Is everything predestined or do we have freewill?
I am really confused about the issue of Predestiny. According to what I read:
Belief in Destiny, Its Good and Evil:
To believe in destiny, its good and evil means to be convinced that Allah Most High has ordained both good and evil before creating creation, and that all that has been and all that will be only exists through Allah’s decree, foreordinance, and will. Early Muslims used to answer whoever asked about destiny by saying, “It is knowing that what hits you was not going to miss, and what misses you was not going to hit” (al-Jawahir al-lu ‘lu’iyya fi sharh al-Arba’in al-Nawawiyya (y-68),(pp. 35-37)
Where exactly does freewill come into the picture? I would like to know your explanation to this issue.
The solution to the problem to me is briefly this: God Almighty is perfect in all respects. His perfection in knowledge requires Him to know everything of the future as well. However, He is perfect in Justice as well. Perfection in justice requires that if He was to punish a criminal, He should punish him for matters which he did freely without any external influence. Like all other attributes, His knowledge and Justice are simultaneously functional. Therefore neither negates the other. Thus, His knowledge that a certain individual would go to hell would be accompanied by the understanding that he would go to hell because of his own freely spent life. His foreknowledge in no way would influence the individual’s performance. If it would influence in some ways, God would not hold him responsible for that.
Since this entire discussion is about God Almighty Who is perfect and we are imperfect, there is a limit beyond which we can’t grasp the reality of it. In essence we can understand what it is, but not beyond a certain point. It is a part of the realistic attitude all rational individuals are expected to show. The problem arises either when some people insist on knowing each and every thing about God or when some people are not very precise and careful in describing some of these issues. The prophet, alaihissalaam, therefore asked people not to get involved in this debate. Wallaahu Alam bithawab.