I have a few questions I’d like to put out to the Muslims & Christians on here.
Some questions might appeal to one religion more so than the other and the questions are sort of related to eachother, but whatever.
1. If God is all seeing, all knowing, and the great planner of everything, does this mean he plans evil?
2. Can you have mercy without sin? If not, does this mean we have to become a sinner before we can “find God”?
3. If our lives are planned, does this contradict our free will?
By the way I’m asking out of intrigue, not trying to sound like a condescending twat. I genuinely want answers.
Hi, these questions are asked often by both Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Here’s my perspective on what I think it means:
- Evil is not a ‘commodity’ like good in the same way that dark is not a ‘commodity’ like light. The one exists in the absence of the other. This ties in with the concept of fate and free will, which also relates to your third question, so I hope to deal with it more comprehensively in that answer. Essentially what I’m saying is that God doesn’t plan good or evil. He simply makes available the choices to us with predetermined outcomes, and what we choose is what determines whether good or evil results from our actions.
- Assuming that mercy is only required when we sin overlooks the fact that mercy is also needed to continue giving without reason or recompense. What I mean is that we often only think of asking for mercy if we realise that we’ve done something wrong. However, as Muslims, we consider every good that we receive, and every comfort that we enjoy as a mercy from Allah. So we believe that we’re indebted to Allah for all the mercy that He shows us even though we are often not complying with what we believe to be His will or instructions for the way we should be living our lives.
- Free will and destiny are often very misunderstood. As Muslims, we believe we have a limited free will, and not an absolute free will. What I mean is that I can choose how I respond to a situation, or how I want to act, but I cannot control what situations or experiences are presented to me. This world is a perfect system in that every action has a predetermined reaction. These are the natural laws and order of things that we believe was created by Allah. Therefore, whatever we do, the outcome is known to Allah because He created the ‘rules’ that govern existence and how everything interacts. But in this system, there are variables, and these variables allow us to exercise our limited free will. So by exercising our gift of reason and logic, and our ability to act on it, we choose either to encourage good, or evil. How we choose, and how we comply with the laws and guidelines set out for us is what determines our standing in Allah’s court, and subsequently will determine our final fate when we’re called to account on the day of judgement.
I’ve contemplated the issue of fate and free will previously, so if you’d like to read more about my thoughts on the subject, you can see some of my previous posts under the tag of fate.
I look forward to hearing your views on this.