Sheikh Hatem Mohammad Al-Haj Aly, professor of Fiqh at the Shari`ah Academy of America, said: “Let us first agree on a few things before we embark on explaining the concept of divine decree.
1. We may not be able to comprehend everything, which is only natural and expected of human beings; after all, we are not perfect. We even vary between each other; some may be able to understand certain concepts in math, chemistry or physics while others can’t. So, what do you think about comparing our knowledge and wisdom to that of God? It is so arrogant of us to think that we can understand everything when we know that we can’t even see or hear all things. Doesn’t our mind depend on our senses to provide it with data, which the mind will later process? What do you think of this data? We all know it is as defective as our hearing and sight and other faculties.
2. The way to God, however, must be simple and comprehendible by all, since we are all required to recognize him and accept the truth sent from him. That is why Islam, unlike other religions, is simple to understand and accept. The one God, who is omnipotent and perfect in all attributes, who created the universe, sent the messengers, and will resurrect humans to a day of reckoning. All this is perfectly simple and proven by compelling evidence. Now, compare that to the concept of the trinity, which is hard for the clergy in the various Christian doctrines to understand, agree about or persuade the public of.
3. Once you have recognized God and accepted the true message sent from him, you should submit to him and never doubt his knowledge or wisdom. That is to say, you should respect your limitations and acknowledge His perfection. That, however, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be looking for his wisdom in the various aspects of the religion to further confirm your belief and reach higher levels of certainty, but it means that if you couldn’t completely comprehend one thing, it shouldn’t cause you to doubt that which you are certain of, which is the greatness of God and the truth of Islam.
4. The divine will is one of the hardest aspects of religion to fully comprehend, and that is been the case with humans since their beginning.
5. We must have faith in Allah’s justice and fairness. Now, let us try to understand the divine will – as much as we can -.
Allah is the creator, owner, controller and disposer of all affairs of this universe. He is omnipotent and compeller, and no one or thing is beyond His power and control. That means that nothing in this universe takes place outside of his control and domination.
he said about us and our will: “But you cannot will, unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.” (Al-Insan 76:30)
the verse, however its meaning; does indicate that we still have a will. Allah gave us a will; that is why we will be held accountable. Yet, this will of us is still superseded by His, as clear from the verse.
Let me give you an example: if you want to have a child, what do you do?
You propose to a suitable lady, get married and thereafter, you will both have a child insha’Allah (If Allah so wills). And the last word (insha’Allah) says it all. If Allah so wills! Because if he didn’t, you will not have the child, no matter how much you try. That child, then, was willed to exist by Allah, who also created him. But, can you say I am not responsible for him? He came with the will of God and God created him, so I have nothing to do with him. If you say that, all people will consider you insane. The same applies to your deeds. They are like the child in many aspects. You make provisions for them and attempt to do them without being forced into them. They are still under the control of Allah, who brought them to existence and you are certainly responsible for them.
Let us go back to the beginning:
Allah created us all with his will and he wrote all that is to take place in his universe in the preserved tablet 50,000 years before he created the heavens and earth, as reported by Muslim from Abdullah ibn `Amr who was quoting the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him).
Allah also said about the creation:
“Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation, as written in the Book of Decrees Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz) [or due measure].”(Al-Qamar 54:49)
Allah then created man, and showed him the two ways, good and evil, He said: “Verily, We showed him the two ways” (Al-Blad 90:10). Some accepted the guidance, and others rejected it, thus Allah diverted their hearts away from it. Given, they don’t return to him in repentance.
He said: “And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance), as they refused to believe therein for the first time, and We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly. (Al-An`am 6:110)
he also said: “Nay! But on their hearts is the Raan (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn” (Al-Mutaffifin 83:14)
Some accepted the guidance by Allah’s grace, and He further helped them confirm their faith, He said: “Allah will establish in strength those who believe, with the word that stands firm, in this world and in the Hereafter; but Allah will leave, to stray, those who do wrong: Allah does what He wills.” (Ibrahim1
Allah is all knowing, and he knew those who are deserving of guidance and those who are not. He, out of fairness, will never hold the people accountable based on his previous knowledge until their actions come to existence.
Many times, ignorant people argue that everything is written and what is the use, then, in striving? Those people, however, never say to themselves when they are hungry, it is written whether I will eat or not, but they go and fix food for themselves.
It also remains to be said that no one knows what is written, and thus may not say it was imposed on him to go to the bar Vs the masjid. Before he left home, he didn’t know what was written, thus he may not claim the writing was the cause of his misguidance and wrong decisions.