A brother questioned me today as to why we say “Thank God I’m Muslim”. Does it imply that Allah made us Muslims? In this case, he made people kafir (disbelievers) aswell. But this violates the idea of Justice and free will. So then if converts choose Islam totally on their own, why do they thank Allah for an action they did all on their own?
As with all our actions, there are multiple causes contributing to one effect. The final cause of our actions is usually our free will and choice. However, there are many other causes along the way, some of them being God giving us the ability to choose, facilitating us to make the right choice through his Divine help, and protecting us from factors that would overwhelmingly influence us to make the wrong choice.
Generally, once a person begins to make good choices that will bring them close to God, Allah (swt) will facilitate for them to continue coming closer to Him through the above factors. This is why we thank God or praise Him for being Muslims, because even though it is ultimately our choice, Allah (swt) facilitated that process of choosing Islam for us through His Divine Assistance. This is what is often called ‘tawfiq’, as this ‘tawfiq’ from God is essential for all our good choices.
“and my success (tawfiq) is not except by Allah” (The Holy Qur’an, 11:88)
So God does not make people Muslim or kafir, but he helps them along a path of good if they make good choices, and leaves them on a path to evil if they repeatedly reject Him, are stubborn, and make wrong choices based on desire.
Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei