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Enigma of Guidance Continued (Part II)

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 Letter 13
: Why Will Quran Mislead You?


In continuation of the article Enigma of Guidance which was written 2 years ago if not mistaken, I received alot of criticism and feedback where in people wanted free will to conquer their fate. Their protest is justified. If their free will did not supercede their fate, how will then they be accountable for things which were destined and were not in their control?

It is worth a deep thought, that man thinks he will be able to withstand the accountability of Allah of his free will and actions. Why does man love to be accountable before Allah? This self-confidence is extremely misplaced and we must pray for the mercy of Allah and for his forgiveness because all of us are sinners, whether it be missing of a salaat, laying eyes on namehrams, cheating in school exams, wasting time, making fun of friends, disrespect elders or not offering help in any form to the oppressed.

However, some people perceived from the articles that man should stop all struggle as it is purposeless because everything is in Allah's hands. They perceived that because guidance is destined, there is no purpose in struggle and thus accountability before Allah does not make sense. This is true and not true at the same time and allow me another chance to clarify what Enigma of Guidance really is.

I think there is no doubt that there is no accountability for destiny, but only for free will. However there is confusion as to how to differentiate both and what is guidance, destiny or a result of free will?

Examine the following excerpt from Nahjul Balaga, by Imam Ali (AS) who has differentiated destiny from free will;

After the Battle of Siffin, somebody asked Imam Ali whether they had been destined to fight against the Syrians. Imam Ali replied if by destiny you mean a compulsion (physical or otherwise) through which we are forced (by nature) to do a thing then it is not so. Had it been an obligation of that kind there would have been no question of reward for doing it and punishment for not doing it (when you are physically forced to do a thing, like breathing, sleeping, eating, drinking etc. then there can be no reward for doing it and no retribution for not doing it. In such cases nature forces you to do a thing and you cannot but do it), then the promised blessings and punishments in life after death will have no meaning. The Merciful Lord has given his creatures (human beings) complete freedom to do as they like, and then prohibited them from certain actions and warned them of the consequences of such actions (His Wrath and His Punishments). These orders of Allah carry in them the least trouble and lead us towards the most convenient ways of life and the rewards which He has promised for good deeds are many times more than the actions actually deserve. He sees people disobeying Him and tolerates them not because He can be overruled or be compelled to accept human supremacy over Him. He did not send His prophets to amuse Himself or provide amuse- ment for them. He did not reveal His orders without any genuine reason nor has He created the galaxies and the earth without any purpose. The Universe without plan, purpose and program is the idea of infidels and the pagans, sorry will be their plight in the leaping fires of Hell. Hearing this the man asked Imam Ali, "Then what kind of destiny was it that we had?" Imam Ali replied: "It was an order of Allah to do it like the order He has given in His Holy Book: You are destined by Allah to worship none but Him, here 'destined' means 'ordered' it does not mean physical compulsion".

Destiny is that the earth shall always revolute around the sun per laws of nature. It cannot deviate from its destiny. Destiny is that man has to eat in order to stay alive. What is free will? Inanimate objects do not have a free will. They only react to a cause. The light will glow only if it is switched on. So this means all animate objects have a free will? The pet animal has free will enough to choose to eat its food or not to eat its food. Then why will it not be accountable for its actions? The difference between free will of a man and an animal is that man's free will is accompanied with guidance. It is this guidance and power of realization which makes a man accountable. This is why an immature child and an insane person (both destined not to comprehend this guidance and realization) are both not accountable to Allah.

We have covered in the earlier published Enigma of Guidance that;

In continuation to this, let there be no doubt in any muslim's faith and thought, that he cannot seek guidance on his own. Verily no one can guide aright any one except Allah. This is why all muslims pray to Allah 5 times a day to keep them on the right path.

(O Allah), Keep us on the right path. The path of those upon whom Thou hast bestowed favors. Not (the path) of those upon whom Thy wrath is brought down, nor of those who go astray.
Quran [1:6-7]

In this prayer we accept that it is for Allah to keep us on the right path, it is not for us to do the same as a result of our free will no matter how hard we try.

Also remember how Yusuf (AS) was tempted by a beautiful woman to sin with her? Every man understand how strong a temptation is this.

And certainly she made for him, and he would have made for her, were it not that
he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord; thus (it was) that We might turn away
from him evil and indecency, surely he was one of Our sincere servants.
And they both hastened to the door, and she rent his shirt from behind and they met her husband at the door. She said: What is the punishment of him who intends evil to your wife except imprisonment or a painful chastisement? He said: She sought to make me yield (to her); and a witness of her own family bore witness: If his shirt is rent from front, she speaks the truth and he is one of the liars: And if his shirt is rent from behind, she tells a lie and he is one of the truthful. So when he saw his shirt rent from behind, he said: Surely it is a guile of you
women; surely your guile is great: O Yusuf! turn aside from this; and (O my wife)! ask forgiveness for your fault, surely you are one of the wrong-doers. And women in the city said: The chiefs wife seeks her slave to yield himself (to her), surely he has affected her deeply with (his) love; most surely we see her in manifest error. So when she heard of their sly talk she sent for them and prepared for them a repast, and gave each of them a knife, and said (to Yusuf): Come forth to them. So when they saw him, they deemed him great, and cut their hands (in amazement), and said: Remote is Allah (from imperfection); this is not a mortal; this is but a noble angel. She said: This is he with respect to whom you blamed me, and certainly I sought his yielding himself (to me), but he abstained, and if he does not do what I bid him, he shall certainly be imprisoned, and he shall certainly be of those who are in a state of ignominy. He said: My Lord! the prison house is dearer to me than that to which they invite me; and if Thou turn not away their device from me, I will yearn towards them and become (one) of the ignorant. Thereupon his Lord accepted his prayer and turned away their guile from him; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.
Quran [12:24-34]

Yusuf (AS) saved himself from adultery not because of the free will he had, but because he was Allah's "sincere" servant. His intentions and faith was pure. Allah had protected him and thus the act of piety here is not credited to the free will or strength of Yuusf (AS), but to the mercy of Allah. Allah turned the evil and indecency from Yusuf (AS).

