Divine Purpose

Divine Purpose
By Syed Nadeem Ahmed Jafri

This article explains that Allah SWT created everything with a purpose, the purpose being to worship Him. It also talks about how the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) are the medium through which our prayers will reach Allah, that by ignoring them and their rights, bestowed on them by Allah SWT. The objective of our life is to worship Allah SWT, but by forgetting the Ahlul Bayt (peace be upon them) we forget His Purpose.

*****

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

A tourist who wishes to go to a hill station to spend his holidays after reaching his destination is happy to be there. His purpose is fulfilled and hence he enjoys every moment he spends there. In contrast if a business manager is taken forcibly to a beautiful tourist destination which offers every luxury which he seeks, may not enjoy anything since he is worried about a missed business opportunity. His purpose is not solved and hence he considers the time spent there as a waste.

We walk in the morning to burn calories. We go to office to do some work to earn our livelihood. Every action of ours is based on a specific purpose and thus a well-defined purpose gives meaning to our lives.

With commitment to purpose comes honour and recognition. Don’t we often read in the news papers that a certain person was conferred with ‘Padmashri’ or a similar award for his consistent outstanding contribution in his specific field.

In the light of above explanation it seems appropriate to say that when Allah(SWT) created this planet and the universe He may have created this based on a specific Purpose. And it is important for us to try to identify His Purpose so that we can make our lives meaningful and do not waste it while we are alive. And if we remain committed to His Purpose we are entitled to be honoured and rewarded accordingly.

As Allah(SWT) says in the following verse in Holy Quran that:

وَمَاخَلَقْتُالْجِنَّوَالْإِنْسَإِلَّالِيَعْبُدُونِ

“I have not created the jinns and men but to worship Me (51:56)

Allah (SWT) created mankind and Jinns so that He is worshipped by them. So if we worship Allah (SWT) the way He wants us to worship Him, we would fulfill the purpose of our creation.

The Prophets who came to earth with Allahs Message strived in this direction and hence Allah (SWT) has appreciated their efforts in the following manner:

سَلَامٌعَلَىٰنُوحٍفِيالْعَالَمِينَإِنَّاكَذَٰلِكَنَجْزِيالْمُحْسِنِينَإِنَّهُمِنْعِبَادِنَاالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“Peace and salutation to Nooh among the nations. Thus do We surely reward the doers of good. Surely he was of Our believing servants.” (37:79-81)

سَلَامٌعَلَىٰإِبْرَاهِيمَكَذَٰلِكَنَجْزِيالْمُحْسِنِينَإِنَّهُمِنْعِبَادِنَاالْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“Peace be on Ibrahim. Thus do We reward the doers of good. Surely he was one of Our believing servants.”(37:109-111)

In the above ayahs Allah (SWT) is rewarding Nooh (A.S) and Ibrahim (A.S) for their good work which they had undertaken during their lifetime and sends His blessings on them.

In the light of above ayahs let us now see the following ayah:

سَلَامٌ عَلَىٰ إِلْ يَاسِينَ -وَتَرَكْنَا عَلَيْهِ فِي الْآخِرِينَ

(And We perpetuated to them (praise) among the later generations. Peace be unto the Aal-e-Yaseen.)” (37:129-130)

Allah (SWT) sends His salams on “Aal-e-Yaseen” appreciating their good deeds and He promises that their deeds would be perpetuated among the later generations.

Ibn-e-Abi Haatim and Ibn-e-Marduiya have quoted a tradition from the authority of Ibn-e-Abbas that Aal-e-Yaseen in the above ayah refers to Aal-e-Muhammad (SAW)1

Fakhruddin Razi has also quoted a similar tradition which says that Aal-e-Yaseen means Aal-e-Muhammad (SAW).

In Ma’ani Al-Akhbar there is a tradition from the authority of Imam Jafar-e-Sadiq (A.S) from his forefathers that Imam Ali (A.S) has said “Yaseen means the holy Prophet (SAW) and Aal-e-Yaseen are we Imams from his house hold.”

The holy Quran got completely revealed over the span of 23 years of the Prophethood of our beloved Prophet (pbuh). During the later years of his Prophet hood, from Aal-e-Yaseen (Aal-e-Muhammad (SAW) only Imam Hasan (A.S) and Imam Hussain (A.S) were there and that too in their childhood; the world had not witnessed their velour and martyrdom yet. Still in the above ayah Allah has praised them and sent His blessings with a promise to perpetuate their praise among the later generations. Here Allahs praise for them has preceded their actions. While in case of the ayahs referring to Nooh (A.S) and Ibrahim (A.S) Allahs praise has followed their actions.

