What is partial free will?

We can divide the deeds of human beings into two parts.

Some of them are the deeds that occur completely out of human free will. The beating of the heart, the circulation of blood, breathing in and out, opening and closing our eyelids are examples of such deeds. These types of deeds are named as "involuntary acts" Human free will cannot interfere with these types of deeds; therefore, there is no responsibility or reward for these deeds.

The other deeds are the deeds that we do through our free will. The deeds such as eating, drinking, looking, talking, walking are included in this part. In this part, we have the right to choose. We can look at permissible things but we can also look at sinful things. We can eat permissible foods or we can eat forbidden foods. We can talk about good things but we can also lie and gossip. These types of deeds are named as "voluntary acts"

Partial free will is our ability to choose among those deeds. In terms of creation, both involuntary and voluntary deeds are created by Allah. However, our demand is in question regarding voluntary acts and deeds. This demand is called partial free will.

That is, in voluntary acts, man is the one that demands and Allah is the one that creates the deed. Because of this demand, man becomes obedient or rebellious. In other words, human free will relates to the attribute of the deed and the power of Allah relates to the essence of the deed.

For example, Allah creates the essence of the deed of writing. The writings can include good deeds or sins. In the first situation, writing is beneficial but in the second situation, it is harmful. Here, whether the deed of writing is beneficial or harmful is decided by man. Man decides and Allah creates the writing according to man's decision. Man becomes responsible because of this choice and decision. Now, we will try to understand the nature of the partial free will through three different examples:

Example 1:

Suppose that we are in the guesthouse of a king. On each floor of the guesthouse, different bounties and benefactions are exhibited. As we come up, we see that these bounties and benefactions increase. Suppose that there is punishment instead of bounties and pains instead of benefactions on the ground floor of the guest house. There is only one way to go up and down: to enter the elevator and push the button of the floor that we want to reach.

Now we are in the elevator and we push a button that hoists us up and the elevator hoisted us up. Or, we pushed a button to go down and the elevator took us down. Moreover, we should not forget that a person can push the button to go up but then can change the decision and can push the button that will take him or her down and he or she starts to go down. Or, a person can push the button to go down but if he or she wants to go up and if his elevator journey has not finished yet, the person can push the button that hoists him or her up and he or she can reach the upper floor.

Now let us analyze our situation: We did not make the elevator and we cannot carry it by our force. However, the elevator does not act on its own. We push a button by using our free will and the elevator takes us to that floor.

Therefore, we cannot say, "I move the elevator and it works by my force"; similarly, we cannot say, "This elevator acts on its own; if it wants, it carries me up, or carries me down; I can do nothing about it; I have no free will."  We cannot claim that we move the elevator by our force because we do not have even a little bit of force to move the elevator and to invent it. Let alone claiming to move the elevator by our own force, we probably do not even get in the elevator by our own force. The merciful king of this guesthouse makes us get into the elevator without our force and intervention.

So, we cannot say that we carry the elevator on our own and the elevator works based on my force. Likewise, we cannot claim that we have no intervention in the movement of the elevator and that it carries us based on its desire and free will. For, the elevator carries us to the floor that we want to go by pushing the button. It does not carry us to the floor that we do not want to go.

Then, the best statement is this:  “We do not make the elevator move and the elevator does not work with our force.  However, we determine the floor that the elevator goes up or down because of our free will by pushing buttons." Therefore, we determine the floor that we will go to. The elevator acts based on our determination and demand.

Now, we will explain the facts in the example:   In this example, the guesthouse is this world and this beautiful realm.

The owner of the guesthouse is Allah, the sultan of pre-eternity and post-eternity.

The top floors of the guesthouse are the deeds that help us reach Paradise; the ground floor of the guesthouse is the sins that cause us to go to Hell. 

The elevator is Allah's will and power. Pushing the button of the elevator is our demand from Allah to create that deed. This is partial free will. 

When we decide to read the Holy Quran with our partial free will and when we demand to read the Holy Quran, Allah creates with His power the deed of "reading the Holy Quran". That is, when we are in this situation, we push the upper button of the elevator and the elevator carries us to that floor. Everything, from our mouth's movement to the Holy Quran that we read, belongs to Allah. Everything happens with His creation. We only   prefer and demand this condition to be created by Allah. This preference and demand is called partial free will.

If we wanted to read a book that included sins instead of reading the Quran, we would demand this deed to be created by Allah with our partial free will just like pushing a button that took us downstairs and Allah would creates this deed because this life is a test.

Allah's creation is dependent on our desire, namely, our free will; so we are held responsible for our deeds.  However, Allah does not create that sin due to His mercy in many cases and Allah intervenes between us and that sin.

Example 2:

Suppose that the sultan's ships are arranged on a dock in an order and there are two islands in front of the dock. The sultan commands the captains to go to the island on the right and prohibits them from going to the island on the left. The sultan tests the captains about their obedience to him and he does not interfere in the captains who go to the island on the left due to the test.

