“There was nearly no Ottoman family in which they did not blunt and kill the abilities of comprehension, observation and inquiry in children with suppressing, ignorant answers. The utterly ignorant people, who believed that men were of infinite impotence, that everything was made by Allah, that grave was an intermediary that interceded with Allah for man, that the head of the state was the absolute ruler, and who lived in the world of dreams full of genies, fairies and vampires, always answered their chidren’s questions as ‘Allah makes,’ ‘Allah has predestined so,’ ‘Don’t ask too many questions.’ or ‘Be quiet, it is a sin, it is disbelief!’ Religious scholars did not or could not tell people the moral, social uses in worshipping. Parents’ prohibitive treatment of children was because scholars misunderstood and misstated Islam. It was forbidden for the child to think and ask about religion, morals, customs and honesty. Thus, it resulted in tawakkul, resignation, loss of power of will and hesitation, which in turn developed into viciousness and impersonality in the child. All these were qualities that caused easy defeat and settlement of bad habits.”
All the evils which the religion reformer writes are, in actual fact, imputed to the religion, especially to the teachings of qadâ’ and qadar and to the unquestionability of religious knowledge.
It is never right to blame Islam and its scholars by putting forth the idea that graves are intermediaries between Allâhu ta’âlâ and men. All Islamic scholars refute this idea. The Ahl as-Sunna scholars have unanimously prohibited Mulims from worshipping anybody besides Allâhu ta’âlâ. The belief that the dead, and even the alive, are intermediaries between the Creator and His human creatures exists not in Islam but in Christianity. While they impute this to Muslims and regard it viciousness, why don’t they regard Christian Europeans vicious? Recently, the viciousness and immoralities of the children brought up in European fashion by modernist families have been filling the columns of daily papers even though they do not have that “old-fashioned” religious training. It is very unfair to blame Islam on account of the indulgent policies we have been following with our children, such as being too tolerant and too affectionate towards them, so much so that they do not feel compelled to care for themselves and become accustomed to laziness. In Islam the father does not have to continue to care for his child who has matured mentally and reached the age of puberty and who should work and earn; therefore, every father has to teach his child a craft as well as knowledge and manners.
There are three principal groups having different views concerning the effect of man’s will on his actions: the Mu’tazila, Jabriyya and Ahl as-Sunna.
According to the Mu’tazila, Allâhu ta’âlâ has given men power and will and man creates all his actions. They say that trembling of the arm and beating of the heart occur from themselves, but man creates the raising of his arm and the stepping of his foot, and if man did not create his optional actions Allâhu ta’âlâ would be unjust for rewarding for goodness and torturing for evils. They put forth the âyats, “Allâhu ta’âlâ does not treat men cruelly. They treat themselves cruelly,” and “It is the retribution for what they have done.”
And according to the Jabriyya, “The pencil has written in eternity all that would happen, and its ink has dried lest it might be changed later. Everything has been predestined in eternity. Things that are in Allâhu ta’âlâ’s knowledge and everything which He has predestined in eternity will come out just as it is predestined. No one can change this. The eighteenth âyat of the sûrat ar-Ra’d says, ‘Allâhu ta’âlâ is the Creator of everything.’ Allâhu ta’âlâ is the One who creates man, who gives man power and will, and who creates all his actions.”
