The Purpose of Jinn’s and Mankind’s creation

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Q. Please interpret for me the verse “I have not created man and jinn except that they may worship ME”. Does it mean that we are here only to worship ALLAH TALAH and do nothing else, or does it mean we should not commit shirk by worshiping other than ALLAH. Please make me understand this verse, I am in a dilemma.



A. The following is an explaination on this verse, given by the great scholar of the Holy Quran Mufti Muhammad Shafi:-

It states,

The Purpose of Jinn’s and Mankind’s creation

(And I did not create the Jinns and the human beings except that they should worship Me” …… 51:56). This apparently may raise two questions: [1] If Allah has created a creature for a particular task, and it is His will that it should perform that task rationally it is impossible for it to deviate from that task, because doing anything contrary to the will of Allah is inconceivable. [211 The purpose of jinn’s and man’s creation has been restricted to the worship of Allah whereas there are many other underlying reasons and benefits in their creation.

Scholars have made different approaches to solve these problems. Some say that this verse pertains to the believer only, that is, only believing jinn and believing mankind are created for worship and for no other task. It is obvious that the believers are more or less steadfast to worship. This is the view of Dahhak, Sufyan Thawri and others, According to one version of Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas , the word mu’minin does occur in the verse thus: ‘And 1 have not created the believing jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me’. This version supports the view that the verse is only in connection with the believers.

Another answer to the question, given by Moulana Ashraf’Ali Thanawi (RA) is that: Allah has commanded all to worship, but at the same time He has equipped them with free will. Some of them exercised their God-given free will correctly and chose to worship Him, but others used their God-given free will incorrectly and deviated from worshipping Him. This is what Sayyidna ‘Ali has said, as quoted by. Baghawi Tafsir Mazhari gives a plain and simple explication of this verse: Allah has equipped every jinn and man with the innate capacity to worship. Some use the capacity rightly and succeed, while others employ it wrongly in sinning and fulfilling their base emotions, and thus destroy it. The Messenger is reported to have said:

“Every child is born according to the fitrah but his parents [cause him to deviate from the unadulterated propensity] and turn him into a Jew or a Christian or a Magician.’

According to the majority of the scholars, fitrah here refers to the religion of Islam. Just as this Tradition tells us that every man is born with the natural capacity for Islam and true faith, but his parents adulterate and destroy that capacity, and put him on to the ways of disbelief, in the same way the phrase ‘except that they should worship Me’ could mean that every member of jinn and mankind has the natural, inborn capacity to worship. Allah, the Pure and Exalted, knows best. (Ma’ariful Quran vol.8pgs.186-187)

And Allah knows best.

Darul Ifta