The Sixth: The creation of deeds and the responsibility of man.

• The Sixth:1 According to Maturidi, inclination, the essence of the power of choice, is a theoretical or relative matter and may be attributed to Allah’s servants. But Ash‘ari considered it to have existence, so did not attribute it to them. However, according to Ash‘ari, the power of disposal within inclination is a theoretical matter, which makes the inclination and the disposal together a relative matter lacking a definite external existence. Theoretical or relative matters do not require causes through which, for their existence, necessity would intervene and nullify the will and power of choice. Rather, if the cause of the theoretical matters acquires the weight of preference, the theoretical matter may become actual and existent. In which case, at that juncture, it may be abandoned. The Qur’an may say to a person at that point: “This is evil; do not do it.” Indeed, if Allah’s servants had been the creators of their actions and had had the power to create, then their wills would have been removed. For an established rule in the sciences of religion and philosophy is: “If a thing is not necessary, it may not come into existence [of itself].” That is, there has to be a cause for a thing to come into existence. The cause necessarily requires the effect. Then no power of choice would remain.

If you say: Preference without a cause or attribute to cause the preference is impossible. Whereas the theoretical or relative matter we call human acquisition sometimes does a thing and sometimes does not; if there is nothing to cause the preference, preference without something to cause it would necessarily occur, and ôhis demolishes one of the most important bases of theology?

The Answer: Preference without a cause or attribute to cause the preference is impossible. That is, a being deemed preferable or superior without a cause or attribute to make it so is impossible. But preference without something to cause it is permissible and occurs. Will is an attribute, and its mark is to perform a work such as that.

If you ask: “Since the one who creates the murder is Almighty Allah, why do you call me a murderer?”

The Answer: Because according to the rules of grammar, the active participle is derived from the infinitive, which is a relative matter. It cannot be derived from the verbal noun, which is an actual or existent matter. The infinitive is our acquisition; so we are called the murderer. The verbal noun is Almighty Allah’s creature. Something which gives an inkling of responsibility cannot be derived from the verbal noun.


1. This is a truth addressing exact scholars in particular.

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The Seventh: The relation between man’s will and Divine will and man’s responsibility.

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