This is a question we all had or we all do struggle with. Some believe in predestination, some believe in Free Will and some deny one of them. But in actuality, there exists a free will and there exists a predestination/luck.
Let me give you example to make you understand, so what is something that is predestined and you have no say on it, can be for example, you’re biological parents.
Likewise, in life, you have control over which path you choose, what decision you take, or which perspective you grow yourself too. For example, move your arm in the air. Didn’t you do it? Similarly, growing a beard or shaving your head. They all are free will, Allah does know about it all. But none of it was predestined.
There is a third wheel to it, and that is the magnificent Knowledge of Allah. The knowledge of the unseen, the knowledge of now, the knowledge of the past, and the knowledge of the infinite future. Allah SWT knows, what path will you take and where will you end up. Not that, he would force upon you a path, you would still have to think and choose.
But if Allah knows, I am going to hell, why did He create me in the first place, isn’t He the all merciful?
Do not confuse Allah’s knowledge with predestination. Just like a role-play in a game, which path you choose is completely upon you. He is the developer of the game. He knows all the possibilities and cracks. And which path will the person choose and get what.
But that still doesn’t take away the fact, you are the controller. You choose the path, he provides you, with the blessings accordingly. For example, a person gets a wage daily, the other person gets a salary monthly. You will get what you do, how you do it and why you do it.
Hard work and predestination
Does hard work increase wealth, if I work harder in my exams will I get better grades? Will I get the same grades, if I didn’t study at all?
Again here comes the essential part of Allah’s knowledge, Allah knew billions of years before you, that you would work hard or you wouldn’t work hard. And He set the different outcomes of the different possibilities.
So if I work harder, would I be rewarded more? Yes!
Does everything happen due to Allah’s plan? Yes!
“And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures. None knows them but He; and he knows what is the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it.” (6-59)
Predestination is the time you will die, the time you are born and the different possibilities created for you. Free will is your own decision on which path to choose. There isn’t one possibility of life, you choose the possibility. But likewise, Allah with his brilliant knowledge, already knows what you will do and how you will do it. He has influenced a human brain with almost all cognitive behaviors, from greed to fear of guilt to massive love and support.
If Allah knows something bad would happen to me, why doesn’t he stop it and protect me? There is a reason why Allah gave the long amount of precautions that a human rejects to listen too. As they think, they are being prisoned/restricted. Which in reality isn’t the wrongest thing yet, most of the horrifying punishments Allah SWT talks about can be itself a precaution to scare people from not doing it. As they are not the “right thing” to do, but that doesn’t mean people stop doing it.
For example, a person disobeys Allah, and drinks. After drinking too much, that specific person being totally unconscious of his true self or good self. Harasses the people, on the streets. Now, obviously, that person should be punished, that person will be punished in both the worlds. But what about the person about to be oppressed? Allah SWT with his massive and complete knowledge made rules that might not always be applicable but they are made to ultimately prevent us from the shadow of evil. Whether it may be through desire or bad choices.
Similarly, why doesn’t Allah stop the injustice happening in the world or why doesn’t He save us when he knows something bad would happen to us?
What’s the point of creating a testing ground, when it’s Indeed Allah who brings law and order? How will Allah be able to recognize the culprits and the pious? Now you may ask, but Allah has the supreme knowledge. But don’t forget, you have the supreme choices as well.
Those are limits set by Allah. Those who obey Allah and His Messenger will be admitted to Gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (forever) and that will be the supreme achievement. (4-13)
In the end, We fulfilled to them Our Promise, and We saved them and those whom We pleased, but We destroyed those who transgressed beyond bounds. (21-9)
So in short, the divine reality of existence, their timelines and the possibilities are way too complex for us to give a clear answer to, but from a two dimensional perspective, We have choices, Allah is aware of the possibilities (each possibility is directly proportional to the choice you make) and Lastly Allah with his divine knowledge know where will you end up, thus why He constantly challenge your decisions to make you rethink about the whole existence itself.
-Muhammad Billal Ali (Author | Life Coach | Content Creator)