There has not been a topic that is more likely discussed, argued and debated as that topic of Al-Qadaa wa Al-Qadar. That’s because everyone wants to argue it, whether one is knowledgeable or ignorant about it. And a question being always asked is whether everything happening to us is pre-destined? So why is the call to Account then? And can I do anything that is not by the will of Allah? The questioning goes even further; if this is the truth, where I can’t do except what Allah has determined for me, why Allah punishes me by sending me to Hell? Is it just to be called to Account in the Hereafter?
You will find that, this question is asked only by those who has transgressed against their souls and disobeyed Allah. On the other hand, you will not find anyone saying, that since everything is pre-determined by Allah, then why will Allah bless me with the Jannah (Paradise)? Definitely, that is a question that you never hear. You always hear people saying that the call to Account is unjust, because our actions have already been pre-destined by Allah.
Allah has given man the freedom of choice throughout his life. From here came the debate; that is some people would think that the freedom of choice given to man conflicts with the consent of Allah in His universe, which is very far from the truth. And those people refer to Al-Ayaat Al-karima:
But ye will not, unless Allah wills; for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom [Surah Al-Insan: Ayah 30]
They also refer to the words of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala to Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):
“Verily, you (O Muhammad) will not be able to guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills” [Surah Al-Qassas: Ayah 56]
And Allah also says
“For Allah leaves to stray whom He wills, and guides whom He wills” [Surah Fatir: 8]
So, if those are the Ayat and this is the will of Allah, how are we called to Account on the Day of Resurrection?
Here we can say that Allah Ta’ala has what He wills in His creation. There is nothing in the universe of Allah that can be considered to be exempt from his decree. This is the mere truth that we start with, and we can add to this the fact that the people are themselves contributing to their destruction. And that they will deserve either the punishment or the mercy of Allah according to their own deeds, as Allah Ta’ala says
“Verily Allah will not deal unjustly with man in aught; it is man that wrongs his own soul” [Surah Yunus: 44]
Universe and Choice
Allah Ta’ala created the whole universe on the basis of choice. There are creatures that had the option to choose only once and their choice was to be oppressed. And there are others who have chosen to be given the right of successive choice so that each of them would have the freedom of choice throughout his life (Al-Hayat Al-Dunya).
There are Angels that Allah did not inform us about how they have been created. They glorify Allah day and night and they never disobey what Allah has decreed. As Allah says:
“They (the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, they never slacken (to do so)” [Surat Al-Anbiya’: 20]
And Allah Ta’ala also says
“Angels who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded” [Surat At-Tahrim: 6]
Those are the angels that Allah Ta’ala keeps in charge for whatever He wills throughout the universe. There is an angel in charge of every single thing in the universe according to the Will of Allah. There are also the uppermost angels, the angels of death, the angels that are in charge of man, like Al-Hafaza Al-Kiram (Arabic pronounced name for the angels that writes down man’s good and bad deeds in a book) who write down man’s acts, and many other angels.
All creatures except man and Al-Jin have deliberately chosen to be oppressed. If we read what Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala says,
“Truly, We did offer Al-Amanah (the Trust) to the heavens, and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it, but man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results)” [Surah Al-Ahzab: 72]
Then we will know that the heavens, the earth, the mountains and all other creatures were offered Al-Amanah, which is the freedom of choice. That is they were offered to be free to choose and to be able to obey or disobey. But all those creatures except man and Al-Jinn refused the offer of choice. They all said to Allah that they can’t handle themselves nor Al-Amanah and they asked Allah to make them oppressed.
And if Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala had not informed us about that in His book the Qur’an, we would not have known that the offer of choice was there for all His creatures, that they refused to carry Al-Amanah that man has accepted and that they preferred to be oppressed.
But let’s explain what is Al-Amanah. Al-Amanah is what another person leaves with you on a condition that he gets it back whenever he wants. He would leave Al-Amanah with you because you are trustworthy and this trust has to be without any written proof or any eyewitness. For example, if someone gave you some money and he got a receipt, a bank check or a money draft in return, it is not considered Amanah. It is considered a certified deposit. Also if someone left the money with you in the presence of some people, it is still not considered Amanah, but a witnessed deposit. It is called Amanah only if that trust was between the two of you, with no witness or proof. And Allah Rabbul Aalameen offered Al-Amanah to the heavens, earth and mountains, but they all rejected it. Why? Because they felt they are incapable of returning it. That is because if someone left you some money as Amanah, you might hit some bad times and turn towards some of that money hoping that you can return it later. And you might even spend all the money, thinking that you will be able to return it by the time it is due. But actually when the time comes, you can’t get the money and by this, you have wasted Al-Amanah. So man before bearing Al-Amanah, thought that he would be able to return it and that he would follow the law of Allah and pay back His rights by praying, thanking Allah, serving Him and doing all what Allah orders him. When man started the journey of bearing Al-Amanah, that is this life [Al-Hayat Al-Duniya], the devil – Al-Shaytan -seduced him, so he started doing sins and believed in more than one God. Eventually, man started believing in and serving the stones, the sun, the moon, the stars, the animal and more. By doing that he wasted Al-Amanah, and by the time Al-Amanah is due, when death approaches him, he is to meet Allah unable to pay back Al-Amanah that he chose to bear.
Man and Al-Amanah
So we can see that man deliberately carried Al-Amanah, but did he bear it against the will of Allah Ta’ala? Did he give himself the right to freely do or not to do, or did Allah Ta’ala offer him that freedom? Definitely man didn’t give himself anything. Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala with His mighty power and divine will gave man the choice, so He created him free to choose. And if Allah Ta’ala wanted to create him oppressed, it would have been that way. And for this Allah Ta’ala draws our attention to that truth in his words,
“If We will, We could send down to them from heaven a Sign, to which they would bend their necks in humility” [Surah Al-Shu’araa: 4]
And Allah Azza Wa Jal says,
“Have not then those who believed yet known that had Allah willed, He could have guided all mankind (to the Right)?” [Surah Ar-Ra’d: 31]
There hasn’t been anyone in the universe getting anything except through the decree of Allah. The creatures who chose oppression got it by the will of Allah Almighty and the creatures that are capable of choosing got that choice by the will of Allah Baari Ta’ala. So everything in the universe submits to the divine will of Allah, its Creator. The oppressed to obey and the free to disobey both got what they have by the will of Allah Ta’ala. None is exempt from Allah’s decree. In this way man has been created free to choose, because Allah wanted him to have this freedom and Allah being Al-‘Adl – the Fair – would not oppress man to choose. Allah offered man the right of choice and he accepted it. And that offer was offered to him by the will of Allah.
Here the question to ask is, why man was created free to choose? And here we say that the oppressed creations of Allah prove the majestic, oppressing and dominating qualities of Allah; that He is capable of oppressing who ever He likes to do what He wants. But there is also the loving quality of Allah Ta’ala in His universe and this quality can’t be proved except from a creation that approach Allah with love, not because they are oppressed to do that. A Creation that would serve Allah out of love and that obey Him because they love to obey Him. And to have this achieved, that creation has to be capable of believing and disbelieving, capable of obeying and disobeying. A creation that say “O God I love You and for that I believe in You, not because I am oppressed but out of love, O God I love to obey You and for that I do it. God I will do all what You order me and will get away from what You forbid and God if I am capable of doing any sin, it is the lust of my soul and the evil among men and Al-Jinn that makes sins alluring to me. But God Your love in my heart is greater than that of the whole world and Allah, the God of the universe, all what You want me to do I will love to do because I love You Allah and I love to please You.”
That is the real meaning of choice in the universe. Allah Ta’ala doesn’t want submitting figures but He wants humble hearts and that’s why He wants man to come to Him with a loving heart. And faith – Al-‘Imaan – would examine your love for Allah, if the love for Allah in your heart is great, then your faith in His curriculum will be greater. But if His love in your heart is not that strong, then you will be far away from His curriculum.
Privileges to Man
When Allah Ta’ala created man, the creature that will come to Him out of love, Allah wanted to make him a leader of the universe to reward him for choosing to be obedient. Allah also wanted to prepare man for the difficult test that will hit him throughout his life (Al-Hayat Al-Duniya). That is because the lust of the soul together with the whispers of the devil – Shaytan – and the appeal of disobedience will need strength and power so that man does not fall into sins. So Allah gave man a universe to serve him, a universe that has everything that man would need to save his life and to keep it going. The sun provides him with warmth and brightens his day so that he can go on building the universe as Allah ordered him. The earth provides him with the food, not only the essential elements for man’s life, but also gives him the luxury of choice. It produces different kinds of food from which he can select what he likes; a lot of vegetables and fruits with distinct tastes, cattle that provides the meat to eat and the wool to wear. In that universe man also has the water from the sky – the rain – to save his life and to give life to animals and plants that serves him. And in that way Ar-Rahmaan has provided man a universe with all the elements of life in it, so that he does not get distracted by those elements and forgets to serve and obey Allah, the provider of life. That universe is the first privilege that Allah Ta’ala specified to man who is capable of choosing.
The second privilege is that Allah created all those elements of life subject to man. They can not stop doing their role in life, the sun can not say that it will rise today and not tomorrow, the moon can not suddenly leave the sky and disappear, the wind can not go far from the earth and prevent man from life, and the earth can not say it will not blossom the plants. Everything that serves man in the universe performs its role perfectly.
And that oppressed universe is the unchanging universe, the good universe that never tires anyone or ruins anything. Its rules are rigid and continuous and it is all done by the decree of Allah so that man feels safe about his existence and survival. In that way man is not busy with the timing of the sunrise nor is he worried to find a way to get the water from the sky. He is not responsible of the succession of the night and day nor does he need to find out the ways to maintain the atmosphere around the earth. Allah relieved man from all those responsibilities so that he is not distracted by the universe from the Creator of the universe.
Ayat for the People
Then came the third privilege; Al-Haqq wanted to show man that there is a God capable of everything, Allah who created man and everything in the universe for serving man and who also created the universe. He made things that are stronger than man millions of times and that no one can claim creating it, serve man. For example, the sun with all its strength and power, all people gathered cannot claim that they made nor created it. It can burn the whole universe and man doesn’t have any way to prevent its harm. But then Al-Haqq made the sun, provides us with all what we need and with His wisdom, knowledge and precision in His creation prevented its harm from reaching us. Another example is the sea, it can drown the whole universe but Allah Ta’ala made it provide us with the different kinds of fish, food to eat, jewelry to wear as in pearl and coral. He made it carry our ships from one country to another and prevented its harm from reaching us.
A third example is the earth that can shake powerfully and destroy man and all what he has built, but Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala submitted it and made it calm for us, to be able to live on it. And then Al-Haqq gave us the fourth privilege, our senses, the ears to hear, the eyes to see, the tongue to talk and all the senses that makes us aware of our surroundings. And Allah also gave us the mind that is capable of distinguishing. All those things that serves us can not be created by man, and so man should know that there is a tremendous power out there that had created that universe and its above all our strength and power. Allah Ta’ala says,
“And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight and hearts that you might give thanks (to Allah)” [Surat An-Nahl: 78]
All the Ayat in His universe that shows that Allah Ta’ala is the Creator – Al-Khaliq, Allah Ta’ala made them clear and obvious so that the human brain does not get tired of searching for it or trying to reach it. He (Subhhanahu Wa Ta’ala) did not make His Ayat unknown or hidden nor did He make them hard to reach but He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) made everyone able to see and watch them easily with no effort done. We see the sun, the moon, the stars, the plants, the earth and we breathe the air. We see that Ayat Allah Ta’ala draws our attention as if it is presenting itself and announcing its Creator with out any effort done from our side.
Then Allah Ta’ala demanded from us to look at the universe to see those Signs – Al-Ayat – so that we do not distract ourselves and get lost in searching for His Ayat in the universe, and so that we do not forget the Creator and spend all the time thinking about the creation. For the human brain in general with no required knowledge can see and recognize those Ayat easily. In that way Al-Haqq wanted to make us busy with Him and with His love, without getting lost in ambiguous Ayat in His universe.
