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Islam for non-Muslims
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research3
 
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Quote research3 Replybullet Topic: Free Will
    Posted: 12 April 2005 at 8:21pm
Originally posted by unity1


Asalam Aalaikum

I welcome all my non-muslim friends in this forum who are interested in Islam. If you have any question regarding Islam ,then please donot hesitate to ask them here ,inshallah we will attempt to answer your question promptly.

Regards,


First off, I am Roman Catholic, and do not as of yet know all that much about the muslim religion, but am learning. My question is this, how does free will come into play in the muslim religion? And does the belief of free will differ in sunni and shi'ah? Thank you so much for the information. May God bless you.
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Cordoba
 
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Quote Cordoba Replybullet Posted: 14 April 2005 at 5:34am

Hello research3

Muslims believe that God has given us free will to choose between faith and disbelief, between good and bad, between halal (legal) and haram (illegal).

We believe that we will be held accountable on the Day of judgement for our decisions.

All the best.

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Tim Evans
 
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Quote Tim Evans Replybullet Posted: 07 February 2006 at 7:49pm

 Hello Cordoba and research (why dose everyone have these unusual names? Am I missing something?

I have been interested in this for ever (I'm 56 years) and have asked the question without receiving an answer anywhere.

If God determines everything and only man has free will (determined by God) are mans actions really free or determined by God?

"Muslims believe that God has given us free will to choose between faith and disbelief, between good and bad, between halal (legal) and haram (illegal)."

Is all nature determined by God's law or is it left to its own development. Why is man with his free will different?

"We believe that we will be held accountable on the Day of judgment for our decisions."

Please stop frightening yourself and others with the day of judgment, no one really believes it. It is the only way some people can end a discussion without proving their point. This is not good.

 

Tim in Britain
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herjihad
 
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Quote herjihad Replybullet Posted: 07 February 2006 at 8:17pm

Bismillah,

Tim, how naive do you want to pretend to be?  If you want your name easily researched on the internet, more power to you, but I prefer a little privacy until the day Homeland Security publishes all of the taped conversations they've made of Muslims in America under Bush's rule.  Besides, my nickname means something special.

Are you an atheist?

Fate is a difficult topic because it can go around in circles.  But the answer the brother gave above seems fine to me.  I believe in Judgment Day like Muslims do.  However, I focus on the Hadith which states that when Allah created mankind he promised his Mercy is greater than his Wrath.  And I remember that someone who is not guided or enlightened today may become a strong faithful Muslim tomorrow.

Al-Hamdulillah (From a Married Muslimah) La Howla Wa La Quwata Illa BiLLah - There is no Effort or Power except with Allah's Will.
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Tim Evans
 
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Quote Tim Evans Replybullet Posted: 08 February 2006 at 8:58am

Herjihad, Thanks

First point taken.

Second point wasn't answered. Is everything predetermined or not and what has 'Judgment Day' got to do with it either way?

Tim in Britain
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AhmadJoyia
 
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Quote AhmadJoyia Replybullet Posted: 08 February 2006 at 2:47pm
"

Please stop frightening yourself and others with the day of judgment, no one really believes it. It is the only way some people can end a discussion without proving their point. This is not good.

"

Oh!! so you don't think that death shall come upon every living thing any time? How strange are your remarks!

"Is all nature determined by God's law or is it left to its own development."

Your question is not correct. There is no difference in "God's law" and "own development". Simply because Allah created everything through some law or as we call it as the "law of nature".

"Why is man with his free will different?"

Your question is incomplete. Different than whom? Whom are you comparing with?



Edited by AhmadJoyia
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Maryga
 
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Quote Maryga Replybullet Posted: 08 February 2006 at 3:58pm

Please stop frightening yourself and others with the day of judgment, no one really believes it. It is the only way some people can end a discussion without proving their point. This is not good.

Tim Evans, What a beguiling (for the doubters!) comment! This is the difference between a believer and a non-believer! A believer looks at the signs before him, the events that take place before his very eyes, the helplessness of mankind to prevent these events and knows surely that that Great SUPER POWER has the ability to achieve whatever He pleases. For the believers the recent events of the last couple of years - the tsunami and the massive earthquakes are but reminders of God's power and they have no doubt as to the day of judgement which will happen whilst the unbelievers dispute about it.

