The purpose of creation of humanity may be summarized:-
Worship of God: Allah is the source and centre of all power and all goodness. The human progress depends upon putting themselves into accord with His Will using their freedom of choice, granted by Allah while rejecting the path of evil. This is the worship or service which Allah demands from men and jinn: “I have not created jinns and mankind except to worship (serve) Me. I require no sustenance from them, nor do I ask that they should feed Me. Surely it is Allah Who is the giver of all sustenance, the Lord of Power, the Invincible.” (Qur’an;51:56-58).To understand why human beings need to worship Allah, one must first understand what is meant by words ‘yabudun’ (worship, service) it is derived from word ‘abud’’ means ‘slave’ who surrenders to the command of his master. The English term ‘worship’ comes from the Old English “weorthscipe” meaning ‘honor.’ Consequently, worship is defined as ‘the performance of devotional acts in honor of a deity: According to this meaning, man is instructed to show gratitude to Allah by glorifying Him, In the Qur’an, Allah says; “Glorify the praises of your Lord”(Qur’an;2:185). Worshipping (serving) Allah does not mean that people spend their entire lives in constant seclusion and absolute meditation. The true service (worship) to Allah is to live in this world according to His commands, and not to run away from it. Worship (service) is to obey what He desires and refrain from what He forbids as evident from the Tradition (Hadith) narrated by Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Jarir: Once Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was reciting the Verse: “They (Jews and Christians) have taken their rabbis and their monks-as well as the Christ, son of Mary-for their lords beside God, although they had been bidden to worship none but the One God, save whom there is no deity: the One who is utterly remote, in His limitless glory, from anything to which they may ascribe a share in His divinity!””(Qur’an;). Adi bin Hatim, (who had reverted from Christianity) said; “O Allah’s Prophet! They (Jews and Christians) do not worship them (rabbis and monks)” Allah’s Messenger said, “They certainly do. They (i.e. Rabbis and monks) made legal things illegal, and illegal things legal, and they (i.e. Jews and Christians) followed them; and by doing so they really worshipped them.”(Tafsir At-Tabari, Vol.10, Page No. 114).
Hence worship means complete obedience, to God not mere rituals. Allah says: “It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe In Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast In prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfill the covenant which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, In pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.”(Qur’an;2:177). Worship (service) is to know Him, to love Him, to obey His commands, like an obedient servant follows the commands of his master. To implement His laws in every aspect of life, to serve His cause by doing right and shunning evil and to be just to Him, to own self and to the fellow human beings. Thus; “Thee (alone) we worship; Thee alone we ask for help.”(Qur’an;2:5).
Therefore the purpose of human life is; ‘Willingly Obedience to Allah’. However, the Almighty is not in need of human worship. “.. to Him belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; all are obedient to Him.”(Qur’an;2:116). The numerous angels all the time are busy in praising and glorifying Allah (Qur’an;39:75, 41:38,37:166), but there is difference, the angels are aware of the some of the mysteries of ‘Unseen World’ being part of that world, they are aware of the presence of God and have no choice, they are programmed to obey Allah only. On the other hand the human are not aware of ‘Unseen World’ (metaphysical), they have been granted the choice of good and evil, hence as vicegerent of God on earth, they are entitled to reward for worship and obedience while punishment for transgression. Allah did not create human beings out of a need on His part If not a single human worship Allah, it would not diminish His glory in any way, and if all of humankind worship Him, it would not increase His glory in any way. Allah is perfect. He alone exists without any needs. All created beings have needs, consequently, it is humankind that needs to worship Allah. Islam is the Din, complete code of life, hence the complete obedience to Allah makes every action performed by a Muslim according to His will as ‘worship’, be it doing honest business, performing duties, looking after destitute, speaking truth, be kind to parents, neighbors and fellow human being etcetera.
Adornments-Gift of God:
The Muslims are balanced community, Allah says;“Thus have We made of you (Muslims) justly balanced, moderate community (Ummah Wasat)..”(Qur’an;2:143)” There is no merit merely in abstention or asceticism, though the humility or unselfishness that may go with asceticism may have its value. Allah says: “Say: Who has forbidden the beautiful (gifts, zenah) of Allah which He hath produced for his servants and the things clean and pure (which He hath provided) for sustenance? Say: they are in the life of this world for those who believe (and) purely for them on the Day of Judgment. Thus do We explain the signs in detail for those who understand. Say: The things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to God for which he hath given no authority; and saying things about God of which you have no knowledge.”(Qur’an;7:32-33).
