Can you explain the subject of the creation of good and evil by Allah and attributing of evil to the soul?

The Details of the Question

- Believing that Allah has created good and evil is one of the principles of belief.
- In the Quran, there is a method that says, "Whatever good happens to you is from Allah; and whatever misfortune smites you is because of your own action."
- I wonder what's the difference between them?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

Allah's creation of good and evil:

It is Allah Almighty who creates all deeds, whether good or evil, that man does with his will and volition. There is no creator other than Him and it is only for Him to create. However, man desires good and evil with his own will, and therefore he is responsible for his actions. Let us try to point out this reality with two examples:

It is Allah Almighty who gives the human spirit the ability to see, establishes a connection between the spirit and the eye, and allows light to enter the eye factory as a raw material to enable seeing. Human will and power have no effect on these actions. Therefore, it is only Allah (the Creator of everything) who creates the deed of seeing. However, Allah Almighty has made it permissible for a person to look at some things and forbidden at other things. Thus, man does a good deed by looking at the permissible things and does an evil deed by looking at what the forbidden things. So, it is Allah (swt) who creates the two deeds of seeing that result in good and evil.

Likewise, it is Allah Almighty who creates the deed of walking. When a person desires to go anywhere or any direction, the feet begin to move towards the place he chooses. This movement of man is an optional act. The difference between the optional act and an imperative act such as the rotation of the earth around the sun is obvious.

Allah Almighty did not give the sun the will to make the world move as it wished. For this reason, the world has been rotating in the orbit determined by Allah for billions of years. However, Almighty Allah left the determination of the direction of man's act of walking to his will. Although Allah creates the act of walking, since man prefers the place to go based on his own will, the responsibility belongs to him, too. So, when a person goes to a place ordered by Allah with the deed of walking created by Allah Almighty, he does a good deed, and when he goes to a place Allah has forbidden, he does an evil deed. We can compare these two examples with other deeds of man.

Therefore, that good and evil come from Allah means that He creates all the deeds we do.

Guidance and Heresy:

Since good and evil are from Allah, it is only He who guides people to the true path and leads them to heresy. People only cause one another's guidance and heresy. Some people who misunderstand the creation of guidance and heresy by Allah Almighty say, "Guidance is from Allah. Unless He gives guidance to someone, he cannot enter the right path." Thus, they both block off the way of warning and guiding others and want to justify themselves for their faults.

Let us state the following first: It is possible for Allah Almighty to guide whomever He wills. He is the only one who makes people feel attain happiness and leads them to heresy. However, Allah, al-Khaaliq (the Creator) and the al-Hakeem (the All-Wise) creates heresy in a servant because that servant abuses his own partial will. Otherwise, Allah Almighty will not lead His servant to that path unless he directs his abilities to heresy. The same thing is also valid for guidance. A person expects the result from Allah after making all the necessary attempts for sustenance because only He is ar-Razzaaq (the Provider). We cannot guarantee obtaining sustenance by acting in accordance with causes perfectly because a person who conveys the commandments and prohibitions of Allah to some people in the best way cannot be sure that those people will be guided to the true path. For, it is Allah Almighty who is the only Haadi (the Guide). Allah’s guiding whom He wills means a person who follows and obeys the conditions of guidance will be guided by Allah if He wills.

Otherwise, it does not mean not to act in accordance with the causes of guidance. This way of thinking is like expecting crops without sowing seeds in the field.

At this point, an issue needs to be explained. It is certain that he who does not sow seeds in his field will not get crops. However, a person who does everything properly to get crops will have a ninety-nine percent chance of getting the crops. There might be a disaster such as flood and drought with a chance of one percent. The reason for the possibility of not getting results, even if it is a small percentage, is based on the wisdom of a person’s need to take refuge in the Almighty Allah and to beg Him. This fact is also valid for the issue of guidance.

All Good Being from Allah And All Evil Being from the Soul

We will try to explain this reality with a simile based on the rule that examples serve as binoculars to watch the stars of reality:

Suppose that a sultan gave one of his officers a sufficient amount of gold and ordered him to print copies of the Quran and distribute them with some of that gold, to build a mosque like Suleymaniye for the worship of the people with some of it, a social complex like the Fatih complex for the people to progress in the field of science and knowledge with some of it, and a barracks like Selimiye to enable the soldiers to prepare in the best way against the enemy with the remaining part of it. Can this officer say, "I did all these by myself" for the good results that would arise if he followed the orders given by sultan? Can he say, "I printed all these copies of the Quran; this mosque, social complex and barracks are all my works"?

However, if that officer acted contrarily to the orders of the sultan and printed and distributed books that would deprave the creed and ethics of people instead of distributing copies of the Quran with those gold coins, built places of disgrace that would corrupt people instead of building a mosque and a complex and established camps that would make young people hostile to the state and the nation instead of a barracks and consequently if community life was turned upside down as a result of all these activities, could this man say, "The sultan did all these things because he gave me the gold coins to do them"?

In both cases, it is the sultan who gave the monetary fund. When this fund is used based on the orders of the sultan, all honor belongs to him. If it is used contrarily to the sultan's orders, all the evil and destruction that will arise belongs to the person who used the fund in the wrong way.

Almighty Allah has also given wonderful faculties such as mind, memory and imagination to everybody and many feelings such as seeing, hearing, fear and love, each of which opens the door to a different world. He has created the size and field of vision of the eye with His will, and wisely determined what to look at and what not to look at, and left the choice to the partial will of man. In the same way, He has determined what man should listen to and not listen to, what he should say and what he should not say. He has also promised that if all these organs and faculties are used based on His command, He will bestow eternal bliss upon man in Paradise as a reward.

Thus, when man uses this great capital bestowed by Allah in accordance with His consent, he should attribute the worldly and otherworldly consequences to Allah and be grateful to Him. The benefits of delicious grape clusters are not sought in the dry peduncles of that grape; by taking the reality of this aphorism as a guide, one should not usurp the blessings bestowed upon him by Allah. Anyone who uses this great capital granted by Allah Almighty contrarily to His consent will definitely be fully responsible for the evil results he/she will obtain.

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