MOD Q & A / Q & A

Q & A Choice and Worship

Q & A

Q. If we are made to worship, then why are we given the choice?

A.

Allah (SWT) has created humans being to worship and obey Him. In this lies real human fulfilment and salvation. He (SWT) says: (And We have not created Jinn and humans except for worship…).[1]

 Allah (SWT) created human beings with free will, i.e. with the ability to choose between alternative options within their domain of control and influence. He (SWT) desires that human beings freely seek to love, worship and obey Him. To coerce action, i.e. to prevent human beings from enacting and realising their decision(s) as free agents does not amount to a free choice or decision. To force human beings into submission and obedience against their free will is not to allow them to wilfully accept Allah (SWT). Love, compassion and human experience are not possible without the existence of free will and choice. If your question is why were we not created to worship Allah (SWT) without free will, i.e. as agents without moral freedom, then the answer is that given by Allah (SWT) regarding the creation of human beings in the first place when the Angels (who are creatures without moral properties because they do not have moral freedom) asked the same question. Surat al-Baqarah records the exchange between Allah (SWT) and His Angels:

(And when your Lord said to the Angels: I am about to place a representative of mine in the earth, they said: will You place in it someone who will do harm and shed blood, while we sing Your praises and sanctify You? He said: I know what you all do not).[2]

Allah (SWT) in His infinite wisdom has decided upon creating human beings and has a cosmic purpose for that and we, with limited knowledge, remain silent about the minute details of this purpose.

And Allah alone knows best.

s.z.c

 


[1] See surat al-Dhariyat:56. See Ibn al-Jawzi, Zad al-Masir, p.1352.

[2] See surat al-Baqarah:30 (Pickthall’s translation), The Glorious Koran, p.35. For commentaries, refer to Ibn al-Jawzi’s Zad al-Masir, pp.52-54 and al-Shawkani, Fath al-Qadir, pp.78-80.

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