Asceticism often means the negation of art and beauty, it has no necessary sanctity attached to it. The beautiful and good things of life are really meant for, and should be the privilege of those with faith in Allah. If they do not always have them in this life, and if there is sometimes the semblance of others having them who do not deserve them, let it be remembered that this is a test from Allah. In the life to come they will be purely for the faithful believers. Use Allah’s gifts of all kinds with gratitude, but excess are not approved of by Allah. Christian monks are praised for particular virtues, though the monasticism is disapproved of, Allah says: “…But the monasticism which they invented for themselves We did not prescribe for them: (We commanded) only the seeking for the Good pleasure of Allah;…(Qur’an;57:27). Allah certainly requires that men shall renounce the idle pleasures of this world, and turn to the path which leads to Allah’s Good pleasure. But that does not mean asceticism. Allah’s service is done through pure lives in the turmoil of this world, hence the prayer: “Our Lord! Give unto us in the world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and guard us from the doom of Fire.”(Qur’an;2:201).
Balance in Resistance to Worldly Motives:
While enjoying the legitimate adornments provided by God, man should resist all excessive appeals to worldly motives, by not making them the sole objective of this life. The balance must be maintained, because this world’s attractions; power, glory, wealth, children, status and all that men scramble for, are but a fleeting show and a trial; thus he should stand firm to His Message of eternal Unity: “Let neither their (non believer’s) wealth nor their children dazzle you. Through these Allah wants to punish them in this world and let their souls depart while they are still disbelievers.”(Qur’an;9:85); “Let not the Unbelievers think that Our granting of respite is good for their souls. We grant them respite so that they may add more to their sins. They shall have a disgraceful punishment.”(Qur’an;3:178); “You should know that your wealth and your children are, in fact, a test for you, and that Allah is He with Whom is your mighty reward.”(Qur’an;). The possession or want of worldly attractions does not indicate a man’s real value or position in the coming world, the world which is to endure. Allah says: “We have adorned the earth with all kinds of ornaments to test the people and to see which of them do the best deeds.”(Qur’an;18:7). Yet they have their uses: “It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you so traverse ye through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes: but unto Him is the Resurrection.”(Qur’an;67:15).
The worldly attractions are also a test a man’s sterling quality. He who becomes their slave loses rank in the next world. He who uses them if he gets them, and does not fall into despair if he does not get them, shows his true mettle and quality. His conduct proclaims him. In describing Allah’s gifts and mercies and watchful care in this temporary sojourn of human on this earth, it is made clear that the ultimate end is the Hereafter. The real Beyond, which is the goal, is the life after the ‘Resurrection’. If people feel safe on land, it is because Allah has made this earth amenable, manageable and serviceable to them. It may be kept in view that while most of the things are conveniently understandable some may not be. God’s ways are beyond full comprehension of the human intellect, rational understanding of every aspect thereof may not be always possible. According to a not very authentic Hadith, Allah is attributed to have said that: “I was a hidden treasure, and I loved that I be known, so I created the world”.
Trial Through Willful Obedience of God:
In brief the purpose of creation is to test the human during limited life span on earth, those who obey Him by their free will and live according to His guidance, will be rewarded and those who disobey, will be punished in hereafter. It is evident from these verses in Qur’an; “The One Who created death and life, so that He may put you to test, to find out which of you is best in deeds: He is the All-Mighty, the All-Forgiving.”(Qur’an;67:2); “We shall surely test your steadfastness with fear and famine, with loss of property, life and produce. Give good news to those who endure with patience; who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “We belong to Allah and to Him we shall return.” Such are the people on whom there are blessings and Mercy from Allah; and they are the ones that are rightly guided.”(Qur’an;2:155-157).
Keeping First Individual Covenant of Man with God:
As each individual in the posterity of Adam had a separate existence from the time of Adam, and a Covenant was taken from all of them, which is binding accordingly on each individual descendants of the Children of Adam(all humanity), born or unborn, without any limit of time. On their first creation, the humanity affirmed, Allah as the only Lord, which is ingrained in the human conscious. (Qur’an;7:172). Adam’s seed carries on the existence of Adam and succeeds to his spiritual heritage. Hence even those who do not receive the message, their instincts indicate the existence of one God, so he should avoid evil and perform good deeds. Worship of One God by some primitive African and Australian tribes is due to this nature. Humanity has been given by Allah certain powers and faculties (Qur’an;67:23). This creates special spiritual obligations which must be discharged faithfully. These obligations may from a legal point of view be considered as arising from implied Covenant, that man must acknowledge that Allah is the Creator, Cherisher, and Sustainer: therefore man acknowledge his duty to Him: When he so testify concerning himself, the obligation is as it were assumed by him; for it follows from his very nature when it is pure and uncorrupted. The latent faculties in man are enough to teach him the distinction between good and evil, to warn him of the dangers that beset his life (Qur’an;91:7-10). But to awaken and stimulate them, a personal appeal is made to each individual through the “still small voice” within him. This in its uncorrupted state acknowledges the truth and, as it were, swears its Covenant with Allah. There is, therefore, no excuse for any individual to say, either (1) that he was unmindful, or (2) that he should not be punished for the sins of his fathers whom he followed blindly, because his punishment (if any) comes from his personal responsibility, because he was granted conscious, wisdom, freedom of choice and guidance through scriptures and messengers of Allah, but he chose to reject the faith and the higher spiritual influences. However those people (of all times and places), who could not receive the guidance through messengers of God or His scriptures, are not expected to be judged for the Law (Shari’a) but upon the natural belief in one God and performance of good deeds.
