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Free Will and Determinism: An Overview of Muslim Scholars' Perspective Dr. Abdur ashid !

hat" #he problem of free will and determinism is both old and comple$. From the earl% da%s of human civili&ation men reflected on it and formed their opinions about its various aspects. #he 'ree( philosophers) Socrates *+,-./00 !12) Plato *+3,./+, !12 and Aristotle */4+./33 !12 concentrated on the internal capacit% of man to find the truth of practical 5ood.6 #he medieval 1hristian do5matism led man to despair as he had no freedom to en7uire about the authorit% and had to suffer for the 'ori5inal sin'. 3 #he enaissance thin(ers of 8urope li(e Francis !acon *69:6.6:3:2) ene' Descartes *690:.6:9-2 and ;eibni& *6:+:.6,6:2 focused more on the rational mechanism of the universe than on the spirituo.ethical realit% of man. #he propounders of 8nli5htenment and empirical science revolved round the material pro5ress and happiness in the world of cause and effect) thus i5norin5 the role of transcendental or spiritual powers. / #o man% of them man is sub<ect to cosmic ph%sical determinism) which) in conse7uence) restricts his domain of activit%.+ =slam) the primordial and revealed reli5ion of 'od for all.embracin5 5uidance of man(ind) treats the problem of free will and determinism in totalit%. =n the histor% of =slam scholars have dealt with it in various dimensions and paradi5ms. =ts conspicuous rise was durin5 the period of >ma%%ads and it continued to stimulate the scholars of subse7uent times. ?ere an attempt is made to loo( into the earl% rise of the problem and its treatment b% the Muslim theolo5ians and scholars of the medieval and the modern times. ?owever the focus will be on the main theme and on the representative personalities onl%. Early Rise of the Problem Durin5 the time of Prophet Muhammad *ma% Allah's peace be upon him2 the people who belon5ed to other reli5ions as well as pol%theists were en5a5ed with the problem of destin% *taqdir2. #he% used to as( twisted @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ " Senior Lecturer, Shah-i-Hamadan Institute of Islamic Studies, University of
Kashmir, Srinagar, !"""#$ 6

7uestions to Muslims about AllahA?is 8ssence and Attributes. #he%) out of evil desi5ns) attributed acts of their pol%theism to 'od. 9 #he Bur'an addresses their 7ueries and characterises such men as followers of con<ecture *zun2 rather than (nowled5e: #hose who are bent on ascribin5 divinit% to au5ht beside 'od will sa%) C?ad 'od so Willed) we would not have ascribed divinit% to au5ht but ?im nor would our forefathers Dhave done soEF and neither would we have declared as forbidden an%thin5 Dthat ?e has allowedE.C 8ven so did those who lived before them 5ive the lie to the truthAuntil the% came to taste Our punishmentG Sa%: C?ave %ou an% Dcertain (nowled5e which %ou could proffer to usH Iou follow but Dother people'sE con<ectures) and %ou %ourself do nothin5 but 5uess.C: 8ven the 7uestion of destin% struc( the minds of some of the Prophet's companions *sahabah2 and the% were told to believe in it rather than have discussions on it. =t is reported throu5h the various well (nown narraters of #raditions *ahadith2 that once when the Prophet *SAAWS2 saw some 1ompanions discussin5 destin% *taqdir2 he 5ot offended and forbade them from doin5 so., ?e advised them that it does not belon5 to such matters of Shariah *=slamic ;aw2 about which the% have to form their opinion definitel%. ?e added that it is better to remain calm than to discuss it which mi5ht lead to harm.4 #his refrainment from the discussion is even found in the Prophet's attitude which he showed when he visited the house of ?a&rat JAli * A2 and Fatima * A2 durin5 a ni5ht en7uirin5 them about their failure to offer tahajjud *additional ni5ht pra%er2. =n his repl% ?a&rat JAli seemed to attribue their failure to Allah who made him not to rise up for tahjud that ni5ht. #his displeased the Prophet *SAAW2 who left their house b% mentionin5 the followin5 verse of the Bur'an: !ut man is) in most thin5s) contentious.0 =t was) however) throu5h the interaction with and influences of the other reli5ions and philosophers that the problem of destin% became the sub<ect of debate and discussion durin5 the >mma%ad period of =slamic histor%. #wo 5roups or schools of thou5ht emer5ed durin5 this period. One

is called Qadariyyah and the other Jabariyyah. Qadariyyah was founded b% Ma'bad ibn Khalid al.Luhani *b. :002. #he school too( its name from the view that man has the capacit% to action and qadar or qudrahAis responsible for his deeds. ?e was succeeded b% '%lan ibn Dimish7i in leadin5 the school who preached the followin5 principles: 62 32 /2 +2 Man is free and the author of his own actions. 'od will rec(on with man on the da% of Lud5ement and reward him for 5ood deeds and punish him for bad deeds. Iman *belief2 is the conse7uences of (nowled5e and understandin5. #he 5rave sinner is indeed a Muslim %et 'od will surel% punish him on the da% of Lud5ement.66

1ontrar% to this was the school of JabariyyahA the school of fatalism. =ts founder was Lahm ibn Safwan *63,M,+92. #he 5roup is also (nown b% the name of its founder as Lahimi%%ah. =t propounded the followin5 doctrines: 62 Man is determined b% 'od in all his actions) includin5 the acts of faith) faithlessness) 5ood and evil. =n support of this) the 5roup 7uoted the followin5 verses of the Bur'an: Neril%) all this is an admonition: whoever) then so wills) ma% unto ?is sustainer find a wa%. !ut %ou cannot will it unless 'od wills Dto show %ou that wa%E: for behold) 'od is indeed all.seein5) wiseC63 32 /2 Paradise is not eternal. #he vision of Allah on the da% of Lud5ement is possible.6/

!oth these 5roups were disapproved of b% the Muslim communit% *ummah2 for their ri5id) e$tremist and heretical stands. Qadariyyah re5ard man absolutel% free in his actions and re<ect the role of an% other power or powers. Jabariyyah) on the other hand) characterise man's actions as ri5idl% fatalistic) determined b% 'od) reducin5 man a passive a5ent. #he doctrine displacin5 man from his proper status b% ri5id fatalism of Jabariyyah and the irresponsible and absolute freedom posted to man b% Qadariyyah both met with a 5eneral re<ection under the >mma%ad rulers particularl% '>mar

ibn Abdul A&i& and ?asham ibn Abdul Mali(.6+ #his prompted the refutation of these schools b% #raditionists *muhadithun2 and the <urists *fuqaha2 of the a5e. %he &uta'alimun (%heologians) Schools* %reatment Durin5 the a5e of Abbasids it were the mutakalimun *theolo5ians2 schools particularl% Mu'ta&ilah69 and Ash'ariah6: which amon5 other thin5s relatin5 to =slamic teachin5s) tac(led the problem of free will and determinism as well. Althou5h the MuJta&ilah school resembles the Qadrriyyah in some respects %et on the whole it maintained its special character throu5h the doctrines of Tawhid *unit% of 'od2) <ustice and en<oinin5 of 5ood *ma'ruf2 and forbiddin5 the evil *munkar2.6, =n their doctrine of <ustice Mu'ta&ilah desi5nate man as the author of his own actions. =f it is not so) the% claim) then he cannot be called free and responsible for his actions. #o them freedom is basic to the whole of reli5ion and its enterprise. #he% put.forth five ar5uments in its support which are related to moral obli5ation) prophethood) revelation) divine <ustice) omni5oodness of 'od and the rationalit% of 5ood and evil. All these a$ioms) the% claim)64 are essential and impl% freedom and capacit% of action otherwise ever%thin5 will be reduced to absurdit%. On the other hand) the Ash'ariah too( the intermediar% position between Labari%ah and Mu'ta&ilah. #heir stand is based on their ma(in5 a distinction between khalq *creation2 and kasb *ac7uisition2 and the two cate5ories of power A qadimah and hadithah. Accordin5 to them) 'od is the creator *khaliq2 of actions and man is the ac7uisitor * muktasib2. 'Action of human bein5s are created b% 'od) the creatures are not capable of creatin5 an% action.' While classif%in5 power into the cate5ories of ori5inal *qadimah2 and derived *hadithah2) the Asha'riah sa% that it is the ori5inal power that creates and not the derived power. Man is 5iven power b% 'od so it is derived. #he true meanin5 of ac7uisition) accordin5 to the Ash'ariah) is the occurrence of a thin5 or event due to derived power and it is an ac7uisition for the person b% whose derived power it ta(es. 60 As such 'od is the creator of human actions and man the ac7uisitor. Man cannot create or initiate wor(. 'od alone can do it as it is ?is pro5ative. 'od creates in man the power to do an act and also 5ives him an abilit% to ma(e a free choice *ikhtiyar2 between the two alternativesA ri5ht and wron5. #he free choice is not %et effective in performin5 the action because it is the habit or nature of

