In Short: The ḥāṣil bi’l-maṣdar is dependent, in accordance with the laws of divine practice in the universe, on the maṣdar or source, the basis of which is inclination (mayalān). And neither inclination itself, nor the disposal of it, has [external] existence so that being applied this way or that it should be a contingent being and need an effective agent, or that there should have been preference without something to cause it. Also, neither inclination nor the disposal of it is non-existent that it should not be amenable to being a condition for the creation of the ḥāṣil bi’l-maṣdar, or a cause of reward or punishment.
• If you were to ask: Don’t pre-eternal knowledge and pre-eternal will pluck out free will and remove it?
You would be told: Knowledge of a voluntary action does not negate the will. [Because the effective agent is power, not knowledge, which is dependent on what is known.]1
Also, pre-eternal knowledge is all-encompassing like the sky, it is not the beginning of a chain or the starting-point of past time so that effects should be erroneously ascribed to it in disregard of their causes.
Also, knowledge is dependent on the thing known – that is, on how the thing is. Knowledge also encompasses it – so the measure and criteria of the thing known are not based on the principles of divine determining (qadar).
Also, divine will does not look to the cause once and separately to the effect once, rendering the will and the cause ineffective. Indeed, it looks at once to cause and effect. In consequence, if for example one person kills another with a rifle and we posit the absence of any cause, would the person have died that instant or not? The Jabriyya say: he would have died even if he had not been killed. For they assert that divine will deals with cause and effect separately, and that there is a disjunction between them. And the Mu‘tazilites say: he would not have died. For according to them, it is permissible that the effect (lit. what is intended) may ‘lag behind’ divine will. As for the Sunnis, they say: We discontinue [the argument and] are silent. For to assume the absence of any cause necessitates assuming that divine will and knowledge are unconnected with the effect, whereas will and knowledge look to both together. This false assumption necessitates an impossibility. Think about this carefully!
Nursi, İşârâtü’l-İ’jaz [Abdülmecid], 85.