“Did you honestly think that We had created you for play, and without any purpose, and that you would not be brought back to Us?”
Why has God created us? Why are we here? What is our purpose in life?
The answer is very simple – in Islam God has created us to test us to see if we are willing to look beyond what is directly in front of us and to recognise Him as the Creator of everything.
Take the example of the current President of the United States. Hypothetically speaking, some may argue that he is the most powerful man on Earth. Yet, imagine if tomorrow, all of the human race and animals were to suddenly disappear and all that was left on this Earth was only the President – even though, he may be the most powerful man on Earth, there would be no one left to recognise or appreciate his status.
In Islam, God created us for a similar purpose; our purpose is to recognise Him and His status as our Creator and Sustainer. This is why God states in the Quran:
“I did not create the heavens, the earth and all that is between them without a purpose! That is what the disbelievers think.” (Quran 38:27)
“And I did not Create the jinn and humans except that they should worship Me (alone).” (Quran 51:56)
God created us for the purpose of recognising Him and for examining us to see who would be obedient in worshiping Him:
“We created not the heavens and the earth and all that is between them except with truth (i.e. to test and distinguish between those who are obedient and disobedient), and for an appointed term. But those who disbelieve turn away from that which they are warned.” (Quran 46:1-3)
So what about those who turn away from God?
God explains that He turns away from those who turn away from Him:
“And We certainly sent to every nation a messenger, (saying), “Worship Allah (God alone) and avoid falsehood.” And among them were those whom Allah (God) guided, and among them were those upon whom were deservedly sent astray. So travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who denied.” (Quran 16:36)
The phrase “deservedly sent astray” confirms that guidance is primarily in the hands of God.
However, God sends astray those who deliberately turn away from His signs and choose to either live in ignorance or to deliberately reject His message.
They make no attempt to seek His guidance and are content with the pleasures of this world, and hence choose the path of error. This is why God states in the Quran:
“I will turn away from My signs those who are wrongly arrogant on earth. Even if they see all the signs they will not believe in them. They will not take the right way if they see it, but if they see the wrong way they will take it because they have rejected My signs by ignoring them.” (Quran 7:146)
And thus, as a result God states:
“They have forgotten Allah; so He has forgotten them.” (Quran 9:67)
As humans, we look for rational explanations in life; God has provided us with a rational answer to why God created us and everything around us, and why some people go astray.
Yet, having created us, it is only fair, that rather than blindly placing us on this Earth, He sends guides to help teach us and to remind us of why we’re here.
In Islam, God has done this by sending “to every nation a messenger” (Quran 16:36). These are the prophets (PBUT).