A Case Inbetween Two Concerns

  1. the Divine Permanent Guardianship On the System of Destiny and Fate in the Universe 5. “distinguishing Allah’s Formative Will From His Legislative Will” ===========================================================================================================================================================

If Allah the Sublime may never be disobeyed against His will then disobedience may only take place by His permission, determination and will. This is a fact we must conclude; then we may ask: How come that Allah wants the people to disobey Allah, while He orders them not to do so, never accepting or willing it? This is a complex at which the historical debate between (Al Asha'irah) and (Al Mutazilah) used to come to a stand still.

Ibn AL Khayat says: Husham bin Abdul Malik (the Caliph) on hearing (Ghailan Al Damashqui)’s thesis of free choice sent for him and said to him: Woe for you Ghailan! People keep talking about you, so tell us what you really think, if it is right we shall adhere to you. Then Husham asked the presence of (Maymoon bin Marwan) to discuss with Ghailan his opinion. Ghailan asked him. Did Allah mean to be disobeyed? Maymoon answered by asking him Was He disobeyed against his will? Ghailan was stunned and could not answer, so Husham bin AbdulMalik dismembered him.([^19])

It is also said that (Ghailan AL Damashqui) who used to believe in man’s free choice came one day to (Rabiah AlRaii) who used to believe in determinism of destiny and fate, addressing him thus: “Are you the one who claims that Allah likes to be disobeyed?

(Rabiah) said: Are you the one who claims that Allah is disobeyed against His will?([^20])

This incredible complex may be solved by distinguishing the formative will from the legislative will, an attitude which the Progeny(A.S.) adopted to solve this problem, perhaps for the first time during the reasonable history of Islam. Then and only then, Ghailan’s answer to Maymoon bin Marwan or to (Rabiah Al Raii) could be clear, He would not have meditated long before giving the decisive answer to this strange question.

The answer is:

Allah is never disobeyed by force against His will, if force and obligation is meant to signify the (formative will) rather Allah the Sublime is disobeyed by His own will without obligation or force as we have already clearly exposed. If force and obligation is meant to signify (the legislative will),

Allah then might be disobeyed though He dislikes disobedience for people who often disobey Allah the Sublime, a thing which He dislikes and abhors, and which brings about His wrath upon them, yet these disobediences take place by His own will and permission under His reign and dominion and by means of the potency and power that He had given to the people.

The difference between both wills (to give leave or not to give) connote no contradiction, if we thoroughly distinguish the formative will from the legislative will. We do not know for sure whether such a distinction between both wills was handy then or not.

It goes beyond suspicion that such distinction was not handy then, else (Ghailan Al Damashqui) would have answered (Maymoon) or (Rabiah Al Raii) if that narration happens to be correct.

Anyway, let us ponder over the texts that distinguish these wills related by the Progeny (A.S.):

Al Kulainy narrates from Abi Abdullah(A.S.): I heard him says: (Allah has issued his command but He did not want; in other cases He wanted but did not issue His command.

He ordered Satan (Iblies) to prostrate before Adam, though He did not want him to prostrate; ever he did, Satan would have prostrated. He also ordered Adam not to eat from the tree, but He wanted him to eat from it; ever He did not really want that; Adam would never have eaten).([^21])

The late Al Kulainy also relates from Ali bin Ibrahiem who relates from (Al Mukhtar bin Muhammad AL Hamdany) and (Muhammad bin Al Hassan), from (Abdullah bin Al Hassan Al Alawy), all these relate from (Al Fateh bin Yazeed AL Jurgany) who relates from (Abi AL Hassan) (A.S.) who said:

(Allah has two wills and two wishes, a will of determinism and a will of intention, He disapproves of something, yet He wishes it, other where He commands man to do something yet He does not wish it, do not you see that He has prevented Adam and his wife from eating the fruit of the tree yet He did want them to eat; if ever He did not really want them to eat, they would not have violated Allah the Sublime’s wish.

Other where, He ordered (Ibrahiem) to slay his son (Ismail), yet He did not really want him to slay his son, if ever did he want that; Ibrahiem’s will would have never exceeded the will of Allah the Sublime).([^22])

6. Man’s freedom of choice within the determinate circuit of destiny and fate

This point in particular is the major complex of the research, if ever it is solved and clarified every thing prior or postal to it will be clarified too.

Man – as his conscience and the Holy Quran reveal – owns his absolute freedom to choose and act, his hesitation to make a choice proves his free choice; furthermore his responsibility for his deeds, his remorse or relief in choosing what is right or wrong certify his freedom of choice. Conscience is a strong evidence that authenticates this fact.

At a previous place of this research we saw that Al Quran in a great number of verses states man’s free choice, we are not concerned here to prove this fact further. Man’s choice often or always brings him at a cross way, and any way he chooses gains its decisiveness and finality within the circuit of destiny and fate that is powerfully designed which we have already explained.

Man has no way to get away from the circuit of destiny and fate, or to get rid of its punctual predetermined grip. Man is doomed to live, move, act and choose within this circuit as we have already stated. But he always (or frequently) has an absolute freedom to choose either of the various ways laid in front of him, and his decision is made with definite knowledge and consciousness.

If an ill man really cares for his illness, referring himself to a physician, taking the right medication, he will gain recovery; if he neglects his disease, it will turn worse. If a student makes his best he will pass successfully, and if he turns lazy neglecting his lessons he will fail, if a worker moves himself doing his best in the bazaar, Allah will enrich him, if he gives up searching for a job he will turn poor. Man too, in keeping company with the corrupted will only attain their corruption.

