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Tanveer  on Predestination 

 May 7, 2003

Dear Ali, 

I would like to comment on your article, "predestination". 

The main theme of your article circulates about the following issue: 

"Allah leads astray whomsoever he will and guides whomsoever he will." (14:4).  

You have pointed out that at some places Allah says man is in full control of his destiny and at some places it says nothing is in his control, an apparent contradiction, according to your point of view.

There are many places in Quran where it is said that Allah guides whomsoever He wills. But His will is not blind, there are some criteria for His will which are clearly stated in Quran.

First take an example. Suppose, there are two persons. One who trusts and believes what you say and the other one who does not trust or believe what you say. The one who trusts and believes you, is more likely to act upon an advice that you would give him sincerely. The one who does not trust or believe you, he is less likely to act upon your advice however sicere it might be. e.g. You do not trust or believe Muhammad. That is why you do not follow him and will not follow him untill you begin to trust or believe his words. So there is no point for Muhammad to give you advice untill you believe him. Because even if he does give you any advice, you are not likely to follow it.

That is how Allah gives guidance. His guidance is for those who believe Him and trust His words. This is one of His criteria for giving guidance, and is pretty logical.

See

007.052:: For We had certainly sent unto them a Book, based on knowledge, which We explained in detail,- a guide and a mercy to all who believe.

027.002 : A guidance and good news for the believers,

040.074 : Beside Allah? They say: They have failed us; but we used not to pray to anything before. Thus doth Allah send astray the disbelievers (in His guidance). 

039.003 : Now, surely, sincere obedience is due to Allah (alone) and (as for) those who take guardians besides Him, (saying), We do not serve them save that they may make us nearer to Allah, surely Allah will judge between them in that in which they differ; surely Allah does not guide him aright who is a liar, disbeliever.

From the above verses, you can see that Allah does not select people randomly or blindly whom to guide and whom to lead astray. He has set some criteria,  just like you have implicitly set some criteria in your mind.

Now when it comes to believing, man has the initiative and full choice whether to believe or not? If He decides to believe, he can benefit from guidance. If he choses to disbelieve, he cannot benefit from guidance.

See

018.029: Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!

Now the law of guidance can be stated as:

"If you believe me , then I shall guide you."

Now the "if" part of the sentence is in full control of man. He has full choice. "Then" part is not in his control, it is decided according to his choice of "if" part.

That is how all laws of predestinations are laid.

Man has choice of taking initiative or choosing what to do. For every action of his, there is a pet result or consequence, which is not under his control.

Take another example. You have choice whether to put your hand in fire or not. But if you put in it, then to be burnt or not to be burnt is not in your control.

Suppose you hit a table with your fist. For every quantity of force, there is a fixed resultant reaction force that will be exerted on your hand. For every action force of yours, there is a predestined reaction force, that you cannot change. You can only change your action force. The reaction force is determined by your action force.

For every action of yours, you have IKHTIYAR, for every reaction of your actions, you are under JABAR. So at the same time, you have ikhtiyar as well as you are under jabar.

 

Best regards,

Tanveer

 

 

Dear Tanveer, 

Thank you for providing your insight on the question of predestination. (jabr and ikhtiyar) 

Your explanation is correct. You actually are describing the Newton's Third Law of Motion that states for every action there is an equivalent and opposite reaction. However the objects that react have no will of their own. Fire burns and if I put my hand in it, it will burn my hand. Fire cannot decide not to burn. Its nature is to burn. Fire is not smart. It is dumb and it has no will of its own. As humans we have superior intelligence to everything else around us and we can bend the laws of the nature. I can wear a glove and protect my hand from burning. I defy the laws of the nature. According to the nature you and I should not be talking together now as each one of us in a different part of the world. But we break the laws of the nature and converse with each other while you are in one part of the world and I am in another. According to the nature we cannot fly; but we build airplanes and fly. We humans have demonstrated that our will is superior to the will of the nature. As a matter of fact nature has no will at all. Nature follows natural laws stupidly. The Earth rotates around the Sun but it is not thinking and it has no will of its own. The Sun is burning and giving its light and energy but it is not thinking and it is not doing it voluntarily. It is clear that our will as humans is superior to the will of nature.  

