He punishes whom He pleases,
and He grants mercy to whom He pleases, ...
-- Sura 29:21

Allah leads astray whom he pleases,
and he guides whom He pleases, ...
-- Sura 14:4

Does Allah "take pleasure" in punishing people and leading them astray?

A Muslim's Response by Randy Desmond
Date: Tue, 1 Oct 1996 13:07:27 PDT

The Arabic word used in these verses means "he wills" (NOT he pleases).

Does the then mean his own will is not pleasing to Allah? Any way you turn it, Allah's action in the above verses seem very arbitrary and it is Allah's will or pleasure to lead some astray and punish them and nothing can be done on our side to counter this decision.

The question of free will and predestination is difficult in Christian theology as well. But Muslims need to find an answer for themselves and cannot be consoled that Christians are struggling in this area too.

Ultimately the question is: Who is responsible for my life and is punishing me for something God has "forced" me to do still possible to be called "justice"? Both Christianity and Islam uphold that God is sovereign and that God is just.

Contradictions in the Qur'an
Answering Islam home page

Last edited: January 8, 1997