The concepts of predestination and free will have been and continue to be two of the most difficult problems of classical and contemporary theology and philosophy. The debate on the perplexing coexistence of predestination and free will has been the focal point of discourse among theologians and philosophers since antiquity. The deliberations on determinism also played an important role in the formation of Islamic theology, as the creedal statements of Islamic doctrines define belief in predestination as one of the essential articles of creed while asserting that human agents possess some form of will defined as irāda al juz’īyya, ‘the minor will’ in the Arabic lexicon.
Evidently, the creed of mainstream Islam necessitates that the two concepts are reconciled or at least a conceivable argument is provided to support the notion that predestination could indeed coexist with free will. Arguments for coexistence constructed on scriptural revelation and Prophetic tradition were proposed by various Muslim theologians from the formative period to contemporary times, during which several theological schools emerged due to a number of significant differences in views. This book is primarily based on an examination and analysis of the theological arguments proposed by mainstream Islamic theologians and Fethullah Gülen, a contemporary Muslim scholar, and his theoretical framework on the reconciliation of predestination and free will. The methodology of this project includes comparative and detailed analysis of arguments put forward by formative, classical and contemporary Islamic scholars and examination of arguments proposed by Western theologians and philosophers with an objective to establish the similarities and differences in the theoretical frameworks of scholars from different schools, traditions, and faiths.
The main argument of this book is based on the theological premises proposed by Fethullah Gülen and mainstream Sunni theologians that support the coexistence of predestination and free will.
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