Why did God create the human being free and give decision-making power so that he or she can do whatever he or she wants to do?

The truth is that the human being has a basic difference with all other creatures of the universe and that is having free choice and will.

Why did God create the human being free and give decision-making power so that he or she can do whatever he or she wants to do?

The reason is that if he or she were not free, there would be no transformation and this great possibility is a guarantee of spiritual and ethical transformation. For instance, if a person is forced at sword point to help the deprived and to do good deeds for society, of course, this would be considered to be good deeds, but no ethical or human transformation would take place for the person who was forced to do this.

Thus the first condition for a spiritual and ethical transformation is that free will or freedom of choice must be present and available so that the human being can take this way by himself or herself and not through force. It must be like a natural force of the world of nature and if God has given this great gift to human beings it is because of this very elevated goal. But this blessing is just like a flower along which grows thorns and it is the misuse by individuals of this freedom and pollution with oppression and corruption.

Of course, as far as God is concerned, there would be nothing to prevent Him from punishing a human being with the worst kind of punishments if he were to commit oppression so that he would never consider doing it again, his hand be paralyzed, his eye lose sight, or his tongue not be able to Speak.

It is true that if this was the case, no one would misuse freedom and would never commit sins but this piety and devoutness has a coercive side and would in no way be considered to be an honor for the human being but rather it would be because of the fear of immediate punishment.

Thus, at any rate, the human being must be free and must be tested in various ways by the Creator, be free from immediate trial, other than in exceptional cases, to Show the value of his or her self.

Ref: Fifty Lessons of Principles of Belief for Youths; Ayt. Makarem Shirazi; Translated by: Bahador Shirazian; Published by: Ahlul Bayt World Assembly

Was Aristotle a messenger of God?

The great Greek philosopher, physicist and scientist, Aristotle, was born in 384 b.c., in Stageira, north of Greece. His father, Nicomachus, was the personal physician to the King of Macedon. At the age of 17, Aristotle left Greece for Athens in order to continue his studies. In the year 368 BC., he became a member of Plato’s academy and remained a member for twenty years, until Plato’s death.

As Plato’s best student, he left Athens and founded a branch of the academy in the city of Assos in Asia Minor. There, he got acquainted with Hermias, its governor, and eventually got married to Hermias’s niece.

In the year 343 BC., he was invited by Philip of Macedon to be tutor to the thirteen year old Alexander the Great. He accepted the offer and began tutoring him and working on his morals and scientific dimensions not knowing that this decision would have a great effect in history, because in the year 336 BC Alexander the Great sat on the throne and began his worldly conquest. Meanwhile, Aristotle left Macedonia and returned to Athens. There, he established a school like that of his teacher’s and was named the same as the area in which it was established, “The Lyceum”.

The Lyceum was an academic school, equipped with a library and teachers in which would hold classes in an orderly fashion. In The Lyceum, researchers and intellectuals would spend their time studying in a highly-developed way.

Aristotle used to walk while teaching, and his philosophy became famous as “Peripatetic Philosophy” (walking or strolling).
Upon the death of Alexander in 323BC, strong anti-Macedonian feeling developed in Athens, and Aristotle was accused of being pro-war and in content with the acts of his pupil. Because of this, he retired to a family estate in Euboea. He died there the following year from natural causes.

Aristotle is one of the greatest philosophers who has presented many unique theories on all philosophical and intellectual subjects; physics, logic, morals, politics, tragedy, and astronomy. His theories, particularly those on metaphysics, and his logic were the principle ones during the Middle Ages and prepared the grounds for the cultural and scientific renaissance.
His philosophy plays an important role in Islamic Philosophy. Most Islamic philosophers, like Farabi and Abusina were his followers and because of this, they are related to the Peripatetic Philosophy. Usually, they would explain his theories. Conclusion: Aristotle was never a messenger of God, he was a great Philosopher that his followers or other philosophers would call “The Prophet of Philosophy”.

Who was Jesus sent to?

According to Islam, Jesus was sent to the entire world. It is known that the total number of prophets that God sent were 124,000. Five of these prophets were considered to be the best, and they were called o-loo Al-Azm. These prophets were Nooh (Noah) Ibraheem (Abraham), Mousa (Moses), Ee-saa (Jesus), and Muhammad (Peace be upon them all). Being one of the five o-loo Al-Azm prophets means that Jesus was sent to the entire world of mankind and Jin (other beings living amongst us that can see us without us seeing them).

What does it mean when it is said that Adam (pbuh) descended from heaven?

