‘Allah Made Me Do It’: Divinely Inspired Murder

A FEW days before Christmas in 2017, Saeed Noori, an Afghani refugee who came to Australia on a humanitarian visa in 2004, ploughed his mother’s car into a crowd on Flinders Street in Melbourne. As a result, sixteen pedestrians were injured and 83-year-old grandfather Antonio Crocaris later died in hospital. As he drove, Noori was shouting “Allah akbar” (Allah is great), according to the off-duty policeman who arrested him. In an interview with the police, he explained his action by saying “Allah made me do it.”

This same exclamation was used by Adel Amastaibou, a French-Moroccan, who stabbed Jewish disc jockey Sebastien Selam to death in Paris in 2003.[1] It was also the justification given by Gulchekhra Bobokulova, an Uzbek nanny, who decapitated a four-year-old girl left in her care in Moscow in 2016.[2]

As Quadrant reported in its December, 2018, edition, foreign student Momena Shoma also invoked Allah’s alleged greatness as she repeatedly plunged a carving knife into the man who had taken her into his family home. As he recalled the incident,

All she [kept] saying was “Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,” while my daughter was screaming here, and I told my daughter, “Run, Shayla, run.”

Why do some Muslim people blame their criminal actions on Allah? Such a conclusion can arise out of the Islamic doctrine of qadr or predestination. It is one of the six key doctrines of Islam: the others are belief in Allah, his books, his angels, his prophets, and the day of judgement.

Historically, Islam has taken a strong view of predestination. Certainly there are some verses in the Koran which suggest humans have free will and agency. For example, its readers are told: “Whosoever wills, let him seek a place with his Lord.” (78:39)

However other verses seem to present this freedom of choice as an illusion.

Let him who will, take the right path to his Lord.  Yet you cannot will, except by the will of Allah. Allah is wise and all knowing. He is merciful to whom He will. (Q.76.30)


Your Lord creates whatsoever He wills and chooses, no choice have they [in any matter]. (Q.28:68)

The overall thrust of the Koran is that Allah holds all the power.

O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things. … You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will, without limit [measure or account]. (Q.3:26,27).

But it is not just the good things of life that are granted by Allah. Bad aspects also come from him.

No misfortune can happen on earth or in your souls but is recorded in a decree before We ([i.e. Allah] bring it into existence: that is truly easy for Allah. (Q.57:22)

Another verse states it more baldly:

No calamity falls but by the leave of Allah (Q.64:11)

Allah sends astray whom He wills and He guides on the Straight Path whom He wills. (Q.6:39; 7:155; 13:27; 14:4; 16:93; 28:56; 35:8; 74:31)

So every human action, positive or negative, can ultimately be attributed to Allah. The hadith, or traditions, which record the sayings of Muhammad are even more prescriptive. A person’s eternal destiny is decreed by Allah forty days before that person is born. Muhammad said:

There is none among you, and no created soul but has his place written for him either in Paradise or in the Hell-Fire, and also has his happy or miserable fate (in the Hereafter) written for him. (Sahih al-Bukhari 6:473)

And it is more than simply the outcome of a person’s life. Another saying of Muhammad states that Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature’s) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in the Hereafter). Then the soul is breathed into him. … So all that is written while the child is still in the mother’s womb.   (alBukhari 4:430,549; 8:593; 9:546).

These deeds include a husband’s unfaithfulness to his spouse. Muhammad said:

Allah has fixed the very portion of adultery which a man will indulge in, and which he of necessity must commit. (Sahih Muslim bk 33 no 6421, 6422).

From here it is a relatively small step to attribute all of one’s actions, good and evil, to Allah. So the statement “Allah made me do it” may be a plausible conclusion based on some readings of Islamic theology.

A strong belief in fatalism can become a very convenient means of escaping personal responsibility for one’s own actions. It cleverly attributes the ultimate blame for evil to some-one who is beyond the grasp of the law.

Dr Bernie Power is the Missiologist at the Melbourne School of Theology, and a lecturer with the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths

7 thoughts on “‘Allah Made Me Do It’: Divinely Inspired Murder

  • brandee says:

    Thanks to Bernie Power from whose writing today we have another insight into a primitive ideology with its predestination doctrine. When a man is predestined to commit adultery says Muhammad ‘of which he of necessity must commit’.

    Kemal Ataturk, the founder of secular Turkey, abolished the Ottoman caliphate on March 3, 1924, and he sent the last caliph into exile. “Islam,” said Ataturk, “this theology of an immoral Arab, is a dead thing”.
    ‘Almost immediately, however, Muslims began working to bring it back’ writes Robert Spencer in his recent book ‘The History of Jihad – from Muhammad to Isis’.

    In Melbourne today,James Gargasoulas, the Bourke St killer is convicted of 6 murders by using a stolen car as a weapon. Just a coincidence perhaps that Jihadists have practiced this method of assault worldwide.

  • padraic says:

    It almost makes you weep to think that people in this modern era can believe such inhuman monstrous rubbish.


    “It almost makes you weep to think that people in this modern era can believe such inhuman monstrous rubbish.” ( padraic )

    The evidence of the effects of Islam is regularly on the news – hidden in plain sight. The blind-spot of seeing but not comprehending.

  • Salome says:

    And then there is jihad and the divine commands to kill infidels. Allah made them do it because it’s the ‘right’ thing to do. Reminds me of days of old, when a child caught red-handed would respond, ‘The devil made me do it,’ by way of attempted defence.

  • T B LYNCH says:

    An astronaut, standing on the moon, can see a kilometre or so to the horizon. You, dear reader on Earth, being outside of the moon, can see the whole of the moon, all at once. We live in time: God is outside of time, and can thus see the whole of time, all at once. In principle you could find out everything that Galileo ever did, because he lived before you in time; this has absolutely no effect on Galileos free will.

  • en passant says:

    On my first visit to the M.E. I witnessed a fatal accident in which the driver of a car was immolated after his car was rear-ended by a truck and burst into flames. My taxi-driver was unmoved by the burning man and simply commented: “It is the will of god’ as we drove on.
    All religions are like this, with islam merely being the most extreme and retrogressive, but certainly not alone in its ‘predestination’ and ‘will of god’ view.
    If islam were anything other than an internationally powerful and violent religion it would be banned in every civilised country as incompatible with reasonable behaviour and the Qu’ran ridiculed as the incoherent babblings of a mad, bad criminal warlord and paedophile.
    I watched the interview with the former British ISIS jihadi, Shamima Begum, who was stripped of her ‘citizenship’ of the UK, but who is appealing for ‘compassion’ and wants to ‘go home’. https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/shamima-begum-a-remorseless-supporter-of-islamic-state-says-counterextremism-commissioner-sara-khan-a4069476.html
    LoL! You are already home dearie, among your fellow-travelers! She has no regrets, accepts the murders and massacres committed by ISIS as mandated under Sharia, believes in Sharia Law for the UK and will be a forever drain on the British taxpayer. Just what Britain (and Oz) need to hasten our cultural destruction.
    Two brothers who have admitted beheading 27 people claim they are not criminals as the barbaric ‘executions’ were approved under Sharia and their function was no different to that of Albert Pierrepont, the hangman for the British government. Just your normal sort of nice muslim, so maybe we should give them asylum here.

  • jgbnote says:

    En Passant. You have it terribly wrong, not all religions are like this, Christianity has no such view.

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