Q & A: Someone asked, “Is it just for Allah to make one a Muslim and reward him and one a Hindu and punish him?”

Rashid wrote: Consider this. A person is born in a purely Islamic environment, he has been taught Islam from the very start of his life and he has been brought up in the same atmosphere. There is another person who is born in a pure Hindu/Christian environment (say in a pandit’s home), he has been taught Hinduism/Christianity from the very start of his life and he has been brought up in the same atmosphere.

Now, there are people who argue that it is in the psychology of a person that it is very difficult for him to deny and take a stand against something he has been believing from his childhood. And it is also a fact that there are greater number of born Muslims than revert Muslims similarly there are a greater number of born Hindus/Christians than converts. If this is the case, the Hindu/Christian is put into hell for eternity and Muslim into Heaven for eternity, if they die with the same faith. Is this justice with both of them? What was the fault of Hindu/Christian for not being born in an Islamic environment and what had the Muslim done for he got such a big prize!

Answer: Al-Bukhari narrated through Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet said: “Your deeds will not put you in Paradise.” They asked: “Not even for you, O Messenger of Allah?” He answered: “No, not even for me,
except that Allah will cover me with grace and mercy.” (Şahih Al-Bukhaariy No 5349, 5/2147; `Umdat-al-Qaari 21/227)

What this means is that Allah is not obliged to do anything, and thatyour deeds do not influence Allah. Good deeds do not earn you the right to go to Paradise; it is a grace from Allah to enter. It means also that if you do not do good deeds, then this indicates that Allah has not willed good for you, and this is a sign that you are heading for loss in the Hereafter. For some people He has made it easier to do good than others. For some people he has created the ability to overcome difficult obstacles to do good, others not. Aļļaah has created some people to go to Hell, and some to go to Paradise. This is not injustice, for Allah does not have a creator or a judge that He is accountable to, and what He creates is fully His to do with as He wills. Allah said:

لا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُون
Meaning: “He is not asked about what He does to creation, but the creation is asked.” (Al-Anbiya, 23).

I have mentioned it elsewhere, but it is useful to recount the debate between Al-Qadi `Abdul Jabbaar of the Mu`tazilite sect, and the great Imam of the Sunnis of the time, Abu Ishaq Al-Isfaraayini . When the two met, `AbdulJabbaar said, “Exalted is Allah, who transcends the obscene.” (While this is a sound expression, what he meant to say was that Allah does not create evil. This is blasphemous, because Muslims must believe that Allah is the only creator, as it is stated in the Quran that He created everything, and that no one wills anything except by His Will.)

Imam Al- Isfaraayini (418 AH) realized what he had implied and responded, “Exalted is Allah, who nothing happens in His dominion but by His Will.” The Mu`tazilite then made another attempt and said, “Does our Lord like to be disobeyed?” Al-Isfaraayini quickly replied, “Could He be disobeyed against His Will?” Upon that `Abdul Jabbaar tried again to defeat his adversary and said, “If God denied me guidance, then ruled that I be destroyed for it, has He treated me fairly?” Al-Isfaraayini calmly answered, “If He denied you something that was yours, then He would have been unfair, but if it was not rightfully yours, then Allah does with His creation what He wills.” `Abdul Jabbaar fell silent, and could not argue further. After all, Allah is the true owner of all creation. (V.4/ P. 261-262. Tabaqaat-al-Shafi`iyyat-al-Kubra).

Authored by Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji

45 Responses to Q & A: Someone asked, “Is it just for Allah to make one a Muslim and reward him and one a Hindu and punish him?”

  1. Rashid says:

    Assalam-u-Alaikum,

    Jazak ALLAH for this!

    So, is this right that it is the luck of a person as to whether he comes in the category of obedient people or in those who are ungrateful to ALLAH Almighty! A person, by himself has no choice. But if this the case, what is the concrete concept of free-will?

    Secondly, as a Muslim, we should make up our mind in such a way that we have been blessed and therefore we should thank ALLAH the ALMIGHTY! instead of roaming here and there in confusions… right?!

    Wa-Salam,
    Rashid

  2. The person himself does have a choice, but this is a choice created by Aļlaah. In other words, the choices that you make in your daily life are choices, but they are created by Aļļaah. That is, you commit your choices, but Aļļaah is their creator.

    The acts of creation in themselves and in reality, and with regards to the Creator, are all according to Aļļaah’s decree. With respect to the person himself, however, (in the sense of what appears to every one of us in terms of one’s situation, without looking at what one believes); all of us feel and know and sense in ourselves that we have a choice. We are not forced or threatened in the acts we do that are chosen. So the Muslim Believer that believes in predestination, and the unbelieving heretic and denier, both feel and sense that they are not forced in their chosen acts to do what they do. There is no disagreement between the two on this issue, for it appears to both of them from their situation in their lives, and the ability to choose that they feel in themselves, that they are independent in their chosen acts, as if there is no predestination. Moreover, both the Muslim and the kaafir do not know the details of what they will do in the future, because they do not know the unseen.

    For this reason, the person should, while believing that everything happens according to Aļļaah’s predestination, do the best he can to bound himself with the rules of the religion. One should not ponder the hidden aspect and its reality; namely that he will do nothing except what Aļļaah has predestined, in order to use it as an excuse not to work hard on being obedient to Aļļaah in the future. There is no excuse in this, because this is not something that falls under his senses. Rather, what appears to a person of his real situation, and what he knows from himself, is the power to choose with freedom and independence, without any compulsion.

    So just as a rational person does not stop necessary eating and drinking because he believes in predestination, he does not stop complying to Aļļaah’s orders. Rather, he always directs his aim and choice towards obedience to Aļļaah, and he strives to apply the rules of Aļļaah’s religion. He is not distracted from this aim by the firm belief in his heart that he will not commit any act except that which Aļļaah has predestined, a fact that has been proven with unequivocal proofs.

  3. Saliha says:

    As-salaamualaikum wa rahmatullah,

    The response provided here was indeed very grounded and concise as an overall answer to the question. Further, I wanted to add something that must be realized when contemplating questions pertaining to fate, free-will & pre-destination. Allah azawajaal is Al-Adl and Al-Khabir, The Just and the All Aware. His bounties do not only extend by His Rahma but by His fairness as well. He is the All Just, and we are ordained to believe that. Thus, we cannot let such questions blind us to the Greatness of our Creator, and that only He knows best! True, we should pursue the answers to our questions in the most efficient manner, but we must always remember, Hasbun’Allahu wa’nimal Wakeel!

    May we be guided upon the straight path, with sabr and steadfastness. Ameen.

    Ma’assalama,

  4. Rashid says:

    Assalam-u-Alaikum,

    Jazak ALLAH Shaikh!

