Why we are here?
The reason we were brought into this world is given in the Quran. Although this information is not presented in the Quran in chronological sequence, nor grouped in one Sura, yet various Quranic verses give pieces of information which together present the full picture.
The Quran confirms that we were all living in God's Kingdom before we were brought into this world. Although this is our first and only life on planet earth yet it is not our first existence. We were all living before the earth was even created. We were put to death and reborn into this life on earth:
"Most exalted is the One in whose hands is all kingship and He is capable of all things. The One who created death and life that He may test you regarding who will do better works. He is the Dignified, the Forgiving." 67:1-2
Since no words in the Quran are placed in a coincidence manner, and since God is the Most precise in expressing and delivering any truth, we cannot overlook the order in which the words "The One who created death and life.....". The placing of the word "death" before the word "life" indicates that we were put to death before we were brought to this life on earth, hence we must have been alive before we came to this world.
Sometime, during that previous existence, a few billion years ago, a feud arose in the Heavenly Society:
"Say, "It is awesome news from which you turn away. I had no knowledge of the Highest Assembly as they quarrelled." 38:67-69
One of the high-ranking creatures, Satan, entertained supercilious thoughts that his God-given powers qualified him to be a god besides God. He thus challenged God's absolute authority. Not only was Satan's idea blasphemous, it was wrong - only God, and no one else, possesses the qualifications and ability to be a god. Consequent to Satan's blasphemy, a division occurred in the Heavenly Society. There were those who agreed with Satan (that he is capable of being a god). There were also those who were not sure, and then there were those who were under no doubt that God alone has the qualifications to be a god.
As a result, God gathered all those who sided with Satan and also those who were not sure and offered them a second chance to repent and submit to His absolute authority:
"We have offered the responsibility to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they refused to carry it, and were afraid of it while the human being accepted it; he was transgressing, ignorant." 33:72
While the vast majority of the guilty creatures took advantage of this opportunity to repent and return to upholding God's absolute authority, a minuscule minority failed to take advantage of this offer and arrogantly preferred to take the responsibility to find out for themselves if Satan could indeed be a god as he claimed. According to 33:72, we (humans) are among them!
As a result, all God's creatures were classified into four categories:
1. Angels: Creatures who never doubted God's absolute authority and who rejected Satan's claim.
2. Animals: Creatures who doubted but then accepted God's invitation to repent.
3. Jinns: Creatures who agreed with Satan; that he is capable of being a god.
4. Humans: Creatures who did not make up their minds; they failed to make a firm stand with God's absolute authority. They also rejected God's second offer and preferred to find out for themselves about Satan's claim.
The Most Merciful
The angels expected God to banish the creatures who did not uphold His absolute authority (2:30). But God is Most Merciful; He decided to give us a chance to denounce our mistake, and informed the angels that He knew what they did not know (2:30). God knew that some creatures deserved a chance to be redeemed.
To settle Satan's claim that he can be a God, God devised a plan to expose Satan's incompetence. If you claim the ability to fly a plane, the best way to test your claim is to give you a plane and ask you to fly it. This is precisely what God decided to do. God created seven vast universes, then informed the angels that He was appointing Satan as a 'khalifa' (supreme ruler) on the tiny mote called 'Earth' (2:30). The powers given by God to Satan as a temporary supreme ruler on earth will allow him to whisper to people and attempt to lead them astray (4:60). Satan, and his descendants (the devils), will also invite the human to commit all kinds of vice (2:268, 24:21). Satan's ego and arrogance will ultimately invite humans to worship him (36:60). Since the human being failed to uphold God's absolute authority in the previous life and was not sure that God alone can be a god, the human is brought to this life to witness for himself if Satan can really be a god, and also brought to this life in the hope of redeeming himself and returning to uphold God's absolute authority. All who will follow in Satan's footsteps and fail to worship God alone will be doomed while those who repent and follow God's commands and uphold God's absolute authority will be redeemed.
God's plan called for creating death (67:1-2), then bringing the humans and jinns into this world for the sole purpose of rectifying their mistake and for worshipping God.
