I often come across free will as an Islamic doctrine that is a somewhat central problem/proposed solution to other theological problems. Somehow I only ever see it discussed in terms of dunya, perhaps because those theological problems are mostly matters of dunya. So I'm wondering:

Question: What positions do the schools of aqidah hold regarding whether humans will have free will in akhirah? (Possibly this only affects the inhabitants of paradise since the inhabitants of hell aren't really in a situation to fulfill their desires)

  • Similar to dunya, in both heaven and hell people have some limited freedom but in hell their desires are fulfilled in ways they don't like (like asking for water but getting boiling dirty water instead), and in heaven some desires are fulfilled some or not. Because people of heaven come in different ranks and each has unique gifts not available to lower ranks.
    – infatuated
    Dec 19, 2019 at 12:26

3 Answers 3


As‘salaamu alaikum.

First, let‘s clarify a few points ...

While we have free will here in the dunya, it is not ABSOLUTE free will. We are at liberty to choose some of our actions, but we cannot have everything we desire here, nor can we do everything and anything we want.

“Nay, shall man have anything he hankers after? But to Allah belongs the end and the beginning.” Qur‘an 53:24-25

“Verily, We created man into toil and struggle. Does he think that none has power over him?” Qur‘an 90:4-5

Our grant of free will has limits, and that fact will not change when we get to the akhirah. I am of the opinion, brother, that the limits will be quite a bit stricter.

For those who make Home, they will have been so thoroughly purified by Allah that they will have no evil inclinations left in them, (Qur‘an 4:31). That by itself is going to profoundly influence what it is we wish for in Jannah.

For example, I am the only muslim in my family. I know that if my people go to the akhirah with kufr then they are going to be sent to Hell where they will suffer terrible agonies FOREVER. Just saying that makes my soul sick with anxiety for them, because I love them and I don‘t want to see any harm done to them.

But I understand that what I feel now is not what I am going to feel if I am blessed to be among those who are purified and sent to Jannat. If and when I undergo my purification my ikh‘laas to Allah will become perfect and absolute. I am going to lose my capacity to feel any pity or sympathy for anyone who chose to make themselves enemies to Allah.

I think that these changes to man‘s disposition will be the new parameters of free will in the akhirah.

Allah knows best. Ma‘as‘salaama.


In Akhirah no one has free will. What you did in Dunya will determine whether you enter paradise or hell.

In paradise however you have free will of course, Allah says in Surat Qaf [50], verses 34-35:

Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity. They will have whatever they wish therein, and with Us is more.

You can wish whatever you want, anything that can be imagined.

Allah knows best.

  • 1
    I'll add to what Ahmad Taher said: In Akhirah, the nature of the human being's life and psychology is different from what it is in this world. In paradise, people do have free will and although nothing is practically prohibited, all the things people may wish and desire are consistent with whatever makes Allah happy with them.
    – Ahmad Tn
    May 27, 2018 at 7:29
  • "In Akhirah no one has free will. What you did in Dunya will determine whether you enter paradise or hell." I don't see how the second sentence demonstrates the first one; we are still thought to have free will in dunya, even if we don't get whatever we want. "Enter it in peace. This is the Day of Eternity. They will have whatever they wish therein, and with Us is more." It could be that Allah just dictates what you want in paradise, so this doesn't seem conclusive to me.
    – G. Bach
    May 27, 2018 at 21:43

We are your supporters in this worldly life and in the Hereafter. There you will have whatever your souls desire, and there you will have whatever you ask for: Quran 41:31

In this and many other similar verses, we can see that there is desire in hereafter. Desire is something that comes from freewill. Also in the verse you can see based on the desire they ask for from Allah and it will be given.

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