    I read something like this (not exact words) in an Islamic book : We do what we do because it is predestnied. It is not that whichever act we commit is because it was predestined but because we had to commit a particular act by our choice, it was predestined. ALLAH Almighty has complete and infinite knowledge and from His Knowledge, He wrote (obviously not like we humans do) the destiny.

    I would appreciate your comment on these words!

    Wa-Salam,
    Rashid

  5. I can’t understand when he says “We do what we do because it is predestnied. It is not that whichever act we commit is because it was predestined…”

    All of our acts are predestined and created by Aļļaah.

  6. Rashid says:

    So Shaikh is it that whichever act we are committing is because it was predestined, we simply are “human robots”.

  7. No, a robot has no sense of self and no sense of choice. I suggest you re-read what we have stated previously, especially the June 3 comment.

    Abu Adam

  8. Charles says:

    It’s not clear to me exactly what is being said here. If you are saying that God decrees one person to do evil and another person to do good (and neither has a choice in the matter), then that goes against all understanding of a Just God. If you are saying that God permits people to do good or evil and decrees that it comes to pass according to their intention, that’s a different matter.

    I am not saying here that God is subordinate to our understanding of what He must do or must not do. I am saying that our understanding of God, which is based upon the Quran, indicates that the perspective of God decreeing someone to do evil is not just.

    On the point, “This is not injustice, for Allah does not have a creator or a judge that He is accountable to, and what He creates is fully His to do with as He wills.”

    Yes and no. Yes, the statement is true. But that does not support the fact that God is just. All that statement supports is that God has the right to do what He wills because He has the power, or in other words, Might = right. But that premise has nothing to do with justice. God is just because He acts in just ways.

    “What this means is that Allah is not obliged to do anything, and that your deeds do not influence Allah. Good deeds do not earn you the right to go to Paradise; it is a grace from Allah to enter.”

    I agree with this statement. But two points need to be made. First, although one’s deeds do not influence God, one’s intention does. Of course, God is not obliged, but it is His nature to reward the sincere seeker with the heart and ability to do good. As the hadith states, “Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends. ”

    Second, we must ask why our deeds do not influence Allah. It is not because He is not accountable to some other entity, but rather it is because He is just and compassionate. No one is perfectly without error. Under human law, one could do much good, but if one breaks the law, then one is held accountable for the breaking of the law regardless of the good that one had previously done. Similarly, if God were to hold us accountable on the basis of deeds, His justice would require that we go to hell. However, according to our intentions (and perhaps other criteria, God knows best), God’s compassion overrules His justice.

  9. Rashid says:

    Assalam-u-Alaikum,

    The first paragraph of June 3 comment! Do you mean to say “The acts we commit are by our own choice but to bring them into existence is Allah’s Work”? or you mean that “The acts we commit are by our own choice but this choice was made because Allah Almighty had already predestined it”?! But if this is the case, once again, I would like to ask isn’t it that free-will is only an illusion?

    Wa-Salam,
    Rashid

  10. geylani says:

    As-Salamu Alaikum,

    My great Shaykh of Naqshibandiyya, who is Maturidi in Aqidah, Shaykh Mahmud al-Ufi from Istanbul, explains the Free-Will and predestination like this:

    1. There are two kinds of predestination:
    a) Your appereance, your birth, your birthplace, etc. and things like this, which are completely not in your hand.
    b) Doing something like drinking Alcohol, or killing someone, or praying, making dhikir etc. Someone who drinks cant say: “That was my predestination!” Cause in the Sharh of Nasafi it is written: “Allahs knowledge about the things, which will happen, does not mean that he is forcing us to do this.”

    If someone drinks Alcohol, gambles or kills people, does Allah forces him to do this ? No Human with a little kind of mercy would force someone to do this, and Allah is Arhamurrahimin, the Merciefulst of all Mercy ones, how can we think he is doing this?

    Allahu Taala has “Irada-i Quliyyah” and this is the force of Ordering something absolutely and is only Allahs power. Then, there is the Irada-i Juziyya [our so-called “free will”] and it is the “part of the “might to do something” and is owned by the Human. Allah says in gist: “My Servant! My will, my determination is bound to your will, to your determination. Before you do not will, I wont either.”

    When Human uses his Power of Will, his Iradah, for sinning, than Allah is creating this deed. When the Human hadnt use his Iradah for this deed, than Allah hadnt created this.

    The use of Will is called “Qasb”. The usement of Allahs will is called: Khalq. The deed of humans is consist of this two things. – Here ends the word of Mahmud Efendi – Qudissa sirruhu.

    That doesnt mean we are denying the PREDESTINATION. No, but Predestination doesnt mean that Allah forced us to do this. It means, Allah did KNOW that we are going to CHOOSE this way and cause of this he wrote it already down. But that doesnt mean we are forced to do this. Ive read that in the Maturidi Aqidah.

    Surely, after all we all have to bow before Allahs will.

    Salamu Alaikum

  11. Geylani said: Someone who drinks can’t say: “That was my predestination!”

    Answer: This is not true in all cases, because it is true that it was his predestination. What one cannot do is to present this as an excuse before one has made sincere repentance.

    Geylani said: No Human with a little kind of mercy would force someone to do this, and Allah is Arhamurrahimin, the Merciefulst of all Mercy ones, how can we think he is doing this?

    If you mean by “force” that a person is made to drink against his own will, then this is something that does not happen unless other humans are involved in the forcing. If you mean by forcing the fact that Aļļaah has created the act of drinking in someone, then this is not acceptable. This is also not called forcing, because it is not against the will of the person.

    Moreover, Aļļaah is not obliged to do or not do anything. This argument is a muˆtaziliyy argument, because they believe that Aļļaah must do what is best for creation.

    Geylani said: Allah says in gist: “My Servant! My will, my determination is bound to your will, to your determination. Before you do not will, I wont either.”

    Answer: How can Aļļaah’s determination be bound by anything????

  12. Charles Says: It’s not clear to me exactly what is being said here. If you are saying that God decrees one person to do evil and another person to do good (and neither has a choice in the matter), then that goes against all understanding of a Just God.

    Answer: YOUR understanding. It is not possible that Aļļaah should be unjust, because He has no creator and no judge.
    Aļļaah said:
    لا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُون
    Meaning: “He is not asked about what He does to creation, but the creation is asked.” (Al-Anbiyaa’, 23).

    Charles says: If you are saying that God permits people to do good or evil and decrees that it comes to pass according to their intention, that’s a different matter.

    Answer: Nothing can happen but by His Will. Abu Ĥaniifah said in Al-Waşiyyah:
    ” فلو زعم أحد أن تقدير الخير والشر من غيره تعالى صار كافرًا بالله وبطل توحيده “.
    If anyone claimed that the predestination of good and evil is from other than Aļļaah, then he has become a unbeliever in God and his monotheism is invalidated. (P.76)

    Charles says: I am not saying here that God is subordinate to our understanding of what He must do or must not do. I am saying that our understanding of God, which is based upon the Quran, indicates that the perspective of God decreeing someone to do evil is not just.

