The followers of Imam al-Maturidi, one of the sub-schools of the Ahl al-Sunna wa’l-Jama‘a, regarded man’s inclination upon which his free will is based as having nominal value and existence, and accordingly originating in man himself, while the Ash‘arites do not ascribe that inclination to man because they consider it to have a real existence. According to them, man has, however, a nominal or theoretical disposal of that inclination and, because of this, the inclination and man’s disposal of it are a relative matter, not having a definite external existence. Something of nominal and relative existence does not require a perfect efficient cause which would annul man’s free will in his actions; rather, when its cause acquires the weight of preference, it might have an actual existence. In which case, where the Qur’an says, ‘Do not do this, because this is evil’, he may refrain from committing it. If man were the creator of his own actions, then he would himself be the ultimate cause of them, and his will would be cancelled. According to the science of established principles or methodology and logic, if a thing is not necessary, it will not exist. That means there has to be a real complete cause before something can exist, but a complete cause makes the existence of something compulsory so there will be no room for choice.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.