Free-will and Predetermination – Dr. Israr Ahmed (Urdu)

Part # 1

  • Explains various Arabic terms and their root related to the concept of Qadar.

Part # 2

  • Science, Philosophy and Literature favor the concept of Predetermination over Free-will. Particularly modern science, with its genetic theory and its explanation of impact of up-bringing and society on individuals, claims that our actions are predetermined.
  • Qadariyah are the people who believe that humans have independent freewill, while Jabriyah believe that humans have any at all. Islamic sect of Murjia believed in predetermination, which led them to think that everyone will have a favorable time in hereafter as no one can really be blamed for his actions.
  • Ahlus Sunnah believe humans are not the creator of his actions. Humans themselves and their actions are created by Allah, but humans have a ability of volition. Even this ability of Volition is within a boundry set by Allah.

Part # 3

  • Allah will not hold anyone accountable more than his capabilities.
  • It is discouraged by Prophet (pbuh) in Hadith to debate these matters.

Part # 4

  • No one can harm or benefit us if Allah doesn’t will so. If something happens, we can say that it happened due to these causes or persons or it can also be said that it happened because Allah willed so. We have been instructed to associate good things with Allah and bad things to our own deeds.

Part # 5

  • Everything that happened in the past and will happen in the future is already recorded and known by Allah. Allah has pre-knowledge of everything but that doesn’t imply fatalism.
  • Dr. Israr reads and discusses various Ahadith on this subject from this point onward.

Part # 6

Part # 7

Part # 8

Part # 9

Part # 10

Murawaja Tassawuf Aur Sallook e Muhammadi (S.A.W) By Dr Israr Ahmed

Dr. Israr started with a brief overview of how Islam came to South Asia. Initially, the Islamic Fiqh and Tassawuf came here and all the focus was on these two. Scholars used to be identified with their association to one of the Schools of Fiqh and one of the Sufi silsilas. Name of scholars used to denote their Fiqhi and Sufi associations like Hanafi Qadari or Hanafi Chisti. Shiaism later came to South Asia during the time of Sher Shah Suri when Humayoon took refuge in Iran and came back with Irani support to take back the empire. Later on scholars made efforts to bring Muslims closer to Hadith and Quran also, rather than just focusing on Fiqh and Tassawuf.

Dr. Israr mentioned that there are two major hurdles in revival of Islam today: sectarianism and a cerain form of sufism. He didn’t consider the sufi practices to be un-Islamic but he rather believed them to be appropriate for their time and not essential part of Islam as they were not taught by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). In the past, Shariah was implemented and rulers were Muslims so all the emphasis was on ibadaat and tazkiya-e-nafs. This is the context where sufi practices like Chila and Maraqba made sense. But in the current context the focus should be on establishment of ideal islamic state which is the important religious duty of Muslims. To counter sectarianism, Dr. Israr proposed that Muslims should be directly exposed to the message of Quran. This will reduce the sectarian tensions within the society as Muslims will be able to realize what is primary and what is of secondary importance in religion. In the Arab world, the sectarian conflicts doesn’t have the same intensity because they are able to directly read and understand Quran.

Sallook-e-Muhammadi (Tariqah-i-Muhhamdiyah), founded by Syed Ahmed Barelvi was closer to the teaching of Muhammad (pbuh) in its understanding of Tasawuf and according to Dr. Israr, it would be better if we use the term Ehsan for it which is from Quran and Hadith.


Human Evolution

I have been reading about Human Evolution for some time now. In this blog I will share some thoughts on the topic.

I have read some books on the subject like ‘Selfish Genes’ by Richard Dawkins and Darwin’s Origin of Species. Also read ‘The Language of God’ by Francis Collins. Before that I had been reading books by Harun Yahya on this topic. The last book I read was ‘Quran and Human Evolution’ by Dr. Ahmed Afzaal.

Richard Dawkins is probably the most famous contemporary evolutionist. His book ‘Selfish Gene’ is considered by some scholars as the best modern scientific explanation of how humans evolved from lower life forms. He is a proponent of gene-centric view of biological evolution. Apart from being a biologist, he calls himself a militant atheist; militant because he is very vocal about being atheist and also preaches it, urging others to relinquish faith too. I read his another best-seller book ‘The God Delusion’ in which he asserts how theory of evolution explains everything and it refutes the idea of God.

Harun Yahya is other side of the coin. He rejects the theory absolutely. He has produced a huge wealth of material on this topic including high quality documentaries and large collection of books. Besides pointing out gaps in the theory of evolution, he also wrote about the historical disasters this theory has brought to humankind. How racism got a boost as people started thinking that they are more evolved then others, hence a better race. Harun Yahya also pointed out that evolution has now taken a form of religion, citing the cases where scientist deliberately tempered with the fossils to prove evolution.

Now, Francis Collins, he is a believing Christian and a biologist, who was the head of Human Genome project. The purpose of the project was to map of all genes in Human DNA. I read his book ‘The Language of God’, again a best-seller. He theorizes that humans have evolved from lower life forms but it is God who started the process of evolution and He has control over it. Dr. Ahmed Afzaal in his book ‘Quran and Human Evolution’ also presents a similar point of view.

So there are three distinct point of views on Human Evolution:

  1. God created us and all other life forms individually, separate from each other.
  2. All life forms are created through evolution and there is no reason to believe in a creator.
  3. Evolution is God’s way of creating things (living or otherwise) in this world. For instance, God created the universe through big bang and then the earth and other planets evolved over time.

I would also like to present here views of few Pakistani religious scholars. Obviously, they believe in either first or the third view point.

Dr. Israr usually remains neutral on this topic, he presents both first and the third point of view. Though I feel that he is more inclined towards the third one.

Maulana Maududi didn’t believe in evolution so he supported the first view, where as, his fellow Jamaat-e-Islami leader, Amin Ahsan Islahi used to believe in evolution, set in action and controlled by God. I heard a story regarding Dr. Israr and these two leaders of Jamaat. Dr Israr was also in Jamaat as a young member when these two were the main Jamiat leaders. Dr Israr used to ask questions to Maulana Maududi regarding evolution. Then he used to come to Maulama Islahi and argue with him on the subject using Maulana Maududi’s arguments. He used to go back and forth like this, pitting the arguments of two scholars against each other without letting them know. Finally some senior member of Jamaat stopped Dr Israr from doing this as this could create divisions within the leadership.

Javed Ahmed Ghamdi, who is a student of Amin Ahsan Islahi, does not believe in evolution and says that there is no scientific evidence in support of this theory.

I have heard that Allama Iqbal and Dr. Muhammad Rafiuddin also believed in evolution.
Personally, I believe that ‘Theory of Evolution’ comes nowhere near to explain the creation of life and different species on earth. It has a lot of gaps and shortcomings. Allah Almighty created us and everything else around us and we have to learn a lot more to understand how He actually did it.

Allah knows best….