Let us suppose that one of these individuals commit murder and kill another individual, whereby a third person who witnesses this scene says “So and so has killed so and so”. But all of this is happening at the level of our knowledge, in our thoughts and imagination. We are writing the script and ordaining their roles, and they are playing it out. So how can we say “So and so has killed so and so with his own independent free will and choice”? Saying this would entail the assumption that ‘all’ individuals have a free will, and render obsolete the Will of the One. The declaration of a free will alongside the Will of the One will implicitly fragment and lessen His Absolute Will.
In his book, Huccetullahi’l Baligha, Sheikh Veliullah Dihlevi, who is generally known to be the reviver (mujaddid) of the generation after Imam Rabbani, says:
“People can choose their actions, but this apparent choice is never real as it is divinely motivated by certain benefits and payoffs making the person think it’s their choice, whereas in reality it’s the Divine discretion in disguise.”
HENCE, “…THEY HAVE NO FREE WILL…” (Quran 28:68)
Muhammad (saw) says:
“The hearts are in between Allah’s two fingers, He shapes the hearts as He wishes.”
Ibrahim Hakki Erzurumi, known to be the Great Helper (ghaus) of his time, says in his Marifetname:
“The pre-eternal discretion is above and greater than the causes, as an individual cannot request something after Allah provides it.
As such, Allah’s provision is the cause for everything, and nothing is the cause or the reason for His provision. His blessings are not from you. Where were you when His blessings came to you?
All things rely on His wish, while His wish relies on nothing. For, Allah does as He wishes. The verse ‘Allah does as He wills’ informs us that everything comes about from His will and power.”
There are numerous Quranic verses and sayings of Muhammad (saw) to elucidate this topic. I don’t want to repeat all of them here, but here are 2 verses to reinforce the matter:
“No calamity befalls you on earth (on your phsical body and outer world) or among yourselves (your inner world) that has not already been recorded in a book (formed in the dimension of knowledge) before We bring it into being! Indeed for Allah, this is easy.”
“We inform you of this in order that you do not despair over your losses or exult (in pride) over what We have given you, for Allah does not like the boastful and the arrogant!” (Quran 57:22-23)