On the authority of Abu Abdul Rahmaan Abdullah ibn Masood (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Rasul of Allah (saw) the most truthful, narrated to us: Verily, each of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days in the form of a drop of fluid. Then it becomes a clinging object for a similar period. Thereafter, it is a lump looking like it has been chewed for a similar period. The angel is then sent to him and he breathes into him the spirit. He is also commanded to issue four decrees: to record his sustenance, his life span, his deeds and whether he will be of the unfortunate [destined for Hell] or the fortunate [destined for Paradise]. I swear by Allah, besides whom there is no God, certainly one of you will perform the deeds of the people of Paradise until there is between him and Paradise only an arm’s length, and then what has been recorded will overtake him and he shall perform the deeds of the people of Hell and enter it. And, certainly, one of you will definitely perform the acts of the people of Hell until there is not between him and Hell except an arm’s length and then what has been recorded for him will overtake him and he shall perform the deeds of the people of Paradise and enter it.”

(Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported that Allah's Rasul (saw) who is the most truthful and to whom the truth alone is revealed:

The constituents of one of you are collected for forty days in his mother's womb in the form of blood, after which it becomes a clot of blood in another period of forty days. Then it becomes a lump of flesh and forty days later Allah sends His angel to it with instructions concerning four things, so the angel writes down his livelihood, his death, his deeds, his fortune and misfortune. By Him, besides Whom there is no god, that one amongst you acts like the people deserving Paradise until between him and Paradise there remains but the distance of a cubit, when suddenly the writing of destiny overcomes him and he begins to act like the denizens of Hell and thus enters Hell, and another one acts in the way of the denizens of Hell, until there remains between him and Hell a distance of a cubit that the writing of destiny overcomes him and then he begins to act like the people of Paradise and enters Paradise.

Anas b. Malik reported directly from Allah's Rasul (saw) that he said:

Allah, the Aziz and Jalil, has appointed an angel as the caretaker of the womb, and he would say: “My Rabb, it is now a drop of semen; my Rabb, it is now a clot of blood; my Rabb, it has now become a lump of flesh”. And when Allah decides to give it a final shape, the angel says: “My Rabb, would it be male or female and would he be an evil or a good person? What about his livelihood and his age?” And it is all written while he is in the womb of his mother.

Ali (ra) reported:

We were in a funeral in the graveyard of Gharqad when Allah's Rasul (saw) came to us and we sat around him. He had a stick with him. He lowered his head and began to scratch the earth with his stick, and then said: There is not one amongst you to whom a seat in Paradise or Hell has not been allotted and about whom it has not been written down whether he would be an evil person or a blessed person. A person said: Allah's Rasul, should we not then depend upon our destiny and abandon our deeds? Thereupon he said: Acts of everyone will be facilitated towards that which has been created for him so that whoever belongs to the company of the blessed will have good works made easier for him and whoever belongs to the unfortunate ones will have evil acts made easier for him. He then recited this verse (from the Qur'an): 

  1. He who gives (both of himself, i.e. his constructed identity, and from himself, i.e. from that which is valuable for him) and protects himself,
  2. And believes in (confirms) the Most Beautiful (Names) (to be his essential reality),
  3. We will ease him towards ease.
  4. But as for he who withholds and considers himself free of need (for purification and protection),
  5. And denies the Most Beautiful (to be his essential reality),
  6. We will ease him toward the most difficult (to a life veiled from the knowledge of the reality and the Sunnatullah)![1]

[1]Quran 92: 5-10

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