Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله

The Purpose of Creation

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

  • Basic Members

Hello everyone, I've been reading the Quran for the past 12 days, and I was reminded why I hated it while reading it 10 years ago. Its repetitiveness is a serious putoff.

Anyway, I had a serious question looming for a few days, about the purpose of Man's creation, and I couldn't find really convincing answers.

Most answers are in the form of we were created to worship God or achieve our own perfection, but given that God is not in need of worship nor do I want to be created (or even desire heaven), what's the purpose of my existence, and can I request non-existence from God instead of living or even going into heaven? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
God has entrusted mankind with a great responsibility, vicegerency in this world 2:30. This means we arent meant to live this life like the animals, without any higher outlook on life, but to make use of what we have been entrusted with, in God-consiousness, in respect of the commands and limits set by the True Owner
51:56"And I have not created the jinn and the men except that they should serve Me/yaabuduni".

The root is Ain-B-D and it means slave or servant. Being a 'abd/slave of God is what each pious Muslim strives for and previous prophets all throughout the Hebrew Bible were refered to as God servants, including Moses or David. God Himself calls them

Jer29:19,2Kings17:13"My servants, the prophets". 

Any regular person who is pious and humble before God, considers himself a slave to the Almighty, and this notion isnt specific to Islam or the Quran, see the Hebrew Bible in 1Sam1:11,3:9-10,23:10,2Sam3:18,7:20. As the prophet king Solomon is reported to have stated in his last words with which he concludes his book of

Ecclesiastes12:13-14"Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole purpose of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil".

The whole purpose of man is therefore to remain in fear of God, His judgement, and keep His entire commands which obviously is synonimous with worshiping Him with awe. In fact a Jew who does not busy himself with Torah and the commandments or who does not believe in the divinity of the Torah is like one who destroys the world, because all things, including non-Jews, were created for and are subordinate to it. This is the higher reality according to the Talmudic rabbis. Jews, according to them, are therefore the only nation destined to fulfill the goal of creation. And the entire universe is maintained solely so that Israel might fulfill its existential purpose Gen. R. 1.4.


As to the Quran, the word aAABUDA, the form of ain-b-d used in 51:56, is the action of making oneself slave. Conceptually, the term of "making oneself a slave" suggests becoming a slave voluntarily to an entity. That is the term used for worship since to make oneself a slave of an entity, voluntarily, is through love of that entity and through being in awe of that entity. That reality is captured in the opening sura, sura fatiha which expresses the believer's yearning to making himself God's slave. God's relationship with His slave isnt that of a cruel master, but that of a compassionate, forgiving, sustaining, and merciful one 39:53. He is al rahman and al rahim, as stated in sura fatiha where the person seeks servitude of the rahman and rahim, 2 words comprehensively containing all aspects of caring and goodness. 
 
Ibada isnt simply the performance of religious rituals, or merely "worship". It denotes an unceasing mindframe in every deed 6:162"Say. Surely my prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord of the worlds". In 22:77 the ritual acts of ‘bowing’ and ‘prostration’ are mentioned beside the word a‘budu/worship, showing that the word encompasses a larger scope than the ritual, worshiping aspect. Ibada is basically a way of life, the acceptance that in our relationship with God, we are the lowest and He is the Highest. The Quran instructs mankind to manifest this ibada in 2 ways, servitude to God through ritual worship, and servitude to the humans through acts of empathy and compassion, as God commands us to do
"And that you should keep up prayer and be careful of (your duty to) Him".

The Quran delves at great lengths upon the concept that worship of God is tied to goodness towards fellow men, placing it in some cases, as of equal importance to ritual worship. So important it is in fact that when defining Himself as the rahman/the most merciful, Allah places that characteristic as being the chief evidence by which His humble servants are recognizable in this world 25:60-77. Ibada is thus not merely ritual worship, but rather something that covers it, as well as other intricacies. God addresses Moses in a way that reflects that notion. As he was about to be imparted with divine wisdom, prophecy, miracles, Moses is told

20:14"Surely I am Allah, there is no god but I, therefore aAAbudni/enslave yourself to me, and keep up prayer for My remembrance.."