Man and the Devil
Then there is the fifth privilege; before we start the period of test, Allah wanted to teach us that we are going to be exposed to the seduction of Iblis (Shaytan). He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) wanted us to know that Iblis seduction is a lie and that he is our enemy. He (Al-Shaytan) deceives us with wishes that never come true and whispers to us with lies that has nothing to do with the reality and he tries to distract us from the path of love and obedience of Allah. So there was the experience of Adam and Hawwa’, Allah made them live in Heaven and allowed them to eat from all its fruits except for one tree, exactly in the same way Allah Ta’ala allowed us so many things in this life and prevented us from the least.
Adam and Hawa’ were allowed all the fruits in Heaven except that one tree, when Iblis – Al-Shaytan – came and tempted them to eat from it. Al-Shaytan lied and told them that the tree would give them eternity and an everlasting kingdom. Al-Shaytan witnessed what he promised them and it was a lie, but Adam and Hawa’ believed him and they did eat from the tree. Thereupon, instead of having the eternity, their nakedness was manifest to them. And instead of providing them with the everlasting money, the tree took away the sustenance of Allah that they used to get without any work or effort. So they descended to the earth to work hard and suffer for their living. That was an introduction to life on earth and to the lies that Iblis – Al-Shaytan – promises man to let him fall into sins and disobedience.
And for man not to fear Iblis, get overwhelmed by this fear and forget about serving Allah, He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) informed him that Al-Shaytan is weak and that he cannot have power over man unless man listens to him and obeys him. And He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) told us that Al-Shytan has no power to make us do what we don’t want to do, for Allah did not give him the power of oppression to force us to disobey nor did He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) give him the power of persuasion to convince us to do sins. Allah Ta’ala says,
“Shaytan had no authority over you” [Surah Ibrahim: 22]
That is Shaytan has no strength to oppress or convince us with wrongdoing. Then Allah Ta’ala wanted to ease us from all this, so He told us that if we are sincere in serving Him and honest in our love to Him then He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) will save us from the evil of Shaytan. And this is proved in His words,
“[Iblis (Satan)] said: “O my Lord! Because you misled me, I shall indeed adorn the path of error for them (mankind) on the earth, and I shall mislead them all. Except Your servants among them, sincere and purified (by Your grace).” Allah said: “This (Way of My sincere servants) is indeed a Way that leads straight to Me. Certainly, you shall have no authority over My servants, except those who put themselves in the wrong and follow you” [Surah Al-Hijr: 39-42]
And by those words Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) wanted to tell us that whoever stays close to Him, serve and love Him sincerely will be safe from Shaytan and that Iblis evil whispers will have no effect on him. But then if the human self weakens, Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) informed us to seek protection – nasta’eez (i.e Audhubillahi minash Shaytan Nirrajeem) – from the wicked devil by Allah so that the evil temptation of Shaytan would not approach us. In that Allah Ta’ala says,
“And say: “My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings (suggestions) of the Shayatin (devils). And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! Lest they should come near me” [Surah Al-Mu’minun: 97-98]
And Allah Ta’ala says
“Verily, those who are Al-Mutaqun (the pious) when an evil thought comes to them from Al-Shaytan (Satan), they remember (Allah), and indeed they then see (aright)” [Surat Al-Aaraf: 201]
So by that, Allah Ta’ala showed us the way to overcome Shaytan, and all what we have to do is to nasta’eez by Allah and be sincere in serving Him so that our minds do not get paralyzed with fear from Iblis and his seduction.
Witness of Allah
Then there is the sixth privilege; Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) made us witness Him since we were still in the world of dispersion, and by that He put the instinct – fitra – of belief in our souls and so we became with that fitra believers of Allah the Creator – Al-Khaliq, the Magnificent – Al-‘Azeem. And that witness was necessary so that man would not come on the Resurrection Day arguing as he always do and deny knowing Allah. And although we cannot see Allah, whenever His name is mentioned to anyone he finds Allah familiar to him and close to his soul. It is the fitra of belief that Allah Ta’ala plants in us before we come to this world and start our experience with the choice that Allah wanted for us and that we willingly accepted. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says,
“And (remember) when Your Lord brought forth from the Children of Adam, from their loins, their descendents (or from Adam’s loin his offspring) and made them testify as to themselves (saying): “ Am I not Your Lord?” They said: “Yes! We testify,” lest you should say on the Day of Resurrection: “Verily we have been unaware of this.” Or lest you should say: “It was only our fathers before us who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendants after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practiced Al-Batil (men who are futile committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshiping others besides Allah)?” [Surah Al-A’raf: 172- 173]
We have showed so far that we were created with the privilege of choice that Allah wanted for us and that we have accepted. And this Ayah Al-karima approves that same concept,
“But ye will not, unless Allah wills; for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom” [Surat Al-Insan: 30]
That is first Allah wants for us to be free to choose and our choice comes out of His divine will. And Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) guarantees this choice in His creation of the universe and in His Ayat in the universe as well as in the journey of life, so that nothing distracts us from serving Allah, which is the main reason behind our creation, and so that nothing stops us from loving Allah who arranged this life for us.
When Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) sent His messengers to show us the right path that we should follow, it was all out of His love to us. He loves us so much that he did not want to trouble us with looking for the truth, that the creator is Allah, nor with trying to find out what He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) wants us to do. So there have been the messengers to inform us that the Creator – Al-Khaliq – is Allah and that He wants us to love and serve Him using a moderate defined law; a law that the messengers have applied before the creation of Allah. By this law Allah spared us the confusion of searching for Him, the Creator and finding out what He wants from those whom He created.
Yet, the human choice was not an infinite choice. It was limited in what to do and what is not permissible by the law of Allah.
The Human Choice
Man was created free to choose. But was he given a boundless choice? Some of the people with superficial knowledge who claim that they are free to follow their mind and their own thoughts say with enthusiasm that they have the ultimate freedom. Some people even go further and say that a smart person is capable of creating his own destiny and that he can place himself in life wherever he likes.
We tell those people not to be hasty, for what they are saying is dismissed by the facts of life. Allah did not give man ultimate choice, He gave him the choice that best suits his role in life for He is the perfectly wise – Al-Hakim – and everything He does is with great Wisdom. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the knower of all – Al-‘Alim – and everything going on in His universe happens within His knowledge and not just haphazardly. Actually, things going on are inter-related and linked in a way or another, and man has not been given the ultimate choice in life.
And if everyone of us looks back throughout his life or if one even looks to himself and his soul, he will find a lot of things that is not submitted to his own will or choice. He will find that the majority of man’s life is not submitted to his choice.
Let’s start the story from the very beginning, when man comes to this universe, when he starts the first moment of his life breathing air into his lungs, the moment of his birth. Did he choose his place of birth? His date of birth? The hour he was born in? None of us ever chose his hour of birth, we all come to life by the decree of Allah. The introduction of anyone to life is not by his own choice nor is the place of his birth nor is his mankind, male or female. He does not choose his nationality whether Arabic, Britain or American. And he does not even have any choice over his own body whether he is short or tall, the color of his eyes, his hair, how his features look like. He does not choose his parents and he does not know if he can hear and see, if he has perfect hands and legs, if he has any illness in his body. All this and many other things man does not choose and by this Allah Ta’ala draws our attention to the boundaries of man’s choice from the moment he is born. And in that, Allah says
“He it is who shapes you in the wombs as He wills. There is no god but He, the Exalted in Might, the Wise” [Surat Al-i-‘Imran: 6]
By this Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) relates everything linked to the moment of birth and human configuration to His own ultimate power and He does not give man any choice in being born white or black, healthy or ill, and no choice in how his face or body looks.
Choice and its Boundaries
To those who say that man has been given ultimate choice in this universe, we tell them that the moment of giving birth dismisses what they are saying and that man even at the moment when he is born does not have any choice. And to complete the picture, let us move from the time of birth when man comes to this world up till the time of death when he leaves it. Does man have any choice when it comes to death? Is he capable of saying no to death? Saying that he does not want to die now or that he will delay his death to the next day or the next year? Definitely not, Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) warns us about that truth in many of his Ayat (Signs) in Al-Qur’an Al-Karim. He (Jalla Jallaluh) says,
“And every nation has its appointed term; when their term comes, neither can they delay it nor can they advance it an hour (or a moment)” [Surat Al-A’raf: 34]
About those who think that death is related to the events of life like war and conquests or accidents and who think that man by staying at home will escape death, Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says,
“O you who believe! Be not like those who disbelieve (hypocrites) and who say to their brethren when they travel through the earth or go out to fight: “If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed.” [Surah Al-i-‘Imran: 156]
And His saying,
“(They are) the ones who said about their killed brethren while they themselves stayed (at home): “If only they had listened to us, they would not have been killed.” Say: “Avert death from your own selves, if you speak the truth” [Surah Al-Imran: 168]
And the two Ayat Al-Karima talks about the infidels and the hypocrites and how they linked death to the human will and the universal events. In the first Ayah the infidels told their brothers that if they traveled and risked their lives or if they went to fight they might die or get killed. But if they stayed at home and did not travel anywhere, they will avoid accidents and they will save their lives. So those infidels related the time and place of death with the path they would decide to take or with their decision to travel, and they claimed that it would be a reason for their death. They thought that those who died or got killed would have been alive, if they had stayed in their homes. Death is a decree by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), there is no reason for it. Man dies because his life term has reached an end. A fighter who fights in lots of wars may stay alive, when another man staying in his room may die. For example Khalid Bin Al-Walid (radhiyallahu anhu) who fought in many wars but died in his bed and he said before dying “I have joined a lot of conquests and in every inch of my body there is a hit by a sword, a wound by an arrow or a stab by a spear and here I am dying in my bed same way the animals die. May the eyes of the cowards not sleep.”
So actually death is not related to being in war joining a conquest or travelling somewhere. A man staying at home may die while an armyman joining a battle or in a journey may come back safe. And then the second Ayah shows the hypocrites who refused to go to Battle, and how they were saying to their fellow hypocrites that if the believers had listened to them and had not gone to fight, they would have not died and that they would have been living among them. Al-Haqq tells them that they have stayed and refused to fight but yet if their concept is true they should be able to keep death away when it approaches them. Truly, no one can stop death whether one is in a battle, hiding at home or anywhere else. Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) explains this thoroughly in the Ayat that were descended at the time of Ghazwat ‘Uhud, when Muslims were defeated and the hypocrites and the unconfident said that if the decision was in their hands, they would have not gone to fight and those who died would not have been killed. Allah answers them by saying
“They said, “Have we any part in the affair?” Day [O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)]: “Indeed the affair belongs wholly to Allah.” They hide within themselves what they dare not reveal to you, saying: “if we had anything to do with the affair, none of us would have been killed here.” Say: “Even if you had remained in your homes, those for whom death was decreed would certainly have gone forth to the place of their death.” [Surat Al-i-‘Imran: 154]
They kept what they said to themselves and did not show it to the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), so Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) wanted to reveal the truth and inform his Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) about it. So then the reply came from Heaven, from Al-Haqq and He asked His Prophet to tell them that being in the battle does not bring them death and does not drive it away either. For those who were at home and were pre-destined to die would have left their homes to the place of their death where they would rest. That is, being conscious about danger and trying to get away from it will not give you more life because death is pre-destined by Allah and it is going to happen no doubt. Moreover you may find that a person pre-destined to die, is struggling to reach the place of his death. For example a man insisting to find a seat in a flight and may be paying more money for it not knowing that it is the reason for his death, that this flight is going to crash and all on board will die. And you may find someone else trying to reach a certain place and has suffered a lot of trouble to reach that place and then find death facing him there. Merely death is a decree by Allah and no one can run away from it.
