Muslims believe everything in life is planned by God. Nothing happens unless God wills it. Therefore, throughout the Muslim world, you will hear the Arabic phrase, lnsha Allah, “if God wills,” on a daily basis for every situation of life. Sometimes it is used as polite way to say no. Many criticize this view as too fatalistic, leading to pessimism, complacency, and passivity; from this frame of reference, because God is sovereign, the faithful have no free will or leverage to change future events. “Those whom God (in his plan) willeth to guide, he openeth their breast to Islam; those whom he willeth to leave straying, he maketh their breast close and constricted, as if they had to climb up to the skies: thus doth God (heap) the penalty on those who refuse to believe” (Sura 6:125, YUSUF ALI).
Yusuf Ali’s footnotes on Sura 76:30-31 explain: “Man in himself is weak; he must seek God’s Grace; without it he can do nothing; with it he can do all. For God knows all things, and his wisdom comprehends the good of all. That is according to his just and wise plan. If the will is right, it obtains God’s Grace and Mercy. If the will of man rejects God, man must suffer the penalty.”1 The verses referred to state: “But ye will not, except as God wills; for God is full of knowledge and wisdom. He will admit to his mercy whom he will; but the wrongdoers, for them has he prepared a grievous penalty” (Sura 76:30-31, YUSUF ALI).
In contrast many Christians do not seek daily God’s guidance for tomorrow: “Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that”(James 4:15).
Ten things you need to know about ISIS