Being tested to do one's deeds in a good manner is part of worshipping Allaah
Fatwa No: 273928

Question

I am in a confused state about 2 verses which appear contradictory to each other...please answer ASAP! first verse is 51:56 which says that Allah created humans for the only reason that he should worship him. second verse is 67:2 which says that Allah created life and death so he may test which of us is the best in conduct... in the first verse Allah says that the creation of man has only one purpose i.e., to worship him, while in the second verse Allah implies that we were created to be tested...aren't these 2 different reasons for human creation?...in the first verse Allah says the word ONLY, meaning there is only one reason and not a second reason for our creation!

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

First of all, you should know that it is impossible and inconceivable to have any contradiction in the Quran because it has been revealed by Allaah, The All-Wise, The Praiseworthy. He says (what means): {Then do they not reflect upon the Quran? If it had been from [any] other than Allaah, they would have found within it much contradiction.} [Quran 4:82]

If some verses of the Quran seem to us to be contradictory, then this is due to our limited minds. We do not say that there is contradiction in the Quran; rather, we say that it seems to us that...

There is no contradiction between the two verses mentioned, praise be to Allaah. Scholars adopt two approaches in explaining the Ikhtilaaf (difference, seeming disagreement) between the indications of Islamic texts: either as Ikhtilaaf Tanawwu‘ ("difference of variety") or as Ikhtilaaf Tadhaadh ("difference of contradiction").

As for Ikhtilaaf Tadhaadh which involves conflict and contradiction between the indications of the texts, this is not possible in relation to the Quran as underlined earlier. As for Ikhtilaaf Tanawwu‘, there are numerous examples in relation to Quranic verses, Ahaadeeth, and the commentaries of scholars. It is a difference that ultimately leads to the same result. Let us take the following verses as an example. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means):

·        {And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.} [Quran 21:107]

·        {And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a bringer of good tidings and a warner.} [Quran 25:56]

The verses underline that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, was sent to bear the glad tidings and warn mankind and this constitutes mercy from our Lord. Hence, there is no contradiction in these two verses.

The same applies to the verses in question; Allaah, The Exalted, informs us that He has created the Jinn and mankind to worship Him; doing good, for the sake of which one is tested, is part of worshipping Him. Doing good deeds consists in being sincere in them and also in them agreeing with the guidance of the Prophet, , sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Al-Fudhayl ibn ‘Iyaadh  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the verse from Soorah Al-Mulk [67:2] saying: "It (The best conduct mentioned in the verse is that which) is the most sincere and most correct thereof." He was asked: "What is the most sincere and most correct thereof?" He said: "If the deed is sincere and it was not correct, then it is not accepted; and if it is correct and not sincere, it is also not accepted until it is sincere and correct. Sincere is what is done only for the sake of Allaah, and correct is that which is done in accordance with the Sunnah (of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ))."

The point is that not all difference involves contradiction; there is another type of difference which is that involving variety. Allaah, The Exalted, has created us for the purpose of worshipping Him, and He only accepts the worship that is sincerely devoted to Him alone and in accordance with the Sunnah of His Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Allaah Knows best.

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