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Allah told us to either obey him to go to heaven or disobey him to go to hell.

So my question is:

Why there is only heaven and hell? why not live without obeying a god and end up in normal life (or a similar one)?

In other words:

Why does Allah want to create creatures (humans) and tell them to obey him?

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    The question isn't correct, more importantly it's inconsistent and invalid. It asks: why does Allah FORCES us, and describes how Allah gives us A CHOICE. Giving someone choices, is NOT force. Jul 22 at 15:44
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    On paper it seems there is a choice, but in reality there isn't because if you take the 'wrong' choice, you will face a lot of negative consequence Jul 22 at 17:45

5 Answers 5

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What is force?

There are two types of force. One is when something will do what is forced without any choice to do differently. This is like Allah forcing the rain to rain.

The other is when you promise punishment for someone's bad choices, but they still have the choices. This is the type of "force" that applies to Allah's commands.

If you disobey His commands, you will be punished.

Why does Allah force?

In reality, the best and robust answer to this question is: Allah does whatever He wants and He has the right to. We are His creation and He can choose to command us to anything and punish us for disobeying Him. His choices are ultimately free and without anything behind them.

Allah says in the Quran:

He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned. (21:23)

However robust the above answer may be, its only problem is that it is not satisfying to many people. They are lost in a quest of finding reasons and whys which will never end.

Many of those people's minds revolve around goodness in the world, so here are some wisdoms for why it is good for us that Allah forces us:

  • Allah wants good for us.

  • Obeying Allah's commands is ultimately good in the world for our own spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.

  • Humans are motivated by reward and punishment.

  • Hence, Allah motivates us with reward and punishment for our own good so we bring ourselves to do things that are good for us which we wouldn't otherwise do.

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    The answer is incorrect, because gving someone choices, is NOT force. Jul 22 at 15:45
  • @GwenKillerby That depends on your definition. One might counter by saying: If someone threatened to shoot you if you did not do something, they are forcing you. You have the choice to not do it and be shot, but it may still be called force.
    – The Z
    Jul 23 at 8:25
  • <comments deleted> Please keep things civil and respectful here. We are not a site for attacking each other, especially not each others beliefs.
    – goldPseudo
    Jul 26 at 4:06
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I saw this question in the Sidebar of SO, so why not answer it.

Allah, is designed as a "superfather" who has created you, so just like your real father, he wants you to obey him. He threatens you of going to hell if you disobey, just like your father would and his orders come from traditions and experience, to help you make the right choices in situations without prior knowledge/experience.

Will you go to hell (on earth) if you disobey ? Probably yes if the order is about not taking heroin, probably not if the order is about not eating during daylight on Ramadan.

Whatever order you receive from your father/superfather, it's up to you to evaluate the path you should follow, according to your observations, your experience and the experience of other humans.

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  • Like Dr Shabir Ally says : "Yes Allah is like a father to us, but we don't refer to him as 'father'" : youtube.com/watch?v=WfkkK3MZZCw
    – Tristan
    Jul 23 at 8:53
  • <comments deleted> Please keep things civil and respectful here. We are not a site for attacking each other, especially not each others beliefs.
    – goldPseudo
    Jul 26 at 4:04
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Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim. Alhamdulillahi rabbil-'alamin. Was-Salatu was-Salam 'ala Sayyidina wa Azimina, Wa Habibi Qulubina wa Shafii Nufusina, Abul Qasim Muhammad. Wa 'ala Ahli Bayti tayyibina tahireen.


Why does Allah force us to obey him?

The correct question would be "Why does Allah command us to obey him?". Because Allah does not force anyone. And the answer to this question is given by Allah (azwj) Himself, in Sura Az-Zariyaat (51)

  1. And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.

Quran 51:56

In following Hadith narration, Imam Jafar As-Sadiq is explaining this verse

I asked Abu Abdullah (asws) about the Words of the Mighty and Majestic: And I have not Created the Jinn and the Humans except to be worshipping Me [51:56], he (asws) said: ‘Created them for Commanding them for the worship’.

Source (page 27)

Following verse is evidence that Allah does not force anyone.

There is no compulsion in religion.

Quran 2:256

Furthermore, following verses from Quran 10 are important to be mentioned

99.And if your Lord so Desired, the ones in the earth would believe, all of them in their entirety. So will you force the people until they become Momineen?

100.And it was not for a soul that it believes except by the Permission of Allah, and He Makes the uncleanness to be upon those who are not understanding

Quran 10:99-100

And in following Hadith Imam Abu Al-Hassan Ali (asws) Bin Musa Al-Reza (asws) explained these verses to Abbasid Caliph Al-Mamoun

(It has been narrated) regarding questions, which Al-Mamoun asked Abu Al-Hassan Ali (asws) Bin Musa Al-Reza (asws). So from what he asked, Mamoun said to him (asws), ‘What is the Meaning of the Words of the Exalted: And if your Lord so Desired, the ones in the earth would believe, all of them in their entirety. So will you force the people until they become Momineen? [10:99] And it was not for a soul that it believes except by the Permission of Allah [10:100]?

Al-Reza (asws) said: ‘My (asws) father (asws) Musa Bin Ja’far (asws) narrated to me (asws), from his (asws) father (asws) Ja’far Bin Muhammad (asws), from his (asws) father (asws) Muhammad Bin Ali (asws), from his (asws) father (asws) Ali Bin Al Husayn (asws), from his (asws) father (asws) Al Husayn Bin Ali (asws), from his (asws) father (asws) Ali Bin Abu Talib (asws) having said: ‘The Muslims said to Rasool-Allah (saww), ‘O Rasool-Allah (saww)! If only you (saww) would force the people by the power against them to be upon Al Islam, it would increase our number and our strength against our enemies’.