LIFE and DESTINY
Allah Ta’ala explains that case more thoroughly by saying “Did you (O Muhammad) not turn your vision to those who abandoned their homes, though they were thousands (in number), for fear of death? Allah said to them, “Die”: Then He restored them to life. Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind, but most men are ungrateful” [Al-Baqarah: 243]
This Ayah was descended for the people of a village who were so scared from death due to a plague, that they had to leave the village. Allah Ta’ala wanted to teach them that they can never escape His destiny and that if Allah wants them to die they will not be safe by leaving that village to anywhere else. So Allah made them all die and then He, answering the prayers of their prophets, gave them life again.
Decree of death comes at a pre-destined time that cannot be delayed or anticipated for a single minute and it is impossible to run away from it. Allah has hidden the reason of death and the time it is appointed so that no one thinks that it is a mechanical procedure where we are born and then after aging we die, as if the length of our life is fixed and after reaching sixty or seventy we should die. For that the ultimate power of Allah made death with no fixed reason, the infant dies in his mother’s abdomen, the sick man dies as of his illness and the healthy dies without any known reason. The kid dies, the young man dies and the old man dies as well. This proves that death happens by the decree of Allah and that reason has nothing to do with it, for two men may have the same illness and both are treated by the same physician and you find that one dies in few days and the other lives for years.
Yet there are people who debate the issue of death saying that one can order the execution of a man or that one can decide to kill a man by a knife or a gun and by that he is capable of controlling death.
Those people try to doubt the issue of death being a decree by Allah and they claim that it can be in the hands of man. We say that those people are confused between death and murder. Allah Ta’ala only can give and take life and man can never do that but yet he can murder. Al-Haqq Ta’ala says
“Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is no more than a Messenger, and indeed many Messengers have passed away before him. If he dies or is killed, will you then turn back on your heels as disbelievers)? And he who turns back on his heels, not the least harm will he do to Allah; and Allah will give reward to those who are grateful” [Surah Al-i-‘Imran: 144]
So death is different than murder, because Al-Haqq says “Died or got killed” and Allah Ta’ala differentiated between death and murder in many of the Ayat in the Qur’an
“If they had stayed with us, they would not have died or been killed” [Surah Al-i-‘Imran: 156]
“Those who emigrated for the cause of Allah and after that were killed or died, surely, Allah will provide a good provision for them” [Al-Hajj: 58]
“And Whether you die or are killed, verily, unto Allah you shall be brought together” [Surah Al-i-‘Imran: 158]
Death and Murder
So Death is different than murder because in the case of the former, death comes first and then after that the body is destroyed. But in the case of the Murder the body should be destroyed first to cause death, for example by hitting one’s head and breaking it or by shooting him several times in the head or chest.
So in the case of Murder, you have to destroy the body first to get the soul out and cause death. On the other side, death is a way of getting rid of life first and then the destruction of the body follows, and that can happen only from Allah Ta’ala and man has no hands in it. Yet, murder is the ruining of the body first and consequently death follows. And that man who disputed with Ibrahim (alayhissalaam) about his God because Allah has granted him the kingdom argued with Ibrahim (alayhissalaam) also about the issue of Death and Life as in the Ayah “When Ibrahim said (to him): “My Lord is He who gives life and caused death.” He said: “I give life and cause death” [Surat Al-Baqarah: 258]
And that king had been lying about what he said because only Al-Haqq can give and take life and man can only murder, he can not cause death. And as we reach the point where man has no control over life and death, we also need to consider sleep that is also not in the hands of man. Sleep is a miracle that is confusing the whole world because it is still an unknown phenomenon. How man by just closing his eyes moves from one set of laws to another in a moment. For in the life of vigilance man hears with his ears, sees with his eyes, talks with his tongue and walks with his legs and he is bounded in time and space, limited by specific rules; for he can not travel from Egypt to the United States in less than few hours and he has to follow certain procedures. In that case he should go to the airport, check in, take the flight and spend some hours before he reaches the States, and then he checks out and so on…
And man in the life of vigilance (day life) sees with his eyes according to the strength of his sight; there is someone with good sight who can see from a far distance and another with weak sight who needs medical glasses and then material objects will obstruct his sight so he cannot see beyond a wall. Also man in the day life walks with his legs and his pace is limited even if he walks faster and he is bounded by his materialism so that if he falls from a high place he is killed or his bones are broken. Moreover, there is a lot of things hindered from man in his day life, for he can not see the dead, who relocated to the mercy of Allah, even if he stands in front of their tombs nor can he talk to them.And there is an endless set of rules in the life of vigilance that we all know about.
Dream and Consciousness
The moment man sleeps all those rules are cancelled, for he can travel to the States and come back several times in few moments. He can also see strange things and new places that he has never visited before. All that he can see with closed eyes although if someone approaches his eyes and almost touches it, he will not see or feel it because the eyes are closed, but yet with those eyes closed he can see very clear and he may say strange things that no one can argue about just like the king of Egypt saw in his dreams at the time of prophet Yousuf (Joseph) (alayhissalaam). Allah says about what the king saw in his dreams: “I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones were devouring” [Surah Yousuf: 43]
Is it possible that a cow can eat another in our day life? Of course not, we have never seen that happen before. And can the weak cow eat the strong one? No, that is really unbelievable. And man walks in his dreams with his legs on bed not even moving, and he moves from one place to another with his body staying in the same place, not even few centimeters away. Man also sees the people who died many years ago and chats with them. He sees himself young when he is already old and he sees himself fighting a lion and killing it.
All those and other things happen to us in our sleep, we dream about it and we see it and it never happens outside the area of mind and memory and that’s why when we wake up we can tell people what we saw in details because it is stored in our memories. And some kind of seeing device other than the eyes saw what happened clearly with all the details or else how could we describe our dreams. And the discussion with the people that moved to the hereafter life is one that we are aware of because we can remember it and repeat may be the same phrases and words.
So man moves within a moment from some set of laws to another that we know nothing about, but to which we submit in our sleep. The question here is whether we have will or control over those laws that we submit to while sleeping, or not? That is can any of us while sleeping chose the events that he would like to see in his dreams? Can he say that he is going to see this and not that? Or say that this night he can go to Europe and the following night to the Soviet Union? Of course not, because when man is asleep he is out of the area of human choice. He is not free to choose what he can or cannot see and he is no more able to choose the words that he talks with and those that he hides within himself and does not utter.
He is not controlling anything he sees although his dream coincides with the notion of the human brain. For example if someone tells you that he saw something in his dream, you do not deny him that and you do not argue with him because you know that there is dreams and that sometimes you are exposed to it. So you do not accuse him of bringing out a subject that is above the human mind, but instead you give the day life laws a break so you do not use it as a measure to what happens during sleep. Your mind also does not question anyone’s dream and you do not try to argue with him about it because you know from your own experience that man can see in his dreams things that does not submit to the normal day life laws.
But still no one is able to give us a scientific explanation for the laws that controls man in his sleep and how the soul moves from one set of laws to another within the same moment and then returns to the day life laws the moment he wakes up from his sleep and again back to the sleep time laws. And no one regardless of the scientific degree that he reaches, can explain how this transfer from one law to another happens, but we know that sleep is a reality and that everyone experiences it. We also know that in the sleep time laws we go beyond the measures of time and that’s why when Allah Ta’ala made the people in the cave (Ahl Al-Kahf) asleep for three hundred and nine hijri years, by the time they were awake they did not know how long they slept. And although they have slept all those years, what did they say by the time they woke up? Al-Haq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says “Said one of them: “How long have you stayed (here)?” They said: “We have stayed (perhaps) a day or part of a day” [Surah Al-Kahf: 19]
So man when sleeping does not feel the time and that’s why the seven sleepers – Ahl Al-Kahf – measured the time that they have slept by the normal sleep time measures which is usually part of the day or by most a whole day if he is very exhausted, but not more than that.
And to apply that on our selves, when we go to sleep and then wake up we do not know for how long have we been sleeping until we look to some kind of time measurement device as the watch or any other sign for time measurement like day and night. So we might have slept in the day light and then wake up late at night or vice versa, but no one can know the actual number of sleeping hours unless he turns his eyes to the watch.
Al-Haqq wanted to save us from searching for the laws that governs sleep and to let us know that we will not be able to discover it. So Allah Azza Wa Jal said
“It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep; those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect”
[Surah Az-Zumar: 42]
So we know that sleep submits to the laws of Al-Barzakh and we don’t know anything about the rules of life in Al-Barzakh, except what Allah has informed us about. All what we know about that laws of sleep is that there are things that we can see with and that it is different than the eyes that we use in the day life, and that we can move with something other than our legs that keeps us moving in the day life, and that there are words uttered with what is different than the tongue that we speak with in the day life, and that the world of Al-Barzakh does not rely on the physical senses that is totally idle during sleep. Actually we have other senses that we use in the world of Al-Barzakh and that world just like sleep does not have any human choice or any feel of the time and in that world we meet with people who have left this life and moved to the mercy of Allah before us, just as we meet them in our sleep world.
Allah Ta’ala gave us all that in mercy of our minds and to know that there are things existing in the unseen that we know nothing about so that the image of the world of Al-Barzakh gets closer to our minds and also to know that moving from the day life to the life of Al-Barzakh can happen in a moment and then we can understand the meaning of what Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) said “By the witness of Allah you are going to die in the same way you sleep and you are going to be resurrected in the way you wake up”
By now we have agreed that the human choice in life is not absolute choice, but a limited one and we have explained how man cannot choose the time and place of his birth, his parents, nationality, sex, homeland, how he looks, the color of his eyes and hair and many others. He also can not choose the time of his death and he does not choose anything in his sleep which actually narrows down the area of choice that will get much more narrower as we proceed in specifying the choice that Allah gave to his servants.
Choice and The Body
We mentioned that man was not given the ultimate choice from Allah, only a limited choice that best suits his mission in life and that coincides with the needs of the law of Allah that He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) assigned to man. And now we move to another area, the human body, to see whether the body is a property of man that he can do whatever he wants with or whether Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) wanted us to know that the human body is owned by Allah and that we are only heirs of it in our life time which is actually a testing period for us.
Most of the parts in the human body, the parts that are related to life and its functionality, and more are oppressed by Allah Ta’ala.
For in our bodies there are many organs that we know nothing about and we do not notice them unless they are destroyed or infected, but as long as they function in a normal way we do not feel them.
First we will start with those parts of the body that are completely oppressed by Allah Ta’ala and then we move to those parts that are still oppressed by Allah but that we have some kind of control over them.
If we look to the life cycle in our bodies we find that we eat the food, chew it with our teeth and then it goes through the esophagus to the stomach where it is digested in a complex mechanical process. Then the food goes to the small intestine where the nutrients that are the fuel of human life get absorbed and carried by the blood to different parts of the body and then the body gets rid of the waste through the intestine. Starting with the food, do we have anything to do with the reacting process taking place between food and the body? Truly not, when the food reaches the stomach where different enzymes are secreted upon it, it is a question of oppression, for no one willingly tells his stomach to start secreting the required enzymes and no one can stop the secretion of enzymes from digesting the food. It is a process that takes place in our bodies and we don’t feel it. If we watch a movie showing what happens to the food inside our stomach we will sure be stunned from the divine power that made all those processes take place in the stomach without man knowing anything about it. There have been a lot of people that lived and died without knowing how their stomach digested the food or what were the glands that secreted the enzymes necessary for the digestion process.
Then if we move to the liver for example, that has main functions in the body, do we know what the liver does? Do we feel it starting to work? Of course not, for the liver is working in the body without us knowing or feeling that process and it can go on like that for years as long as it is functioning in a normal way.
Do we know what does the small intestine do? And can we make the heart beat or stop beating when we want? And with the process of oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange taking place continuously in your lungs day and night, is it you that manages that exchange? And the blood circulation that is taking place in your body, do you know anything about it? The blood contains tens of the cells among which are the red and white cells and many more, do you know about them?
