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IslamQA: Why did God create humans?

What’s the point of life? I can’t seem to find any meaning in it.

The universe is a factory for creating true friends of God. Think of what “true friend” means. A true friend is someone who loves you and trusts you even though they have no mathematical proof that you love them.

God throws us into a universe where we have no hard evidence of His existence. We get to know Him through the signs He shows us in our souls, in the universe and in scripture. We eventually develop an attachment to Him, while always being free to disobey Him, ignore Him, and pretend that He does not exist. Those of us who maintain His remembrance and serve Him like good servants, even though the Master seems “absent”, even though the Master is never there to force us to serve Him, prove by this that there is something to our relationship with Him that is more than mere forced slavery.

And it is this “more than slavery” aspect that justifies the universe. God could have created a world where He showed Himself and His angels to us and forced us to serve Him without choice. But He wanted more from us humans. He wants our relationship with Him to be a true love affair, filled with doubt, uncertainty, feelings of abandonment, pain, and always the choice of disloyalty. Those who make it through all of this while maintaining the purity of their heart and the innocence of their soul prove by this that they are more than slaves. And it is such people that God wants close to Him in Paradise; people who have proven that they are not mere robots serving Him, but people who could have disobeyed Him yet chose to serve Him.

If you were a powerful king, would you want to be surrounded by ministers and servants who served you because they had no choice regardless of their loyalty to you, or who served you because they loved you and because they proved their loyalty to you in the most difficult times when they had the choice to be disloyal? A wise king would only choose the second type of person to be his close companions.

Your lifetime is therefore an opportunity given to you for promotion; to be promoted into a close companion of the greatest king. As I have said elsewhere, even if the universe managed to create a single true friend of God, then that would justify the whole of creation.

And God knows best.
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