    Answer: YOUR understanding of the Qur’aan. Where does it say in the Qur’aan that predesting evil is unjust? Rather, we find in the Qur’aan:

    “وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ”
    Meaning: “Aļļaah created everything.” (Al-’Anˆaam, 101) I.e. He brought everything, absolutely and categorically into existence.

    “وما تشاءون إلا أن يشاء الله”
    Meaning: “You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it.” (Al-Insaan, 30)

    “وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا”
    Meaning: “And He created everything and predestined it.” (Al-Furqaan, 2)

    “هَلْ مِنْ خَالِقٍ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ”
    Meaning: “Is there another creator than Aļļaah?”

    “وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَقْدُورًا”
    Meaning: “All created beings are predestined by Aļļaah.” (Al-’Aĥzaab, 38 )

    This means that all things, has been specified and created exactly how they are to be by Aļļaah. To clarify further:

    “وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ”
    Meaning: “Aļļaah created you and what you do.” (Aş-Şaaffaat. 96)

    Charles says: On the point, “This is not injustice, for Allah does not have a creator or a judge that He is accountable to, and what He creates is fully His to do with as He wills.” Yes and no. Yes, the statement is true. But that does not support the fact that God is just. All that statement supports is that God has the right to do what He wills because He has the power, or in other words, Might = right. But that premise has nothing to do with justice. God is just because He acts in just ways.

    Answer: Who judges what is a just way? Aļļaah does not have a judge. They idea of injustice does not apply to Him, because He does not have a judge. Aļļaah said:
    لا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُون
    Meaning: “He is not asked about what He does to creation, but the creation is asked.” (Al-Anbiyaa’, 23).

    Charles says: “What this means is that Allah is not obliged to do anything, and that your deeds do not influence Allah. Good deeds do not earn you the right to go to Paradise; it is a grace from Allah to enter.” I agree with this statement. But two points need to be made. First, although one’s deeds do not influence God, one’s intention does. Of course, God is not obliged, but it is His nature to reward the sincere seeker with the heart and ability to do good. As the hadith states, “Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends. ”

    Answer: Nothing influences Aļļaah, because He has no needs. He does not have a nature, we have a nature. He does not have drives, we have drives. To say that Aļļaah is influenced by our intentions is to ascribe a flaw to the Creator, which is against the belief in Aļļaah’s perfection.

    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 Aļļaah sends an angel ordered with four words: his provision, his end, happy or miserable1. By Aļļaah, 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 him2 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.” Ed. This is why one should always ask Aļļaah to make one die as a Muslim.

    {Notes on the ĥadiitħ: 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 ĥadiitħ, 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. (ˆUmdatu-l-Qaariy). 2. Everything is always according to predestination, no one can ever do against it, so this is a figurative expression.}

    Charles said: Second, we must ask why our deeds do not influence Allah. It is not because He is not accountable to some other entity, but rather it is because He is just and compassionate.

    Anwer: It is impossible that Aļļaah be influenced because He does not have needs. He does not have a beginning and does not change. If He was influenced by created things, then this would mean that He was changing, and that is impossible, because something that changes is either becoming more perfect or less perfect. Believing that Aļļaah changes is therefore against the belief that Aļļaah is attributed with complete perfection. Read “The Foundations of the Religion” on this site.

  13. geylani says:

    As-Salamu Alaikum Dear Shaykh,

    This was not my Opinions or something like this, it was the opinion of the high respected Scholar Mahmud Efendi from Istanbul, who is well-known around the World. I only translated it from his book.

    This is one of the Points were Asharis and Maturidis differ, Maturidis say, that Qasb ist something which comes with the will and determination of Human, but Ashariis say, like you do, that the Qasb is predestinated through predestination.

    I accept the Ashariyyah Point and we should also accept the Maturidiyyan point.
    As-Salamu Alaikum

  14. There may be a mistranslation or misunderstanding. There is no disagreement between Ash^Ariyys and Maaturiidiyys regarding the fact that all things are predestined by Allah.
    Allah said:“وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا”
    Meaning: “And He created everything and predestined it.” (Al-Furqaan, 2)

    Abu Ĥaniifah said in Al-Waşiyyah:
    ” فلو زعم أحد أن تقدير الخير والشر من غيره تعالى صار كافرًا بالله وبطل توحيده “.
    If anyone claimed that the predestination of good and evil is from other than Aļļaah, then he has become a unbeliever in God and his monotheism is invalidated. (P.76)

    So Al-Maaturiidiyy does not deny that human will and determination is predestined.

  15. Charles says:

    Although I cannot know what was in the mind of Al-Qadi `Abdul Jabbaar when he “fell silent,” but perhaps it is what is in my mind:

    1. How can one person call another person who submits to Allah an unbeliever because that person disagrees on a matter of interpretation?

    2. How can one say “The idea of injustice does not apply to Him” when one of His 99 names is Al-`Adl, The Utterly Just?

    3. How can someone who submits to Allah claim that Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahim Al-Quddus Ar-Ra’uf creates evil?

  16. Charles, all of your comments have already been addressed, please take some time to read it.

  17. Bro says:

    As sallamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

    Dear Sh. Abu Adam,

    If all of our choices and actions are created by Allah Ta’ala-then at what point (if any) do we actually choose to do something (good or bad)? Since if Allah Ta’ala is in control by creating every thought, choice and deed (even though it be Harram so he doesn’t like it) still how do we “independantly” make a choice?

    If we don’t-then doesn’t it come down to everything being done by the Command of Allah Ta’ala and therefore somehow “forcing” (for lack of a better word) us to go a certain way?

    A sincere question.

    Jazak Allah Khair.

    Wa alaikum as sallam

  18. waˆalaykussalaam, I am afraid we will be getting into pure semantics here. Forcing to me is when you do something against your will. Based on this we are not forced to do our voluntary acts. See also the second comment above by me dated June 3, 2008.

  19. Charles says:

    Assalam-u-Alaikum,

    You have been kind and patient in responding. So, I feel a little uncomfortable in writing again, simply because it’s hard to know how to respond without seeming to challenge you for the mere sake of argument. At the same time, what you have said goes strongly against, as you put it, my understanding of the Qur’an. Naturally, it is my understanding, as what you are saying is your understanding. No one, not even the best scholars (and, of course, not me), have a perfect, infallible understanding of Allah’s Qur’an. And one issue at stake here, as it appears to me, is the abrogating of certain verses of the Qur’an having to due with free will and choice. So, due to the importance of these associated issues, I feel it is important to look carefully at the logic and verses you have presented.

