From my understanding, Muslims (are supposed to) blame themselves for evil deeds and be thankful for good deeds, and humans have free will to do good or bad deeds.

If we have free will to do good deeds, why must we be grateful for them? How to reconcile having free will with being grateful to Allah for enabling us to repent and do good deeds?

Firstly, praise be to Allaah Who has enabled you to repent and has guided you after you were misguided, Who has lighted the way for you and has made faith dear to you and made it attractive to you. To Him be all praise at all times.

We congratulate you on having been enabled to repent. This is a blessing for which thanks must be given, for Allaah accepts the repentance of the one who repents. -Means of expiating sin (IslamQA)

The Muslim is always asking his Lord to help him to give thanks to Him, because were it not for Allah’s helping His slave, he would not be able to give thanks. -Thanking Allah for His Many Blessings (IslamQA)

And Satan will say when the matter has been concluded, "Indeed, Allah had promised you the promise of truth. And I promised you, but I betrayed you. But I had no authority over you except that I invited you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; but blame yourselves. I cannot be called to your aid, nor can you be called to my aid. Indeed, I deny your association of me [with Allah ] before. Indeed, for the wrongdoers is a painful punishment." - Quran 14:22

Abu Mussab has a video explaining Qadr and Free Will: Do I Have a Choice? (Qadr / Pre-Ordainment) by Abu Mussab Wajdi Akkari - Youtube

However, despite watching that video, I don't understand why we should be grateful for doing good deeds.

  • Salam Alaikum, this question is unclear, please edit it to make it clearer. Also bear in mind that we do not accept basic questions that can be answer within three seconds of google search or reading of a book to introduce non-muslims to islam. furtehr more we are not to blame ourselves, we are to repent and resolve to never go back to a sin.
    – مجاهد
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 15:21
  • I couldn't find the answer even after lots of googling, I'll add some details inshaAllah right now
    – user926
    Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 15:35
  • Basically, only those chosen by Allah can see the light, those who do things to please Allah, may get chosen, so you're grateful to allah because you got chosen to do the good deeds, you got chosen because you had free will to do things to please allah which got you chosen in the first place. I may not have explained this clearly. Commented Mar 14, 2013 at 16:16
  • @oshirowanen I understand, it's very clear. But please give a reliable source/reference for this, thanks!
    – user926
    Commented Mar 15, 2013 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


There's a wonderful explanation in Tafseer Ibn Kathir. The translation is below, from qtafsir. I deleted the Arabic text because I didn't want to accidentally spread distorted Quran verses (I can't read arabic and perhaps the text is distorted by copy-pasting). For reference, it is the tafsir of Quran 76:29-31. There's also a more general explanation about Predestination at Islamtoday.

Allah then says, (Verily, this is an admonition,) meaning, this Surah is a reminder. (so whosoever wills, let him take a path to his Lord.) meaning, a path and a way. This means, whoever wishes to be guided by the Qur'an. This is similar to Allah's statement, (And what loss have they if they had believed in Allah and in the Last Day.) (4:39) Then Allah says, (But you cannot will, unless Allah wills.) meaning, no one is able to guide himself, enter into faith or bring about any benefit for himself, (Unless Allah wills. Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) meaning, He is Most Knowledgeable of who deserves to be guided. So, He makes guidance easy for him and He predestines for him that which will be a cause for it. However, whoever deserves misguidance, He averts guidance from him. Unto Him belongs the most excellent wisdom and the most irrefutable argument. Thus, He says, (Verily, Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise.) Then He says, (He will admit to His mercy whom He wills and as for the wrongdoers -- He has prepared a painful torment.) meaning, He guides whomever He wishes and He leads astray whomever He wishes. Whoever He guides, there is no one who can lead him astray; and whoever He leads astray, there is no one who can guide him. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Al-Insan. And all praise and thanks are due to Allah.

  • Salam and welcome here, brother. Please read the FAQ thoroughly to understand how this site works. Please give an explanation to your quotation. Highlight the important lines. Also include a conclusion of your answer to make it better. Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 16:57

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