If man has only a nominal share in his acts because his free will does
not possess creative ability, why do we read in the holy Qur'an that The
Creator of the heavens and the earth takes Man's rebellion so seriously?
Unbelief, rebellion and sinfulness mean destruction, and complete
destruction can result from an act of disobedience of a most nominal weight.
Just as a vessel may sink due to the helms-manís negligence, whilst the
efforts of the whole crew can achieve nothing to save it. A manís free will
can cause great depredations as a result of unbelief and sinfulness, no
matter how insignificant a share it actually has in the performance of acts.
Unbelief is so great a sin by its nature that it reduces the whole universe
to something of no value, and contradicts the witnessing to the Oneness of
God by the whole of creation, and denies the manifestations of the Divine
Names. It is, therefore, entirely proper that God should take unbelief so
seriously and threaten unbelievers so severely in the name of the whole of
creation and the Divine Names, and it is absolutely just to condemn them to
the eternal torment of Hell. Since rebellious men cause vast corruption
through unbelief and sinfulness, the believers are in great need of Godís
succor against them. A mischievous boy can set a whole house on fire
although it is guarded by ten strong men, and those guards may need to apply
to the parents of that boy to prevent him from committing such a crime. So
too do believers need the help of God against rebellious and sinful men.
In short: It is permissible for the believer to speak of Divine Destiny
and manís free will, when his faith is perfect and when he is mature enough
to perceive that all creation including himself is at Godís disposal. He
assumes his responsibilities because he has free will and glorifies God by
proclaiming Him to be free of any involvement with his own sins. He never
forgets that he is a servant of God, and accordingly tries to follow all the
Divine Commandments. On the other hand, he remains thankful to God by
ascribing to Divine Destiny any good acts he has been able to achieve, and
never boasts of them. Also he finds the strength to bear all his misfortunes
by discerning in them the role of Destiny.
However, it is not proper for anyone who neglects the Divine Commandments
to argue about Divine Destiny and manís free will, since his defective
thinking will lead him to ascribe the whole of creation to causes and ignore
God completely. He appropriates all his skills and good deeds, regarding
them to have originated directly with himself, and attributes his defects
and failures to Destiny. This view means the reduction of Divine Destiny and
free will to a senseless trick played upon man by his own commanding self (nafs
ammara) to mislead him to the point where he disregards and denies his