A man says, "Good is from Allah, but evil is not from Him. Humans themselves create evil. People, however, included the belief that evil is from Allah in the Amantu [formula of faith] as well, though there is no such thing in the Qur'anic verses or Prophetic sayings." Please explain this topic with Qur'anic verses and traditions.
ANSWERThat both good and evil are from Allah is clearly stated in the Qur'an al-karim and hadith-i sharifs. All Islamic scholars to date, without exception, said that good and evil are from Allah. The belief that evil is not from Allah is the view held by the followers of Christianity, the Mu'tazilah, and some heretical sects. No Ahl as-Sunnah scholar stated that evil was not from Allah because no scholar can say anything against the Qur'an al-karim and hadith-i sharifs. Humans cannot create their own qadar. As a matter of fact, the Qur'an al-karim says (what means):
(If any good reaches them, they say, “This is from Allah,” but if any evil befalls them, they say, “This happened because of you.” Say: “All things are from Allah.” What is wrong with these people that they do not understand any word?) [An-Nisa' 78]
(We decreed that the wife of Lut should undergo torment.) [Al-Hijr 60] (That is, We wrote her such a bad qadar.)
(Those for whom We decreed a good end [those whose qadar is good] will be kept away from Hell.) [Al-Anbiya' 101]
(If Allah were hasty in sending evil to the people, as they are hasty in seeking good, all of them would certainly have been ruined. However, We leave those who do not expect to meet Us wandering in their transgression.) [Yunus 11]
(Your Lord creates what He wants, chooses what He wills. They do not have the right to choose.) [Al-Qasas 68]
(It is Allah who creates you and what you do.) [As-Saffat 96]
(The Creator of everything is Allah.) [Az-Zumar 62; Al-Mu'min 62]
Hadrat Qadi Baydawi, the greatest of mufassirun (those who make a tafsir of the Qur'an al-karim), explained this verse as follows:
"It is Allahu ta'ala alone who creates good and evil, belief and disbelief, and everything. All things are at His disposal."
Our Master the Prophet clarified the Qur'anic verses about faith and stated:
(Iman [faith] is to believe in Allah, angels, books, prophets, the Day of Resurrection [that is, Paradise, Hell, the Reckoning, and the Balance], qadar, that good and evil are from Allah, death, and the Resurrection after death. It is to bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that I am His servant and messenger.) [Bukhari, Muslim, Nasai]
(Allahu ta'ala said: "Whoever believes in Me but does not believe in qadar and that good and evil are by My preordainment, let him look for another Lord besides Me.") [Shirazi]
(A person is not considered a Believer unless he believes that good and evil are from Allah.) [Tirmidhi]
As is seen, it is Allah and His Messenger who included the belief "Good and evil are from Allah" in the Amantu. The deviant sect called the Jabriyyah, looking at these verses, said, "It is Allah who makes us commit sins. We are not responsible for the sins." Of course this is wrong, too. According to Ahl as-Sunnah, humans have partial will (al-iradah al-juz'iyyah), and they are responsible for the sins they commit.
Hadrat Imam-i Rabbani declares:
Belief and disbelief, good and evil, guidance and aberration, obedience and sins are all by the creation, preordainment, and will of Allahu ta'ala. He has linked rewards and sins to the deeds of humans. He has left humans to their free will and made punishment and rewards dependent on the use of free will, which is termed kasb (acquirement). Kasb is from humans, and creating it is from Allah. Kasb is those actions we do with our own free will.
Just as Allahu ta'ala's knowing in the eternal past what He would create does not cancel His attribute will, so His knowing in the eternal past what humans would do does not prevent them from having free will and option.
The reason why Allahu ta'ala has laid down commandments and prohibitions is that humans have been given kasb (the heart's option and partial free will in their actions). If kasb had not been bestowed upon them, these commandments and prohibitions would have been unnecessary (never!). The promises of torment and blessings would have been wrong (never!). And prophets' and holy books' being sent would have been altogether out of place (never!). As it is seen, the purpose of the above-mentioned man is to eradicate the religions.
Allahu ta'ala definitely knows everythingWe have proved above with Qur'anic verses and Prophetic sayings the fact that good and evil are from Allah. Now we will give answers to the following assertion: "If Allah knows whether people will go to Paradise or Hell, then why does He hold them responsible? If He knows where we will go, why did He send us the great Qur'an? Why did He enjoin us commandments and prohibitions? There is no such thing as qadar. Everybody shapes his/her own qadar."
The answers to all these assertions exist in the Qur'an al-karim, and Islamic scholars explained them.
To start with, let us ask this:
Does Allah not know whether a person will go to Paradise or Hell? Can the one who does not know it be a god? How can so many verses existing in the Qur'an be denied? Following the usual strategy "Just throw mud. If it does not stick, it will leave a mark," he is talking through his hat in the hope that he may trap some unwary people.
Who creates evil?It is written in Maktubat-i Rabbani:
Hadrat Imam-i A'zam asked Hadrat Imam-i Ja'far-i Sadiq:
"Has Allahu left humans' optional deeds to their wish?"
"No, He does not leave His rububiyyah [greatness of creating and doing whatever He wants] to His weak servants," he said in response.
"Then does He make His servants do deeds by force?" he asked.
"He is just. He does not compel His servants to commit sins and then put them into Hell," he responded.
"Then who is doing the optional deeds of humans?" he inquired.
"He neither forces them nor leaves them to their wish. It is something between these two. He does not leave creating something to His servants nor forces them," he elucidated.
Abd al-Jabbar Hamadani, a follower of the Mu'tazilah, asked Abu Ishaq Isfaraini, an Ahl as-Sunnah scholar:
"Allah does not will evils and sins; He does not create them. Are these things not created by the Devil?"
"All the good things, evil things, and everything are created by Allah. No one other than He can create anything," he said.
"Does Allah ever will disobedience to Himself?" he asked.
"Could the servants ever be disobedient to Him by force if Allahu ta'ala did not will and create disbelief and sins? Servants use their partial will and wish to commit disbelief, sins, and evils. And Allah creates their wishes, if He wills to do so," was his answer.
"If Allah did not will guidance for a servant, though he/she wants it, would He not be harming him/her?" he asked.
"He does not will not to give a servant's right, but He may not will to take His own right. He will reward for the tiniest goodness done. He forgives most of the sins except for disbelief. As for the question why He wills disbelief, Allahu ta'ala has knowledge, and He knows everything that will happen in the future. He is Hakeem; whatsoever He does and makes, it is always the best that can ever be done and made. He guides whomever He wills to the true way of salvation. He leaves in aberration a servant about whom He has knowledge that he will not renounce it. A Qur'anic verse says:
(He leaves to stray whom He wills and guides whom He wills.) [Fatir 8]
Allahu ta'ala creates good and evil after humans will them. The will power of man is a cause for His creation. When Believers will faith and obedience through their partial will, Allahu ta'ala wills and creates them. When disbelievers will disbelief and sinners will sins, He creates them if He wills to do so. Nothing comes into existence only with the will of servants. It exists if He, too, wills. A fly cannot move its wing unless Allah wills it to move it. All the good and evil deeds of people happen by His will. When a human wills to do something, it does not take place if He does not will it to take place. Something He does not will to exist does not exist. If it existed after all, it would mean some drawbacks in His power. However, Allahu ta'ala is omnipotent.