Friday, March 16, 2012 Discussion
In the name of Allah. The Most Gracious The Most Merciful.
May the peace, blessings and mercy of Allah be upon you.
Today my family had a Friday discussion. One of the things we discussed was why humans were created. We had wondered that since our sole purpose was to worship Allah, then why Allah would create some creatures knowing they would end up throwing themselves eternally into Hell by their disbelief and wickedness?
The Qur’an Surah 32 Verses 12-14:
“If only you could see the guilty when they bow down their heads before their Lord. ‘Our Lord, now we have seen and we have heard. Send us back and we will be righteous. Now we have attained certainty.’ Had We willed we could have given every soul its guidance, but it is already predetermined that I will fill Hell with jinns and humans all together. Taste the consequences of your forgetting this Day. Now We forget you. You have incurred eternal retribution in return for your own works.”
“Had your Lord willed, all the people would have been one congregation, but they will always dispute. Only those blessed with Mercy from your Lord, this is why He created them. The judgement of your Lord has already been issued: ‘I will fill Hell with jinns and humans all together.’ We narrate to you enough history of the messengers to strengthen your heart. The truth has come to you herein as well as enlightenment and reminders for the believers. Say to those who disbelieve- ‘Do whatever you can, and so will We. Then wait. We, too will wait. ‘To GOD belongs the future of the heavens and the earth and all matters are controlled by Him. You shall worship Him and trust in Him, your Lord is never unaware of anything you do.”
In The Torah and The Qur’an it is said that when Allah created the human beings, Allah created them to work in the Gardens, (Torah, Genesis 2:15, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it”), and to work hard in general especially to be redeemed into Heaven,
(Qur’an 90:4, “We have certainly created the human being to go through hardship”). But The Qur’an also says that humans and jinns were created originally for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah and only worshipping Allah, ( Qur’an 51:56, “I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship Me”). So to me this means that working and striving in Allah’s cause, is an act of worshipping Allah, and this is what we were created for.
Working in the Gardens of Eden to me means doing our part as members of nature and the ecosystem, and living in accordance to The Balance, (mentioned in The Qur’an, 55:7-9). Allah had created the humans to till the Earth, to rule over the other creations, and to be productive on Earth. In fact, there is even another ancient scripture, one of the Upanishads of India, which says that humans were created as guardians of the Earth, (Aitareya Upanishad, 1:3, “He bethought Himself: ‘Here now are the worlds. Let Me now create world−guardians.’ Right from the waters He drew forth man in the form of a lump and gave him a shape,” – see below). So humans were created to serve and worship Allah by being productive members of nature and Earth’s ecosystem, and to be guardians of the Earth.
Here are some Qur’an verses that explain creation of humans and their purpose:
7:11-26, “And indeed, We created you, then We designed you, We then said to the angels to honor Adam, they immediately honored him except Iblees who was not one of the honorers. He said; what prevented you from honoring him when I commanded you? He said; I am better than he, You created me from fire and you created him from clay. He said; then you shall go down therefrom, for you shall never be arrogant therein, therefore, get out, you are certainly one of the belittled ones. He said; respite me until the Day of Resurrection. He said; you shall have a respite. He said; since you have enticed me, I will surely divert them from Your straight path. Then I will surely come to them from their front and their back and their right and their left; and You will find most of them ungrateful. He said; get out therefrom debased and expelled. Indeed those among them who follow you, I will surely fill Hell with you altogether. As for you O Adam, you shall settle, you and your wife in the Garden, then eat from whatever the two of you desire, however, do not approach this one tree, otherwise you will commit an injustice. Thereafter, Satan duped both in order to reveal what was hidden of their bodies and said; your Lord did not forbid you from this tree except to prevent you from becoming a couple of angels orbecoming immortal. And he swore by both that indeed I am giving you both good advice. Therefore, they were overcome by an illusion. Consequently, once the two of them tasted the tree, their bodies became visible to them and they tried to cover themselves with the leaves of the Garden. And their Lord called upon them; did I not forbid this tree for the two of you and did I not tell you both that Satan is your most ardent enemy? They both said we have been unjust towards our own souls and if You do not forgive us and do not have mercy upon us, we will surely end up losers. He said; go down as enemies of one another. And the land will be your abode and sustenance for a while. He said; in it you will live and in it you will die and from it you will come out. O Children of Adam, We have certainly provided for you clothing with which you cover your bodies as well as a luxury; however, the garment of righteousness is the best. These are from God’s signs that you may be reminded.”
See also: 11:7, 119; 15:26-44; 17:61-65; 18:7; 20:115-123; 45:22; 51:56; 67:2; 76:2-3; and 90:4.
for a complete literal translation of The Qur’an.
Aitareya Upanishad Part 1, Chapter 1: Creation Story
In the beginning all this verily was Atman only, one and without a second. There was
nothing else that winked. He bethought Himself: “Let Me now create the worlds.”
He created these worlds: Ambhah, the world of water−bearing clouds, Marichi, the world of
the solar rays, Mara, the world of mortals and Ap, the world of waters. Yon is Ambhah,
above heaven; heaven is its support. The Marichis are the interspace. Mara is the earth.
What is underneath is Ap.
