Part of the Do'a Iftitah

"Verily my solats, my ibadah, my life and my death I surrender to Almighty Allah, Creator and Lord of all the worlds. Never will I associate anything with Him. So am I commanded and I am of those who are Muslims."

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Mankind 's Free will or Decided by Allah? A Dialogue between me and a fellow Muslim

Photo of me with the Chief Imam of Masjid Jamek Azzubair Ibnul Awwam, Al Ustaz Hj Hazman at Taman Tenaga, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur, taken last year but still carries the message we want to wish : "Have a Blessed Ramadhan Dear Muslims of the World!"

Ustaz Hazman is very accepting when I share views and ideas as to how to reach out to the Ummah.

This is the kind of Religious leaders who can make a change to relations between the people and the religious leadership.

The next picture is of me with Japanese visitors to the Masjid Kapitan Keling, Penang taken during my visit back home during Eid al Fitri, 1426 Hijrah.

Now to the subject matter of today's posting.

A fellow Muslim emailed me and asked about Free Will.

Do we humanbeings have the ultimate Free Will to do anything we want or does Allah decide everything for us?

At first he wanted me to keep it between ourselves but today said, it's okay if I want to share the discussions with you who are reading this. So here goes. The writings in blue are his and my replies are in black.

May Allah SWT guide us all and this posting be beneficial to us. Ameen.

ASM,

I have been reading your blog for sometime now and i have a few questions regarding Islam. I hope you can answer based on your expertise and experience.
1. Whats your understanding about free will in Islam?
2. Does Allah control and decides every single thing we do on earth? If yes, does this mean, we human does not have a free will?
3. I read somewhere where by "Allah tidak menzalim manusia, manusia yang menzalimi diri mereka sendiri". What does this mean?
4. I would like to find out, if we make a decision about certain issue, is it based on our own intelligence or its Allah's will and permission?
I appreciate your help to enable me to understand more about Islam. Thank you.

Answer # 1

Free will is the will that Allah SWT has given us to choose what we want to do and which path we want to take in all that we do.

This however does not mean we can do as we please for if we are born as a Muslim and we are able to understand about our faith ; in the sense that we can read, write and listen, we are then obligated to ascribe to what Islam asks of us.

We are expected to have faith in the Principles of Iman and put to practice the Principles of Islam.

I presume that you do know all these and are a practicing Muslim.

Free will means we are able to do what we want within the confines of our faith. We can pray at a later time on our own if we want due to our situations but it is enjoined to pray in the jamaah. As such, Islam is flexible and we are free to choose what we want.

Free will doesn 't mean that we are free to do just anything we please. We must always keep in mind that we live in a society and we as Muslims are obliged to follow the Laws of Allah and the norms of society.

You need to be more specific as to what kind of free will you have in mind. It's too general for me to keep on expounding on it. Tell me as to what aspect of 'free will' you are asking about.

Answer # 2

Not an atom moves without the Consent and Will of Allah SWT. This is what I have come to learn and I accept to be so.

Even then, Allah SWT tells us in the Qur'an that He will not change the Fate of Man until and unless Man changes it him or herself.

Allah SWT gives us the Freedom of Choice to live our life as we see fit. This free will is subject to our situation as a muslim or as a kaffir. If we are a Muslim, we are subject to the Tenets of Islam.

For the Kaffirs, they have the birthrights to become a Muslim. If they choose to be as they are even though the Truth of Islam has reached them or has been explained to them, they still choose not to accept Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala as God Almighty, then in the Hereafter, they will be judged and dealt with accordingly.

Muslims are accountable for each and everything we do. The Kaffirs too will be held accountable but as you know Christianity teaches its followers that they can do as they please and get all their sins pardoned by a priest or that 'Jesus Christ' so loves them and will bear their burdens for them. This is escapism and shirking of responsibilities towards facing up to their deeds.

To answer your question, Allah SWT has set our individual fates and destiny but because we are humanbeings whom Allah has appointed to be His Vicegerents @ Representatives on Earth, we have been given the faculties to chart our own destinies.

Answer # 3

"Allah tidak menzalimi manusia dengan menidakkan peluang untuk manusia mengubah takdir dan nasib mereka sendiri."

Take ourselves for example. We can see, read, speak, hear and feel. With whatever skills we have acquired and learned, we seek our living according to our capabilities and circumstances.

When we perform our religious obligations, we attain a certain peace of mind that we have done our part.

When we are able to control our egos and our nafs, we attain a certain level of goodness that comes with it. Fellow humans accept us for who we are and what we do. That is a form of baraqah that comes with doing good and maintaining it.

