“Everything in the heavens and the earth asks from Him; at every instance HU (the Absolute Essence of Existence) manifests Himself in yet another way!” (Quran 55:29)
That is to say, Allah is present in every dimension, through the various forms within that dimension.
As such, just as it is true that there is no ‘free will’ and only Allah’s Will, it is equally true that every individual lives with his or her own will.
Though they seem to be opposite extremes in contradiction with one another, in fact, they are two sides of the same reality. It’s not that there is the greater will of Allah and the lesser will of the people. In its essence, there is no distinction between the two; the distinction arises only by perception. That is, when viewed through the 5 senses, there is dispersion, hence many wills. When viewed through consciousness, there is unity, hence only One Will. Consequently, one may claim, “There is a greater will pertaining to Allah” and this will be true, but one may not claim, “There is also a lesser will pertaining to man” or vice versa, as they are different impressions of the same thing.
In the realm of consciousness there are no parts or monads, there is only The Whole. What appears to be multiplicity is only the different relations and expressions the Names of the One assume. Hence, when we say ‘also’ we are denoting ‘another’ in addition to the One, which is implicative of shirk (associating another being with Allah.)
Like the staircase we mentioned of above, if we eliminate one single step from the staircase, would it mean anything on its own? Together, the steps form the staircase; they have no substantial existence on their own, as one single step does not lead one anywhere. The Will of the One is like the staircase; the individual steps that compose it are not separate or different from it. Thus, what we refer to, when we say ‘individual will’, is essentially no different than the ultimate one will. As this staircase continues to evolve and extend, different manifestations appear. The verse, about Allah disclosing Himself in different ways every day, is in reference to these manifestations.
When Allah’s attribute of life is reflected on us, we say “I’m alive”. Our immortality is in respect of our source of life, being the life attribute of Allah. The same can be said about our knowledge, will, power and so on.
If we can change the direction of our view and start looking at things from the core rather than the outer shell, we may actually realize that everything we manifest is from Allah and submission to this divine guidance will inevitably take us to the actualization of our potentials.
The pre-ordainment, which we have discussed, does not in any way suggest that we sit back and do nothing as everything is already predetermined! The System does not allow inactivity! One who is static cannot survive in the System, just as the primary cell, formed by the sperm and the egg, would not have amounted to anything if it had said, “I have already been preordained to be a human being so there is no need for me to undergo division and proliferation…” Indeed, it isimpossiblefor the cell not to proliferate. It goes against its nature; it can’t help but multiply!
In just the same way, we can’t help but be ourselves. Whichever step we have been ordained to be, in the staircase of humanity, we will be!