What do Muslims believe?
Muslims believe in the One, Unique, Incomparable, Merciful God- the Sole Creator, Sustainer and Cherisher of the universe; in the Angels created by Him; in the prophets through whom his revelations were brought to humankind; in the Day of Judgment, and in individual accountability for action; in God’s complete authority over destiny, be it good or bad; and in life after death.
Muslims believe that God sent His messengers and prophets to all people. Biblical prophets mentioned in the Quran include; Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael,
Isaac, Job, Ezekiel, Jacob, Joseph, Jonah, Jethro, Moses, Aaron, Elijah, Elisha, David, Solomon, Zechariah, John the Baptist, and Jesus; peace be upon them all.
God’s final message to humanity was revealed to the last prophet, Muhammad(peace be upon him), through the Archangel Gabriel. It confirmed and finalized all previous revelations that were to human kind through God’s messengers.
One becomes a Muslim by believing and proclaiming that, “There is no deity except God, and that Muhammad is the messenger of God.” By this declaration the believer announces his or her faith in all of God’s messengers, and in the scriptures revealed to them.
BELIEF IN ALLAH
Who is Allah?
Islam is the complete submission and obedience to Allah (God).
The name Allah (God) in Islam never refers to Muhammad (pbuh), as many Christians may think; Allah is the personal name of God.
What do Muslims believe about Allah?
1. He is the one God, Who has no partner.
2. Nothing is like Him. He is the Creator, not created, nor a part of His creation.
3. He is All-Powerful, absolutely Just.
4. There is no other entity in the entire universe worthy of worship besides Him.
5. He is First, Last, and Everlasting; He was when nothing was, and will be when nothing else remains.
6. He is the All-Knowing, and All-Merciful,the Supreme, the Sovereign.
7. It is only He Who is capable of granting life to anything.
8. He sent His Messengers (peace be upon them) to guide all of mankind.
9. He sent Muhammad (pbuh) as the last Prophet and Messenger for all mankind.
10. His book is the Holy Quran, the only authentic revealed book in the world that has been kept without change.
11. Allah knows what is in our hearts.
Allah is the proper Arabic name for God. Muslims believe in and worship the same One God the Jew and Christians worship. Allah says in the Quran:
“And do not debate with the People of the Book, unless in the best of manner, but not with those who are unjust, and say: ‘We believe in the Revelation that ha come down to us and in that which came down to you; Our God and your God is One; And to Him do we wholly give ourselves.’” (Quran 29:46)
Allah is unique term with no plural and no gender. It predates Muhammad and was also used in the form of El, Ilah or Elohim by David, Moses, Jesus and other messengers of God, peace be upon them all.
“He is God, the One that there is no deity but He; the Knower of the unseen and the apparent; He is the Source of All Mercy, the Merciful.
He is God, the One that there is no deity but He; the King, the Holy, the Sourse of All Peace, the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver, The Mighty, the Compeller, the Majestic; Glory to God, beyond their association (of partners with Him)!
He is God; the Creator, the Maker, the Fashioner. To Him belong the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Him; He is the Mighty, the Wise.” (Quran 59:22-24).
Belief in Angels:
Muslims believe in the existence of the angels of Allah and that they are "honored servants. They do not speak before He does, and they act only by His command" (Quran 21:26). Allah created them, and they worship and obey Him. Those who are in His presence do not disdain to worship Him, nor do they weary" (Quran 21:19).
Angels are concealed from us, so we cannot see them. Allah may show them to some of His servants. The Prophet Muhammad saw Gabriel in his real shape with six hundred wings that covered the horizons (Bukhari and Muslim). Gabriel took the form of a handsome human being who met Mary and engaged in conversation with her. He came to the Prophet while he was among his Companions in the appearance of an unknown man who did not show any trace of long travel, with very white clothes, and very black hair. He sat facing the Prophet, his knees to the Prophet's knees, peace be upon him, and his palms on the Prophet's thighs and talked with the Prophet. The Prophet later told his Companions that the man they saw was Gabriel (Bukhari and Muslim).
Angels' Functions: We believe that the angels are assigned certain functions. Among the angels is Gabriel, who is entrusted with revelation. He brings it down from Allah to whomever He wishes among His prophets and messengers.
Among them is Michael, who is in charge of rain and the growth of plants; Israfil, who is in charge of blowing the horn at the time of thunder-bolting and the resurrection; the Angel of Death, who takes away people's souls at the time of death. Among the angels is the one who is in charge of mountains; and Malik, the keeper of Hell.
