Friday, 2 December 2011

The Purpose of Creation

The Purpose of  Creation

Why were we born?  This is the question that has been on millions of human lips in every continent since time immemorial.

Yet, none of the great philosophers attempting to solve the mystery is in sight of the truth.  Why?  Because the researchers would rather explore other options for some more decades than just come over to the Holy Qur'an and find the right answers that are there for every problem perplexing the human mind.
In this Holy Book, endowed to us through His Chosen Messenger Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S., Allah informs us:


I have created jinns and human beings only to worship Me.
I need no sustenance from them; nor do I ask them to feed me.
(Surah 51st: al Zaaariyaath: 56 & 57)


Take heed and doubt not. I am Allah.  There is no other god than Me.
 So be obedient to My Commands and establish (regular) Salaah
 that you may be constant in My remembrance.
 (Surah 20th: Thaa’ha:  14)

Allah wills and the project, however boundless, immense or amazing, is realized in an instant.  Allah is jealous of His Own Power and does not share it with any other being.  All creation is His and His Alone.

“There is nothing whatsoever like unto Him (Allahu Rabbul Aalameen)
and He is (the Only One Who is) the All Hearer and the All Seer”
(Surah  26th: ash Shoorah: 11)
Allah is the Omnipotent, the Unique, the Incomparable. Allah has no equal, no rival. Above all want as He is, Allah is not weighed down by the human need for a mate or progeny. Allah needs no help from anyone. 

 Allahu Rabbul Izzath, Our Glorious Lord, created us for Ibaadah, for prayers to Him and for obedience to His Commands set forth in the Holy Qur’an.
 Allah is the One and Only Reality in the entire universe (known to us as also in the countless other systems that are still unknown to us)
 Allah was, is and will always be.
 All other beings, without exception, that were born in human or other form from the start of creation and then disappeared over the past millennia, as also those who populate the earth and other planets and outer space presently and the generations yet to be born are, all of them, the creation of Allah.
 Their destiny, like ours too, is to perish and be brought back to life when Allah wills.

Allah wills and all creation occurs instantaneously.  Allah is never overcome by fatigue either in creating or sustaining the vast universe. And Allah never rests. 

Allah is our Life Support. Just imagine what would happen to those in Intensive Care if the man-made system that sustains them is turned off for rest even for a while! 

In the pre-eminent Ayathul Kursee of the Holy Qur’an cited earlier as the Verses Enshrined in Every Muslim Heart, we are given a vision of this knowledge, both Allah’s which is eternal and supreme and the human being’s which is limited and licenced by the Creator to explore to an extent the vastness and intricacies of all creation.

We have also read the Qur’ani affirmation that Allah is closer to us than our own jugular veins.  These are the most important lifelines that link our brains to our bodies and limbs. Yet, Allah cannot be seen, touched or reached by any of us except in a spiritual sense, by the sincerity of our prayers and by the depth and intensity of our faith in our Lord.
              "Eyes cannot reach Him, but He can reach everything the eyes of His creatures can reach and perceive of.”  It is impossible for us to see Allah with our own eyes. When the Holy Prophet S.A.W.S was asked by his companions whether he had seen Allah during the Meiraaj, his flight to the heavens and back, he replied, "There was just light, (brilliance ultimate);  how could I have seen Him?"
                There is further emphasis on the limitations placed on human and othr beings by Allah. The following hadeeth was reported by Abu Musa:
“The Messenger of Allah spoke to us of five things. He said, "Verily, Allah the Exalted and Mighty does not sleep, and does not befit Him to sleep. He lowers down the scale and lifts it up (i.e., He makes ample the means of subsistance to whom He wills and makes scanty to whom He wills). The deeds (of His slaves committed by) night are taken up to Him before the deeds committed in the day (following), and the deeds of the day are taken up to Him before the deeds of the subsequent night. His veil is the light." In the hadeeth narrated by Abu Bakr, the veil of Allah "is fire. If He lifted it, His splendour and majesty would burn out all of his creation." (Hadith:  Ibn Maja, Ahmed)
Muslims adore Moses (Syedina Moosaa A.S as ‘Kaleemullaah’, the exalted Prophet who spoke with Allah.  That meeting is best described by the Holy Qur’an:
"And when Moosa came at Our appointed time, and his Lord spoke to him, he said, 'My Lord, show (Yourself) to me that I may look to You’.  He (Allah) said, 'You shall not see Me, but look at the mountain.  If it remains in its place, (after what is going to happen now), then you will see Me.' And when his Lord manifested Himself on the mountain, He made it level (the mountain came crashing down) and Moosa fell down unconcious. And when he recovered he said,  ‘Far removed are You from every imperfection. I repent to You. I am the first to believe."(Holy Qur’an:  Surah 7th: Al Aeraaf: 143)

Allah’s is the unique power to see, hear and know, in the fullest sense, not only the apparent but also the secret deeds, thoughts and aspirations of all His creations, men, women, children, animals, birds, fish and other dwellers of the sea and the beings who populate the vast and unexplored areas of the universe.

Allah has created trillions of angels and other supernatural beings whose only function is to obey Him. Unlike humans they have no choice but to  obey and they  travel faster than light  through the entire universe and carry out Allah’s Commands within seconds.

Islami scholars explain that this vast and incomparable knowledge is Allah’s Own, a facet of His Glory and Majesty and He is in no need to move about to gather it. Allah’s is the Ultimate, the Supreme Power over everything. The miracle of Kun fa Yakoon is witnessed every moment everywhere. Allah wills and the job is done!
We are informed by the Ulema from their deep knowledge of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith that Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aala comes down to the first of the seven heavens:

 In the last and third segment of every night (to listen to and grant the Dua’ayaen, prayers, of those who plead with Him at that hour) and
 Once a year, on the 9th day of Zul Haj, the Day of Arafaath.

                On this day and during the night following it, millions of Muslims assemble on this vast open ground (about 10 miles from Makkathul Mukarramah). They stand before Allahu Rahmaanir Raheem and seek from His Compassion the grant of all the ney’maath (bounties) they need for themselves, their families and their nations. Allah has promised them fulfillment of their highest aspirations.  All praise to Allah!
The Holy Qur’an confirms: “Whoever chooses to be righteous, does so for his own good. Whoever goes astray, does so to his own peril. No one, who is already burdened (with sins committed) can bear the burden of another being. And We never punish (anyone or any nation) until We have sent a messenger (to warn and invite them to be righteous and obedient to Allah).  (Surah 17th: al Is’ra: 15).

Among all the creations of Allah, the masterpiece was a most brilliant and glorious object. And this became the beloved of the Creator Himself. Allah named it Mohammed S.A.W.S, the Praised One. Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aalaa created the heavens and the earth for Mohammed S.A.W.S. to appear on earth and lead humanity back to the true path of Allah, that is, Islam.

The opening verse of Surah 76th:  al Dah’r  a.k.a al Insaan in the Holy Quran, informs us that over a long period of time in the history of creation, the human being did not exist at all.and was not even mentioned anywhere. Hadith Bukhari informs us that some people from Yemen came to meet Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S. and asked him to speak to them . 
on the origin of Creation

The Holy Prophet S.A.W.S. told them that from the earliest times there was nothing but Allah.  Then Allah created His Own Throne.  The Throne was over the water. Allah “wrote everything in the book” and then created the heavens and the earth.     In another Hadith in Sahih Bukhari, we are told that on completion of all creation, Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aalaa wrote on His Glorious Throne:  “My Mercy preceded my Wrath”.  Allah is the Most Merciful,  the Compassionate.
Syedina Umar R.A.A. said that the Prophet S.A.W.S. explained everything in detail and described how the good people would enter Paradise and the evil ones be consigned to hell. As the Holy Qur’an confirms: “Has there not been over man a long period of Time, when he was nothing (neither known nor) mentioned?  In truth, We created the human being from a drop of mingled fluid (a man’s sperm fertilizing a woman’s egg) to test him/her.

