Did God create the world for the love of Prophet Muhammad?
I need clarifications on the issue that Allah Almighty created the whole universe just for the love of Prophet Muhammad. If that is true then how can we explain the verse saying that jinn and human beings were created only for the worship of Allah.
This meaning was mentioned in many ahadith such as:
- The hadith included by al-Hakim in Al-Mustadrak and by al-Baihaqi in Dala`il al- Nubuwwa from the narration of Umar Ibn al-Khattab [may Allah be pleased with him], who said, "The Prophet [pbuh] said, "When Adam sinned he said, O Allah! I ask for Your forgiveness for the sake of Muhammad (pbuh)." Allah asked him, "How do you know Muhammad (pbuh) when I have not yet created him?" He (Adam) said, "O Allah! After you created me and breathed into me of your soul I raised my head and saw 'There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah' written on the Throne. I then came to know that You would not put anyone's name next to Yours except the name of the one who is dearest to You from among creation." Allah said, "O Adam! You have spoken the truth. Indeed, he [Muhammad] is the dearest to me from among all creation. Supplicate to me through his sake for indeed I have forgiven you. If it were not for Muhammad, I would not have created you" [Al-Hakim declared it authentic and al-Taqi as-Subki declared it fair in Shifa` as- Siqam).
- Ad-Dailami recorded in al-Firdaws bi Ma`thur al-Khitab through Ibn 'Abbas [may Allah be pleased with them both] that the Prophet [pbuh] said, "Jibril came to me and said: 'Allah said: 'If it were not for you [Muhammad] I would not have created Paradise and if it were not for you I would not have created Hellfire." The same hadith was mentioned by Ibn 'Asakr in Tarikh Dimishq from the narration of Salman al-Farsi in his wording: "I have created the world and its inhabitants to demonstrate your honor and status [I hold you in]. And if it were not for you O Muhammad, I would not have created the world."
- Al-Hakim included in al-Mustadrak and Abu al-Sheikh in Tabaqat al-Asfahanin through Abdullah Ibn 'Abbas [may Allah be pleased with them both] a hadith mawquf which states: "Allah revealed to Isa [pbuh] and said: 'O Isa! Believe in Muhammad and order those from among your people who will be present at his time to believe in him. For if it were not for Muhammad, I would not have created Adam and if it were not for Muhammad, I would not have created Paradise or Hellfire. I have placed the throne over water and it quavered, but when I wrote on it that there is no Deity except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, it became still" [Al-Hakim declared it authentic. Bukhari and Muslim did not record it).
Although these ahadith and non-Prophetic narrations are weak or include some which are weak, their meanings are valid. The meaning of the statement 'were it not for our master Muhammad [pbuh], Allah Almighty would not have created anything', is found in a Qur`anic verse in which Allah Almighty says,
I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve Me. [Az-Zariyat: 56).
The purpose of creation is the worship of Allah which is not fulfilled except through the existence of worshippers. Worship is contingent upon worshippers and the best of worshippers is Prophet Muhammad [pbuh] because he represents the epitome of worship and monotheism. Moreover, the verse mentions Jinns and man and not all creation. The rest of creation on the Earth and Heavens were created for the service of man. Allah Almighty says,
And He has subjected to you, as from Him, all that is in the heavens and on earth: Behold, in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect. [Al-Jathiya: 13).
Likewise, our master, Prophet Muhammad [pbuh], is not only the epitome of humanity but is the perfect human. Many scholars have maintained the validity of this such as Imam al-Busiri who said in the poem "Al-Burda" (about Prophet Muhammad) that if it weren’t for the Prophet [pbuh], the world would not have been created from nonexistence. Other scholars who maintained this same position include the luminary Mulla 'Ali al-Qari, al-'Ajluni and others. From among those who maintained that it is acceptable to interpret the above ahadith based on the Qur`an and Sunnah is Ibn Taimiya, the Hanbali scholar [may Allah grant him mercy], who mentioned in Majmu' al-Fatwa: "The excellence of our Prophet [pbuh] over the angles became manifest on the Night of Ascension when he was elevated so high in the Heavens that he could hear the scratching of the Pen [writing destinies].
Muhammad is the master of the children of Adam and the best and most honorable among all creation. Because of this, it was said that Allah Almighty created the universe for his sake and if it were not for him, Allah would not have created the Throne, the Footstool, Heavens, earth, sun or moon. It is possible to interpret [the ahadith] with a sound meaning: since man is the seal and last of all creation and its microcosm, then the best of mankind is the best of all creation. Muhammad, being the dearest and most important of all creation, is the ultimate purpose of creation. Therefore, it cannot be denied that everything was created for his sake and if it were not for him, nothing would have been created. If these words are interpreted [based on evidence from] the Qur`an and sunnah, it would then be acceptable."