050.019:And the stupor of death will bring Truth (before his eyes): "This was the thing which thou wast trying to escape!"
050.020:And the trumpet is blown. This is the threatened Day.

050.021:And every soul shall come, with it a driver and a witness.

050.022:Certainly you were heedless of it, but now We have removed from you your veil, so your sight today is sharp.

If God determines everything and only man has free will (determined by God) are mans actions really free or determined by God?

The below mentioned response has been obtained from: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?pagename=IslamO nline-English-Ask_Scholar/FatwaE/FatwaE&cid=111950354413 8

Allah decided to create man as a free agent, but He knows (and how can He not know!) before creating every man how he is going to use his free will; what, for instance, his reaction would be when a Prophet clarifies Allah’s message to him. This foreknowledge and its registering in a ‘Book’ is called qadar.

“But if we are free to use our will” a Qadari might say, “we may use it in ways that contradict Allah’s will, and in that case we would not be right in claiming that everything is willed or decreed by Allah.”

The Qur’an answers this question by reminding us that it was Allah who willed that we shall be of free will, and it is He who allows us to use our will. Allah, Most High, says, “Lo! This is an Admonishment, that whosoever will may choose a way unto his Lord. Yet ye will not, unless Allah willeth. Lo! Allah is Knower, Wise.” (Al-Insan: 29-30)

“If so,” a Qadari might say, “He could have prevented us from doing evil."

Yes indeed He could. Allah says, “Had Allah willed, He would have brought them all together to the guidance; if thy Lord had willed whoever is in the earth would have believed, all of them, all together.” (Yunus: 99) “Had Allah willed, they were not idolaters; and We have not appointed thee a watcher over them neither art thou their guardian.” (Al-An`am: 107)

But Allah has willed that men shall be free especially in regard to matters of belief and disbelief. Allah Almighty says, “Say: The truth is from your Lord; so let whosoever will believe, and let whosoever will disbelieve.” (Al-Kahf: 29)

But men would not be so free if whenever any of them wills to do evil Allah prevents him from doing it and compels him to do good.

“If our actions are willed by Allah,” someone might say, “then they are in fact His actions.”

This objection is based on a confusion that Allah wills what we will in the sense of granting us the will to choose and enabling us to execute that will, i.e., He creates all that makes it possible for us to do it. He does not will it in the sense of doing it, otherwise it would be quite in order to say, when we drink or eat or sleep for instance that Allah performed these actions. Allah creates them, He does not do or perform them.

Another objection, based on another confusion, is that if Allah allows us to do evil, then He approves of it and likes it.

However, to will something in the sense of allowing a person to do it is one thing; and to approve of his action and commend it, is quite another, NOT everything that Allah wills He likes. He has, as we have just read in the Qur’an, granted man the choice between belief and disbelief, but He does not, of course, like men to disbelieve (to be thankless). Allah Almighty says, “If you art ungrateful, Allah is independent of you. Yet He approves not ungratefulness in His servants; but if you are grateful, He will approve it in you.” (Az-Zumar: 7)”

Based on Dr. Ja`far Sheikh Idris’s article “Belief in Qadar”. (Source: http://isgkc.org/pillars_qadar.htm).

You can also read:

Between Destiny, Working and Free Will

Fate or Free Will, Nature or Nurture

Allah Almighty knows best.


 

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Shams Zaman
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Quote Shams Zaman Replybullet Posted: 10 February 2006 at 7:18am

Free will:

Brother Tim Evans!

May peace be on you. You have selected a very sensitive topic which troubled me also for more than 3 years. The most troubling was that if everything is pre-determined then why we are held accountable for our actions? I will try to explain it to you as to How I have understood this concept:

First of all let me tell you that the Quranic Arabic is very difficult to translate because we may not have appropriate words for the exact description in other languages.

The word used here is “TAQDEER” translated as destiny derived form the root word “QADAR” some what meaning a quantity, a volume, a measuring unit or even command/control. This is translated by some that “God has power over all things.”

