Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem,
“Whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] his soul. And whoever errs only errs against it. And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And never would We punish until We sent a messenger.” (Qur’an 17:15)
˹We sent them˺ with clear proofs and divine Books. And We have sent down to you ˹O Prophet˺ the Reminder, so that you may explain to people what has been revealed for them, and perhaps they will reflect.” (Qur’an 16:44)
“And We did not send any messenger except [speaking] in the language of his people to state clearly for them, and Allah sends astray [thereby] whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” (Qur’an 14:4)
It should be taught in every class on Aqidah/Theology/Creed, rather one is a Salafi/Athari, Ashari, Maturidi, Mutazili something very important.
There is a huge difference between rejecting the truth and not being convinced of the truth.
There is a huge difference between rejecting an understanding and not being convinced of a particular understanding.
This is very crucial in an age where takfir comes off the lips and tongues of individuals so freely and so loosely.
Allah (swt) has said that he never punishes a people who until he sends a messenger.
The purpose and duty of that messenger is to explain things, in a language that is comprehensible to them.
It was narrated from ‘Aishah that the Blessed Messenger (saw) said:
“The pen has been lifted from three: From the sleeper until he wakes up, from the minor until he grows up, and from the insane until he comes back to his senses or recovers.”
- You are not held accountable to for the things you have done in your dreams.
- You are not held accountable until you are considered an adult with cognitive skills.
- You are not held accountable while in a state of insanity. You have to be of sound mind.
Islam puts as an obligation upon every human being to reflect upon the purpose of their existence, and the reason of their being.
However, it has to be understood and it is a matter of fact, that many aspects of Islamic jurisprudence, theology, are human endeavors to arrive at truth.
This is why there have been certain expressions of Islam that have tried to have the people guided by ‘infallible imams’ or spiritual guides that ‘know the unseen’. These have been attempts to try to navigate difficult terrain.
In the Christian tradition there was (is) an expression of Christian soteriology (doctrine of salvation) known as Calvinism. That is to say, that before the Creation of humanity, it has already been pre-determined by The Divine that some humans would be decreed to go to hell and others would be decreed to go to heaven.
When asked on what basis certain individuals are chosen, the Calvinist replies: “On the basis of God’s love”. O.K fair enough, but on what basis are those individuals chosen?
There has never been a meaningful response to this question. It leaves the idea of a whimsical deity. Indeed, many of the areas of Europe in which Calvinism held sway, Switzerland, Holland, parts of Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, France and the United Kingdom are spiritually dead.
Islam too has had its own form of Calvinism known as the Jabriyah. Rather Muslims want to admit it or not this strain of thought is actually quite alive.
The problem with believing in this doctrine is that is the death knell of religion, it is a spiritually killer. On what basis does anyone move, or act upon anything if it is not done of one’s own free will and volition?
Yet, even still more insidious than the Jabriyah doctrine is the idea that Allah (swt) will send some people to hell (for all eternity), simply because they do not have the power of insight and perception that others have.
You see it is obvious that there are many circumstances beyond our control. We didn’t choose what gender we would be, nor can we after the fact, we didn’t choose the pigment of our skin, our height, who our parents would be, which nation we would be born into.
We also understand now that we inherit such things as genes, and genetic code from our parents. Often, we may inherit debilitating conditions our parents may have had.
A fertile male human ejaculates between 2 and 5 mililiters (ml) of semen (on average about a teaspoon). In each ml there are normally about 100 million sperm. What role or process did you play in making it first to the egg in order to form the zygote?
Is this random, guided, chaos, order or what?
So back to the main point. There is a difference between someone who has rejected the truth and someone who is not convinced of the truth.
There is a difference between someone who has rejected an understanding and someone who is not convinced of an understanding.
So there are among Muslims, those who may not follow the Jabriyah doctrine; nonetheless, their concept of God, is one of a whimsical deity that sends people to hellfire because of their lack of perception skills.
It is akin to God saying, “I have created all of you with different abilities of perception, and intellectual acumen. Here are two images, and those of you who are not able to spot the 7 difference among these two images will go to hellfire.”
In truth, among all the various Muslim sects today, the Salafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanafi, Zaydi, Ibadi, etc….there are really only a handful of people that go deep, deep into theological and philosophical issues.
The irony among all the Muslim schools is that none of them say it is acceptable to make taqlid in Aqidah! Yet, some of them will say you can make taqlid in fiqh (jurisprudence).
If you were to ask someone, “What is the job of the Mufti of Egypt?” Like, “What does the Mufti of Egypt do for a living?” Someone may reply: “Well, he is the Mufti of course!” Well, exactly. The Mufti is an individual that has dedicated his whole life to the Islamic sciences, and even if you were to sit down with the Mufti, even he will tell you that Islam is vast, and even he has not encompassed everything.
Yet, you will have some Muslims, who think that the farmer, the auto-mechanic, the computer engineer, the pre-school teacher, the customer service representative, all need to have an in-depth knowledge of aqidah, and if they do not all come to the same conclusions, (presumably the right conclusion) they will go to hell!
As a Muslim ummah we can do better than this. This type of thinking is not well thought out. It lacks depth and critical thinking. It makes our creator, into the same whimsical deity of Calvinism.
May Allah (swt) accept from us what is right and may we have a better view of our Creator.