Again, we see that ibada is made distinct from worship.
Ibada is such a high level of God-awareness, submissiveness and humility that it must be exclusively aimed at Allah, the true Sustainer to whom one owes everything or it will lead to destruction. On the day of judgement those who submitted to anything other than Allah, selling their intellect and spirituality to evil entities will be told

36:60"Did I not charge you, O children of Adam ! that you should not serve ('ibadah) the Shaitan? Surely he is your open enemy. And that you should serve ('ibadah) Me; this is the right way".

By now, it has been made clear, "worship" doesnt capture the entire dimension of the word. Making oneself a slave is a timeless and unlimited condition, while worship is restricted in time. Finally, in order to further understand the intensity of the relation between Allah and a willful servant of His, the verb aliha coming from ilah is the term used to describe the most intense level of love for an entity.

 
Although God could forcefully make one achieve that goal of creation, by for instance erasing all reasons for the spiritual dissensions among the humans 42:8, He has decreed in accordance with divine justice, moral accountability, and the overarching principle of no compulsion in religion 2:256,18:29 that we must maintain and nurture our own inner selves through tazkiya 87:14,91:7-10. The word stems from z-k-w, used concretely for a plant that matures well and bears fruit. It is metaphorically used for all religious directives, particularily charity/zakat, as they help one to grow spiritualy and bear fruit in the hereafter. Tazkiya is a process ultimately beneficial for one'self 35:18, manifesting itself in the above spoken notion of servitude to God. There is a reason the Quran constantly lays stress on God's transcendental oneness and uniqueness; the acceptance of that concept frees man from all sense of dependence on other influences and powers, and thus elevates him spiritually and brings about that tazkiya/purification, for Allah alone is the way to achieve that goal 4:49.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members

I'm really sorry for the late reply.

First things first, I really like the concept of Viceregency, but again there is a major problem here, I simply don't want it, nor do I want to exist and given the choice I would simply choose non existence instead of having to labor through life to get to a hypothetical after-life.

As for the Quran repetitiveness, it is quite clear for someone who might read the Quran in one go, the way a lot of stories are repeated (sometimes verbatim or using the similar words) causing a Deja-vu.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
8 hours ago, Nad_M said:

1- How does a non-existent entity make a choice

2- Can labor be pleasant, even beneficial regardless of presence or absence of an afterlife

1- This implies that I had absolutely no choice in my creation and thus I have no free will to speak of, especially since Islam prohibits suicide.

2- Yes it can be. I would point you toward the Stoics such as Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who laboured as a very virtuous man, even though he could've fallen to debauchery (which was rather easy for him since he was the most powerful man of his time) like many emperors before and after him. Epictetus is another example of a man who was enslaved and abused in his youth, yet having no bitterness of the entire ordeal and living a simple life as a teacher, leaving nothing but an empty room.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Moderators
1 hour ago, pisceswolf96 said:

1- This implies that I had absolutely no choice in my creation and thus I have no free will to speak of, especially since Islam prohibits suicide.

2- Yes it can be. I would point you toward the Stoics such as Emperor Marcus Aurelius, who laboured as a very virtuous man, even though he could've fallen to debauchery (which was rather easy for him since he was the most powerful man of his time) like many emperors before and after him. Epictetus is another example of a man who was enslaved and abused in his youth, yet having no bitterness of the entire ordeal and living a simple life as a teacher, leaving nothing but an empty room.

The fact that you have free will and obey Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى), God(s.w.a) despite the fact that you have the ability to disobey Him is one of the purposes of your (and everyone elses creation). Unlike the Stoic philosophy, Islam differs on the point of belief. In Islam, work without faith, and also faith without work is incomplete and of little value. That is why the phrase 'Amanu wa Amilu Salihat' faith and good works is so often repeated in the Quran when it comes to those who are fulfilling the purpose of creation. You first need to recognize that you are, in fact, a slave to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى). Your entire existence in this world is dependent and contingent on the mercy of God. If this mercy were cut off from you for even a portion of a second, you would cease to exist. If you look at every part of your existence, from the bonds that keep the atoms of your body together, to the physiological processes that are occurring in your body every second, respiration, digestion, neural activity, were these processes to stop or go haywire even for a very short period of time, your life would end. You have no conscious control over these nor are you even aware of them in your daily life, yet they sustain you. Then look at the relationships you have with your family, with other. These relationships are just as important. How did you come across these people ? What happened in their mind and in their heart that they inclined toward having a relationship with you, and this relationship helped you to fulfill your needs. Was it totally your own behavior or other factors which you don't control ? 

