Allaah punishes based on justice and rewards as a favor
Fatwa No: 30566

  • Fatwa Date:28-2-2011 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 25, 1432
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Question

Is man driven by predestination or free to choose his actions? If he is driven to do what he does, then why should he be punished for doing things that he did not do out of his own will?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

 

Please note that anything that happens in this universe takes place by the will of Allaah and His Divine Decree. At the same time, Allaah the Almighty punishes people for their sins as an act of justice, and rewards them for their good deeds as an act of favor and grace.

Are people therefore driven or free to choose?

In fact, people are both driven and free to choose. All the acts that a person does are an execution of predestined universal rules and he cannot change them. From this perspective he is driven. On the other hand, he is given reason and senses through which he can distinguish between benefit and harm and he is given the power to carry out what he wills, and no one compels him to follow any particular course. So, from this perspective he is free to choose.

Being absolutely driven by predestination would mean that a person may intend to do something but he does not find the means to do it. Being absolutely free to choose would entail that he does things that are not predestined.

Allaah Knows best.

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