Some angels are in charge of embryos in wombs, others are responsible for protecting human beings, and others are busy recording men's deeds: there are two angels for every person, "when the two angels receive (his deeds), one sitting on the right and one on the left, not a word he utters but by him is an observer ready" (Quran 50:18). Some other angels are in charge of questioning the dead after he is placed in his last abode. Two angels come to him and ask him about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet. There "Allah confirms those who believe with the firm saying, in the present life and the hereafter, and Allah leads astray the evildoers and Allah does what He wills" (Quran 14:27).
Some angels are in charge of the dwellers of Paradise: "The angels enter to them from every gate, saying: 'Peace be upon you for that you were patient. How excellent is your final home"' (Quran 13:24).
The Prophet, peace be upon him, told us that "seventy thousand angels enter or pray in the populous house in heaven every day. They never come back to it as long as they live" (because their turn will never come) (Bukhari and Muslim).
Belief in the Revealed Books:
We believe that Allah revealed books to His messengers as proof against mankind and a guidance for the righteous workers. They purified and taught them wisdom by these books.
We believe that Allah sent down a book with every messenger, because He says: "Indeed We sent down Our messengers with the clear signs, and We sent down with them the book and the balance, so that people may uphold justice" (Quran 57:25).
Among the books that were revealed, we know:
I ) The Torah, which was revealed to Moses, peace be upon him. It is the greatest among the Israelites' books: "Surely, We sent down the Torah, wherein is guidance and light; by its laws the Jews have been judged by the prophets who surrendered themselves to Allah, the rabbis and the doctors of law, because they were entrusted the protection of Allah's book and were witnesses thereto" (Quran 5:44).
2) The Gospel, which Allah revealed to Jesus, peace be upon him. It is a confirmation of the Torah and a complement to it: "And we gave him the Gospel, wherein is guidance and light and confirming the Torah before it, as a guidance and an admonition to the God-fearing" (Quran 5:46); "And to make lawful to you certain things that, before, were forbidden to you" (Quran 3:50).
3) The Psalms, which Allah gave to David, peace be upon him.
4) The Tablets of Abraham and Moses, peace be upon them.
5) The Glorious Quran, which was revealed to His Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets. It is "a guidance to the people and clear signs of guidance and the criterion between right and wrong" (Quran 2:185). The Quran Is Protected from Change:
The Quran is "confirming the scripture that was before it and stands as a guardian over it." Thus, by means of the Quran, Allah abrogated all the previous revealed books. Allah has also guaranteed its protection from any play or mischievous distortion: "Indeed, We sent down the message and We will guard it" (Quran 15:9), for the Quran is a proof against mankind till the Day of Judgment.
Previous Scriptures Changed:
The previous scriptures were meant for a limited period. Their use ended with the revelation of the Quran, which abrogated them and exposed their distortions and changes. That is why they were not protected from corruption. They underwent distortion, addition, and omission: "Some of the Jews pervert words from their meanings" (Quran 4:46); "So woe to those who write the Book with their hands, and then say: 'This is from Allah,' that they may sell it for a little price. So woe to them for what their hands have written, and woe to them for their earnings" (Quran 2:79); "Say, who sent down the Book that Moses brought as a light and a guidance to people? You put it into sheets of paper showing some of them and concealing much" (Quran 6:91); "And there is a group among them who twist their tongues with the Book, that you may think it is a part of the Book but it is not part of the Book. And they say 'It is from Allah,' yet it is not from Allah, and they tell a lie against Allah and they know it. It is not for any human being to whom Allah has given the Book, the Wisdom and the Prophet hood to say to men 'Worship me instead of Allah"' (Quran 3:79); "People of the Book! Our Messenger has come to you, making clear to you many things you have been concealing of the Book and forgiving you of much. A light has come to you from Allah and a glorious Book, with which He will guide whoever follows His pleasure in the way of peace, and brings them forth from darkness into the light by His will" (Quran 5:15-16).
Belief in Messengers:
Muslims believe that Allah has sent to His people messengers who were "bringing good tidings and warning, so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the Messengers. Allah is All-mighty, All-wise" (Quran 4: 165).
The First and Last Messengers:
We believe that the first among the messengers is Noah and the last is Muhammad, peace be upon them all: "We revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the prophets after him" (Quran 4: 163); and "Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets" (Quran 33:40).
The Best Messengers:
We believe that the best among the messengers is Muhammad, then Abraham, Moses, Noah, and Jesus, son of Mary. It is they who are meant by the following Quranic verse: "And when We took a compact from the prophets, and from you, and from Noah, and Abraham, then Moses, and Jesus, son of Mary. We took from them a solemn compact" (Quran 33:7).
