I am a new Muslim. Among the things that confuses me is the existence of many Qur`anic verses which confirm that God guides whom He wills and misleads whom He wills. If God is the One Who misleads a person, is it just to punish that person for something that was decreed upon him?
God the Almighty gave man the [freedom] to choose. He says, “And shown him the two highways” [90: 10]. At the same time, He informed man that everything that happens is through His decree and knowledge. What reconciles between the two matters, is that God the Almighty has endowed each person with the freedom and ability to choose his actions and path in this world and commanded him to take the straight path.
It is therefore not permissible for him to forsake guidance and use predestination as a pretext for his actions since he does not know what has been predestined for him. It is likewise impermissible for him to refrain from seeking provisions with the claim that they have been foreordained by God. God created causes and made them occur through the agency of created beings.
He likewise created their effects and results since He is the creator of everything. He created man, choice, action, and results. This does not contradict the fact that a person should seek truth and choose that which is good while knowing at the same time that all of this is subject to God’s divine omnipotence and absolute sovereignty which control everything.
And God the Almighty knows best.