"Free will is a gift you'll never how to use until you fight for it..."
This is a quote from a movie, "The Adjustment Bureau" that tells a story about a man who tries to fight all obstacles that come in his way in being with the love of his life. It sets a question that has been asked by philosophers and laymen altogether, "What is free will?"
I'm not a philosopher and I can never talk eruditely about philosophy whatsoever but this movie makes me think, how do fates and our free will interplay to create the life we have now? In an ordinary person's language, how many percents of influence and power do fate and free will have? I used to discuss with my friend about how if there is a "jodoh", you'll find your soulmate. We tried to answer the question, do we search for the partner of our life, or do we fight for him/her?
In Islam we are required to believe in Qada' and Qadar. These are the notions that our lives are predestined, but it doesn't mean we have to just let it be, we still need to make efforts upon something. What I understand is that (and please, if I'm wrong, feel free to correct me) everything is already written, and by our efforts and prayers, we can either stay in the presupposed condition, or we can "rewrite" it on the permission of Allah.
This movie really teaches me the value of fighting for your fate, or in a more familiar term, the value of fighting for your dream. I can't stop hearing people believing the notion that if it's too hard, it means you're not supposed to do it. Have you ever heard people say, "It's raining, it means we're not supposed to eat out..." or, "I failed again, I don't think I'm cut out for this," or, "You see, our car breaks down, it's a sign we're not supposed to go!" We are too easy to be tackled down and we're too easy to give up. But we rarely realize that giving up is a way of "writing" our fate for us to fail.
Remember this particular verse in Qur'an (the meaning is roughly translated from Rad : 11),
"Allah would not change the fate of a people until they change it themselves..."