    Basically, you are saying that God is not unjust because He has no judge, no creator, no accountability. However, none of these reasons relate to being unjust or just. Dictators of countries have no judge and no accountability–until they die, of course. No one uses this type of reasoning to show they are just. Rather, it is their actions that show whether they are just or not. Of course, there are limits to comparing human beings to the Creator: The most benevolent human ruler’s justice cannot begin to approach that of Al-`Adl. Even so, the fact that justice relates to being just, to acting justly, and because Allah has stated that He is Just, then we have to look at this concept from the meaning of the concept itself–not for reasons irrelevant to the concept of Justice.

    You wrote:
    “12. The person himself does have a choice, but this is a choice created by Aļlaah. In other words, the choices that you make in your daily life are choices, but they are created by Aļļaah. That is, you commit your choices, but Aļļaah is their creator.

    13. The acts of creation in themselves and in reality, and with regards to the Creator, are all according to Aļļaah’s decree. With respect to the person himself, however, (in the sense of what appears to every one of us in terms of one’s situation, without looking at what one believes); all of us feel and know and sense in ourselves that we have a choice. We are not forced or threatened in the acts we do that are chosen. So the Muslim Believer that believes in predestination, and the unbelieving heretic and denier, both feel and sense that they are not forced in their chosen acts to do what they do. There is no disagreement between the two on this issue, for it appears to both of them from their situation in their lives, and the ability to choose that they feel in themselves, that they are independent in their chosen acts, as if there is no predestination. Moreover, both the Muslim and the kaafir do not know the details of what they will do in the future, because they do not know the unseen.”

    What people may “feel and sense” is irrelevant in saying “that they are not forced.” If Allah has decreed in the manner that you have stated, then there is no choice. Feeling choice is an illusion, not reality. Because there is no real choice, the actions are “forced” whether or not someone feels or senses an illusion of choice. If one doesn’t like the word “forced,” then “controlled” can be substituted. But nothing changes: There is no real choice or will for human beings: It is only Allah’s choice and will with humans being misled by the feelings and senses. The problem with this position is that it goes against certain verses in the Qur’an, which I’ll look at below.

    You wrote:
    102. Charles says: “What this means is that Allah is not obliged to do anything, and that your deeds do not influence Allah. Good deeds do not earn you the right to go to Paradise; it is a grace from Allah to enter.” I agree with this statement. But two points need to be made. First, although one’s deeds do not influence God, one’s intention does. Of course, God is not obliged, but it is His nature to reward the sincere seeker with the heart and ability to do good. As the hadith states, “Deeds are [a result] only of the intentions [of the actor], and an individual is [rewarded] only according to that which he intends. ”

    103. Answer: Nothing influences Aļļaah, because He has no needs. He does not have a nature, we have a nature. He does not have drives, we have drives. To say that Aļļaah is influenced by our intentions is to ascribe a flaw to the Creator, which is against the belief in Aļļaah’s perfection.”

    “Influence” may not be the correct word to use. Even so, we cannot go against the hadith stating that people are rewarded according to their intentions. Allah does not lie (and the Qur’an verses listed below stating people are rewarded according to their deeds). If Allah has decreed that He will reward people according to their intentions, then that is His decision and has nothing to do with ascribing a flaw to Him or to saying that He changes. Instead, it is simply believing what Allah has said. And if people do not have real intentions but only the intentions given to them by Allah, then the plain meaning of this hadith is false.

    You wrote,
    “Meaning: “You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it.” (Al-Insaan, 30)”.

    Your translation asserts that people have no independent will. It is always Allah’s will. Once again, there is no will, no intention, no choice: It is all controlled.

    We definitely cannot go against the Qur’an. But there are other translations/interpretations. From Muhammad Asad’s translation (The Message of the Quran) of this verse:
    “”But you cannot will it unless God wills [to show you that way]; for, behold, God is indeed all-seeing, wise.”

    Of course, this is just one verse. But there are others that indicate real choice and will.
    [3.25] Then how will it be when We shall gather them together on a day about which there is no doubt, and every soul shall be fully paid what it has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly?
    [45.22] And Allah created the heavens and the earth with truth and that every soul may be rewarded for what it has earned and they shall not be wronged.
    [2.286] Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability; for it is (the benefit of) what it has earned and upon it (the evil of) what it has wrought …
    [10.44] Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves.

    And there are still others. The plain meaning of these verses indicate that human beings make real choices and are rewarded or punished for those choices. To state that Allah decrees those choices means that they are not real but an illusion–which goes against their plain meaning.

    Because the nature of predestination and Allah’s creative activity cannot be fully comprehended by human beings, I do not use one group to nullify the plain meaning of the other by re-interpreting it in light of the first group, thus, in effect, abrogating verses of the Qur’an according to human understanding and, thus, in effect, denying what Allah has stated. Instead, I agree with both sets of verses: the verses on predestination and the verses on choice and free will.

    Allah knows best.

  20. Charles said: Basically, you are saying that God is not unjust because He has no judge, no creator, no accountability. However, none of these reasons relate to being unjust or just. Dictators of countries have no judge and no accountability–until they die, of course. No one uses this type of reasoning to show they are just. Rather, it is their actions that show whether they are just or not. Of course, there are limits to comparing human beings to the Creator: The most benevolent human ruler’s justice cannot begin to approach that of Al-`Adl. Even so, the fact that justice relates to being just, to acting justly, and because Allah has stated that He is Just, then we have to look at this concept from the meaning of the concept itself–not for reasons irrelevant to the concept of Justice.

    Answer: What is the concept of justice if one has no judge and no owner? You speak of dictators, but this is a false analogy, dictators do have an owner and a judge.

    Aļļaah, however, said in the Qur’aan:
    “إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ”,
    Meaning: “Verily Your Lord does whatever He wills.” (Huud, 107)

    As-Sanuusiyy, an authority on the belief of Sunnis states: {Doing anything possible, or not doing it, is possible for Aļļaah; the proof is that otherwise, the possible would either be absolutely necessary or impossible, and this is a contradiction.}

    That is, claiming otherwise would involve saying that an event is a must, and that is a contradiction, because an event cannot be a possibility and a must at the same time. Furthermore, being obliged to do something, or not is to be in need, and this is impossible for Aļļaah. You Charles, are saying that He cannot create disobedience, and this is nothing but imposing obligations upon the Creator.

    Aļļaah is the Creator and thus the absolute owner of everything. That is, the ownership of humans of their things is in reality only figurative, and limited by the prescriptions of Aļļaah. For example, at the point of death, even this limited ownership ends completely when it is transferred to inheritors.