There is battles going on inside your veins, by the time the microbe enters the patient’s body the white blood cells starts to face it by preparing the immune necessary to kill the microbe and retain your health. Do you do that? Of course not for that is all subjected to Allah Ta’ala, you do not know anything about it and if you see it you are stunned that all those processes are taking place in your body without you knowing anything about it.
And more important is that you have no control what so ever over all those processes taking place in your body, they do not take any instructions from you and you cannot make them function or stop functioning and that is mercy from Allah Ta’ala. For, if they were subject to your will, it would have been a big problem.
Imagine that you are asked to order the heart to beat, the stomach to work and the lungs to breath. Surely you will not have the time to do all this and even if you have the time you will not be able to seek your living, improve your civilization and apply the laws of Allah. You will not be able even to sleep and how can you sleep when you are the one who orders the heart to beat, it will sure stop beating by the time you sleep. And how could a little kid who still doesn’t know anything, make those devices work without stopping?
Oppression and The Body
You are oppressed in most of your body and that oppression is a mercy from Allah Ta’ala so that you can go on with your life and do your work, otherwise if you had choice in your body, you would not have been able to survive.
So the majority of the human body is subjected to Allah Ta’ala and it functions by oppression and not by choice, it does what Allah Ta’ala wants it to do and it stops when the Creator orders it to stop.
And so you have no choice in that majority of your body and you do not have knowledge about it, except what Allah wants you to know. If He (Allah Ta’ala) wills to hide information about your body from the whole humanity, He sure will hide it. And if you find that this is awkward, remember that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) hides the information about the soul from all His servants. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“They ask you concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: “The spirit (comes) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you (O! men)” [Surah Al – Israa’: 85]
Where is The Soul
All of the scholars in religion could not tell us where is the soul that gives the life to the body. Is it in the heart? Or in the brain that thinks? Or in the blood circulation that never stops? Or in the feet that moves? Or in the eyes that see? Or in the ears that hear? Where is it? A question that science cannot answer, because it is a secret that no one knows except Al-Haqq, and it will remain a secret that only Allah knows.
So if you could feel the soul that is a creature in your body and you know its effect because it is giving you life, but yet you do not know anything about it because Allah Ta’ala hides all information about it from you, how come you say that your body is subject to your will? No it is not subjected to you but to the will of its Creator, Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).
If we move after that to the things in your body that Allah has made subject to your will. For example, Allah has made the tongue subject to your will, that’s why it obeys you when you want to witness that there is no deity but Allah “La illaha illallah” and it speaks the words – Al-Shahadah. And it also obeys you when you want to say the word of infidelity, Allah forbids. And your eyes obeys you when you want to see what is Halaal and when you want to meditate the Signs – Ayat – of Allah throughout His universe, or when you look to what does not belong to you and is forbidden by Allah – Haraam.
The hands obey you when you want to help with it a disabled man to cross the street and it also obeys you when you want to physically assault someone weak or to kill your enemy. And the feet obey you by going to the mosque or by going to places that serve wine and allow iniquity.
All those organs will obey you in all that you order, whether it is to obey Allah or to disobey Him, because they are tools subjected to your choice. But you should know two important facts: first that all those organs are praising Allah Ta’ala, and Allah has created your body from dust. And the atoms of dust that the body is created from chose to be oppressed to obey and so they are by themselves praising Allah. They obey the infidel in what he wants but at the same time curse him and at the Day of Resurrection, will bear witness against him and that witness will be a cause for sending him to Hell. Read what Al-Haq says:
“On the Day when their tongue, their hands and their feet will bear witness against them as to their actions” [Surah Al-Nur: 24]
And Allah also says:
“They will say to their skins: “Why do you bear witness against us?” They will say: “Allah has caused us to speak, He causes all things to speak: and He created you the first time and to Him you are made to return” [Surah Fussilat: 21]
Therefore all those organs that are submitted to your choice are only apparently submitted to your orders, but in fact they are praising Allah and at the Day of Resurrection when the infidel will go to Hell, those organs of the body will be in ultimate happiness because they cause pain for the infidel and punish him for his sins.
And if you want to go through a perceptible experience that confirms those meanings, look at the pilgrims at the time of HAJJ and you will find that they sleep very little of the night. Yet their bodies can endure the fatigue and short of sleep to a marvelous extent so that one can wake up after two hours sleep full of energy. Why? Because the body that is praising Allah is comfortable with the praise, the prayers and all the HAJJ ceremonies. For that the body does not want to sleep or to overlook the glorification of Allah, the praise and the prayers except for the least time possible and with that harmony the believer does not feel any fatigue in his body.
On the contrary, the infidel who does not do anything except the sins, you will find the atoms of his body always exhausted from those sins. That is why he sleeps till noon and even when he wakes up, he would still have the feeling that he wants to sleep again because the parts of his body that are tired from doing sins are hating to do them and are trying to have a break from those sins, and sleep is the only way to keep that infidel away from performing sins and so the body will look tired and exhausted pushing that man to sleeping for long intervals of time. That is why when the people go to HAJJ, you will hear many of them say to you that they had an incredible strength while performing the HAJJ ceremonies, so that they used to sleep few hours of the night and still were extremely active. They will tell you that they never had the feel of sleep and they wanted to remain awake all the night as well as the day.
Truly that happens but no one notices the reason behind it. The atoms of the body are harmonious with the obedience of their Creator and they do not want to overlook that obedience except for the least possible. This is the fact of Faith related to the human body.
No Choice in Your Body
So there are organs of your body that are oppressed and do not submit to your choice, and there are other organs that submit to your choice by Allah’s exploitation of those organs to obey you and not by your own subjectivity. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) gave you that choice and made those parts of your body submitted to your orders so that they will witness you on the Resurrection Day and will witness the best of the obedience that you offer and the most evil of the sins that you commit.
Al-Haqq wanted to draw our attention to that so that we do not think that those organs are submitted to us by our subjective abilities. For example, we think that we see with our own abilities and there are people with open eyes and yet cannot see. And if sight were subject to man, there would not be anyone that cannot see with his eyes. Also Allah Ta’ala made some men with feet that cannot walk so that we know that the feet do not walk by the ability of man but with the power of Allah or else how would it be possible that there are people that cannot walk with their feet. And He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) also made those people with ears that cannot hear and if hearing was subject to the ears, everyone with ears would have the ability to hear and everyone with a tongue would be able to talk.
Those few examples Allah made in His universe to give us a hint that our organs are subjected to us by the power of The Creator and not by our own abilities.
And Allah compensated all those people whom he denied the sight, hearing, walking or any other senses by providing them with other abilities that give them privileges that exceeds what the have lost and more. And He gave us examples of His power, by showing that loosing those senses do not prevent the people from reaching superiority in life especially in the area that needs those missing senses. And He made other examples of superiority in many fields that man would not be superior in without loosing some senses. Allah Ta’ala wanted by those limited examples among His people to give us the proof that the human power over anything is not subjective to man, but it is dedicated from Allah who made it subject to man.
We can see that man’s choice over his own body is bounded by the energy that Allah gave him and made it subject to his obedience. And all that man could do is to direct that energy which is created by Allah to take the action that he wants. But is that it? Is it the scope of choice wide open?
We say that there are a lot of things in this life that goes beyond your scope of choice, first of all is the power of Allah. For you have no choice over the predestined things that happen to you, they occur beyond the choice domain.
For example if you are walking down the road and a car hits you, or if a stone falls on you, or even if you get ill with some disease, is it within the domain of your choice? Could you stop an accident that is pre-destined by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala from happening to you. Could you prevent a disease or stop it from attacking your body. Of course you could not, for none of us has the power to push the fate of Allah that inevitably happens to us and over which we have no control.
This is the first thing that narrows down the scope of choice, for all of us are subject to the fate of Allah that we cannot do anything about. None of us nor the people around us can do anything about it and that is why regardless of what has been said about the human choice it could not exceed the limits that Allah Ta’ala has drawn around it. For you cannot push harm that has been predetermined by Allah Ta’ala away from yourself or your children and you cannot also stop benefits pre-destined for you by Allah. And that applies to all of us, the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak, the powerful among us (Kings and Emperors) and the powerless who do not own anything. And we should consider what Al-Haqq says in that:
“Say: “O Allah! Possessor of Power and (Rule), You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honor whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. You have power over all things” [Surah Al-i-Imran: 26]
If we read this Ayah, we will know that the power and kingdom come from Allah and they are not a result of human planning. Allah Ta’ala provides the reasons leading to power and kingdom to those whom He wills, and by that He enables them to have it.
And how many times has fate played a role where a man could find himself in great power without being qualified or powerful enough to acquire it. Everyone likes kingdom and power and everyone works on getting it, but they never have it except by the pre-determination of Allah Ta’ala. Because He is the true Possessor of Power and Rule and because earth with everyone and everything on it, all belong to Allah and Allah gives his kingdom to who ever He pleases. And if the kingdom has been reachable by the subjective abilities of human beings, they would have kept it for themselves and it would have not been taken away from them. But Allah Ta’ala says:
“In Your Hand is the good. You have power over all things” [Surah Al-i-Imran: 26]
And this Ayah is a proof that the kingdom is taken by force from man and that no one would ever want to leave it deliberately.
And that is why you find the person with the top most power, his orders being obeyed and everyone is submitted to him and all of a sudden, in a moment when the fate of Allah applies you will find the closest people to him are walking out of him and he then becomes scared trying to hide away and save his life by any means.
The diminishing of power away from him is not within his own abilities, but it is by the power of Allah and it is totally a question of inheritance on earth. For no one believes that he reaches power or even maintains it with his own abilities. Allah Ta’ala gives kingdom to who ever He likes and removes it from who ever He wants.
Fate and Choice
The events of the universe are the fate of Allah Ta’ala and they are the real aim of Allah in His universe and no one could prevent or stop or even intervene in the real will of Allah in His universe as it is executed on everyone and there is no choice in it.
The events that happen by the fate of Allah are not within the bounds of choice, the same as the events that happens to you from some other person, you have no choice in it. If you are walking down the street and someone came and slapped you on the face or threw a stone at you or shot a bullet at you or even attacked you at home, all those events and others that happen to you by some other person are outside the scope of your choice. For you have no choice in people verbally or physically assaulting you, by making you hear what you do not like or by beating or killing you. All that is outside the boundaries of your human choice.
By that, we see that the scope of choice is narrowed so that it is restricted to one thing, and that is what you do or what you say. All other remaining life events you have no choice in. You have no choice in your birth, death or hours of sleep. You also have no choice in what happens to you and is pre-destined by Allah Ta’ala nor in what is happening to you by some one else. So the remaining scope is what you really do and even in that narrow scope, your choice is bounded by part of it and the rest you have no choice in.
Choice and Al-Takleef
Our discussion about Al-Qadda wa Al-Qadar and the Choice has reached a limited point. You have no choice except for what you actually do, and even in that you do not have ultimate choice. Still your choice in what you do is limited and not everything you want to do is subject to your choice. Actually there are few things that you do and are subject to your choice.
Before we go further, we should understand the meaning of the deed. There are three terms the saying, the work and the deed and each of the three has a different meaning. The saying is the work of the tongue whose role is to speak. And the work is the role of the senses that execute what man wants and the doing is the coordination of the talk and the work. For that Al-Haqq says:
“O, you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do? Most hateful it is with Allah that you say that which you do not do.” [Surah As-Saff: 2-3]
So there are sayings, work and doings. Man can own the saying but he cannot own the doing. Why? Because the deed has conditions, that are not subject to his choice. The first two of those conditions are the time and the place for each action needs time and place to take part at. Time is measured by the events or actions that take place.