Allah *sunnat al-Allah2 that creates action b% correspondin5 to power of choice in man.3- #hus) accordin5 to the Ash'ariah) man's action is created b% 'od. Man is free in ma(in5 the choice and intendin5 to do the act he ac7uires *ikhtisab2) the merit of appreciation and demerit of condemnation i.e. reward for 5ood choice and punishment for wron5 choice. #o avoid fatalism the Ash'ar'iah have introduced the doctrine of ac7uisition * iktisab2 b% which man is) however) different from that conceived b% Mu'ta&ilah who attribute real power to man while in the Ash'ariah doctrine) man has no real and effective power but has the derived power to share in the production of an act. Accordin5 to Ash'ariah) 'od creates in two wa%sAeither with locus *mahal2 or without it. ?uman actions are 'od's creation with locus. C'od creates in man the power) abilit%) choice and will to perform an act) and man endowed with this derived power) chooses freel% one of the alternatives and intends or wills to do the actions correspondin5 to his intentions) 'od creates and completes the action. C3: So AshJariah tr% to reconcile the two ri5id positions of MuJta&ilah and Labari%%ah while 5rantin5 man freedom of action *ikhtiyar al-amali2 in a limited wa% reservin5 the absolute power of producin5 an act with 'od.33 %he %reatment of &edieval Scholars+ al-,ha--ali and Shah .ali /llah Ootwithstandin5 the mutakalimun discourses on the problem of free will and determinism) man% medieval scholars also have treated the problem. A mention of the views of al.'ha&&ali and Shah Wali Allah will suffice here for our anal%sis. Al.'ha&&ali3/ dicusses freedom of will in terms of his concept of chan5e in an individual and societ%. ?is main contentions are the followin5: 6. Since the individual bein5 has the capacit% to chan5e his conduct) he can be called a free person thou5h) accordin5 to al.'ha&&ali) the chan5e in some persons is stifled either throu5h their i5norance or 5reater habituation of their passions in the past. =n case of the former) chan5e is possible if the person is 5uided while as the latter is not prone to it due to the hardness of his corrupted heart.3+ About such people 'od has said: 'od has sealed their hearts and their hearin5) and over their e%es is a veilF and 5rave sufferin5 awaits them.39



=nstruction) e$hortation) education and self discipline would become meanin5less if man is not 5iven freedom. =t is of secondar% importance) sa%s 'ha&&ali) that chan5e in the character of man corresponds to the state of his heart.3: =t is because of the capacit% of freedom in man that he can rise to the hi5her sta5es of moralit% and spiritual pro5ress i.e. from insinuative self *an-nafs al ammarah2 to the reproachin5 self *an-nafs al-lawwamah2 and from this to self a peace *an-nafs al-mutamainah2.

#he first sta5e of insinuatin5 self is wholl% evil) overpowered b% passion. #he li5ht of reason does not prevail here and man cannot distin5uish between the hi5her and the lowerself. #he Bur'an calls this self an nafs al-ammarah. #he second sta5eA the reproachin5 selfA is an unsettled sta5e between 5ood and evil in which man is in a constant stru55le. Sometimes he is under the dominance of one and sometimes under the other. So he is doin5 both 5ood and evil %et he can ma(e a clear distinction between the lower and the hi5her self. #he Bur'an calls this self an-nafs al-lawwammah. #he third sta5e is fi$edl% 5ood with illuminated consciousness. ?ere man acts accordin5 to the dictates of reason and renders the evil elements in him ineffective. At this sta5e the destructive 7ualities are eliminated and constructive 7ualities are cultivated. Man loses the si5ht of first two sta5es and the hi5her self which is the true self or consciousness becomes his master. #he Bur'an calls it an-nafs al-mutmainah.3, Furthermore) al.'ha&&ali elaborates the sub<ect in the li5ht of his description of the three worldsA the ph%sical world * alam al-mulk2) the mental world *alam al-jabrut2 and the spiritual world *alam al-malakut2 vis. a.vis the operation of will in man.34 Accordin5 to al.'ha&&ali impressions and ideas which he calls al-khwatir enter the internal and the e$ternal senses and affect the human heart. #his ma(es the shift in heart from one state to other. Whatever the heart intends or resolves that first comes to it as thou5ht and then leads to human action. #he action operates throu5h the sta5es *i2 inclination or impulses *ar-raghbah2 *ii2 the process of intellect or conviction *i'tiqad2 and *iii2 the sta5e of will * iradah2.30 #o 'ha&&ali the idea and impulse is not under the complete control of man because the% are affected b% the cosmic forces namel% the an5elic and the satanic forces. !% nature the heart is e7uall% susceptible to the an5elic as well as the satanic

