The following question and answer by Sheikh Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo attendees of the Dow Jones University Courses on Islamic Investement.
Question:: First, Praise be to Allah for this course, the designers and instructors of it. I pray Allah continue to bless each of you. My question pertains to the interpretation of verses 3:130 and 3:132, not to be argumentative or dogmatic, but because the verses were used in the lessons.
Since Allah leaves nothing to "chance," and with Him there is no such thing as "chance,"wouldn't a better phrase used in those verses be "...But heed Allah so that you might reallybecome successful," and "Obey Allah and the Prophet so that you will be shown mercy."? Is "in the chance that" implied in some way in the Arabic? I read Qur'anic Arabic a little, but I am still learning. The question may be off the point of the lesson, but I do wish you would answer.
Answer: The problem with interpreting the words of the Eternal is that we are limited by our temporal perceptions. This is more a matter of theology than of finance, but I'll attempt to clarify what I mean. The word used here in the Qur'an is "la`alla" which is used in expectation of a thing hoped for or feared. It means either hope or caution, and may be translated as "maybe" or "perhaps" or "in the chance that." In relation to the Almighty such concepts are meaningless... because, yes, Allah leaves nothing to chance. But Allah has left free will and choice to humankind. Thus, the element of chance comes from thedoer, the human element, not from the Almighty. So, the meaning of these verses in theQur'an is that if you, humankind, are heedful of Allah's commandments, you have a chanceto become successful.