This is the guidance, which comes from Allah and Allah alone. This is the guidance which you cannot find in any mosque, church, imambargah or temple, but you will find in the cleanliness of your heart and mind, the only thing which is in your control.

What is guidance? What is the straight path? It is the feeling in your heart, which arises in some one who was lost alone in a dark and dangerous forest, with unknown fears and terrors, and suddenly he manages to get out of the forest and reach civilization. That feeling of relief, ecstasy and calm is guidance. It is the feeling of joy which is brought to a blind man after he has regained his eyesight. It is the vision a believer comprehends as if a person standing on the highest peak of the mountain can see what others cannot, i.e. what is on the other side of the mountain. It is the tranquility which Allah showers on his sincere servants.

He (Allah) it is Who sent down tranquility into the hearts of the believers that they
might have more of faith added to their faith-- and Allah's are the hosts of the heavens
and the earth, and Allah is Knowing, Wise--
Quran [48:4]

Let there be no doubt that you and I are responsible for all of our actions. Let there be no doubt that our struggle for right, or for wrong, is a result of our free will and we will be accountable before Allah.

And obeys its Lord and it must. O man! surely you must strive (to attain) to your Lord, a hard striving until you meet Him. Then as to him who is given his book in his right hand, He shall be reckoned with by an easy reckoning, And he shall go back to his people joyful. And as to him who is given his book behind his back, He shall call for perdition, And enter into burning fire.
Quran [84:5-12]

The sick must struggle to be well, the illiterate must struggle to educate, the poor should struggle for richness. We as a species have to struggle for the betterment. Nations who have done so, have achieved so. The progress of medical science is a result of research and struggle of human beings like you and me. As my father always says, will not the reward for each cure go to the man who discovered penicillin and did not patent it so that a poor man, hindu and muslim, be cured to date? It is the result of his struggle that millions of lives are saved and cured.

Our struggle is against our nafs, against the weakness of our character, against the trembling of our faith. It is the outcome of our struggle that we do not control. And our peace and success lies in the acceptance of the outcomes of our struggles as the will of Allah, without whom there is no power.

What is guidance then? Destiny or free will? Do i choose to be guided or does Allah choose me to be guided? I do not know maybe, but i know one thing that guidance is light. Quoting the article Enigma of Guidance;

Remember, that guidance is light. The quality of light is, that nothing can come over it and cover it. Anything which tries to do so, light automatically jumps over it and thus casts a shadow beneath it. Light will always remain on top. There is enough light for everyone to see, we just need to take off our sunglasses and try to focus our attention on our intentions and willingness to see. >> The Shia Doctrine >> Enigma of Guidance

Is the nature of guidance destined or free willed? Now that i re-read the correlation of guidance with light again, I find it funny that light too has dual nature.

At first, physicists were reluctant to accept the dual nature of light. After all, many of us humans like to have one right answer. But Einstein paved the way in 1905 by embracing wave-particle duality. We've already discussed the photoelectric effect, which led Einstein to describe light as a photon. Later that year, however, he added a twist to the story in a paper introducing special relativity. In this paper, Einstein treated light as a continuous field of waves -- an apparent contradiction to his description of light as a stream of particles. Yet that was part of his genius. He willingly accepted the strange nature of light and chose whichever attribute best addressed the problem he was trying to solve.Today, physicists accept the dual nature of light. In this modern view, they define light as a collection of one or more photons propagating through space as electromagnetic waves. This definition, which combines light's wave and particle nature......

After all, many of us humans like to have one right answer. My right answer is that Allah guides aright whoever he please. But because Allah is just and he has promised paradise to his believers and followers of Rasool (SAW), it is only logical to believe that Allah guides them who cleanse their intentions from all bias, intolerance and ignorance, hatred and pre-fed norms of the society, those who free themselves from the chains of limited and irrational thinking after struggling and striving (Jihad) against their human nature (which leads a man to weakness, hastiness, biasness).

The following verse summarizes the two articles;

And if Allah please He would certainly make you a single nation, but He causes
to err whom He pleases and guides whom He pleases; and most certainly you will be questioned as to what you did.

Quran [16:93]

In retrospect, there may be two kinds of accountabilities. Those who were guided by Allah, on account of their sincerity and struggle to attain that sincerity, maybe accountable for taking (or not taking actions) to implement that guidance for the better of the society, and those who were not guided by Allah, on account of their lack of struggle to cleanse themselves,  maybe accountable for not seeking and striving hard to achieve that guidance.

Man will act to achieve what he desires. Man desires what he intends. Those who intend this world shall get so, and those who desire the hereafter act accordingly. Without the intention to learn, there is no desire, without the desire to know, there is no knowledge, without knowledge there is no action and without action there is no piety. 

Ending on a similar note, who are those upon whom Allah has bestowed his favor? Whose path is it that we desire and pray to be kept upon? Whose path is better than the path of the Rasool Allah (SAW) and his blessed Ahlulbayt?

God willingly, if your intentions are true, you will definitely reach the house of Janab Fatima Zahra (AS), the leader of women of paradise, because it is this house in which you can find Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the man for whom this universe was created, and Mawla Ali (AS), the conqueror of Khyber, the gate of knowledge. It is this house, where you can find Imam Hassan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS), the princes of paradise. It is this Hussain (AS), without whom Hur's worship would be rendered useless.

Peace be on Muhammad (SAW) and his blessed Progeny.

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