Confused about Allah’s Decree and Person’s Will
Fatwa No: 387334

  • Fatwa Date:27-11-2018 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 19, 1440
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Question

Assalamu Alaikum, I have a question about al qadr. I had trouble understanding it and I read the book by ibn uthaymeen and alhumdulilah it's more clear now. But it's hard for me to understand something, do people choose to believe or disbelieve or is this because of the decree and will of Allah? In the Quran it says that those who believe and do righteous deeds will be rewarded and those who disbelieve will be punished. But in the Quran in surah al-A’raaf it says that those who Allah sends astray those are the losers. Allah also says that He guides whom He wills. Also in surah An'aam He says whomsoever He wills to send astray He makes his breast closed and constricted. So do people have a choice to believe or disbelieve in their hearts? Because people are rewarded and punished based on whether they believe or not and Allah will not punish someone for something they didn't do. So for the ones who disbelieve do they choose it, because they will be punished for it? Can you explain me what it means in the Quran when Allah says Allah sends astray?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

The Decree is the secret of Allah in his creation. Refraining from thinking about its details is more appropriate for a rational person. It is enough for the believer to confess what is proven in the Book and the Sunnah, which is the doctrine of Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, that there is nothing that happens in the Kingdom of Allah except by His Will, and no incident takes place except with His Permission.

There is absolutely nothing in the entities of the slaves and their deeds except that Allah created them. He is the One Who Created the slaves and their actions. It is He who misguides whomever He wishes and guides whomever He wishes.

Misguiding whomever He wishes, is by creating the will of misguidance in his heart. Guiding whomever He wishes, is by creating the will of guidance in his heart. Despite this fact, Allah, Exalted be He, did not compel anyone to do any particular deed; rather, He created a will in the slaves by which their actions happen. Allah is really the One Who guides and Who misguides; and the slave is really the one who is guided and misguided. The slaves do not have any argumentation against Allah, but Allah has the far-reaching argument. Allah had sent Messengers, revealed Books and did not leave any room for excuses. The slave is guided or misguided with his own will, and he is held accountable for the act that he does with his own will without being compelled by anyone.

Every sane person distinguishes between a compelling act, such as the beat of the heart and so on, and a voluntary act, such as standing for the prayer and the like, even though all of this happens according to Allah’s Will and Creation.

The slaves are held accountable for the acts they have done by their own choice and their own will.

For more benefit, you may refer to the Book al-Qadhaa’ wal-Qadar authored by Dr. Omar Al-Ashqar (may Allaah have mercy on him), and read the dissertation of Ibn 'Uthaymeen about Al-Qadar (Decree) with some attentiveness, and you will get rid of confusions in this subject, provided that you do not think too much about this meticulous subject and not indulge in it.

Rather, act according to the obedience of Allah as much as you are able to, avoid disobeying Him and hope for His Mercy. This is the way for salvation.

For more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 286615, 363415, 55820, 85447, and 90421.

Allah knows best.

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