Believers and Disbelievers and Free-will (From Shakir Shahid)

Shakir Shahid asked:

“A journalist asked a question about Allah’s Decree upon His creation ( he meant no offence, just wanted to understand ):

” When a person dies as a Hindu / Christian / Catholic or an Atheist I.e.he dies as a disbeliever, then is it because of his own fault that he was a disbeliever, or is it solely due to Allah’s Decision that he would die as a disbeliever? ” ”

(Dara: please excuse the non-edited response)

This question is bigger than the life itself, and if the answer was obvious or easy we would not have existed. Our beings, and the magnificence of engineering to produce us, our birth our life and our death, are the answer to this and other fundamental questions.

Quoting Shams-e Tabrizi:

The intent behind the creation of the universe was a place for the lovers to tryst at!


Those who loved Allah are to tryst with Allah on this planet, and those who loved other than Allah are to tryst with other than Allah here.

The problem with answering this question in English is English language itself. We say Believer, we say Un-Believer or Dis-Believer, they have special meaning in European psyche. In the language of Qur’an, there are other derivatives, in particular for this question, Those Who Believed (Past Tense) vs. those who did not! The past tense indicates:

  1. The belief or  disbelief happened in infinite-past (Qidam) not post natal on this earth
  2. Belief or disbelieve is not subject to potentialities and probabilities governing this life  i.e. it is one way or the other in absolute form.

In English language people believe or disbelieve after they are born on this earth, and they do so by their own free will or by the subjugation from God (or some mixture of the two), so are the beliefs of the European Christians in particular English speakers. Uneducated Muslims today are of the same opinion, since they have long lost their knowledge.

In Sufis metaphysics, each of one of us, in the realm of Qidam (Infinite-past) believed or disbelieved (past tense), a primordial decision taken by us in infinite-past. However the INVESTIGATION for this decision, in postmortem is being  conducted during our lives on this planet.

We are not believing or disbelieving here and now, we are investigating the particularities of that decision our souls made in infinite past, do investigate during the life on this planet.

In Infinite-Past Realm, we had no limbs not even these forms of discernible individuation, but each soul in presence of Divine made decision then and there in Qidam: To love Allah, or to love other-than-Allah.

The biological conception and birth on this planet, is a theater upon its stage (life) we enact that primordial belief-disbelief once again to investigate our decisions! Now we have bodies, minds, both fully individuated (by terrific structure of Nafs), we seek to understand why we made that particular decision to love Allah or to love other-than-Allah!

Suyuti’s write up on this particular matter is elucidated in a grand fashion by usage of the language of Qur’an:

There was a decision (by each soul) for loving Allah (entering into light) or loving other than Allah (exiting into darknesses), and there is a continuous motion from light to dark and dark to light to render that decision, in part in the life of this world.

Those who made the primordial decision to love Allah find Allah’s closeness and friendship, while those who found other-than-Allah more beautiful and loving find the closeness and friendship of others in darkness.

Allah befriends and stay close to the former (those who believed) and aids them to stay close, and Allah gives the friends and lovers to the latter (those who disbelieved) who desired other than Allah, to have to befriend to love what they find more beautiful (other than Allah).

So investigate your decision made in infinite past, by observing your conduct in this life, treat your Self as a third person, then seek evidence: who do you actually love?

The answer is fully individuated as well, i.e. my answer to this question, is not your answer to the same question!

Ishara (Pointing): Imagine being inside a skyscraper where the answer to this question is found by looking out the window! I am on the second floor, I look out the windows see people and cars. You are on 35th floor, you look out the windows and see mountains, seas, tiny dots which you suspect are people. The outside landscape is one, but the answer to “what is outside” is not! plethora of many answers!





10 thoughts on “Believers and Disbelievers and Free-will (From Shakir Shahid)”

  1. Salaam Sayyidi

    >” but each soul in presence of Divine made decision then and there in Qidam: To love Allah, or to love other-than-Allah.”

    I wonder how it was possible for a soul to be ATTRACTED to something other than Allah, to find something more beautiful than Allah,when no one and nothing is comparable to Allah!

  2. Salaam Shakir

    That ability to gravitate to other-than-Allah was a Divine Secret in the creation of Adam, or he would been another angel.

    That is what the Nafs does: provide gravitation and ambiguity for other-than-Allah:

    91:7. The Nafs and what perfected creation (engineering)

    وَنَفْسٍ وَمَا سَوَّاهَا

    91:8. Thus induced in her (Nafs) treachery and piety

    فَأَلْهَمَهَا فُجُورَهَا وَتَقْوَاهَا

    1. Salaam Dara/Shakir excellent topic,

      Just wondering with my extremely limited and poor understanding of the Quran:
      1. In “Aalam Al Arwah” do we have the Nafs or say the selfish desires that induce us toward anything else other than the Khaaliq…
      2. Surah Aaraf Verse 172: Am I not your Rabb and everybody replied Yes you are…then how did we manage to love other than our Khaaliq..

      Perhaps Dara would be kind enough to shed some light on this.


      1. Salaam Altaf

        Good comments!

        The most important issue about these topics surrounding the Soul is:

        17:85. They ask you about the Ruh: Say the Ruh is at the behest of my Lord.And you are not given of the knowledge but little.

        In other words what I write or for that matter what anyone else said or says about the souls, or the realm of souls, are closer to conjectures than truth. We simply do not know, we know somethings but little.