And for anything to happen in man’s life he needs time which can be at least few seconds. In our worldly life we measure our life by time, a task can take a year while another can take two years. An event could have happened a year ago and another could have passed for thousands of years. Something could happen tomorrow or the day after or even after a year. The man is 20 years of age and that other man is 70 or 80 years old.
Therefore the events of life for man are measured by time that is owned by Allah who created the time. We do not own the time on the contrary it is time that owns us. For man cannot stop the time, he does not have the power to remain a kid and not to grow up. He cannot remain a youth without aging and he cannot have the power to return to the past and go back in time for a year or more.
Also no one of us owns the future so that he can go twenty years ahead in one day. So if we cannot control the time, then we will not be able to control its events. By that anything that we do is beyond our power of choice with respect to time because we do not own except the moment that we are currently living.
Deeds … by Whom?
If you say that you will do something tomorrow, we will tell you that you are saying what you cannot or do not own to fulfill because you might not live till that day. And if you are still alive by that day you might have an illness that prevents you from doing what you wanted to do. You might not have the strength or power to carry it out. You might have a reason to stop you, for example one of your kids might get ill or die and by that you will not complete what you have planned to do.
The same thing could happen to the other partner that is sharing the same deed with you. For example, you have decided with another person to meet tomorrow at a specific place. Then that man had an urgent incident or a sudden illness or he had passed away. The meeting would never take place and so the act of meeting would not be executed.
Every action requires time and place. That is the measures of earth and the Worldly life, Al-Hayat Al-Dunya. If Allah gave you the factor of time, He might not give you the place. If for example you want to build a building, you could wake up in the morning and find out that the piece of land had been marked by the city for public use or as a historical area. You could also have someone stopping you and claiming the ownership of the land. You could not find the engineer to monitor the construction or you might not find the contractors needed to get the work done. You might not find the products to use in constructing the building. You do not own all that for you do not own the elements of the deed, but Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) owns them. And for that Allah Ta’ala says:
“And never say of anything, “I shall do such and such thing tomorrow”, Except (with the saying), “If Allah will!” And remember your Lord when you forget and say: “It may be that my Lord guides me unto a nearer way of truth than this.”
[Surah Al-Kahf: 23-24]
That is you should behave in what you say and relate the deed to Allah who owns it. You should not relate it to yourself and say that you are going to do this or that, but you should always relate it to Allah because He is the one that owns the true elements of the deed. He owns your life, He keeps you till you finish what you wanted to do or He ends your life before you can do anything. He owns the strength and provides it to you to be able to do what you want or He takes your strength away so you are not able to do anything. He owns the elements of place, He keeps it in a good state for you to go on with doing what you want or He makes it impossible for you to complete the task. And He has the power to make whoever He wants from his servants subject to you, to execute what you want. Or He does not make them subject to you and by that you cannot even start what you want to do. So if all the elements of action is in the hands of Allah, you should relate it all to Him and say “If Allah wills”.
So for the deed to happen and get completed, it is only in the hands of Allah. No one of us has the power to do what he wants except if Allah wills or if Al-Haqq Ta’ala gave him the life and energy to do it.
The Deed and Al-Qadar
Even with the things that are subject to you, that Allah Ta’ala have apparently submitted to your will, still nothing happens without the will of Allah. The feet do not move one step except if Allah gave them the power to step and the hand will not move without Allah giving it the power to move. There are a lot of people who try to question that, and we tell them to look at themselves and to the movements that they choose to do. They know that it all happens with the power of Allah Ta’ala. For when you are sitting, all what you do to stand up is that you feel you would like to get out of your chair and then Allah gives you the power to do that. And if you claim that you do this with your own power, then tell us how many muscle moves as you move from your chair? How many muscle contracts and how many expands to get you stand up?
The answer is that most of us does not know. The specialists in that area would probably know the answer, but yet even the specialists move instantaneously. And if man moves with his own power he will have to give orders to specific muscles to contract and relax. He would of course in this case take more time before he could stand up and that would be the time needed to give orders to the muscles.
Also when man walks he does not know anything about the movement that takes place inside his body. There are many processes that take place inside his body when he wants to jog or run. The heart beats faster to provide the body with more oxygen needed for running. The circulatory system also goes faster and so does the rate of inhaling and exhaling. The muscles move differently from the case of walking. All those changes do not happen with one’s own choice, it happens with the will of Allah Ta’ala. For it is He who gives the body the energy to do all that with out any intervention from man. And if that is not the case, it would have been very hard for the people to move and their movement would have been very slow.
Will and Movement
So the type of movements that we call voluntarily or mechanical movements, happen very fast and they do not deal with the human choice. Man does not tell the movement to start or to stop.
It is actually an energy that Allah Ta’ala provided you with its power. No one can claim that it is an internal power or that it happens by man’s own choice. Allah placed this energy in you, the energy to move and then he made you free to direct it. For you can direct the energy inside you, that is created by Allah, to good or evil. You can walk to the mosque or you can walk to the bar, Allah forbids. That move you made is not of your own power, but the power of moving is from Allah and you directed that power to good or to evil.
Your hands can hold the knife to cut the food to pieces small enough for you to eat. You can also hold the same knife to kill someone with it. You did not bring the energy in your hands to do what you did, but that energy has been provided to you from Allah. You only directed that energy that is provided from Allah to the hands that are also created by Allah, to do the good or evil.
And the tongue could say the truth or it could lie, it could witness the right or it could be wrong about it. It could say a good word or an evil word, but still you do not own any internal power to make your tongue talk. You only directed that talking energy that Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala provided to your tongue to obey or disobey. The same with all other organs of your body, that appears to submit to your choice. That choice is actually not from within yourself, because all those organs do not move according to your choice, but it moves by the power of Allah that He put in them and you only direct that power to the good or bad.
That is the scope of choice that Allah gave you. It is limited to directing the energy to the good or evil, and that is the responsibility that we are accounted for. It is the Amanah that man bore. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) wanted to create us free to choose and if it were that Allah did not create us free to choose, we would have not owned to choose anything. Yet we are only free to choose in the scope of our duty and from among the divine gifts that Allah wanted us to enjoy in our life. For example we can choose what we like of food, drinks, clothes and other blessings. But other than that we do not have any power of choice.
Choice in the Law
So we are free to choose in applying the law of Allah, the right approach to do and not to do. That law is actually the straight path that we are accounted for in the Hereafter because the meaning of “Takleef“ is to follow that straight path and get away from what is forbidden. That is strictly to do and not to do. And man by law should not move what Allah ordered him to do to the scope of what is forbidden. Also man by the divine law of Allah should not move what is forbidden to the scope of what should be done. For that would be mere disobedience. For you disobey Allah’s decree if you do what He forbids you from doing and if you do not do what He orders you to do. So that is the scope of your choice, and you will be accounted for it in the Hereafter.
By that we reach the real scope of choice for man in the worldly life Al-Hayat al-duniya, or to the area that Allah Ta’ala has created and within which He granted us the ultimate freedom so that choice takes place with the free will of man.
But why do we disobey the law of Allah and do what He asked us not to do? And why do we refuse doing what He orders us to do? Because Allah Ta’ala in that specific part made us free to choose. And if He did not make us free to choose, we would not own the power to do or not to do. For we do what conflicts with the will of Allah according to His law, from the concept that He gave us the freedom to choose. So the will of Allah to make us free to choose comes first and that is what gives us the power to choose.
The meaning of (Al-Takleef)
If we reach that point then we should know by now the meaning of (Takleef) and what is the choice with regards to humans. We should also know that man’s choice is according to the decree of Allah in what to do and what not to do and that it is the basics upon which we will be accounted for in the Hereafter.
But there might be some inevitable power that might interfere with man’s choice. We might be forced to do things and by that we are not free to choose the right path (Manhaj).
In that case, we say that the burden of duty (Takleef) is raised and you are not accounted for what you do. That is the Fairness of Allah for He will not make you accounted for something when you are prevented to freely direct your energy to do good or evil. For example, imagine that a man came and tied me with some chains so that I could not pray. Would I be accounted for not praying? Or would I not be accounted for it? Consider that someone came and ordered me to prostrate to someone other than Allah? Would I be accounted for that? Of course not because Allah Ta’ala says:
“Whoever disbelieved in Allah after his belief, except him who is forced thereto and whose heart is at rest with Faith.” [Surat An-Nahl: 106]
So the force is not accounted for when Allah Ta’ala gave us the choice in applying His law. He gave us the freedom to choose under the condition that we choose with our own free will. For Allah Ta’ala wants us to approach Him lovingly and willingly. By that He wants us to prove the lovingness to the great essence of His Highness. So whoever did any sin unwillingly or by force is not accounted for his sin. Similarly anyone who obeys Allah by force or without his own free choice is not rewarded for the good deeds that he committed. For worship should be done to truly prove the lovingness of Allah Ta’ala. If there is no true love for Allah in the believer’s heart and if there is no sincere devotion to Allah, then none of our deeds will be accepted. For example, if a man gives some charity to get praised as the most generous and the most religious or to be called the man of righteousness, he will not be praised by Allah and will not be rewarded for his deed as he did not do it out of love to Allah but actually out of love to celebrity and to get praised by people.
And if someone goes to a charity that is organized by the wife of someone in power and donates a big amount of money to get some favor done to him at work, he will not be rewarded for it because he has chosen to get an advantage in the worldly life (Al-Hayat Al-Dunya) and he did not do it out of his love to Allah. Same as with whoever prays to get people to say that he is praying and whoever goes to do the Hajj procedure to be called “Hajj”, he will not be rewarded for it as he headed for celebrity and he had no true love in his heart for Allah. In that the Prophet of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) says:
“All the deeds are according to one’s intention and everyone will get what he intended to do. For that who immigrated to Allah and his messenger will have his immigration to Allah and his messenger and that who immigrated for a life that he wanted or a wife that he married will have his immigration to what he wanted”.
So ultimate freedom of using one’s mind in directing the energy created by Allah to obey or to disobey is a main condition for Account in the Hereafter. Also forcing people to do grievous sins of adultery is not accepted in Islam and Allah says about that:
“And force not your maids to prostitution, if they desire chastity, in order that you may make a gain in the (perishable) goods of this worldly life. But if anyone compels them (to prostitution), after such compulsion, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most merciful (to those women, i.e. He will forgive them because they have been forced to do this evil act unwillingly).” [Surat An-Nur: 33]
And so we see that even with the grievous sins like disbelief and adultery, if it is practiced by force than there is no punishment for it. All deeds should be completed by freely choosing to use our minds to direct the energy created for us by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala. That energy should be directed to do good deeds or to do evil deeds. That is why the Fairness of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala ruled that the “Takleef” should be raised from the insane whose mind is unable to direct the energy freely to good or evil. That is because the insane could not distinguish between what is useful and what is harmful. The same with the child because his mind is not yet mature enough to direct him to the scope of correct choice.
Willing and Unwilling
Some people question how Al Haqq gave man the ultimate freedom in the scope of “Takleef” in what is permitted and what is prohibited and yet He made us accounted for our true intensions and not the apparent intensions. This is complying with what says about the day of Resurrection
“The Day when all the secrets (deeds, prayers, fasting, etc.) will be examined (as to their truth). Then he will have no power, nor any helper.” [Surah At-Tariq: 9-10]
If this is the case and if man is given the choice in the divine law “Al_Manhaj”, so how does Al-Haqq says:
“And unto Allah (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and in the afternoons.” [Surah Ar-Ra’d: 15]
We say that this Ayah is referring to the worldly life and the Hereafter. For whoever is in the heavens and the earth willingly bow down in worship for Allah Ta’ala. They do it “Taw’ann” with their own choice in this worldly life. Everything in the universe except for man and the Jann bow down in worship for Allah “Taw’ann” as they have chosen the oppression “Al-Qhahr”. They are oppressed with their own choice. But for man and the Jinn whoever of them chose to bow down in worship will do it willingly in this worldly life. But after this life, in the Hereafter there is no more choice for man or Jinn and they become oppressed. If Al-Haqq wants them to bow down in worship they will do it against their will, none of them can disobey. And if Al-Haqq wants them to be unable to bow they will unwillingly not be able to do it, complying with His saying:
“(Remember) the Day when the Shin shall be laid bare (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) and they shall be called to prostrate themselves (to Allah), but they (hypocrites) shall not be able to do so. Their eyes will be cast down and ignominy will cover them; they used to be called to prostrate themselves (offer prayers), while they were healthy and good (in the life of the world, but they did not).” [Surah Al-Qalam: 42-43]
So bowing down in worship “Prostration” is done willingly in this life and then it is done unwillingly in the Hereafter because choice ends by death and all become oppressed to Allah Ta’ala.
