When we look around, we see that every being has been created for a certain aim. I wonder why man has been created in a system that every being is focalizing around the human axis.
It is possible to examine this question from two aspects. The first one is the question of man-centered working of all of the beings except man, their service towards man. Here, two situations arise, too. We should either say that all of the things except man know man and his needs; they feel compassion and pity for him and so, for example, fruit trees give fruits to man to supply his vitamin needs; animals supply food like meat, milk and egg to meet mans protein need or man gets all of those using his own power and strength
However, when it is examined carefully, it is seen that the working of all beings oriented towards meeting the needs of man is not by mans subjugating them to himself or his dominance over them. Since man cannot obtain the things necessary to continue his life from the earth, the air, the water and the fire by his own power and strength, the Divine mercy and power bestow apples by means of trees, eggs by means of chickens and milk by means of sheep and also filter the harmful rays of the sun for man through the atmosphere.
So, all of these events do not happen because man is extremely sturdy, strong and powerful, on the contrary, he has been assisted because of his powerlessness, weakness and impotence, he has been bestowed due to his indigence, he has been inspired due to his ignorance, he has been granted due to his needs.
Now, a question arises. Why has the infinite divine power that makes everything except man work for man created man and what does He want from man?
We should determine mans difference from other beings well to answer this question. Yes, Allah has created man in a distinguished manner in the universe. As being different from other beings, He gave man a mind that can perceive the benefits and the aims of the beings, a conscience that can discern between good and bad an ability that can learn all the sciences, a heart that can comprehend a great deal of hidden secrets, a tongue that can perceive all tastes, a pair of eyes that can see all of the subtleties of the beauties and ears that can hear all kinds of tunes and divine glorifications.
Almighty Allah has rendered man that He has created as a distinguished beloved and addressee, He has notified his orders and prohibitions to him, He has shown him the ways of happiness and straight path.
If man does not appreciate those exalted senses and limbs, he forgets the One who has given them to him and he becomes unaware of Him. He forgets that he is Allahs creature and work of art that he is under Allahs raising and supervision and that he is nourished with the bounties He has given him. He turns away from the compulsory duties he must perform. Yes, a person knowing himself and recognizing that his purpose of creation is worshipping Allah behaves in accordance with that purpose.
We are often asked the question, Why has man been created? It is a great divine gift that we ask ourselves or somebody else that question. That is, the sun cannot ask itself such a question, a star cannot ask the sun that question, either. A bee is not capable of asking itself that question and a sheep cannot ask another being that question. So, human being searching the answer to that question is free to use his existence in any field that he desires; he is in search and he is subject to testing regarding that issue.
The only way to pass that test is to learn the answer to that question from the One who has created us. People reaching this point knock on the door of the truth and they are answered by the language of the Quran and the Prophet.
I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me. (adh- Dhariyat, 56)
According to the Nur Collection, worship means knowing Allah. Many of the scholars of interpretation agree on this meaning. Worships like prescribed prayers (salat) and fasting are the consequences of that knowledge. That is, man must first perceive that the bounties entail thanks, and then he can perform the duty of thanking and praising.
Man must first realize that the Divine miracles all around the universe entail contemplation and wonderment, and then he can perform the duties of glorification and extolling.
Man must first realize that he must have mercy on other people, and then he will tend to give zakat (alms) and charity (to the ones in need).
All of those are the consequences of belief and knowing, that is, believing in Allah and knowing Him. A lesson about knowing from the Nur Collection: The elevated purpose of the universe is mans universal worship and submission towards the manifestation of the lordship, (Sözler, 264) (Words)
Lordship means training. This act demonstrates itself in different ways, in a different beauty and different perfection in each one of the worlds. When we recite chapter al-Fatiha in every prayer, we proclaim that we are aware of those different trainings by offering praise to the Sustainer of the worlds.
Allah trains both the world of lights and the world of eyes. And we fulfill our duty of worshipping towards the manifestation of lordship by giving thanks to Allah realizing that the sun is trained in a way to give light to our eyes and our eyes are trained in a manner to benefit from the light.
We again respond with worship towards lordship when we meet the infinite bounties of Allah with wonder and thanks by considering that the food is trained in a way that is suitable to eat and that our mouth, tongue and stomach are trained in a way to be able to benefit from them.
The creation of the universe is for man, and mans creation is for worship. Two words attract our attention here; elevated and universal. Those two words notify us that there are also other beings performing this duty. However, man has the ability to perform the duty of worship at a superior and more universal degree than the others. Those beings we mention are angels and jinn. When an angel contemplates a fruit, it observes those yesterdays shapeless, colorless elements become beautiful beings today and soft fruits come out of the hard trees. However, it cannot consider and contemplate that fruits taste, vitamins and calorie since its capability is not suitable for it.
