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
- Ghazali on love of status vs true perfection
- Ghazali on how much wealth is sufficient for you
- From a wise young boy to one of the great companions – Lessons from the blessed life of Abdullah ibn Mas’oud
- Ghazali on stinginess
- Is it ok to do dhikr in the bathroom?
January 11, 2022
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