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Last Updated: 2008/11/22
Summary of question
What is God’s reason for creating man?
What is God’s reason for creating man?
Concise answer

a) His ability to create called for Him to create.

b) The order of creation is one based on aim and wisdom.

c) The ultimate goal and aim of creating all things, is the emergence of man; the reason being that everything has been created for his purpose and he is the most noble of all creatures, as his creator is the most noble of all creators.

d) Since God (swt) is the Transcendent and All-Sufficient, being of no need to anything or anyone whatsoever, the purpose of creation, regardless of what it is, is surely only to the benefit of man himself.

e) The main purpose of creating man, is for him to reach the climax of perfection, true prosperity and salvation, and to find way to the realm of Malakut; all of which can only be accomplished through acquaintance, knowledge, servitude and worship that comes from awareness towards the Lord.

Detailed Answer

It has been proven that each and every one of Allah’s (swt) names and qualities, both the ones that are one with His essence (as a result of the “simplicity” of his existence), such as His knowledge, power, eternity, ownership and authority, and the ones that have to do with what He does (such as lordship, being the nurturer of all, creatorship, mercy and will) which are also known as His “qualities of action”, are all qualities that He possesses in which He is continuously bestowing His grace and mercy through. One of those qualities, which is the quality of creatorship, calls for Him to continuously create, for “Every day He is engaged in some work.”[1]

Another matter that must be paid attention to is that Allah (swt) is the All-Wise and none of His actions are pointless, therefore it can be concluded that the order of creation has no defects and is one with aims and goals; aims that are in line with high divine goals.

According to the Quran, the creator of all creatures didn’t create them in falseness and neither as a means of play and entertainment, but His creation was on a basis of truth and even the smallest particles in this world are following an important goal and none of them are idle and pointless.

Of course, it must be noted that the main and ultimate goal for all of creation, was the creation of man and to be frank, Allah (swt) created everything in order to create man, and that is the meaning of being the most noble of all creatures. The same goes with man’s creator; He is the most noble of all creators, because there is no one like Him in the entire universe. In a “qudsi” hadith it has been stated: “Oh son of Adam, I have created everything for you and created you for myself.”[2]

Having mentioned these few introductory points, we will begin the main discussion:

No matter what the purpose of creation is, one thing is for sure, and that is that it is solely to the benefit of man himself, not to the benefit of Allah (swt), for he is the All-Sufficient and Transcendent and it is man and all other creatures who are in true need of Him.

“O mankind! You are the ones who stand in need of Allah, and Allah He is the All-sufficient, the All-laudable”[3]

“And Moses said," Should you be faithless you and everyone on the earth, all together indeed Allah is all-sufficient, all-laudable.”[4]

In his famous sermon of Hamam, Imam Ali (as) says: “Allah the Immaculate was in no need of the obedience and servitude of His servants when creating them and was immune to their disobedience, because the sinning of sinners does Him no harm and the obedience of the obedient does Him no good or benefit[5] (and the true reason for why He has ordered everyone to obey Him and forbidden them from disobedience, is their own benefit).

Concerning the goal behind man’s creation, various statements can be found in the Quran, each pointing to one of the dimension’s of this goal; verses such as: “I did not create the jinn and the humans except that they may worship Me”[6], “He, who created death and life that He may test you [to see] which of you is best in his/her actions”[7](a test mixed with growth and training, resulting in man’s development and perfection), and “Had your Lord wished, He would have made mankind one community; but they continue to differ, except those on whom your Lord has mercy and that is why He created them”[8]. As you can see, the common word that can be found in all of these statements and others is the growth, development and perfection of man. Therefore one can conclude that the main purpose and final goal for the creation of man, is for him to reach the peak of perfection and salvation and to obtain the highest human qualities, which all depend on his knowledge, servitude and worship of Allah (swt) mixed with his insight on Allah’s (swt) high rank and that it is He who is the only one who deserves to be worshipped, for “Ubudiyyah (the servitude/worship of Allah (swt)) is a valuable gem whose inside is rububiyyah (lordship).”[9], and whosoever possesses this rububiyyah, will have dominion over all things other than Allah (swt).

In a hadith by Imam Sadiq (as) we read that: “Imam Husein (as) approached his companions and said: “Allah (swt) the immaculate didn’t created His servants except for them to know Him, when they know Him, they worship Him, and when they worship Him, they become free of worshipping anyone other than Him.”[10]

[1] Rahman:29.

[2]یابن آدم خلقت الاشیاء لأجلک و خلقتک لأجلیAl-Manhajul-Qawi, vol.5, pg.516; Ilmul-Yaqin, vol.1, pg.381.

[3] Fatir:15.

[4] Ibrahim:8.

[5]اما بعد ، فإن الله سبحانه و تعالی خلق الخلق حین خلقهم غنیاً عن طاعتهم ، آمناً من معصیتهم ، لأنه لاتضره معصیة من عصاه ، و لاتنفعه طاعة من أطاعه” Nahjul-Balaghah, Sermon of Hamam.

[6] Dhariyat:56.

[7] Mulk:2.

[8] Hud:118-119.

[9]العبودیة جوهرة کنهها الربوبیة" Misbahul-Shari’ah fi Haqiqatil-Ubudiyyah.

[10]ان الله عزوجل ما خلق العباد الا لیعرفوه، فإذا عرفوه عبدوه، فإذا عبدوه استغنوا بعبادته عن عبادة من سواهIlalul-Sharaye’, quoted by Al-Mizan, vol.18, pg.423.

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