Friday, 17 April 2009

The Problem of Divine Sovereignty, Predestination, Salvation and Human Free Will; Part II

Allah arbitrarily forgives sinners (where is justice here?);…BLACK PEOPLE are CONDEMNED TO HELL for having the very skin color that Allah predetermined for them before their creation; and….Muhammad believed in the doctrine of ORIGINAL SINS

More corroborating evidence from the Hadith literature

Here are some additional ahadith that confirm the fact that it is Allah who determines beforehand who will be saved and who will burn in hell:

'A'isha, the mother of the believers, said that Allah's Messenger was called to lead the funeral prayer of a child of the Ansar. I said: Allah's Messenger, there is happiness for this child who is a bird from the birds of Paradise for it committed no sin nor has he reached the age when one can commit sin. He said: 'A'isha, per adventure, it may be otherwise, because God created for Paradise those who are fit for it while they were yet in their father's loins and created for Hell those who are to go to Hell. He created them for Hell while they were yet in their father's loins. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6436)

This next one is rather interesting:  He (Ibn Sa‘d) said: Then they said: O Apostle of Allah, our mother Mulaykah Bint al-Hulw used to secure the freedom of prisoners, feed the mendicant and show compassion to the poor. She had died. She had interred alive a daughter of very tender age, so what would be her condition. He said: She who interred her (daughter) alive and she who was interred alive are BOTH in hell fire. Thereupon they got infuriated. He said: Come to me. They came back and he said: My mother is with yours. They rejected it, and went away saying: By Allah! This man who made us eat the heart and thinks that our mother is in hell-fire, is not worthy of being followed. They set out and on the way they confronted one of the Companions of the Apostle of Allah who was bringing camels of sadaqah. They tied him and carried away the camels. This news reached the Prophet. He cursed them along with those whom he was cursing in these words: May Allah curse Ri‘l, Dhakwan, ‘Usayyah, Lihyan, and two sons of Mulaykah–Ibn Harim and Murran. (Ibn Sa'ad's Kitab Al-Tabaqat Al-Kabir, English translation by S. Moinul Haq, M.A., PH.D, assisted by H.K. Ghazanfar M.A. [Kitab Bhavan Exporters & Importers, 1784 Kalan Mahal, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110 002 India], Volume I, Parts I & II, pp. 383-384)

Not only did the mother who buried her baby daughter alive go to hell, but so did her infant child who died!

The following "authentic" narrations reiterate the point made by the foregoing Qur’anic verses which we examined that Allah ordains what a person will do, whether good or bad. Allah will then save or destroy an individual as a consequence of the very actions which were foreordained for him/her to do!

Ibn Abbas reported that Allah's Messenger was asked about the children of the polytheists, whereupon he said: It is Allah alone Who knows what they would be doing according to their creation. (Sahih Muslim, Book 033, Number 6433)

Chapter 3. What Has Been Related About Misery And Happiness

2135. ‘Asim bin ‘Ubaidullah said: "I heard Salim bin ‘Abdullah narrating a Hadith from his father who said: ‘‘Umar said: "O Messenger of Allah! Do you see that what we do is a new matter – or a matter initiated – or it is a matter already concluded?" He said: "O Ibn al-Khattab! It is a matter already concluded. For everyone is suited (for that which he is created). As for one who is among the people of happiness, then he works for happiness, and as for one who is among the people of misery, then he works for his misery."’" (Hasan)
 [Abu ‘Eisa said:] There are narrations on this topic from ‘Ali, Hudhaifah bin Asid, Anas, and ‘Imran bin Husain. This Hadith is Hasan Sahih.

2136. ‘Ali narrated: "We were with the Messenger of Allah and he was scraping the ground, when he raised his head to the heavens, then said: ‘There is not one of you but (his place) is known’ – Waki‘ said: ‘His place has been decreed (be it) in the Fire, and (or) his place in Paradise.’ They said: ‘Shall we not rely upon this O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘No. Work, for everyone is facilitated for what he created.’" (Sahih)
 [Abu ‘Eisa said:] This Hadith is Hasan Sahih.