How this natural law can compare to the will of God that according to Muhammad is quite arbitrary and superior to our will? Quran says:

  "Allah leads astray whomsoever he will and guides whomsoever he will." (14:4).

Can you say the same thing about the fire? Can you say the fire burns whomsoever it will and cool whomsoever it will? 

I am afraid your explanation, although correct and rational, does not answer the incorrect and irrational contradiction that exists in the Quran regarding the question of predestination. The way you explain it Allah must be a dumb entity like fire and therefore speaking of Allah’s will is a moot statement. 

You also said that God guides those who believe in him and follow his mandates. I agree! Obviously those who do not follow him and do not believe in him cannot be guided. That is true and a fair statement. So it is again man who chooses to be guided and not God. However the guidance of God is there for anyone who wants to receive it. It is like saying the Sun will shine over anyone who comes out of his room and bask in its rays. Can the Sun shine on one person and not on another provided both of them get out and expose themselves to its rays? Does the Sun choose where to shine and where not to shine? Again this does not explain the verse (14:4) that says, "Allah leads astray whomsoever he will and guides whomsoever he will."  You cannot have it both ways. Either people choose the guidance and follow it or God chooses to guide whomever he will. This is elemental logic. 

This point is clear. However let us make an example to make it clearer. God says do not kill. This is the guidance. I can choose to not listen and go ahead and kill. God already has given his guidance and it is universal. It is up to me to accept it or to reject it. So guidance depends on my will and not on God's will. He does not play games. He does not guide one person and then lead astray another person. Divine guidance is not whimsical but it is provided for everyone equally. It is the humans who choose to heed or not to heed. Anything else would be unjust. If God were to guide some and lead others astray he would be an unjust God unworthy of our praise. Therefore the guidance depends on the will of humans and not the will of God. God does not play favoritism and is not respector of persons. The verse 14:4 and all those other verses that claim God acts arbitrarily are false. As a matter of fact one can say that God's laws are established, predictable and immutable laws and there are no exceptions. God cannot be whimsical as Muhammad described him. Hence speaking of the will of God in guiding or leading astray is absurd. Being guided or going astray is all in the hands of the humans who can decide to follow or not to follow the divine mandates. This is another proof that Muhammad was not a messenger of God and he did not know what he was talking about. Following him certainly will lead one astray, as it is obvious from the deplorable state of his ummah. 

Allah was Muhammad's own alter ego. He created this entity. And this figment of his sick mind actually reflected his own narcissistic traits. Muhammad wanted to do as he pleased with no one to question his authority. Hence he fabricated this imaginary god and through him he exerted his absolute control over his gullible followers. No one could question him as his words received the divine authority and became synonymous to the word of God. He created a perfect tool to dominate everyone and do as he pleased. It is sad that 1400 years later, a billion people cannot see the game that this man played on them and blindly follow this evil and lunatic mad man.  

Kind regards 

Ali Sina 


May 8, 2003

Dear Ali,

 

Thanks for your response. You are absolutely right that we are superior to other inanimate things or other animate beings. Both of these do not have any choice, and intelligence. But I do not agree with your point that you can defy nature. None can change the laws of nature. What one can do, is that, one can discover laws of nature, and can make use of this discovery.  

You gave example of gloves. I was expecting that example from you. By making and using gloves, you have just discoved another law of nature, just like the one you discovered earlier that fire burns. Now you discovered that there are some substances, (again made by nature) that can work as fire-repellent or retardents. What you have done is just made use of another law of nature. That is what science does. It does not manufacture or creates any laws of nature. It just discovers, what is the nature of things and how nature works and makes use of these discovered laws to make inventions etc. In other words, man and science learns from nature. What a paradox? Man is more intelligent than nature but learns from nature. Man cannot create something from nothing. He can only create something from something. Man cannot even make nothing from something. Man has discovered that matter can neither be created nor destroyed. It can only change forms. That reminds me one more thing that once a person dies, his body just changes form, the matter of his body is not destroyed. The actions seems irreversible to us.

But man has discovered many reversible reactions. That might take ones mind to the idea that in man's case there may also be a possibility of his body matter to undergo reversible reaction, provided the conditions of reaction are optimum. You also gave example of airplanes. Here again, man made use of Newtons Law's motion and gravity. Basically, Newton did not manufacture these laws. They were always there even before Newton was born. Newton just discoverd them and Wright brothers made use of these laws of nature. They both lerned from nature. 

Now let us talk about how law's of nature or Allah's laws were created. When it came to making laws, Allah could have or according to you, nature could have made any laws of His or its choosing. Once the laws were made. Allah (your nature) said that nobody can change these laws. He ( or your nature) also said even He himself or it itself will not change these laws. This does not mean that He cannot do it but it is a matter of principles. For example, You have the power to swear, rebuke or slander someone. But if you do not do it, your self-imposed restriction is a matter of principle. You are a man of principles. That is why nature also does not change its laws.Water remains same H2O2, whereever you go. 

Now there are two types of laws of Allah. One are laws in theory and the other ones, laws in practice. Laws in theory are inside Quran. Man has choice whether to abide by them or not. But he has no choice on the outcome of his actions. The others are laws in practice that are laws in the universe which people like Newton discover. Here again, man has choice to abide by the laws or go against them. 

I give you an example. Suppose the law is, if you put your hand in fire, it will be burnt. Getting burnt is AZAB. Now there is also  MAGHFARAT, which literally means PROTECTION. When you wear gloves, you have sought MAGHFARAT, that is another law of nature. Now, suppose you forgot to wear the gloves and your hands are burnt, you still have a chance i.e FORGIVENESS.  You can attain forgiveness if you  put some ointment on your hands. By taking an ointment, you resort to yet another law of nature, by making use of substances that have a soothing effect. Now what you need is TOBA, a promise to yourself that you will never put your unprotected hand in the fire again. 

This is how Laws of nature and Laws of Allah work. 

Best regards,

 

Tanveer

 

_____----*****O*****----_____

Dear Tanveer, 

 I said I break the laws of the nature while that was a wrong statement. I should have said I use one law of nature to overcome the limitations imposed on me by the other. Thank you for correcting me.  

However our discussion is about predestination. You compared putting my hand into the fire to a sin, or transgression, which would result in burning my hand and you compared that to azab (punishment). Then you said I could use a glove that would protect my hand and that is maghfarat and if my hand burns I could use some ointment or medicament and that is like repentance (tobah).  

What I do not understand is how you compare the fire with God. Fire has no will of its own. Muhammad said that Allah would guide anyone he pleases and lead astray anyone he pleases. In your example we should say fire would burn anyone it pleases and not burn anyone it pleases. However this is not what is happening. You explained the obvious but you did not explain the whimsical nature of Allah as Muhammad claimed. There is no evidence to prove that the laws of the nature can be changed as you yourself so poignantly pointed out. We use one law to overcome the limitation of the other laws. For example when we fly we do not break the law of gravity but we use air as a cushion to overcome the gravity. We basically ride over the air. The laws of the nature are constant. There is no evidence that that anyone made these laws. If you think every law must have a law maker and therefore there must be a God then tell me who made the God. If God can subsist by itself and is eternal why not accept that the laws are eternal and do not need a maker? These laws are immutable, self-subsisting and eternal. Even if there is a god that god must be subject to these laws. As a matter of fact I believe that there is a Single Principe underlying the creation. With this the notion of a god as a creator becomes redundant. But that is another topic. Let us concentrate on predestination for now.  

