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Divine Will and Human Freedom -- Part I. Divine Predestination: How Far Real?

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Al-Ghazali asserts that when fire and cotton are placed in contact, the cotton is burned directly by God rather than by the fire. Properly speaking these are not laws of nature but God's habits, which He could change anytime. (Web link:

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Ibn Taymiyyah (661AH/1263 CE-728 AH/1328 CE). He was an advocate of the Salafi school of thought vigorously promoted later by Abd al-Wahhab (1703 CE1792CE): He affirms that whatever good or bad happens in the world happens with God's permission, and is brought out by His will and power (Ibn Taymiyyah, Expounds on Islam (Selected Writings of Ibn Taymiyyah), compilation and translation by Muhammad' Abdul-Haqq Ansari, p. xlvii; Web link: " "There is nothing in existence which He does not will" (Ibid, p. 108). " Everything good or evil is fore-ordained. What befalls us could not miss us, and what misses us could not befall us. Fatawa 8: 23-2400 (Ibid, p. 119) [This author's note: ibn Taymiyyah makes a confusing distinction between two kinds of God's will. The above statements refer to what he terms as "God's creative will." The other kind, he refers to, is "God's prescriptive will." God does not will or approve of everything according to this latter will. One might wonder why God, the same entity, should have two mutually conflicting wills.]

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Abdur Rab is the author of "Exploring Islam in a New Light: An Understanding from the Quranic Perspective" (To know about the book, visit the website: Abdur Rab, Ph.D. from Harvard, has had a long career in economic research (more...)
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Divine Will and Human Freedom -- Part I. Divine Predestination: How Far Real?