The term ‘manyyasha’ which is generally interpreted as ‘as He Wills’ is an indicative term, as explained by Dr. Shabbir in QXPiv. The implication of this understanding in practical life needs to be understood. When Allah created the universe in six periods (stages), He established laws for all things, starting from the atom (or anything smaller) to the celstial bodies. Everything follows this set of rules which are constant. The rules/laws never change. In a way, this is a great gift to mankind. Once we understand these laws, we can use this understanding for our benefit. We have understood and are taking advantage of such rules everyday without even realising it. For example, a farmer understands that there is a sowing season during which he has to sow the seeds to get ample/ optimum yield. This is also a rule/ law of Allah. If he sows at the wrong time, he will not get the result and his efforts will go waste. Hence, when Allah says that He does not wish hardship for us (2:185, 20:2, 22:78), we need to understand he has kept ease for everything. We need to discover that. The process of discovery leads us to the the path of progress(1). This imbibes in us the quest to discover more laws of Allah and use them to our benefit. Seeking minds like Newton, Archimedes, Einstein, Heisenberg, etc. discovered some of these laws.
Very often, a devout person finds that he keeps on supplicating for something, waiting that Allah will answer and he will be miraculously given whatever he asked for. But he does not get it. While another person who may be an atheist achieves the same objective. The question arises in the devout mind is why belief is not yielding results. However, in this situation, another rule is discovered. Belief or unbelief has no direct connection with results(2). A person whether devout or not, on discovering the law of Allah, ACTS to create the circumstances necessary to derive the result. This may be understood by another example. A child is conceived only when the male sperm is able to seed a female ovum. There are certain days during the ovulation cycle when fertilization cannot happen. This is the rule set by Allah discovered and proven through medical research and now well known to people. Allah’s Will is to make conception happen in a given set of circumstances. Thus, it can be understood that ‘sha’a’ or ‘will’ of Allah is actually the law of Allah. In 41:9-12, Allah describes the creation of heavens and the earth. He is the ‘sustainer’ of the heavens & earth which are made obedient to Him (subjected to His Laws) and the celestial bodies described as ‘lamps made secure’ (they do not clash in their orbits, as they are subject to pre-ordained paths and speed). ALLAH’S WILL ACTUALLY MANIFESTS ITSELF IN HIS UNCHANGING LAWS. The universe is in complete harmony because at every moment, Allah’s Laws are being abided.
Through this ‘sha’a’ of Allah, the message to us is absolutely clear that harmony and perfection can be achieved only by following the laws of Allah. Unlike everything else in the universe, man has been been given the free will. The moon has no option other than rotating & revolving around the earth. However, man has all the options he wants with the freedom to do anything he wants. Yet, there is Allah’s law which gurantees him results, whether good or bad, depending on the action. Since the celestial bodies or minute atoms or birds or animals do not have free will, they do not need any set of guidelines. Man needs guidelines to understand his role in the universe and the impact of his actions. Through the example of the harmonious universe, the understanding has been conveyed to man that following Allah’s laws is the only way to accomplish the purpose of his existence and ensure the peace & harmony that needs to be established using his free will. The guidance is in the Holy Quran, through which the above described insights are derived. Thus, we understand that according to the ‘sha’a/will/law’ of Allah, our success lies in understanding & implementing the Quran. The question is, are we (except a fractional minority) truly doing it?
20:2 We have not bestowed upon you this Qur’an to cause you any hardship.
22:78 Strive hard in God’s cause, with all the striving that is due to Him. It is He Who has elected you to carry the message and has placed no hardship in religion, the Creed of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you “Submitters” in the bygone days and now in this revelation - That the messenger may be a witness for you and you be witnesses for all mankind! (You shall be the watchers over people that no community oppresses the other.) So, establish the Divine System and set up the Just Economic Order, and hold fast unto God. He is your Lord Supreme, and how excellent is this Giver of support!
1 Attribute of Rahim: “Rahim” refers to the Provider for those who strive and struggle for this providence of nourishment, protection and development.
Arabic-English Lexicon by Edward William Lane, based on Taj-Ul-Roos, 2003 2nd reprint. It gives the explanation of Imam Thalabee on Rahim:“It is God's desire to do good to the deserving thereof;”
2 Action which is supported by strong belief yields better results than action without belief. The operative word is action. This is another law of Allah which becomes becomes evident by reflecting on 8:65-66
May Allah strengthen our beliefs and our actions and make us the implementers of the Holy Quran.