If Only God Guides, Why Call People To Faith?

04 July, 2017
Q The Quran says Allah guides whom he wants and if he makes someone go astray you won't find a way for him. So what is the point of Muslims doing jihad or dawah to convert people, if only Allah can do it?

Answer

Asalamu Alaikum,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Dr. Shabir Ally, from Let the Quran Speak, addresses this question in the video below:

Transcript:

Aisha Khaja: The Quran says Allah guides whom he wants and if you make someone go astray you won’t find a way for him so what is the point of Muslims going doing jihad or da’wah to convert people if only Allah can do it?

And this question is being asked someone said, “I’m an atheist.”

Dr. Shabir Ally: “Okay, first of all, we shouldn’t be doing jihad to convert people, regardless of anything else. That’s not the meaning of jihad. That’s a distortion.

But as for Allah guiding people: so what’s the point of doing da’wah, giving them the message, if it’s only God that will guide them? May as well pray to God and say, “God, guide that person,” and everything.

If God didn’t guide the person, pray some more for God to guide the person. What’s the point of giving da’wah?

So, the atheist seems to be right in pointing to a certain problem here in the way in which things are commonly said.

But the background of this and the reality is that when the Quran tells us about what God is doing, that does not exclude the fact that the flip-side of that is that there is a human process, or an actual process, behind it.

So, if we say, for example, “God gave me this baby.” Thank God, but of course, we know there’s a mechanism by which babies are born. So, they’re saying that God gave me the baby is not contrary to applying all of the mechanisms and doing all of the right things to have a baby.

And it goes for the food we eat, the water we drink, we always thank God. We give him the credit, but there is a process.

So, what’s the process here in terms of guidance? If a person is seeking guidance, he will get the guidance.

And we say that God guided the person, but that doesn’t mean that the person wasn’t seeking the guidance himself or herself. Maybe somebody was reading a book, maybe they spoke to somebody, [or] they watched a documentary. And in all these different ways they’ve been guiding themselves.

So, we can say that God guided them or we can say that they guided themselves and the misguidance is just the reverse of that. [If] a person is going into wrong things and seeking things that are contrary to the ways of God, that person is seeking misguidance. And we can say that God misguides this person, as well.

So, nothing happens without God’s will and permit, but God allows a certain scope for human choice and freedom. So when humans have applied their choice, or their freedom of choice, in either choosing good or bad we say that God is either guiding them or misguiding them.

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I hope this helps answer your question. You can also check out more from Let the Quran Speak at the link here.

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Walaikum Asalam.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/why-make-dawah-and-how/

 

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/what-is-meant-by-free-choice-in-islam/

 

I Was Searching for Direction, I Found Islam

 

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/entitled-free-will/

 

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/is-guidance-a-divine-gift/