The most used and heard term today is probability. Everything in the events in our society, whether scientific or non-scientific, is always described in terms of probability. According to this logic, events with high probability are expected to occur, while events with low probability are not expected to occur. But sometimes events with small probability also occur. People are also surprised by this. In this case, it comes to mind to ask the following questions: To what extent does probability reflect absolute reality? Do these possibilities help to us?


What is Probability?

Probability is the values ​​obtained as a result of the statistical analysis of the previously obtained results. Considering that there is a deterministic and continuous structure in nature, it makes sense for people to act according to statistical results and interpret facts. These comments often work, but sometimes the expected ones are not realized.

Probability is a method that makes it easy for people to predict. Therefore, it is important in terms of showing people the way forward. However, it should always be kept in mind that the opposite of what is expected can happen. Probability is actually an expression of the fact that people cannot fully reach absolute knowledge with the mind and senses. This is a confession of truth. The fact that a person waits for the occurrence of a phenomenon with a probability ratio is another expression of the fact that he cannot have certain knowledge about anything. This is an expression of man's helplessness in the face of natural events.

As stated in the Qur'an, Allah Almighty informs people that He will show people His verses in the horizons: "We will show them Our signs both in the horizons and in their own selves so that it becomes clear to them that the Qur'an is true" (Fussilet, 41/ 53). Probability is also a sign to man about the events around him. This sign tells people that they cannot have absolute power over knowledge. The verse "You have been given only a little knowledge" (Isra, 17/85) confirms this.

What will happen is destiny. It is believed that destiny was written before. But fate is hidden from people. People cannot predict exactly what will happen. However, some statistical methods can predict the probability of expected future events to occur. It is not certain that the expected predictions will happen. It is just a prediction. This is true for all natural phenomena.

However, everything that happens and will happen is under the knowledge of Allah. This knowledge has been partially given to people. The part given to people is explained with probabilities obtained by statistics. But most of the knowledge has not been given to humans. There is no comment about the nature of this unseen knowledge. Thus, probability does not contain any information about the occurrence and nature of an event. It simply expresses the measure of an expectation about the occurrence of the event. In other words, we do not have any information about the nature and structure of the phenomena in the universe with probabilities.


Probability in Islam

The word probability is not mentioned in any verse or hadith. Things like randomness are also out of the question in Islam. Such expressions are not found in any verse or hadith. On the contrary it is said that everything is created with truth and measure. It is stated that everything moves in an orbit and has a certain end.

For everything He has a proper measure.” (Thunder, 13/8)

The sun can not overtake the moon, nor can the night outpace the day: each floats in (its own) orbit.” (Yasin, 36/40)

For this reason, probability and coincidence are out of question in Islam. For this reason, concepts such as probability and chance are an expression of people's helplessness in the face of Allah's knowledge and power. However, such helplessness is out of the question for God. It is out of the question that people or anything can leave Allah helpless.

When a straight coin is tossed, the chances of getting heads and tails are equal and 1/2. People realize this with their minds and senses. However, no one knows what will happen before the coin is thrown. Only Allah knows this. Since His knowledge determines the results that will come out, it is known only by Himself. Such experiments are valid in the world we live in. There are other realms where the gravitational force works differently. There the waters flow upwards from the ground. People live there who think like us and know Allah  too. They also have a social order and laws. When experiments are made with money in such a realm, the expected results in our world do not occur. Because if the coin is tossed, it may not fall to the ground again. In this respect, the events in the world take place under the provisions of the laws that Allah has set down for our world.

The coin falls to the ground by the force of gravity. The fact that the outcoming of coin heads and tails has the same chance is the result of the gravitational force field being homogeneous and uniform. If the gravitational force field does not have an uniform distribution at the point where the experiment is performed, the chances of getting heads and tails would surely have been different. It is God Himself who determines and operates this law. For this reason, the information created as probability theory is valid for events in the world. It is meaningless to talk about their universality.

However, some of the positive scientists, positivists and materialists idolize matter and think that the secret of everything is in matter. It is understood that these assumptions are wrong when events occurred contradict them. All of these show how important it is for a person to know his Lord and to reach the knowledge of His Essence. This is what man was created for.


Multi-Valued Probability

The most used model of probability theory today is the two-valued probability. Something is judged as either right or wrong. It doesn’t determine if there are any other possible cases. Are events in nature always bivalent? In other words, are there also gray tones between black and white? This is also a covered issue. No full information has been given to the people on this subject either. In Quantum Theory, it is known that there are other states besides two states. In other words, besides the two-valued logic, there may also be the existence of the multi-valued logic. The double slit experiment in physics is an example of this. The same thing can be seen in Sufism.

While it is possible according to measure theory to construct a multi-valued probability theory, this is of little practical use. Because determining the number of values ​​is a difficult task. However, such models can be considered theoretically.


