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Not to be confused with Qadiriyyah, a Sufi order founded in the twelfth century CE.

Qadariyah (or Qadariya), in Islam, are adherents of the doctrine of free will. The word Qadar is derived from qadr (power or rights).

Qadariya was one of the earliest philosophical schools of thought in Islam.[1] The doctrine espoused notions of rationalism and contained elements of Greek philosophy. Qadaris maintain that Allah gave man free will, without which one cannot be fully accountable for one's actions. Free will also means that Allah cannot know a man's actions in advance. Qadaris also deny other core tenants of Sunni belief including the belief in the Punishment of the Grave. They also deny that an authentic hadith is an evidence for establishing a proposition in the Islamic aqeedah unless it is transmitted in mutawatir form.[2]

According to Sunni sources, the Qadariyah were censured by Muhammad himself by being compared to Zoroastrians, who likewise deny predestination.[3] It is reported in Sunan Abu Dawood: Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: The Prophet said: "The Qadariyyah are the Magians of this community. If they are ill, do not pay a sick visit to them, and if they die, do not attend their funerals."[4]


The idea of Qadariyah, i.e. the Doctrine of Free-will, came from a Persian named "Sinbuya Asvāri" who was put to death by the Umayyad Caliph Abdu'l-Malik, or, according to other narratives, by Hajjaj bin Yusuf. His idea was already taught in Damascus at the end of the seventh century of our era by Ma'bad al-Juhani (died in A.D. 699), who had imbibed the doctrine from Sinbuya.[5]

The Qadariyah have been censured by many rulers throughout Islamic history including the Ghaznavid ruler, Sebük Tigin for what is seen as their bidah (a newly invented practice in the Islamic creed).[6] Because of their dissident and unconventional doctrines, they were not only heavily criticized by Sunni theologians such as Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and Ibn Taymiyyah, but they were also rebuked by companions of Muhammad.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ History of Syria including Lebanon and Palestine, by Philip K. Hitti, pg. 499
  2. ^ a b The Creed of the Imaam of Hadeeth al Bukhari, pg. 50
  3. ^ Sachiko Murata, William Chittick (1994). "6". The vision of Islam (illustrated ed.). Paragon House. p. 258. ISBN 9781557785169. 
  4. ^ Sunan Abu Dawood: Model Behavior of the Prophet (Kitab Al-Sunnah): Book 40: Hadith 4674.
  5. ^ Browne, Edward Granville. 1929. A literary history of Persia. Cambridge [England]: The University Press. p.282.
  6. ^ The Ash'aris: in the Scales of Ahlus Sunnah, Shaykh al-Jasim, pg. 155
  • Islamic Philosophy A-Z, Peter S. Groff and Oliver Leaman. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2007. ISBN 0-7486-2089-3.
  • An Introduction to Islam, David Waines, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-53906-4.