Relationship between Divine Will and Human Free Will from Ṣadr al-Dīn al-Qūnawī’s Perspective

Document Type : Research Paper

Authors

1 PhD student, Islamic Mysticism, Research Institute of Imam Khomeini and Islamic Revolution, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Department of Islamic Mysticism and Sufism, University of Religions and Denominations, Qom, Iran

10.22034/jid.2022.188718.1854

Abstract

Will is a divine attribute, the subject of which is in the world of the second determination (al-taʿaayyun al-thānī) and which manifests in the form of divine epistemic truths called “fixed entities” (al-aʿyān al-thābita). It also appears in the worldly manifestations of these entities such as humans and jinn. Will is one of the most eminent divine attributes. More importantly, this attribute is ascribed to the divine realm in one respect and to the manifestations and shadows of the divine realm and the fixed entities; which are outside of the divine stage, namely humans. There is a relationship between divine will and human free will. Islamic mysticism as a well-establish discipline is concerned with this issue. In this article, we overview the life and character of al-Shaykh Ṣadr al-Dīn Muḥammad b. Isḥāq al-Qūnawī. Moreover, we discuss one of the main tenets of the intellectual system of Ibn al-ʿArabī and al-Qūnawī; that is, the “fixed entities” (also known as mystical “secrets of al-qadr” or “truths of beings in the second determination) that serve as existential realms for the manifestation of divine attributes, including His will. Given the relationship between the fixed entities and divine names, we outline both topics. Furthermore, we refer to how divine attributes relate to the fixed entities as well as their relationship with the inherent dispositions within the fixed entities from al-Qūnawī’s perspective. We argue that, according to al-Qūnawī, there is a difference between the wills of non-instantiated humans who have not attained the stage of intuiting the divine knowledge or the world of the fixed entities (in the second determination) and the will of God because the former involves indeterminacies and doubts. This is because doubts serve as the origins of our free will and our power of choice, while is not the case for God. However, in the case of those humans who have attained the stage of the second determination, which is the realm of the fixed entities, their will is identical with the divine will.

Keywords


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