All these results are connected to destiny and unavoidable fate that can not be suspected, for a man who does his best seeking knowledge will necessarily turn knowledgeable, he is destined to this, the knowledge he attains will be connected to the field in which he has worked regardless of other fields; here, it is (destiny) that has decided; the amounts of efforts he has exerted, the amount of study he has made are his (fate).

Man’s free choice always concerns the dogmas, the factual statutes (which we have dedicated to destiny and fate) show themselves in the results.

Those dogmas always absolutely lead to these results there is no way for man to avoid these decisive results, though he was absolutely free to avoid one or more of these ways at the very beginning. Perhaps the following gracious verse from surah (Ar’Rad) is not that far from this meaning.

[Allah will not change the good and the bestowed condition of a people until they change what is in themselves from good to evil] Surah ArRa'd v. 11.

This way we see that Allah the Sublime has enabled man to make his free choice amid destiny and fate, both in social life and in the universe, thus his free choice will not inflect damage on the inevitability of destiny and fate neither will destiny and fate effect man’s free choice at all.

Ameerul Mumenien’s (A.S.) speech to the old man who asked him about their campaign on (Al Sham) after ending the battle of (Safeen) refers to this accurate meaning. We had already introduced this speech in the first point of these. At the beginning of his speech the Imam(A.S.) says (Aye, Aye old man! You may never climb a hill or descend into a valley only by the destiny and fate of Allah.

This clearly states that in going to (Safeen) and fighting (Muawiah) and return to (Al Kufah) they were only moving within the circuit of destiny and fate never leaving it at all. When the old man concluded from the Imam’s speech that they, during all this long period of time had had no choice he said: “O, Ameerul Mumenien! Allah then will pay back for my efforts); the Imam (A.S.) clarified for him that misunderstanding by saying:

“Now, do you think it was an inevitable destiny and a compelling fate? If it were so, Allah’s reward, punishment, command and prohibition would have been meaningless… Allah the Sublime has assigned to the people their tasks optionally, warning them just to keep them alert”.

Destiny and fate should be inevitably predestined and accurately calculated, but that who has had a free choice at the beginning will necessarily have freedom of choice at the stage of results, for results are determined by the beginnings. If Allah enables man to succeed at the beginnings, He will also enable him to pass the results, even though those results might maintain their inevitable predestined nature in compliance with their conditions and circumstances, and this is the meaning of the Imam’s (A.S.) answer to the old man (Now, do you think it was an inevitable destiny and a compelling fate? If it were so, Allah’s reward would have been meaningless).

Al Quran expression of this alternation between man’s free choice of a certain act and the inevitability of the results that follow, is an accurate one, the Sublime says:

[All men will be held in pledge for their deeds] Al Muddathir 38.

Man, making a certain deed, gains this deed by his own free choice, but he cannot get rid of the decisive results brought about by this deed, thus he remains subject to it.

Then man, though living amid an accurate fixed system, yet he can shift position from one destiny to another and from one fate to another.

Al Assbagh bin Nabatah narrated that Ameerul Mumenien(A.S.) who was walking aside a leaning wall moved to walk aside another, somebody told him; O Ameerul Mumenien, are you running away from the destiny of Allah?

He (A.S.) said, “I am running away from the destiny of Allah to refuge to the fate of Allah the Great and Almighty”.([^23])

AsSadouqu also related from Abi AlHassan Ali bin Musa Al Redha(A.S.) who narrated from his father relating from his grand fathers and from Ali bin Abi Taleb(A.S.) saying: The Messenger of Allah(S.A.) said: (The destiny of Allah is only a free choice for the believers).([^24])

AsSadoque also narrated in (Al Etequadat).

As Sadiqu (A.S.) has been asked whether charms change destiny?

He (A.S.) answered: “They are part of destiny”.

The Messenger of Allah(S.A.) too was asked whether charms and medicines change and alter destiny.

He (s.a) answered:

(Charms and medicines are part of Allah’s destiny).([^25])

Allah is too merciful to torment people for a thing he had obliged them to do

This point in particular has been the center of dispute and struggle with (Al Ashairah) who used to emphasize the inevitability of man’s behaviour, confiscating his will and freedom of choice; hence the texts of the progeny(A.S.) emphasized it so often, emphasizing, at the same time – the other opposite point of view (i.e. rejecting man’s independence and authorization that (Al Mutazilah) claimed, which is the third point we have already discussed).

(Al Kulainy) in (Al Kafi) related; as well as (AL Sadouqu) who narrated in (Al Tawheed) from (Yunus bin Abdul Rahmuan), from more than one who narrated from (Abi Jaffar) and (Abi Abdullah) (A.S.) both said: (Allah is too Merciful to oblige people to commit sins, thereafter to torture them for these sins, and Allah is too dignified to demand something that will never come to be existent).([^26])

Al Kulainy narrated from Hammad bin Ottoman from Abi Bassier from Abi Abdullah (A.S.) saying:

(That who claims “Allah orders the people to commit misdeeds is lying in his narration about Allah, and that who claims that good and evil are due to him is lying to Allah).([^27])

The first point is a reference to the belief in determinism which was adopted by (Al Ashairah) who used to dedicate man’s misdeeds directly to Allah the Sublime.

The second point is a reference to (Al Mufawidha’s) dogma in dedicating the destiny of good and the destiny of evil to man directly.

The progeny (A.S.) have so many texts in this respect.