The deeds of man are divided into two categories. The first category consists of vain, futile, useless deeds which do not result in our reaching the perfection within our capacity. In other words, they do not bring us real happiness. The second includes wise, reasonable, honest deeds which bring about useful, advantageous results and lead us towards the perfection we deserve.
Therefore, our wise deeds are those which lead us towards the perfection we deserve. The question will arise regarding God's Wise deeds. Are God's Wise deeds also those which lead Him towards an ultimate perfection and His vain deeds those which do not lead Him towards it? The answer is negative, because He is Self-Sufficient. His deeds are those of Wisdom, Generosity and Mercy.
His deeds are not carried out to fulfil his needs or bring Him perfection and happiness, but to bring His creatures to the perfection they deserve. Attributing futile tasks to God, will mean that He creates a being without leading him to the possible perfection he deserves. That is why the meaning of wisdom regarding God is different from that pertaining to man.
Man's wisdom signifies following the right path towards human perfection, whereas God's Wisdom means the guidance of His creatures to their deserved perfection. In other words, God's Wisdom means the creation of things on the basis of directing them towards desired goals and deserved perfections.
Since for man, wisdom signifies accomplishment of the task for bringing him to his own perfection, there is no need for a real connection between his deeds and their intended consequences, i.e. it is not necessary for that deed to end naturally in that consequence and for that consequence to be considered as in perfection of the task. The consequence should necessarily result in perfection and benefit for mankind.
For example, a man makes objects from soil, wood, stone, metal, animal skin, wool and cotton etc. and uses them wisely. One makes chairs, houses, cars and clothing which are not considered perfection for wood, stone, bricks, plaster, steel or an assembly of metal parts. These materials do not move towards these forms and figures, but they provide comfort to man such as, sitting on a chair, living in a house, driving a car and wearing clothes.
These signify accomplishments for man or are at least beneficial tasks. On the contrary, there is a real natural relation between God's deeds and their consequence, that is, the goal and result of every task is the real perfection of that task itself. God leads His creation towards its own perfection. Therefore, we notice that each grain or seed moves towards its ultimate goal and perfection.
The problem discussed at this point is that the world and nature go through change and mutation, that is, each goal in nature is changeable and mutable in itself. In other words, everything is temporary and terminable. All «stages» in nature are means, not ends. That is why some people think of creation as meaningless and useless.
They say that the world can be compared to a caravan which is always moving on and changing its stages and never reaching its final destination. Each destination can be considered as only a stop as nature will pass it, too. It is obvious that a journey can only be made when a real destination is expected. Movements and journeys are futile when there is no arrival, and destinations are nothing but stops.
Existence would be vain and what dominates the order of the universe would be nothing but wandering and constant repetition and departure after each arrival. The explanation given in the Quran is that this problem and doubt would come up if there were nothing but nature and this world and birth were for death, growing and blooming for withering and disintegration and renewal for wearing out.
This opinion of life originates from a wrong reasoning, imagining life to be limited to the world and nature which is not the case. This world is referred to as the «First day» which is followed by the «Last day». This world signifies «departure» and the resurrection that of «arrival». Imam Ali (A S) states:
إِنَّمَا الدُّنْيَا دَارُ مَجَاز وَ الآْخِرَةُ دَارُ قَرَار
«This world is a place to leave behind and the Resurrection, that of an everlasting residence»
The Resurrection gives meaning to this world, because movement and struggle have no meaning without a goal. If there were no resurrection, which is an everlasting world, the world would have no final destination to distinguish it from a mere ‘stage’ or a «Stopping place». The system of the world would be all wandering and according to the Quran, creation would be «Vain», «useless» and «frivolous».
The Prophets have come to prevent us from making such a fundamental mistake and to make us aware of a fact which, if not recognized, would make life meaningless and vain. Embedding futility in our mind, which would make us useless, meaningless creatures, with no goals in life. One of the effects of faith and belief in the Last Judgement is its ridding us of the state of uselessness and nothingness, making us, our thoughts and our lives meaningful.