influences. #he divine element is 5uided b% reason * al-aql2 while the satanic element is 5uided b% appetition *ash-shawwah2. Ash-Shawah and self. assertion *ghazab2 inhabit in man's flesh and blood and throu5h them evil can rule the heart. ?owever) when the% are brou5ht) sa%s al.'ha&&ali) under the control of reason) the heart become the abode of the an5elic influences./- Man) therefore) has the freedom of formin5 his character) producin5 acts but at the various sta5es of its operation he is sub<ect to the factors which are not under his full control. #he impressions and ideas which motivate man to will and act come to him from the various forces of cosmos. ?owever) when the impressions *al-khawatir2 are translated into action the man en<o%s his choice *ikhtiyar2. Shah Wali Allah/6 another outstandin5 medieval scholar) discusses the issue of determinism and free will in his description of taqdir and taklif. #o him qadar *power2 is related to 'od's attribute of power and will. >nli(e the ordinar% minds who out of their frustatration e$perience or innate ideas sa% that thin5s are predetermined) the prophets and 5reat seers apprehend the unit% of the whole universe./3 #his unit% is 5overned b% one universal scheme *al-tadbir al wahdani2 that is determined b% 'od's 8ternal Will and Power. Oothin5 can 5o at the sli5htest variance with it.// #he universal scheme is realised throu5h sunnat al-AllahA 'od's ordained mode of doin5 thin5s. #he occurrence of thin5s) sa%s the Shah) and their evolution from one state to the other represent this sunnah *law2 of 'od. #he transformation or evolution becomes possible onl% when the% have potentialit% and capacit% *isti'dad2 for it which the% owe to the bount% of Allah al- !hman./+ #he thin5s which ordinaril% happen da% to da% are actuall% present in the eternal scheme that transcend) this space and time. Accordin5 to him) species of thin5s differ in their characteristics and behaviour) modes of development and emer5ence etc. #he peculiar cause of thin5s produces the peculiar effect. #hin5s 5o with their routine s%stem of 'od's pattern without hapha&ardness and chaos. All these characteristics and laws) and the variet% of different species of thin5s are the creation of 'od) determined b% ?is Will./9 Shah Wali Allah illustrates man's freedom throu5h the concept of taklif *responsibilit%2. =t is the responsibilit% of acceptin5 the #rust *amanah2 of 'od that provides man to choose between various alternative. #his choice is 5iven to him in the phenomenal world where he ta(es one course of action and discards the other. ?e e$ercises it because he has appropriation for it

which is wantin5 both in the an5els and the other creatures of cosmos. /: About this) the verse of the Bur'an amplifies as followin5: Neril%) We offered the trust to the heavens and the earth) and the mountains but the% declined to bear it and shran( from it. !ut man undertoo( it. /, Man's underta(in5 the #rust vindicates his volition for emer5in5 as a responsible and answerable person. #hrou5h this freedom of he chooses thin5s which are a5reeable or un.a5reeable to his nature or consciousness. Accordin5 to Wali Allah) it leaves perpetual effect on his thou5ht and conduct and leadin5 either to happiness *sa'adah2 or unhappiness *zillah2./4 Iet this freedom is at the level of phenomenal environment and in the eternal scheme of 'od) it is fi$ed and determined. Man cannot act differentl% from what has been predetermined in this ?i5her order * al-"izam al-fauqani2. &odern Scholars0 %reatment =n the modern times the problem of free will and determinism has been treated b% a number of Muslim scholars. Si5nificant amon5 them are /0 Allama Shibli OuJmani *649,.606+2 ) Dr. Sir Muhammad =7bal *64,,. ++6 60/42) M.M. Pic(thal ) Sa%%id Abul Ala Maududi *60-/.60,02) +3 +/ Maulana Amin Ahsan =slahi *d.604,2 and Fa&lur ehman *d.60442 . ?ere we shall focus on the views of Dr. Muhammad =7bal about the sub<ect. Dr. Mohammad =7bal was well versed in both the =slamic and the Western traditions of thou5ht and his treatment of the problem is ver% profound. ?is views are occasionall% e$pressed in his Th! !#$nstru#ti$n $f !ligi$us Th$ught in Islam and also find place in some of his poetical wor(s. ?e elaborates the sub<ect in his concept of 'e5o' *self2 and taqdir *destin%2. Accordin5 to =7bal) the ultimate realit% is free and creative and it is manifested in the self of manAe5o. ?e sa%s that freedom is the ver% essence of Absolute Divine Will that creates and e$pands thin5s in the universe. Man emer5es as the uni7ue creation of 'od and acts as ?is deput% and 'co. ++ wor(er'.

#he e5o's freedom) accordin5 to =7bal) is amplified b% providin5 it with the environment of cause and effect. =t 5ives life to the e5o and the life itself involves freedom. =t is) therefore) the ver% necessit% of the e5o: #he e5o is called upon to live in comple$ environment and cannot maintain his life in it without reducin5 it to a s%stem which would 5ive him some (ind of assurance as to the behaviour of thin5s around him. #he view of his environment of cause and effect is thus an indispensable instrument of the e5o) and not a final e$pression of the nature of ealit%. =ndeed is interpretin5 Oature in this wa% the e5o understands and masters its environment) and +9 thereb% ac7uires and amplifies its freedom. #o =7bal) e5o is determined from within. ?e re<ects ph%sical determinism and views the e5o as a 5rowin5 and chan5in5 realit%. =t is not restricted to mere choice between the predetermined courses but decides its future course b% itself. =t is the centre of free will) d%namic force and creative powers. Placin5 it in causal chains or the e$ternal impositions is the artificial construction for understandin5 and actualisin5 its purposes. #hese practical aspects of the e5o are necessar% for its 5rowth and enrichment. 'raduall% it) sa%s =7bal) rises above these spatio.temporal impositions. =7bal) however) elucidates that the e5o activit% is not entirel% undetermined. =t is determined b% an All.inclusive and All comprehensive unit%) Divine D%namic 85o 'od and ?is creative e$istence reveals ?is eternal possibilities. #he multifarious e$istence) colourful and diver5ent aspects of realit% reveal eternal Divine power. 'od creates the ob<ects and ma(es multiplicit% emer5e from them. #o each ob<ect) ?e assi5ns its +: 'destin%'. Destin% or determinism *taqdir2 in =7bal) is not in conflict with 'pure duration' which is described as the eternal possibilit% for the creative +, activit% of man. =t is not also an unrelentin5 fate but the possibilities in man foreseen b% Omniscient 1reator. =7bal e$plains it thus: Destin% is time re5arded as prior to disclosure of its possibilities. =t is time freed from the net of causal se7uenceA the dia5rammatic character which the lo5ical understandin5 imposes on it. =n one word it is time as felt and not as thou5ht calculated... it is an inward reach of a thin5) its realisable possibilities which lie

within the depths of nature) and seriall% actualise themselves +4 without an% feelin5 of e$ternal compulsion. #he destin%) prescribed b% 'od) si5nifies here immense powers and capabilities which 5ive man the scope of freedom) initiative and ori5inalit%. ?e has an active participation in the creative activit% of 'od as a finite e5o. =n him e5o.hood reaches its perfection and achieves a hi5her place in the realm of e$istence. COf all the creatures of 'od) he alone is capable of consciousl% participatin5 in the creative life of his ma(er. 8ndowed with the power to ima5ine a better world and to mould what is into) what ou5ht to be) the e5o in him aspires) in the interest of an increasin5l% uni7ue and comprehensive individualit%) to e$ploit all the various environments on which he ma% be called upon to operate durin5 the course of an endless +0 career.C !% virtue of ph%sical and spiritual powers suitabl% ad<usted with his faculties) man is capable to act as well as modif% his personalit% and surroundin5s. ?is love for stru55le si5nifies the self.e$pression from one sta5e of bein5 to another. Accordin5 to =7bal) it depends upon man to use or not to use these powers) endowed to him b% 'od. !% usin5 them) nontheless he evolves and enriches his bein5 and 'od even becomes a co.wor(er with him in this whole pro5ressive chan5e. =f he won't use it) his whole bein5 will 9be reduced to the level of a dead matter. Destin%) hence) assi5ns man freedom of action and brin5s before him an infinite career. ?is is the private initiative and 'od helps him b% ?is Divine 'race and command to actualise it. #his concept of destin%) in =7bal) has no place for passive resi5nation to fate or fatalism. Man is not here helpless before an unrelentin5 fate wor(in5 from without. ?e is) of course) a moral a5ent havin5 his own choice to tread the path of perfection) Divine vice5erenc% and eternal bliss or one that leads to de5eneration) de5radation or self.disinte5ration. Almost ever%thin5 becomes possible for him provides 96 he has will and ta(es an initiative. Man cannot) sa%s =7bal) be contained in one destin%. #here is scope for man% destinies *taqdirat2. =f one destin% cannot suit man) he can demand for the other destin%. =7bal ma(es it clear that destin% chan5es if we chan5e ourselves. =t implies that the (ind of act or path we follow will lead to that (ind of destin%. #he latter chan5es in accordance with the chan5e in man's deeds:

=f a certain taqdir has tormented %ou) #hen pra% for some other taqdir% =f %ou wish for new taqdir) it is permissible) !ecause there is no limit of taqdirat with 'od. =ts subtle indication lies in the sin5le phrase) =f %ou chan5e %ourself %our destin% stands chan5ed. 93

=7bal tries to reconcile freedom of man and determinism or destin% of 'od. #o him) there is no contradiction between the two. ?e describes human destin% as a limitation to Divine Activit% %et this limitation is self imposed b% 'od and cannot be compared to human limitations. =t does not rob the former of ?is infinit% and Omnipotence. =t is limitation that ma(es Divine 85o *'od2 intelli5ible to the finite e5os which are 5iven private initiative to act and are not) thus) outside 'od. ?e is their source and the% are or5anicall% related to ?im. 'od is the ultimate determinin5 power to 5uide and direct them in their acts. Freedom and creative power) accordin5 to =7bal) are bestowed b% 'od an man otherwise he will be reduced to a nonentit%. ?e won't be able to conceive and e$press himself. ?is freedom is however) limited b% 'od whose freedom is absolute. Man is not free li(e 'od. !ut his freedom raises him to hei5hts and uni7ue status. =t opens for him the vast field of activit%. Man cannot create li(e 'od %et has the capacit% to chan5e the Divine creation with Divine help) 5uidance and 5race. =n spite of his limitations he can brin5 chan5e in himself and in his environment. #his is his sphere of creation and freedom: #hou *'od2 created ni5ht) = *man2 created the lamp. #hou created da%) = created the cup. #hou created deserts) mountains and forests) = created orchards) 5ardens and 5roves. = am the one who ma(es the 5lass out of stone. 9/ = am the one who turns poison into an ontidote. =n =7balian thou5ht althou5h man freedom %et he is not absolutel% free li(e 'od. ?e owes his e$istence) bod%) soul and life to 'od. ?e is destined to e$press and actualise his possibilities 5ranted b% 'od. =t is not ph%sical or ri5id determinism or fatalism. Man is free to select the possible alternatives

