I will allude to certain points which I think may prove a little
helpful in removing the confusion which in general seems to surround the concept
a) The Almighty has given us the free will to select between good and evil.
If a person intends to adopt the right path, it is up to him, and if he intends
to adopt the wrong path, it is entirely his choice. It is after this liberty
given to us in exercising our intention that the Almighty will reward or punish
us. This retribution therefore will be based on our own deeds and not under any
compulsion of fate.
b) Whatever is written down about our fate, concerns Allah's knowledge about
our fate. His prior knowledge does not mean that we are under any compulsion to
do what has been written down. It only means that He knows what we are going to
do. Consequently, if Allah knows beforehand that such and such people will go to
Hell or certain others will go to heaven, then it only means that such people
will do the deeds which will lead them to a bad fate. In other words, a person's
deeds will determine his fate only. However, whatever deeds he will do are
already in the knowledge of Allah.
c) Du‘ā has a great significance since it is an expression of Tawhīd. There
are things which will be given to us if we only ask for them; otherwise we will
not receive them. In other words, they are dependent upon Du‘ā. So one cannot
and should not disregard it.