Predetermination and accountability

Q502 :Is it true that Allah determines the fate of a person when he is still in the womb? How about people who disobey Allah: Is it His intention for them to be disobedient?

A502 : As you are well aware, we are accountable to Allah for what we do in this life. He rewards us in accordance with our deeds. Hence, our deeds are chosen by us, since we have been given such a free choice. If we were denied such a choice and if our actions were determined for us by Allah, then it would not fit with Allah's justice that we should be accountable for them. There is some confusion in people's minds about this question. This confusion is compounded by a wrong understanding of some Hadiths like the following one: "The creation of each one of you is gathered together in his mother's belly for forty days in the form of a seed, then he is a clot of blood for a like period. The angel is then sent to him to blow the breath of life into him. He is commanded to write down four matters: his means of livelihood, life-span, actions, and whether happy or unhappy." (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim). This writing down of these matters is not an imposition, except in such areas over which the man has no influence, such as duration of his life. When the angel writes a man's action, he simply documents that Allah has known long before the conception of that person in his mother's womb. We must not forget that Allah's knowledge is not increased as a result of any event of circumstances. He has known the number of human beings that would walk on earth, the fortune of each and every one of them, and the feelings of every single one of them at every moment of his or her life, long before the creation of Adam, the first human being. This is part of Allah's knowledge, but it is not predetermination, because Allah has created us with our free will and ability to choose. That ability must work within us. It is we who choose whether to obey Allah and disobey Him. Hence, we are accountable for our choices.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )