Tafheem ul Quran

Surah 51 Adh-Dhariyat, Ayat 56-57

وَمَا خَلَقۡتُ الۡجِنَّ وَالۡاِنۡسَ اِلَّا لِيَعۡبُدُوۡنِ‏ ﴿51:56﴾ مَاۤ اُرِيۡدُ مِنۡهُمۡ مِّنۡ رِّزۡقٍ وَّمَاۤ اُرِيۡدُ اَنۡ يُّطۡعِمُوۡنِ‏  ﴿51:57﴾

(51:56) I created the jinn and humans for nothing else but that they may serve Me;53 (51:57) I desire from them no provision, nor do I want them to feed Me.54


53. That is, I have not created them for the service of others but for My own service. They should serve Me, for I am their Creator. When no one else has created them, no one else has the right that they should serve him; and how can it be admissible for them that they should serve others instead of Me, their Creator? Here, the question arises that Allah Almighty is not the Creator only of the jinn and men but of the entire universe and of everything in it. Then, why has it been said only about the jinn and men that He has not created them for the service of others but of Himself? Whereas every single creature is there to serve Allah. The answer is: Only the jinn and men have been granted the freedom that they may serve Allah within their sphere of choice if they so like; otherwise they can turn away from Allah’s service as well as serve others beside Him. The rest of the creatures in the world do not have this kind of freedom. They do not have any choice whatsoever that they may not worship and serve Allah, or may serve any other. Therefore, only about the jinn and men it has been said here that by turning away from the obedience and servitude of their Creator within the bounds of their option and choice and by serving others than the Creator, they are fighting their own nature. They should know that they have not been created for the service of any other but the Creator, and for them the right way is that they should not abuse the freedom granted to them, but also within the bounds of this freedom they should serve God voluntarily just as every particle of their body is serving Him involuntarily in the sphere where they have not been granted any freedom.

The word ibadat (service, worship) in this verse has not been used in the sense of only Prayer, Fasting and other kinds of such worship so that one may understand that the jinn and men have been created only for performing the Prayer, observing the Fast and for praising and glorifying Allah. Although this sense also is included in it, this is not its complete sense. Its complete sense is that the jinn and men have not been created for the worship, obedience and carrying out of the orders of any other but Allah. They are not there to bow to any other, to carry out the orders of any other, to live in fear of any other, to follow the religion enjoined by any other, to look upon any other as the maker and destroyer of ones destiny, and to supplicate to any other than Allah for help. (For further explanation, see (E.N. 63 of Surah Saba); (E.N. 2 of Surah Az-Zumar); (E.N. 30 of Surah Al-Jathiyah).

Another thing that incidentally becomes quite obvious from this verse is that the jinn are a separate and independent creation from men. This brings out the error of the thinking of those people, who assert that some people from among mankind have been called the jinn in the Quran. This same thing is also confirmed and testified by the following verses of the Quran: (Surah Al-Anaam, Ayats 100, 128); (Surah Al-Aaraf, Ayats 38, 179); (Surah Houd, Ayat 119); (Surah Al-Hijr, Ayats 27 to 33); (Surah Bani Israil, Ayat 88); (Surah Al-Kahf, Ayat 50); (Surah As-Sajdah, Ayat 13); (Surah Saba, Ayat 41); (Surah Suad, Ayats 75, 76); (Surah HaMim As-Sajdah, Ayat 25); (Surah Al-Ahqaf, Ayat 18); (Surah ArRahman, Ayats 15, 39, 56). (For a complete discussion of this question, see (E. N. 21 of Surah Al-Anbiya), (E.Ns 23, 45 of Surah An-Naml), (E.N. 24 of Surah Saba).

54. That is, I do not stand in need of any kind of help from the jinn and men: that My Godhead would not function if they did not worship Me: that I would be no more God if they turned away from My service. I indeed do not stand in need of their service, but it is the demand of their own nature that they should serve Me. They have been created for this very object, and fighting nature would be to their own detriment. And in saying: I do not ask any sustenance of them nor do I ask them to feed Me, there is a subtle hint to this. Those whom the people, who have turned away from God worship in the world, worship, they indeed stand in need of these their worshipers. If they do not help sustain their godhead, it would not function even for a day. The gods do not provide for the worshipers but the worshipers provide for the gods instead. The gods do not feed them but they feed the gods instead. The gods do not protect them but the worshipers protect the gods instead. The worshipers, in fact, are their army through whom their godhead functions. Wherever the worshipers of the false gods have ceased to exist, or the worshipers have given up their worship, the gods have lost all their pomp and glory and the world has seen how helpless they have become. Of all the deities Allah Almighty is the only real Deity Whose Godhead is functioning by His own power and might, Who does not take anything from His servants, but He alone gives His servants everything.