When you start to think about all the billions and trillions of things that have to happen simultaneously and flawlessly in order for you to exist as you, then you will come to realize that there is a greater force outside of yourself that is helping you along the way to realize the objective of your existence. This is the belief in God. That is the Amanu (believe). Amilu Salihat (good works) are the good deeds that are guided by that belief. Once you do both of those things, you not only make the world a better place, but you also fulfill the purpose of your creation, and give yourself safety from the myriad of forces in the world that are working against God's plan (i.e. to take you out of this world with a pure soul and bring you into Paradise in the next world). 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
3 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

Unlike the Stoic philosophy, Islam differs on the point of belief. In Islam

This is incorrect. While the God of the Stoics is rather a complex issue, since not all the Stoics believed in the same God (They were either Pantheists, Panentheists, or Polytheists). However, I don't recall any Stoic being an atheist. The most common belief is Pantheism, which states that the Universe is God, and that the Universe is logical, and going against its order (Logos) means that we hurt ourselves and those around us. This is why we need to act virtuously.

3 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

Your entire existence in this world is dependent and contingent on the mercy of God

 

Again I don't disagree with that. However this doesn't gives any purpose for my existence.

3 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

When you start to think about all the billions and trillions of things that have to happen simultaneously and flawlessly in order for you to exist as you, then you will come to realize that there is a greater force outside of yourself that is helping you along the way to realize the objective of your existence

That is what the Stoics call Logos. A greater power that weaves the destiny of humanity together.

 

3 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

work without faith, and also faith without work is incomplete and of little value

Again there is no disagreement here at all, the only difference is that the Stoics act virtuously without the need to be convinced that there is a Jahanam waiting for them, nor any virgins, young boys, or anything of that sort.

 

3 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

If this mercy were cut off from you for even a portion of a second, you would cease to exist

That would be amazing to be honest :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
On 9/19/2020 at 9:47 AM, pisceswolf96 said:

1- This implies that I had absolutely no choice in my creation and thus I have no free will to speak of, especially since Islam prohibits suicide.

That's not answering the question. How does one undo one's existence?

 

On 9/19/2020 at 9:47 AM, pisceswolf96 said:

2- Yes it can be.

Then what is your contention with the spiritual labor of a believer, which he finds pleasant and fulfilling, and which in addition results in reward.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
On 9/19/2020 at 3:18 PM, pisceswolf96 said:

Again there is no disagreement here at all, the only difference is that the Stoics act virtuously without the need to be convinced that there is a Jahanam waiting for them, nor any virgins, young boys, or anything of that sort.

Putting aside that flawed description of what drives a Muslim to act virtuously, from a philosophical viewpoint, it is humanly impossible to perform a purely, ethically altruistic action because of the very existence of a motivation for the altruistic act. It is the difference between mercy/generosity coming from God, of which He has nothing to gain and human generosity. The person helping concludes that his/her help will make someone better off than before. And it is this knowledge which makes absolute selflessness impossible, because this knowledge is in itself a utility gain to the helper. The gain may be a concrete sense of goodwill, or just the simple knowledge that they have helped someone. Therefore, all acts of generosity have some degree of self-interest attached to them, the difference between a believer in God and an atheist being that the former, in addition to the satisfaction of knowing that a fellow human is in better condition, there is the feeling of having fulfilled his duty towards his Creator.

