Female Islamic Courses :What is The Dilemma of Predestination and Free Will

October 8, 2022 Ust. Asad Khan


Belief in the Divine Decree of Allāh ﷻ, or predestination, is an essential part of the Islamic faith in Female Islamic Courses. Al-Imām Muslim narrates in his rigorously authentic collection of Ḥadīth, in the narration famously known as the Ḥadīth of Jibrīl, that the Angel Jibrīl asked the Messenger, “What is Belief (Īmān)?” To which the Messenger responded, “That you believe in Allāh, in His angels, in His books, in His messengers, in the last day, and in the Decree (qadr) of good and evil.” Muslim, Book 1, Hadith1 As such, the belief that every occurrence, good or evil, including the actions of man, is predestined by Allāh ﷻ, is among the components of sound belief mentioned by the Messenger ﷺ. For those seeking deeper understanding, exploring online Islamic courses for ladies can provide valuable insights into such profound concepts. Yet despite its significance in the Islamic creed, predestination is a frequently misunderstood concept.


Although his choice is pre-eternally known to Allāh, this does not compel him in any way.

The misunderstanding regarding predestination stems from the apparent contradiction between predestination and Allāh’s Justice. Allāh ﷻ states in the Qur’ān that man will be held accountable for the actions he performs. He will be rewarded for the good that he does and punished for the evil that he does: “Indeed those who believe, and do righteous deeds, and establish the prayer and give charity (zakāh), will have their reward with their Lord”Qur’ān 2:277 and “And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger and transgresses His limits will be admitted to a Fire and for them is a humiliating punishment” Qur’ān 4:14depicting accountability for one’s actions. Furthermore, Allāh also describes Himself in the Qur’ān as being Just, “Verily Allāh does not do injustice to mankind.”Qur’ān 10:44 Therefore, since Allāh is Just and man is held accountable for his actions, it is not possible for man to be compelled, as that would entail injustice. Hence, it necessitates that man is enabled with free will to choose his actions; however, the concept of predestination seems to negate man’s free will.

This apparent contradiction between predestination and free will has been a topic of debate among theologians throughout Islamic history. The growing contention surrounding this issue historically resulted in the emergence of extreme opinions on the issue, ranging from absolute determinism to absolute free will. The scholars and theologians of Ahl al-Sunnah, realizing the severity of misunderstanding this subject, strove to clarify the issue and counter the inaccurate and extremist beliefs. However, despite their efforts, the relationship between predestination and free will remains a source of confusion for many today and is frequently a source of problematic questions and doubts. Additionally, undertaking a 1 year Islamic course and Islamic studies summer programs can provide valuable insights into the nuanced perspectives within Islamic theology, potentially aiding in the understanding of complex topics such as predestination and free will. This article will examine each of the major views on the subject of predestination and present the position of the scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah on the issue.


The Problem of Predestination ​

The concept of predestination, that everything that occurs or will occur has been pre-eternally determined, is rooted in the Islamic conception of Allāh ﷻ. Among the essential islam courses Divine Attributes of Allāh ﷻ is that He is the Creator and Originator, the source of everything in the universe, including the actions of mankind.”

“Allāh is the Creator of all things”Qur’ān 39:62 and “And Allāh created you and what you do.” Qur’ān 37:96

These verses demonstrate that the universe and every action that occurs within it is originated by Allāh’s ﷻ Will. Therefore, since He is the Creator of all that exists and occurs, it is necessary for Him to be Omniscient or All-Knowing. In the words of the Qur’ān: “Does the One who created not know?”Qur’ān 67:14 This verse presents a logical argument that, since Allāh ﷻ is the creator of all things, it is impossible for Him to be attributed with ignorance of anything, underscoring the importance of seeking knowledge through reputable sources such as online Sunni Islamic courses and accredited online islamic studies.

These two Divine Attributes, Omniscience and Divine Will, form the bases of the concept of predestination. Islamic degree courses and women Quran class scholars delve into these attributes in detail. The theologians of Ahl al-Sunnah state that belief in predestination entails two concepts: Qaḍā’ and Qadr. The majority of them define Qaḍā’ as the pre-eternal Will of Allah ﷻ for everything, from the beginning of time, to exist. Qadr is defined as the creation of that which Allah ﷻ Willed to exist, in the moment and place, that had been determined for it. Both of these components must be conceptually preceded (as temporal precedence is not possible) by Allāh’s ﷻ pre-eternal Knowledge; His Will is in accordance with His Knowledge. This is the view of the Ash‘arī school, as presented by al-Imām al-Bājūrī in Tuḥfat al-Murīd..