Wisdom of Probability

In everything, there is an aspect, a feature from Allah, which is the truth. If this were not the case, He could not be God and the world would exist by oneself without a God, which is improbable, impossible. Therefore, the knowledge that it is impossible not to have the face of Allah in anything in the world leads to the removal of absolute error in the world.

The outcome in a case is uncertain until it comes out. After the result is out, it will be certain. However, the uncertainty until the result is for us, for human beings, not for God. This side is the unseen side of the phenomenon. The result obtained is the outward side. We only see it. The state of uncertainty until the conclusion is drawn is the face of the phenomenon looking at the realm of the unseen. God knows the truth of this face, but we cannot. This is clear in the knowledge of God. The result will be revealed to us when it comes out. We cannot know what is going on in the unseen realm. However, in order for the result to be realized, God's will and power attribute take action and the result that will emerge together with His attribute of knowledge is determined. It is certain that many factors that we do not know were taken into account and played a role in determining this result. However, these are closed to us. This is true for all events in nature. In other words, all the results in nature are actually determined and realized by Allah.

In all these explanations, it is seen that due to the limited nature of human it is always necessary to live with possibilities, and it is never possible to reach a complete and definite knowledge. So what is the reason for this? Why did Allah set up such a system? Allah Almighty states that the universe He created is for the benefit and well-being of man. He says that He has made everything in the universe subordinate for man.

He has put everything in the heavens and the earth at your service as a gift from Himself. Surely, in this there are signs and proofs for people who ponder.” (Kneelling, 45/13)

Accordingly, what is the wisdom behind man's inability to see the absolute truth with his own mind and senses? Surely, Allah has created everything with a right and measure. There is never a defect, a deficiency, an inconsistency or an uncertainty in His creation.

He created the seven heavens one above the other. You cannot see any flaw in the creation of Gracious One. Then look once again can you see any flaw?” (The Kingdom, 67/3)

Because otherwise, it is not possible for God and the Creator to be. Then what is the wisdom behind people's inability to access this precise information? We can express the benefits of this as follows:

1) Man needs to examine the events in nature and his own self, he tries to continue his life by constantly thinking about them and taking precautions. If a person has faith, he will earn rewards from his work and a capital will be prepared for the hereafter. If he does not have faith, he will distract himself with false theories, waste his life and destroy his hereafter. Accordingly, this issue is a consequence of the fact that the life of this world is a place of testing. With such shortcomings and uncertainties, man is subject to a test in faith. If he understands his own helplessness and lack, it is a positive thing for him. Thus, his faith increases about the power and might of his Lord. This is something desired. Because man was created to know his Lord. When he examines himself and the environment to know God, seeing that every information has not been given to him is a step that leads him to the right way of Islam.

2) If people were given the opportunity to reach the absolute knowledge of the events in nature or in their own selves, people would feel greatness by knowing everything and could even put themselves in the place of God. This would be the beginning of eternal frustration for him. Because Allah states that He will never forgive the association of partners with Him. Today, unfortunately, when people gain some power and knowledge, they become proud of themselves and start to struggle with Allah: “Man forgets his own creation and brings us examples.” (Yasin, 36/78)

This is a situation that leads people to disbelief and away from eternal bliss. As examples of such behaviors, we can give the behavior of Pharaoh, Croesus and Hitler. Because they started to see themselves as God by relying on the power in their hands and they persecuted other people as well.

For this reason, it is the greatest harm for man to know and achieve everything. Since this causes the nafs (self) to get out of control. Allah Almighty gives people a small portion of knowledge. This is for people's own benefit. Likewise, it is a mercy for people to suffer disasters and diseases over time. Because most of the people who live very comfortably and without any trouble, can easily go beyond their life purpose by following what their nafs and desires want. Unfortunately, we see examples of this all the time in our society.

A life full of possibilities is part of man's testing. Thinking about these impossibilities and why some events cannot be known reminds one of his Lord. He realizes that a power other than himself rules the universe. This is an act that will lead him to salvation.


Is It Possible to Model the Universe with Mathematics?

Some scientists think that the order of the universe is based on a mathematical structure and probability theory reflects this structure. This is a conjecture. No one knows if it's true or not. However, although it is stated in the verses of the Qur'an that Allah uses number and measure, it is not clear whether these are mathematical models as we understand them.

“They have no knowledge to base this on. They merely indulge in guess-work which can never replace the truth.” (The Stars, 53/28)

For everything He has a proper measure.” (Thunder, 13/8)

“We have created everything in due measure. We command but once: Our will is done in the twinkling of an eye.”  (The Moon, 54/49-50)

In fact, it is not possible to explain the events on the side of the universe that we cannot see or hear with a mathematical modeling. We have no knowledge of how things work in this realm of the unseen. Although some discoverers say that they have inspirational information on this subject, they do not want to reveal this information to everyone. In fact, the disclosure of this information is prohibited to a certain extent. This information was taken from the Prophet and what they saw through their own discoveries. This information is not contrary to the Qur'an and hadiths. But nothing about this information is told to people. For example, Abu Hurayra (ra), Ibn Abbas (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra) have statements expressing their reservations on this issue.

