I had an argument with a friend who wanted me to logically or with a reference tell him, that if Allah has decided everything for us. E.g, if I pick a glass and put it at another place, if that is decided (as Qur'an says, that our life has been written), then where is the free will because our fate has been decided, i.e., if Allah has given us free will, then how can we say that everything we do in life is already written?

In the same context, why do we have angels on our shoulders writing down every thing wrong and good, if Allah knows our intention and already decided our fate even before we were born
Is there any reference or Ayah or Hadith regarding it?


It is important to note, we are never judged based on our actions, this is the key to this supposed puzzle.

We make this huge assumption that we control our actions, if that was the case, we would be judged based on our actions, but since that's not the case, we are judged based on our intentions.

“All actions are judged by motives, and each person will be rewarded according to their intention...." (Bukhari)

The idea of "free will" is foreign to Islam, it states clearly in the Quran:

And with Him are the keys of the unseen; none knows them except Him. And He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry [thing] but that it is [written] in a clear record.

Everything is recorded, and everything is controlled by the creator, there is no exceptions. Even current scientific theories back this up, read on "determinism" for more detail.

So what is our purpose then?

“I have created the jinn and humankind only for My worship.” (Quran 51:56)

How can one worship without free will? It comes back to "intention", even our prayers are not accepted if we don't intend to pray hence, Allah (swt) can make us pray, even if we intend not to pray.

It all leads to the idea of "intention", the question is, does intention equate to "free will"? I think not, we can intend for something to happen, but that will only happen when Allah (swt) wills it, that's why Muslims say "Insha Allah", hence "God Willingly", which is derived directly from the belief that we are not in control of anything really, bur rather just have intentions/hopes/dreams, what ever you want to call it, and those are only manifested by the will of the creator.

Allah Knows Best

  • "we are not in control of anything" doesn't that apply to our intentions? And aren't intentions "wills" in their own right? That's to say, I can will not to intend something and therefore not do it! So intention is a form of will! Now either it is that God doesn't control our intentions or that we can never be judged on our intentions since it is God who dictates them and therefore bears the responsibility! Right? – infatuated Nov 20 '16 at 15:16
  • @infatuated That was in reference to actions (not intention), if you read my whole answer again, it is repeated over and over again. – Allah knows best Feb 16 '17 at 10:58
  • I reread your answer and I don't think I had missed any point. My point was that to account for judgement based on intention brings forth the same problem with actions. How can our intentions be free from God and if they are not free how can we be judged? – infatuated Feb 17 '17 at 3:58
  • There is a clear distinction between intention and action in my answer. I did not say anywhere that our intentions are "not" free from God, in fact I reiterated multiple times that we are free to intend. – Allah knows best Feb 17 '17 at 9:21
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    But all I was arguing is that how you can exclude intentions from Allah's domination? If we are not controlling our actions how are we then controlling our intentions? What makes the difference?1 – infatuated Feb 17 '17 at 9:38

Allah swt wrote our destiny accordingly to "what our decision" will be. So for example you have two road infront of you. You choose which road you go. Road A brings you to a nightclub, road B brings you to a mosque. You choose Road B, elhamdulillah.

Allah swt knew that you will choose Road B - therefore He wrote Road B in the book.

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    Try adding little more details to your answer – Seeker Mar 15 '17 at 14:46
  • what kind of details are you looking for? – Daniel König Mar 15 '17 at 15:52
  • hmm, try adding some references with better examples. – Seeker Mar 15 '17 at 17:53

Beside what you actually asking for . I think it's a logical argument rather than religious one ..

Logically you know for sure 100% that you can do what ever you want , and as a Muslim you know for sure 100% that Allah Knows Every Thing You Did , Doing ,Will Do

Did Allah's knowledge about you forced you for any thing that you've tried to not do it , but you was forced about it ??

of course not !

Even That Allah knows what you are going to do , you -as a human- will not feel any thing different .. it's How Allah created us .. he knows , but that will not change you pure Will

Questions like this not likely to be asked in Islam , as they are something of "How Allah Created us" It's some thing that Humans Brains Barely Understand it (if they did)

I hope I've Explained some thing

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    I would need a reference of Quran that, rather than just explanation. – Nofel Jan 4 '14 at 16:22
  • I suppose your friend request is a logically explanation more than Ayat or Hadith. – Mostafa 36a2 Jan 4 '14 at 16:27

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