It makes no sense to believe that God acts whimsically. It makes no sense that he guide one person and refuse to guide another person. Men can accept the divine guidance or reject it but the guidance should be there for anyone at anytime. Saying that God leads astray some people is a stupid statement. I agree with your analogy of fire burning hand and that one who transgress a law will have to pay the consequences. But the choice is always with the man and not with God. The nature of fire is to burn. It does not make any distinction between the objects that it burns. It burns anything that contains carbon. A saint or a villain burn alike! Fire is dumb. It lacks any intelligence or will. Therefore this analogy does not explain the verse 14:4 that says,  “Allah leads astray whomsoever he will and guides whomsoever he will." (14:4). This statement is a dumb statement. It is clear that Muhammad had no clue of divine mysteries and his idea of God was that of a despot ruler. Someone like Saddam Hussein who would do as he pleased and would reward anyone beyond his merits and punish anyone as he willed and there was no authority above him to question him or stop him. It is said that Saddam used to jail and kill those who laughed at the jokes make about him. Isn't this how Muhammad envisioned his Allah? What Quran says will happen to those who ridicule Allah? Muhammad’s brain was not evolved enough to understand beyond that. He had a primitive mind. God to him was just a whimsical despot given to ire and to pleasures – one who would be pleased if you worshipped him and offended if you ignored him. This man did not have any understanding of the spiritual realm. His paradise and hell are all physical places. His brain capacity was extremely limited. All he knew was physical pleasure and pains and with that he tried to manipulate his foolhardy ignorant followers. The idea of Jabr or god’s will, overriding the laws of the nature is the proof that he was a man of little comprehension and no insight into hidden mysteries of life.  

Dear Tanveer: these are not slanders. These are the facts. Muhammad was insane and there is nothing intelligent in anything he wrote or said. Let us continue with this debate and I will prove it once again that all my charges against Islam and its author stand. I hope you too finally realize that you are beating a dead horse and Islam is not your ticket to salvation. Islam in not a religion and Muhammad was not even sane let alone a prophet. This is not difficult to see. More and more people are seeing it and soon Muslims will be viewed as the ignorant people of the world. They will be despised and humiliated for following a terrorist and belonging to a cult that promotes hate. Do not accept this humiliation.  

Please continue to refute my claims against Islam. Let us keep this debate alive.  

Kind regards  

 

Ali Sina   


 

May 9, 2003

Dear Ali,

God is not whimsical at all. Let me give you an example.

You make friend whom you will or please and do not make friend whom you will or please.

But you do no do so by following your whim. Your WILL has some criteria. You have implicitly set some criteria in your mind that these are the kind of people you will make friends and those are the kind you will not make friends. You are not whimsical at all. But you have conciously or unconciously made some criteria in your mind. One thing about you is that you never declare your criteria to all the people.

Now when God says, he guides whom He wills and leads astray whom He will, He is not whimsical at all. He has some criteria whom to guide and whom not to guide. He always abide by the same criteria, no whim at all. Unlike you, He has also declared His criteria, so that there be no doubt. One of the criteria you can verify in your daily life. He always guides those who believe in Him. You will find no one who is guided by someone who does not believe in the guide. You can try to give someone guidance but he will never be guided untill he believes what you are saying. The same is with God's guidance. His guidance (Quran) is for everyone but only those are guided from it who believe in it. Take your example. You read Quran (the guidance) but you do not believe in it. So you are not recieving any guidance from it. That is a living proof. You will only recieve any guidance from it when you will believe in it. 

So Allah's guidance is for all. But Allah's will's one of the criterion is  that only those are guided who believe in Him and in His guidance. And you will never find any change or whim in this criterion. Suppose I do not believe in your words, you can never be a cause of guidance for me untill I start believing in what you say. This is the immutability of this law. Just look around and find a single person who is guided by someone whom he does not believe. You will never find one.

 Your problem is that you have read Quran in bits and pieces so you do not have full perception of any of the concept given in Quran. You have read Allah guides whom He wills but you have not read the criteria.

Take another example of your reading in bits and pieces. You have touched upon the nature of paradise in your recent response. All the discription of paradise given in Quran is as an example, parable and similitude, just to make people understand what it may be like.

Take an example of a man living in the most backwad part of Africa. He has never listened about Computer. Now you want to explain him what is computer like. You cannot say to him it has  hardware and a software. You may go in detail and tell him it has a keyboard and a mouse and a monitor and so on. Will he understand? You are actually making things complicated for him. However, if you would try to explain him by giving examples using things around him, he might be able to have a little idea about that.

