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

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This is, however, not to deny that destiny has, of course, some influence on human life. This is because there are factors that are beyond the control of human beings. Besides, we all are subject to God's inexorable laws -- or, if you will, call it "the laws of nature", which govern not only the physical universe but also the sphere of non-material world -- the psychological, metaphysical and spiritual aspects of human life. This we discuss in Part 2 of this article. But we need to be always on guard not to exaggerate the role of destiny in human life lest we should go amiss about our own responsibility. We should never slight the primary significance of the role of human endeavor in changing humanity's lot. Man is largely the architect of his own destiny. That is what the history of human civilization amply proves.

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Box. Summarized Theological Positions of Some Muslim Scholars on Divine Will and Predestination

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Scholars of the Asharite School of Thought. The Asharite is the most orthodox, still popular, school of Muslim theology. Their theological perspective on causality seeks to explain the world and all phenomena, natural and supernatural, in terms of the Divine Omnipotence alone. In order to safeguard Divine Omnipotence, it denies the objective realty of causal powers in creatures, and tends to perceive causation as a threat to the sovereignty of God. God, in other words, is the only real or first cause of all things. ("Causality and Divine Action: The Islamic Perspective" by Muhammad Hashim Kamali; Web link:

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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?