Thursday, July 23, 2009


Conversation brings up many lengthy contemplations. I wonder sometimes if monologues might be the better route. In any event, last night, a friend mentioned that fate, taqdeer, destiny, or whatever you might choose to call it, is like a detour on the regular path. So it's kind of like, you're on this (imagined) journey of sorts, and at some point, a fork in the road appears. A detour. It's like God is saying to you, come this way for a bit, I want to show something to you.

And so you amble along. Because, we love surprises. We are inherently curious beings. Sometimes to our detriment. Often to our delight. But Trust is implicit, of course. And we tiptoe forth, somewhat expectant. Are we to be disappointed? Well, we never really know. Will we be amazed, surprised, awakened, astounded? None is known. None is thought about. We move ahead, enticed by the mystery. Trusting fully.

Without any reasonable doubt, the detour's are proven adventures. Mostly, the reasons are unknown to us, just as the results are. Gains or losses, we are never really able to measure, mostly because we lack that level of humility to really understand the bigger picture. We're too much a part of it; a tiny speck on it, really. We the faithful, led by the All Knowing, are guided thus.
But it is most definitely a path of adventure. And a path of living, both determined and allotted, with obvious spurts of self-determined opportunities borne of the effort to take responsibility for life.

Sometimes, the detour is a person. And sometimes, you are the detour on someone else's path.

How does that revelation make sense though? I'm still deciding about the implications of a statement like that. Is it a straight path after all? Or is it a path distracted by, well, detours?



Americanising Desi said...

i seriously think you make me think more than i ever wanna think.

well done lady.

you just blew me off again!

i mean how many time :D


loved every single detour you ve provided!

Abdul Sami said...

personally i think destiny is not really a detour... well it comes down to perception.. but how can it be a detour if it was already destiny...

well written tho !!!

shafinaaz said...

:) ta you two!

shafinaaz said...

AD: glad the smiles and sunshine return to you...

AS: interesting reads at ur blog, dude :)

shafinaaz said...

i just had a thought...what would Freud say about a word like 'detour'? O_o

Anonymous said...

Freud would probably have reckon that detours are some sort of ego driven trip, which either one can't help going on, or that it was pre-determined oedipal urges which we couldn't change no matter how hard we tried.... ok, that probably makes no sense at all... but great post as always... and no... I don't regret any of my own detours, although I think having a map and compass would have helped navigate most of them.... but then there's a bizarre joy in "getting lost" : )

shabz said...

I like the idea of being a detour or having a detour, however after the detour do we really join up the original path again?

shafinaaz said...

lol @ cc: trust a seasoned academic to get reallly into the grime of it. i was thinking it said a lot about the nature of things; to refer to some chance encounter as a detour, is to suggest with finality, that it is frivilous? lol ok i dnt kno... throwing it out there and trying to intelectualize once again..

the joy of discovery is most def worthy incentive!

shabz: a similar discussion started at the facebook note of the same post... in that the progressive steps made, both pre-determined, and self-determined, seem to overlap.. and certain choices made, ultimately alter the path ahead. So in essence, it becomes a guided, yet fluid journey. I really like that idea :)

Azra said...

Y'know, late last year, I had this online debate going on about destiny.

My question at that time was: If destiny has already been written, and it has been foretold that Dajaal, the Anti-Christ will come back to earth and reign evil, will he go to Hell? Considering that he has already been pre-destined to be evil.
(Shaytaan is different because he was once in The Almighty's favour before he refused to bow down to man - so essentially, he BECAME evil - but Dajjal will be BORN evil)

And Mufti Ebrahim from London replied to my question saying that the fact that The Almighty has ultimate (prior) knowledge of who and what Dajjal will be will not prevent Dajjal from acting out of his own free will.

So Dajjal will WANT to be evil...and therefore, Destiny is merely Allah SWT's all encompassing fore-knowledge of all that will be. It does not affect free will.

The way he stated it, made so much sense. Although, there are times I still wonder, how much of our lives are destiny, and how much is free will :P

The Organ Harvester said...

Take any piece of cloth or paper. Fold it over and over again on its side. Hold it up, flat side facing you, folds to the side. That is life's path.

shafinaaz said...

I should paste the fb discussion on this note right here for regular blog readers: we're on to talking about fluidity of determinism and destiny and further onto a question that someone asked as to where in this whole equation does suicide fit? hmm. and so it continues...

Facebooker said...

Haroon Wadee @FB:
the detour may not be a detour, but a medium that fast-tracks the journey in the straight path...

FB User said...

Ridwaan Habib@FB:
with each path(or fork in the road) we have a choice on whether to take it .... and each path has a diff outcome... this is where we are given choice.... and the taqdeer may change depending on our choices....thats how someone explained it to me

GM @ Facebook said...