That is how we are in this world. Very backward and primitive in mind. We cannot understand how the life would be like in the hereafter. So Allah has tried to explain us using analagies and similitude. Exactly what's the paradise like we cannot understand just like a primitive-mind african cannot understand what is computer. Look what the Quran says about paradise:

" no person knows what delights of the eye are kept hidden (in reserve) for them - as a reward for their (good) deeds."32/17

"A similitude of the PARADISE which is promised unto those who keep their duty (to Allah): Underneath it rivers flow; its food is everlasting, and its shade; this is the reward of those who keep their duty, while the reward of disbelievers is the Fire. "13/35

 "(Here is) a Parable of the PARADISE which the righteous are promised: in it are rivers of water incorruptible; rivers of milk of which the taste never changes; rivers of wine, a joy to those who drink; and rivers of honey pure and clear. In it there are for them all kinds of fruits; and Grace from their Lord. (Can those in such Bliss) be compared to such as shall dwell for ever in the Fire, and be given, to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)? "47/15

It is neither Allah nor Muhammad who is primitive but it were the people who they are talking to. They cannot understand without physical parables and similitudes. What is the exact nature of paradise nobody in this world can understand. All would be his assumptions and theories. What Allah has given in Quran, the nature of paradise, that is just a parable and similitude.

You have written in some of your articles that you believe in God. Not in Muslim's or Jew's. I would very much like to know what are the characteristics of God in which you believe. Does He have any characteristics at all? Your mind is, of course, not primitive. What is your vision of paradise? Since criticism is the easiest thing, you will find every layman criticising his government, criticising life, circumstances, time, boss, and so on. What will be more edifying for me from you, would be the alternative concepts or  ideas about society, life etc. that you have in your mind for the world.

 

Best regards,

Tanveer

 _____-----*****O*****-----_____

 

Dear Tanveer, 

You are right. I choose my friends and there are people that I do not choose as friends. I am not God. I am a human and as such I am biased. There are all sorts of people out there and I tend to pick as friends those whose values are similar to mine. But God is the creator of all beings. He could not have created some people and then dislike them. He cannot play favoritism. That is utter injustice.  He should like everyone the same.

Quran says, “Many are the Jinns and men we have made for Hell” (7.179). Then it adds that because they are like cattle and do not understand. Since God is the creator he should have given these “many Jinns and men” understanding. He has deliberately deprived them from understanding and now he is punishing them. This verse also makes it clear that he purposefully has made some men and Jinn to become fuel for Hell. In verse 4:35 we read that “Thus doth Allah, seal up every heart - of arrogant and obstinate Transgressors." And in verse 45.23 we read: Then seest thou such a one as takes as his god his own vain desire? Allah has, knowing (him as such), left him astray, and sealed his hearing and his heart (and understanding), and put a cover on his sight. Who, then, will guide him after Allah (has withdrawn Guidance)? Will ye not then receive admonition?” 

Here we have the description of an unjust god. If Allah is the creator of the people he should have given them understanding and make his revelation clear. That is not the case at all. The revelation of Allah to Muhammad is anything but clear. The Quran is a hodgepodge of absurdities and incongruencies. That book is illogical, confused and contradictory. So Allah has failed to make his revelation clear. According to the Quran only those who are gifted with understanding will understand that book. However we see that the most learned and knowledgeable people, since the time of Muhammad, have rejected that book and the least intellectually equipped people have accepted it. Take for example the subject of Paradise and Hell that you tried to explain. These are physical places as they are described in the Quran. 

