During a question and answer session after one of Chomsky’s talks, a student asked: “Is there free will?”

“Did anyone compel you to ask this question?”  Chomsky replied.

” No.” said the student.

“There,” Chomsky remarked, “you have your answer.”


People throughout history have asked for proof of God’s existence and the Quran details many of these demands. They have asked to be shown miracles, instant abundance of fruit, feasts to be spread out before them and even a book to be sent down from the sky so that they could touch and feel.[1]


Some people, even those who profess belief in Quran, continually say that there is no solid proof of God’s existence and that they just believe because of faith and then bizarrely insist that this is the logical view. They say God cannot be proved or disproved. And they believe because of faith in the unseen, as logically the negative cannot be proved.


To believe out of faith (belief without proof) is a poor reason. An intelligent person will believe in God because of the profound guidance He reveals through his messengers. If a person believes because of faith, then one god or belief is good as another.[2]


More importantly, those who insist that there is no solid proof of God, have missed the point. Yes, belief in God is essential to underpin accountability, but it is not the purpose of creation. This aspect is the key to understanding the reason for creation of man. If the raison d’être was to believe in God, it would have been made absolutely clear. But this is not the case. The Quran says that had God wanted, everyone on the earth would have believed. He could have forced acceptance.[3] Indeed the vast universe and all that is in it concedes to this, and operates under His direction, willingly or unwillingly.[4]


If belief in God, His messengers and His guidance was the function, and He could have compelled belief, then the question is WHY didn’t He?  If this is so easy for God then WHY did he not do this?  Why does God not just show himself and once and for all make people believe in Him?[5]


To answer this question we need to ask why God created man, what is man’s function on this earth?


The function of a plant is manifold, how it fulfils its purpose is by being what it is. Given the right condition an apple seed will grow into an apple tree and will produce a crop of apples. It has no choice but to follow its destiny (Arabic: taqdir). Should the conditions not be right: too windy, too cold, too hot, wrong kind of soil, too much rain, too little rain, and so on, it will not produce a good crop, if any at all. The conditions for a successful crop of apples are determined not by the apple tree, but by the natural laws; the ordinance of God. The seed has no choice, it simply develops (or not, as the case may be)  according to external factors.


Birds and animals too have different functions in the system and they also have inherent behaviour directed by instinct. A robin builds a nest in much the same as any other robin and eats the same food as other robins. A lion too behaves in more or less the same way as lions have always done. There is very little a lion or a robin can do internally to influence its own life. They have never done that, and are never likely to. It is man who has reached the top of this tree and has come to dominate the world because of his acquired ability to do so. This is because man is different not only in degree but also in kind. His intelligence in range and capacity is far greater than any animal. His thinking ability supersedes all animals. Even given difficult or adverse conditions, the human can rise to the challenge in an innovative and original way.


While man was at one time, like all animals, subject to the forces of nature, now he has a great deal more control.[6] But this is means to an end and his real power, unlike plants and animals, is the ‘free will’ to choose his destiny, his taqdir. This is what allows him to achieve his true purpose in life; to develop his Self to a higher status and become fit for the next stage in evolution.


The human being has ‘free will’ and can choose, while other creations such as the solar system, the plants, the animals follow determined laws. God could have created people the same way. A belief that is forcibly imposed on an individual has no value for him or for the world at large.


For an individual to develop, it is essential to go through the proper process, and each Self must have the free will to do good or evil, because   individuals develop or regress by the choices they make, and therefore must have the freedom to do so. There is no value in forced belief.  This is why God does not compel people to believe.


[1] People have always been looking for miracles and a saviour. To become fit and healthy you have to eat balanced diet and take regular exercise – no-one can do it for you. Similarly YOU have to do the virtuous works to develop your Self – no-one can do it for you. See verses 17:90-96.

[2] People believe because of the profoundness of the guidance that God reveals. See verse 7:75.

[3] Enforced belief would have no value. See verses 10:99; 11:118.

[4] The universe operates under the ordinance of God – not ‘free will’. See verses 3:83; 13:15.

[5] When God appears – everything is done and dusted – no time left. See verse 2:210.

[6] Verses 2:34; 15:30; 17:61. Man is given the power to harness all the forces of nature – except of course his Ego: Iblees, the shaitan, the ‘free will’ aspect of his Self which he needs to control though self-discipline and self-restraint by following guidance from God.  See also verse 7:201.