Guidance and Purpose of Creation
إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ
"Only Allah is your Vali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow"(Surah al-Maida, 5:55)
The topic of discussion is System of Wilayat. The ·necessity of recognizing and being aware of this subject arises from the arrangement of the system of guidance which Allah (s.w.t.) has set up during and after the creation of the human being. One part of the system of guidance which is related to the creation of the human being is referred to as Guidance by Innate nature (Hidayat e Fitri).
One portion of guidance lies within the human being and other lies outside him that is acquired through knowledge, recognition, revelation and propagation. All the necessities for survival of the human being are totally covered by the combination of both these types of inward and outward guidance. And the collection of these is known as Religion. Religion is the guidance for the human being. But what is meant by Guidance?
Guidance is to provide the human being with those means, sources, knowledge, information and path through which he can reach his purpose of creation. I would lie to emphasize that every possible means, source of knowledge, direction which leads the human being to his purpose of creation comes under guidance.
One portion of this collection of guidance is Knowledge (ilm) and Recognition (Maarifat). This is because a human being cannot reach his purpose of creation without these. There are no alternatives to Knowledge and Recognition (Maarifat) through which human being could reach his purpose of creation. It is also necessary to specify the purpose of creation.
The purpose of creation is Liqaullah (Meeting with God) and is the same for both men and women. Men and Women are only different in gender, their purpose of life and creation is the same, since the purpose has to do with human innate values and not human being by itself. We generally misinterpret the purpose of creation to be death or destruction of life, or acquiring a place in paradise and bounties of paradise. These bounties are just means of inspiration to reach that real purpose which is meeting with the Almighty (s.w.t.).
The meeting with God is not physical similar to the meeting of different human beings amongst each other. This meeting is different in nature and can be understood with the help of this example. This meeting is like· the meeting of a student and teacher. It is not the physical meeting of a student with his teacher, where he meets and greets his teacher and the teacher also greets him with a reply. But, instead over here the teacher relates to a person with certain merits, qualities and knowledge. The student is the one who has no knowledge in the first meeting with the teacher, but he gradually starts to acquire knowledge from his teacher thus elevating his level of perfection of knowledge in his self.
Then, day by day the distance on the basis of knowledge starts to reduce between the teacher and the student. On the first day, when they met, the distance was too much, because the student had no knowledge at all, but later the student started his journey of acquisition of knowledge. The result was that day by day he was reducing the distance from his teacher. Then finally a day comes when he comes very close to the level of knowledge possessed by his teacher. In fact it also happens that he exceeds the level of knowledge of his teacher. This excelling of qualities by the student over his master is possible only when the relation is between two creations, but not the relation between the creation and the creator.
In the relationship between the creation and the creator, the creation can never excel over the creator, neither can the creation ever reach the same level as that of the creator, but instead he can reach near to the creator. The meaning of this achievement of nearness or proximity can be understood from the fact that whenever we perform any religious act we start with an Intention (Niyyah) of Qurbatan Ilallah (for the nearness of Allah).
This is because the essence of Allah is a collection of perfect attributes and its peak (which in reality is infinity), whereas human being starts from a point where he has no attributes. He gradually starts to develop these attributes one by one in his self. This is what we call as the Journey of Proximity (or nearness) to Allah. And when human being reaches that stage where he acquires all possible attributes then the distance between him and Allah reduces. Now, this imperfect human being has become perfect human being and the distance with Allah for an imperfect human being is much larger compared to the distance of a perfect human being. The reason that the Prophets, Imams and Infallible personalities are much nearer to Allah as compared to other creations is because they are much more perfect in attributes as compared to other creation.
Summarizing this fundamental point, that the essence of Allah is the peak of perfection, and hence nearness with Allah is only achieved when a human being starts to develop these attributes within his own self. The scale of nearness will be on the basis of number of qualities he possesses in his self. This stage of extreme possible nearness is called Liqaullah (meeting with Allah), where a human being becomes a "perfect" human being.