The only explanation to this is that they had existed before the creation of this world and here Allah is referring to those actions of the Ahl-ul-bait which were done before their coming to thi searth. In order to understand this let us go back to the Quran and try to find out a proper evidence of our above inference.

We will start with the creation of Aadam (A.S) and his subsequent elevation as aKhalifa’ over all the angels. As Allah (SWT) says in the following ayahs:

وَعَلَّمَ آدَمَ الْأَسْمَاءَ كُلَّهَا ثُمَّ عَرَضَهُمْ عَلَى الْمَلَائِكَةِ فَقَالَ أَنْبِئُونِي بِأَسْمَاءِ هَٰؤُلَاءِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

“And He taught Adam all the names, then showed them to the angels, saying: Inform Me o fthe names of these, if you are truthful”. (2:31)

When the angels objected on Aadam (A.S)’s superiority over them Allah (SWT) taught Aadam (A.S) all the names; this knowledge of names gave him superiority above the angels since they were ignorant of these names. Then Allah (SWT) ordered Aadam (A.S) to disclose the names taught to him in the following manner:

قَالَ يَا آدَمُ أَنْبِئْهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا أَنْبَأَهُمْ بِأَسْمَائِهِمْ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ غَيْبَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَأَعْلَمُ مَا تُبْدُونَ وَمَا كُنْتُمْ تَكْتُمُونَ 

He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide.”(3:33)

In the above ayah after the names were disclosed by Aadam (A.S) to angels, Allah (SWT) reaffirmed His superiority to the angels saying that He had always told them that it is He who knew the secret of the heavens and the earth which they were unaware of. We can thus infer that the names disclosed by Aadam (A.S) to the angels were the part of this Divine Secret that Allah (SWT) had kept to Himself and not disclosed even to His angels including Iblees the Satan though they existed much before the creation of Aadam (A.S). All the angels are created by “Light while Aadam (A.S) was created by “Clay” yet he was made Khalifa’ above them by virtue of his knowledge of these names.

The authentic research work by great Islamic scholars have mentioned that the names which Allah (SWT) taught Aadam (A.S) were of Muhammad (SAW), Ali (A.S), Fatema (S.A), Hasan (A.S) and Hussain (A.S)2

Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) in his tafseer says that:

"When Allah Almighty created Aadam, he taught him the names of everything and presented them to the angels. He placed the five spirits (Panjetan Pak) of Muhammad, Ali, Fatima, Al- Hasan and Al-Hussein (pbut) in Aadam. Their lights brightened the horizons of the skies, Al- Hojob, the heavens, the Chair and the Throne. Allah Almighty ordered the angels to prostrate to Aadam in order to glorify him because he has been chosen to be the holder of these spirits whose lights had spread throughout the horizons. Thus, they all prostrated except Iblees (the Devil) who refused to be humbled to the glory of Allah's Greatness and to our (Ahl- ul-bait)s lights. All the angels were humbled to them (the lights), yet he stood with arrogance and refused to do so and because of his rejection and arrogance, he was one of the disbelievers.”3

 Thus before the creation of Aadam (A.S) the light of Panjetan Paak (A.S) existed. It was this knowledge which gave Aadam (A.S) superiority over all other creation of Allah (SWT) including angels. The ignorance of Iblees and his subsequent rejection of prostrating to Aadam (A.S) who was the carrier of the light of Panjetan Paak (A.S) made him a disbeliever.

Mir Seyyed Ali Hamdani Faqih Shafi'i in his Mawaddatu'l-Qurba, Mawadda VII, has recorded a report from third Caliph Uthman bin Affan who said that the Holy Prophet (SAW) said, "I and Ali were created from one light 4000 years before the creation of Aadam. When Allah created Aadam, He deposited that light into Aadam's loins. We remained as one light until we were separated in Abdu'l-Muttalib's loins. Then I was endowed with Prophethood and Ali with Vicegerency."

