Qadari Contention: You say that Allah has willed some to do bad and go to Hell for it, but I have never read that one of Allah’s Attributes or Names was cruelty.
Sunni Response: And it isn’t, because whatever Allah does with His creation, He does so with a full right. The word “cruelty” implies injustice. Allah has created some humans to be disobedient, and some to be obedient, then He punishes some of the former. When you say that it would be cruelty, you are making yourself a judge of Allah’s action, merely based on your mind. This is the problem with the Mu`tazilah; they gave the mind a much larger role in religion than it can justifiably take. It is like when Ibliis questioned Allah for giving Adam a higher rank. Yours is a judgment that draws analogy between creation and the Creator (saying “if a human did that, then…”). One cannot judge Allah in human terms, or any other terms for that matter. Aļļaah said:
Clearly then, to make a judgment of Allah’s actions is nothing less than a rebellion.
Al-Bukhaariyy narrated that the Prophet said:
إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ يُجْمَعُ فِي بَطْنِ أُمِّهِ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا ثُمَّ عَلَقَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ مُضْغَةً مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ يَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ مَلَكًا فَيُؤْمَرُ بِأَرْبَعٍ بِرِزْقِهِ وَأَجَلِهِ وَشَقِيٌّ أَوْ سَعِيدٌ فَوَاللَّهِ إِنَّ أَحَدَكُمْ أَوْ الرَّجُلَ يَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ بَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعٍ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا وَإِنَّ الرَّجُلَ لَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ حَتَّى مَا يَكُونُ بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَهَا غَيْرُ ذِرَاعٍ أَوْ ذِرَاعَيْنِ فَيَسْبِقُ عَلَيْهِ الْكِتَابُ فَيَعْمَلُ بِعَمَلِ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَدْخُلُهَا
“Verily one of you is gathered in his mothers stomach for forty days, then he is a blood-clot for forty days, then a piece of meat for forty days, then Allah sends an angel ordered with four words: his provision, his end, happy or miserable (1). By Allah, verily one of you may be committing the deeds of the people of Hell, until he is only an arm’s length away, when (it is as if) his destined end overwhelms him (2) and he starts to perform the works of the people of Paradise, and enters it. And verily one of you may be committing the deeds of the people of Paradise, until he is only an arm’s length away, when (it is as if) his destined end overwhelms him and he starts to perform the works of the people of Hell, and enters it.”
This is why one should always ask Allah to make one die as a Muslim.
Notes on the hadith:
1. Some said that it is four matters, and that the fourth matter is gender, but that it is well known from other narrations of the same hadith, so it was left out in this one. Others said that the fourth matter is his actions, but that this is understood from the context. (Umdat-al-Qaari).
2. Everything is always according to predestination, no one can ever do against it, so this is a figurative expression.
Author: Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji