The Messengers' Struggle
People choose various teachers to guide them through life. For many, the most important teachers are their family, friends, and the communities they live in. They form their value judgments and general impressions of what is right and wrong according to the general opinions of that society. Some individuals look to ideologies for guidance in the belief that the founder of their personal ideology is a superior person whose teachings can reveal the truth to them. Other individuals profess no ideology, preferring to be guided by their own intuitive intelligence.
Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but the Messenger of Allah and the Final Seal of the Prophets. Allah has knowledge of all things. (Surat al-Ahzab, 40)
However, all of these ideas rest on a common falsehood. Those who claim society as their teacher and adopt some "superior" individual or their own intelligence as their guide are rejecting or ignoring an essential truth: Human beings are created and therefore are indebted to our Creator, Allah, for everything they possess. Those who consider their own body and surroundings, the sky, and everything else that exists will clearly see that Allah created them.
Allah created human beings, and there is certainly a purpose for this Creation. Allah reveals this truth in the Qur'an: "We did not create heaven and earth and everything in between them as a game"(Surat al-Anbiya', 16). This purpose is also revealed in another verse: "I only created jinn and humanity to worship Me" (Surat adh-Dhariyat, 56).
Humanity was created solely to serve Allah. But one must be careful not to misunderstand: The fact that man is created to serve Allah alone does not mean that it is enough to perform just some religious observances. Indeed, in a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira (ra) our Prophet (saas) emphasizes the importance of the five daily prayers saying, "Five (daily) prayers and from one Friday prayer to the (next) Friday prayer, and from Ramadhan to Ramadhan are expiatious for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals) provided one shuns the major sins." (Sahih Muslim, Book 2, Number 450)" The five daily prayers and all other acts of worship such as fasting, giving alms and covering the body are obligations that must be punctiliously performed, and every believer is obliged to do these. But being Allah's servant, which encompasses every aspect of life, primarily means coming to know Allah by being close to Him and living one's life according to His words. People who live such a life, in other words serve Allah alone, enjoy the best, the most content, and the happiest life possible. That is because all of Allah's rules are very easy, for He created humanity in such a way that it is part of human nature to take pleasure from serving Him. This is elucidated as follows in the Qur'an:
"So set your face firmly towards the Religion as a pure natural believer, Allah's natural pattern on which He made humanity. There is no changing Allah's Creation. That is the true Religion, but most people do not know it. " (Surat ar-Rum, , 30)
The information revealed in this verse is very important, for it reveals that human beings were created only to serve Allah. In other words, serving Him is their nature. Allah "breathed His Spirit" into them and created them out of nothing, and then molded them into human form from "a drop of water" (sperm) and sent them to this world for a short time. Human beings must know that they are Allah's creatures and constantly thank Him for this. Once they understand this truth, they will live in this transient world according to His purpose: to mature and prepare themselves for their real home, the hereafter. This manner of living accords with human nature.
It is revealed in Surat ar-Rum 30 that humanity's only purpose is to serve Allah, yet most people are unaware of this great truth. Allah reveals in other verses that a person's self causes him to forget that he is one of Allah's creations and the clear truth that Allah exists. For this reason, most people are unaware of Allah's existence, that they were created, and therefore are responsible to our Creator, Allah. This is described thus in the Qur'an:
Does not humanity see that We created him from a drop? Yet there he is, an open antagonist! He makes likenesses of Us and forgets his own creation, asking: "Who will give life to bones when they are decayed?" Say: "He Who made them in the first place will bring them back to life. He has total knowledge of each created thing. " (Surah Ya Sin, 77-79)
A person who lives far removed from the moral values of the Qur'an often forgets that human beings are created by Allah. When people forget this, selfish ambition and passions begin to present them with new false deities to foolishly serve, whether animate or inanimate, besides the Creator Who "fashioned [him] into a man" (Surat al-Kahf, 37). They seek to please those deities, look to them for assistance, and start to love and fear them. However, these self-made supposed deities are actually weak and powerless "servants," just like themselves. Unable to use their reason to see this truth, they follow them and ignorantly turn their backs on Allah. This total lack of gratitude is described in the Qur'an as follows:
"Curse humanity for his ingratitude! From what thing did He create him? From a drop of sperm He created him and proportioned him. " (Surah 'Abasa, 17-19)
Naturally, a society made up of such individuals is totally oblivious of religious moral values and regards Allah as "something to cast disdainfully" (Surah Hud, 92). Since all the members of such an ignorant society possess the same moral infirmity and weakness of mind, they develop a "herd psychology" that strengthens most people's already existing rejection of Allah. Since it knows nothing about Allah and the hereafter, Allah calls it in the Qur'an an "ignorant society." No matter how many brilliant people it has in physics, history, biology, and other similar sciences, the great majority of the members of such a society do not have the conscious intelligence to recognize Allah.
Moreover, members of such an ignorant society adopt false guides. Not knowing Allah properly, they follow other paths with the greatest ignorance and gradually become dependent on other powerless servants like themselves, follow their examples, and accept their words and actions as the truth.
Finally, the society of ignorance adopts a system that gradually blinds it to reality and blocks its intelligence and conscience. As a result, this superstitious system cannot be freed by itself. Its members cannot understand that Allah exists and will hold them accountable on the Day of Judgment. This closed system will last until Allah sends a guide to lead them to the truth:
The People of the Book who do not believe and the idolaters will not be cut off until the Clear Sign came to them: A messenger from Allah reciting purified texts. (Surat al-Bayyina, 1-2)