Heaven can be likened to a relationship with God. Each person's corresponding share in it is directly related to the amount and measure of connection that was created and developed in this life. This is the reason for God creating this world imperfect. It is up to the humans to perfect it by making use of it God-consciously and progressively building a relation with the Creator. Had God made a perfect world and beamed us down to enjoy it, He wouldnt be more than parasites. By leaving some things incomplete and instructing us to fill them in, He promotes us to a full partnership in His creative work. People who did not develop a relationship or developed one with something else, they have no share in this afterlife for they had no intention of meriting Allah's approbation in their deeds and expected no compensation in the Hereafter. When the Quran speaks of the people's final destination in the Hereafter, it adjoins "righteousness" to "faith" as a prerequisite for entering Heaven 20:75,64:9 while no mention has been made of the "evil acts" of the future dwellers of Hell, only their "disbelief". This subtelty indicates that disbelief by itself is enough to determine a person's situation in the hereafter, whether that disbelief is accompanied by the evil act or not 30:15-16. 
A believer is one who has cleft the limits of the visible world of 'materiality' by accepting the existence of another one perceivable only through reasonable and spiritual deduction. By doing so, he has created a connection between himself and the realm of an extraordinary, bigger, and greater world.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
19 hours ago, Shahrukh K said:

What is the answer of this question in stoicism ?

To live in accordance with nature, which means living virtuously (Virtuous in the Greek means excellence of character). This simply means doing our duty to keep the Logos going, if we can't find a way out, or don't want to live anymore then suicide is acceptable.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
17 hours ago, Nad_M said:

That's not answering the question. How does one undo one's existence?

 

After observing the uselessness of life, wouldn't be merciful for God to end someone's existence after that entity requested from God to undo his existence, I didn't choose to exist.

 

17 hours ago, Nad_M said:

Then what is your contention with the spiritual labor of a believer, which he finds pleasant and fulfilling, and which in addition results in reward.

 

I have no problem, on the contrary, I suggest that we can act Virtuously (in the Greek sense of the word) regardless of the existence of a Deity or an afterlife. If you can agree with me then you're disagreeing with the Abrahamic religions

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
17 hours ago, Nad_M said:

Putting aside that flawed description of what drives a Muslim to act virtuously

Would you act virtuously if there was no afterlife?

17 hours ago, Nad_M said:

from a philosophical viewpoint, it is humanly impossible to perform a purely, ethically altruistic action because of the very existence of a motivation for the altruistic act

I, just like the Stoics, am in total agreement with you.

 

17 hours ago, Nad_M said:

there is the feeling of having fulfilled his duty towards his Creator

The Stoics share the same sentiment with ypu.

17 hours ago, Nad_M said:

This is the reason for God creating this world imperfect. It is up to the humans to perfect it by making use of it God-consciously and progressively building a relation with the Creator

Humans can never perfect anything, and this is by design, if we reach perfection as humans then there is no goal for us to follow anymore.

 

17 hours ago, Nad_M said:

A believer is one who has cleft the limits of the visible world of 'materiality' by accepting the existence of another one perceivable only through reasonable and spiritual deduction. By doing so, he has created a connection between himself and the realm of an extraordinary, bigger, and greater world.

I agree with that, again we are by design limited by what was given to us. However, you didn't give a reason for the purpose of our creation. You make it sound as if God is a sort of dictator that has chosen that we go through life whether we like or not, promising hell for those who fail to comply with his convoluted and confusing, often time obscure teachings; and heaven for those who do.

Imagine with me being forced to take an exam in something you didn't sign for nor even wanted, you aren't really interested in the reward, but rather afraid of the punishment, preparing for the obligatory exam won't be fun wouldn't it?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
5 hours ago, pisceswolf96 said:

To live in accordance with nature, which means living virtuously (Virtuous in the Greek means excellence of character). This simply means doing our duty to keep the Logos going, if we can't find a way out, or don't want to live anymore then suicide is acceptable.

So according to stoicism you cease to exist when you die means you are only this body ?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
On 9/12/2020 at 3:30 PM, pisceswolf96 said:

Hello everyone, I've been reading the Quran for the past 12 days, and I was reminded why I hated it while reading it 10 years ago. Its repetitiveness is a serious putoff.

Anyway, I had a serious question looming for a few days, about the purpose of Man's creation, and I couldn't find really convincing answers.

Most answers are in the form of we were created to worship God or achieve our own perfection, but given that God is not in need of worship nor do I want to be created (or even desire heaven), what's the purpose of my existence, and can I request non-existence from God instead of living or even going into heaven? 

I exist because of the thought that "i am the body" and my body is consist of only desires and fears. If i want to become non existent than i have to go beyond my desire and fear to realize that "i am not the body" or in other words "Not the body, but i am".