When Allah Almighty created the world, He determined a cause-effect relationship for the events here and gave way to the system to work. By examining these events, people have tried to understand these cause and effect relationships and to obtain information about their structure. This tendency to this examining is in the nature of man and he was created in this way. In a way, this is a purpose of human creation. Because man is asked to know his Lord by researching both himself and his surroundings. A person should see the existence of a working system both in himself and in his environment and in the universe and how this system works perfectly. He should think that such a system has a creator and he should revere it.

However, it seems that it is not possible for a person to fully understand this order created by Allah with his own means and to know what its structure is. The limited creation of his own mind and emotions does not allow him to know the whole universe fully and precisely. Almighty Allah, the creator of everything, sent prophets to people from time to time and sent them divine information about the structure and purpose of creation. Some people did not believe in them and deviated into denial due to the predominance of delusions and desires of their nafs and the devil. Some of them believed and entered the path of faith and guidance.

Whether he is a believer or not, man has studied his environment and himself since the day he was created and tried to make an interpretation of natural events, to explain them, and to reveal the cause-effect relationships behind them. To date, these studies have left a lot of information and comments to people under the name of science. This information and some of these comments were later falsified, so that people made new studies to eliminate the defects in reinterpretations and thus came up with new theories. This process will continue until the end of the world.

A fundamental characteristic of this whole process is that the results people get when studying nature are not entirely conclusive. Therefore, he had to express the accuracy of these results with a certain probability. These probability values ​​are also obtained from the statistics of the previous results about the events in question. In human curiosity, there is the idea of ​​detecting events and making a data store about the values ​​of their past and using it in future calculations. This very natural behavior has led people to open the doors of scientific thinking and research. As these doors open, new thoughts, interpretations and new possibilities are revealed. According to this, all the investigations and the results obtained by the human have a meaning according to a probability value. Therefore, we can say that man actually lives in a realm of possibilities. However, in this realm, many things that are incapable of knowing, detecting and measuring are also emerging. Because improbable things do happen. But this does not in any way affect the man's obligation to live with possibilities, and man does not abandon living with possibilities. There is nothing else he can do. This is a very natural situation.

We can give weather forecasts as an example. One of the most important events for people is what the weather will be like in the coming days. This is important in every way. Because things such as water, food and fresh air that one needs in daily life are closely related to weather conditions. If it does not rain, if there is drought, there will be no cleaning, crops will not grow and epidemics will occur. For this reason, knowing how the weather will be in the future is important in terms of planning one's life and taking precautions. It is possible to expect what kind of situations may arise, based on the previous measurements of many parameters for weather forecasting. For this reason, the values ​​of these parameters are determined by measurements made at various heights of the atmosphere, and interpretations are made about what the weather will be like with the available information. These interpretations are contingent, that is, with a certain probability. Although these probabilities are not expressed in the weather forecast reports, the people involved in this report the realization rates of these probabilities. Sometimes weather events occur close to the forecast, sometimes not. A forecast made changes with an effect that no one can predict before, and the weather condition is not as expected. As the air is predicted to cool down, pressure changes or air currents may occur in a particular location that suddenly bring in warm air. This change does not bring the expected cold air, but rather warm air. Such sudden changes in temperature and precipitation are constantly encountered.

So, can these sudden effects, which disrupt the work of scientific models that people have obtained with their mind and emotions, be predicted? It has been seen so far that it is not possible to predict these immediate effects. It is possible to predict how the weather will evolve after the effect occurs. There are many similar events in nature. By nature, human beings are interested in every event and, having knowledge about them, reason and make comments. However, with the emergence of unexpected or unpredictable effects and events at any moment, the course of events is affected and what is desired may not be achieved. This situation is seen in all kinds of economic, social and natural events. People may not know exactly where the events will go with the emergence of new effects, as they have witnessed events that they could not foresee before in the events around them and in nature. However, man's duty is to continue to struggle with them and try to ensure their existence.

Probability calculations are statistical interpretations of information obtained as a result of the repetition of the same events. Here, the following question comes to mind: Can any event in nature be repeated exactly? It is very difficult to answer this positively. Because nature is in constant change and movement. So to what extent is it possible for all the same conditions to be repeated? In other words, “Can we bathe twice with the same water in a flowing river?” It seems more plausible that this is not possible. For this reason, it is unthinkable to repeat two events under the same conditions in nature. When we evaluate the results that emerge in this case, they are not exact equivalents of the same event. This shows that the results expressed as probabilities are not absolutely certain.

