Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As Salaam alaikum,
1. Does Allah create our choices?
2. When we ask Allaah to give someone guidance how does Allah’s help to this person manifest itsef in regard to his free will?
3. When Allaah miraculously saves a Prophet or saves someone from some harm coming from the enemy, is this just Him occasionally stopping the enemy’s free will? Like when the disbelievers didn’t to destroy the spider web on the cave…
4. How do we deal with mentally challenged people? I know they are not responsible in front of God but why do they exist?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
Everybody has choice (ikhtiyar), and therein lies the secret of responsibility (taklif) before the Divine.
But there is no such thing as choice being prevented and the like. It is possible that what people wish to do doesn’t always happen as they intended, yet this doesn’t negate choice as people aren’t running the world– Allah is. With that in mind, don’t overcomplicate such discussions lest you put yourself into some degree of hardship.
(1) Allah is the Creator of absolutely everything. The human being has no power in and of himself, and does not create his own actions, yet is responsible by virtue of his being able to act.
(2) Supplication benefits. [see: Can Supplication Change Destiny?]
(3) They had the choice to break the spider’s web, but they chose not to.
(4) There is wisdom in the creation of everything– sometimes such wisdom is apparent and sometimes it is not. Something we can appreciate from the existence of such people is the magnitude of the Divine Favour upon us.
Please also see: Affirming Free Will and the Divine Decree and: Suffering and Divine Wisdom
Consider taking: Excellence in Faith & Action (from Ghazali’s 40 Foundations of Religion) and: Islamic Beliefs for Seekers: Dardir’s Kharidah Explained
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.