2. Why did Allah (s.w.t.) not create mankind perfect from the onset?
This objection stems from an oversight of the fact that the main branch of perfection is voluntary perfection. In other words, perfection (and development) means that man traverses the path using his own feet and by means of his resolve. If he were to be held by the hand and taken by force, neither would it be a matter of glory nor would real perfection be achieved.
For example, if a person out of his own will decided to give one riyal from his wealth in charity, he would have progressed towards moral perfection in that same ratio, whereas if millions were to be taken forcefully from him and given in charity, he would not have advanced even one step towards this goal. It is for this reason that in various verses of the Qur’an this reality has been asserted that had Allah (s.w.t.) desired, all the people would have become believers, under compulsion. However such faith would not have proved beneficial to them.1
وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَآمَنَ مَنْ فِي الْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا
“And if your Lord had pleased, surely all those who are in the Earth would have believed – all of them.”2
1. Ibid., vol. 13, pg. 375
2. Surat Yunus (10), Verse 99
3. What is the purpose of the perfection of man?
Some ask that although the aim of our creation is human perfection, what is the purpose of this goal?
The answer to this question shall become clear by considering the fact that perfection is the final aim or in other words, it is:
If we were to ask a student: Why do you study? He would say: So that I can gain admission into a university.
If we ask: Why do you desire to get yourself admitted into a university? He would answer: So that I can become an able doctor or an engineer (for example).
If we ask again: Why do you desire to possess a medical or an engineering degree? He shall say: So that I may engage myself in a productive activity and also that I earn a good income.
If we were to persist and ask: Why do you need a good income? He would say: So that I can lead a respectable and comfortable life.
Finally if we ask him: Why do you desire to lead a respectable and comfortable life? At this juncture we shall notice that his tone changes and he will say: Well, so that I can lead a respectable and comfortable life.
He repeats his previous answer.
This proves that he has reached his final answer and, technically speaking, he has reached the غَايَةُ الْغاَياَت – the final aim of his efforts beyond which there exists no answer and which constitutes his final aim and objective. This is with regard to the material life.
The case is similar in respect to the spiritual life too. When it is said: What was the purpose of the prophets, the revelation of the Divine Books, the religious obligations, and the educative set-up? We say: For achieving human perfection and attaining proximity to Allah (s.w.t.).
Now, if it is said: What is the purpose of achieving human perfection and attaining proximity to Allah (s.w.t.)? We say: For proximity to Allah (s.w.t.)!
This is the final aim. Expressing it differently, we desire everything for the sake of perfection and attaining nearness to Allah (s.w.t.), but we seek nearness to Allah (s.w.t.) for itself (i.e. nearness to Allah (s.w.t.) ).1
1. Tafsir-e-Namuna, vol. 22, pg. 393