Gulshan Mahomed@FB:

I understand it the way R does.
So, we all have an infinite amout of pre-determined paths based on the infinite amount of choices we have.
All our chosen paths are threads in the weave of life. In chaos theres harmony.
Creative process :)..hmmm..The Creator's process ;)
Shafs, this note makes me think of the Chaos Theory..The Butterfly Effect.

SI @ Facebook said...

Shakira Ismail @FB:
This is a tough one, I wish I had something wise to say but I'm still figuring this one out myself...too many theories all with sound logic. Something I wonder about, is committing suicide destiny or does it prove that in the end we have the choice to live or die?

GM @Facebook said...

Gulshan Mahomed@FB:
oiy vei shakira. lol. It does get mind boggling ey. It's like the Muta'zalites once argued - How can Abu Lahab be punished for his crimes if he was pre-destined to to them?
I wrap my head around it like this...we have choices..good and bad..and based on these decisions, a succession of events play out. Cause and effect. So perhaps, have a choice to live or die..and based on your choices...your path leads to suicide so thus suicide is then your destiny?...err...

shafinaaz said...

Shafinaaz Hassim@FB:
i always wondered if a person could kill themselves with the same roll-up-your-sleeves conviction of starting something new and refreshed and impassioned, alive. Thats choice to me. Take the bull by the horns and get things rolling, or done. Not a let the car tip over the cliff kinda thing. thats not choice... so... in that dance of determinism and destined, where indeed does suicide make itself manifest... good question ladies :)

shafinaaz said...

RidHabib @FB:

with regard to suicide.... way i see it ....u choose a path which is difficult ...along the way there are other paths u have the choice of choosing ... suicide is not a path it is u choice ... u know the consequences of it but it is a cop out from living u test which is life.... and life is the test which sometimes is difficult but allah has said that u wont be given a test which u cannot handle.... some ppl just choose not to go thru with it

shafinaaz said...

AyeshJacub @FB:

Shafs:beautifuly expressed piece. I do often njoy philosophical meandering- this destiny/predestination/takdeer issue is a tricky 1 tho.maybe it's a concept that we grapple with because we (as human beings) hav a very linear concept of cause and effect (beautifuly alluded 2 in Surah Khaf). There comes a point of humble sumission to the finite ... Read Morecapacity of is not 'blind faith' but an educated submission.??? Back to ur piece. I agree with Haroon.definitely believe that it's on the main road rather than a detour.

shafinaaz said...

Shakira Ismail - FBook

so this is a bit long, found it on the worldwide web...but kinda makes sense...

Free Choice
I once had a very amazing conversation with a Native teacher about the three concepts of destiny, potential, and free choice. To the best of my recollection, this is how he defined these concepts.
Destiny: Is an opportunity to fulfill a life's purpose. It is a predetermined circumstance that will manifest at some point in life. Some Native groups believe that we are born with predestined challenges that were agreed upon by our ancestors before our birth. Other Native groups believe that there are 'deals' made with other souls before birth to be part of their enlightenment challenge here on earth. ... Read More
Potential: When we are challenged, the experience has the potential to be a powerful healing or destructive force. If we rise to the challenge and act out of integrity and grace, we heal both present and past issues related to the event. If we fail the challenge, we hurt ourselves and others...
Free Choice: We all have free choice. This is why we cannot attract a person to us who does not want to engage with us. We choose whom we engage with and we choose our actions.
We attract matches into our lives. It is our choice to engage with them or not. We are responsible for our actions. They are responsible for what they choose to do.

shafinaaz said...

AyeshJ @FB:

That's really interesting.Free choice,i believe, is fundemental to being human. It is what sets us apart from all other creation... And if we have no TRUE free will, how can we be judged for our actions?

shafinaaz said...

Gulshan M @FB:

R seems to articulate my similar thoughts better than I can. Despite the path, Suicide (and everything else) is a choice..even until the last nano-second of life.
Shafs, maybe suicide can be impassioned or passionless. Depends on the motive.
"when we are challenged, the experience has the potential to be a powerful healing or destructive force"
right there is constructive advice..and proof of free will.
'Educated Submission' I love that Ayesh. For all our human musings and ramblings, (and I do love our ramblings, it's inspirational), we cannot deny the fact that we do not possess the capacity to fully understand such infinite concepts. If we did, ther'd be no point to humanity.... Read More
sigh...fb and gtalk don't do these convos justice ;)

Saaleha said...

The other Saaleha did that drawing about destiny some time back. And i think she hit the nail on the head with it.

It's like no matter which way you go you reach the same eventuality. Then again maybe you don't. Maybe there's a series of alternate realities. It really is one of the toughest questions since we believe in Fate, but we do not deny that man has been given freedom of choice.

A verse in the Quraan says: and when they deviated, Allah allowed their hearts to deviate.

I'm no expert but to me that means that we decide the outcome by the doings of our own hands.