Do we really have free will when we are products of our environment and upbringing?

Do we really have free will when we are products of our environment and upbringing?

Those who start of life with an adverse upbringing, are much more likely to have bad outcomes. Those who abuse others, have often been abused themselves. Does this mean that we do not have free will because our actions are the result of our environment which is beyond our control?

Our environment has an impact on us, but it does not control our choices. The simple way to demonstrate that we have free will is that if I tell you to jump out of the 3rd floor window, will you jump? No. You can do this, but you have the will to choose your actions.

Those who have had an adverse upbringing, suffered from child abuse or neglect, are not stripped off their free will through this experience. Certainly they have had a very bitter experience but this might make them a better or stronger person, a wiser person, even a beacon of light for others who are suffering. There are inspirational examples of this among Muslims and Non Muslims.

Being a victim of circumstance does not mean you have no choice. To blame bad experience on your actions is not right. Definitely it affects you but you still have control over your will. You can still take the right course of action. You can choose to follow a gang or not. It is your choice. No excuse can justify your bad actions.

The Prophet (peace be on him) was an orphan. He lost both his parents and his grandfather at a very young age, and despite this, even before he received divine revelation he was known for being a person of truth and compassion. He went on to spread the message of Islam.

Shaykh Haytham Tamim – Tafseer Class 10th January 2022

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Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.