Divine intention is an important problem for both philosophy and Kalam. This problem has two aspects as the subject and action of the intention. The intention of the subject occurs for the motion or the action itself. The intention of the action is to reach the motion or the action itself. According to this, when a person travels to Mecca to visit Kaaba, the visit is the intention of the subject and the journey is the intention of the action.
In this context, does Allah have an intention? And what are the intentions of the actions aris-ing from him? In the Islamic philosophy, the first question is handled as "intention of the sub-ject/divine intention” and the second question as "the intention of the actions/divine inten-tion of the actions". In order to answer the first question, we must examine all types of inten-tions. Each subject takes action to benefit them, to benefit others and to act for the sake of the goodness and kindness.
Allah would be dependent being if he acted to benefit him and to make up for a flaw for the first of these intentions. In the second intention type, if Allah acted for someone else, this sit-uation would be on the degree of cause for the subject and he would be passive. For the third intention type which is to act to reach for perfection, it would deem Allah as a dependent being.
The above-mentioned intentions are flawed. On the contrary, Allah is perfect and does not need any of these intentions to create. Thus, he is not subject to any of these possible inten-tions. These intentions are only used by imperfect subjects.
Of course, it does not mean that Allah does not have intentions. According to Avicenna and Mulla Sadra, intention of Allah is the love towards his essence which is free from any flaw. According to this, all beings are entailed to the divine essence and they exist due to the love of essence of Allah.
Allah has a direct intention as well as an indirect one. As mentioned before, Allah is in love with his essence. Allah loves the works and actions of his essence as well, according to the principal that one, who loves the essence, loves the works and actions of that essence as well. In this context, the love of essence of the Allah is a direct intention, while the love of his es-sence's works and actions is an indirect intention.
After the divine intention is explained, we must also explain the intention of the divine ac-tions. According to both Mulla Sadra and Avicenna, since possible beings are flawed, their intention is to reach to certain perfections which are compatible with themselves. Mulla Sadra states that Allah bestows motivation to possible beings to advance towards the perfection and he claims that these beings make use of that motivation to be perfect. Therefore, possible beings try to make up their flaws and reach to perfection. Since Allah is the absolute perfect being, the final intention of the possible beings is Allah. In other words, all beings that seek for perfection, take example of him. The other intentions act as a primary tool to reach the final intention.
How can flawed beings by essence reach to perfections compatible with them? Avicenna and Mulla Sadra stated different opinions on the search of perfection of the flawed beings in the Islam philosophy.
According to Avicenna, beings change with extinction and creation. This change happens by accident and the substance stays constant. In accordance with this approach, this change and development is only possible with accidental motion. It occurs with the replacement between forms.
But the theory of the Avicenna has some flaws. Because forms are not the intentions of each other and first hyle is not strong enough to have an intention. Thus, no form is superior to the other. It is also not possible to have substance development because the substance and es-sence of the material are constant. It only goes through changes in appearance with the acci-dental motion. It is clear that the changes in the appearance and the shape are not standards for perfection.
On the other hand, Mulla Sadra's development theory, which is based on the fundamentality of existence, existential gradation and substantial motion, suggests that the material world is moving towards the perfection. The motion in the substance of material beings is reason of substantial and accidental developments. All beings try to promote themselves to a higher position by reaching perfection in accordance with their intentions.
Thus, the theory of Avicenna focuses on the accidental and formal changes in the search of perfection of the material beings, while Mulla Sadra’s theory explains accidental changes as well as the essential ones.
Mulla Sadra does not limit the explanation of which Allah is the intention of possible beings to ontological dimension. According to him, Allah is an intention of possible beings as well. He points out the Hadith Qudsi "I was a hidden treasure, I desired to be recognized so I created the creature" and states that "This (Hadith Qudsi) indicates that he is the subject and the in-tention of the universe in an ontological manner as well as the intention of the universe in an epistemological manner." Thus, according to Mulla Sadra, possible beings have two inten-tions, to reach to and understand Allah