The Belief In Respect Of Human Actions

Says the Shaykh Abu Ja'far: Our belief concerning human actions is that they are created (makhluqa), in the sense that Allah possesses foreknowledge (khalq taqdir), and not in the sense that Allah compels mankind to act in a particular manner by creating a certain disposition (khalq takwin). And the meaning of all this is that Allah has never ceased to be aware of the potentialities (maqadir) of human beings.1

  • 1. This explanation is necessary in order to repel the inference that if God is the creator of all actions, then the responsibility for sin cannot be but His - which is of course an impossible doctrine
    having regard to the belief in taklif. The Urdu translator explains khalq taqdir by saying that God has created human beings with the power to do good as well as evil, but He possesses foreknowledge of what they are going to do. Khalq takwin would imply that God has created the actions as well, so that their actions are really His actions. This is not the Ithni `Ashari view D, notes to p.17.
    See also Wensinck, MC, 49 sqq. (qadar = the eternal decree of God, p.53); especially, 55. Far more radical is BHA, nos. 118-122 in which is advocated complete free will. FC, nos. 95,96; Affifi, 152 -156. "God does not will in the sense that He chooses, but in the sense that He decrees what He knows will take place", Affifi, 156. In MB, 3118-9 it is clearly stated that the Ash'arites take the view of complete predestination, and the Mu'tazilites, of complete free will, while the truth is midway between the two extremes. Khalq taqdir and takwin are explained by Sh. Mufid in Tas. (Mur. ii. 98 -100) , who holds that the actions of men are not by any means created by Allah (افعال العباد غير مخلوقة لله) for him 'ilm and akhlaq are two different things in Arabic. Some further explanation will also be found later at Mur. ii. 140.