and become responsible for his own deeds. ?is is the destin% of hope and enthusiasm rather than a ruthless compulsion. From the above discussion it is clear that the problem of free will and determinism has remained bafflin5 to man(ind in 5eneral and the Muslim treatment of it illustrates the appropriation of man's role in the world of Divine power and creation. Muslim theolo5ians *mutakalimun2 li(e Mu'ta&ilah and Ash'riah loo( at the problem and relates it to Allah's Lustice and the sense of reason in man himself. Ash'riah on the other hand) observe that power of action in man lies reall% with 'od and the former derives it from the latter *'od2 and so he is the ac7uisitor * muktasib2 of actions rather than their creator. #he power of action is bestowed man b% 'od and ?is is the effective power and that of man is ac7uisitive as he ta(es initiative to do the act. #he power corresponds with the choice and initiation of man and results in the completion of an act which is rewarded as per its merit. =n the two outstandin5 medieval Muslim scholars) al.'ha&&ali and Shah Wali Allah) several important points have been e$plained about the sub<ect. Al. 'ha&&ali maintains that human heart is control in mouldin5) initiatin5 and decidin5 the activit% and conduct of man. #he heart is however) susceptible to both Divine and Satanic influences %et it is tantamount to fatalism or ri5id determinism. Shah Wali Allah emphasis the harmonious between taqdir *'od's power2 and taklif *responsibilit%2 of man. #he latter is realised when possibilit% and capabilit% *isti'dad2 has been created in him. =t si5nifies the freedom of man within the wider universal scheme of 'od * al-tadbir wahdani2) encompassin5 both the eternal and the temporal domains. =n his profound treatment of the sub<ect) Dr. Muhammad =7bal elaborates it throu5h his concept of 'e5o' *human self2 and taqdir *destin%2. #o him the e5o is basicall% a Divine.oriented entit% and b% providin5 him the environment of cause and effect or time and space is to amplif% his freedom. #his ma(es him to initiate) act) create and shape his world which also becomes his destin% *taqdir2.fore (nowled5e of 'od transcendin5 the world of time and space. ?owever) man is not free li(e 'od whose freedom is Absolute and en<o%s the special and uni7ue status amon5 ?is creatures b% this freedom.


References and 1otes+ 6. Fran( #hill%) A &ist$ry $f 'hil$s$(hy) S!W Publishers) Oew Delhi) 600/) pp. 9-.0+. 3. M. Amin Ahsan =slahi) )alsafay kay *unyadi +asail) Bur'an wa Sunnat Academ%) Oew Delhi) 3--6) 6:-.6:9. /. See Marvin Perr% and others *8ditors2) ,!st!rn -i.ilizati$n) ?ou5hton Mittlin 1ompan% !oston) 6040. +. See Sa%%id Abul Ala Maududi) +asala Jabr wa Qadr) Mar(a&i Ma(taba =slami) Delhi) 60,0) pp. 3:.3,. 9. Sha%(h M. Abu Pahrah) Islami +azahib) Ma(taba #hanvi) Deoband *>P2) 6043) pp. 6/,.6/4. :. Th! &$ly Qur'an) al.AnJam) 6+4.6+0. ,. Buoted in Sa%id Abul Ala Maududi) $(% #it%/p. +-. 4. =bid. 0. Th! &$ly Qur'an) 64:9+ 6-. Sha%(h M. Abu Pahrah) $(% #it) pp. 6++.6+0. 66. =bid. 63. Th! &$ly Quran) al.Dahr) ,:: 30./-. 6/. =smaJil .al.Faru7i) ;ois ;am%a al.Faru7i Th! -ultural Atlas $f Islam) Macmillan Publishin5 1ompan%) Oew Ior() 604:) p. 349. 6+. Sha%(h M. Abu Pahrah) $(%#it) pp. 69:.690. 69. MuJta&ilah was one of the important theolo5ical schools which emer5ed durin5 later >mma%%ad period and flourished under the Abbasid rule. =ts rise is attributed to man% factors. Some sa% political rivalar% amon5 the rulers which resulted in bloodshed and the poeple who disassociated themselves from 'politics' to concentrate on !elief *aqa'id2 and worship *ibadah2 of =slam were Muta&alites. =t is also held that due to the interaction with people of other faith and culture and e$plainin5 as well defendin5 =slamic !eliefs and #eachin5s on rational 5rounds led the formation of Muta&ilah school. #he commonl%