Man has been granted an utterly different capability at this point. Man can consider not only the things present before him but also many things that he cannot see at that moment; he can even consider the past and the future. Thus, his ideas, thoughts, comprehension and effulgence get more universal. When he is eating a fruit that he holds in his hand, he can consider that boundless number of individuals of living beings species which are more than one million are being sustained at the moment and he is also an individual benefiting from this Divine table of bounties, so he has the opportunity to contemplate the Provider name of Allah with a universal meaning.
If he wishes, he can expand his consideration to the past and future times. By the help of his imagination, he considers every kind of bounties and the beings that benefit from them in all times and spaces; and his contemplation expands.
We can say similar things for the manifestation of all Divine names.
In the Nur Collection, where the verse Iyyaka nabudu You alone do we seek help is explained, attention is attracted to why not the word I but the word we is used in the verse; and it is taught that three different congregations were intended by doing so. One of them is all of the believers, the second one is all limbs, cells, senses that have a duty in our body and that are occupied with worshipping peculiar to them, and the third one is the entire world of beings.
So, man has the ability to say İyyaka nabudu on behalf of the entire world of the beings. Thus, even though he performs the prayer alone, if he can get rid of individuality and can offer the worship of those three congregations to his Lord, then it means that he performs a universal worship.
Mans being the fruit of this universe brings about such a result, too. If we suppose that all units of a tree are conscious, then the fruit will make the most universal contemplation. Since the seed in the fruit has been distilled from the entire tree, the fruit has the ability to represent and contemplate the worship of the entire tree.
The people performing this universal worship at the extreme level are the prophets who are the most perfect fruits of the tree of the universe; especially our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is the most perfect fruit performing this worship.
The meanings of the phrases the elevated purpose and the universal worship have a close relationship with the following Sacred Hadith: If it were not for you, if it were not for you, I would not have created the spheres. In the Nur Collection, there are numerous chapters about the duties of man. I would like to introduce some items as a summery of them:
- To use the attributes such as knowledge, will, sight, hearing attached to his spirit as Divine gifts as means of comprehending Allahs attributes. To utilize those windows of knowledge which have been opened from his spirit to comprehend the Divine attributes well.
- To use his power of reason in the scope of wisdom, his power of appetites in the scope of chastity and his power of wrath in the scope of courage.
- To devote all his love only to Allah and to love the creatures for Allahs sake as they are the mirrors of Allahs Divine names, as they indicate His Divine perfection and they inform about His Divine beauty.
- To try to benefit from the different effulgence of all kinds of worship at a maximum level being aware that man has been created with a nature capable of performing all kinds of worship.
- To turn the faces of the heart, spirit, intellect, and even the imagination and other subtle faculties given to man towards eternal life. Thus, to occupy each of them with the worship peculiar to them.
- To open every one of the treasuries of Divine mercy by each of ones senses and benefit from them and offer universal thanks.
- To contemplate Allahs power by knowing the level of his impotence, Allahs mercy by realizing his poverty and Allahs perfectness by considering his imperfectness. To know that his Lord has eternal perfectness, mercy and power and his own soul is boundlessly impotent, indigent and imperfect.
- To enter the Divine presence by keeping his spirit away from all kinds of evil and his body away from all kinds of dirt and filth.
- To introduce himself to the gaze and observance of the angels and spiritual beings as being the most perfect art of Allah.
Thus, man has been created for such supreme aims. However, unfortunately, many people are oblivious of themselves and they strive only to live comfortably in the world being heedless of those aims. Although they have the ability to represent the worships of the whole universe, they only aim to win the favor of a group of people around them and try to achieve their love.
After some time, both he and those people pass away from this world and all of those aims disappear by being buried into the earth along with his body.
- Why was Man Created? What Should Be His Purpose and Goal?
- Our Purpose of Creation
- Could you please give me information about the Oneness of Allah? What does Burhan al-Tamanu (Reductio ad Impossible) mean?
- Fourth Remark: The power that man gains with his weakness; the mystery in the fact that all living beings become a servant for man.
- Considering that almighty Allah does not need anything, why did he create the universe?
- 5. Belief in Angels
- Could you please explain the notion of Tawhid (Oneness)?
- Fifth Remark: The two aspects of contemplation and the duties of servitude that take man to the highest rank of all created beings.
- First Topic: Divine Determining, the power of choice (partial free will); the creation of good and evil; the responsibility of man.