We believe that Muhammad's message, peace be upon him, includes all the merits of the messages of those dignified messengers, because Allah says: "He ordained for you what He enjoined on Noah and what He revealed to you and what He enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus; namely, establish this faith and be united in it" (Quran 42:13).
Messengers Are Human Beings:
We believe that all messengers are created human beings who have none of the divine qualities of Allah. Allah, the Exalted, said about Noah, who was the first among them: "I do not say to you, 'I possess the treasures of Allah.' I do not know the unseen, and I do not say 'I am an angel"' (Quran 11:31) Allah directed Muhammad, who is the last among them, to say: "I do not say to you I possess the treasures of Allah, nor do I know the unseen, and I do not say to you I am an angel" (Quran 6:50); and to say that "I have no power to bring profit or hurt for myself, but only as Allah wills" (Quran 7:188); and: "I have no power to hurt or benefit you. Say none can protect me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge besides Him" (Quran 72:91-2).
We believe that the messengers are among Allah's servants. He blessed them with the message and described them as servants, in the context of praising and honoring them. He says about Noah, the first among them: "You are the descendants of those whom We carried with Noah, he was a truly thankful servant" (Quran 17:3).
Allah said about the last among them, Muhammad, peace be upon him: "Blessed be He who sent down the Quran to His servant, that he may warn mankind" (Quran 25:1). As for some other messengers, he said: "And mention Our servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, men of might and vision" (Quran 38:45); "And remember Our servant David, who was a mighty and penitent man" (Quran 38: 17); "And to David, We gave Solomon, he was an excellent and penitent servant" (Quran 38:30).
Allah said about Jesus, son of Mary: "He is only a servant whom We blessed and We made him an example to the children of Israel" (Quran 43: 59).
We believe that Allah concluded all messages with the message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, to all people, because He said: "Say, 'O mankind, I am Allah's Messenger to you all. To him belongs the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth; there is no God but He. He ordains life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the unlettered Prophet who believes in Allah and His words. Follow him so that you may be rightly guided"' (Quran 7:158).
Islam: The Universal and Final Message:
We believe that the Shari'ah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, is the religion of Islam, which Allah has chosen for His servants. He does not accept any other religion from anyone, for He, the Exalted, said: "Surely, the true religion in Allah's sight is Islam" (Quran 3:19), "Today I have perfected your religion for you and I have completed My favor upon you, and I have chosen Islam to be your religion" (Quran 5:3), and "Whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted from Him, and in the Hereafter he will be among the losers" (Quran 3:85).
It is our opinion that whoever claims that any religion other than Islam is acceptable, such as Judaism, Christianity and so forth, is a non believer. He should be asked to repent.
It is also our opinion that whoever rejects the universal message of Muhammad, peace be upon him, rejects the message of all messengers, even if he claims that he believes and follows His Messenger. Allah, the Exalted, said: "Noah's people rejected the Messengers" (Quran 26:105). Thus, Allah considered them as rejecting all of the messengers despite the fact that there was no messenger before Noah. This is also clear from the following verses: "Those who disbelieve in Allah and His Messengers, and wish to make division between Allah and His Messengers, and say: 'We believe in some and disbelieve in others,' wishing to take a midway course. Those indeed are the unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a humiliating punishment" (Quran 4:150-51).
We believe that there is no prophet after Muhammad, Allah's Messenger, peace be upon him. Whoever claims prophet hood after him, or believes in anyone claiming it, is a disbeliever and one who rejects Allah, His Messenger, and the Muslims' consensus.
The Rightly Guided Caliphs:
We believe that the Prophet, peace be upon him, has rightly guided successors who carried out his Sunnah in spreading knowledge calling to Islam, and managing the Muslims' affairs. We believe that the best among them and the most entitled to the caliphate was Abu Bakr as Siddiq, then 'Umar Ibn al-Khattab, then 'Uthman Ibn Affan and then 'All Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with them all. Thus their succession to the caliphate was according to their virtues. Allah, the Exalted, who possesses infinite wisdom, would not appoint a ruler over the best of generations unless he was the most superior among them and had the best claim to caliphate.
We believe that the inferior among those rightly guided companions can be superior in a specific virtue to those who were better than him but that he does not deserve absolute superiority, for the elements constituting superiority are varied and numerous.
