As I’ve mentioned before, God made available to man everything that is on this Earth. But that’s not all, this ‘service’ goes beyond the Earth we live in and everything that surrounds it. It goes beyond the physical (visible) realm, and reaches the skies (heavens) and beyond the skies (here I don’t mean the sky above us, but the skies as referred to in the Holy Qur’an), and includes the Angels, created by God in order to SERVE Man in his path to perfection. How they do that is not part of this discourse, but I will clarify the role the Angels play in our life in later posts. Creations’ service to man is clarified in the following verses:
أَلَمۡ تَرَوۡاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ سَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَأَسۡبَغَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ نِعَمَهُ ۥ ظَـٰهِرَةً۬ وَبَاطِنَةً۬ۗ وَمِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَن يُجَـٰدِلُ فِى ٱللَّهِ بِغَيۡرِ عِلۡمٍ۬ وَلَا هُدً۬ى وَلَا كِتَـٰبٍ۬ مُّنِيرٍ۬
‘See ye not how Allah hath made serviceable unto you whatsoever is in the skies and whatsoever is in the earth and hath loaded you with His favours both without and within? Yet of mankind is he who disputeth concerning Allah, without knowledge or guidance or a scripture giving light.’ (Luqman:20)
وَسَخَّرَ لَكُم مَّا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ جَمِيعً۬ا مِّنۡهُۚ إِنَّ فِى ذَٲلِكَ لَأَيَـٰتٍ۬ لِّقَوۡمٍ۬ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
‘And hath made of service unto you whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth; it is all from Him. Lo! herein verily are portents for a people who reflect.’ (Al Jathyeh:13)’
In this discourse I will deal with two concepts that are interlinked by the fundamental philosophy of Islam. This philosophy reveals the reason of our existence on this Earth, Man’s innate natures, Man’s relation to his environment (the visible and hidden), and the roles that the last of God’s Messengers, Muhammad, and his Infallible Progeny play in aiding Man in his quest to perfection.
I will split the topic into two sections; in each section I will deal with several sub-topics which I need to clarify to help us understand the bigger picture.
In the first section, I will begin with the reason for God’s wish to put a viceroy on this Earth. Within this section, I will also try to make clear the reason for Man’s creation in the first instance, and the relation of that to him as an EARTHLY being and not one of Light as in case of the Angels, or one of Fire in the case the Jinn, of which ‘Iblis’ is mentioned in the Qur’an as being the particular ‘Satan’ who deceived Adam and Eve (‘a); (a brief description of the concept of Jinn and Iblis can be found here). As I said before, I will try to explain the role the Angels play in our life. This role is countered by the creation of Iblis, the Jinn, who also plays a role in our life, which of course is a very important part of this discourse and I will try to clarify this here as well.
In the second section I will cover the concept of human perfection in Islam, or the perfect human, and the requirements to attain this goal. More on this later.