Choice and Deprivation of Choice
We should be aware of an important point to which Allah Ta’ala wanted to draw our attention and that is the choice we are granted in life is with the power of Allah and is according to His will. And if He wanted to deprive us that choice, He would do it because it is granted to us with His own will. That is why Allah says about Abu Lahab, the uncle of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and one of the chiefs of infidelity who had vigorously fought against the religion of Allah:
“Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab (an uncle of the Prophet) and perish he! His wealth and his children will not benefit him! He will be burnt in a Fire of blazing flames! And his wife, too who carries wood (thorns of Sa’dan which she used to put on the way of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) or use to slander him). In her neck is a twisted rope of Masad (palm fibre).” [Surah Al-Masad]
Al-Haqq Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala announces in the Qur’an – which is never changed or replaced and that is brought down upon His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) to worship Allah by reading it till the day of Resurrection – that Abu Lahab will die as an infidel and that he will go to Hell.
So what would be the case if Abu Lahab have gathered the people and said “Muhammed mentions in the Qur’an – that he claims to be brought upon him from Allah – that I will die as an infidel and will then go to hell and here I am saying in front of you that I witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammed is His messenger so that you all know that there is nothing sent to Muhammed from Heaven”. Abu Lahab could have said that even out of hypocrisy to destroy the whole case of the religion.
But Allah defies Abu Lahab in something that is within the scope of choice. And yet it never occurred to the mind of Abu Lahab, to use this defiance in destroying the religion that he strongly hated and opposed. Actually a lot of the main chiefs of infidelity like Abu Sufyan, Khalid ibn Al-Waleed, Amr ibn Al_’Aas and others fought Islam strongly but after that they had strong faith in Islam, except for Abu Lahab who rejected Faith till the last moment of his life.
Al-Haqq wants to draw our attention to the fact that He provided man with choice and that if He wills to take it away, man will have no power of choice. That is what happened with Abu Lahab, Allah took away choice partly from him and then placed in his hands a case by which he can destroy the religion of Allah but he could not do it and it never hit his mind to use it because in that specific point he did not own the choice.
And so we find out with the definite proof that Allah gave man the freedom to choose in what to do and what not to do and that if Allah wills, He can take it away partly or fully from man.
By that we reach the point that the deed is from Allah nothing happens without His consent and His will because He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) alone owns all the elements of deed. Man’s choice is only in directing the energy that Allah created for him to do the good or evil. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) gave man complete freedom within the scope of “Takleef” to do and not to do. Man can be able to go for what Allah forbids and he can get away from what Allah orders him to do and only within that scope there is reckoning. Even that freedom of choice is subject to the will of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), He can take it away fully or partially whenever He wants. So we should understand that the freedom of choice is from Allah not from man and that Allah Ta’ala wanted to make man free to choose.
Except what Allah wills
We have pointed out how the freedom granted by Allah to man is represented in the way man directs the energy created by Allah in his body towards obeying or towards disobeying, And we have mentioned that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has given man the ultimate freedom to direct that energy towards what he wants so that judgment will be just. At this point we can find some people pausing at the noble verse where Allah says:
“And We sent not a Messenger except with the language of his people, in order that he might make (The Message) clear for them. Then Allah misleads whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”
[Surah Ibrahim: 4]
And in His saying:
“Thus Allah leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And none ca know the hosts of your Lord but He” [Surah Al-Mudaththhir: 31]
And there are a lot of verses in the Noble Qur’an that we are going through in this chapter and they all confirm that Allah leads astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. If that is the truth where the will of Allah is what leads astray or leads to the right path, then how will the judgment be just? And do any of us hold anything in his hands against the divine will of Allah Ta’ala?
First, we say that Allah Ta’ala has the ultimate power in His universe for all the rulings of this universe are created by Allah and the creature can never control the will of his creator. That is why Al-Haqq the creator of the universal laws has breached them for His Prophets. He made the fire whose ruling is to burn, cool and peaceful for Ibrahim (alayhissalaam) and He made the sea with its ruling to istitraq, splits for Musa (alayhissalaam) and He gave ‘Eesa (alayhissalaam) with His own leave the ability to heal those who are born blind, the lepers and to resurrect the dead. Allah gave all those miracles to His prophets to strengthen their proclamation of Allah, but He (Azza Wa Jal) did not want to limit the absolute power to His prophets only. For we can see that absolute-power every day in watching the weak having victory over the strong, or the discriminated having victory over the compelling, or a powerless person having victory over the powerful.
The Absolute Power
If anyone of us looks back to his life, he will find out that one day he must have out cried from within himself with the feel that God is Great, that God is around, or that God adjourns punishment but never disregards it. We do not say this except if we are watching an event where the divine power is absolutely obvious. For if we reason what we are watching we will not say or feel the same because it will then be a normal thing. We do not say God is there when we see the strong having victory over the weak because what has happened is ruled by reason, the law that we see every day. The victory of the wrong doers over the oppressed people does not let us say that God adjourns and never disregards because it is also reasoned by the law, that we see daily when the oppressors have victory over the oppressed people. But we do not see the absolute power except in the injustice inflicted upon man. That is because the judgment in everything is postponed till the day of Resurrection. The only exception is the oppression of man, for Allah Ta’ala takes revenge from those who devour people’s rights in the worldly life so that the life is balanced and so that the people will know that there is a worldly revenge for injustice besides the hereafter revenge. That is why Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) says:
“Beware the prayer of the person treated unjustly for there is no barrier between it and Allah. Allah lifts it over the clouds and says: ‘With My Might and Majesty I will give you victory even if it is after a long period of time'”
The meaning of Guidance
But Allah’s Justice wanted to give man the freedom of choice in the course ‘Al-Manhaj’. So with that freedom how do we say that He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) leads whom He wills to the right course and leads astray whom He wills? Before we discuss that point we first need to know what is the meaning of the guidance ‘Al-Huda’. The guidance is the lead to the way, for when someone asks you about a specific direction, you tell him to go to a specific place then to go right or left to reach that direction as if you have guided him to it. And at the same time the guidance is used in the sense of facilitating the way. When someone asks about the way to go to a specific place and you tell him that there are two routes leading to that place and you advise him to take the second route because it is safe and illuminated while the first route is surrounded by danger and there is a lot of burglars in it making it unsafe, then by that you have not only led him to the way but you have also helped him to reach it safely.
The first type of guidance, leading to the right way is from Allah to all His servants. The Prophets and Messengers came to lead the people to the right path, the way to Allah’s course ‘Al-Manhaj’. To convey the message to the people upon who the Messengers were sent, means to lead them to the way of guidance to Allah’s course and to show them the way that pleases Allah and the way that leads to Allah’s wrath and by clarifying that, the guidance reaches all the creatures. After the last of the Messengers, Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), came with the message of Islam the nation of Prophet Muhammad was asked to lead the people to the way to Islam. That is to talk to the people about it and to show them what Islam has brought to them and if the Muslim nation does not do that then they will be accounted for it.
Let us consider the case when a man lives alone in a cave away from the whole world and no one has conveyed the course of Heaven to him. That man will not be accounted for on the day of Resurrection, yet the conveyance of Allah’s message is still valid up till now and the evidence for that are the orients (westerners), who try to find every possible way to defame the religion of Islam. This means that those orients have attained some knowledge about a religion and a course of Allah known to be the religion of Islam. But there are some people who know that there is an Islamic course and religion but they never care to know or read about that religion. Those people will be accounted for because man in every aspect of his daily life when he hears about anything that interests him, he starts asking and reading about it. If he wants to occupy a specific job, he will be totally prepared for it by joining the college that will qualify him for that position and he will start studying and reading from other references to add to his knowledge about that position. And also if a man wants to buy something, he will do a survey about all the competitor’s products in the market and do a price comparison before he selects one.
Even in the luxury events like the tourism for example, if a man would like to visit a specific country, he will read about it to know the popular places to visit and to choose a place to stay in during his visit. If that is the way with our daily life interests, then should we not give some more attention towards the most important aspect of our life, the religion of Allah, and towards worshiping Allah more and in a better way.
Absolutely, that should have been happening but some of us are interested in the most trivial aspects of life and if they hear about the religion of Allah that leads to the right path and that either sends man to lasting delights or enduring punishment, they will not listen to it and that is why they are accounted for.
So the guidance is the lead to Allah’s path so that the people know the religion of Allah, worship Him and obey Him in what He orders. But there is another way to Allah’s path and that is the help from Allah Ta’ala, which He made exclusive to His faithful believers. If a man is sincere in his belief, Allah will help him and will provide him with more guidance and in that Allah says:
“While as for those who accept guidance, he increases their guidance and bestows on them their piety” [Surah Muhammad: 17]
And if you read what Al-Haqq said to His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam):
“Verily you [O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)] guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills” [Surah Al-Qassas: 56]
And if you also read what Allah Ta’ala says:
“And verily, you [O Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)] are indeed guiding mankind to the Straight Path (i.e. Allah’s Reilgion of Islamic Monotheism)” [Surah Al-Shurah: 52]
We find that Al-Haqq has affirmed the guidance to His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and that He has also disapproved him the guidance. Then how come can the messenger of Allah Ta’ala lead to the right path and still he cannot lead the people he loves to the right path? When you ask this question we say that you have not understood the meanings of the Qur’an. For the guidance that Al-Haqq has approved to his Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the leading guidance. Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) has led the people to the way of belief and to the way of obedience and he has clarified to them what brings Allah’s wrath and punishment. But the other guidance that Allah has disapproved from His Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the aiding guide in the way Allah Ta’ala adds more guidance to everyone walking in the right path and how He facilitates their way and makes them more loving to their Faith.
That is why Allah Ta’ala says about His Divine Entity:
“But Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it into your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) hateful to you. Such are they who are the rightly guided” [Surah Al-Hujurat: 7]
Actual Intention and Prescribed Intention
Allah Ta’ala has an actual intention in His universe and because that intention is surely befalling, no one can withstand it. And He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) also has a prescribed intension in His universe, in the religion that He has established for the people. In that prescribed intension of Al-Haqq Ta’ala, He gave man the freedom to obey or to disobey. He gave them the freedom to follow or to withstand, and that prescribed intension in what to do and not what to do is what the servants of Allah withstand. But no one can ever withstand the actual intention in the deeds that take place in Allah’s universe, For that when you read what Al-Haqq says:
“And as for Thamud, We showed and made clear to them the Path of Truth (Islamic Monotheism) through Our Messenger, (i.e. showed them the way of success), but they preferred blindness to guidance” [Surah Fussilat: 17]
Allah Ta’ala showed Thamud the way to guidance and made it clear for them, but they preferred to disobey and withstood following Allah. Everyone can do the same through Allah’s will by which He has created man free to choose how to apply the law of Allah (Shar’i Allah) or how to follow the path of sins. Allah being merciful on us has clarified to us the consequences of following the way of guidance as well as the consequences of following the wrong path. It is His mercy that He made the key to Heaven and the key to Hell in our own hands. It is every one’s choice to walk the way of Heaven by having Faith in Allah or to walk the way to Hell by disobeying Allah.
