Since it is God Who Creates the Act of Murder, Why is he Who Kills Called a Murderer?
According to Arabic grammar, the active participle functioning as the subject is derived from the infinitive, which denotes a relative affair or deed, not from another word derived from the infinitive which expresses an established fact. Therefore, since it is man himself who does the deed denoted by the infinitive, he is the murderer.
That is, man wills to do something and accordingly does it, so he is the doer or agent of his acts. It is the man himself who does the act of killing, so he should be called the murderer. God creates man’s acts in that He gives external existence to them; He does not perform those acts. It would have been meaningless for man to have free will if God had not created the acts which are the outcome of that free will.
Although man’s free will is too inefficient to cause something to happen, Almighty God, the absolutely Wise One, has made its operation a simple condition for the coming into effect of His universal Will. He guides man in whatever direction man wishes by the use of his free will so that he remains responsible for the consequences of his choice. As an example, if you were to take a child upon your shoulders, and then leave him free to decide where he would like to go and he elected for you to take him up a high mountain, and in consequence he caught cold, he would have no right to blame you for that. Indeed, you might even punish him because he wanted to go up the mountain. In like manner, Almighty God, the Most Just of Judges, never coerces His servants into doing something, and He has accordingly made His Will somewhat dependent on man’s free will.
In sum: As man, you do possess free will, which makes almost no contribution to your good acts, although it can cause deadly sins and destruction wherever it operates. Therefore, exploit your free will for your own benefit by praying to God continuously, so that you may enjoy the blessings of Paradise, a fruit of the chain of good deeds, and attain to eternal happiness. Further, you should always seek God‘s forgiveness for your sins in order to refrain from evil deeds and to be saved from the torments of Hell, a fruit of the accursed chain of evil deeds. Prayer and putting one’s trust in God greatly strengthen the inclination to good, and repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness cut the inclination to evil and break its transgressions.
We may summarize the discussion so far in seven points:
- Divine Destiny, also called Divine determination and arrangement, dominates the universe but does not cancel our free will.
- Since God is beyond time and space and everything is included in His Knowledge, He encompasses the past, present and future as a single, undivided point. For example: When you are in a room, your view is restricted to the room. But if you look from a higher point, you can see the whole city. As you rise higher and higher, your vision continues to broaden. The Earth, when seen from the moon, appears to be a small blue marble. It is the same with time. So, all time and space are encompassed by God as a single, undivided point, into which the past, present and future are united.
- Since all time and space are included in God’s Knowledge as a single point, God recorded everything that will happen until the Day of Judgment. Angels use this record to prepare a smaller record for each individual.
- We do not do something because God recorded it; God knew beforehand we would do it and so recorded it.
- There are not two destinies: one for the cause, the other for the effect. Destiny is one and relates to the cause and the effect simultaneously. Our free will, which causes our acts, is included in Destiny.
- God guides us to good things and actions, and allows and advises us to use our willpower for good. In return, He promises us eternal happiness in Paradise.
- We have free will, although we contribute almost nothing to our good acts. Our free will, if not used properly, can destroy us. Therefore we should use it to benefit ourselves by praying to God, so that we may enjoy the blessings of Paradise, a fruit of the chain of good deeds, and attain eternal happiness. Furthermore, we should always seek God’s forgiveness so that we might refrain from evil and be saved from the torments of Hell, a fruit of the accursed chain of evil deeds. Prayer and trusting in God greatly strengthen our inclination toward good, and repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness greatly weaken, even destroy, our inclination toward evil and transgression.
This article has been adapted from Risale- i Nur Collection.