What does the Qur’an say about the creation of mankind

What does the Qur’an say about the creation of mankind?

Indeed, the example of Jesus in the sight of Allah is like that of Adam. He created him from dust, then said to him, “Be!” And he was!’ [Surah Aal-e-Imraan 3: 59]

Isn’t it wonderful to know that the same Lord that created the heavens and the earth, the angels and the jinn’s, the animals and the living beings, has created us mankind too, with care and intricacies, intended for a purpose higher than the rest of the creation? What does the Holy Book say about this gracious creation of the Creator? Read below to find out the how, why and what of the creation of mankind.

HOW- The story of creation of man

creation of mankind in Quran started with the creation of Adam (Peace Be Upon Him), whom Allah ﷻ created with His own hands. Allah ﷻ created Adam (Peace Be Upon Him) from clay and breathed soul into him. Allah ﷻ commanded the angels to prostrate before Adam (Peace Be Upon Him), all of them obeyed except for Iblis, who was too arrogant. The evidence is found in the following verses.

˹Remember, O Prophet˺ when your Lord said to the angels, “I am going to create a human being from clay. So when I have fashioned him and had a spirit of My Own ˹creation˺ breathed into him, fall down in prostration to him.” So the angels prostrated all together-but not Iblîs, who acted arrogantly, becoming unfaithful. [Surah As-Saad 38:71-74]

When Iblis refused to prostrate, Allah ﷻ expelled and cursed him till the day of recompense. When Iblis knew of his fate, he asked Allah ﷻ to give him respite until the day of recompense, where he promised to misguide the believers except for those who believe truly. This situation led Iblis to become the archenemy of the believers.

Allah ﷻ created a wife for Adam (Peace Be Upon Him) from him, Eve (Hawwa) and from their progeny He created men and women from them for many generations.

‘O humanity! Be mindful of your Lord Who created you from a single soul, and from it He created its mate,1 and through both He spread countless men and women.’ [Surah An-Nisaa 4:1]

Adam and Hawwa (Peace Be Upon Them) were allowed to enjoy paradise except to eat from the forbidden tree. This was when Iblees tempted them to eat from the forbidden tree against the warning and made them disobey Allah ﷻ. Then they repented and Allah ﷻ forgave them. Thus, Adam, his wife (Peace Be Upon Them) and Iblis were sent down to earth, and they started receiving revelations and Messengers.

‘Allah said, “Descend as enemies to each other (Adam, Hawwa and Shaytaan). You will find in the earth a residence and provision for your appointed stay.”’ [Surah Al-A’raaf 7:24]

This is a brief account of how man was created on the basis of the Qur’an.

WHY- The purpose of creation

Allah ﷻ says in the Quran, ‘And We did not create the heaven and earth and that between them in play.’ [Surah Al-Aniya 21:16]

One of the names of Allahis Al-Hakeem, The Most Wise, and He ﷻ hasn’t created anything in vain except with wise reasons and sublime purposes. Just like it’s mentioned from the standpoint of Shari’ah, even from the standpoint of reason, one cannot deny that mankind is not created without a reason or purpose.

Allah ﷻ did not create mankind to simply wander aimlessly or just to fulfil their basic needs and desires. ‘…but those who disbelieve enjoy themselves and eat as grazing livestock eat, and the Fire will be a residence for them.’ [Surah Muhammad 47:12]

Not a single person can deny the fact that all our physical faculties have been created with a purpose- the eyes to see, the ears to hear and so on. Similarly, it is undeniable that man is also created to serve a purpose. The ultimate objective of creation of mankind is to affirm the oneness of Allah ﷻ and to worship Him ﷻ alone without associating any partners. Allah ﷻ says, ‘And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.’ [Surah Ad-Dhariyat 51:56] This is the biggest trial for mankind, as Allah ﷻ has mentioned that the creation of heavens and the earth and of life and death is to test man as to who is best in deeds, to reward good deeds and to punish bad ones.

“˹He is the One˺ Who created death and life in order to test which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Almighty, All-Forgiving.’ [Surah Al-Mulk 67:2]

Thus, we come to know why mankind was created.

WHAT- What is human composed of?

We can observe from the Qur’an that man is composed of these components- Body, Spirit, and Predisposition to worship God.

Body– Allah ﷻ has taken extensive care to create man’s physical stature, that he shares similar features with other creatures yet remains unique.

‘Allah asked, “O Iblîs! What prevented you from prostrating to what I created with My Own Hands? Did you ˹just˺ become proud? Or have you always been arrogant?”’ [Surah Saad 38:75]

Spirit– The idea that humans are a combination of body and soul or spirit is deeply rooted in the Qur’an. After man was given a physical structure, he was given ruh (soul) that vitalizes his body, senses and intellect.

‘So when I have fashioned him and had a spirit of My Own ˹creation˺ breathed into him, fall down in prostration to him.’ [Surah Saad 38:72]

Predisposition to worship (Fitrah)- Islam states that mankind is created with Fitrah which is the innate tendency to worship Allah ﷻ and stand as a witness to His Oneness and that man is deviated from this state of worship due to environmental influences and whispers of Shaytaan.

‘So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fiṭrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people…’ [Surah Ar-Room 30:30]

The entire act of creation of mankind is in itself a wonder. Knowing about the how, why and what of creation is an enlightening journey that makes us feel more closer to our Creator. May Allah ﷻ grant us the right understanding of our deen. Aameen.

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