Everyone of us is being enabled to do what is written for him. There is no getting away from those deeds. But since no one knows what is allotted for him, or whether he is destined to do acts of blessedness or of wretchedness, each one of us is obligated to abide by the dictates of the Shari‘ah and do virtuous deeds, as exhorted to by the Prophets and written in the Holy Books. (At-Tirmidhi, Volume 4, pp. 198-200)

Chapter 7. What Has Been Related About ‘The Hearts Are Between The Fingers Of Ar-Rahman

2140. Anas narrated: "The Messenger of Allah would often say: Ya Muqallibal-qulub, thabbit qalbi ‘ala dinik (‘O Changer of the Hearts! Strengthen my heart upon Your religion).’ So I would say: ‘O Prophet of Allah! We believe in you and what you have come with, but do you fear for us?’ He said: ‘Yes. Indeed the hearts are between two Fingers of Allah’s Fingers, He changes them as He wills.’" (Sahih)
 [Abu ‘Eisa said:] There are narrations on this topic from An-Nawwas bin Sam‘an, Umm Salamah, ‘Abdullah, ‘Aishah, and Abu Dharr.

This Hadith is Hasan Sahih. This is how it was reported by more than one narrator from Al-A‘mash from Abu Sufyan, from Anas. And some of them reported it from Al-A‘mash, from Abu Sufyan, from Jabir from the Prophet. The narration of Abu Sufyan from Anas is more authentic.


Allah does have Hands and Fingers but not like those of His creatures. They are as befit His grandeur and glory. He is, thus, above all resemblance and similitude. We believe in them as they are mentioned in the Qur’an and Hadith without coining any similitude, or conjuring up any image, nor denying and explaining them away. (At-Tirmidhi, Volume 4, pp. 203-204)

Chapter 4. What Has Been Related About ‘One’s Deeds Depend Upon One’s End’

2137. ‘Abdullah bin Mas‘ud said: "The Messenger of Allah narrated to us – and he is the truthful and entrusted one: ‘Indeed the creation of one of you is gathered inside his mother in forty days. Then, for a similar period, he is a clot. Then, for a similar period, he is a piece of flesh. Then Allah sends the angel to him to blow the soul into him, and he is ordered to write four (things): To write his provision, his life-span, his works, and whether he will be wretched or happy. By the One besides Whom there is none other worthy of worship! One of you will do deeds of the people of the Paradise, until there is between him and it but a forearm span, then he is overcome by what is written for him, and he is sealed off with the deeds of the people of the Fire, so that he enters it. And indeed one of you will do deeds of the people of the Fire, until there is between him and it but a forearm span, then he is overcome by what is written for him, and he is sealed off with the deeds of the people of Paradise, so that he enters it.’" (Sahih)

[Abu ‘Eisa said:] This Hadith is Hasan Sahih.

(Another chain, but including Yahya bin Sa‘eed) with similar meaning.

[Abu ‘Eisa said:] There are narrations on this topic from Abu Hurairah and Anas and I heard Ahmad bin Al-Hasan say: "I heard Ahmad bin Hanbal saying: ‘I have not seen the likes of Yahya bin Sa‘eed with my eyes.’" And this Hadith is Hasan Sahih


It is necessary that all of us be constantly supplicating Allah for a good end to our lives, and salvation from an evil end. It is also necessary that we, on the basis of our seeing a person doing what he does, do not jump to judgement on whether he is destined for Hell or Paradise, since we have no means to know how he will behave towards the end of his life. (At-Tirmidhi, Volume 4, pp. 200-201)

These specific narrations,

2142. Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "When Allah wants good for a slave, He puts him in action." It was said: "How does he put him in action O Messenger of God?" He said: "By making him meet up with righteous deeds before death."

[Abu ‘Eisa said:] This Hadith is [Hasan] Sahih.


Man derives his ability to perform virtuous deeds from Allah. Then again, it is Allah who is the final arbiter and judge of those deeds. We must, therefore, keep on praying to Allah for grant of ability to do such deeds and that He favor them with His approval and acceptance. (Ibid., Chapter 8. What Has Been Related About ‘Allah Wrote A List Of Paradise And The People Of The Fire’, p. 206)

Introduce another problem since they conflict with the following reports which speak of Allah taking out Muslims from hell that had done absolutely no good deed:

2594. Anas narrated that the Prophet said: "Allah will say: ‘Remove from the Fire whoever remembered Me one day, or feared Me while in a state of sinning.’" (Hasan)

[Abu ‘Eisa said:] This Hadith is Hasan Gharib Sahih.


Remembering Allah and fearing Him is the sign of one’s faith. The Hadith confirms that even those persons who have no good in their Register of Deeds expect the weakest form of faith (iman) will ultimately get deliverance from Fire through Allah’s benevolence and mercy. (Ibid., Chapter 9. What Has Been Related About ‘The Fire Has Two Breaths,’ And What Has Been Mentioned About Those Who Will Exit The Fire From The People of Tawhid, p. 572)


2596. Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: "I know that the last of the people of the Fire depart from the Fire and the last of the people of Paradise to enter Paradise. A man will be brought forth and He will say: ‘Ask about his small sins and hide his large sins.’ So it will be said to him: ‘Did you do this and that on such and such a day, did you do this and that on such-and-such a day?’" He said: "Then it will be said to him: ‘For each of your sins you shall have a reward.’" He said: "So he will say: ‘O Lord! I have done things that I do not see here.’" He (Abu Dharr) said: "I saw the Messenger of Allah laugh until his molars were visible." (Sahih)

Abu ‘Eisa said: This Hadith is Hasan Sahih.


