Bediuzzaman's view of Divine Determination (al-Qadar) and Free will (al-Iradah al-Juz'iyyah)

  • Jriss Admin
Keywords: Divine determination, Qadar, human will, al-Irâdah al-Juz’iyyah, power of choice, free will, divine decree, reconciliation, divine knowledge, ikhtiyâr, Qadhâ, divine will, al-irâdah al-kulliyah, Bediuzzaman


Ahmed Akgunduz

The concept of qadar in the Qur’an means a measure or the latent possibilities that Allah (God) created human beings and all natural beings with. The notion of free will has religious, ethical, and scientific implications. From an Islamic point of view, human beings are, for all practical purposes, free. Islam holds that Divine determination and human will define the limits of faith and belief. Divine determination and the power of choice are aspects of a faith that pertain to conscience and show the final limits of Islam and faith; they are not theoretical and do not pertain to knowledge.
The most complex issue in Islam is that of reconciling Divine determination (Qadar) and human will (al-Irâdah al-Juz’iyyah). The idea of Divine determination has often caused people to feel helpless, while it has also led others astray and away from a firm trust in God. Bediuzzaman tried to solve the problem.
According to Bediuzzaman, 1) we have no access to that circle of Qadar that is governed completely by Allah’s Supreme Will; 2) the Divine decree dominates the universe but does not cancel out our free will because we are aware of will in our activities; 3) the power of choice is not opposed to Divine determination—that is part of Divine knowledge; 4) knowledge is dependent on the thing known, and the thing known is not dependent on knowledge of it; 5) Divine determination is connected with cause and effect; 6) God made that weak and partial will of humankind a condition for the realization of His universal will.