The following is a short essay I wrote for a friend who was debating with a Muslim. I've included the small note that I wrote to her, because it serves as an introduction to the essay itself.
I hope this helps you when looking at this complex issue, but if you have further questions don't hesitate to ask. I would point out that the predestinationism of Islam doesn't fit well into the western view of the human person, and that is why the following statement in the letter of the 911 hijackers is so bizarre to us: "Keep in mind that, if you fall into hardship, how will you act and how will you remain steadfast; and remember that you will return to God and remember that anything that happens to you could never be avoided, and what did not happen to you could never have happened to you." [Reuters translation] This kind of statement simply makes no sense to a Christian, but it fits well into the Islamic doctrine that man is not the real cause or creator of his own actions; instead, Allah alone is.