Repelling Qadr by Qadr… This is a concept that was mentioned by Imam Ibn al Qayyim rahimahullah in his book Madaarij Al Saalikeen.
There was a discussion between Abu Ubaidah and `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both). During this discussion`Umar decided not to proceed to his trip to ash-Shaam, when the news reached him that there was a plague spreading there. Thus he decided to go back to Madinah, telling the people “I’m returning back, thus you should return as well”. In this incident Abu Ubaidah did not attend Umar’s consultation with the people and the result of the consultation.
However, when Abu Ubaidah heard of Umar’s orders he came to `Umar asking him
“O `Umar, are you running away from Allah’s Qadr?”
By this he was objecting to `Umar’s decision to return back to Madinah. `Umar was amazed by this objection raised by Abu Ubaidah and `Umar said to him,
“O Abu Ubaidah. I wish someone other than you would have said this. Yes. I am running away from Allah’s Qadr to Allah’s Qadr”.
He explained this by saying, if you see a man coming to a place where there are two areas, one area is lush and the other barren. Don’t you see that if he takes his cattle to the lush area, he is doing so according to Allahs Qadr and if he takes his cattle to the barren area, he is also taking it by Allah’s Qadr.
Put it another way; sometimes a individual is confronted with a situation and it may be totally out of ones control. Although the individual accepts that it is from Allah, one does not just accept it and give up. No. Rather one repells the qadr of hunger with the qadr of eating, the qadr of being attacked with the qadr of defending oneself, the qadr of poverty with the qadr of searching for work in order to survive etc.
So whatever comes our way it is required for us to continue along the path seeking the pleasure of Allah by repelling one type of qadr with another type of qadr according to the situation that we’re in. If something does not work, one tries doing something else until one attains whatever it is they are trying to attain while being patient along the way.