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

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They defended the position, as a central part of their doctrine, that man was free to choose and act and was, therefore, responsible for his actions. Divine predestination of human acts, they held, was incompatible with God's justice and human responsibility. They, therefore, recognized two powers, or actors, in the universe--God in the realm of nature and man in the domain of moral human action. They explained away the apparently predeterministic verses of the Quran as being metaphors and exhortations. (Religion: Islamic Thought, web link: http://cyberspacei.com/jesusi/inlight/religion/islam/islam3.htm#_Toc503180032)

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Muhammad Abduh (1849-1905), the Egyptian reformist thinker, who valued the importance of reason as well as that of revelation, and recognized reason's significant role in religion, fought against the nonsense that had become popular religion. He argued that, contrary to the allegations of certain outsiders, Islam does not teach absolute "predestination" devoid of "freedom of choice." (Web link: http://islambasics.com/view.php?bkID=156&chapter=0)

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[1] For example, see Blair, the Rev. John C., The Sources of Islam, the Christian Literature Society for India, 1925; also available at web link: http://www.muhammadanism.org/blair/sources/blair_sources.pdf

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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: www.explorequran.org) Abdur Rab, Ph.D. from Harvard, has had a long career in economic research (more...)
 
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