6,. 64. 60.

accepted opinion is that it was founded b% Wasil bin Ata *d. 6/6M,+02 who was initiall% the desciple of ?asan !asari) the distin5uished scholar of his times. When the former) however) too( the stand that the perpetrator of the 5rave sin *kabirah2 is neither an unbeliever *as held b% the Khari<iah2 nor a believer *as held b% the Mur<i'ah2 but an intertermediate between these two positions *manzilah bain almanzitalatain2) ?asan !asari declared his scission *itizal2 from the 5roup and Wasil ibn 'Ata be5an to e$plain his own doctrines that lead the formation of Mu'ta&ilah 5roup. ?e was succeeded b% Amr ibn J>ba% 'Ala) Abu al ?udhail 'Alaf =brahim al.Oa&&am Amr al.Lahi&) Abu ?ashim al.Lubbai etc. Muta&ilah call themselves ahl al-tawhid wal'adl *people of >nit% and Lustice2. Since the rational mood of Muta&ilah was favourable to the public and the% were encoura5ed b% Abbasid caliphs li(e al Mansur) al.Mamun and al.MuJtasim but their later use of force rather than reason reduced them to unpopularit% amon5 the 5eneral public. See Sha%(h Abu Pahrah) Islami# +azahibF M.M. Sharif *ed.2 &ist$ry $f +uslim 'hil$s$(hy) Nol. 6) ;ow Price Publication) Delhi) M.!. 'Abu al.Karim Shahrastani) 0itab al +alal wa'l "ihal *8n5. trans. b% A.K. Ka&i and L.'. Fl%nn2) ;ondon and W. Mont5omar% Wall) Th! )$rmati.! '!ri$d $f Islami# Th$ught) 8dinbur5h. Asha'riah is another important theolo5ical school named after its founder 'Ali ibn =sma'il al.Ash'ari *394./332M4,/.0/92. ?e was first a member of the Mu'ta&ilah school and the student of one of its leaders) Abu JAli al Lubba'i *d./-/M0692. ?e 5ot dissatisfied with their rationalism and abandoned them and made a public repentance for his errors in the mos7ue of !asarah. As a5ainst the Muta&ilah ne5ation of 'od's attributes and 1reatedness of the Bur'an and absolute freedom of man al.Ash'ari developed his own s%stem of ideas which became the doctrines of his school. Amon5 them were his belief of 'ods describin5 himself in terms of ?is attributes) the eternit% of the Bur'an) ac7uisition of an act b% man and reconciliation between revelation and reason) and this found popularit% amon5 the public. ;ater on =mam !a7ilani and 'ha&&ali followed this line of the Ash'aria school. ?is famous wor( are al-Ibanah 'an 1sul ad-2iyanah/ +aqalal-al-Islamiyyin and isalah fi Istihsan al-0hawd fi-l-0alam% Sha%(h Abu Pahra) op. cit) pp. 6,+.64/. M.M. Sharif *ed.2 A &ist$ry $f +uslim 'hil$s$(hy) Nol. =) ;ow Price Publications) Delhi 6040) pp. 3--.3-6. Ibid) p. 330.

