Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.
In this fatwa:
With regard to Allah’s knowledge, all what people did, do and will do is known to Him as His knowledge is infinite. However, He does not force any of them to do good or bad deeds.
Responding to your question, the following is what Sheikh Muhammad `Ali Al-Hanooti, the late member of the Fiqh Council of North America, states:
I understand that the one who raises this question is a Muslim who believes in Allah. I would like to tell him that Allah is the One Who has the full control over everything of His creation. We are accountable, but Allah is not.
What we have of knowledge even concerning the worldly matters is very limited. I could say, relatively, that your knowledge of any science of this world could at most be very finite, whereas what is of the knowledge that you are involved in, in your perspective, is infinite.
In this regard, Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Say: “If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid.” (Al-Kahf 18:109)
Part of what makes a person a true Muslim is to believe in the ghaybiyat (the Unseen). This means things that are known to Almighty Allah alone.
A Muslim’s knowledge is always sought for deeds and action. We never know only in order to just know. Rather, we know in order to do.
One of the best scholars who wrote about this is Imam Ash-Shatibi in his book Al-Muwafaqat [volume 1 within the thirteen introductions.]
Imam Ibn Abi Al-‘Izz in his commentary on Al-`Aqeedah At-Tahawiyyah elaborated on the question of Qadar (destiny) in a very clear way that makes it the best literature for that cause. He says that man’s life is like a circle.
That circle is called the lawful circle. Man has the free will, in whatever he wants or doesn’t want, man is provided with all the means of his free will.
If he is not qualified for that, then he cannot be judged for any wrongdoing; like the under age or the insane. Neither of them can be responsible for his acts for he doesn’t have the power to have free will.
Whatever we do in our life is to be judged according to the Law and we have the full power to do or not to do.
No murderer will dare say to the judge that I am a murderer because Allah has predestined me to be a murderer. Rather, he would say, I know murder is haram and I did something wrong and I know that I could have avoided it.
This circle is what the author calls iradah shar`iyyah. Man has the full accessibility to that circle.
This circle is surrounded with an infinite circle that is called iradah kawniyyah, which means, the Will of Allah. We cannot reach anything of that circle because it is of the Unseen.
If Allah tells me that Abu Lahab was predestined to be the way he was and Iblis was created for the job he did, I say, everything of that is the second circle, I have nothing to argue with because what I have of decodification is limited to our circle. But we cannot decodify anything of the other circle.
This is why the angels said to Allah, “Glory be to You” when He asked them to tell Him the names of certain objects, as mentioned in the verse of Surat Al-Baqarah (2:32), because they were asked a question that deals with the second circle.
So they knew that getting involved in the second circle would be tantamount to some type of kufr (disbelief) or shirk (polytheism).
A Muslim should manifest his full submission to Allah, in feelings, as well as in action. His goal should always manifest his servitude to Allah and his feelings should reflect that submission and servitude to Allah.
Allah Almighty knows best.