“So we gave the human being the gifts of hearing (to receive guidance from recitation of the Holy Qur’an and Hadith) and eyesight (for perception, intellectual analysis and spiritual insight). We showed him the way (the Holy Qur’an): whether he (would) be grateful or turn into an unbeliever.” (The choice is his and the consequence will be his own making)   (Surah  76th: ad Dah’r:  1 to 3)

The drama that preceded man’s creation is unfolded in Verse 30 of the Surah 2nd: Al Baqarah:

And when Your Lord said to the angels, "Behold, I am about to place a vice-regent on earth!”, they said, "Will You place therein one who will make mischief  and will shed blood, while we are (forever) singing Your praise and glorifying  Your Holy Name?"  Allah replied, "Surely I know that which you know not!"
The purpose of creation is revealed to us by Allah: “I have only created the jinns and the human beings that they may serve Me.” (Surah 51st: Az Zaariyaath: 58).

                Allah taught Adam "all the names" (imparted right knowledge to him) (Surath al Baq’r: 30). After this, Allah asked the angels (and the jinns) assembled before Him, to inform them "the names".  They could not. Allah then turned to Adam and the newborn informed everyone accordingly.

Thus was the Supreme Creator testing His creations, as to who among them would take over His most precious bequest:  "ILM", Knowledge. 

Angels, created by Allah from light and the Jinns created by Him from fire, shrunk back from the awesome responsibility. The newborn Adam accepted the magnificent bequest with elan. Allah was pleased and commanded the assembly to prostrate before Adam. The angels and all others obeyed but Iblees, the chief of the Jinn's, refused. Born of fire, he claimed he was superior to man who was created from mud.
We learn in the Holy Qur’an:  He (Iblees) said, “Now, because You have cast me into disgrace, I will indeed ambush them (the humans) as they traverse Your right road. I will descend on them, from behind them, from before them, from their right and from their left hands and You will find that most of them are no more  committed in loyalty unto You.”

He (Allah) said, “Get out of here, (you are) degraded, banished.  As for those who follow you, I will fill the Hell with all of you!”  (Surath Al Aeraaf: 16-18). Iblees, now degraded as Shai’ythaan, asked for and secured from Allah the power to subvert Adam and his descendants from loyalty to Allah right upto the end of the world.

Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aalaa asks us in the Holy Qur'an:  "He (Iblees) was one of the Jinns and he rebelled against his Lord's command.  Will you choose him and his progeny to be your protectors instead of Allah, when they are an enemy (force) unto you? “ Only disaster is what the self-destructors (the votaries of Shai’ythaan earn in) exchange (giving up faith for evil)!"  (Surah 18th: Al Kahaf: 50)

Thus started the saga of human life and everyone of us is a part of it. The conflict between right and wrong. The choice between good and evil. The drama goes on, since time immemorial. Humanity is at the crossroads.  Should it go Allah's way and head for Heaven or give in to the temptations offered by His enemy, the Shai’ythaan, and earn Allah's wrath?

The evolution of man, from primitive to modern times, is a record of the conflict in his soul. On one side were his basic instincts for sensual pleasure and domination over others.  On the other, his superior self was seeking spiritual awakening and launching him on a quest after truth. 

Because he could not find the right road by himself, he faltered and turned to priests and their idols. “There are indeed many among the priests and anchorites who, in falsehood, devour the wealth of men and mislead (and turn them away) from the road to Allah.”  (Holy Qur’an: Surath Ath Thav’bah: 34).

The mission that was entrusted to every earlier prophet by Allah was, therefore, to reform the nation to which he belonged.  Every apostle conveyed to his people the Commands of Allah with true devotion. 

He also performed miracles, again by Allah's Command and Power, to convince and discipline his flock.  He strove to the utmost to wean them from their excesses and bring them back to the path of Allah. 

The peoples' response to him, however, was just open derision and contempt. Those who wielded influence in those times had made religion a handmaiden of politics. Paganism sanctioned the primeval pursuits: wine, women and ill gotten wealth.

These brought people neither happiness nor made life any easier for them. But they guaranteed the survival of the ruling class of princes and priests!

Against this alignment, the ancient prophet could not claim the allegiance of the people to his mission. All his noble efforts to instil faith in their hearts, were either resisted or just ignored. No sooner had he departed than his pronouncements were either forgotten or adulterated with their own prevailing myths.

