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    Personal Responsiblity

    Surah al-Anbiyah

    The Prophets (21) - Ayahs 16, 17

    "Not for (idle) sport did We create the heavens and the earth and all that lies between the two. If it had been Our Will to find a pastime, We would have found one near at hand, if We were inclined to do so!"


    Commentary:

    The argument in these verses is put forth by God to those who either find it difficult to believe in the existence of God or those who think life is just play and entertainment, devoid of any purpose.

    They believe that man has been left free to live and do as he likes, and that none will be called to account for their actions. They do not believe there is any possibility of a Next Life where people will be rewarded or punished for their actions. Without this concept of a sense of responsibility and accountability in the Next life, it certainly makes one think: How just or fair would this life be for those who have been wronged or oppressed in this life? Only the arrogant people could think of denying the Accountability (hisaab) in the Hereafter (akhirah).

    This lack of a sense of personal responsibility and accountabiliy lead people to say that the entire universe was created without serious purpose, that it was no more than sport and play for the unbelievers. However, as believers we know Allah gives us a definite purpose and vision of life: "I have not created the Jinn and human being (for any reason) except to serve Me." We also know, in the Quran, Allah has called a human being and a believer His Khalifah (Vicegerant or Representative) on Earth, which by itself is a serious responsibility, and not a joke. Allah has also asked the believers to be 'Witnesses unto Mankind' (shuhada 'alan naas) and 'Witnesses of Truth'. How could God have assigned such an immense role to us had He created this life for enjoyment?

    In verse 16 Allah explains: Had God intended creation to be merely for sport, surely, He Himself would have engaged in it. In which case, He would certainly not have brought into being a creature endowed with feelings, consciousness, and a sense of responsibility. Nor would God place him in a state whereby he is engaged in a constant tug-of-war between right and wrong. God could have done much better if the purpose was merely to entertain Himself! God did not create this world to serve as a coliseum, to offer thrilling spectacles of bloody sports where the spectators clap deliriously at the sight of humans being torn to pieces by ferocious beasts.

    It is also interesting to note that this misconception regarding the purpose of life is not found among athiests only. For example, according to the Hindu doctrine of Lila, all things were created for sport.

    [compiled from "Towards Understanding the Quran" by Sayyid Abul A'la Mawdudi, pp. 257-8]


    ------------------
    What, did you think that We created you in mere idle play, and that you would not be returned to Us? But, high exalted is God, the King; the True! There is no god but He, the Lord of the Noble Throne. [al-Muminun 23: 115-116]
    22.1 . O mankind! Fear your Lord . Lo! the earthquake of the Hour ( of Doom ) is a tremendous thing .
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