We believe that the Muslim Ummah is the best among nations, and Allah, the Dignified and Exalted, has blessed it, because He said: "You are the best nation ever brought forth for mankind, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah" The Prophet's Companions:
We believe that the best among the Muslim Ummah are the Prophet's Companions, then their followers, and then those who followed them.
We also believe that a group of this Ummah will always remain victorious on the right path, unharmed by those who let them down or those who oppose them, until the Day of Judgment.
We believe that the disputes that took place among the Prophet's Companions were the result of sincere interpretations that they worked hard to reach. Whoever was right among them will be rewarded twice, and whoever was wrong among them will be rewarded once and his mistake will be forgiven.
It is our opinion that we should stop talking about their mistakes and mention what they deserve of beautiful praise. We should purify our hearts from hatred and malice against any of them, because Allah said about them: "They are not equal: those among you who spent and who fought before the conquest of Makkah. Those are higher in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. But to all Allah has promised a great reward" (57:10). And Allah said about us: "And those who came after them say: 'Our Lord, forgive us and our brothers who preceded us in faith, and do not put in our hearts any malice against those who have believed. Our Lord, You are the most Kind, Most Merciful"' (Quran 59:10).
THE LAST DAY
Belief in the Day of Judgment:
Muslims believe in the Final Day, which is the Day of Judgment, when people will be resurrected and then told to remain in the abode of enjoyment or in the abode of severe punishment.
We believe in the resurrection, which is Allah's bringing to life all those who have died, and when Israfil shall blow the horn for the second time: "And the trumpet shall be blown, and all who are in the heavens and who are in the Earth shall fall down fainting, except those that Allah shall spare. Then, it shall be blown again and they shall rise gazing around them" (Quran 39:68). People will arise from their graves, answering the call of the Lord of the universe. They will be barefooted, naked, and uncircumcised: "As We started the first creation, so We shall bring it back again. This is a promise from Us, so We shall assuredly fulfill it" (Quran 21: 104).
The Records and Scales:
We believe in the records of deeds that will be given to people in their right hands or behind their backs, in the left hands: "As for him who is given his book in his right hand, he shall surely receive an easy reckoning and he will return to his family rejoicing. But as for him who is given his book behind his back, he shall call for destruction on himself and will burn in a blazing fire" (Quran 84:7-12); "Every man's work We have fastened on his own neck, and on the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a book which he will see spread open, saying: 'Read your own book! Enough for you this day that your own soul should call you to account"' (Quran 17:13-14).
We believe that scales of deeds will be set up on the Day of Judgment, and that no soul shall be wronged: "Whoever has done an atom's weight of good shall see it" (Quran 99:7-8); "Those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful; but those whose scales are light, they are the ones who have lost their souls in Hell dwelling forever. The fire will burn their faces, and there they will be gloomy with lips displaced" (Quran 23: 102-4); and "He that does a good deed shall be rewarded ten times the like of it, and he that does evil shall only be rewarded the like of it, and they shall not be wronged" (Quran 6:160).
The Prophet's Intercession:
We believe in the special great intercession of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He will plead with Allah, after His permission and on behalf of mankind, to judge among His servants when they suffer from worries and troubles that they cannot bear. They will go to Adam, then to Noah, then to Abraham, then to Moses, then to Jesus, and finally to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
We believe in the intercession that concerns some believers who were to be taken out from the fire. This mediation is granted to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and to others among the prophets, the believers, and the angels.
We believe also that Allah will save from hell some of the believers without the intercession of any one, but by His grace and mercy.
The Prophet's Pool:
We believe in the pool of the Prophet, peace be upon him, the water of which is whiter than milk and sweeter than honey and better in fragrance than musk. Each of its length and width is the distance of a month's travel. Its glasses are as stars in beauty and number. The believers among the Prophet's followers come to take from this great cistern a drink after which they will never be thirsty.
The Straight Path:
We believe in the straight path (sirat) set up over hell. People pass over it according to their deeds: the first of them as fast as lighting, then as fast as wind, then as fast as birds, and then as fast as a running man. The Prophet will be standing on the path, saying: "Lord, Save! Save!," as some people's deeds will fall short. Some of them will come crawling. At both sides of the path there are hooks designed to take whom Allah wills: some are saved but bruised; others are thrown into hell. (Bukhari and Muslim).
We believe in all that is mentioned in the Quran or the prophetic sayings concerning that day and its horrors, may Allah save us from them.
We believe in the intercession (Shafa'ah) of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, for the people of paradise to enter therein. This intercession is exclusively limited to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Paradise and Hell:
We believe in paradise and hell. Paradise is the abode of enjoyment which Allah, the Exalted, prepared for the righteous. No eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard of, and no human being has ever thought of the blessings that they will enjoy there: "No soul knows what comfort is kept hidden for them, as a reward for their deeds" (Quran 32:17). Hell is the abode of punishment that Allah has prepared for the unbelievers and the evildoers. The torture and horror in it cannot be imagined: "Surely, We have prepared for the evildoers a fire, whose pavilion encompasses them. If they call for help, they will be helped with water like molten copper which will scald their faces. How dreadful a drink and how evil a resting place!" (Quran 18:29).
Both paradise and hell exist now and will never perish: "Whoever believes in Allah and does righteousness, He will admit him to gardens beneath which rivers flow, to dwell therein for ever. Allah had indeed made for him an excellent provision" (65-11); "Certainly, Allah has cursed the unbelievers and prepared for them a blazing fire to dwell therein forever, they shall find neither protector nor helper. On the day when their faces are turned about in the fire they shall say: 'Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!"' (Quran 33: 64-6).
We confirm paradise to whom it is confirmed in the Quran or the prophetic traditions either by name or description. Among those who are granted paradise and mentioned by name are Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman, 'All and others who were specified by the Prophet, peace be upon him (Bukhari and Muslim). Among those whom we confirm to enter paradise because they fit the description are the faithful and the pious.
We likewise confirm hell to whom it is confirmed in the Quran and the sayings of the Prophet, whether in name or description. Among those who are mentioned by name to be in hell are Abu Lahab, 'Amr Ibn Luhai al-Khuza'i, and others (Bukhari and Muslim). Confirmation of hell that is based on description includes every unbeliever, polytheist, or hypocrite.
What Happens in the Grave:
We believe in the Trial of the Grave, which involves questioning the deceased person in his grave about his Lord, his religion, and his prophet. There "Allah confirms those who believe with a firm saying, in the present life and the hereafter" (Quran 14:27). The believer will say: "Allah is my Lord, Islam is my religion, and Muhammad is my prophet." The unbeliever or the hypocrite will say: "I do not know. I heard the people saying something and I said it."
We believe in the comfort of the grave for the believers: "Those whose lives the angels take in state of purity, saying 'peace be on you; enter paradise for what you were doing' (Quran 16:32).
We believe in the punishment of the grave for the transgressing unbelievers: "If you could only see when the evildoers are in the agonies of death and the angels are stretching out their hands, saying, 'Give up your souls! Today you shall be rewarded with the punishment of humiliation for what you used to say untrue about Allah, and for scornfully rejecting His signs"' (Quran 6:93). The sayings of the Prophet are numerous and well-known in this area. A Muslim must believe in all that is reported in the Quran and the prophetic traditions concerning the unseen matters. He should not contradict it by his worldly experience, because the affairs of the hereafter cannot be measured by the affairs of this life. The difference between them is very great. Allah is the source of help.
FATE AND THE DIVINE DECREE
Belief in Pre-Destination:
We believe in Fate, whether good or bad, which Allah has measured and ordained for all creatures according to His previous knowledge and as deemed suitable by His wisdom.
Levels of Belief:
Belief in Fate has four levels: 1) Knowledge: We believe that Allah, may He be exalted, knows everything. He knows what has happened and what will happen and how it will happen. His knowledge is eternal. He does not acquire a new knowledge nor does he forget what He knows.
2) Recording: We believe that Allah has recorded in the secured tablet (al Lowh al Mahfuz) whatever is going to happen until the Day of Judgment: "Did you not know that Allah knows all that is in heaven and Earth? Surely that is in a book. Surely that for Allah is an easy matter" (Quran 22:70).
3) Will: We believe that Allah has willed everything in heaven and Earth. Nothing happens except by His will. Whatever He wills will take place, and whatever He does not will not take place.
4) Creation: We believe that "Allah is the Creator of all things; He is the Guardian over all things, and to Him belong the keys of the heavens and the Earth" (Quran 39:62-3). This level includes whatever Allah Himself does and whatever His creatures do. Thus each saying, deed, or omission of the people is known to Allah, Who has recorded, willed, and created them: "To those among you who will to be upright. But you shall not will except as Allah wills, the Lord of the Worlds" (Quran 81:2829); "And had Allah willed they would not have fought one against the other; but Allah does whatever He desires" (Quran 2:253); "Had Allah willed, they would not have done so, but leave them alone and their false inventions" (Quran 6:137); and "And Allah created you and what you do" (Quran 37:96). Man's Free Will:
We believe, however, that Allah has granted man a power and a free will by which he performs his actions. That man's deeds are done by his power and free will can be proven by the following points:
1) Allah says: "So approach your fields (wives) when and how you will" (Quran 2:223); and "Had they desired to go forth, they would have made some preparation for it" (9:46). In these verses, Allah affirmed for man "a going forth" by his will and "a preparation" by his desire.
2) Directing man to do or not to do. If man has no free will and power, these directions mean that Allah is asking man to do that which he cannot do. This proposition is rejected by Allah's wisdom, mercy and truthful statement: "Allah does not charge a soul beyond its capacity" (Quran 2:286).
3) Praising the virtuous for his deeds and blaming the evildoer for his actions and rewarding each of them with what he deserves. If the action is not done by the individual's free will, then praising the virtuous is a joke and punishing the evildoer is an injustice, and Allah is, of course, far from joking and being unjust.
4) Allah has sent messengers who are "bearing good tidings, and warning, so that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the messengers" (Quran 4:165). If the individual's action is not performed by his free will, his argument is not invalidated by the sending of messengers.
5) Every doer of actions feels that he does or does not do a thing without any coercion. He stands up and sits, comes in and goes out, travels and stays by his own free will without feeling anybody forcing him to be any of these actions. In fact, he clearly distinguishes between doing something of his own free will and someone else forcing him to do that action. The Islamic law also wisely distinguishes between these states of affairs. It does not punish a wrongdoer for an action done under compulsion.
No Excuse for Sinners:
We believe that the sinner has no excuse in Allah's divine decree, because he commits his sin by his free will, without knowing that Allah has decreed for him, for no one knows Allah's decree before it takes place: "No soul knows what it will earn tomorrow" (Quran 31:34). How can it be possible, then, to present an excuse that is not known to the person who is advancing it when he commits his offense? Allah invalidated this type of argument by saying: "The idolaters will say 'Had Allah willed, we would not have been idolaters, neither our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything.' So did the people before them cry lies until they tasted our might. Say: 'Have you any proofs that you can show us? You follow nothing but assumption, and you are Lying"' (Quran 6:148). We say to the sinner who is using divine decree as an excuse: 'Why did you not perform deeds of obedience, assuming that Allah has decreed them upon you, since you did not know the difference between good deeds and sins? That is why, when Prophet Muhammad told his Companions that everyone's position in paradise or hell has been assigned, they said: 'Should not we rely on this and stop working?' He said: 'No, work and everyone will be directed to what he is created for"' (Bukhari and Muslim).
We say to the sinner who is trying to find an excuse in the divine decree: "Suppose you want to travel to Makkah. There are two roads that may take you there. You are told by a truthful person that one of these roads is dangerous and difficult, the other is easy and safe. You will take the second one. You will not take the first road and say it is decreed upon me. If you did, people would consider you crazy."
We may also say to him: "If you are offered two jobs, one of which has a higher salary, you will certainly take the one with the higher salary. Why do you choose what is lower in the hereafter and use the divine decree as an excuse?"
We may further say to him: "We see you when you are afflicted with a disease, you knock at every physician's door looking for treatment and bearing whatever pain that may result from surgical operations and the bitterness of medicine. Why do not you do the same when your heart is spiritually sick with sins?"
Evil Not Attributed to Allah:We believe that evil should not be attributed to Allah, due to His perfect mercy and wisdom. The Prophet said: "And evil is not attributable to You" (Muslim). Thus Allah's decree by itself has no evil whatsoever, because it is coming from mercy and wisdom. Evil may, however, result from some of His decrees, because the Prophet said in the supplication for gunut which he taught to al-Hasan: "And protect us from the evil of what You decreed" (Tirmidhi and others). Here, the Prophet attributed evil to what He decreed. Despite this, evil in His decree is not pure evil. It is rather evil in one respect and good in another, or it is evil in one case and good in another. Thus corruption in the land resulting from drought, disease, poverty, and fear is evil, but it is good in another respect. Allah, the Exalted said: "Corruption has appeared on the land and sea for what men's hands have earned. Allah has ordained this for men, so that they may taste some of what they have done, in order that they may turn back (from evil)" (Quran 30:41). Cutting off the thief's hand or stoning the adulterer is an evil thing for the thief and the adulterer, but it is good for them in one respect, because it is a purification for them so that the punishment of this life and the hereafter are not combined for them. These punishments are good in another respect: their application protects property, honor, and relationships.