3-. Ibid. p. 3/-. 36. 'Abd al.Karim Shahrastani) 0ital al +ilal ,a'l "ihal) p. 9/) 7uoted in =bid p. 3/-. 33. cf. Sha%(h Abu Pahra) $(% #it. pp. 33,.3/6. 3/. Abu ?amid Muhammad al.'ha&&ali was a 5reat scholar of medieval times. !orn and died in #us *6-94.66662) he studied at Oa%shabur with al.Luwa%ani) the imam of ?aramain and 5ot appointed as the professor of law at Oi&ami%%ah in !a5hdad b% the Nii&er Oi&am al Mul() the statesman and the patron of learnin5. Al.'ha&&ali had a variet% of intrests) theolo5%) law) philosoph%) ethics) polit% etc. but he turned ultimaterl% to m%sticism. ?is prominant wor(s are Ihya al-1lum al 2in/ al-+anqadh man al-2alal/ Tahafut al-)alasafah/ +aqasad al)alsafah/ "isihat al +uluk/ 0imiyai Sa'adat and +ishkat al-Anwar. 3+. Nide M. >mrauddin) S$m! )undam!ntal As(!#ts $f Imam 3hazzali's Th$ught) =nstitute of =slamic 1ulture) ;ahore) 60,9) pp. ++.+9. 39. #he ?ol% Buran) 3:,. 3:. M. >maruddin) op. cit. p. +9. 3,. =mam 'ha&&ali) Ihya 1lum ul-2in) !oo( ===) =slamic !oo( Service) Oew Delhi) 6006) pp. ++.9-. 34. Ibid.) p. 39. 30. Ibid.) p. +,. /-. Ibid.) p. 3:.3, /6. Butubuddin Ahmad Wali Allah commonl% (nown as Shah Wali Allah Dehlvi was the distin5uished scholar of =slam durin5 the later medieval times. !orn in 6,-/ at Phulat in Delhi. ?e studied at his father's seminar% Madrasa ahimi%a and completed the studies when he was 69 %ears. ?e started teachin5 in the madrasa and also spent two %ears in ?aramain where he learnt deepl% ?adith science at the feet Sha%(h wafadullah) Sha%(h #a< al.Din ?anafi) Sha%(h Abu =brahim Khuri) Sha%(h Abu #ahir Madani the prominent scholars of the times. After his return bac( to =ndia in 6,/3) he devoted most of his time to writin5s. #his was a turnin5 point in his career. ?e contributed remar(abl% to the various domains of sciences *ulum2 li(e Kalam) Fi7h) #afsir) ?adith) #asawwuf and Polit%. ?is &ujjat Allah al-*aligah is his magnum $(us and the other widel% (nown wor(s are al-*udur al *azigah/ Tafhimat-i-Illahiya/ al-)auz-al 0abir fi al-1suli Tafsir/ alInsaf fi *ayan al Sabab al Ikhtilaf and al-0haral 0athir. /3. Shah Wali Allah) &ujjat Allah al-*aligah) Ma(taba #hanvi) Madhari Amur) Pa(istan) Deoband *>.P2) 604:) p. :,. //. =bid.) pp. 90.90.

/+. Shah Wali Allah) Al-*adur al-*azigah *>rdu trns b% Dr. Ba&i Mu<ib ur ehman) Wa&arat Madhabi Amur) Pa(istan) =slamabad) pp. -6.-3. /9. Ibid.) pp. :,.:4. /:. Shah Wali Allah) &ujjat Allah al -*aligah) Deoband) pp. :+. /,. Th! &$ly Quran) //:,3. /4. Su(ra n. /:. p. ::. /0. Shibli Ou'mani is re5arded as one of the leadin5 =slamic scholars of modern times. ?e made a remar(able contribution to almost all fields of =slamic ulum. ?is Sirat al-"abi *SAAWS2) al-)aruq al-3hazzali) al-0alam) Ilm al-0alam) +aqalat and Sha4r al-Ajam are his important wor(s. =t is in his +aqalat Nol. 6) that Shibli deals with the problem of free will and determinism. See its fifth essa%) CBada wa 7adr and Buran.i. Ma<idC. +-. Muhammad Marmaddu(e Pichthal) a 5reat scholar and translator of the ?ol% Buran) discusses the issue in his -ultural Sid! $f Islam. #he boo( comprises the lectures delivered at Madras in 603, under the auspices of the 1ommittee of Madras ;ectures) on =slam and the si$th lecture in the boo( treats the sub<ect. +6. Sa%%id Abul Ala Maududi the prominent =slamic scholar of the contemporar% times) has occasinal% touched upon the theme of free will and determinism in his magnum $(us) Tafhim al Qur'an but his boo(let) +asla Jabr wa Qadr/ is e$clusivel% devoted to it. +3. Maulana Amin Ahsan =slahi) the distin5uished scholar and mufasir of the Buran) has discussed the issue briefl% in )alsafa kay *unyadi +asail. +/. Fa&lur ehman is a 5reat =slamic intellectual of modern times. ?e has treated the issue *in +aj$r Th!ms!s in Qur'an2 precisel% %et it mar(s his profundit%. See also his Islami# +!th$d$l$gy in &ist$ry) =slamic esearch =nstitute) =slamabad) 6040. ++. See Muhammad =7bal) S!#r!#ts $f th! S!lf *trans. b% . A. Oicholson2) Arnold) ?einemann) 60,4) pp. ,6.46. +9. Sir Muhammad =7bal) Th! !#$nstru#ti$n $f !ligi$us Th$ught in Islam) Kitab Publishin5 ?ouse) Delhi) 60,+) p. 6-4. +:. Ibid.) p.9+,. Ibid. +4. Ibid.) p. +0. +0. Ibid.) p. ,3. 9-. Ibid.) pp. 66.63. 96. Ibid.) p. 63.


93. =7bal ;ahori) 0ulyat Ash'ar )arsi "amah6) Kitab Khana Sanai) p. //-. 9/. Allam =7bal) 'ayam-i-+ashriq) '=ti7ad Publishin5 ?ouse) Delhi) 600/) pp. /30.//-.