Muhammad Ma’thûm al-Fârûqî (rahmatullâhi ’alaih) wrote:
“Those who belonged to the Jabriyya said, ‘There is no will or option in man. Man is compelled in his actions. He is like a tree swaying in the wind. It is not correct to say that man did something. Everything is done by Allah.’ These words cause them to become disbelievers. He who believes so is a disbeliever. According to them, ‘Man will be rewarded for good deeds and he will not be tortured for evil deeds. Disbelievers and sinners are excusable. They will not be regarded guilty or punished, for the evils are done not by themselves but by Allah, who compels men to do them.’ These words cause disbelief, too. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the twenty-fourth âyat of the sûrat as-Sâffât, ‘They will be questioned on their belief and on what they have done.’ The hadîth says that seventy prophets cursed those who belonged to the Jabriyya. Every reasonable person can easily understand that their words are wrong. It is obvious that trembling of the hand is different from raising the hand optionally. Trembling of the hand is not within man’s wish, but raising the hand is within man’s option and will. It is clearly understood from the Qur’ân that the followers of the Jabriyya are in the wrong path. Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the fourteenth âyat of the sûrat al-Ahqâf, ‘They will be rewarded for the good they have done.’ He declares in the twenty-ninth âyat of the sûrat al-Kahf, ‘You may believe or not. We have prepared fire for the cruel(disbelievers).’ And it is declared in the thirty-third âyat of the sûrat an-Nahl, ‘Allâhu ta’âlâ did not torment them. They tormented themselves by disbelieving and sinning.’ If there were no option or power of choosing in man, Allâhu ta’âlâ would not say, ‘They tormented themselves,’ in this âyat. Many people think like the Jabriyya and say that men cannot do what they wish. They say that they are compelled to commit sins and that they commit them compulsorily. They consider themselves excusable and innocent. On the contrary, Allâhu ta’âlâ has given men as much option and power as to perform the commands and prohibitions. Beating of the heart and man’s walking are certainly two different actions. Beating of the heart is not within man’s power. But man walks if he wants and he does not if he does not want to. Because Allâhu ta’âlâ is All-Bounteous and All-Merciful, He has not commanded men things that are not within their power. He has wished them to do things which they are able to do. The last âyat of the sûrat al-Baqara, declares, ‘Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded his human creatures things which they are able to do.’ It is surprising that the Jabriyya group get offended by and oppose to those who do not listen to them and who annoy them. They take every kind of trouble to bring up and train their children. They do not let other men approach their wives and daughters. They hurt those who do so. They do not say that they are compelled and therefore are excusable and tolerable. When the subject changes to affairs pertaining to the next world, however, they say, ‘We cannot help it, Allâhu ta’âlâ makes everything,’ and shamelessly commit the evils prohibited by Islam and abstain from worshipping commanded by Islam.
“Though they say that there is not any wish or will in man, they commit whichever evil they wish. Allâhu ta’âlâ says in the seventh âyat of the sûrat at-Tûr, ‘The day whereon Allâhu ta’âlâ will torture them will certainly come. No one can prevent it.’ When they see a mad person in their own house or if they see him commit a sin, they tolerate him by saying that he does not have wisdom and option. Yet they punish sane people who commit sins. Then they punish them because they have option and commit sins willingly. The Jabriyya group departed from the right path by saying that man did not have option and the Mu’tazila group deviated because they disbelieved qadâ’ and qadar. They became ahl al-bid’a. They went wrong. It has been the lot of the Ahl as-Sunna scholars to find the right path which is between these two extremes. It is reported that al-Imâm al-a’zâm Abû Hanîfe asked Imâm Jâ’far as-Sâdiq (rahmatullâhi ’alaih) ‘O the grandson of Rasûlullah! Has Allâhu ta’âlâ left the affairs to men’s wish?’ He said in response, ‘Allâhu ta’âlâ does not leave the attribute of being Rabb (Creator) of His human creatures.’ Abû Hanîfa asked again, ‘Does He make His creatures do work under compulsion?’ He answered, ‘He neither forces them nor leaves it to their wish. It is something between these two.’ Allâhu ta’âlâ declares in the one hundred and forty-eighth âyat of the sûrat al-An’âm, ‘The polytheists will say, “If Allah willed, we and our fathers would not be polytheists, and we would not prohibit anything by ourselves.” ’ As in this âyat, disbelievers and polytheists say that Allah has willed them to have disbelief and polytheism. Allâhu ta’âlâ will not admit this pretext of theirs. Such words show their ignorance and foolishness.