Let me also explain to you that we are always confronted in our lives one out of these 3 situations:

(1)         COMPULSIONS:  To be born at the destined place is our compulsion. We can’t select our parents, place of birth, death etc. But surely this is all known to Allah and he has given us no authority over it. Even I have lot of compulsions with respect to my body, like I can’t tell my face to stop growing beard, or my hands to grow by some length etc. These are in absolute control of God and I have no authority over these compulsions. Its compulsory for the earth to revolve and sun to shine they have to do it by compulsion. Chicken is to be hatched from the egg and not by birth and it’s a compulsion.

(2)         LIMITATIONS:   We are born with certain limitations, like we can’t fly in air but can jump in air; we can’t run on water but can swim. We can’t convince everyone with our arguments but can explain them in beautiful terms; we can’t limitlessly extend our life but can enhance it by certain precautions etc. We can change our surroundings, environments, friends etc but we can’t live independently of these. But God has all the powers and He alone can change them into compulsions or options.

(3)         OPTIONS:    We have certain set of options like we can choose our friends, our religion our deeds. He has given us the option that we can choose an evil course or a righteous course. He has given us this option by His will, he may have made us without the iota of disobedience like of angels. He has not given the option of disobedience to the angels; they have to obey God under all circumstances. Likewise He has not given the option to the sun to stop shinning or the earth to stop rotating. But it must be remembered that the outcome has not to be linked with the option. Like I might try to kill someone by a bullet but if God has not destined his death he would be saved by maybe hospital authorities, or I might even miss the target. Here I would be rewarded by the nature of my intent and the gravity of the act committed.

Similarly, God does not immediately leash His wrath on someone who acts devilishly. Because it goes against the purpose for which we are sent in this world.

Now God has sent us down on earth with the set of these options, limitations and compulsions as a test as to who will act righteously and who will act devilishly for an appointed term also known as the DOOMSDAY or the LAST DAY. And He told us that we would be rewarded in the next life according to our actions.  

 

So we have a free will to act, but it is not Absolute Free Will. We may be able to exercise it under some freedom and not absolute freedom. Like once American soldiers desecrated the Quran they told the inmates of prison camp that: “Call your God for help? Where is your God why doesn’t He come for your rescue?” Without realizing that God would not come because if He would come for rescue then where is the test?? Everyone would certainly then be on the desired course. If anyone who commits a sin or a good deed is rewarded immediately then there has to be no free will or the day of judgement.

 

So along with this free will God sent His messengers and revelations so that it should be known to all that what is right and what is wrong and how we should live. Every time we corrupted the revelations by virtue of our Free Will so God sent another messenger with the same original message until the appointed term grew near. So finally He sent His last messenger Muhammad with the final revelation “QURAN”. He also announced that now this revelation will remain devoid of any corruption and the Free Will or the option to corrupt revelation was changed into compulsion.

Now there comes the thing that God is absolute and His knowledge is also absolute. He knows before hand as to what is to come, how we will behave; how we will act (He is much more knowledgeable than the fortune tellers). So if someone does wrong it is all within his domain to punish him immediately or give him the time to repent. So he has given us the time to think and repent on our follies and He may therefore forgive us. But this time is limited.

As God know by virtue of His knowledge (among our options) as to how we will be behaving He has all written it down. But He didn’t tell us as to how we will act or how we will be living so it doesn’t make any difference for us that whether He has written it down or not. If he would have told us before hand then this world would have been in a chaos and confusion.

Like if God tell me that you will die in a train accident I would immediately stop travelling in train and similarly if everyone knows what he will do then he will try to avert all these things turning everything into a chaos.

So by virtue of His before hand knowledge He knows even who will be performing act for the hell or heaven and He has also written them down. So can He intervene?? Of course He can but He decided not to do that, but He surely guides and helps those who are sincere in their intent and not the arrogant. 

The bottom line remains that “DESTINY IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR ACTIONS WHICH WE ARE TO DO AND WRITTEN DOWN BY GOD, AND NOT THAT HE HAS PREDESTINED OUR ACTIONS BY WRITING THEM DOWN.”   

Hope this addresses some of the concerns.

 

Shams  Zaman  smszmn@hotmail.com

Pakistan

smszmn72@yahoo.cm
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