Allah Ta’ala clarified to us what He is doing to those who take the road of Faith and to those who take road of sins and infidelity. For every one who reached the road of Faith and got what Allah has promised him, has got the will of Allah fulfilled in him. And everyone who chose the road of sins and infidelity and got what Allah has warned him, has also got the will of Allah fulfilled in him. The faithful will not get away from Allah’s will and the same with the wrong doer, he will not get away from Allah’s will. And the judgment in both cases is just, because man chooses with his free will the way to go, whether it is the way of belief or the way of sins and that is after Allah has clarified to him the consequences of taking each way.
NO Punishment except with a Text
Allah Ta’ala does not punish for a sin except after He first prohibits it. From there, the societies came up with the legal concept that there is no quilt implied without a text. For the text has to come first before a deed can be considered a guilty action. That is why after the noble versus (Al-Ayat Al-Karima) have been descended showing what Allah has prohibited, anyone doing those illicit acts would be considered guilty and entitled to punishment. And Allah clarified to us what would happen to those who follow the path of Faith. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“While as for those who accept guidance, He increases their guidance and bestows on them their piety”
[Surah Muhammad: Ayah 17]
And He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“But Allah has endeared the Faith to you and has beautified it in your hearts, and has made disbelief, wickedness and disobedience (to Allah and His Messenger Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) hateful to you. Such are they who are the rightly guide”. [Surah Al-Hujurat: Ayah 7]
And Almighty says:
“Whoever brings a good deed (Islamic Monotheism and deeds of obedience to Allah and His messenger Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) shall have then times the like thereof to his credit” [Surah Al-An’am: Ayah 160]
And His saying:
“The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah, is as the likeness of a grain (of corn); it grows seven ears, and each ear has a hundred grains. Allah gives manifold increase to whom He wills. And Allah is AllSufficient for His creatures’ needs, All-Knower” [Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 261]
And many other noble versus that show the good that is awaiting the man that walks in the path of Belief. Moreover, Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) clarified how He will help the believer and how He will reward him and facilitate his way. All that is in the worldly life and we are not talking about the Hereafter here for there is another book about that topic. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says in a holy narration (Al-Hadith Al-Qudsi):
(I am up to my servant’s expectations and I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in his soul I remember him in My soul. And if he remembers Me in a group, I remember him in a better group. And If he gets closer to Me by a length of a hand, I get closer to him by a length of an arm (twice as much) and if he gets closer to Me by the length of an arm, I get closer to him by the length of a ba’a (4 times as much). And if he came to Me walking, I come to him with a quicker pace).
All those blessing from Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) for facilitating the way of Belief, Allah Ta’ala mentioned them and clarified them and He determined the way, for if we took the way of Faith all those blessings are awaiting us. It is very important that we take the first step and after that we will get Allah’s help and aid. If we take the first step in believing and walked the road of Belief we will get all those graces (ISA) by the will of Allah. And if we take the road of infidelity and get away from Belief, Allah forbid, then what happens to us? Allah says:
“And whoever takes Shytan (Satan) as a Wali (protector or helper) instead of Allah, has surely suffered a manifest loss”
[Surah An-Nisa’: Ayah 119]
And He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“And recite [(O Muhammad Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam)] to them the story of him to whom We gave our Ayat (proofs, evidences, versus, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), but he threw them away; so Shytan (Satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray” [Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 175]
And His saying:
“And whosoever turns away blindly from the remembrance of the Most Gracious (Allah) (i.e. this Qur’an and worship of Allah), We appoint for Shytan (Satan- devil) to be a Qarin (a companion) to him” [Surah Az-Zukhruf: Ayah 36]
And His saying:
“Verily, We made the Shayatin (devils) Auliya’ (protectors and helpers) for those who believe not” [Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 27]
And His saying (Subhanhu Wa Ta’ala):
“Shall I inform you (O people!) upon whom the Shayatin (devils) descend? They descend on every great liar, sinful person” [Surah Ash-Shu’ara: Ayah 221,222]
And many other verses in the noble Qur’an show us that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) abandons the non believer and leaves him to the devils (Shayatin) who adorn the false to him and drag him to the way of sins so that he becomes more guilty and more disobeying. And that will entitle him to the punishment and Allah will set a seal on his heart so that he never gets out of his infidelity and he might even be one of the human devils, and all other things that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has prepared for the infidels who are going astray.
For if you believe, you will enter the Will of Faith and Allah will give you all what is promised to the believers. And if you enter the Will of Infidelity, then you become with the devils (Shayatin) and in either case you do not get out of the Will, that is you do not get away from what Allah wills for the way to Faith and the way to Infidelity.
Whom Allah does not Guide
Then Al-Haqq Ta’ala clarified to us those whom He does not admit to his guiding will. Allah Almighty says:
“And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people” [Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 264]
And Allah Almighty also says:
“And Allah guides not the people, who are Zalimun (wrong doers) [Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 258]
And His saying:
“And Allah guides not the people who are Al-Fasiqun (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah”
[Surah At-Taubah: Ayah 24]
And His saying (Azza wa Jal):
“Truly, Allah guides not him who is a liar, and a disbeliever”
[Surah Az-Zumar: Ayah 3]
And Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“Verily, Allah guides not one who is a Musrif (a polytheist, or a murderer who shed blood without a right, or those who commit great sins, oppressor, transgressor), a liar” [Surah Ghafir: Ayah 28]
And by that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) showed us who is prevented his guidance. For if you are an infidel (Kafir) or a wrong doer (Zalim) or a disobedient to Allah (Fasiq) or a liar or a transgressor against your soul (Musrif), then Allah will not guide you and guidance here means the help to reach the way of Faith and the help to increase that Faith. And Al-Haqq clarified that to us so that we get away from those things and stop doing them so that we end up entering Allah’s will of guidance.
And in both cases, you enter the will of Allah and you do not get out of it. If you choose to get away from the infidelity, the wrong doing and disobeying Allah then you enter to the will of Allah’s guidance. And if you take the road to infidelity, wrong doing and disobeying Allah then you will enter the will of Allah by not guiding you. So in both cases you do not get out of the Will and nothing will happen to you except what Allah wills for you, for there is no way out from Allah’s will in what ever choice you take.
This is the mere truth and you should know it so that you do not think that if you believe or if you disbelieve, you are getting out of the Divine Will with your Faith or with your Disbelief. All what has happened is that you either obeyed or disobeyed Allah’s prescribed intention and you did not leave of the Divine Will and you are not leaving it.
By that we have reached the point where everything happening is by Allah’s will and truly Allah has created a leading guidance for all the people, the believing and the disbelieving. And He also created a helping guidance, and that is only for the true believers with which Allah increases their Faith. And Allah has showed us what He pleases for those who believe in Him and what He pleases for those who do not believe in Him, and He clarified for us how He increases the Faith and guidance of the believer and how He abandons the infidel and leaves him to the devils (Shayatin) who beautify the sins to him and persuade him to disobey Allah and then He seals his heart so that the disbelief stays and does not get out of his heart.
And you if you chose to believe or not to believe, what Allah pleases will happen to you, either by increasing your guidance or by following the devil (Al-Shaytan). But in both cases you are entering the Divine Will and you are submitted to it, if you obey the prescribed will of Allah in His universe, then you will enter the Will and if you oppose and disobey Allah’s prescribed will in His universe, you willalso enter the Divine Will.
Allah Encompass All Things
We talked about the believers and the infidels and how both of them do not get away form Allah’s will, but they only obey or disobey Allah’s prescribed intension in His universe. But the dispute of the non-believers leaves us several points that need to be addressed. For man is in most things contentious and he tries to find a way to escape Allah’s punishment and he claims that the punishment is Allah’s will and that he has no choice in it.
We say yes, punishment is the will of Allah, but it is you who choose the path to Allah’s will to enter his mercy and bliss or the path leading to his wrath and punishment. The key is in your own hands, for when you believe Allah increases your faith. When you wake up to worship Him in the middle of the night Allah raises you in position and when you read the Qur’an Allah increases your reward. When you do the good deeds Allah raises you to a high position and when you decline from all that Allah distances you more from his obedience and leaves you to Satan (Al-Shaytan). And here we come to the noble verse that a lot of people dispute. Al-Haqq says:
“And surely, We have created many of the Jinn and mankind for Hell. They have hearts wherewith they understand not, and they have eyes wherewith they see not, and they have ears wherewith they hear not (the truth). They are like cattle, nay even more astray; those! They are the heedless ones” [Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 179]
Those who want to wrongfully dispute would say since Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) has created those people for Hell (Jahannam) and since He made them with hearts that do not understand and eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, then what is their guilt to be punished in Hell?
We say that you did not understand the meaning of the noble verse for Allah has created those people with hearts that understands but they do not want to use it and He has gave them eyes that can see but they do not see with it and He created them with ears that listen but they do not want to listen.
For if we take their hearts for example and the heart is the place where the Faith settles after it has been debated fully by the mind, we find out that they refuse the correct logical notion. They say as was mentioned in the Qur’an:
“And (remember) when they said: “O Allah! If this (the Qur’an) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment” [Surah Al-Anfal: Ayah 32]
Could that be the words of people with hearts that understand? Would not the logic make them say that if that is the righteous from Allah then may God guide us to it. But in that specific point they would rather take the wrong path and they would prefer the punishment above the belief in “Al-Haqq”, the righteous. Never the less we should emphasize that in their worldly life and their trade they take the right decisions to increase their wealth. They prepare for the shipments and deal with money very well, for those who say such words are the elites of Quraysh (Greatest group in Makkah) and the wealthiest among the Arabs. But when it comes to religion and the righteous, they get away from the correct understanding and correct logic and they start talking as if they have no hearts to know or understand. Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) did not create them with hearts that do not understand, He created them with normal hearts and they refused to use it. More than that they are so negligent that they know that the message of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the Right but they ask for punishment rather than believe in the Message.
The Eye Sees .. But ..
And if we talk about their eyes for example, we find that Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) made their eyes able to see but they do not use that function. For Musa (alayhissalaam) came to the people of Fir’awn (Pharaoh) with a lot of signs that they had seen with their eyes and in that Al-Haqq (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners)” [Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 133]
All those signs that Al-Haqq sent to the people of Pharaoh were signs that could be seen by the eyes without any effort. The wholesale death that drowned the earth was obvious for every one of them. The locusts that ate the crops were watched by all the people, and also were the lice and the frogs that they found in their food. And the water that turned to blood whenever they tried to drink it. Were not all those signs visible to all of them? Yes but although they saw it they did not believe as if their eyes did not see. Because the objective of seeing is to know something, make sure you see it right and believe what you see.
But those people saw things and they did not believe it and by that they were the same as those who are not able to see. When the infidels asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) for the moon to split as a sign from God to prove that he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) is the Messenger, the moon was split. Did the infidels then believe in what they saw? No and they said that Prophet Muhammad did magic to their eyes and by that they were the same like those who could not see because they watched and refused to believe.
And for their ears that do not listen, did not the infidels of Quraysh say as mentioned in the Qur’an:
“And those who disbelieve say: “Listen not to this Qura’n, and make noise in the midst of its (recitation) that you may overcome” [Surah Fussilat: Ayah 26]
As if their hearing devices is working and could hear, but they themselves stopped using them to listen to the words of Allah and they asked the people not to listen when they themselves should have listened and understood.
Didn’t they say about the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) that he was a poet, a soothsayer and possessed? Was that applicable with the right logic typical to the sayings and acts of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)?
Did the Messenger of Allah say one line of poetry before he has been responsible for conveying the Message so that they call him a poet? Did he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) practice any supernatural deeds before the Message was sent upon him so that they call him a soothsayer? Did they hear anything from the Messenger of Allah other than the best words and the best deeds? They used to call him the Faithful and the Trustworthy and they all bore witness that he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) had the highest standards of character and manners and when he (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) came with the Message they called him possessed.