Many prominent Islamic scholars have recorded the similar hadith in their work.4

From the above references which we have gone through and the tafseer of Imam Hasan Askari (A.S) we can conclude that ‘Panjetan Paak’ were created 4000 years before the creation of Aadam (A.S). They were the first creation of Allah (SWT) and were His well-kept Divine Secret which got revealed with the birth of Aadam (A.S). So during this period of 4000 years between their creation and the creation of Aadam (A.S) what did these holy spirits do?

In Basar-e-Anwar Hazrat Salman (R.A) and Hazrat Abu Dharr (R.A) asked Imam Ali (A.S) about the true nature of his “Noor’ as a reply to their question he delivered the sermon which is called ‘Marefat-e-Nooraniyat. Let us see the excerpt from this sermon:

“Salmán! we are those Secrets’ of Allah (SWT) that will not remain hidden. We are His light that can never be extinguished, And we are His those ‘bounties’ which can never be matched. Among us, our first is Muhammad, our median is Muhammad, in fact, we are all Muhammad! He who recognised us in this manner, surely, attains Faith.

In the same sermon he further adds:

Salmán, and O Jandáb! Muhammad (SAW) and myself were the one-Noor’ that was voicing forth the divine eulogy (tasbee) before any other reality started to praise Him . We were the cause of illumination unto all creation. This ‘one-Noor’ was then divided by Allah into two portions, the Chosen "Mustafa" (SAW) and his Vicegerent, "Murtaza" (A.S), and made compulsory (vouchsafed) unto His creation. Allah (SWT), exalted be His Glory, said to each half, "Be Muhammad!", "Be 'Alí!" It is thus that the Prophet (SAW) had said: "I am from Alí and Alí is from Me. None can propogate Divine Message but Myself and Ali”.5

The above sermon confirms our inference that Panjetan Paak are the Divine Secrets of Allah (SWT) who praised Allahs Greatness, exalted Him and voiced forth the divine eulogy before any other creation. They were first to offer prayers to Allah (SWT) when even time and space were not created.

Today, when we pray to Allah (SWT), our eulogy is to seek His favours and fulfill our wishes. We ask for good health, livelihood, prosperity, children, better worldly life and salvation for hereafter from Him. And He fulfills most of our wishes. In our lives of 70-80 years we pray to Allah (SWT) in this manner and feel that we have been devout in our prayers throughout our lives and remembered Him every moment.

But when ‘Panjetan Paak prayed to Allah (SWT) they did not ask anything for themselves as Allah (SWT) had not created anything else. Hence their eulogy for Allah was pure without any materialistic expectations and personal desires. And they worshipped Him and exalted Him in this manner for 4000 years till Aadam (A.S) was created.

In the beginning of the article we had seen the ayah6 which says that Allah (SWT) created Men and Jinn to worship Him. Thus the right of Worshipping Him has been fulfilled by “Muhammad (SAW) wa Aale Muhammad” when they exalted and worshipped Allah (SWT) selflessly for 4000 years. Thus they fulfilled Allahs Purpose.

Again in the initial section we had seen the ayah7 where Allah sends his blessings and peace on Aal-e-Yaseen it is appropriate to infer that in this ayah Allah (SWT) is referring to their selfless commitment of worshipping Him and fulfilling His Purpose before the birth of Aadam (A.S) and hence He had sent His peace and blessings on them much before any other action which they did in this world. Not only this, Allah (SWT) has also exalted their position and praised their worshipping again in following manner:

فِي بُيُوتٍ أَذِنَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تُرْفَعَ وَيُذْكَرَ فِيهَا اسْمُهُ يُسَبِّحُ لَهُ فِيهَا بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالْآصَالِ

“(The Light is lit) in houses which Allah has permitted to be exalted and that His name may be remembered in them; there glorify Him therein in the mornings and the evenings”(24:36)

In the above ayah Allah (SWT) appreciates certain houses in which His name is remembered and glorified mornings and evenings. He has permitted them to be exalted.

Sala’bi has quoted Anas Ibn-e-Malik and Buraida, that when the holy Prophet (SAW) recited this verse, Abu Bakr stood up and asked pointing towards the house of Ali (A.S) and Fatema (A.S), whether that house was included in the houses referred to? The holy Prophet (SAW) replied saying Yes, and it is better than other houses that are referred.” 8

 In this world it is often observed that if we remain committed to whatever purpose assigned to us we are rewarded by the concerned authority and our efforts are recognized. So when the holy Prophet (SAW) and his holy Progeny (A.S) remained committed to Allah’s Purpose what reward did they get from the Almighty Allah?