Allah’s benevolence and mercy are boundless. No rules or laws can bind Him, since He is for Whom it is said in the Qur’an: He cannot be questioned as to what He does. (21:23) He will, therefore, change the sins into virtuous deeds for whomever He wills. (Ibid., Chapter 10. Something Else Regarding The Story Of The Last Of The People Of The Fire To Leave it, pp. 573-574)

How could so-called believers end up in hell in the first place if it is Allah who decrees and enables a person to do righteous deeds so as to merit eternal life? And why are they called the people of the Fire when this expression denotes one whom Allah has decreed destruction and wrath? Doesn’t this prove that Allah has ordained that specific Muslims would do no good work at all so he could send them to hell only to later take them out? So it is not the case that all whom Allah has chosen to save are empowered to live righteously and do their best to avoid sinning since many of those who are preordained to enter paradise will have done nothing worthy except for confessing that Allah is the sole deity. Actually, it seems that not all whom Allah has destined to hell will actually remain there since the individuals which are taken out according to the hadith are called the people of the Fire, not the people of Paradise!

Moreover, this further shows how unholy and unjust Allah truly is since he can simply arbitrarily forgive sinners and turn their wicked deeds into righteous ones without demanding that his justice and righteous requirements be satisfied.

For more on the subject of Allah taking Muslims out of hell please consult the following articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

To make matters worse there are specific narrations which claim that Allah deliberately created black skinned people for hell!

Abu Darda' reported God's messenger as saying, "God created Adam when He created him and struck his right shoulder and brought forth his offspring white like small ants. And he struck his left shoulder and brought forth his offspring BLACK as though they were charcoal. Then He said to the party on his right said, 'To paradise, and I do not care', and He said to the party in his left shoulder ‘To hell, and I do not care’." Ahmad transmitted it. (Mishkat Al Masabih, English translation with explanatory notes by Dr. James Robson [Sh. Muhammad Ahsraf Publishers, Booksellers & Exporters, Lahore-Pakistan, Reprint 1990], Volume I, Chapter IV, Book I.- Faith, pp. 31-32)


Narrated AbudDarda': Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: Allah created Adam when He had to create him and He struck his right shoulder and there emitted from it white offspring as if they were white ants. He struck his left shoulder and there emitted from it THE BLACK OFFSPRINGS as if they were charcoal. He then said (to those who had been emitted) from the right (shoulder): For Paradise and I do not mind. Then He said to those (who had been emitted) from his left shoulder: They are for Hell and I do not mind. Transmitted by Ahmad. (Al-Tirmidhi Hadith, Number 38; ALIM CD ROM Version)

Hence, black people are condemned to hell for having the very skin color that Allah predetermined for them even before their creation! Is this just to condemn people on the basis of their skin color when they didn’t have a choice in the matter? These people weren’t asked beforehand whether they wanted to be black, white, Arabian, American etc., but this was something already decided beforehand by Allah.

Finally, it is obvious from the next reports that Muhammad believed in the doctrine of Original Sin to some extent since he blames Adam for expelling mankind from Paradise:

Chapter 2. What Has Been Related About The Argument Between Adam and Musa, Peace Be Upon Them

2134. Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet said: "Adam and Musa argued, Musa said: ‘O Adam! You are the one that Allah created with His Hand, and blew into you of His Spirit, and you misled the people and caused them to be expelled from Paradise.’ So Adam said: ‘You are Musa, the one Allah selected with His Speech! Are you blaming me for something I did which Allah had decreed for me, before creating the heavens and the earth?’" He said: "So Adam confuted Musa." (Sahih)

This Hadith is Hasan [Sahih] Gharib from this route, as a narration of Sulaiman At-Taimi from Al-A‘mash. Some of the companions of Al-A‘mash reported from Al-A‘mash from Abu Salih, Abu Hurairah from the Prophet. Some of them said: "From Al- A‘mash, from Abu Salih, from Abu Sa‘eed from the Prophet." This Hadith has been reported through more than one route from Abu Hurairah from the Prophet.


