Is there a contradiction between these two verses as to the purpose of creating men and jinn?
Submitted by on Mon, 09/02/2015 - 15:10
Dear Brother / Sister,
Is there a contradiction between the following two verses in terms of the creation of human beings and jinn? If they were created for Hell, it would mean they were not created for worshipping. Therefore, there seems to be a contradiction. Will you interpret it?
I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me. (51:56)
“Many are the jinn and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning).” (7:179)
There is no contradiction between the two verses above.
In the following verse, it is indicated that the purpose of the creation of human beings and jinn is worshipping Allah: “I have only created jinn and men, that they may serve Me.” (adh-Dhariyat, 51/56)
In the following verse, those two beings are warned that they will be punished because some human beings and jinn will not be able to fulfill this duty of worshipping: “Many are the jinn and men We have made for Hell: they have hearts wherewith they understand not, eyes wherewith they see not, and ears wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of warning).”(al-Araf, 7/179)
The meaning of the verse is as follows:
“There are some individuals who will consequently go to Hell among the ones I created because they do not use the material and spiritual equipment (like the mind, heart, eye and ear) I have given to them properly.”
That is, Allah makes His endless knowledge, not His power, speak in that verse. That is, He does not say that He will send some people to Hell by force; on the contrary, He says that He knows - through His endless knowledge - that some people who were created for worshipping will prefer the way to Hell through their free will.
It is understood from the explanations above that the real meaning of the phrase "for Hell" in the verse is not "for…" but "consequently". That is, the preposition "lam" before the verb "zara'na", which expresses creation, does not indicate reason but consequence.
As a matter of fact, some interpreters emphasized that the preposition "li" in the phrase “zara’na li Jahannama” (we created for Hell) did not indicate reason but consequence. (see Baghawi, Razi, Sha'rawi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)
We see a similar expression in the chapter of al-Qasas:
“Then the people of Pharaoh picked him up (from the river): (it was intended) that (Moses) should be to them an adversary and a cause of sorrow: for Pharaoh and Haman and (all) their hosts were men of sin.” (al-Qasas, 28/8) The preposition "lam" in the phrase "li yakuna lahum aduwwan wa hazanan" (should be to them an adversary and a cause of sorrow) indicates consequence. "Lam" at the beginning of the verb "li yakuna" indicates consequence, result, not reason.“ For, it is clear that the family of Pharaoh did not adopt Moses (Musa) so that he would be a cause of sorrow to them. However, he became a cause of sorrow to them consequently. (see Baghawi, ibid)
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