The real meaning of qadar is that Allah knows everything that happened and that will happen. Note that it does not ignore man’s will. To know is something and to do is something else. It is Allah who knows and it is the slave (man) who does.
Our destiny was written in the past. The subtle point here is we do not do things because Allah wrote them; Allah knows that we would do them. Besides, it is impossible to think that Allah cannot know the future. If He does not or cannot know, He cannot be the Creator. Let us give an example to clarify it:
Think of a teacher. He says to one of his students, “I will test you about this book tomorrow.” However, the teacher knows, by the permission of Allah, that the student will watch films, play football and games and have fun, and that he will come to school without studying the next morning; so, he writes “0” in his report. The student cannot answer the questions in the morning and knows that he deserves zero. The teacher takes out his marks book and says, “I knew that you were not going to study; so, I wrote zero in the marks book beforehand.” Can the student say, “I got zero because you wrote so in the marks book. If you had written a good mark, I would have passed”?
That is, we do not do things because Allah wrote our qadar in the past; Allah wrote it because He knew what we were going to do. This is called qadar.
Qadar is divided into two:the things that are not related to man’s will and the things that are related to man’s will. For instance, the issues like the color of a person’s eyes and the gender of a person are included in the first part and nobody can be held responsible for them. The other part is the fact that we were sent to this world to be tested; therefore, God Almighty creates things according to what we want. For instance, when adhan (call to prayer) is announced, a person who controls his soul goes to mosque. Another person who is controlled by his soul goes to the pub. They are what the people write; our Lord (Creator) creates what they want.
Every man that comes to the world is subject to a qadar program. Allah knows through His pre-eternal knowledge what man will do and what will happen to him. However, the fact that Allah knows does not mean that He will force man because Allah gives man choices. Allah creates what man prefers using his own will. Therefore, man is held responsible. We can give the following example to clarify the issue:
Suppose that the top floor of a building is full of bounties and the pavement is full of torture instruments. A person who has been told about this building beforehand knows that he will attain the bounties when he pushes the button of the top floor in the elevator and that he will undergo torture when he pushes the button of the pavement. What man’s will does here is to decide which button to push and act. The elevator moves based on certain physical and mechanical rules not on the power and will of that person. That is man does not go to the top floor or to the basement based on his own power. Moreover, it is up to man’s will to determine where the elevator will go.
Besides, that Allah knows everything through His pre-eternal knowledge does not remove the responsibility of a person who does something. The person who commits the crime is held responsible not the person who sees and knows the criminal.