In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful


The 1st issue:

 Man has free will in everything he is Divinely assigned to do, and he is Divinely compelled in the matters that he is not Divinely assigned to do, and this compulsion is in his best interest. There are some matters that man has no control or choice over. Following are some of these matters:

 1- The parents: Man might be born to a very wealthy family where all his needs are met, and he might be born to a poor father who cannot afford his daily bread.
 2- The era: There are people who were born in the thirties of this century, some were born in the fifties, some lived in the middle ages and some will live in the coming ages. Therefore, the time of birth is not controlled by man, but it is preordained by Allah.
 3- The place of birth: There are people who are born and raised in Arab countries, whereas sh3er are born and raised in the west or in other places. Hence, the place of birth is something that man has no control over.
 4- The physical characteristics and capabilities of man: Someone might be tall, another might be short, and someone is born white whereas another is born black. These features are preordained by Allah the Almighty.

 I would like to refer to a fact that we should not overlook, and which Imam Al-Ghazali mentioned when he said, "This is as good as it gets." Hence, the matters which man has no control of, are preordained by Allah in his best interest, but man will know so on the Day of Resurrection when all facts will be revealed to him, and on that Day he will not be able to say anything other than, "Praise be to the Lord of the Worlds." He will praise Allah, because he was born to this father and this mother, because he was born in this time and place and because he was born having these features and abilities Allah granted him, so that they will be suitable to him to fulfill the mission he is Divinely assigned to accomplish.

 In concise, man is Divinely compelled in all the matters that have nothing to do with the Divine Assignment, and these matters are Divinely preordained to his advantage. On the other hand, he is given free will in the matters he is assigned to, so that he might choose any way he likes of the two ways (the truth or falsehood).

The 2nd issue:

 Basically, man is Divinely compelled, then he is granted the free will, and after that he is Divinely compelled once more, and this compulsion does not contradict man's freedom of choice, but rather they both complete one another; do you know how? Essentially, man is Divinely compelled in the matters we have mentioned earlier (his parents, the date of birth, the place of birth, his features and the like), then he is granted the free will in obeying Allah or disobeying Him and in following the right and truthful path or the evil and false path, then man is Divinely compelled once more to meet his destiny that is based on what he has chosen before. Accordingly, he will be rewarded if he chooses goodness, or he will pay a heavy price for choosing evil.

 Man, for example, has the freedom of choice in the way he makes his living, so if he chooses a lawful way to earn his money and to meet his interests, he is safe, but if he chooses stealing, for example, and he does not respond to His Lord, shutting down his mind and Fitrah by that and insisting on this bad choice, Allah the Almighty will compel him to pay the price for his choice in a way that is congruent with the absolute Divine Wisdom of the Lord of the Worlds. This Wisdom entails that man's hidden agenda will be revealed, so that it will be a proof against him, and since Allah's Plan overcomes the Kafir's plan in the favor of Allah's Will, this man who insists on stealing will be able to steal after Allah allows him to do so in the time Allah chooses in order to fulfill the Divine Wisdom of Allah, Sublimed be He, for it does not befit Allah's Character to have something taken place in His Kingdom without His Leave.

The 3rd issue:

 Indeed man owns the free will, but the action is Allah's. To make this point clear, consider this example: if a student fails in the tests, and his failure is decided in the administration of the school, we say, "The student flunks the year", which is true, but also we can say, "The administration makes this student fail", which is also true. However, the student fails, because he chooses to fail, and the administration makes him fail as a result of his choice.

 As I have mentioned, the actions are Allah's, while the choices are man's, and there is no contradiction between the two, for Allah's Will means that He allows man to do what he wants to do since he owns the free will, and then Allah gives him the power to carry out the deeds of his choice.  Allah says:

﴾Allah burdens not a person beyond his scope. He gets reward for that (good) which he has earned, and he is punished for that (evil) which he has earned.﴿

[Al-Baqarah, 286]

 Man might earn obedience or disobedience, but the action is Allah's. In other words, when man seeks the truth and goodness, Allah will guide him to them and help him, but when man insists on committing sins, Allah allows him to carry out his hidden agenda, because he owns the free will.

 Owning the free will, being Divinely preordained and being guided or being led astray are matters that need attentive comprehension, because they are related to man's Aqeedah, and man's Aqeedah dictates his behavior which will be the reason to exalt man to the highest rank or to make him hit rock bottom.

 The majority of people adopt fatalism, which paralyses man, so they stop doing anything, waiting their inevitable destiny though the proofs are very clear that man owns the free will, and that deeds will be of no value without this free will. For example, if you force someone to give you a gift, it will not be a gift anymore, but rather it will be something taken by force, given the value of a gift comes from being given willingly to someone.

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of Creations