        >Surah Aaraf Verse 172: Am I not your Rabb and everybody replied Yes you are

        Please review:

        Ba of Balaa (Yes!) which is what the Souls uttered as the first Harf (Unit of language) is for ignition and beginning i.e. the very existence of the souls that animate the living was Harf Ba which came to be at the same time (so to say) souls uttered Harf Ba or Balaa or yes! So that verse is elucidating the bootstrapping of the souls by that acknowledgement and linkage to the Harf Ba.

        But Allah gave them companions, ITs companionship and other companions, for them to choose to love and beautify.

        I could scan my past life and tell you how many a times I have betrayed Allah and chosen companionship of those Allah did not appreciate, yet that does not make Allah lesser for me and for you!

        My understanding per verses of Qur’an is, I CAN betray Allah by the instrumentation of this most terrific artifact called Nafs which allows me to be pious and the same time evil! And somehow my heart (Qalb) flip-flops (meaning of Qalaba) between the good and evil.

        None of that makes Allah lesser for ‘I’.

        Preference of loving others more than Allah, does not make Allah lesser for ‘I’, it only drags ‘I’ into darker and darker regions.

        The problem with these arguments are our education which is mostly left over of European education, highly articulated by styles from English language, therefore how could someone love Allah the Creator and then love something else? Yet the truth of it is: We constantly moving from light to darkness and Allah pushes us back to light, again and again, there is a continuity in such motion into and out of light. In English language for the European thought, we are either in dark or light! Absolute terms.


        1. Salam Dara,
          Thank you for that lovely explanation and the associated article for the harf “Ba” it opened up new dimensions in my heart.
          After reading the article, I recalled something that I had read about Ba, a faqir has said that the harf “Ba” of the Basmala actually has “Alif” in it and in reality nothing actually begins with Ba, everything begins with an Alif. Thought I would share with you.

  3. Salaam Sayyidi and Salaam to Altaf Sir

    Since nothing and nothing happens or can happen without Allah’s permission, then in making the choice to love Allah and other-than-Allah,there was Allah’s APPROVAL subtle in there?

    1. Salaam again
      Think of humanity and all creation, or individuality, as being inside a tall building.

      Each floor level is a Maqam or Rank, each person on each floor looks outside to see the Landscape of Tauhid.

      Each person at each floor conveys a different description of the said landscape, one sees only the sea, another sees part sea part mountains, another sees birds and animals and people…

      But while everyone sees a different view, it is one and same singleton landscape.

      Back to your comment, in one level the person sees Allah making all decrees and humanity without any free choices. In another level the person sees full volition that it is the man himself making all the decision and no Godly participation.

      All are views of the same landscape.

      We ambiguate these views from different floors, but in and of themselves they are not ambiguous at all!

  4. Salaam. This is illuminating. I have often wondered about the roles of my body and my soul. I usually attributed all deviances to my body. For instance I thought that my ego or my ability to sin was coming from my body. My soul was pure and innocent.
    So I always thought that before birth, I was a Ruh — all pure and not inclined to sin. So in the realm of ruhs when I said Bala (no, not at all) I said it with purity with no inclination to deviate from it.
    Now I realize that the Ruh itself is capable of deviant behavior. Thanks for the correction.
    Now that I think back, my misunderstanding arose from the following circumstance. God says “I breathed into it from My Ruh”. And I identified this word ‘Ruh of Allah’ with the word Ruh of a man. The implication to me then was this. The Ruh in man is the same thing as what God breathed into man of HIMSELF. Therefore I concluded that this Ruh of God could not have anything deviant in it.
    The two things ‘ruh of man’ and ‘ruh that God breathed’ into man are apparently different things. Thanks for making this clear. Now if I could learn more about the nature of this difference and its sources, that would clarify the situation even more.
    One thing that just came to my mind is this. The time or something like time when my ruh said ‘Bala’ was perhaps way before the creation of Adam?

    1. Salaam Whisper

      >For instance I thought that my ego or my ability to sin was coming from my body.

      I used to be of the same opinion, these are Western thoughts induced by Western media and Western college education, we are all exposed to these limited views. One needs to accept their limitations and look to expand the horizons via new thoughts, which is the purpose of why I write.

      Ok for Ruh: it has Darajat (Gradations) to souls cluster in accordance to their gradations per saying of the Prophet:

      الجامع الصغير. – لجلال الدين السيوطي
      المجلد الثالث >> فصل: في المحلى بأل من حرف الألف

      3050- الأرواح جنود مجندة: فما تعارف منها ائتلف، وما تناكر منها اختلف
      التخريج (مفصلا): صحيح البخاري عن عائشة أحمد في مسنده وصحيح مسلم وأبو داود عن أبي هريرة الطبراني في الكبير عن ابن مسعود
      تصحيح السيوطي: صحيح

      Souls are like soldiers grouped (in different sides). Maybe this might help:

      So we understand little of what this Soul is, why it gravitates to others, why it repels others.

      So we need to be in Speculative-Mode for our thoughts on these matters: Let’s think of a way we consider souls be, and go forward in our arguments and look at the past behaviour of mankind and ourselves and then review to see if the original thoughts are validated and true and if so under what circumstances, then think new thoughts.


      1. Thank you Ustad Dara, May Allah reward you amply in this life and in the next. You always seem to know how to help when I ask.

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