Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Shaming the Shameless Apologists of Islam: Predestination in Islam

In the previous article in this series we took a peep at the meaning of "Apostasy in Islam" and the ramifications for Muslim apostates. We looked into the world of scholarly Islam to see what Islam really proposes as a fate for those who dare to leave the Fortress of Islam.
The second part of this series we shall look at what Islam says about Predestination. We will also look at the common arguments put forward by Islamic apologists and the falsehood of their claims.

In fact, Muslims, especially those who have converted from Christianity to Islam in the West, these days use a lot of materials from their former religions and try to establish that, in Islam, God has given abilities to do good and bad deeds to all humans; they have a free will in these matters. However most Muslims, especially the ones who are born into Islam, would consider this as an affront, simply because, saying that God or Allah has given humans the authority to choose their actions gives them the authority to choose Heaven or Hell for themselves. This would amount to infringing on the rights of the Almighty Allah, Who has the power over all Human beings, their destinies and their lives. In fact, the centrality of predestination in Islam can be understood from the following verse of the Quran:

Qur'an 97:1 "We have revealed it (the Qur'an) in the Night of Predestination."

Let us also look at the following Hadith by Bukhari [Bukhari 6:60:473]:

Narrated 'Ali:

While we were in a funeral procession in Baqi Al-Gharqad, Allah's Apostle came and sat down, and we sat around him. He had a small stick in his hand and he bent his head and started scraping the ground with it. He then said, "There is none among you, and no created soul but has his place written for him either in Paradise or in the Hell-Fire, and also has his happy or miserable fate (in the Hereafter) written for him." A man said, "O Allah's Apostle! Shall we depend upon what is written for us and give up doing (good) deeds? For whoever among us is destined to be fortunate (in the Hereafter), will join the fortunate peoples and whoever among us is destined to be miserable will do such deeds as are characteristic of the people who are destined to misery." The Prophet said, "Those who are destined to be happy (in the Hereafter) will find it easy and pleasant to do the deeds characteristic of those destined to happiness, while those who are to be among the miserable (in the Hereafter), will find it easy to do the deeds characteristic of those destined to misery." Then he recited: 'As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and believes in the Best reward from Allah, We will make smooth for him the path of ease. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self sufficient, and gives the lie to the Best reward from Allah we will make smooth for him the path for evil.' (92.5-10)

SO, we can clearly see here how important the theory of Predestination is for Muslims. Of course, modern, or shall I say shallow, Muslims, who know absolutely nothing about their religion and get their information from second-hand sources, will vehemently deny the existence of Predestination in Islam and brag that Allah has gives every person freedom to choose between Heaven and Hell. However, I would rather not stop here, lest I would be accused of misquoting or cherry-picking a few hadiths out of context. Let us probe further to see how deeply the concept of Predestination is integrated in Islamic theology. Let us take the example of the following hadith:

Bukhari 4:54:430

Narrated 'Abdullah bin Mus'ud:

Allah's Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, "(The matter of the Creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature's) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him. So, a man amongst you may do (good deeds till there is only a cubit between him and Paradise and then what has been written for him decides his behavior and he starts doing (evil) deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire. And similarly a man amongst you may do (evil) deeds till there is only a cubit between him and the (Hell) Fire, and then what has been written for him decides his behavior, and he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise.

Aren’t we made to understand by Muslim apologists that to do good or evil is in the hands of humans (I am not even discussing the unscientific part, which tells us how conception takes place)? Aren’t we supposed to understand that, in Islam, everyone gets a fair chance to strive and do good deeds in order to attain Paradise? But why blame someone, when Allah, the Islamic deity, has sealed his fate even before he or she was born. This hadith makes it crystal-clear that no person has the ability to choose Paradise or Hell for himself. It has already been predestined as to how his actions will be in this world and he acts accordingly. So why we blame a person for his actions or even set rules and laws for punishment when one does what he is predestined to do in the course of his life.

Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Sadly, most of the so-called modern Muslims don’t spend quality time to study authentic sources of Islam. What they do is to watch Islamic TV channels, read propaganda material and then regurgitate the same nonsense they learn therein. It is indeed a shame that Muslims have to lie so much, deny so much of their sacred scriptures, in order to gain converts or even to establish the logical coherence and sanity of their Deity and His words.

The central importance of Predestination in Islam can gauged from the following words of Al-Tabari:

"There are people who consider predestination untrue. Then they consider the Qur'an untrue.... People merely carry out what is a foregone conclusion, decided by predestination and written down by the Pen." [Tabari I:202]

Predestination is not limited to the life of humans, but to the world as such. This can be better understood from the following Qur’anic verses:

"A questioner questioned concerning the doom about to fall upon the infidels, which none can avert or repel." [Qur'an 70:1]

"No calamity occurs, no affliction comes, except by the decision and preordainment of Allah." [Qur'an 64:11]

I would like to ask Muslims: why scorn a non-Muslim, when he has been predestined by their God (Allah) to go and burn in the pit of fire?

The catch words in verse 64:11 are decision and preordainment, which are both in Allah's hands. If people (including Muslims) happen to die  in a tragedy, natural or manmade, the Muslims don’t have the right to cry over it or even express remorse as it would amount to blasphemy, simply because, those unfortunate events were directed by the will of Allah. Hence, I appeal to Muslims to stop crying over violence in Gaza and anything anywhere, in which, they believe, Muslims are suffering. After all, they are in direct conflict with the words of their God.

Let me conclude saying that when a Muslim comes up and tells you that salvation in Islam is possible through one’s deeds, just show him these Qur’anic verses and Hadiths. I am certain that they will never accept the truth, yet you will be able to silence them for the moment. Let us start slamming back the lies that Muslims throw at our faces. Let us stop taking their lies at face value and start giving them a potion of their own medicine.

Ibrahim Lone is Kashmir-born ex-Muslim.

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