Why did God create this universe? Why do we exist?
- The existence of beings benefits themselves and benefits human beings
Why were humans created? To benefit humans. This may sound strange at first but it makes sense. What would it feel like if we knew there was only one day left in life and tomorrow the whole universe, along with us, would be destroyed into oblivion never to exist again? Or more realistically, how would you feel like if you went to the doctor and was told that you only have a few days left to live? Even though death for believers does not mean the termination of life, it seems like it. