The Relationship Between Islam and Free Will

1. Introduction:

It is often said that Islam is a religion that limits the life of Muslims to the will of God. This is because Islam, like all other religions, believes in predestination and free will. Muslim scholars have traditionally been divided on the issue of free will and predestination, with some asserting that humans have complete control over their actions while others maintain that humans are simply pawns in the hands of God, subject to His will and whim.

2. All religions limit freedom of will:

All religions believe in predestination to some extent. Christianity, for example, teaches that God has preordained who will be saved and who will be damned. Likewise, Islam teaches that God has decreed who will go to Paradise and who will go to Hell. Thus, both Islam and Christianity limit the freedom of humans to choose their own destiny.

3. Islam is not an exception:

Islam, like all other religions, believes in predestination. The Quran clearly states that Allah has preordained everything that will happen in this world: “And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than [his] jugular vein” (Quran 50:16).

4. The nature of humans: fitrah and nafs:

Islam teaches that humans are born with a natural disposition or fitrah towards good. This fitrah is gradually corrupted by the influence of society and the individual’s own desires or nafs. The nafs can be divided into two parts: the animalistic nafs and the spiritual nafs. The animalistic nafs is responsible for our base desires such as lust, anger, and greed, while the spiritual nafs is responsible for our higher faculties such as reason and compassion.

5. The lawwama stage: repenting and finding peace:

When a person repents for their sins and turns back to Allah, they enter into the lawwama stage. In this stage, they are constantly aware of their own shortcomings and strive to correct them. This self-awareness leads to a sense of peace and contentment, as the individual recognizes that they are submitters to Allah’s will.

6. The mutmainnah stage: complete submission to God:

The mutmainnah stage is characterized by complete submission to Allah’s will. In this stage, the individual recognizes that everything happens according to Allah’s plan and there is nothing they can do to change it. They therefore accept whatever happens to them, good or bad, with resignation and contentment.

7. Conclusion: While it is true that Islam believes in predestination, it also teaches that humans have free will and choice. Humans are born with a natural disposition towards good which can be corrupted by society and their own desires. However, if a person repents for their sins and turns back to Allah, they can enter into the lawwama stage where they become constantly aware of their own shortcomings and strive to correct them. This eventually leads to the mutmainnah stage where the individual completely submits to Allah’s will.


Muslims believe in free will and choice. They view these as two of Allah's greatest gifts to humans.

This perspective differs from other psychological perspectives in that it emphasizes the role of Allah in human decision-making.

The implications of this belief for human behavior are that Muslims should strive to make choices that please Allah.

Muslims reconcile free will with predestination by believing that Allah has predetermined certain events, but humans still have the power to choose their own actions.

Allah plays a significant role in Muslim decision-making, as Muslims believe that He is ultimately responsible for all outcomes.

In order to make choices that please Allah, Muslims must consult the Quran and Hadith for guidance on how to live their lives according to His will.

The consequences of making sinful choices in Islam are severe, as sinners will be punished in the afterlife