What is the purpose of creating mankind?
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful. All Praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all that exists. And I invoke Allah to have His Salaah and Salaam upon our Prophet Muhammad, the believers from his family, and all of his companions. It proceeds then:
Before I answer this question, I would like to point to a general foundation regarding what Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, Creates and Legislates. This foundation is derived from His, the Blessed and Exalted, Saying:
( وَهُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ) التحريم: 2
Only He [Allaah] is The All-Knowing, The All-Wise. [Qur’aan, soorat at-Tahreem (66): 2].
And His Saying:
( إِنَّ اللَّهَ كَانَ عَلِيماً حَكِيماً) (الأحزاب: 1)
Verily, Allaah is Ever All-Knower, All-Wise [Qur’aan, soorat al-Ahzaab (33): 1],
As well as many other Aayaat that prove the affirmation of Hikmah (Perfect Wisdom) to Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, as regard to what He Creates and Legislates i.e. with respect to both, His Kawniyyah and Shar’iyyah Decrees. In fact, there is nothing which Allaah Creates except with wisdom, whether this is in the bringing of its existence or in making it nonexisting. There is nothing that Allaah, the One free of all imperfection and the Most High, ordains but with wisdom, whether this is in the rendering of it to be obligatory, forbidden, or permissible.
However, these qualities of wisdom, comprised in Allaah’s legislative and universal Decrees, may be known or unknown to us, and it may be known to some people but not to others, depending on the degree of knowledge and understanding which Allaah bestows upon them. Once this is decided, then we say that indeed Allaah has Created the Jinn and mankind for a great wisdom and a noble objective, and that is the worship of Him, the Most Blessed and Most High, as He (سبحانه وتعالى ) Said:
(وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنْسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ) (الذاريات:56
And I did not create the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me.
[Qur’aan, soorat ath-Thaariyaat (51): 56].
And He, the Most High, Said:
(أَفَحَسِبْتُمْ أَنَّمَا خَلَقْنَاكُمْ عَبَثاً وَأَنَّكُمْ إِلَيْنَا لا تُرْجَعُونَ) (المؤمنون:115)
Did you think that We created you in play and (for no purpose) and that you would not be brought back to Us? (for requital?)
[Qur’aan, soorat al-Mu’minoon (23): 115].
(أَيَحْسَبُ الْإنْسَانُ أَنْ يُتْرَكَ سُدىً) (القيامة:36)
Does man think that He will be left neglected? [Without being punished or rewarded for the obligatory duties enjoined by his Rabb on him.
[Qur’aan, soorat al-Qiyamah (75): 36]
And many other Aayaat that point out that Allaah, the Exalted, has the most profound Wisdom in the Creation of the Jinn and mankind, and it is the worship of Him alone.
And al-’Ibaadah (worship) is humiliating oneself to Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic, with love and awe by doing that which He has ordered and avoiding that which He has forbidden, in the manner prescribed by the Sharee’ah. Allaah,
The Most High, Said:
(وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ )(البينة: 5)
And they were commanded not, but that they should worship Allaah, and worship none but Him Alone (abstaining from ascribing partners to Him).
[Qur’aan, soorat al- Bayyinah (98): 5].
This is indeed the wisdom in the creation of the Jinn and mankind. Accordingly, whoever rebels against His Rabb and disdains to worship Him then, in fact, he is abandoning this Wisdom for which Allaah has Created the ‘Ibaad. His act testifies that Allaah (سبحانه وتعالى ), Created the creation aimlessly and without any purpose. Even though he may not declare this openly, nevertheless, this is necessitated by his rejection and rebellion against obeying his Rabb.