"I have not created the jinns and the humans except to worship Me." 51:56
Thus, all humans and Jinn start over without any biases, and exercise full freedom to uphold God's absolute authority or Satan's polytheistic theory. To make this crucial decision, every human being receives a message from God advocating His absolute authority. This is given to the human in the form of the Scripture which is sent with guidance and which charts the way to salvation. Whoever accepts the guidance and submits to God will then be redeemed into God's Kingdom. Those who refuse it will end up in hell:
"We said, "Go down there from, all of you, then when guidance comes to you from Me, those who follow My guidance will have no fear, nor will they grieve.
"And for those who disbelieved and rejected our revelations, they will be the companions of the fire; therein they forever remain." 2:38-39
The human being will also receive a message from the devil pushing his polytheistic principles. To give us a headstart, the Most Merciful gathered all the human beings before Him, prior to sending us to this world, and we bore witness that He alone is our Lord and Master:
"Your Lord brought forth from the children of Adam, from their backs, their descendants and had them bear witness over themselves, "Am I not your Lord?" They said, "Yes. We bear witness." Thus, you cannot say on the Day of Resurrection, "We were unaware of this." 7:172
The reader is urged to ask himself/herself if they ever remember making such a witness directly to God? The fact that none of us remembers any such event confirms the fact that we had a previous existence and that we are now oblivious of this existence. As a matter of fact the moment we are brought into this life on earth our memories are wiped clean of everything which happened in our previous existence.
The fact that we all made such a pledge to God is reflected in our natural instinct. Instinct is an integral driving force in every human being. Our instincts come to the fore when we face grave danger or in 'near death' situations. At such a time, which may be a split second, our survival instinct takes over and we plead with God to save us, at that time we know that only God is able to save us.
After putting all who doubted and rejected God's absolute authority to death, their souls were placed in a special depository. God then created the appropriate bodies to house the souls of jinns and humans during the test period. The first jinn body was made from fire, and Satan was assigned to that body (15:27). The first human body was created from earthly material and clay (15:26), and God assigned the first human soul to that body. The divine plan called for the angels to serve the humans on earth - guard them, drive the wind and rain for them, distribute provisions, etc. This fact is stated in the Quran allegorically: "Your Lord said to the angels, `Fall prostrate before Adam." Satan, due to his arrogance, naturally refused to have anything to do with serving the human race (2:34, 7:11, 17:61, 18:50, 20:116).
While Adam's body remained on earth, the real person, the soul, was admitted into Heaven in the outermost universe. God gave Adam certain commandments, represented by the forbidden tree, and Satan was appointed as Adam's companion to deliver to Adam his satanic message. The rest is history.
Every time a human being is born, a human person is assigned to the new baby from the depository of souls. God assigns the souls in accordance with His knowledge (28:68). Every soul deserves to be assigned to a certain body, and live under certain circumstances. God alone knows which souls are good and which souls are evil. Our children are assigned to our homes in accordance with God's plan.
An independent jinn soul is also assigned as a companian to the new human being to represent Satan's point of view. While the physical body of any jinn is reproduced from the parent jinns, the jinn soul is that of an independent individual. Jinns are descendants of Satan (7:27, 18:50).
The assigned jinn remains with the human being from birth to death, and serves as the main witness on the Day of Judgment (50:23). A continuous debate takes place in our heads between the human soul and the jinn soul until both of them are convinced of one point of view.
The Original Sin
Contrary to common belief, the 'Original Sin' was not Adam's violation of God's law when he ate from the forbidden tree. The original sin was our failure to uphold God's absolute authority during the Great Feud.
If the human person convinces his or her jinn companion to denounce that original sin, and uphold God's absolute authority, both creatures are redeemed to God's eternal kingdom on the Day of Judgment. But if the jinn companion convinces the human being to uphold Satan's idolatrous views, then both creatures are exiled forever from God's kingdom.
To promote his point of view, Satan and his representatives advocate the idolization of such powerless mortals as Muhammad, Jesus, Mary, and the saints. Since we are here due to our polytheistic tendencies, most of us are easy prey for Satan.
On the other hand, the human beings who denounce Satan, uphold God's absolute authority, and refrain from idolizing powerless and dead persons like Jesus and Muhammad, are restored to God's protection - they enjoy a perfect life here in this world and forever.
Because our life in this world is a series of tests designed to expose our polytheistic ideas, idol worship is the only unforgivable offense (4:48, 116). The world is divinely designed to manifest our decision to uphold either God's absolute authority, or Satan's idolatrous views (67:1-2). Only those who are totally certain about God's absolute authority are redeemed (26:89).