Is apostasy preordained?

What is apostasy? On a forum we are discussing Qadar and apostasy. Here is the question that is being discussed.
if a person apostated from Islaam, do you believe that Allaah ordained for that person to apostate from Islaam?

Isn’t it interesting how people would blame God for all their bad decisions, but when good things happen to them they take credit?

God tells us in the Quran how disbelievers on the Day of Judgment will try to weasel out of the responsibility for their bad choice:

“And they said, ‘If the Beneficent had willed, we would not have worshiped them (the idols).’ They have no knowledge of that. They are but conjecturing.” (43:20)

Let’s examine their statement. Is what they said true? It sure is! If God wills for something to not happen, it cannot happen. So, does their statement logically lead to the conclusion they hope to make? Namely, does the will of God lead to some people’s wrong decisions? If so, then how can He punish them for such choice? That’s what they are hoping to conclude; that they should not be punished for a bad choice which they could not but make.

This method of arguing is a well known pseudo-reasoning method called red herring (or smoke screen). You change the premise without appearing to do so. Thus, the logical conclusion will be different than if you stay with the original premise.

The diverted premise is that we do not have a free will. The will of God surpasses any will we may or may not have. The original premise repeatedly stated by the Quran is that we should be accountable for the decisions we freely make.

So, I can see two steps to refuting the argument posed by your question. First, we need to establish that we do have a free will. This blows up the red herring and brings us back to the original premise. Then we need to establish that the will of God does not contradict our free will.

Does anybody seriously doubt that we have a free will? We instinctively know it. We feel it. When we make a decision, we know that we have alternatives and we know that we freely choose one of them.

The free will is the pre-requisite for life on earth. Check out the Story of Adam and Eve post. If you have doubts that we do have a free will, check out the previous posts in the Fate and Free Will categories.

The will of God has been that we have a free will. That is why God says,

“And you do not will but that God wills” (76:30)

We could not will anything if God did not will for us that we can.

Whether one apostates or stays faithful is foreknown to God, but it is not preordained. God could have stopped that person from apostating, but He had decreed that our choices will be free. That necessarily means that He would not interfere with them. It also means that the responsibility for our choices lie with us alone. Any attempt to escape that responsibility is therefore indefensible.

2 Responses to “Is apostasy preordained?”

  1. Aapa says:

    Do you know how grateful I am to have my own scholar. The relief it gives me. I got stuck on preordained. Foreknown puts everything into perspective. It makes sense.

    As usual may Allah reward you, immensely.

    • noclash says:

      A good teacher knows her students. She can tell which of her students will answer best an exam she hands out. Does she know the future? Of course not.

      God does know the future, but He chose to let the future be shaped primarily by what man freely does. The fact that He knows what man will do does not mean that He forced them to do it anymore than that teacher forced her student to answer all questions right.

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