He bethought Himself: “Here now are the worlds. Let Me now create world−guardians.”
Right from the waters He drew forth man in the form of a lump and gave him a
He brooded over Him. From Him, so brooded over, the mouth was separated out, as with
an egg; from the mouth, the organ of speech; from speech, fire, the controlling spirit of the
Then the nostrils were separated out; from the nostrils, the organ of breath; from breath, air,
the controlling spirit of the organ.
Then the eyes were separated out; from the eyes, the organ of sight; from sight, the sun,
the controlling spirit of the organ.
Then the ears were separated out; from the ears, the organ of hearing; from hearing, the
quarters of space, the controlling spirit of the organ.
Then the skin was separated out; from the skin, hairs, the organ of touch; from the hairs,
plants and trees, air the controlling spirit of the organs.
Then the heart was separated out; from the heart, the organ of the mind; from the mind, the
moon, the controlling spirit of the organ.
Then the navel was separated out; from the navel, the organ of the apana; from the apana,
Death, Varuna, the controlling spirit of the organ.
Then the virile member was separated out; from the virile member, semen, the organ of
generation; from the semen, the waters, the controlling spirit of the organ.
So the answer to the question we have posed is that this world is an illusion- (Qur’an 3:185- Every person tastes death, then you receive your recompense on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever misses Hell barely and makes it to Paradise has attained a great triumph. The life of this world is no more than an illusion.”)
So…these verses explain much of why Allah created the humans. But still, if Allah knew many of us would end up in Hell after being evil, then why would Allah create those humans? Why not create us all as good, righteous believers? Well, there are certain points I must make in order to answer this.
Suppose you are a boss of a company, and you have a job you want to hire someone for. So you begin to get applicants. But suppose you tell them this: “Regardless of whether or not you take this job, we will not pay you at all;” would a rational applicant take the job? Probably not. They have no incentive to take the job. Suppose instead you tell them this: “Regardless of whether or not you take the job, we’ll pay you anyways;” now, a rational applicant would respond something like this: “Well, then I won’t take the job. I will get paid either way, so neither do I have any incentive to take the job, nor any consequences for rejecting it.” To get any rational applicant to take the job, you need to offer them a reward. But then suppose you say, “I’ll only pay you if you take the job,” but it turns out that they have been offered some higher-paying and more enjoyable jobs elsewhere? What if, in other words, there is a reward for taking the job, but no consequence for rejecting it, and, in rejecting it, they could recieve greater rewards elsewhere? Then still, a rational applicant will likely reject the job and go for the greater rewards. So to get someone to take a job, there should be a reward for taking it, and a consequence for rejecting it. This is because the applicants, since they are humans, are rational, even though some are smarter or stupider than others. Suppose then that you tell them, “If you take the job, we’ll pay you more than anyone else who might hire you;” there is thus the reward of payment for taking the job, and the consequence of reaping lesser rewards if any – for the others might not hire the applicant – due to rejecting the job. A rational applicant is likely to take the job, supposing they aren’t too stupid.
Allah is The Supremely Rational. Allah could have created any kind of reality, and any kinds of life-forms. But as far as humans can tell, Allah chose to create a very rational reality, and to create a very rational form of life called “humans.” Allah created the humans as rational creatures. So, since Allah has offered humans a job, as in to live good, righteous lives and serve and worship only Him, Allah did not expect us to think about this job-offer irrationally; Allah offers both a reward for those who take the job, and a consequence for those who reject the job. These are the most suitable ones, too; either you can spend this temporary life working for Allah being good, righteous believers and recieve an eternity in Heaven, (temporary work for eternal payment), or you can enjoy a temporary life of evil, wickedness, and disbelief in return for an eternity in Hell, (temporary enjoyment, then eternal punishment). The promise of Heaven in return for leading good, righteous, believing lives, and the threat of Hell in return for leading evil, wicked, disbelieving lives, is a totally fair and totally rational deal set up by a rational Allah for His rational humans, and the jinn-beings as well. Heaven and Hell are both necessary as rational encouragement for the humans who possess intelligence to lead good, righteous, believing lives.
The Qur’an says that Allah could have made all humans and jinns to be good, righteous, believers, (quotation needed), and could have made all the people one congregation, or one religion, (quotation needed), but that instead Allah chose to test the humans and the jinns, (quotation needed). But how is it a test? Allah knows all destinies, (quotation needed), and knows everything we will do. So Allah knows what the results will be for each of us after we are each tested. But we do not; you do not know your self as well as Allah knows your self. Thus, the test is so you can get to know your self better; your fate is already decided by Allah, (quotation needed), but you still must be shown why your destiny or fate is what it is, or will be what it will be. If you end up in Hell, after living a life being an evil, wicked, disbeliever, you will by then know exactly why. Everyone who will end up in Hell, will know why they will have, (quotation needed).
You might think now, “Okay I understand those things you’ve said so far, quranscientist, but, if Allah created certain humans knowing they’ll disbelieve and end up suffering eternally in Hell, then was it not cruel for Him to create them? Would it not have been more merciful to not have created them?” My answer is this: No, it was not more merciful not to have created them, nor is it cruel that they will end up in Hell.