After creating Aadam (A.S), Allah (SWT) spoke to him in the following manner:

“O Adam! Suppose if they (Muhammad (SAW) wa Aale Muhammad (SAW)) had not been there, I would neither have created you, nor would I have given the attire of creation to the Heavens, Hell, Skies and Earth.”9

Allah (SWT) created everything for the sake of Muhammad (SAW) and his holy Progeny (A.S). Had He not created them He would not have created anything. Thus all other creations of Allah (SWT) are the gift which He bestowed upon them.

We can further understand this in the light of Hadeeth-e-Kisa” (The event of blanket). This hadeeth is a tafseer of ayah-e-tatheer10 narrated by Jabir Ibn-e-Abdullah Ansari (R.A) from the authority of Lady Fatema (S.A), the beloved daughter of the holy Prophet (SAW). The excerpt of the hadeeth is as follows:

“Then the Lord, Almighty Allah said: O My Angels! O inmates of the Heavens! I created this solid firmament, well-stretched earth, well-lighted moon, shinning sun, rotating planets, rippling oceans, floating boats, and all other things for the sake and love of these five persons who are inside the cloak.

At this, the Arch angel Jibraeel (A.S) said: O Lord! Who are they inside the cloak?’

The Lord said: ‘They are Ahl-ul-Bait of the Prophet and the assets of the Prophethood. They are Fatema (S.A), her father, her husband and her two sons.’

It is for the love of the holy Prophet (SAW) and his holy Progeny (A.S) that Allah (SWT) had created everything. Their love is the Purpose of creating this planet, universe and all other creations of the Almighty Allah (SWT) and hence as a final message He instructed the holy Prophet (SAW) to inform the Ummah about this Divine Purpose i.e. the love of Ahl-ul-bait as a reward of his messengership in the following ayah:

قُلْ لَا أَسْأَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا إِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبَىٰ ۗ وَمَنْ يَقْتَرِفْ حَسَنَةً نَزِدْ لَهُ فِيهَا حُسْنًا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ شَكُورٌ

Say: I do not ask of you any reward for it but love for my near relatives (42:23)

The love of the relatives of the holy Prophet (SAW) is love for Fatima (S.A), Ali (A.S) and their children Hassan (A.S) and Hussain (A.S).11

So let us conclude the article that Allah (SWT) created Men and Jinn to worship Him. For 4000 years till the creation of Aadam (A.S) “Panjetan Paak worshipped and exalted Allah selflessly without anticipating any personal gain. Their pure devotion was so appreciated by Allah (SWT) that for the sake of their love and to reward them He created all other creations.

Thus now His Purpose of creating every other thing is for the love of Ahl-ul-bait and hence if we pray to Allah (SWT) and worship Him with love of Ahl-ul-bait in our hearts we are fulfilling the purpose of our creation.

In case we worship Allah (SWT) and remain indifferent with the love of Ahl-ul-bait we are forgetting His Purpose and our prayers might not be accepted.

  • 1. Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, vol 5, P286.
  • 2. Ref: Durr-e-Mansoor, Kanz-ul-Ammal,Yanabe-ul-Mawwadah, Riaz al Nuzra and Arjah al Mutalib.
  • 3. Ref: Tafsir Al-Imam Al-Askari p.219, Bihar Al-Anwar vol.26 p.326, Ta'weel Al- Ayat al-Zahira vol.1 p.44, Qasas Al-Anbiaa p.43 Lisan al-Mizan v. 3, p. 346.
  • 4. Ref: Sharh-e- Nahju'l-Balagha, vol.II, p.450 (printed in Egypt), Manaqib of Ibn Maghazili Shafi'i, Yanabi-ul- Mawwada, Manaqib of Khawarizmi.
  • 5. Ref: Nahjul Israr, P82, http://hubeali.com/khutbat/TheSermon RecognitionofNoor
  • 6. Surah-e-Adh Dhariyat, ayah 55.
  • 7. Surah-e-Saafat, ayah 129-130.
  • 8. Ref: Durr-e-Mansur, Vol 5, P 50.
  • 9. Ref: Ma’ani Al Akhbar, P 124, Hadeeth-e-Qudsi.
  • 10. Surah-e-Ahzab,33:33.
  • 11. Ref: Sa’labi, Suyuti, Baidhavi, Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmed ibn Hambal, Allama Zamkhashri Vol 3, P 68.
Category: