Assalaamu alaikum [peace be to you],
This article is part of a series of articles about Islam perspective of free cgand destiny. It started with the question:
"I am confused. If The God has already decided my destiny including my belief then how do I have free will? if the God has chosen me not to be among the believers or the non-believers then I do not have any choice?"
please start reading from the beginning for a better understanding.
We said earlier that in order to understand and comprehend the true concept of Fate and Destiny, one must learn to appreciate the difference between the Lord All-Mighty being the All-Knowing and His being the All-Just!
We also said that Fate or Destiny is nothing more than the documentation of the Absolute and Perfect Knowledge of our Lord All-Mighty of the conditions and the choice each in creation will make, which He Commanded to be written and preserved even before the creation of anything in the Heavens and the earth! Allah is not bound by the dimension of time, as His Perfect and Absolute Knowledge comprehends and envelopes everything of the past, the present, and the future! THE PARENT AND CHILD EXAMPLE
Allow me to relate a very simple example to clarify my point:
Just suppose a parent has a small son, and one evening the parent decides to put his son to a test and write down on a piece of paper the options he will give his son the next morning, and from his experience with his son, he determines what options the child will take when they are presented to him.
Example-1: Parent will give the option to his son to choose to go to school the next morning or skip school; and the parent, with his knowledge and experience, writes down the son would most probably choose the option to skip school!
Example-2: Parent will give the option to his son to choose to memorize the Quran or watch cartoons on TV; and the parent, with his knowledge, determines and writes that the son would most probably choose to watch TV!
Example-3: Parent would give the option to his son to choose to eat a wholesome and healthy diet of whole wheat-grain and vegetables or eat hamburgers and fries; and the parent, with his knowledge, determines and writes that the son, of his own free choice, would most probably choose to eat hamburgers and fries!
Example-4: Parent would give the option to his son to choose to go to the local mosque to offer the dhuhr prayers or spend that time in the video-game arcade; and the parent, with his knowledge, determines and writes that his son, of his own free choice, would most probably choose to spend the time in the arcade!
In all the above four examples, the probability is that any normal child, given a free choice to choose between the two given options by his parent, would most probably choose the option which the parent had written down before the event took place! Because the child has been given a free choice to choose, he is not bound to follow the option his parent had determined his son will take; but in all probability the child will take the option which his parent has pre-determined because the parent knows the temperament and condition of his child and knows exactly what his child will do in the given circumstances. The child has absolutely no control over the conditions and options set for him by his parent, nor is he bound to follow what his parent has documented the child would do, if given a free choice to choose in the given circumstances.
But if the same parent gives the same options to his child, but promises a huge reward to his child (say, to buy him a brand new bike or the latest computer of his choice!) if he chooses the better of the two options; the smart and intelligent child would sacrifice the short-term gain in choosing what he desires and would opt for the option which would earn him the pleasure of his parents and the fulfillment of their promised rewards! THE DIVINE TEST:
Similarly, Allah has put man to a test by putting him in a set of conditions, and bestowed upon man the faculty of intelligence and a 'free-will' for a limited period of one life on this earth, to choose whatever one wishes to do. If man chooses to sacrifice his desire and of his own free choice, sacrifices his will to the Will of His Lord, he will earn His Pleasure and His Promised Rewards!
Since the Knowledge of the All-Knowing, All-Wise Lord of the Worlds is absolutely Perfect and totally Complete in all respects, He Knows and has documented beforehand what each amongst His creation, if given a free choice to choose, would do in a given situation. Allah, is Perfect and Absolutely Knows beforehand who amongst His slaves will sacrifice their will to earn His Pleasure and His Rewards, and who amongst His slaves will choose to fulfill whatever their hearts desire regardless of the Will and Pleasure of their Creator; and the precise documentation of that Absolute and Perfect Knowledge of the Lord All-Knowing is what is known as Fate or Destiny or The Decree.
Just as in the above related example of the child who is not bound to do what his parent had pre-determined he would choose, but rather the child chose of his own free choice to do what he desired to do; man too, has been given a 'free choice' to choose whatever he wishes to do as a test from His Creator for a test period of one life on this earth!
The major difference between the knowledge of the parent and the Knowledge of Allah Subhanah is that the Knowledge of our All-Knowing Lord is Absolutely and Totally Perfect. It is possible that the child would choose something which his parent thought he would not, simply because the knowledge of man is limited; but since the Knowledge of our Lord All-Mighty is Absolutely and Totally Perfect, His Knowledge of what one will do of his own free choice, can never ever be wrong or in error.
Neither the child in the above related examples, nor man in his test of life are bound to do what was pre-determined by the document; but rather, they were allowed to choose whatever they desired to do of their own free choice; and therein was their test!
Just as a teacher does not declare a student 'failed' before giving him an opportunity to give his examination; the Lord Most Merciful does not 'fail' anyone before He gives them an opportunity to give their test of life!
He is indeed the All-Knowing, and because His Knowledge is Absolutely Perfect and Absolute, He knows everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen in the future; but He is also the All-Just, and He has given each human being an opportunity of one life time as a test to either choose of their own free choice to accept His Guidance and submit to Him, or deny His Guidance and reject Him!
I repeat the Qur'anic verse:
In the name of the God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful,
وَقُلِ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ ۚ إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا ۚ وَإِن يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ ۚ بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا
And say, "The truth is from your Lord, so whoever wills - let him believe; and whoever wills - let him disbelieve." Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the dwelling.
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ إِنَّا لَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ مَنْ أَحْسَنَ عَمَلًا
As to those who believe and work righteousness, verily We will not allow to be lost the reward of any who did well in deeds.
أُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ جَنَّاتُ عَدْنٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهِمُ الْأَنْهَارُ يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍ وَيَلْبَسُونَ ثِيَابًا خُضْرًا مِّن سُندُسٍ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍ مُّتَّكِئِينَ فِيهَا عَلَى الْأَرَائِكِ ۚ نِعْمَ الثَّوَابُ وَحَسُنَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا
For them will be Gardens of Eternity; beneath them rivers will flow; they will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold, and they will wear green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade: They will recline therein on raised thrones. Excellent is the reward, and good is the dwelling.translation of 18:29-31
Whatever one chooses to do of his own free choice in his test of this short and transient period of one life time, will determine his outcome in the Eternal and Everlasting life of the Hereafter.
with little changes
I hope this was beneficial
This ends this short series. but the topic is still too vast. if you want to read more, please follow these links: Fate and free will Are We Born to be Free? Why Do We Have Free Will? Are We Entirely Free? Are We Predestined?
If I am right, it is from the God. if I am wrong, it is from myself.