means to possess power and achieve progress.


Finally, we draw people’s attention to the fact that the reality of fate-related will can never be a justification for committing sins. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {Those who associated with Allaah will say, "If Allaah had willed, we would not have associated [anything] and neither would our fathers, nor would we have prohibited anything." Likewise did those before deny until they tasted Our punishment. Say, "Do you have any knowledge that you can produce for us? You follow not except assumption, and you are not but falsifying."} [Quran 6:148]


The summary of the answer to this question is that Allaah The Almighty did not will backwardness for this Ummah through a religious or Sharee‘ah-related perspective, even though this has indeed occurred in reality and by His will.

Allaah Knows best.

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