The word Hubut in Arabic means to fall from a high place to a lower one, and is used as the opposite of Su’ud (ascension). 1
The Almighty has pointed to the expelling of Adam from the Garden and making him live outside it with the term “Hubut”:

1- {وَقُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ وَلَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ}
Then We said,” Descend, you are each other’s enemies!. 2

2- {قُلْنَا اهْبِطُواْ مِنْهَا جَمِيعًا فَإِمَّا يَأْتِيَنَّكُم مِّنِّي هُدًى فَمَن تَبِعَ هُدَايَ فَلاَ خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ}
We stated:” Get you down all from The Paradise; and whenever there Comes from me onto you a Guidance,] Know that [those who follow My Guidance, neither fear shall come on Them nor they shall grieve. 3

3- {قَالَ اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ وَلَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ}
Allah stated:” Get down] while [There will be enmity between you; and For you, there is on the earth an Abode as well as provision of Sustenance for a fixed time. 4

Also, in some verses the word Hubut can mean to settle down in a certain place and reside there. In the Quran Allah addresses the Israelites saying:

{قَالَ أَتَسْتَبْدِلُونَ الَّذِي هُوَ أَدْنَى بِالَّذِي هُوَ خَيْرٌ اهْبِطُواْ مِصْرًا فَإِنَّ لَكُم مَّا سَأَلْتُمْ…}
He said:” Do you want to exchange something commonplace for something that is better?” “Settle in some city to get what you have asked for!””. 5

In order to explain the Hubut of Prophet Adam first we need to understand what the heavenly Garden he was living in was like and whether or not it was a Garden on earth or in a different world. One thing is for sure and that is the Garden was not the eternal and everlasting one, therefore what is meant by Hubut was a change in the place Prophet Adam lived, what is called ‘Hubut Maghami’ or decline in rank, not that he actually physically descended from the heavens. Both Quranic commentators and Philosophers have spoken about the Hubut and have mentioned theories that explain it, we will only explain the theories of the commentators:

In Tafsir Majma’ul-Bayan of the lateTabarsi, it reads:

The words “هبوط” “نزول” “وقوع” have the same meaning which is moving from a high place to a lower one, sometimes “هبوط” means settling somewhere, for example in the Quran Allah says: “اهبطوا مصراً” which means: “Go to the city and settle there…” 6

In this regard Allamah Tabatabai says:

هبوط means going out of and exiting the Garden and settling on Earth and beginning a life accompanied by many difficulties. What is understood from verses 24 and 25 of Surah Al A’raf

{قَالَ اهْبِطُواْ بَعْضُكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ وَلَكُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ مُسْتَقَرٌّ وَمَتَاعٌ إِلَى حِينٍ؛ قَالَ فِيهَا تَحْيَوْنَ وَفِيهَا تَمُوتُونَ وَمِنْهَا تُخْرَجُونَ}
is that there was a considerable difference between life in the garden and outside of it. Living outside the Garden was difficult and inconvenient but when living in the Garden Adam (pbuh) did not feel hunger, thirst and experienced no difficulty.

He extends: “Even though he was not living in Paradise (which whoever enters will never be sent out), the garden Prophet Adam was living in was in the skies and not on earth”
Here, as probably will come to the mind of many, a question comes up, what is meant by the skies and a garden in the skies?” 7

In another part of his Tafsir he explains the meaning of a garden in the skies saying:

Prophet Adam lived in a garden that was not in Paradise nor on earth, but rather it was in ‘Barzakh’ (the realm in between this world and the Hereafter)” 8.

In regard to the Hubut of Shaytan after refusing to bow down to Prophet Adam, which has been mentioned in verse 13 of Surah Araaf  {قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ} Allamah Tabatabai explains:

The sentence فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ 9 is emphasizing the phrase “فاهبط منها” because Hubut has the same meaning as ‘khuruj’ (to exit), and the only difference is that Hubut means to exit and decline from a certain status and rank and enter a lower one, and this shows that Hubut does not mean to exit one place and enter another but is actually referring to declining from a certain status and level to a lower one.
This also corroborates our claim that the two pronouns in the words “منها” and “فيها” refer to ‘rank’ and not the skies or Paradise.
Therefore the meaning of the verse will be as follows: Because of refusing to bow down to Prophet Adam when I commanded you, you must give up your status, which was the status of being humble and obeying my commands and you shouldn’t have shown arrogance, so go out and you are among the belittled ones.” 10

In another place in his tafsir, the Allamah explains another important point:

Commanding Hubut is a takwini command that was done after living in the Garden and committing the mistake, therefore there was no religion at the time and no such thing as a sin and disobeying of Allah.” 11

What the tafsir is trying to say is: The command to stay away from the tree in the Garden was an irshadi one, like when a doctor tells someone what he must not eat or drink because it may cause him problems and make him sick, not that the doctor will punish him if he does not act according to what he says (In other words, commands that Allah (s.w.t) issues are to two types; mowlawi and irshadi, the first entails ones deserving punishment upon disobedience, while the latter is only a recommendation and is telling us what is better to do, not that disobeying it will bring about ones deserving punishment). In this case Allah has commanded Prophet Adam not to go close to the tree and not to eat from it, because if he does, it will lead to his expulsion from the garden, like cause and effect; eating from the fruit is the cause and its effect is that he will be expelled from the garden. This explanation from the Allamah clarifies what is meant by hubut and the reason for it.

