• Maria Khan

The Creation Plan of God. Surah al-Baqarah

Updated: May 29, 2020

The Creation Plan of God. Surah al-Baqarah

“When your Lord said to the angels, ‘I am putting a successor on earth,’ they said, ‘Will You place someone there who will cause corruption on it and shed blood, while we glorify You with Your praise and extol Your holiness?’ [God] answered, ‘Surely, I know that which you do not know.’” (2:30)

This is one of the most important passages in the Quran. It explains the purpose of existence or the creation plan of God. People often seek a coherent explanation of why at all human beings have been settled on the planet earth. Some consider it a random chance event, while others think we are here only to lead this one life and that is the end of us.

The explanation given by Islam is that the world is not a chance occurrence nor are we to lead our lives thoughtlessly away assuming there is nothing beyond. Rather the desire for eternity exists deep within our souls and each one of us seeks an explanation for why this world and what after death.

According to the above verse of the Quran, when God crated man and invested him with free will, the angels expressed doubts. Since no creature in the universe has been given freedom, they questioned God and said that man might cause corruption and spread bloodshed.

God’s response to this was profound: “I know what you do not know.” The meaning is that God has created human beings and bestowed on them complete freedom. They have the power to make proper use of this freedom or misuse this freedom. Here, those men and women are being selected who make good use of their freedom. They will inhabit the eternal noble abode of Paradise.

This is indeed a very meaningful explanation of the purpose of existence. What is the meaning of proper us of freedom? First of all, we have to use our freedom for the discovery of God. This is no simple matter. Often people ask for rational, scientific proof for God’s existence. This is the initial stage or the beginning. We may prove God logically. The physicist Brian Greene says that the universe is ‘mathematically elegant’. This cannot be a chance event, pointing to an intelligent planner. But that is not the end. What discovery of God really means is to discover God as a Being who has bestowed one with innumerable blessings and sustains us through life in this world in remarkably exceptional ways. He has not created us and abandoned us, He provides for us, guides us and prevents us from being deviated, forgives us. Thinking this way one develops a relationship of love with God. One begins to have strong affection for God Almighty. One begins to have his hopes and aspirations linked to God. One looks at things from God’s perspective. Everything that results from this discovery has its profound effects on a human being in terms of his thought, action and deed.

The example of the Prophet is illuminating in this regard. The Prophet had discovered God as the highest being. This indeed is no simple matter. This realization made the Prophet’s life an epitome of humility and piety. As head of state, the Prophet was deeply venerated by his Companions. They defended him when attacked and deeply respected by them – still the Prophet remained very modest. One who has discovered God as the highest reality is subsumed in thoughts of God. At no point he will allow himself to do anything contrary to God.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has appeared in several debates with atheists. He says that atheists critique a God who is on high and has created the world and is now a mute spectator. This is not the God of the scriptures. The Quran portrays God as dynamic and fully active, every moment. A person receives inspiration from God, he feels comfort and peace in communicating with God and derives solace from nearness to God. He whispers to God. He forgets people’s bad behaviour for God’s sake. His personality is moulded by belief in God. Such is belief in God. It transforms the entire character and thinking of a human being.

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