The concept of Divine Decree and free will coexisting is often confusing for many people. Allah says in the Quran, “And if Allah had willed, He could have made you [of] one religion, but He sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And you will surely be questioned about what you used to do” (Quran 16:93). What needs to be understood is that Allah knowing what path a certain person will choose has nothing to do with their actual choice. When Allah makes it clear to someone that Islam is the truth, it is their choice if they want to believe in it or not. If they are arrogant and don’t want to worship the One who created them, then Allah sends them astray, but if they are humble and want to worship the One who created them, then Allah guides them. Additionally, just because it is pre-destined that a person will not accept Islam doesn’t mean that he or she didn’t have the free will to accept Islam. Rather, Allah knows for a fact that this certain person will not accept Islam when guidance reaches them so it is pre-determined and it will for sure happen when the time comes. But Allah pre-determining something and writing it down thousands of years before it happened does not mean people won’t have the choice once the time comes. Rather, humans still have the choice, but Allah already knew what path people would choose way before they were presented with the choice. Therefore, Allah sends people astray and guides people once the time comes, but Allah only acts based on His Infinite Justice, Dominium, Knowledge and Wisdom. Yes, there are some things that Allah will never let us do, and that is part of His Divine Decree, but when it comes to our salvation and accepting Islam, Allah gives us the choice. This is why even though Allah says He sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills, Allah also says in the Quran, “Indeed, We have sent down to you ˹O Prophet˺ clear revelations. ˹But˺ none will deny them except the rebellious” (Quran 2:99). This is why Allah makes it very clear that He is The Most Just. Allah says, “And your Lord will never wrong anyone” (Quran 18:49). Even the Devil himself will attest to this, as Allah says in the Quran, “And Satan will say ˹to his followers˺ after the judgment has been passed, ‘Indeed, Allah has made you a true promise. I too made you a promise, but I failed you. I did not have any authority over you. I only called you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me; blame yourselves. I cannot save you, nor can you save me. Indeed, I denounce your previous association of me with Allah ˹in loyalty˺. Surely the wrongdoers will suffer a painful punishment’” (Quran 14:22).
And Allah knows best.