Shaykh Muḥammad al-Jāmī explains in his ‘Islamic Creed and Its History‘  (ʿAqīdah al-Islamīyah wa Tārikhuhā);

The sects that appeared during the time of the Companions, may Allāh be pleased with them, is the Qadarīyyah. Generally, when the term Qadarīyyah is mentioned, then what is intended by this are those who negate the Divine Decree (qadar) and they are the followers of Maʿbad al-Juhanī. But sometimes this word maybe used for those who are excessive in affirming the Divine Decree (qadar) and those who went to such extremes regarding the Divine Decree (qadar) that it led them to say that the servant is compelled to do certain actions. So he acts without choice. Rather, he has no power over his actions. These people are known as the Jabarīyyah, who also fall under the general name for al-Qadarīyyah.

An individual named Maʿbad al-Juhanī called to the creed of the Qadarīyyah for the first time in Baṣrah at the end of the time of the Companions. He generally rejected that Allāh has prior knowledge, a book wherein the fate of everything is written as well as the Will of Allāh ﷻ. He even went so far as to explicitly state that Allāh ﷻ does not know what fate will take place except after its occurrence, not to mention record it in a book or will it into existence. Rather, the servants initiate their actions themselves, so they do their actions without Allāh’s ﷻ knowledge until after the servant has completed the action. They do not consider the actions of the servant to be from what is decreed by Allāh ﷻ. And in light of this, they differ amongst themselves regarding whether Allāh ﷻ is capable of producing the like of the servants’ actions or not.

And this is the extent to which they exaggerated in their negation of the Divine Decree (qadar) just as they went to similar extremes affirming the abilities of the servant, to the extent they made the servant a creator along with Allāh ﷻ, since according to their belief, every servant creates his own actions without being affected by the ability of Allāh ﷻ, and its influence over his chosen actions.

This is a deviant belief which is rejected by the intellect, Islamic legislation and sound logic. It is a foreign ideology because the man who began spreading this creed, Maʿbad al-Juhanī, took it from an unknown person, who was said to be called Abū Yūnus al-Asāwarī. So then Maʿbad adopted it and it became a great trial in Baṣrah and the neighbouring areas because of him.

Ḥajjāj ibn Yūsuf al-Thaqafī punished him by the order of ʿAbd al-Mālik ibn Marwān al-Umawī and this occurred in the eightieth year after the Prophet’s migration.

The Stance of Some of the Companions Who Were Present When This Innovation Began

When the innovation of the Qadarīyyah appeared, the scholars of the Pious Predecessors from the Companions and their students rushed to condemn the innovation of the Qadarīyyah, warn against it, and to free themselves from it and its people. They also criticized it and made clear to the people the dangers it posed to a person’s belief in Allāh ﷻ because the belief in the Divine Decree (qadar) is a system based upon Islamic monotheism (al-tawḥīd) and whoever disbelieves in the Divine Decree (qadar) has invalidated his monotheism (al-tawḥīd).

Also, some of the books of history and biographies mention that when the statement of Maʿbad al-Juhanī reached ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb, he freed himself from him and his deviant speech and he made his position known to the people. The same has also been narrated regarding ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbbās. In fact, ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿAbbās, wished that this person’s neck could be placed within his hands so that he may squeeze it until he dies, or at least cut off his nose, and by this time he had become blind. All of this was due to his protectiveness of Allāh’s Religion and the Muslim creed which for the first time had been exposed to deviant ideologies.

Also, there have been narrations of the Prophet and the Pious Predecessors regarding the dispraise and condemnation of the Qadarīyyah and how they are the Magian’s of this nation. Rather, they are worse and more evil since they affirm many creators, since they believe every servant from the jinn, mankind and the angels creates his own actions according to their corrupt claim. In addition to this, the Qadarīyyah are the opposite of the Jabarīyyah who claim the servant is compelled and driven towards his actions of good or evil, and is then rewarded with good or bad which is another deviation.¹ But what is correct, is the middle path between these two extremes. It is what the people of the Sunnah and the community of the believers are upon; that there is no creator but Allāh ﷻ . Therefore, the servant and his actions are from the creation of Allāh ﷻ and the servant performs actions due to his choice, just as he also abandons them by his own choice and this is the secret of the responsibilities placed upon the servants by Allāh ﷻ , and the place where good or bad are rewarded and the knowledge of this is with Allāh ﷻ  and this issue has been expanded upon elsewhere.

1 [TN]: It has been narrated that ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿUmar  cited the Prophet say: “The Qadarīyyah are the Magians of this Ummah. If they become ill, do not visit them and if they die, do not attend their funerals.” Authenticated by al-Albānī in Ṣaḥiḥ Abū Dāwūd (no.4961).