Ayatollah Javadi Amoli also agrees that the Garden was in the realm of Barzakh, he extends:

Prophet Adam (pbuh) was transferred from a metaphysical realm to a physical one and such a transfer is the same as existential ascension, like the Quran that was sent down from Allah (s.w.t) for the guidance of the people, not that it was a physical ascension (meaning that his body was transferred from one place to another), also, since this ascension was accompanied by Adam’s repentance and regret, it is also called the Hubut of Wilayah or Khilafah.” 12

The Hubut of Shaytan was his fall from his high rank, but Adam’s hubut was one that took place on earth in which his dignity wasn’t flawed from, meaning that he was sent to reside in a world in which Shaytan was also residing in, the difference between the two being that one lost his dignity and the rank he possessed, while the other didn’t lose out on anything. 13

Therefore Shaytan actually underwent two hubuts: 1- Descending from the great status of the angels after refusing to bow down to Prophet Adam which has been mentioned in verse 13 of Surah Araaf 14 {قَالَ فَاهْبِطْ مِنْهَا فَمَا يَكُونُ لَكَ أَن تَتَكَبَّرَ فِيهَا فَاخْرُجْ إِنَّكَ مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ}
2- Descending from the Garden which was his temporary abode and coming to a lower place after tricking Prophet Adam and Eve into eating from the tree. After the mistake Shaytan was sent out from the Garden along with Adam and Eve. 15

In Tafsir Nemouneh we read as an answer to this question that even though some verses say that the Garden he was in was Paradise, but it seems that it was only one of the Gardens of the green and flourishing parts of the earth. Because first of all: Paradise is an everlasting and eternal blessing, meaning that if one makes it into Paradise he will never be expelled from it. Second of all: there is no way Satan can get in to Paradise for it is no place for such an evil creature, let alone having the power to tempt people and deviate them there. Third of all: There are ahadiths narrated from the household of the Prophet that back this opinion.

A narrator narrates:

I asked Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) about the Garden Adam was living in, the Imam answered: “It was one of earth’s Gardens that the Sun and the Moon would shine on, and if it was Paradise he would have never been expelled from it (because Paradise is an everlasting blessing).” 16

Anyway, there are many clues showing that the Garden was not Paradise, because Paradise is the end of good and pious individuals, while Prophet Adam (pbuh) had just started his life there. The Garden he lived in was place where he could do good deeds but on the other hand Paradise is the result of one’s deeds and acts. 17

In another part of the Tafsir we read that Hubut means coming down because of being forced to do so, like the falling of a stone from a high place, and when the word is used for Humans it means to be forced to come down as a punishment.

Considering the fact that Prophet Adam was created to live on earth and the Garden was only a flourishing part of the earth, therefore the Hubut of Adam refers to decline in rank and state, not a physical decline and ascension. Meaning that Allah lowered his rank due to his mistake and he was subsequently deprived of all the heavenly blessings and had to cope with the difficulties of living outside the Garden. 18

[1] Al-Ein, vol. 4, p. 44, p. 21; Lisanul-Arab, vol.
[2] Baqarah:36.
[3] Baqarah:38.
[4] A’raf:24.
[5] Baqarah:61.
[6] Of course the expulsion of Prophet Adam (pbuh) and Hawwa (Eve) from the garden wasn’t as a punishment, because we have reasoning that none of the prophets can ever commit anything wrong, and anyone who says it is possible for them to be punished has wronged them and accused Allah of something terrible. Indeed Allah (swt) expelled Adam from the garden because by eating from the forbidden fruit, things changed and His wisdom called for him to bring them to the earth and have them experience the hardships and adhere to the rulings of this world. Majma’ul-Bayan, vol. 1, pp. 196-197.
[7] Al-Mizan, vol. 1, p. 135; Farsi translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 1, p. 208.
[8] Farsi translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 1, p. 213.
[9] Araaf:13.
[10] Farsi translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 8, p. 35.
[11] Ibid, p. 137.
[12] Tafsir Tasnim, vol. 3, p. 383.
[13] Tafsir Tasnim, vol. 3, pp. 374, 408 and 466.
[14] Araaf:13.
[15] Tafsir Tasnim, vol. 3, pp.371-375.
[16] Tafsir Nurul-Thaqalain, vol. 1, p. 62.
[17] Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 1, p. 187.
[18] Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 13, p. 333.

Did the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) have Ilme Ghayb (knowledge of the Unseen)?

Allah (SWT) has the absolute knowledge about everything, and He grants part of the knowledge to whom He wants (Ayatul Kursi, Sura Bqara). Elm Ghayb is absolutely with Allah (SWT) and He grants parts of it to the Prophet (SAWA) and to the Infallible Imams and even to other very pious servants of Allah (SWT).

The Prophet (SAWA) and Imam Ali (a.s) had informed about many facts unknown to people ,and it is mentioned in many Sunni and Shia books, which proves that they had knowledge of the unseen up to the extent that Allah (SWT) has granted them.

Why do we need the guidance of prophets?

There are two reasons why we need the guidance of the prophets from God:

1. The need from the point of view of teaching

If we ride upon a fantastic and fairy tale-like horse which is built of rays of light and in every second we travel 300,000 kilometers in the shoreless space, doubtlessly we will need to have thousands of life-times of Noah just to see a small part of this extensive universe. It is clear that this un