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Love and Free Choice.

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   As-Salaam alaykum,

                                            "Choice is the salt of worship- the spheres turn, but not because they want to.

                                            Their turning is neither rewarded nor punished, for, at the time of reckoning,

                                           choice bestows excellence."

                                                    Jalaluddin Rumi in his Mathnawi (Nicholson edition), Book 3.


 In Islam, it is a common notion that the Divine motivation for creating the Universe is love. What makes human beings special, among all God's creatures, is that they have the capacity to worship and love God Almighty freely in response to His love for them. All other things simply serve God as they were created to serve Him, with no free choice on their parts.

Theologically, this distinction is seen in God's 2 Commands: He issues the command 'KUN' (Be!) to all things, and they can do nothing but obey; this is the creative command...the engendering command-- al-amr takwini. To us human beings and jinn, He also issues the Command, 'Do this and don't do that', and they accept or reject it on the basis of their own free choice... this is the prescriptive command-- al-amr taklifi.

Only those who choose freely to love and worship God (Allah Ta'ala) can love Him with worthy love. If love were to be coerced, it would not be love. This is one reason why the Holy Qur'an states: "THERE IS NO COMPULSION IN THE RELIGION" (2:256)

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