God’s Predetermination of Man’s Life
Man’s free will is also included in the Divine Will. Nevertheless, the relation between the Divine Will and man’s free will is not the same as that between the Divine Will and the lives of other things or beings. God Almighty has endowed man with the power of choice—free will—and, taking into account his future choices in life, (pre-) determined his life down to its smallest details.
As explained above, God’s (pre-) determination of man’s life and actions is like knowing them in advance. We should, however, add that Theistic conception of God is not correct. That is, God did not leave the universe to itself after He had created it. We are contained by time and space and therefore cannot draw exactly true conclusions about the relation between the Creator and the creation. Also, we are unable to perceive eternity; we have little true information about the material domain of existence. God is beyond all time and space; He is infinite and eternal. He holds the universe in His ‘hand’ and controls and manages it however he wills. However, in order that we might catch some glimpse of His actions and acquire some knowledge of Him and His Attributes, He places on his manifestations the limits of time and space. Otherwise, life would not be, nor could we have any knowledge of Him and the universe. Therefore, all the explanations we have made so far about His Will and Destiny, should be considered in the light of the fact that we can approach the subject only from within the bounds of this life, which is limited by time, space and matter, and also from within the bounds of our very existence.
In sum, the Divine Will dominates over the whole of creation, and nothing is or occurs beyond its scope. It is by the Divine Will that there is a miraculous order and harmony in the universe, and everything and every event is given a certain direction and certain characteristics of its own. However, the Divine Will does not exclude man from having a free will.
By M. Fethullah Gulen