Proceeding every Q&A&A you’ll find this brief explanation for the benefit of first time visitors to the blog, added due to the haze of misinformation that often accompanies Islam when seen through the lens of popular culture. I’ll be offering not merely question and answer in the fashion of Q&A, but also an honest rendering of the Muslim position on the subject, hence Q&A&A. Beginning hereafter you’ll find the question’s proposition, wherein I’ll outline what seemingly is the Islamic teaching, following that you’ll be treated to an answer by way of Islamic scholars and Muslim apologists, although for my choosing the most common rebuttals nobody will be forced to endure distortions of that which Muslims consider valid. My intention is whatever you read will equip you with confidence and knowledge enough so to engage dishonest teaching in whatever guise you may encounter it.
Question’s proposition: Did Allah create creatures so that they’d worship him from within hell-fire?
An understanding of God’s nature immediately tells us how God is righteous, wholly impeccable and worthy of praise, which means God’s judgements ought to reflect that perfect nature. However, it appears whoever wrote the Koran missed these aspects of God’s immutable nature, as Allah’s omnipotence seems to conquer all, outstripping even the demands of his Justice and Mercy, making him an unpredictable and alien god amidst an endless folly of seemingly false gods. Surah 51:56 begins many an unwitting reader upon the road to thinking likewise, let’s begin by examining it therefore, since within the passage we’re told Allah’s decree of: “I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me.” Reading this the passage comes across as reasonable, Allah being a just judge, and for being good made menfolk and the Jinns (that’s genies to you and I) so that they’d serve him, that has been his eternal intention, yet we being obstinate and hard of heart have rejected him. Thus far I’m impressed.
Needless to write this hot streak couldn’t last long, since there’s Surah 7:179 to consider, and this passage appears firm in its opposition to Surah 51:56, even going as far as to contradict what Allah has decreed: “Many are the Jinns and men We have made for Hell.” So Allah’s intentions are becoming slippery now, maybe even impossible to get a handle on, moreover the all good Islamic god has decided to stack the deck in sins favour, doing so by ensuring a certain number of men and jinns are predestine to burn eternally in the fires of Hell! This strikes any who’ve studied the nature of God as peculiar, more befitting an unrighteous demigod suchlike the Greek or Viking gods, with Loki (the Norse god of mischief) naturally coming to mind. We’re now left with an unchanging god who’s decided both that he’s only made men and jinns to faithfully serve him, as well as having made a certain number of men and jinns who’re doomed to an eternity in hell-fire!
Harmonizing is ordinarily how religious commentators correct two seemingly contradictory texts like the ones above, since there’s a fair chance that within the extended literary context the passages make more sense, suchlike looking at a collection of photos that form another image when viewed from a great distance. Yet writers and commentators in favour of Islam haven’t attempted to harmonize what we’ve read, rather an attempt to reconcile is ignored entirely, thus you won’t be seeing that amidst the Muslim answer section today. But for what reason wouldn’t they attempt reconciling these two declarations of Allah, why remain in confusion, I think the answer can be found in what happens when we harmonize the words of Allah, for the outcome isn’t overly flattering. Let’s break it down then…
(1) Allah creates every man and jinn with the intention that they’ll serve him (Surah 51:56).
(2) Allah has created certain men and jinns with the intention that they’ll spend their eternity in amidst hell-fire (Surah 7:179).
(3) Therefore Allah’s intention is to have servants who reside in Hell faithfully worshipping him.
We’re justified in asking therefore, do the denizens of Hell worship you, O Allah?
What Muslims say: Misinformation, misunderstandings.
(1) Misinformation: Allah judges everybody based on their good and bad deeds, this ensures we’re not robotic machines predestined for either Paradise or hell-fire.
(2) Misunderstandings: How you’ve harmonized the text isn’t found within Islamic scripture, which means we’d have to radically alter what Hell means based upon what you’re writing.
What OldSchoolContemporary says: Allah created creatures so that they’d worship him from within hell-fire.
When first researching these objections I honestly expected more substantive rebuttals than those I’ve listed above, unfortunately they’re not abundant within Muslim forums and apologetic websites, even stranger much of what you’ll find is Muslim posters leeching copy and paste style from other Muslim writers so to avoid interacting with the material found herein themselves. Nevertheless, we’re not so evasive as to ignore writings whatever the content, which means tackling an Islamic idea which isn’t particularly Islamic when examined in-depth. That idea isn’t predestination, although its in part something we’re going to highlight, rather its freewill, since assuming we’re not robotic machines in Islam is to imply we’re creations gifted with liberty enough to decide wherein we’re going to spend eternity. Hereinafter I’m tempted to remind others of what freedom of the will is really all about, since most are familiar with freedom when it concerns sexuality, movement and whatever popular culture presently chooses to highlight, however freedom in more potent a fashion is found between the pages of the book of Genesis. Wherein Adam and Eve choose by way of their freewill to disbelieve God’s warnings and believe an adversary of His kingdom, doing so due to the belief they too could be as gods (Genesis 3).
It’s an old story well expounded upon by more wonderful commentators than any I’ve read in modern times, yet are there familiar themes and notions of freedom throughout Mohammed’s teachings, or is freewill something that modern Muslims only pay superficial lip-service to? Examining an authentic Islamic tradition should serve to enlighten us if that’s the case (Bukhari Volume 8, Book 77, Number 611).