Sincerity of Faith:
Faith is a matter of personal conviction, and does not depend on worldly motives. Worship should depend on pure and sincere Faith: “Say: “My Lord hath commanded justice; and that ye set your whole selves (to him) at every time and place of prayer and call upon him making your devotion sincere as in his sight: such as he created you in the beginning so shall ye return.”(Qur’an;). However worship often does not conform to achieve the desired level. There are motives of worldly gains, ancestral custom, social conventions, imitative instincts, or a lethargic instinct to shirk from enquiring Into the real significance of solemn acts and the motives behind them, reduce a great deal of the world’s worship to sin, selfishness, or futility. Symbolic idols may themselves be merely instruments for safeguarding the privileges of a selfish priestly class, or the ambitions, greed, or lust of private individuals. Hence Islam insist on the pure service which include worship and obedience of the One True Allah alone not through any one else.
Faith and Deeds for Salvation:
Faith is perquisite for reward for good deeds. The Allah says: “ (O Muhammad) tell them: “Should we tell you the worst kind of losers relating to their deeds? Those whose all efforts in this worldly life had gone astray from the Right Way, but all along they were under the delusion that they were doing good deeds; they are the ones who are disregarding the revelations of their Lord and the fact that they will meet Him for accountability of their deeds in the Hereafter, so their deeds will become null and will not carry any weight on the Day of Judgment. Thus the reward of such people will be Hell; because they had no faith and because they made My messages and My apostles a target of their mockery. However, those who believe and do good deeds, they will be entertained with the Gardens of Paradise to live therein for ever and they will never desire to go anywhere else.”(Qur’an;18:103-108). Hence humanity should endeavor to combine ‘faith’ with ‘good deeds’ to attain salvation in hereafter, through His mercy.
The universe comprises, the whole cosmic system, which include the galaxies and a lot of haze. Earth’s Sun is one star among the billions of stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. With all the advancement, the scientists have not yet been able to resolve the mystery of Creation. The most popular theory of creation, closer to the scientific evidence is the Big Bang theory. While even the expanse of universe still remains a mystery, the thinkers and theologians have evolved their own concepts, doctrine and myths of creation of universe based on their imagination, knowledge and superstition. The cosmogonic myth tells the story of the creation of the world like Self Emergence, World Parents, Cosmic Egg and Earth Divers but Creation by the Supreme Creator remains a popular doctrine among many cultures, especially among the Abrahamic faiths. The ‘logos’ of Greek philosophy provided the inspiration for the Christian philosophical theology to call logos (Word) as “the first-begotten Son of God” (against the teachings of Prophet Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and Bible) describing the role of Jesus as the principle of God active in the creation and ordering of the cosmos and in the revelation of the divine plan of salvation.
The story of Adam and Eve narrated in Qur’an and Bible, is in reality an allegory of human destiny. The role of Satan (Iblis) in Qur’an specifically deals with the existence of evil, with enhanced role, without compromising on Supremacy of God, which the other philosophies could not resolve with in monotheism. In his earlier state of virtuousness man was unaware of the existence of evil and, therefore, of the ever-present necessity of making a choice between the many possibilities of action and behaviour. The growth of his consciousness-symbolized by the willful act of disobedience to God’s command-changed all this. It transformed him from a purely instinctive being into a full-fledged human entity known. A human being capable of discriminating between right and wrong and thus of choosing his way of life. In this deeper sense, the allegory of the Fall does not describe a retrogressive happening but, rather, a new stage of human development: an opening of doors to moral considerations. By forbidding him to “approach this tree”, God made it possible for man to act wrongly-and, therefore, to act rightly as well: and so man became endowed with that ‘moral free will’ which distinguishes him from all other conscious beings. Every human is born free of sin, pure in nature, thus the purpose of human creation is; Service (worship) i.e. ‘Willing Obedience to Allah’. The worship rituals are just a part of broader concept of total obedience to God in all spheres of life. The theory of evolution has been opposed by most Christian and Muslim theologians. The theory having “missing links”, cannot be proven in a scientifically acceptable way. How did Allah breathe His spirit into Adam whom He made of clay and when did all this happen, He has chosen not to disclose. Had such information been of benefit to humanity in this regard, it would not have been withheld. In Islam the creation of the universe and humanity may be understood as a part of ‘Grand Design’ of God, which is based upon trial, balance, Justice and Mercy. God has granted freedom of choice to the human through guidance, intellect and reason, resulting in individual responsibility and accountability. However He accepts repentance of sinners and forgive them but those who die in state of rebellion will be entitled to punishment in Hereafter. Humanity should endeavor to combine ‘faith’ with ‘good deeds’ to attain salvation in the hereafter.