Is our destiny pre-determined by GOD? Does GOD choose who is evil and who is good? How come GOD didn't make all of us good if He is the "Most Merciful" and "Most Just"?
Our initial social and financial start in life is determined by Allah Almighty. You could be born from a wealthy and highly reputable family where money is no problem with them, where somebody else could be born from a very bad family where his parents are drug dealers. Your initial social and financial start is definitely and unquestionably determined and controlled by Allah Almighty. He chooses where you start off your life.
Now, what about your life? Is it pre-determined? Are you programmed? Do you have choices?
Before I answer this question from the Islamic perspective, you must first of all know that Allah Almighty purposely did not explain everything in details to us, especially the things that deal with His Holy Being, and Our Spirits and Souls. He communicated little knowledge to us:
"They ask thee concerning the Spirit (of inspiration). Say: 'The Spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord: of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)' (The Noble Quran, Noble Verse 17:85)"
According to Islam, I don't know whether my spirit existed before I was born or not. I don't know why did Allah Almighty make me be the son of my parents. He the Almighty just simply pre-determined my initial start.
Now, as to our lives and whether their destinies were pre-determined or not, please visit the following articles:
Did GOD create some Men and Jinns to be destined to hell?
Is there a concept of Original Sin in Islam? i.e. why part of God's perfect Creation is not righteous?
How does a Muslim get to Heaven, saved, reach a state of perfect harmony with God?
The Mercy of Allah Almighty on Mankind, and our age of 40 wisdom in Islam.
We do have choices in life. We do have the power to make these choices and execute them too. That is why Allah Almighty rewards those who do good in life, and at the same time promises punishment for those who cause mischief, and commit murders and other evil acts for instance. They obviously were not pre-programmed to do these acts. They chose to do them.
My personal explanation to it:
Personally, this is how I think it works from the Islamic perspective using my own and solo interpretation:
1- Allah Almighty, as I said above, pre-determines our initial social and financial state when we're born.
2- While living, Allah Almighty would have a certain image or impression about you at first. Based on your sincere intentions, you have the power to gain Allah Almighty's love or dislike.
3- If you gained His Holy Love, then He will help you in life, by bringing the good people in your path from unexpected places to be there for you and to help you overcome your difficulties. He will help you financially, by blessing you with a good career or self-employed business. He will help you feel His Holy presence, and help you become His friend.
Basically, the more good intentions you have, and the more sincerity you have toward doing as much good as possible, the more Allah Almighty will love you and forgive you.
4- If you gained His Dislike, then He will turn His face from you. He will not send the good people and good causes to help you overcome your difficulties in life. He might curse you by causing you to be unsuccessful in your social and financial life. Or He might test you by allowing you to succeed in the wicked ways to see if you would come back to your senses and realize that He is only testing you and rewarding you in this life while He will punish you in the life after.
See Noble Verses 9:69, 18:46, 19:77, 34:34-35, 34:37, 43:32 and 53:48 for more details.
5- As to our death, only Him the Almighty Knows when a person would die. But, since He said that He would punish severely those who commit suicide in the Noble Quran, then I think that our physical death might be sometimes under our full control, while our spiritual departure from Earth or from this life is definitely determined by Him.
"O ye who believe! Eat not up your property among yourselves in vanities: But let there be amongst you Traffic and trade by mutual good-will: Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves: for verily God hath been to you Most Merciful! If any do that in rancour and injustice,- soon shall We cast them into the Fire: And easy it is for God. If ye (but) eschew the most heinous of the things which ye are forbidden to do, We shall expel out of you all the evil in you, and admit you to a gate of great honour. (The Noble Quran, 4:29-31)"
As we clearly see in these Noble Verses, Allah Almighty prohibits for us to kill ourselves, and promises those who do a punishment in Hell. As I said, I think that our physical death might be sometimes under our full control, while our spiritual departure from Earth or from this life is definitely determined by Allah Almighty.
So, if Allah Almighty for instance wrote for my spirit to depart to Him on October 20, 2050, then this may not necessarily mean that my physical body shall die on October 20, 2050. My body could die in year 2040 for instance, while my spirit wouldn't depart until October 20, 2050.
Allah Almighty said: "Every soul shall have a taste of death: In the end to Us Shall ye be brought back. (The Noble Quran, 29:57)"
"In the end to Us Shall ye be brought back" could mean what I explained above, that our spirits will depart to Allah Almighty at their pre-determined times, while the termination of our physical bodies may sometimes be under our full control.
That is why I think Allah Almighty promised punishment for those who kill themselves, while at the same time, He stated that He controls the times of our deaths.
And Allah Almighty Knows best. May He forgive me if I made any error in my interpretations.
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