So Rasool-Allah (saww) said: ‘I (saww) am not going to meet Allah (azwj) with an innovation in which there would be nothing for me (saww), and I (saww) am not from the pretenders’.

Thus, Allah (azwj) Blessed and Exalted Revealed: “O Muhammad (saww)! And if your Lord so Desired, the ones in the earth would believe, all of them in their entirety [10:99] - upon the Way of forcing and compulsion in the world, just as they are believing when they see the evil (Punishment) in the Hereafter. And Had I (azwj) done that with them, they would not be deserving of any Rewards from Me (azwj) not any Praise, by I (azwj) Want from them to believe out of choice, not out of compulsion, in order to be deserving from Me (azwj) the nearness, and the Prestige, and spend an eternity of time in the eternal Paradise: So will you force the people until they become Momineen? [10:99].

And as for the Words of the Exalted: And it was not for a soul that it believes except by the Permission of Allah [10:100]? So that is not upon the way of a Prohibition against having faith, but it is upon the Meaning that they were not going to believe until Allah (azwj) had Permitted it. And His (azwj) Permission is His (azwj) Command for it for the belief which was responsible and devout, and the forcing it to the faith at the end of the assignment and the worship from it.

So Al-Mamoun said, ‘You (asws) have relieved me – O Abu Al-Hassan (asws) – may Allah (azwj) Relieve you (asws)’.

Tafseer Hub-e-Ali(page 57-58)

Why does Allah want to create creatures (humans) and tell them to obey him?

If this is a question of justice then we have better consider following analogy and reason using our A'ql (intellect).

In order to decide whether it is just or not one should compare this case to a case of a businessman who founds a company, to achieve a certain purpose, and hires people to work in this company. Of course the businessman has to pay wage to these people in order for them to work, create for them required conditions, supply with necessary tools and so on. And as these people work, the businessman will benefit from their work, and the people will get wages.

Now let's ask a question here. The owner of the company, is it fair (just) if he demands from these people to obey him? That is, is it fair (just) that he sets rules in this company for these people for them to obey? Trying to answer to this question is trying to answer to the question OP poses.

We do not have to consider the case what happens if the people are not required to obey and the owner of the company does not set rules and regulations as the consequence of it is obvious.

This Dunya (world) is created by Allah and it is His company. The Jinnkind and Mankind are His slaves (workers). This is stated in the following verse

54.Indeed, your Lord is Allāh, who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command. Unquestionably, His is the creation and the command; blessed is Allāh, Lord of the worlds.

Quran 7:54

So Allah wants to say

  • your Lord is Allāh = I am the businessman;
  • who created the heavens and earth = I am the founder of the company;
  • established Himself above the Throne = I appoint myself CEO of the company;
  • He covers the night with the day, [another night] chasing it rapidly; and [He created] the sun, the moon, and the stars, subjected by His command = I have created all the conditions for my employees;
  • His is the creation and the command = My employees have to obey me and I set the rules and regulations in my own company;
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    thank God I can resign from such business and join a different one then :D
    – spamove
    Jul 21 at 19:24
  • Really? You have decided to leave this world?
    – Muslim
    Jul 22 at 2:29
  • naah, it's just that there are enough businesses and CEOs to pick from on the market, and you can always open your own business :D
    – spamove
    Jul 22 at 13:46
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    @Muslim, one can surely go find another company with a more pleasant boss (Lord Shiva, Jesus, Zeus) and abide by his rules.
    – user574859
    Jul 22 at 18:23
  • Allah claims in Quran 2:255 that there is no other businessman besides him to own the company, thus, the company belongs solely to Him. So, do not work for false bosses, the CEO will fine you -> 21:98.
    – Muslim
    Jul 23 at 8:18
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Allah does not force us to obey him. When obedience and disobedience exists it means choice exists. Did Allah force devil(Iblees) to prostrate to Adam? Did Allah force Adam(عليه السلام) to eat from the tree?

“There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, guidance has become distinct from falsehood. Whoever disbelieves in the false deities and believes in Allāh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allāh is All-Hearer, All-Knower.” [Sūrah Al-Baqarah: 256]

Allah has granted Jinn and Mankind freewill. They are free to choose obedience vs disobedience. “For whoever wills among you“, Allah confirms that each individual has the choice and will to decide his actions. You will be rewarded for what you earned.

For whoever wills among you to take the straight path (Quran 81: 28)

“Today every soul will be rewarded for what they earned.” (Qur’an Chapter Ghaafir 40: 17)

Allah likes obedience from his slaves just like you expect obedience from your children.

If you disbelieve, then verily, Allâh is not in need of you; He likes not disbelief for His slaves. And if you are grateful (by being believers), He is pleased therewith for you. No bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you what you used to do. Verily, He is the All-Knower of that which is in (men’s) breasts. (Qur'an: 39, 7)

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Allah says in the Quran:

Indeed, We sent Our messengers with clear proofs, and with them, We sent down the Scripture and the balance ˹of justice˺ so that people may administer justice

Allah wants us to obey Him, so we can create a just society.
Islam is not just about praying or Ramadan, it's a complete code of life. The Islamic system prioritizes justice. And with justice prevails peace as we all know.

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