The Qur’an says God is the one who created everything and showed and told it what to do and how to do it.
Rabbuna Alladhee A'twaa Kulla Shay-in Khalqwahu Thumma Hadaa.
So, everything in the world does precisely that. It does what it has been created, designed and programmed to do.
Except us humans – along with the Jinn, another species of God’s creation – who have been granted a measure of autonomy in our decision-making and in our actions.
That means our design as human beings enables us to do what God meant us to do – or to do something totally different.
That is a privilege that God conferred upon us. A great honor as the Qur’an points out: Wa Laqad Karramnaa Banee Aadam, meaning, “We exalted and honored Adam’s progeny.”
And at the top of that honor list is the right of choice – the right and ability to choose our own destiny to the extent we can. To be able to make our own decisions in life – or at least appear to be doing so.
Thus, we are the ones whom God placed at the crossroads of destiny and showed us two pathways – not one.
Wa Hadainaahun Najdayin is how the Qur’an puts it, which in paraphrase would mean: And we showed human beings two paths.
That was done as a mark of respect and honor to us: the ability to self-determine our own destiny and to be able to write our own ticket to God’s pleasure and paradise, as it were.
Thus, while the rest of God’s creation quietly follows the path God chalked out for it, we humans experiment with our choice mechanism and our decision-making ability. And in doing so, all too often we make wrong choices and dangerous decisions.
Thus, to quote Professor Kalamazad, “He, meaning God Almighty, showed fire how to burn – water how to flow – the rock to stay firm – the atom to vibrate – the trees to grow …” and so on.
The challenge we face as humans is to use our God-given gift of freedom to make the right choices – choices and decisions that will earn us God’s pleasure and love and keep us from subjecting ourselves to God’s wrath and displeasure.
And in the process, help us to make better the life of all of God’s creation in this world.
And that is what is called Islam.