Does Allah Want us to Sin?
Related to the debate Is God Deceptive I was asked about this hadith:
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” [Sahīh Muslim (2687)]
You gave a link and judged me of having poor comprehension of Islam. You must be thinking that I never came across the hadith you are referring to but, dear, that hadith is very well known and you seem to have misunderstood it. The same link explains the hadith but its clear you have not read it and its not a commentary explaining that Islam created and wanted sinners – far from it. Anyhow here is my response:
The hadith in question is :
“Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” (Sahīh Muslim 2687)
This narration is NOT about Allah (swt) WANTING us to sin but on the contrary, its about His IMMENSE power of FORGIVENESS and MERCY; its about His love for us and WANTING to forgive; about His endless MERCY. He does NOT want us to sin but He knows we will anyway because of the free will He has given us but He is every ready to take us back. Repenting and asking forgiveness are indications of our faith in Him, our belief in Him and our acceptance that HE alone can forgive us. The narration encourages us to ask forgiveness, if not it would be denying Allah’s attribute of forgiving.
Allah (swt) has created angels who are sinless and in total obedience to Him, they always obey and do not have free will. He created Man with a choice. Man needs guidance, he is shown the right path and he is left to make the choice: “Indeed, We have shown him the way, whether he be grateful or disbelieving.” (76:3).
If Mankind was not given this free will, he would not be human anymore. He would be an angel – and that’s why Allah (swt) would replace that type of man with no free choice with one who has a free will; because that is the kind of man He wanted to create. To not have a free will would be taking away our ability to ask forgiveness and repent, to know the true love of Allah (swt) with His incredible power of mercy. One of the most beautiful verse says:
“O my servants who have transgressed against their souls! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. Verily, Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (39:53).
Also this hadith Qudsi:
“Allah says, ‘I am just as My servant thinks I am, and I am with him if he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than them; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’ (Sahih Al-Bukhâri, 9/7405 ).
Allah (swt) is merciful so with this choice which He has given us, He has also taught us to forgive and repent because Man can err and stray. Man is not angel and he cannot live a sinless, error-free life. That would make him an angel and not human. But Man was made to choose.
Allah says “Those people that truly repent back to Allah, I will take all their mountains of evil deeds and convert them to good” (25:70)
This is another beautiful verse which says if we sincerely repent, ask forgiveness and do righteous deeds, He will not only forgive but turn those sins into good deeds. This is how much He loves us and how much He wants to forgive us for our sins. He forgives again and again.
Many verses and hadiths show us how Allah (swt) does not want us to approach anywhere near sin. So this hadith really makes no sense you think its about Allah (swt) wanting us to sin.