I did not Create the Jinn and Mankind Except to Worship Me: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Near the end of surah al-Dhaariyaat, Allah says:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ * مَا أُرِيدُ مِنْهُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَن يُطْعِمُونِ * إِنَّ اللَّـهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me * I do not desire provision from them, nor do I want them to feed me * It is Allah who is the continual provider, the firm possessor of strength. [51-56-58]

Commenting on this in his well-known tafsir, sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

هذه الغاية التي خلق الله الجن والإنس لها، وبعث جميع الرسل يدعون إليها، وهي عبادته، المتضمنة لمعرفته ومحبته، والإنابة إليه والإقبال عليه، والإعراض عما سواه ـ

This is the purpose for which Allah created the Jinn and mankind, and all of the Messengers were sent to call to this: that is, the worship of Allah. Worship of Allah involves knowing Him, loving Him, turning to Him in repentance, dedicating oneself to Him, and turning away from the worship of any others.

وذلك يتضمن معرفة الله تعالى، فإن تمام العبادة متوقف على المعرفة بالله، بل كلما ازداد العبد معرفة بربه، كانت عبادته أكمل، فهذا الذي خلق الله المكلفين لأجله، فما خلقهم لحاجة منه إليهم. ـ

This involves knowing Allah, as complete worship is dependent upon knowing Allah. In fact, the more that a person increases in knowing His Lord, the more complete his worship will be. So it is for this purpose that Allah created these two legally-responsible beings [i.e. Jinn and mankind]; He did not created them out of any need for them. Continue reading

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The purpose of Allah’s creation: Imam al-Shinqitee

Allah informs us of a very important matter in surah al-dhaariyaat when He says:

وَمَا خَلَقْتُ الْجِنَّ وَالْإِنسَ إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُونِ

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.
[al-Qur’an 51:56]
In part of his commentary on this ayah, Imam al-Shinqitee wrote the following lucid clarification:
 قال مقيده عفا الله عنه وغفر له : التحقيق – إن شاء الله – في معنى هذه الآية الكريمة إلا ليعبدون ، أي إلا لآمرهم بعبادتي وأبتليهم أي أختبرهم بالتكاليف ، ثم أجازيهم على أعمالهم ، إن خيرا فخير وإن شرا فشر ، وإنما قلنا إن هذا هو التحقيق في معنى الآية ، لأنه تدل عليه آيات محكمات من كتاب الله ، فقد صرح تعالى في آيات من كتابه أنه خلقهم ليبتليهم أيهم أحسن عملا ، وأنه خلقهم ليجزيهم بأعمالهم . ـ
The writer [i.e. Sheikh Shinqitee] – may Allah pardon and forgive him – says: The true meaning – inshaAllaah – of this noble ayahexcept to worship me” i.e. except that I may command them with My worship and test them, meaning examine them with burdens, and then recompense them according to their deeds; if they are good then good [will be their reward] and if they are bad then bad [will be their reward]. And we only say that this is the true meaning of this ayah because it is supported by the definitive ayaat of the Book of Allah, so He has made it clear in the ayaat of His Book that He created them in order to test which of them is best in deed, and that He created them in order to reward them according to their actions. Continue reading