Could those words that they said about the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) be applied to what they have seen, heard, reasoned or understood from the most honorable man, Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). Of course not but their senses functioned normally before Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) conveyed the Message of Allah and that was why they called him the Trustworthy and described him to be the man with high standards of character and manners who never lies or betrays their trust.
But after the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was made responsible of conveying the Message they revoked their brains, their eyes and their ears and started talking with their vain desires as if they did not understand, see or hear.
Saying that Al-Haqq did not create for them hearts to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear is not correct, but they unutilized their senses because they do not want to believe so they did not use them and if they have utilized them correctly they would have believed.
But Al-Haqq says “And We have made” that is We have created, for since the origin of creation Al-Haqq has ruled that those people are in Hell although by that time they did not do anything yet.
We call that Allah’s Knowledge that encompasses His Universe, for Allah’s knowledge has no boundaries and He knew the moment He created them that they are going to be among the people of Hell. And how would some people say that this is a strange thing knowing that Allah’s Knowledge includes everything in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.
Did not Nooh (alayhissalaam) say as mentioned in the Qur’an:
“And Nuh (Noah) said: “My Lord! Leave not one of the disbelievers on the earth! If You leave them, they will mislead Your slaves, and they will beget none but wicked disbelievers” [Surah Nuh: Ayar 26, 27]
Who told Nooh (alayhissalaam) that those people are infidels and that they will give birth only to wicked and ungrateful generations? He took the wisdom from the earlier signs that he saw in front of him while trying to convey the Message of Allah to his own people whom he had lived among for a thousand year less fifty years (950 years). And Satan (Iblees Al-Shaytan) did not he say as mentioned in the Qur’an:
“[Ibees (Satan)] said: “By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism” [Surah Sa’d: Ayat 82, 83]
Who told Satan (Iblees – Al-Shaytan) that he is going to divert every servant who is unfaithful to Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala)? Al-Haqq clarified to us that in His saying: “And indeed Iblees (Satan) did prove true his thought about them: and they followed him, all except a group of true believers (in the Oneness of Allah)” [Surah Saba’: Ayah 20]
So Satan (Iblees – Al-Shaytan) said that by guessing because he felt the acceptance of Adam and Hawwa to the diversion.
Allah’s Encompassing Knowledge
If we look at the normal human; for example if you see that your son is not studying and is careless about his classes, you will say to him that he will not pass his exams and definitely he will not. Did you know the unknown future then? Or had you concluded that from the facts around you. And the same with the teacher who explains the lessons to a class of 20 students and says that only ten of the twenty students are going to pass the exams and actually only ten students pass. Does this teacher predict the future? Or did he judge them by evaluating their work in class.
If that happens with the humans who are Allah’s creation with their limited knowledge and weak power, do you think that it is hard for Allah Ta’ala and He is the Creator and the All Knowing to know by fact that some of his own creatures are in Hell. If the Creatures of Allah could guess some predictions that turn out to be true, would not Allah’s knowledge reach definite conclusions by surety? Of course it does and Allah knows by surety. This is confirmed by what He says:
“Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves), All-Aware (of everything)” [Surah Al-Mulk: Ayah 14]
Allah’s knowledge is beyond our power and beyond all the knowledge that we could possibly have. That is why it is easy for Allah Ta’ala to know the destiny of His creatures. But some people would stop at the words of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), Al-Hadith Al-Nabawi
(A man amongst you acts like the people deserving Paradise until between him and Paradise there remains but the distance of a cubit, when suddenly the writing of destiny overcomes him and he begins to act like the denizens of Hell and thus enters Hell…..)
So how would the judgment be just when someone who is performing the deeds of the dwellers of Paradise until he becomes very close to entering it and then he stops doing that as it is pre-destined for him and he ends to be among the people of Hell. And how would one of us doing the deeds of the dwellers of Hell because of his destiny turns out to be among the people of Paradise. For if it is already written in the book it seems as if entering Paradise or Hell is already pre-destined irrespective of what he does because the book has already changed the consequences of his actions. Those words are spoken a lot and is taken as an excuse for those who have transgressed on themselves and want to blame others for what they do or want to say that it is out of their hands and it is already pre-destined for them, the same as the Pagans say as Al-Haqq clarified to us in the Qur’an. He (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“Those who took partners (in worship) with Allah will say: “ If Allah had had willed, we would not have taken partners (in worship) with Him, nor would our fathers, and we would not have forbidden anything (against His will)” [Surah Al-An’am: Ayah 148]
The Pagans who are associating partners (in worship) with Allah, by saying that they want to throw the responsibility of their faults on the will of Allah. We tell them, yes you have not been out of Allah’s will as we have already shown that those who believe and those who disobey are both not out of Allah’s will. The one who believed entered the will of Faith and so Allah helped him to the way of Guidance and he endeared Faith to him and he will end to be in Paradise. And the one who expiated and associated partners with Allah (We seek refuge from Allah to protect us against that – wal ‘uiaz be Allah) entered the will of Infidelity. Allah Ta’ala has not helped him to guidance and has left him for the devils (Al-Shayatin) to send him astray. So neither the believer nor the infidel has walked out of Allah’s will.
Warning From Satan (Al-Shytan)
We go back to the Hadith of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam). He (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wanted to warn us from the obsession of Satan (Al-Shaytan) and from the vain desires of our souls. He also wanted to open the gate of hope in front of us and not to close it so that those who believe would take every precaution and those who disobey would hang to Allah’s repentance and forgiveness. That is why in Al-Hadith we see that a man will do all the good deeds that makes him deserve to be among the people of Paradise, but is then tempted by Satan (Al-Shaytan) who concentrates on seducing the faithful believers and never leaves them alone. Just as Al-Haqq tells us that Satan (Al-Shaytan) concentrates his seduction on the believers in the noble verse:
”Surely, I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path” [Surah Al-‘Araf: Ayah 16]
So Satan (Al-Shaytan) does not concentrate his effort on the places of amusement and wickedness where there is wine served. For he is already done with the people in those places and they do not need to be tempted any more as they have already fallen into seduction. Their lusts and vain desires have responded to the seduction and they have become helpers of the devils (Al-Shayatin) and that is why Satan does need to spend any effort with them but he focuses his effort on the people who do their prayers, the ones who obey. He approaches them by all means; he tempts them with illegal money and if they resist he will tempt them to do adultery by beautifying women to them and if that does not work he will seduce them to take bribes or to gamble or lie or drink wine.
And by that Satan (Al-Shaytan) keeps on beautifying the wrong deeds to the believer until he falls into doing the sins. If Satan fails in driving man into sins, he never loses hope and he starts approaching him from the acts of worship. He for example, whispers to man to make him doubt his ablution (wudhu) and repeat it many times. And every time man makes ablution (wudhu), Satan would whisper to him that his ablution (wudhu) is not accepted and he would do the same when man makes his prayer. And in that way Satan (Al-Shaytan) keeps approaching man from the side of Faith and keeps whispering to him until the acts of worship becomes hard on him, although religion is meant to be easy.
The main objective of Satan (Al-Shaytan) is to make the acts of worship hard on the believer so that he would hate it or to make the believer think desperately that his devotion is not accepted from Allah so that he would stop performing it altogether.
The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wants to draw our attention to the access points that Satan (Shaytan) uses with the believer so that we would know it. For our prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) wants us to know that Satan (Shaytan) will not leave us until our life term ends. Shaytan never loses hope and he keeps whispering to us to stop our devotion by saying that we have Paradise guaranteed. He keeps repeating those words until we are wrongly convinced by his concept and we reduce our devotion and do less good things. Then Shaytan tempts us to do sins until we slip into it one after the other and then the writing of destiny overcomes us. The writing that Allah pre-destined for the sinners and for those who walk away from his course and by that are deprived of Allah’s lead to guidance.
But also those who perform sins should pay attention that the door of repentance is open as long as they live and as long as the time of death has not come yet. That is why they have to be quick in the race for forgiveness for if they do that and act like the dwellers of Paradise, they would enter the will of Allah’s guidance and He would then help them to guidance and would endear Faith and beautify it in their hearts. Allah Ta’ala would change their evil into good and they would become among the people of Paradise.
So we can see how the Noble Hadith does not mean that the person who performs good deeds would irrespective of his good deeds go to Hell.
We Bear Witness Against Ourselves
Then comes a question that is repeated by those who want to doubt Allah’s fairness and put despair in the hearts of people so that they would stop their acts of worship. Those people say that if in the knowledge of Al-Haqq that a person is among the people of Paradise or among the people of Hell, will not that be sufficient without any need to work on it? We say to those people that the worldly life is a place of examination for man and there is a difference between the saying and the doing. For a man might say a lot of things that he will not do when the time comes for doing it. For example, a soldier before going to the battle might tell you that he will kill twenty soldiers from the enemy’s side, but when the fighting actually starts he is the first to run away and leave the battle. And also a person might tell you that he will give you a thousand dollars if you do something for him and when the time comes for paying he is stingy and does not give you anything.
Al-Haqq draws our attention to that in His mighty book and says:
“And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Qur’an) from Allah confirming what is with them [the Taurat (torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], although aforetime they had invoked Allah (for coming of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)) in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved, then when there came to them that which they had recognized, they disbelieved in it, So let the Curse ofAllah be on the disbelievers” [Surah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 89]
This is regarding the Jewish people for they were telling the infidels from Al-Madinah that the time has come for a new Messenger that they the Jews would believe and follow and with the Messenger they would kill the infidels in the same way the People of Ad and Thamud were killed. But after the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) was sent, the Jews were the first to reject him and fight him and they plotted conspiracies to kill him.
And the people of Pharaoh asked Musa (alayhissalaam) and upon our Messenger, to lighten the penalty on them and they promised him Faith and when Allah answered Musa’s (alayhissalaam) call they did not believe and continued to reject. And in that Haqq Ta’ala says:
“But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word!” [Surah Al-A’raf: Ayah 135]
And the noble Qura’n is full of verses that shows us how the non-believers and the hypocrites and others say and promise things and when time comes to fulfill their promises they do not perform them.
So there is a difference between the words and the deeds, and to prevent man from coming on the Day of Resurrection to dispute and say to God that if He had invited him to Faith he would have believed and that if He had sent a Messenger he would have followed him and that if He had asked him to do good deeds he would have done them, there should be a practical test for man to go through so that he would witness against himself on the Day of Resurrection. In that case man would not come to say that if God had guided him to Faith he would have believed because Guide came to him but he did not follow it and he would not claim that if God had sent a Messenger he would have been the first to help him because Allah had actually sent the Messenger but he was the first to fight him.
So on the Day of Resurrection man should witness against himself and should not dispute at the time of Account because he experienced the practical test and failed it. And that is according to what Allah Azza Wa Jal says:
“(It will be said to him): “Read your book. You yourself are sufficient as a reckoner against you this Day” [Surah Al-Isra’: Ayah 14]
But that test, the test of Faith in the worldly life does not happen because Allah is not knowledgeable or because He wants to increase his knowledge, for Allah’s knowledge encompasses everything, but that test is only for people to bear witness against themselves. Exactly in the same way we have exams for the university students, for the university does not do those exams to learn from the students, for it has provided them with the knowledge, but it actually do it so that every student bear witnesses against himself. If a student comes and claims that he did well in the exam, they will get out his answers and he will see that he has failed and cannot then dispute. Here we reach the point that those people who Allah has described them in the noble Qur’an to have hearts that do not understand and eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, they themselves have ruined their own sensing devices and they have not used them in what Allah has created them for. Also man should beware from the whispering of Shaytan because if he follows it, then it will move him from the will of Faith to the will of Infidelity, though in both cases he does not get out of Allah’s will. We also reach the point that this present life, the worldly life is a test for us so that we would bear witness against ourselves and so that we do not come on the Day of Resurrection to dispute but to know that Almighty Allah’s knowledge encompasses everything.