Question: If it is Allah who wills and creates everything, why does He wills and creates evil deeds?
It is Allahu ta’ala who creates everything, but He has endowed partial will (iradah al-juz’iyyah) upon human beings. They are free in their partial will, and they are not obliged to commit sins. The Creator of good and evil actions that humans do with their own free will is Allahu ta’ala, too. It is wrong to put the blame on Allahu ta’ala because He creates deeds according to the wishes of humans. The Jabriyyah group places the blame on Allah. The Mu’tazilah group, on the other hand, maintains that Allah does not interfere in the actions of humans. The Ahl as-Sunnah is the middle path in this regard.
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states:
Allahu ta’ala decrees, wills, and creates good and evil. He is the Creator of both the good and the evil, yet He is pleased with the good and displeased with the evil; that is, He dislikes the evil. Will and approval are different from each other. Only the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnah were able to see the difference between them. The
other 72 groups, being unable to understand this distinction, remained in heresy, all losing their way. (Vol. 1, Letter 266)
Disbelievers and faith
Question: Allah orders everyone to have faith. But why does He not will disbelievers to have faith?
Having a dislike for His deeds, one cannot ask Allahu ta’ala the reasons for His actions. Allahu ta’ala knew in eternal past the things that would take place in the future. His knowledge is dependent on the events that will occur. That is, He knew them the way they would occur. He knew them as they would take place that way. People are not compelled to do certain deeds as Allah knew them that way.
Allahu ta’ala’s will is suitable with this knowledge of His. His attributes qudrah (omnipotence) and takwin (creativeness) are suitable with His will as well.
It is Allahu ta’ala’s divine law of causation to create everything through some cause. So He made humans’ free will a cause for His creating their good and evil deeds.
He sent prophets to humans to teach them faith and the ways of doing good deeds and deserving rewards [in Paradise]. He commanded them to have faith and to perform acts of worship and good deeds. He has prohibited them from disbelief and from committing sins and evil deeds. He has given them wisdom and enjoined these responsibilities on owners of wisdom. He does not hold responsible those to whom He did not give wisdom.
What is the fault of disbelievers?
Question: There are many Qur’anic verses stating that Allah guides whomever He wills and leaves in heresy whomever He wills. This means to say that Allah makes everybody a Muslim if He wills. Then why does He not bless the irreligious living anywhere in the world with the lot of faith? Does the fault lie with the disbelievers?
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani states the following on this issue:
Allahu ta’ala’s fayd, favors, blessings, gifts, that is, His kindness, reaches everybody every moment, no matter whether he is good or evil. Without discriminating, our Lord sends everybody property, children, food, the right way to Islam, guidance, safety, and every kind of goodness. The difference is in the way people accept and receive Allah’s gifts, or in their not being able to receive them. It is declared in the Qur’an al-karim: “Allahu ta’ala does not wrong or do injustice to His servants. They treat themselves cruelly and wrong themselves with their own evil thoughts and loathsome deeds that draw them to torments and sufferings.”
As a matter of fact, while the sun shines over the laundryman and over the linen in the same manner, it tans the man’s face, while whitening the linen.
By the same token, though it shines over the apple and over the pepper in the same manner, it reddens and sweetens the apple, yet it reddens and makes bitter the pepper. Though the sweetness and the bitterness are caused by the rays of the sun, the difference between them is not from the sun; it is from them.
The reason why people cannot attain the blessings of the Hereafter is that they turn away from Him. He who turns away will certainly get nothing. A container with a covered brim will certainly not get April’s rain. Yes, many people who have turned away still seem to live with worldly blessings and so they are considered as not being deprived. But these are given to them as a reward for their struggling for this world. However, worldly rewards He gives to those who work for only the world are, in actual fact, the seeds of torment and calamity. They are disasters misrepresented as blessings.
Accordingly, the following Qur’anic verse declares: “Do disbelievers presume that we are doing them a favor by giving them such worldly things as property and many children? Do they think that We are rewarding them because they disbelieve my Prophet and dislike the Islamic religion? No, it is not so. They are wrong. They do not understand that these are not blessings, but disasters.” Then, as this verse says, the worldly things that are given to those whose hearts have turned away from Allahu ta’ala are all desolation and calamity. They are like the sweetmeats given to a diabetic. (Vol. 1, Letter 64)
When the heart wants to follow the nafs and commit disbelief or sins, if Allahu ta’ala pities that person, He does not will him to commit disbelief and sins. So he cannot do them. If He does not pity him, He wills him to commit the sins and creates them. Then He punishes him. Therefore, the reason why a man is drawn to torments and disasters is due to his own behavior; that is, his heart follows his nafs, not the religion.
Doing favors to disbelievers
Question: In the book Endless Bliss, the meaning of the Basmala is explained as follows: “… with the aid of Allahu ta’ala who has done favors to every being by creating it, by keeping it in existence, and by protecting it against annihilation.” I contemplated the creation of a person who is born and dies a disbeliever, and I could not understand the statement “who has done favors to every being by creating it.” Secondly, why is it a favor for disbelievers to be protected against annihilation every moment?
No one is born a disbeliever. Everybody is born in a nature well fitted for becoming a Muslim. This fact was declared by our Master the Prophet. In other words, the child of a disbeliever is born in a nature well fitted for becoming a Muslim. It is a chance for him whereby a favor is meant. It is up to him whether he accepts it or not.
If the child of a disbeliever grows up as a disbeliever, it is he who is at fault, for Allahu ta’ala bestowed wisdom upon him. If he does not use his wisdom to find the true path, it is not Allahu ta’ala who is responsible for it.
Allahu ta’ala has granted wisdom to disbelievers. He also gives them time in order for them to have faith. Is it not a favor?