Suppose that the ships are equipped with the same devices and the routes to both islands are kept open. On the other hand, all needs and fuels of the ships are provided by the sultan. What the captain needs to do here is to turn the rudder only and to choose the island that he decides to go. The ship and the movement of the ship belong to the sultan.

If this captain goes to the island on the right by obeying the command of the sultan, he will meet various bounties. If he goes to the island on the left, he will be a target for the attacks of wild animals and he will be punished by the sultan's officers in various ways. Each captain can direct the ship and go to the island that he decides to go as a cox of the sultan. When a captain decides to go to an island, the ship will follow the route that the captain will give and the sea will carry the ship until it reaches this island.

We also must add that the captain has the right, at any moment of the travel, to change the route. For example, when he is travelling toward the island on the left, he can turn the direction toward the right side or when he is travelling toward the island on the right, he can turn the direction toward the left side.

Now let us analyze it:  The captain does not cause the ship to move on the water with his own power because he does not have the necessary power for it.  Likewise, he cannot fulfill the needs of the ship on his own.  Neither did he make this ship, nor is he the owner of the sea and the other devices in the ship; all of them belong to the sultan.

However, the ship does not move on its own, without the will of the captain. The preference of the captain steers the ship. The captain cannot say this: "I am directing and moving this ship with my own power"; because he does not have such a power.  He cannot say this, either:   "The ship is floating out of my will.  It is carrying me to the island that it wants by force. I am not responsible for the movement of the ship."  He cannot say so because the ship travels based on his preference. Then, the best statement is this:  "I am not the owner of the ship and its devices.  They belong to my sultan. I am only a cox of the ship and I determine a route for the ship but I am such a cox that I will be accounted for every movement of the ship because my will and desire cause the movements of the ship."

Now, let us explain the facts in the example: 

The dock in example is this world.

The sultan is Allah, who is owner of the universe.

Each ship is a man. The devices in the ship are the senses and organs given to man by Allah.

As for those two islands, the island on the right is Paradise and the deeds that cause man to go to Paradise; the island on the left is Hell and the deeds that cause man to go Hell.

The captain’s deciding the route of the ship and turning the rudder is partial free will. Every organ and cell in the human body, each system in the universe and sphere serve and move thanks to the will and the power of Allah. However, in voluntary deeds, man is not plunged into the sea of events like a captain whose hand and arms are tied. Man prefers and determines his ship's (body) island (movement) thanks to his partial free will. So he decides the destination which he will go on his own. The ability of this decision-making is named as partial free will.

Example 3:

Suppose that a child is sitting on the back of a wrestler. There are two mountains in front of them. On the mountain on the right, delicious foods and many bounties are available.  On the mountain on the left, only thorny plants and wild animals are available.

The child will climb up one of these mountains but his own force is not enough to climb the mountains; so, a wrestler takes him or her on his back and he will carry the child by obeying the child's desire and decision. Suppose that this child wants to climb the mountain on the left instead of the mountain on the right, which includes many beautiful bounties and the child wants the wrestler to climb the mountain on the left. The wrestler carries him to that mountain. As a result of his desire, after climbing that mountain, he encounters hundreds of pains and fears.

Now, let us analyze the situation: The child did not climb that mountain with his own force. Besides, his force is not enough to climb that mountain on his own. However, the wrestler did not carry him to the mountain on the left by force. If the child had wanted to climb the mountain on the right, the wrestler would have carried him to the mountain on the right. As a matter of fact, he carried many people to the mountain on the right. Then, the child cannot claim that he climbed the mountain with his own force. He cannot claim that the wrestler carried him to the mountain on the left by force, either. 

The best statement that the child can make is this:  "I did not climb the mountain with my own force. The wrestler carried me to this mountain. However, the wrestler did not do it by disregarding my desire and decision. On the contrary, he obeyed my demand.  I wanted him to carry me to the mountain on the left and he did it. The responsibility in climbing that mountain lies with me."                                       

Now we will explain the facts in the example:

The mountain on the right in the example is Paradise and the deeds that cause us to go to Paradise.            

The mountain on the left is Hell and the bad deeds that cause us to go to Hell.

That child is us, that is, human beings.

The wrestler is the power of Allah.

Yes, we do deeds thanks to the power of Allah. In the example, the child sits on the back of the wrestler. Likewise, we act with the power of Allah. We want Allah to carry us to the mountain that we want to climb and to create the act that we want to make. Our demand is the partial free will.  Allah creates our demands even if He does not approve them because life is a test. Here; we want the act to be created by Allah.  Allah is creator of the act. We become responsible for this demand because our demand and desire caused the creation of the act.

Then, our task is using our partial free will for the demand of good deeds and asking Allah to create the deeds that cause us to go to Paradise. When this desire combines with a good intention, it will make us deserve Paradise.

Happy is the man who uses the partial free will given to him in the creation of good deeds and who does the deeds that cause him to go to Paradise. Shame on the man who uses his partial free will, which was given to him to demand good acts, in the way of sins and misappropriation.

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