I know Islam is the Truth and I know Allah is Just and Perfect but there is a topic I am a bit confused about and I can’t seem to reconcile the two. I know that it is only Allah who has the ability to guide so I know whoever He guides no one can lead astray and Whoever He leaves to go astray no one can guide, so I do not know how humans have choice, and also I know Allah is Just so I do not know why He would leave any1 to go astray. Also, if I transgress I know I am screwed up and its my fault but still I don’t understand why it’s my fault if Allah did not guide me. I know Islam is the truth and has all the answers but I just do not understand, please help.
Wa Alaikumu Salam
Allah has sent guidance to the entire mankind by raising prophets and messengers in every community, and has sent revealed scriptures to man. The prophets in every era preached the truth and asked people to refrain from evil and wicked deeds. The prophets called upon the people to believe in one God and to accept their teaching as being the truth. Miracles were also done by the prophets to convince the people that they must believe in one God and follow the prophets. This system continued for thousands of years, and prophets continued to preach to their respective communities.
It is in this manner guidance was shown and placed before all human beings. They were given the power of intelligence, reason and freedom to choose a path for them. Those who showed respect, and listened well to the teachings of the prophets, understood the message and became convinced of its truth. Their hearts were opened to the truth and so, Allah entered the truth into their hearts. This is how Allah guided them. On the opposite, there were those who showed hostility and enmity to the prophets and their teachings. They ridiculed, insulted, rejected and even persecuted them. They allowed haughtiness and arrogance to fill their hearts, and paid no heed to the teachings of the prophets. The actions of these people led them to disbelief and so, they chose the path of misguidance. Seeing that they had made this choice on account of their hostility and dislike for the truth, Allah left them on their own to be in the state that they have chosen. After having been given the power of choice, they decided upon a path of disbelief and so, they remained on this path as unbelievers. This is what is referred to as misguidance.
As for those whose hearts became opened to the truth and accepted it, they were granted strong faith and an increased Imaan on account of their good actions and adherence to the teachings of the prophets. As such, after being given true Imaan, no one was able or will be able to misguide them.
As for those who turned against the message of truth and denied Allah and His prophets, they were forsaken by Allah and as such, no one will be able to guide them.
So, Allah has not forced belief or disbelief on anyone. If a person chooses to believe, then it is by his choice with the help of Allah, and if a person chooses disbelief, then it is by his choice and not by being forced to adopt this path. However, seeing that this person has adopted a path that is disliked by Allah, he lives in Allah’s wrath and anger, and is not helped by Allah.
So humans have a choice, and based upon the choice they make, they will be considered as believers or disbelievers.
By sending the message to man via scriptures and prophets, Allah Has indeed offered man the true guidance and has shown him the way. If after being shown the correct teachings (as to what is good and what is bad), a man transgresses, then this is by his choice, and, so, he shall be accountable for it.
Allah is indeed just and fair to everyone, and on account of this divine attribute, He has not forced anyone upon a path. He has left it open to humans to chose the path they wish to thread.
And Allah knows best
Mufti Waseem Khan
11th January 2013