An Important Point to Remember

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Remember that Allah is All-Able to compel anyone He wills to do anything He wishes. There is, however, love for Allah towards man, which can only be realised by those who willingly and lovingly worship Him – not out of compulsion, but out of love for Him. They worship Him because of their love for Him and they obey Him because they love His obedience. This could not occur unless these creatures had full freedom to believe or not to believe, to obey and disobey. These creatures are able to say, “ …O Lord ! We love you and therefore we believe in You, not because we are forced to, but out of love ! Lord, we love obedience, so we obey You without compulsion and out of love. We will carry out Your commands and avoid Your prohibitions. O Lord, though we are able to commit sin, tempted by our passion and by the shayatin ( devils ) among men and jinn, yet, O Lord, our love for You is much greater than our love for the world and its allurement. All that You wan us to do, we love to do, for we love You and love that which pleases You…”

This is the meaning of freedom of choice for mankind. Allah does not need a hollow form of submission. He wants man to come to Him with the heart of a lover, for belief is a test of love for Allah in the heart. The greater your love for Him, the greater your belief in His Way, but if your love for Him is weak, you will drift far from His Way.

Some people who have tackled the question of fate and predestination or the controversy of determinism versus freedom have understood ‘Qadr’ or ‘Taqdiir’ as a ‘ compelling of man to that which is contrary to his nature and bent. This is an error into which many have fallen. Allah has unequivocally denied that He resorts to compulsion:

“If we wish, we can reveal to them a sign from the heavens before which they will bow their heads in utter humility.” (26, 4)

The meaning here is clear enough – Allah could have compelled men to believe by revealing incontestable signs or supernatural occurrences but He did not choose this path because compulsion is not of His laws intended for man :

“There shall be no compulsion in faith. True guidance is now distinct from error.” (2, 256)

“Had your Lord pleased, all the people of the earth would have believed in Him. Would you then force faith upon men?” (10, 99)

Compulsion, it is plain, is not part of Divine Law. Fate and predestination should not be conceived as a forcing of people to what is against their natures; on the contrary, Allah destines each, human being to a fate which corresponds to his intentions – He wills man to what man himself really wills, and He desires for man what man himself desires. There is no duality here. Allah ‘ preordination ’ is identical to the creature’s freedom of choice because Allah ‘ destines ’ every man according to his own desires and intentions :

“Whoever seeks the harvest of the world to come, to him We will give in great abundance; and whoever desires the harvest of this world, a share of it shall be his…” (42, 10)

“As for those who follow the right path, Allah will increase their guidance. ” (47, 17)

“ If Allah finds goodness in your hearts, He will give you that which is better …” (8, 70) “ There is a sickness in their hearts which Allah has increased.” (2, 10)

Allah ‘ ordains ’ according to the intentions and heart of man: if these are evil, man will come to evil; if good, good will be his fate. There is no duality or opposition; predestination is freedom of choice as Allah ‘ predestines ’ us to what we choose with our hearts and intentions. There is no injustice, compulsion, or duress in this regard and there is no subjection to what is against our natures :

“ For him that gives in charity and guards himself against evil and believes in goodness, we shall ease the path of salvation; but for him that gives not and thinks himself self-sufficient and disbelieves in goodness, We shall ease the path to destruction.” (92, 5-10)

An easy example is that of a wayfarer who comes to a crossroad – the path to the right leading to destination A and the other to destination B. If he chooses the right path, his ‘ destiny ’ will inevitably be point A and if he chooses the left path his ‘ destiny ’ will inevitably be point B. Similarly if a person chooses the path of righteousness his destiny will be heaven, and if he chooses the path of evil his destiny will be hell. Allah destines each, human being to a fate which corresponds to his intentions and choices. If you choose to avoid wrongdoing, deviance and rebellion, you come under the will, or ‘ destiny ’, of guidance. But if you choose the way of rejection and wrongdoing, you fall under His will, or ‘destiny ’, that there be no guidance for you.

So in neither of these situations are you outside Allah’s will, for nothing can happen to you except what He wills for you. Seen from this perspective we discover yet another facet of this intriguing subject, that being, that we cannot escape Allah’s will or law, no matter which path we may choose.