    Since Aļļaah is the absolute owner of everything, it is impossible that He should be unjust. Injustice can only be when someone does something without a right. Since Aļļaah is the true owner of everything, the concept of injustice does not apply to Him at all. Aļļaah said in the Qur’aan:
    “لا يُسْأَلُ عَمَّا يَفْعَلُ وَهُمْ يُسْأَلُون”
    Meaning: “He is not asked about what He does to creation in terms of guiding and misguiding, or honoring and humiliating, but the creation is asked.” (Al-Anbiyaa’, 23)

    In other words, someone is unjust when he disobeys the orders he must obey. That is, the orders of his Creator. Since Aļļaah does not have a Creator, there are no orders that He must obey. Hence it is impossible for Him to be unjust or unfair.

    This is also understood from:
    “إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ”,
    Meaning: “Verily Your Lord does whatever He wills.” (Huud, 107)

    Charles wrote: What people may “feel and sense” is irrelevant in saying “that they are not forced.” If Allah has decreed in the manner that you have stated, then there is no choice.

    Answer: No it is not irrelevant, there is choice, but it is a created choice. The choices that you make in your daily life are called choices, even if they are not created by you. It is impossible that a human choice can exist without Aļļaah willing and creating that choice, because only He has the power to bring anything into existence. If you contradict this then you have affirmed that there is another creator than Aļļaah, which is against the belief in one creator, and a belief in partnership in creating.

    Charles says: “Influence” may not be the correct word to use. Even so, we cannot go against the hadith stating that people are rewarded according to their intentions….. And if people do not have real intentions but only the intentions given to them by Allah, then the plain meaning of this hadith is false.

    Answer: No it is not. It must be understood without contradicting other ĥadiths and Quranic statements. Peoples deeds are rewarded according to their intentions, the intender is the human being, while the creator of intentions is Aļļaah, because Aļļaah said:

    “وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ”
    Meaning: “Aļļaah created everything.” (Al-’Anˆaam, 101) I.e. He brought everything, absolutely and categorically into existence.

    “وما تشاءون إلا أن يشاء الله”
    Meaning: “You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it.” (Al-Insaan, 30)

    “وَخَلَقَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ فَقَدَّرَهُ تَقْدِيرًا”
    Meaning: “And He created everything and predestined it.” (Al-Furqaan, 2)

    “هَلْ مِنْ خَالِقٍ غَيْرُ اللَّهِ”
    Meaning: “Is there another creator than Aļļaah?”

    “وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَقْدُورًا”
    Meaning: “All created beings are predestined by Aļļaah.” (Al-’Aĥzaab, 38 )

    This means that all things, has been specified and created exactly how they are to be by Aļļaah. To clarify further:

    “وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ”
    Meaning: “Aļļaah created you and what you do.” (Aş-Şaaffaat. 96)

    Charles said: You wrote,
    “Meaning: “You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it.” (Al-Insaan, 30)”.
    Your translation asserts that people have no independent will. It is always Allah’s will. Once again, there is no will, no intention, no choice: It is all controlled.

    Answer: We do have a will, we do have a choice, but it is not independent of Aļļaah. It must be that everything is controlled by Aļļaah, otherwise His control would be flawed, and this is impossible, and contrary to the concept of complete perfection. Aļļaah said:
    Aļļaah said in the Qur’aan,
    “يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنْتُمُ الْفُقَرَاءُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ”,
    Meaning: “O People, you are the desolate in absolute need of Aļļaah, and Aļļaah is the One that does not need anything or anyone, and He is the One that deserves all praise.” (Faaţir ,15)

    Aţ-Ţaĥaawiyy said {in brackets}: {He owns everything} in the absolute sense, {and nothing owns Him. No one and nothing is without} the absolute {need for Him}, in every sense, {for even the blink of an eye. Whoever thinks himself without need for Aļļaah for the blink of an eye has blasphemed and become one of the people headed for ruin.}

    Aļļaah said in the Qur’aan:
    “وما تشاءون إلا أن يشاء الله”
    Meaning: “You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it.” (Al-Insaan, 30)

    Charles: We definitely cannot go against the Qur’an. But there are other translations/interpretations. From Muhammad Asad’s translation (The Message of the Quran) of this verse:
    “”But you cannot will it unless God wills [to show you that way]; for, behold, God is indeed all-seeing, wise.”

    Answer: This insertion: [to show you that way] is not in the Qur’aan. It is a Qadariyy sect insertion without a proof.

    Charles said: Of course, this is just one verse. But there are others that indicate real choice and will. [10.44] Surely Allah does not do any injustice to men, but men are unjust to themselves. And there are still others. The plain meaning of these verses indicate that human beings make real choices and are rewarded or punished for those choices. To state that Allah decrees those choices means that they are not real but an illusion–which goes against their plain meaning.

    Answer: the choices we make are real, but they are created by Aļļaah. You said that these verses “indicate real choice and will,” presumably meaning by “real” that they are not willed by Aļļaah, but this is just an indication that you have imposed upon yourself, and not a plain meaning as you claim, because it is not stated plainly. One cannot take a linguistic indication that is merely a linguistic possibility to abrogate plain and fully explained aayahs such as:

    يَوْمَ يُسْحَبُونَ فِي النَّارِ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِمْ ذُوقُوا مَسَّ سَقَرَ (*) إِنَّا كُلَّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَاهُ بِقَدَرٍ
    Meaning: The day they fall on their faces into the Fire and it is said to them, “feel the touch of Hell!” Verily, Aļļaah created everything and predestined it. (Al-Qamar, 48-49) This statement and the many others like it are plain in their affirmation of absolutely everything being created by Aļļaah, including our actions, which includes our intentions. And the inclusion of our will in this is emphasized in details in other aayahs, such as:

    “وما تشاءون إلا أن يشاء الله”
    Meaning: “You do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it.” (Al-Insaan, 30) and this is even further clarified by:
    إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِلْعَالَمِينَ * لِمَنْ شَاءَ مِنْكُمْ أَنْ يَسْتَقِيمَ * وَمَا تَشَاءُونَ إِلَّا أَنْ يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَالَمِينَ
    Meaning: “Verily this is a warning to the worlds, so the one who wills will take the path of fearing and obeying Aļļaah, and you do not will anything unless Aļļaah has willed it.” (At-Takwiir, 27-29) Then even further clarification is made by:
    “وَاللَّهُ خَلَقَكُمْ وَمَا تَعْمَلُونَ”
    Meaning: “Aļļaah created you and what you do.” (Aş-Şaaffaat. 96)

    Even further clarification is found in Al-Bukhaariyy, who 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 Aļļaah sends an angel ordered with four words: his provision, his end, happy or miserable1. By Aļļaah, 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 him2 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.”

    {Notes on the ĥadiitħ: 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 ĥadiitħ, 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. (ˆUmdatu-l-Qaariy). 2. Everything is always according to predestination, no one can ever do against it, so this is a figurative expression.}

    When the Prophet was asked about belief, as narrated by Muslim, he answered among other things:
    وَتُؤْمِنَ بِالْقَدَرِ خَيْرِهِ وَشَرِّهِ
    “and to believe in predestination, what is predestined to be good and what is bad.”

    Abu Adam

  21. […] Answers regarding the issue of predestination A long answer to several arguments against predestination have been posted as a comment here. […]

  22. Samir Abdalla says:

    dear shaikh you say…
    our choice is dependent on Allah…’It must be that everything is controlled by Allah, otherwise His control is flawed’
    I really dont understand this.
    why is the fact that we are dependent on Allah necessarily mean ‘everything’ is ‘controlled’ by Him?
    can’t we just say for instance that we have an independence that Allah has allowed us to possess but ultimately he owns all the choices and He gives us the ability to pick .[but does not pick for us]
    I mean if we create a robot that can choose. we have programmed all the possible choices. therefore we in a sense created the robot and predestined its choices. the robot can choose to perform act A instead of B by some calculation. this doesnt negate the creator of the robot’s ultimate control of the robot. since there are many ways to assert that control if desired by the creator.
    isnt defining and making categories of what control ought to mean, dangerous. why are we putting limits to the definition of control and and not do the same with justice. isnt it safer to just say Allah controls things and His controlling is beyond our understanding of it.
    salaams

  23. It is not difficult. Aļļaah’s control is absolute, not limited and not limitable. Anything less would be less than absolute and therefore flawed. How is that a safer belief?

    You must never draw analogies between creating and building a robot. It is not the same, the former is an action of Aļļaah, while the latter is an action that Aļļaah created in us, and “He does not resemble anything.”

    Put it another way. Do you believe that Aļļaah knows everything that people will do in the future before they existed? If you say no, then this is plain kufr. If you say yes, then you must also believe that these actions were already specified before they existed, otherwise they would not be knowable. Aļļaah must be the one that specified their actions before they existed, not them, because they did not yet exist to specify them.

    Injustice does not apply to Aļļaah because He does not have rules that He must obey. Aļļaah’s actions are always just, because He has the right to do whatever He wills.
    “إِنَّ رَبَّكَ فَعَّالٌ لِمَا يُرِيدُ”,
    Meaning: “Verily Your Lord does whatever He wills.” (Huud, 107) Based on this aayah we know that whatever Aļļaah does is just, and this is the safe belief.

    The rule is that nothing happens except by His knowledge, will, and creating, and that He can create anything and is not asked “why did you create that, how is that fair?” To ask such a question is to be vain and arrogant to the extreme, and that was Iblis’ problem when he objected to Aļļaah giving Adam a higher rank than he.

  24. loveProphet says:

    I have by reading the comments here been reminded of the extreme amount of heresies that have been brought into the religion by people who “convert to Islam” and yet stick to their pre-Islamic(i.e. jahiliyya) beliefs and cloak them in the name of Islam and distort the Qur’an(and rarely the Sunnah as many of them reject much of the Sunnah) to achieve their aims and they mock the scholars as people who have changed the religion!
    Yet these people know no Arabic nor any principles of Aqidah and fiqh and have never learnt under scholars nor read the sound books or understood them.
    What an irony it has been that Islam has spread in the west yet what has eventually come out now is a bunch of unIslamic teachings in the garb of Islam where these modernists call for a “European Islam”, an “American Islam” etc(such as Jeffrey Lang, Ali Eteraz, Tariq Ramadan and others of the ilk).
    It is no wonder that these people cower at the sight of scholars and refuse to engage in dialogue but instead go behind their computers and backbite and slander and twist words to deceive the ignorami.

    • Ayman says:

      Assalamulaikum,

      I have by reading the comments here been reminded of the extreme amount of heresies that have been brought into the religion by people who “convert to Islam” and yet stick to their pre-Islamic(i.e. jahiliyya) beliefs and cloak them in the name of Islam and distort the Qur’an(and rarely the Sunnah as many of them reject much of the Sunnah) to achieve their aims and they mock the scholars as people who have changed the religion!”

      I assume you do not mean all converts, as this would be a gross generalization based on nothing. I wonder which ones you are referring to, as it would then be best to avoid their “knowledge”.

      “Yet these people know no Arabic nor any principles of Aqidah and fiqh and have never learnt under scholars nor read the sound books or understood them.
      What an irony it has been that Islam has spread in the west yet what has eventually come out now is a bunch of unIslamic teachings in the garb of Islam where these modernists call for a “European Islam”, an “American Islam” etc(such as Jeffrey Lang, Ali Eteraz, Tariq Ramadan and others of the ilk).”

      Jeffrey Lang? I have read his works, and nothing he presents seems to be in contrast to Islamic teachings. If you maintain this is so, bring forth your evidence. Perhaps you have misunderstood his works, or something he has said? As for Tariq Ramadan, his book: “In the footsteps of the Messenger” is an excellent resource and illustrates the life of Prophet Muhammad (and his Sunnah) beautifully. And yet, you claim that these “converts” do not hold to the Sunnah? Please provide your evidence, I am genuinely interested.

      “It is no wonder that these people cower at the sight of scholars and refuse to engage in dialogue but instead go behind their computers and backbite and slander and twist words to deceive the ignorami.”

      Which people? If you are referring to the specific people you mentioned – then I advise you to be very careful in how you throw accusations. It is a major sin in Islam to throw accusations against others behind their backs without any just cause, especially if it is false.

  25. Three Tribes says:

    Why should G_d be concerned with the timeing of this or that when time means nothing to G_d. Or with numbers for that matter. I do not believe that G_d sits around and says Gee it is time for species T in Galaxy in 214 to mess up again. Or that in 100 years I plan for speacies B in Galaxy 314 to really go off the deep end. Granted G_d does have the power to do this. All the power includes the ability to control its application.

    Four things are predestined.

    1) We meaning humanity are to finish a long hard journey through a great forest with many dangers.

    2) We will make many mistakes.

    3) Really Bad Things Will Happen If We Do Not Follow The Advise Of The Guides Whom God Has Sent Us.
    (( Meaning The Prophets))

    4) We will struggle with the blessing of Free Will. For in Genesis we are told its meaning for Us. For it is our lot. Strive to choose right you are a Servent of G_d. Choose not to strive you are not a servent of G_d.

    For when numbers and events blurr into one sick sound called Sin.

  26. Three Tribes said: Why should G_d be concerned with the timeing of this or that when time means nothing to G_d. Or with numbers for that matter.

    Answer: No one here has said that Allaah is attributed with being concerned. Being concerned is an attribute of need suggesting fear and worry. Allaah is only attributed with attributes of complete perfection, and it is impossible for Him to have attributes of need.