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member

@pisceswolf96

The seeker is he who is in search of himself.
Give up all questions except one: Who am I?‟ After all, the only fact you are sure of is 
that you are. The "I am"‟ is certain. The "I am this"‟ is not. Struggle to find out what you 
are in reality.
To know what you are, you must first investigate and know what you are not.
Discover all that you are not -- body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that --
nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of 
perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive.
The clearer you understand on the level of mind you can be described in negative 
terms only, the quicker will you come to the end of your search and realise that you are 
the limitless being.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
8 hours ago, Shahrukh K said:

So according to stoicism you cease to exist when you die means you are only this body ?

They were materialist, my short answer would be yes. They, however, believed in the existence of a soul made from the essence called pneuma, the majority of the Stoics believed that this essence will disintegrate shortly after death, Cleanthes however. believed that souls could survive until the collapse of the universe.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
7 hours ago, Shahrukh K said:

you are 
the limitless being

You're joking. right? I thought only God can be limitless, this is simply Kifr. I don't agree at all.

 

We are limited by our body's capacity to do and think, our lives are always cut short and the physical world imposes its rules upon us.

 

Why can't anybody give me a simple answer to such a fundamental question without being poetic and obscuring everything in the process?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Advanced Member
21 hours ago, pisceswolf96 said:

I agree with that, again we are by design limited by what was given to us. However, you didn't give a reason for the purpose of our creation. You make it sound as if God is a sort of dictator that has chosen that we go through life whether we like or not, promising hell for those who fail to comply with his convoluted and confusing, often time obscure teachings; and heaven for those who do.

Imagine with me being forced to take an exam in something you didn't sign for nor even wanted, you aren't really interested in the reward, but rather afraid of the punishment, preparing for the obligatory exam won't be fun wouldn't it?

With regards to what is said here, it is not Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) who throws peoples into hell. It is in fact, the people who throw themselves into fire. No one is compelled to do anything, we have freewill because if Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) forced us to commit evil and throw us in hell for something we were forced to do, the result is not just. Every person has the choice to do what they want, and if they don't follow God's laws, there is no one to blame but themselves. We can't even blame the shaitaan. Here you might say, I was compelled to live, or I wasn't given the option to choose non-existence. God created us out of his infinite mercy.

Is there a reason why you just don't want to exist, if there's anything you want to talk about, we're here to help.

When it comes to people requesting for non-existence, we were made to live on, to be eternal in a sense, live this life and move onto the after life which is eternal. Not a soul is going to be destroyed, if we are going to live on, there is no point trying to fight against. God is telling you you're going to live forever, might as well just accept and at least have a good hereafter as opposed to a bad one. People are going to enjoy being in heaven and so you would want to eternally remain there and never leave.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Basic Members
37 minutes ago, ShiaofAli12 said:

Is there a reason why you just don't want to exist, if there's anything you want to talk about, we're here to help.

 

I hope I'm not giving depression vibes, but I don't really see a point in our existence and seeking non-existence would be the greatest proof of our so called free-will. If we can't exercise our freewill to diminish our own existence and our soul, then all other claims of freewill are NULL!

 

Life looks like an extremely cruel thing to go through without creating any thing of benefit to its creator, not our prayers nor our deeds, what's the point of our existence then? I fully understand the need for rewards or punishment to encourage someone to act on something(the reason for existence) yet nobody is giving me a satisfactory answer.

 

43 minutes ago, ShiaofAli12 said:

When it comes to people requesting for non-existence, we were made to live on, to be eternal in a sense, live this life and move onto the after life which is eternal. Not a soul is going to be destroyed, if we are going to live on, there is no point trying to fight against. God is telling you you're going to live forever, might as well just accept and at least have a good hereafter as opposed to a bad one. People are going to enjoy being in heaven and so you would want to eternally remain there and never leave.

Quite dictatorial and void of freewill if you ask me. And if I follow this path I would be spending my days in absolute hatred of such creator, and again I need to reiterate this yet again I don't want or desire heaven at all, even if this means laboring through life to avoid hell, does God provide an options to simply cease to exist given that we have free will?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...