People who go commit all kinds of evil deeds get punished by law and shunned by society. It is a natural sense of retribution.

Allah SWT does not create anyone as born to be evil. Each human is born with a natural sense of goodness. This is called 'fitrah'. The child grows up according to its circumstances and as to what is is taught and imbued with.

It is the parents who mould the child accordingly. The child is free from sin until it has become a man or a woman in its own right. After puberty, the individual is held accountable for their deeds and misdeeds.

Allah SWT has given us our faculties, It is we who decide what we do with it. Hence the saying that 'Allah tidak menzalimi manusia. Manusia itu sendiri yang menzalimi dirinya dengan melakukan perkara yang akan membahayakan dirinya sendiri.

Sekiranya manusia itu melakukan perkara yang baik, nescaya ianya akan mendapat pulangan yang serupa.

Answer # 4

Whatever we do and decide is based on our free will and realisation of the consequences of our actions. This is if we are sane and coherent as to what we are doing.

Allah SWT takes all that we do into account and will judge us accordingly. In certain cases, Allah SWT gives instant redemption and also instant punishment.

Each and every incident on Earth has its pro and contra results. If you go build your house on a slope, without taking into account, the laws of gravity. When it rains, the soil will get affected and soon, the weight of the house will cause erosion to take place.

The foundation of the slope will give way and we have a landslide. Do we blame Allah or the human who built it without fortifying the foundations ?

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Such is the example of anything that we as a human being choose to accept, think , say or do. We decide what's our fate but if we are among those who have faith in Allah SWT, then we will do as what has been left to us by The Prophet according to his sunnah and what is in store for us in the Qur'an.

Hope that satisfies you.

All praise be to Allah SWT for gracing us with this dialogue. May Allah SWT guide us all. Amin.

Wassalamualaikum.

Your brother in Islam,

Mahaguru58

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Thank you very much for your input. It has at gave me some insight to some troubling issues I had. Why did I ask you these questions? I had an episode in my life whereby I had to make decision to choose between 2 occupations. I choose the latter, and now I have come to regret my choice and there is no way to retreat back. This got me thinking, whether was it a choice by me or a choice that Allah has made for me. I have done a lot of research on the web about free will and Islam, however, most arguement does not explain my question. However based on what you have written here, I guess it was a choice made by myself and I have to accept my own decision.
Maybe you can eloborate on this?
Btw, if you find this topic interesting to your blog audience, you may put it up, but please do not publish my name. Thank you in advance.

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I hope that you will accept Qada' and Qadar that Allah SWT has destined for us but also accept the consequences of our actions and decisions.

The Malay saying 'Jika tangan berani mencincang, bahu hendaklah berani memikul!'

We need to be able to stand up to our decisions.

That is the reason why when we are faced with a very important decision, we need to take into considerations all angles and eventualities.

We must remember that Allah SWT is not to be blamed for bad decisions that we make.

I remember hearing about a woman who stood up and questioned the late Allahyarham Sheikh Ahmed Deedat about why God is so cruel in allowing bad things to happen to good people?

Sheikh Deedat answered the woman, " What would you like Allah to do? Would you like Allah to give you an electric shock everytime you commit a sin or think something bad and evil?

Would mankind like to be punished each and everytime they do bad?

You take something that is not yours...zzzzzzzztttttt! electric shock!!!! you think something bad....zzzzzzzttttttt!!! electric shock!!!! you touch a person not halal to you...zzzzzzttttttt!!!electric shock!!!

Would life be worth living if each and every sin of mankind is punished instantly and right there and then by Almighty Allah?

Would mankind like a bolt of lightning to come strike them dead if they go and do something sinful at the spot?

Naturally, I can see you shake your head and say no! No! Please God ..No!"

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Life would not be as we have it before us.

God gives us the Faculties of Reason to choose what's best for us and He has left us not without guidance or directions as to how to live and how to take care of this world.

When mankind do not live according to God's Laws and guidelines and does with the earth and its contents as they please, natural disasters and tragic consequences are what we are reaping today.

When we do not correct the wrong being done before us and we keep quiet about the atrocities being done, we are accomplices to the crime being perpetrated as they please.

So do not blame Allah for all the calamities taking place in society, on the surface of the earth, in it's bowels of the earth, in the forests, in the rivers , in the streams, in the seas and in the oceans!

All the pollution, all the devastation, is all done by the hands of ruthless mankind.

As the saying goes, you shall reap what you sow!

It is we, who by our own free will are to be held responsible for all that is taking place on Earth and in our lifes.

Think and reflect on all that is before us. Insya Allah.

Mahaguru58.