    Three Tribes said: I do not believe that G_d sits around and says Gee it is time for species T in Galaxy in 214 to mess up again. Or that in 100 years I plan for speacies B in Galaxy 314 to really go off the deep end. Granted G_d does have the power to do this. All the power includes the ability to control its application.

    Answer: Muslims do not believe that Allaah sits, nor that He exists in time, experiencing, planning or acting sequentially. This is because sequential events need a creator do bring them into existence, as they were non-existent and then became existent. We do believe, however, that all that happens is by His Will and Power, because no event can come into existence without being brought into existence, and only Allaah has the power to bring anything into existence. Allaah’s power is a necessary attribute of Allaah, it is not created, so it is impossible that it should be reduced to only affect some things and not others. A power that can be restricted must have a creator that has the power to reduce it. If Allaah’s power was reducable, then who reduced it and by what power according to you?

    Three Tribes said: Four things are predestined.
    1) We meaning humanity are to finish a long hard journey through a great forest with many dangers.
    2) We will make many mistakes.
    3) Really Bad Things Will Happen If We Do Not Follow The Advise Of The Guides Whom God Has Sent Us.
    (( Meaning The Prophets))
    4) We will struggle with the blessing of Free Will. For in Genesis we are told its meaning for Us. For it is our lot. Strive to choose right you are a Servent of G_d. Choose not to strive you are not a servent of G_d.
    For when numbers and events blurr into one sick sound called Sin.

    Comment: These are merely your delusions.

  27. Abu Abdillah says:

    Assalaamu ‘Alaikoem Dear Shaykh,

    If I understand correctly it’s the will, intention, choice that are created according what we willed, intended and chose ?

    To illustrate what I mean for example we intend to kill then this intention is created by Allah and already predestined because Allah knew that we would intend to kill so this intention is Created not in the sense that Allah created in us the intention to kill against what we intended but WE are the ‘intending for the killing’ thus it is created brought into existence. Is this a bit correct Shaykh ?

  28. Abu Abdillah Says:
    Allah knew that we would intend to kill so this intention is Created not in the sense that Allah created in us the intention to kill against what we intended but WE are the ‘intending for the killing’ thus it is created brought into existence. Is this a bit correct Shaykh ?

    Answer: Absolutely everything, including all intentions are created by Allaah. Allaah knows our intentions, because He created them. I hope that clarifies it.

    None of this is confusing, the rule is this: absolutely everything other than Allaah is predestined and created by Allaah. Allaah, however, is neither predestined nor created, because He does not have a beginning. That’s it.

  29. Irfan says:

    assalaamu alaikum

    An atheist supports his atheism claiming it was destined by God. How do muslims respond ?

    • Ayman says:

      Assalamulaikum,

      1) It is true that the Atheist was predestined to be an Atheist thus far (as he/she is one currently).

      2) It is also true that, once they know of Islam, have a sound mind (i.e. not insane), and is legally accountable, he/she will receive punishment for rejecting the truth of Islam.

      3) It is not true that this person will necessary continue to be an atheist. This is an uncertainty, due to the limitations of human knowledge, and time.

      4) Thus, this person can still change. In the present moment, he/she does not know what Allah has predestined them to do in the future. He/she is self-aware, and perceives choice, has an intellect etc. if they merely use their rational faculties, they can witness the truth of Islam.

      5) Therefore, there is still hope, Inshallah. And btw, even if an Atheist died an Atheist, it does not mean that they can use predestination to “support” their atheism. Their atheism would still be false and wrong.

      • 1) True
        2) He will be punished if he is not a Muslim upon death if he has been accountable by having heard the meaning of the creedal statement of Islam, being sane and having reached puberty as defined in Islam.
        3) From our perspective yes, it is not necessary, because we do not know what Allaah has willed for Him. He will, however, die in the state that Allaah has willed for him and knows.
        4) Very nicely put, in light of what I stated in 3)
        5) True.

  30. Samir Abdalla says:

    Salaam Aleykum Shiekh,

    Shiekh, I had a discussion with my Uncle about this. He was saying that if we do good deeds than we must be rewarded. I replied based on what I learnt from you that Allah is not obliged to do anything. We will go to Jannah by his mercy and not because Allah ‘has’ to do it.
    His response was Allah ‘has’ to do it based on the fact that He said so. He said there are abundant quotes regarding those who believe and do good deeds are rewarded with paradise. There is no quote in the Quran according to him that says whether you do good deeds or not all depends on God’s grace.
    So if Allah does not reward those with good deeds then there is a contra-diction and that cannot be so we have to be rewarded when we do good deeds.
    Please Comment. Thanks.

  31. Abu Eesa says:

    Salaam sidi.

    Could I please ask:

    I read that good and evil are the creation of God. I have also read that ‘good’ is all in the hands of God and ‘evil’ does not return to Him.

    As good and evil are created by Him why is it said that evil cannot return to Him. As He created it, why can it not be said that it ‘goes back’ to Him?

    2. Am I correct in saying the following:

    If a tyrant kills another person unjustly, he (the tyrant) chooses this particular action and God creates the action. So am I correct in saying that God has ‘allowed’ this action to occur by His permission (izhn) but not by His pleasure (ridhaa)?

    Thank you, wassalaam.

    • Assalaamu^alaykum,

      Yes, everything is created by Allaah, that is, specified and brought into existence, but we relate evil deeds to ourselves for the purpose of etiquette (adab.)

      Allaah’s riđaa refers to Him willing good for someone, and this, of course, only relates to good deeds.

      AAA

  32. ahmed says:

    assalaamu alaykum shaykh,

    Sorry if you have answered this already, but my question is, Could God put someone deserving of hell into Heaven and someone deserving of heaven into hell. And how does this reconcile with God being Just.

    JazakAllah

    • waˆalaykumussalaam,

      The judgment of “deserving” to go to Hell or Paradise is Aļļaah’s judgment, and is not about a real right, because Aļļaah has no obligations. Accordingly, if someone goes to Hell, then that someone cannot be said to deserve Paradise.

      AAA

  33. Ayman says:

    Assalamulaikum dear Shaykh,

    I was initially a little uncomfortable with belief that all of our actions and the intentions from which they stem were entirely Willed by Allah in that it would entail that the person who does good, does so solely out of the Will of Allah (this was not difficult to accept).

    Similarly, the person who commits wrongs does so solely out of the Will of Allah as well (through the creation of intentions and actions rooted in them which manifest in the human). It was this portion which was a bit difficult (for no logical reasons, only subjective reasons) to accept. However, after contemplating the issue, I do see that there are no rational objections to this position.

    It made me wonder: how are we to act at all then? It must mean that we cannot – by our own will act unless Allah Wills this. And through experience and revelation, we know that Allah Wills us to act in certain ways.

