07 Jul If Allah already knows whether we go to heaven or hell, what’s the point of life?
If Allah already knows whether we go to heaven or hell, what’s the point of life?
If Allah already knows whether we go to heaven or hell, then what is the point of life? And do we really have free will then? What is the point of praying if Allah has already decided what happens to us?
This is an issue of Aqidah (theology) not Shariah (law) and I’d just like to stress, again, that my specialization is in Shariah not Aqidah.
As far as your question, very quickly, there is a major differentiation that you have to make, namely the difference between God knowing whether we will go to heaven or hell and God deciding whether we will go to heaven or hell.
This sounds slight, but it is a massive difference when you explore it further.
If God has the knowledge of our fate, that means that God simply knows what choices we will make, what actions we will refrain from, etc. This does not mean that it is an infringement on our free-will or our ability to make or not make those choices. To be clear, God has knowledge of all things, and can do anything He decides.
If God determines our fate, then that means our actions are not our conscious choice, we did not decide to do this or that, which would make our responsibility to act properly and our punishment in the hereafter illogical and unfair.
Our faith (Iman) and our righteous actions (Ihsan) are constantly being referred to in The Qur’an. Take Surat Al-Asr :
(1) Consider the flight of time!
(2) Verily, man is bound to lose himself
(3) unless he be of those who attain to faith, and do good works, and enjoin upon one another the keeping to truth, and enjoin upon one another patience in adversity. [Muhammad Asad]
I italicized that part because it underlines that these are actions we must do. We must push for our faith and to do good, this is an option, a conditon that is being offered to us for our betterment on this earth and the hereafter.
If we did not have a choice, then what would be the point of sending a Message to humanity? I mean, if we didn’t have a choice, then The Qur’an would probably be like: “You’re going somewhere,” and that’s it, but that’s not the case.
Let’s look at the most basic level of being a Muslim, how do you become a Muslim? By declaring your Shahadah, the declaration of faith. If our actions meant nothing, then why should we declare our faith, ensure that we are–in our heads–conscious of our choice and our decision to submit ourselves to the will of God?
So, I hope I have made it clear that there is a massive distinction between God having knowledge of what we will do and God determining what we will do, because it is an important distinction to make.
I pray this reaches you and your families in the best of health and Iman, insha Allah.