Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database. Guests are not required to login during this beta-testing phase

QADR OR TAQDIR - <i>Idzlal</i> as ascribed to God

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

The mistaken idea that God leads people astray arises out of a misconception of the meaning of the word idzlal when it is ascribed to God. The word idzlal carries a variety of meanings besides leading astray. It should be noted that wherever idzlal is attributed to God, it is only in connection with the transgressors (2:26), the unjust (14:27), and the extravagant (40:34), not the people generally. Idzlal is the causative form of dzlal, which according to Raghib, means "swerving from the straight path, and the word is applied to every swerving from the right path whether it is intentional or unintentional, and whether it is very small or very great; wherefore it may be used of him who commits any mistake whatever." According to the same authority, idzlal is of two kinds. The first kind is that in which idzlal (or going astray) is the cause of idzlal. This again may be in two ways: (1) when a thing has itself gone astray from you, as you say adzlaltu-l-ba'ira, the meaning of which is, I lost the camel, not I led astray the camel, which is not true in this case; and (2) when you judge a person to be in error or going astray; and in both these cases going astray on the part of the object of idzlal is the cause of idzlal or leading astray. The second kind is that in which idzlal or leading astray is the cause of the going astray of the object of idzlal, and it is in this way that you embellish evil to a man so that he may fall into it. The word as used in the Koran, means judging or finding one to be in error. This was a recognized use of the word among the Arabs. Thus in a verse of Tarfa, the words adzallani sadiqi means my friend judged me to be in error. And in a hadith, it is said that the Prophet came to a people fa-adzalla-hum (he found them adopting a wrong course, not following the true path). Ibn Athir gives further examples showing that adzalla-hu means he found him in error just as ahmadtu-hu means I found him in a praiseworthy condition, and abkhaltu-hu means I found him a niggard. In fact, this sense of the word is recognized by all lexicologists. Explaining adzalla-hu, Lane says: "And he found him to be erring, straying

Back to top