    People are confused by this, I think, because of accepting some implications that aren’t necessarily associated with Predestination in Islam. For instance, some might ask: “Well, when I am sitting, how can I choose to get up? Allah has to Will that I get up, before I can get up. This will happen when He Wills for me to have the desire/intention to get up. However, say I am puzzled about the issue of predestination, and although I am aware I can get up, I don’t. This means Allah Willed that I should not get up.”

    In this example, the person confuses Allah’s Will as necessarily being an active force which “makes” us (i.e. we consciously perceive it) get up. And so, they wait for this to happen (but of course Allah’s Will does not manifest [not saying it cannot] in this way). I think, for this same reason people feel that this position entails that we are robots. However, as you pointed out, robots are not self-aware, they do not have intentions, or a will.

    If we excuse ourselves to do bad things because “Allah Willed us to do them” why can we not excuse ourselves to do GOOD things because “Allah Willed us to do them”? It interests me, that a person’s behaviour can change (i.e. how they act) after being puzzled with this issue. The fact that their behaviour DOES change, is in itself an indication that they CAN CHOOSE TO ACT a given way based on what they are aware of/their mental or physical state. It’s simply that, it would be Allah’s Will. This doesn’t change that we are self-aware, and “feel” that “we” are the ones who “want” to do said action.

    As for, whether or not this is an injustice. I do see where Charles is coming from – AND where you are coming from. Charles feels that their is some objective moral standard for judging “Justice”, however, moral values are only objective because of Allah. Thus, this “objective standard” isn’t something that is external to Him. He is the one who creates this standard and sets it based on what is true, and what is true is based on His absolute and unchanging Knowledge. Or – does this standard already exist, and is it based on His own (I don’t want to use nature here, but you know what I mean) “nature”/”Self” etc.

    And you are essentially saying that, the concept of injustice is meaningless if you own all things. Allah has no judge (i.e. there is no reference system by which we can judge Allah, since objective morality exists only because of Him as He defines it). I believe people only feel it to be an injustice because they believe that since Allah is dealing with sentient beings (as opposed to mechanical and lifeless objects), there should be some sort of “fairness”. However, they fail to remember that it is He who has provided us with such life and meaning. It is His mercy and forgiveness which they receive every day – even though we do not have any birth right to these.

    • Waˆalaykumussalaam,

      The rules that Allaah has provided us with are chosen by Him, not coerced upon Him. This is because justice and injustice have no meaning without a judge, and this judge is Allaah. For example, a judgement such as “this is injustice,” necessitates a judge to make it. I.e. a judgment cannot exist without a judge. The question to those who think there are moral rules that regulate what Allaah can do is, “who is the judge according to you?” This is a question that they have no reasonable answer for.

      AAA

      • Ayman says:

        Assalamulaikum,

        Would you mind clarifying one last thing? This reminds me of the Euthyphro dilemma which can be found in Plato’s dialogue: Euthyphro. It goes like this:

        “Are morally good acts willed by God because they are morally good, or are they morally good because they are willed by God?”

        And I cite:

        “Each of these two possibilities, the argument runs, leads to consequences that the divine command theorist cannot accept. Whichever way the divine command theorist answers this question, then, it seems that his theory will be refuted. This argument might be formalised as follows:”

        (1) If divine command theory is true then either (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, or (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God.
        (2) If (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good, then they are morally good independent of God’s will.
        (3) It is not the case that morally good acts are morally good independent of God’s will.
        Therefore:
        (4) It is not the case that (i) morally good acts are willed by God because they are morally good.
        (5) If (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God, then there is no reason either to care about God’s moral goodness or to worship him.
        (6) There are reasons both to care about God’s moral goodness and to worship him.
        Therefore:
        (7) It is not the case that (ii) morally good acts are morally good because they are willed by God.
        Therefore:
        (8) Divine command theory is false.

        So basically, the argument tries to establish that either God wills what is good based on such already being good, or God arbitrarily determines what is good (so, had he willed not worshiping Him could have been “good”). This doesn’t seem right though, and makes Him seem arbitrary and inconsistent. But, as Muslims we do not believe He is arbitrary or inconsistent.

        One solution is to say that Allah wills what is good based on His own Self (again if “Self” is not the right word here, I seek His forgiveness, I am trying to avoid the word “Nature”). This way, what He wills to be good is neither arbitrary nor independent of Him. Is this Islamically acceptable?

        I only ask this because you state that the rules Allah chooses for us are choosen by Him and not coerced by Him. So I am wondering if to say that the moral values and rules (i.e. what is objectively “good” can be said to be based on His own “Self” or “Nature”)? This would not mean that it is “coerced” on Him, because He would still be choosing what is good, based on Himself (as His knowledge encompasses truth).

        Thank you for your clarification! May Allah (swt) reward you.

        Salaam,

        Ayman

      • The question is loaded with a false dichotomy. What Allaah does is not morally judged, because He has no judge. You cannot say that good is based on His self, because that would imply specification of what is good without a specifier, because all possible events, in the mind’s eye, are intrinsically possible, and cannot become impossible without a non-intrinsic predominator/specification.

        Look, the important thing here is to maintain that Allaah’s choice of what He creates of events, and specifies of rules for us, is absolute. In other words, He has not obligations. This is the belief principle that all of this is about.

        That being said, digging deeply and pondering about the issues related to predestination is not recommended in the religion. It was only done by Sunni scholars because the deviant sects opened the subject. Once you have the correct belief, namely that everything, all events, are created by Allaah, and that His choice of what to create is absolute, then one should get to work. After all, it is none of our business what Allaah wills or creates, or what rules He imposes upon us. The essential flaw in the Mu^tazilites, who really delved into this is arrogance, delving into matters that are none of their business, and actually imposing rules upon the Creator based on their opinions about good and evil.

        See Applied Belief Science: The first of the ĥikam explained.

  34. Ayman says:

    One last question though:

    What then is the point of Daw’ah, for instance? I’m a bit confused, so my apologies. If Allah has full control of things, then is not the following true?:

    Presenting rational arguments, and evidence for the truth of Islam and the correct beliefs associated with Islam to those who do not hold correct beliefs is only possible if Allah Wills? And, whether or not they see and are convinced of the evidence is also dependent upon Allah’s Will? So, why do we present these arguments, when it is not the arguments (or the conveying of truth) which causes non-believers to “see the Truth” but rather Allah’s Will? Or, is it that it is through the process of conveying the Truth and of non-believers witnessing it, that Allah manifests His Will of them accepting it or rejecting it?

    My apologies if my question appears redundant!

    Thank you and Salaam!

    • Ayman says:

      Never mind – hehe, He Wills us to present the Truth so that He can Will them to accept or reject it. After all, what is there to reject or accept if we are not Willed to present anything.

  35. Ayman says:

    Assalamulaikum,

    Yes, that makes sense. That’s most certainly true – knowledge is useless if it fails to manifest as positive action.

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