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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The word qadr and taqdir are derived from qada. According to Raghib, it means the making manifest of the measure (kamiyya) of a thing, or simply measure. In the words of the same authority, God's taqdir of things is in two ways, by granting qudra (power) or by making them in a particular measure and in a particular manner, as wisdom requires. An example of this is given in the taqdir of the date-stone, out of which it is the palm only that grows, not an apple or olive tree, or in the taqdir of the sperma of man, out of which grows man only, not any other animal. Taqdir is therefore the law or measure which is working through out the whole of creation; and this is exactly the sense in which the word is used in the Koran. For example, the Koran speaks of a taqdir for each and every thing that has been created: "Glorify the name of thy Lord, the Most High, Who creates, then makes complete, and Who makes things according to a measure (qaddara from taqdir), then guides them to their goal" (87:1-3), "Who created everything, then ordained for it a measure (taqdir)" (25:2), "Surely We have created everything according to a measure (qadr)" (54:49), and "And the sun runs on to a term appointed for it; that is the law (taqdir) of the Mighty, the Knowing. And as for the moon, We have ordained (qaddarna from taqdir) for it stages" (36:38-39). The word qadr and taqdir occur 60 times in the Koran.

The law according to which foods, provisions and other things are provided in the earth is also called a taqdir of God, and so, also, the law according to which rain falls on the earth, and that according to which night and day follow each other: "And He made in it mountains above its surface, and He blessed therein and made (qaddara) therein its foods" (41:10), "And there is not a thing but with Us are the treasures of it, and We do not send it down but in a known measure (qadr)" (15:21), "And We send down water from the cloud according to a measure (qadr)" (23:18; 43:11), and "And God has appointed a measure (yuqaddiru from taqdir) of the night and the day" (73:20).

Though man is included in the creation, and his taqdir is therefore the same as the taqdir of the whole creation, he is also separately spoken of as having a taqdir similar to the law of growth and development in other things: "Of what thing did He create him? Of a small life-germ He created him, then He made him according to a measure (qaddara-hu)" (80:18-19)

All these verses go to show that, as according to lexicologists, taqdir, in the language of the Koran, is a universal law of God, operating as much in the case of man as in the rest of nature: a law extending to the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth and the heavens and all that exists in them. This universal law is fully explained in two short verses in 87:2-3 : "Who creates, then makes complete, and Who makes according to a measure, then guides." Four things are mentioned regarding everything created, including man; its khalq or creation, its taswiya or completion, its taqdir or measure, and its hidaya or guidance to its goal. The law of life, as witnessed in nature, is exactly the law described here. Everything is created so as finally to attain to its completion, this completion being brought about according to a law or a measure within which everything works by Divine guidance. Thus, the taqdir of everything is the law or the measure of its growth and development. While one seed will grow into a blade of grass, another will become a huge tree; notwithstanding its growth and development, one life-germ can hardly be seen with a microscope while another grows into a huge animal. Everything has its own line of development and so has man; therefore his taqdir is not different in nature from the taqdir of other things.

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