Given that Allāh ﷻ is All-Knowing, it must be true that the actions of all of mankind were known to Him pre-eternally. For example, even prior to the existence of the universe, it was known to Allāh ﷻ that when Abū Lahab would be presented with the opportunity to accept the message of Islam, he would reject it. If the actions of Abū Lahab always existed in the Knowledge of Allāh ﷻ, then it was inevitable that they would come to pass. Hence, it was not possible for Abū Lahab to make a choice contradicting what exists within Allāh’s ﷻ Knowledge; for it is impossible for the Knowledge of Allāh ﷻ to be incorrect, and it is impossible for Allāh ﷻ to be ignorant of His creation. Those seeking deeper understanding may find enlightenment through short Islamic courses online Just for Sisters.

Not only are the actions of mankind within the Knowledge of Allāh ﷻ but they are also created by Him, as previously noted above, which underscores the profound significance of understanding divine predestination and human agency. This means Abū Lahab’s actions were not only within Allāh’s ﷻ knowledge but were also pre-eternally willed by Allāh ﷻ to occur, emphasizing the intricate balance between divine decree and human responsibility, a concept often explored in summer Islamic courses and Our One Year Intensive Islamic and Arabic Studies. Qur’ān 37:96[/footnote. This begs the question, did Abū Lahab have a choice in becoming one of the greatest early enemies of Islam, or was he compelled to reject the truth and cause the suffering of the Messenger and his companions? If it is the former case, then Allah’s ﷻ Will and Knowledge must not truly encompass all things, since his actions were not determined by Allah ﷻ. If it is the latter, then can Allah ﷻ truly be said to be Just if he punishes Abū Lahab for actions he was compelled to perform?


The Jabariyyah and The Qadariyyah ​

The problem of predestination resulted in the emergence of two extreme groups, each with diametrically opposed beliefs on the issue – the Jabariyyah and the Qadariyyah. The Jabariyyah assert absolute determinism. They argue that determinism and the compulsion of man are necessary. For the Jabariyyah, man’s free will would necessitate the availability of multiple possible choices man may make in any given situation. But since his choices and actions pre-eternally exist within Allāh’s ﷻ Knowledge and occur only by His Will, he is necessarily restricted to a single option. Individuals seeking to delve deeper into Islamic theology may find enlightenment through exploring online Islamic courses for beginners and adult quran class.

In the example of Abū Lahab, if he had free will upon hearing the message of Islam, both acceptance and rejection of it would have been possible. However, since Allāh ﷻ pre-eternally knew that Abū Lahab would reject the message, it was necessary for him to make that choice. The alternative, that he had multiple possible options to freely choose from, apparently affirms the possibility of the Knowledge of Allāh ﷻ being incorrect and for Abū Lahab to act apart from Allah’s ﷻ Will. Therefore, the Jabariyyah believe that although the human being has the illusion of free will, in reality, he is compelled to act in accordance with Allah’s ﷻ Will and Knowledge, even when seeking the best Islamic courses.

Conversely, the Qadariyyah believe in absolute freedom of will. They argue that since Allāh ﷻ is Just, compelling His creation to disobey Him and then punishing them for this action is an impossibility. Hence, they reason that it is not possible for Allāh ﷻ to Will that mankind commit evil despite commanding them against it. Therefore, they argue that the actions of human beings are pre-eternally known to Allāh ﷻ but are not willed and created by Him ﷻ. The actions of man are therefore his own, created by him, independent of Allāh’s ﷻ Will.

According to Ahl al-Sunnah, both the views of the Jabariyyah and the Qadariyyah are incorrect. Because Allah ﷻ is Just, the pre-eternal compulsion of the actions of the human being would negate the concept of accountability. On the other hand, it is also impossible for something to occur independently of the Will and Creation of Allāh ﷻ. To argue otherwise is to contradict the unequivocal verses in the Qur’ān which state that Allah ﷻ Wills and Creates all things, including our actions, as discussed above. Hence, Ahl al-Sunnah believe that the correct way to understand the choice and actions of the human being is to be found between these two extremes. For those seeking deeper understanding, exploring reputable online Islamic courses can provide valuable insights into these theological debates.