Whatever good or bad a man does was written fifty thousand years (a long time) before the creation of the heavens and earth. So if a man does a bad deed, let him offer his repentance and seek forgiveness from Allah. Once he has offered his repentance, there is no justification to blame him for the deed in question done by him.
 (English Translation of Jami‘ At-Tirmidhi, Compiled by Imam Hafiz ‘Eisa Mohammad Ibn ‘Eisa At-Tirmidhi, From Hadith no. 1897 to 2605, translated by Abu Khalil (USA), Ahadith edited and referenced by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair ‘Ali Za’i, final review by Islamic Research Section Darussalam [Darussalam Publishers & Distributors, First Edition: November 2007], Volume 4, pp. 197-198)

Adam doesn’t deny that his sin caused his descendants to be cast out of heaven, but puts the blame squarely on Allah since he had already foreordained Adam’s fall before creating the heavens and earths!

The Dilemma

Now that we have examined what the Islamic corpus teaches concerning Allah’s preordainment of all things and man’s responsibility to follow the guidance it is apparent that the Muslims are faced with a major problem. They have a huge dilemma on their hands since the Islamic teaching concerning predestination and human "choice" is a contradiction which cannot be reconciled.

In light of what Islam teaches the obvious questions to ask are, how can a person believe in the message at all if Allah doesn’t will it for him/her? What choice does man really have when Allah creates even his very desires, words and actions beforehand? And how can people be condemned for their unbelief when Allah has created them for disbelief and has chosen to send them to hell before creation itself?

Moreover, why command Muslims to fight and kill idolators and/or subjugate the People of the Book for not believing in Allah's message when these individuals were created to be what they are, whether Jews, Christians, Hindus etc., and cannot turn to Islam even if they wanted to? And if any members of these religious communities do convert it is because s/he was predestined to do so which means that coercion, violence and the threat of death are unnecessary and should not be used as means to bring people to Islam.

Finally, why kill apostates when those who turn away from Muhammad's religion were predestined to do so and cannot choose to do otherwise? Are we to assume that it is just for Allah to not only decree that many individuals would turn renegades but also command that Islamic societies where shariah is implemented to kill these persons for doing exactly what Allah decided they would inevitably do even before they were created? As Muhammad is reported to have said concerning Adam's supposed response to Moses when the latter confronted the father of the human race for causing all of mankind to be expelled from paradise: Do you blame these apostates for doing something which Allah decreed even before creating the heavens and the earths?

It is clear from the foregoing that there are no good, rational answers to these objections and major contradictions.

Advice on how not to address and reconcile the problem

Since Muslims are notorious for committing the tu quoque fallacy (*), we therefore expect them to attack the Holy Bible as opposed to solving the problems raised by their own religious scriptures and traditions. And just in case they do we need to kindly remind our Muslim friends that trying to go this route doesn’t help their situation but only complicates matters for the following reasons.

First, pointing to what the Holy Bible teaches concerning Divine sovereignty, predestination, human responsibility etc. will not answer or solve the objections raised by the orthodox Muslim doctrine of predestination. This approach will demonstrate at most that both the Christian and Islamic traditions have major theological, philosophical and logical problems with their teachings concerning predestination and human choice.

Second, even though there may be some similarities between the Christian and Islamic views concerning these issues there are also profound differences which cannot simply be ignored and brushed aside. For instance, according to the Holy Bible God loves all sinners and desires all human beings to repent and be saved. Allah, on the other had, only loves those who loves him and arbitrarily chooses whom he wills. The true God of the Holy Bible has even taken the initiative in reconciling man to Himself, and has conclusively proven his love for the world, by sending forth his Son the Lord Jesus Christ to die for the very sinners who hate and despise him. Allah, however, has done no such thing even for those who love him.

Related Articles’an/Contra/compulsion.html’an/Contra/astray.html’an/Contra/suffer_for_sin.html




Ar: qadr.

  • Allah already decided who will enter Paradise and Hell, al-A`raf 7:178-179
  • deeds and predestination

Narrated 'Imran: I said, "O Allah's Apostle! Why should a doer (people) try to do good deeds?" The Prophet said, "Everybody will find easy to do such deeds as will lead him to his destined place for which he has been created." (Sahih Bukhari 9.641 also Sahih Bukhari 2.444)

·         al-A`raf 7:178; at-Taubah 9:51.


Maryam 19:60; al-Furqan 25:70; az-Zumar 39:61; al-Mu'min 40:31

3 basic conditions according to Islam

  1. Repentance, Âl 'Imran 3:88-89,135; an-Nisa' 4:17-18, see REPENTENCE
  2. Faith, an-Nisa' 4:136; Muhammad 47:2, see FAITH
  3. Good works (a'mal) (al-Baqarah 2:279; al-Mu'minun 23:1-11), see FAITH AND GOOD WORKS


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