No one came forward, therefore, to preserve, in its pristine purity, the holy book that the ancient prophet had brought to his nation from Allah. As the apostle failed in his mission, Allah's wrath descended on the transgressors. The flood in Noah's time and the fire that destroyed Lot's nation when it flouted His warning and returned to perversions, are examples. They are intended to caution mankind from repeating those and other evil ways.
Because our ancestor Adam embraced knowledge as the gift from Allah, we are the best among all creations of Allah. Allah has designated us, the human beings, His Vice-Regents on Earth! We read in the Holy Qur’an:  "It is He (Allah) Who has made you the inheritors of the earth (His viceroys).  He has exalted some of you above others, in rank, that He may test you by the gifts He has given you.  For your Lord is swift in punishment. And yet, He is truly the Forgiving, the Most Merciful (Lord)." (Surath Al Ana'am: 165)

Allah comforts us: "O man! You are indeed toiling constantly towards your Lord, painfully toiling, but you shall (certainly) meet Him."  (Surah 84th: Al Inshi’qaq: 6)  And, when a warning is called for, Allah issues it:  "When We decide to destroy a city, We command those among its citizens who are given the good things of this life (to be obedient to Allah). If they (pay no heed and) continue to transgress, the word (of doom) comes true against them (and) We destroy them completely. How many generations have We destroyed since Noah!  And Allah suffices as the Knower and Beholder of the sins of His slaves".  (Surah 17th:  Al Isra aka  Bani Isra’yeel: 16-17)                                                                                 
The Noor of Mohammed S.A.W.S.’s was the irradiance that  Adam, the first human being, witnessed on being given life by Allah. Much earlier, long before our actual birth on earth, our souls had been created by Allah.  He had then commanded and obtained from each such soul, its pledge of loyalty and obedience to Allah and His Beloved Messenger of the Final Era Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S.

We are all of us born, therefore, with this pledge of devotion to Alllah and Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S. ingrained into our very soul.

“And (remember) when Your Lord brought forth from the children of Aadam their seed and made them testify for themselves, asking (them), ‘Am I not Your Lord?’  They said. ‘ Yes, Truly we testify.’ “(That was) to prevent their saying on the Day of Judgment, ‘Alas, of this we were not informed!’” (Surah 7th: al Aeraaf:  172).

Every child comes into the world with a soul that is Muslim already.  It is pure.  It is sinless.  It is born to a glorious destiny.  It is untarnished by the past and is in no way answerable for the sins of its parents and its ancestors, including Adam and Eve.

Allahu Sub’hanahu va tha Aalaa calls upon us: "O, mankind!  We created you from a single (couple), a male and a female, and raised you into nations and tribes that you may know and cooperate with (and not despise) each other. 

"Certainly, the most honored of you in the Sight of Allah is (the person) most righteous among you.  And Allah has the fullest knowledge and is well acquainted (with everything)".  (Surath Al Hujuraath verse 13).

It was not beyond Allah’s power to have willed all humanity to be Muslim everywhere.  But Allah preferred diversity in the human race.  He also allowed Shaiy'thaan the power to subvert our loyalty to Allah.

At the same time, Allah built into our systems the defensive mechanism to counter the Shayaatheen’s (the devils’) thrust into our subconscious. Allah endowed us the brains and the dynamic perception to chart our own course and to enter Islam in totality, irrespective of our parentage and surroundings. 

Allah prefers that we realize by our own conscious and sincere effort the glory of the True Faith that all Prophets including Moses A.S., Jesus A.S. and Mohammed S.A.W.S.., brought to humanity everywhere.
Who is the best in all humanity?  This question of perennial interest to mankind, was answered by the Holy Prophet Syedina Mohammed S.A.W.S. S.A.W.S on the evening of the 9th of Zul Haj, in the 10th year of the Islami Calender (approximating the 4th of March,  632 C.E.) 

Our Glorious Leader S.A.W.S. told the assembly that he might not be addressing them again and so they must convey the essence of his speeach to other Muslims. It was the first and last Haj performed by him and so we refer to it as the Haj of Farewell  and the address is recorded as the Sermon on the Mount Rah’math of Arafaath.

He informed the thousands of Hajis assembled before him that there is no clash of rank between Arab Muslims and Ajami (non Arab) Muslims and the only criterion for superiority is a person’s Thaq’wa. Whoever has this, the total devotion to Allah and His commands, in the highest and most complete form, is the best of all human beings.