But these probability calculations are not in vain. It gives people a rough prediction of events. These predictions guide people in their behavior. The important thing here is that people use the right reasoning and perceive the results correctly while evaluating the probabilistic results. It should always be taken into account that absolute and relative results in nature are different from each other. The power of man is only sufficient to determine relative values. It is impossible to perceive the absolute. This is the result of the wisdom and mysteries in the creation of human nature. It is the greatest gain for a person to know that the divine information here is not visible to him and to have the awareness that he must surrender to his Lord. At this point, the meaning of the verse "We will show man the signs in his own self and in his horizon" becomes clear. Thus, man gets to know his Lord better and gets closer to Him.

The fact that mathematical models can partially explain the events in the universe shows that there is a measure, a consistency in the functioning of the universe. Because in the verse (Furkan, 25/2) Allah states that He has created all things and measured them out precisely. Accordingly, it is desirable that people think about the functioning and structure of this consistent and solid order in the universe and try to explain it. But it is also certain that there is an apparent uncertainty in all cases. This is a result of the fact that the cases have hidden sides.


Possibilities Related to Corona Virus

Probability values ​​have an important place in today's adventure of the corona virus and in the fight against it. People act according to these possible data, but it is seen that events other than the predicted probability numbers also occur. These results confirm our ideas about probability.

Probability calculations related to this epidemic are obtained with the results. When new results emerge, probability calculations are updated and a new situation emerges. However, the emerging results may not be what people predicted before.

For example, the rate of spread of the virus is changing. Human intervention is not possible. This happens when the virus mutates and changes its character. The fact that people cannot foresee this change is an indication that events occur outside of their will. For believers, this will is God's will. God is free to do whatever He wants. The entire universe and everything in it is under His command. For people of faith who think in this way, the problem is solved and everything is explained in its place. It is man's duty to protect himself from the virus, by Allah's command, to try not to get sick, and to prevent the microbe from reaching others. This is an important worship. Because they do this as Allah's command.

Those who do not have faith think that these developments happen spontaneously, by chance. They try to dominate the situation. But the results in practice show that it is not possible for people to have complete control over these events. One only has to update the probability values ​​after the new events have happened. These updates never come to an end. In other words, there is always uncertainty in events.

People who have the knowledge of secrets, on the other hand, have some knowledge of discovery, and they are convinced that what is realized is a divine destiny. Not everyone can accept this information. He may think it is against his mind. It is only after this discovery information has accrued that they realize they are correct. Knowing these beforehand may not gain anything in the fight against the virus. But knowing these increases one's faith in God and destiny. They are the ones that Allah has preordained everything. This is the door of earning rewards for a believer. In the fight against the virus, he tries to protect himself and his environment like every human being. He fights against the virus by paying attention to mask, distance, cleaning and as a vaccination. After doing these, he takes refuge in Allah and prays for His protection. This is a reward for him. Therefore, Muslims who perceive the events correctly will always be profitable. These gains are in question both for the lives of this world and for the lives of the hereafter.



Probability measures are useful and helpful for people to understand and to predict where events will evolve. However, the estimates obtained by the probability method are not exact and absolute. It is an approximate comment. It should never be ignored that the opposite of these predictions may also occur.

Probability is only for the outward (visible) side of events in nature. It does not belong to the hidden side of events. In addition, probability cannot explain the cause, how and nature of events. Therefore, it is not an absolute certainty.

Allah, the Exalted, realizes the events in nature with His own will, power and knowledge. Events are uncertain for us before they happen. We can only observe them after they have occurred. Probability interprets the results we observe.

Did the events in the universe happen by themselves or did they occur with the intervention of a divine will?

It has always been a topic that people have been discussing. Some people have argued that the events in the universe occurred by chance on their own. Evolutionary theorists, for example, hold this view. According to them, it is possible for a living cell to form on its own in the universe. However, many conditions must come together for a living cell to form on its own. It is possible for all of these conditions to be in one place at the same time, with a very small probability close to zero, according to probability calculations. This shows us that coincidence is not acceptable with reason. Because the realization of a probability close to zero is possible only with the intervention of a divine power. It's like something that won't happen. According to all these, the theory of probability refutes the claims of the theory of evolution.



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Coincidence and Chaos”, D. Ruelle, Say Publications, Istanbul, 2017

Knowledge and Wisdom”, Ibn Arabi, Iz Publishing, Istanbul, 2011

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Statistics”, L. J. Stephens, Schaum Series, Istanbul, 2013

The Quran”, M. W. Khan, Goodword Books, New Delhi, 2009


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Sufism and Probability

Publication Date : 08.08.2021

We shall show them Our signs in the universe and within themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord is the witness of all things?

(Fussilat, 41/53)