The Reconciliation of Ahl al-Sunnah​

The understanding of Ahl al-Sunnah is that Allāh ﷻ has created within man the capacity to choose his actions. The Omniscience of Allāh ﷻ does not negate this free will. This is because although the choices of man indeed exist within the pre-eternal knowledge of Allāh ﷻ, His knowledge does not bear any causal effect on the actions of man. If an individual is presented with the choice to perform an action, he can either choose to do it or not. Although his choice is pre-eternally known to Allāh, this does not compel him in any way.

To properly grasp this concept, assume that there exists the possibility of traveling into the past. Through this modality, one travels back to the moment before Abū Lahab is called towards Islam by the Messenger ﷺ. The time-traveler is well aware of the choice Abū Lahab will make in the following moment, yet his foreknowledge does not bear any causal effect on the choice of Abū Lahab. Similarly, although Allāh’s ﷻ pre-eternal Knowledge encompasses the choice of mankind, it does not compel them.

Furthermore, since every occurrence in the universe is contingent upon Allāh’s ﷻ Creation and Will, it is by His pre-eternal Knowledge of the choices mankind will make that He pre-eternally Wills for their actions to exist.[footnote]It should also be noted that the argument for determinism assumes that the Knowledge and Will of Allāh ﷻ precedes the choice of the individual in a temporal sense. This is false. Since time is merely a creation of Allāh ﷻ, He and His attributes, including His Knowledge and His Will, transcend it. He is not subject to time, past, present, and future, like the rest of creation is. Al-Imām al-Taftāzānī (d. 793H) explains this concept in his commentary on al-‘Aqāid al-Nasafiyyah as follows:

If it is said, ‘Given the all-encompassing attribute of Allāh’s ﷻ knowledge and will, compulsion [of mankind] is necessary. This is because either they [Allāh’s ﷻ knowledge and will] are linked with the occurrence of an action, thereby necessitating it, or with the nonexistence of it, making it impossible. And there is no room for choice in that which is necessary and impossible.’ We respond to this by saying ‘He Knows, and He Wills that man either performs an action or does not based on his [man’s] choice. Hence, there is no contradiction. Ibn ‘Umar al-Taftāzānī, Mas’ūd. Sharḥ al-‘Aqāid al-Nasafiyyah, Second ed., 211. Karachi: 2013, مكتبة البشرى

Consequently, Allāh ﷻ Created within Abū Lahab the capacity to decide whether to accept or reject Islam. It was pre-eternally Known to Allāh ﷻ that Abū Lahab would choose to oppose Islam. Based on His pre-eternal Knowledge of that choice, Allāh ﷻ Willed for the actions and disbelief of Abū Lahab to occur, in accordance with Abū Lahab’s own free will. Hence, neither the Knowledge nor the Will of Allāh ﷻ negate Abū Lahab’s own choice, nor do they compel him by making his choice necessary. It is due to his own choice that he disbelieved, and he can therefore justly be held accountable for it in the hereafter.


Conclusion ​

Although Allāh’s ﷻ predestination of man’s actions may appear to contradict the existence of man’s own free will, close analysis of the matter reveals that this is not the case. The two premises can be reconciled without limiting the Omniscience and the Will of Allāh ﷻ or the free will of man, which is the source of his accountability. The Omniscience and the Will of the Creator ﷻ do not compel individuals with regard to their actions. Rather, by His Omniscience and Will, Allāh ﷻ creates the actions of man to correspond with man’s own freely willed choices. This is a basic explanation of Ahl al-Sunnah’s belief regarding the reconciliation of Predestination and free will.

However, there are still two major problems related to free will that have been points of discussion among Islamic theologians that remain to be addressed. The first of these problems is determining the origin and creation of human actions. Is man responsible for creating his own actions or are his actions created by Allāh ﷻ? The second problem is determining the origin of human choice. Is man free to make whatever choice he chooses or is his choice compelled? These problems will be the subject of the second and third parts of this article—The Origin of Human Action and The Origin of Human Choice respectively, particularly within the context of female Islamic courses.