Ibn al-Jawzī narrated that there was once a man who lost consciousness and was presumed dead. Hence, he was placed on a surface for the washing of his body. But when he perceived the coldness of the water, he suddenly regained consciousness and got up. Out of shock, the bather died right then and there!
This is the effect of destiny.
So strive and defend the truth, and don’t fear death, for indeed your lifespan is limited. Work for this life as if you will live forever, and work for the Hereafter as if you will die tomorrow. If you do that, you have safeguarded this life along with the next.
Believing in predestination is life, as it opens a ray of light in every darkness and a door of hope in every difficulty. If it wasn’t for hope, an ill person would've died before his disease killed him, and a soldier in battle would've died of fear before the enemy killed him.
If actions were left out due to possible unfavorable outcomes, you wouldn’t be able to breathe air or drink water, out of fear that there is a virus in it, nor would you be able to ride in a car, due to fear that it might crash, nor would you take someone as a friend, fearing that he will deceive you.
So do you now realize the wisdom in predestination?
Believing in predestination is a source of solace. We work hard, strive, and struggle. However, we don’t grieve if we fail, nor do we despond if are unable to achieve what we desire.
This piece was translated and adapted from Rawā’iʿ al-Ṭanṭāwī, a compilation of various writings of ‘Alī al-Ṭanṭāwī. He was a prominent Arabic author in the 20th century.