The confusion of the Quran is clear from the very topic of hell and fire and the day of resurrection that is so often repeated in the Quran. Muhammad keeps talking about a day when Allah will gather everyone on the Day of Judgment and resurrect them from their bones. Even the Arabs derided at this foolish thought. The idea of a physical hell and Paradise that he drilled on them was outlandish. People had difficulty accepting these idiotic concepts. In fact these absurd beliefs do not facilitate the understanding of the afterlife but hinder it. Is it that Islam is catered to the most stupid people bereft of intelligence and knowledge? You say that these quranic descriptions of the hell and paradise are allegorical, meant for the consumption of the least intelligent people. Why in the whole Quran there is not a single description of the afterlife for the intelligent people then? You say we should not take the resurrection, the hell and paradise literally. That is the way many Muslims such as Sufis thought. However do we have any indication in the Quran that these descriptions are not literal? No we don’t. That is what you say and what the Sufis said. Now the question that begs an answer is who is entitled to interpret the real meanings of these childish concepts? Would a wise god give guidance to people in riddles and expect them to interpret it according to their own understanding? In that case why we need the guidance in the first place? A book of guidance should guide clearly and unequivocally and should not be open to interpretations and conjectures. If the paradise and hell in the Quran are parables, Muhammad should have given first the description of the real thing and then clarify it further with examples. Where is the real description of hell and paradise?  

Back to our subject of predestination: It is clear that the concept of predestination is absurd and unjust. No amount of rationalization and explanation on behalf of the Muslims will make this clear. It is extremely simple. Quran says that Allah leads astray whomever he pleases. Quran says that Allah has placed a seal over the hearts of those who transgress. “Thus doth Allah, seal up every heart - of arrogant and obstinate Transgressors." (4:35). In the verse 45.23 Muhammad says that Allah will leave one astray, and seal his hearing and his heart (and understanding) and put a cover on his sight.” Isn’t this absurd? Why Allah does not open the eyes of those who transgress and guide them instead? Why he does not lift the seal from their hearts and make them understand? This Allah is obviously not the loving creator of this universe. Is this how you treat your children if they transgress your orders? Is this how you treat your dog if he disobeys you? This kind of response is fit for extremely narcissist people such as Saddam who had not problem killing his son- in-law or anyone else who disobeyed him. Muhammad was also a narcissist and his imaginary God reflects his personal thoughts. He depicts his Allah according to his own mental disposition. Such characteristics are fit for mentally deranged people like Saddam, Hitler or Stalin and not for the maker of this universe. We do not need other proof to realize Islam is nothing but a ploy of a narcissist to fool the gullible and dominate the foolhardy.  

No my friend, I read the Quran in its entirely and that was when it dawned on me that this cannot be the work of any god. Before that, I used to read it in bits and pieces, just as most Muslims do. And I used to think that there must be some explanation somewhere in the Quran that will clear it all. So when I came across the blatantly stupid verses I was not too alarmed as I kept telling myself, I have not read the whole Quran and I should not take things out of context. It was when I read the Quran in Arabic with the help of its English translation that I realize what a hoax is this book. That was when I realized that the violence, intolerance and plain stupidity is the context of the Quran. .  

You asked me what is my understanding of God. I have written about it in these articles if you care to know.   

You wrote:  

“You have said that islam is not a ticket to salvation. That also reminds me that you have not studied Quran at all. If you have studied, you have not contemplated. There is no concept of salvation in Quran. The concept of salvation is in today's christianity and Hinduism etc. According to Quran the objective of life is FAUZ and FALAH, not salvation.”

Thousands of people will read this debate. When I write I try to use words that can be easily understood by everyone. Salvation is something most people do underrating even if they are not familiar with Islam and the concept of falah. To avoid confusing you I should have used “ticket to parades” instead. Actually ticket to salvation was a slip but it clarifies the point I tried to convey. Now my question to you is have you read the entire Quran? Are you familiar with all the absurdities and stupidities in that book and despite that do you still believe in it? I have more respect for those Muslims who do not know the Quran and defend it than those who know it and defend it. I know wonderful Muslims who think Quran is such wonderful book without every having read it. I was among the first category of people and most of my relatives, friends and loved ones fall into that category too. I do not blame them. Ignorance is not a sin. I however have a different view of those who have read the Quran, have seen the brutality of it, are familiar with the violence and hate that it preaches and still defend it. I hope you fall within the first category.

 

Regards

Ali Sina

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