Sheikh Muhammad Nur Abdullah, former President of the ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) and member of the Fiqh Council of North America, states: This is a complicated issue that requires a high level of trust and submission to the will and wisdom of Allah. The whole concept of qadar is based on the belief in Allah as having the absolute knowledge and wisdom, and therefore we owe him worship and servitude.
Human beings are created with freewill. Allah created us and showed us the right from wrong, and gave us the ability to choose between them. Allah says: ”And shown him the two ways (i.e. the good and evil paths).” (Al-Balad:10) He also blessed us with the instrument of choosing and distinguishing between right/wrong – that is the faculty of understanding. A sane person is able to make choices, and therefore, he/she is judged accordingly, whereas an insane person is absolved from such accountability since he lacks the faculty of understanding by which he could make distinction between right and wrong.
Allah’s knowledge is unlimited. He is the Omniscient, and therefore, He knows everything about His servants. However, Allah judges us for what we willingly choose to do, and not according to what He knows we will do. Even when we think of something evil, we will not be judged until this evil thought has been put into practice. If the evil thought is not carried out, it is forgiven. So we have to differentiate between Allah’s knowledge and Allah’s will.
As for Adam, of course Allah knew he would eat from the tree, but he did not force him to eat, and he did not punish him until after the later ate from it. The Qur’an (Taha: 115) tells us that Adam ’did forget’, and in another verse (Taha: 121) it tells us that ‘Adam disobeyed his Lord.’. However, Adam repented (Taha: 122) and Allah accepted his repentance. Hence, Allah did not obligate Adam to sin.
In brief, we are instructed to follow Allah’s commandments; do what we have been ordered to do and avoid what we have been forbidden to do. If we do anything bad, it is because of our wrong choice: ” Whatever good, (O man!) happens to thee, is from Allah; but whatever evil happens to thee, is from thy (own) soul. And We have sent thee as a Messenger to (instruct) mankind. And enough is Allah for a witness.” (An-Nisa: 79)