The Prophet said, “Adam and Moses argued with each other. Moses said to Adam. ‘O Adam! You are our father who disappointed us and turned us out of Paradise.’ Then Adam said to him, ‘O Moses! Allah favoured you with His talk (talked to you directly) and He wrote (the Torah) for you with His Own Hand. Do you blame me for action which Allah had written in my fate forty years before my creation?’ So Adam confuted Moses, Adam confuted Moses,” the Prophet added, repeating the Statement three times.
Moses freeing the Jews from Egypt, but if Islamic teaching is to be believed, not only is Adam freed from guilt due to having no control over his sinful behaviour, Moses also can’t be rightly rewarded for his righteous conduct, as his bravery and faith in God were also written into his fate before birth!
An interesting position to defend if any Muslims would prefer remaining true to their Islamic teachings, how can it be then that Adam is able to best Moses while yet being held responsible for his original sin of disobedience? Furthermore, Adam’s claim that Allah wrote action into his fate teaches an utter helplessness on the part of man to avert Allah’s plan for our downfall. But there’s more, as Islamic writings haven’t yet yielded up their wealth of preaching on predestination (Hadith 4:549).
Allah’s Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, “(as regards your creation), every one of you is collected in the womb of his mother for the first forty days, and then he becomes a clot for an other forty days, and then a piece of flesh for an other forty days. Then Allah sends an angel to write four words: He writes his deeds, time of his death, means of his livelihood, and whether he will be wretched or blessed (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into his body. So a man may do deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses, and so he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise and enters Paradise. Similarly, a person may do deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise, so much so that there is only the distance of a cubit between him and it, and then what has been written (by the angel) surpasses, and he starts doing deeds of the people of the (Hell) Fire and enters the (Hell) Fire.”
Overlooking the outrageously flawed embryology found above, which is thoroughly debunked here, we’re also treated to an ongoing explanation of how the world works both in the visible and invisible. And how devastating is it to the Muslim position when we read an Angel writes on behalf of Allah people’s deeds before the deeds are done, their time of death before dying, their means of livelihood whilst they yet have nothing, and even whether or not they’re going to be among the residence of Paradise or Hell! Can followers of Islam who’re reading grasp how without help they’re according to their belief system. You as a follower of Mohammed can live your entire life as a good, faithful, obedient Muslim, but if Allah’s angel has written unbelief into your future you’re doomed regardless, upon your deathbed you’ll seemingly against all of your life’s work and better judgement renounce your faith, and thus become an atheist or some other hated sort of person in the eyes of Allah. So when objection one asserts we’re not robots predestine for either Paradise or Hell, the point is simply made by someone misinformed, misinformed since Allah hasn’t just preprogrammed people to ensure they’d ultimately fall into sin, he’d also sweep sinless creatures out of existence so to bring into being a nation of sinners! (Sahih Muslim Book 037, Hadith Number 6621). So Allah is a god who would destroy righteousness upon the earth, are these the ways of an actual god, or fantasy based upon the tales of The One Living God, a God more holy and righteous than Mohammed could ever envisage?
Debunking the misunderstood notion of Hell hereafter, what’s more many believe they’ve got a firm handle on what Islamic writing teaches on the subject, still they’ve yet to scratch the surface of how deep a mess Islamic theology has fallen into regarding the concept of Hell. As it has become, or dare I write has always been a parody and misconceived forgery of what Hell actually is, rather than being a place of abandonment, wherein sinners and rebels are separated from God’s grace and mercy so to be left to their own self-inflicted ends, Mohammed chose to depict Hell as an old-fashioned medieval torture chamber, which within the residence have their skins horrifically roasted, only to have them replaced later on (Koran 4:55-56), they’re also made to drink boiling water (Koran 22:19-22), with little to no mention of God to be found. Hells reality is rightly affirmed by Islamic theology, as is the truth of Paradise, yet there’s something startlingly amiss concerning both, Islam’s sky brothel, as there’s nothing else I could call it, features near nothing of the glory of Allah, with him only interrupting the fun so to marry lusty Muslim men to wide-eyed maidens with swelling breasts, an outlook totally alien when compared to the words of Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 22:30).
Both Hell and Paradise appear somewhat lacking in Islam therefore, with neither being particularly bothered with Allah’s presence, or the lack thereof. Thus we’re led into tackling the second objection noted above, as we’ve already established Allah’s disinterest in righteousness, alongside of his plan for predestination, which he writes into the fate of every person, both of which show contempt for goodness and his creatures’ freedom, hence casting righteous do-gooders (or jinn) into an eternity of torture is in keeping with his overall behaviour, thoroughly based in Mohammed’s revelations moreover. Hence that which I’ve outlined isn’t simply found in Islamic scripture, it’s positively promoted by it. Finalizing I’ll end upon something more personal. That being found within what Muslims would gladly call the heart of Islamic theology (Koran 19:71-19:72). “And there is none of you except he will come to it (Hell). This is upon your Lord an inevitability decreed. Then We will save those who feared Allah and leave the wrongdoers within it, on their knees.”
It would appear that Allah has indeed created certain creatures so that they’ll worship him from within hell-fire, even doing so, albeit temporarily, to his own Muslim followers! Wouldn’t rereading the passage utterly perturb any an ordinary Muslim, since the only thing Allah appears to guarantee his followers is their place amidst Hell’s unquenchable fire. And all any Muslim can do is hope they’re not that unfortunate soul who Allah has already consigned to an eternity of praising him from within torturous fire. With this Allah’s character and plan for creation is complete, with all the confusion, capriciousness and omnipotence that many a child in faith would imagine god to possess, yet this isn’t God, nor has it ever been, and rather than imprison themselves within so hellish a world-view, I’d suggest that Muslims who are earnestly seeking God unlock that prison door.
― T. C. M