A Critique of Orientalists’ Views on Predestination in the Quran
The present article is an attempt to examine the Orientalist view of predestination and free-will in the Holy Qurʾān and this is an important issue in defending Islam, as Orientalists have sought to destroy the image of Islam in various ways. The issue of predestination and free-will in Islam is one of the areas where Orientalists have erred in their analysis and as a result, they have come up with various views which have tarnished the image of Islam. According to our research, we found Orientalists have two different views on the subject. Some consider Islam to be a religion based on free-will, such as W. Henry and Prof. Kadarnath, while many other Orientalists, such as Toshihiko Izutsu, Wolfson, Rebecca Beinam, Klein Diamist, Will Durant, Washington Irving and others have portrayed Islam, using some verses of the Qurʾān, as a purely deterministic religion. Factors such as lack of knowledge about the Qurʾān, an impetus for undermining the Qurʾān, limiting reference to the works of the Ashʿarites, etc. can be considered as the provenance of this view. However, by reflection upon the verses of the Holy Qurʾān, the reader will find that the Qurʾān introduces human beings as free agents with choice in their actions, and it leaves the human hand untethered, portraying the will of God and the will of man alongside each other, such that there is no contradiction between the will of man and God, and they can both come together as one. (Of course freedom here does not refer to absolute freedom). The views of the second group of Orientalists in this regard are completely invalid. In fact, and it can be said that the attribution of determinism to Islam by the Orientalists is the result of an insufficient and incomplete study of the verses of the Qurʾān, since presenting an opinion on any subject requires examining all aspects of that subject, which they have not done.
The Qur’an from Orientalists Point of View Qur’an and Orientalists, No. 26, 2019
117 - 138
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