I read in some stories, literary works and journalistic articles the phrase “circumstances willed” or “circumstances dictated”, or “fate decreed”. What is the ruling on these phrases?
Praise be to Allaah.
These are inappropriate phrases, because circumstances and fate do not have a will.
The great scholar Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him) was asked about these phrases, and said:
“ ‘Fate willed’ or ‘circumstances willed/dictated’ are reprehensible phrases, because the Arabic word for circumstances, zuroof, is the plural of zarf, which is another word for time – and time does not have a will. Similarly, fate does not have a will either.
The One Who does have a will is Allaah. If a person says ‘the decree of Allaah dictated such and such’, there is nothing wrong with that. But it is not correct to attribute will to decrees, because the will does not belong to the description, it belongs to the One Who is described.” Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 3/131-132