Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

One of the most important questions under discussion among philosophers and thinkers is to find out the ultimate purpose or raison d’etre of creation. Secular thinkers have tried to answer this question in different ways. For instance, they hold that the Creator has sought His own fulfilment through His creation. The Quran has this to say in this regard, “I created the jinn and mankind only so that they might worship Me.” (51:56)

Abdullah ibn Abbas, the Prophet’s companion and commentator of the Quran has interpreted the word worship (liyabudun) as realization of God (leyarifun). (Al-Dinawari, Mujalasah wa-jawahir al-'ilm, Hadith no. 225) Knowing or discovering the Creator is no simple matter. Man cannot see his Creator directly, but by studying the creation and the Book of the Creator—the Quran, man can certainly discover the greatness of the Creator. The deeper meaningfulness of creation is tantamount to a deeper introduction to the Creator. This knowledge that man acquires from the study of creation can be called God realization.

Such a realization of the Creator becomes a thrilling experience for him. As a result, his personality undergoes a transformation, his thinking naturally becomes God-oriented. This divine culture finds reflection in his words and deeds. His whole life is centred entirely on a process described in the Quran as “taking on God’s own dye.” (2:138)

A strong desire of calling people to God, that is dawah ilallah, is a manifestation of man’s deep realization of God. Such a person feels a great urgency to share his realization with others. This God realization first takes root within the mind of an individual, rather than within a group. When a sizable number of people become God oriented, then a whole group or a large number of people could become God oriented.

That is why dawah work is based on the individual rather than on the group. The goal of dawah is not to establish a socio-political system, it is rather to bring God-realization to the individual. The events that follow are the indirect effects of the original goal, far from being the actual target.

Source: Interpretation of Human History

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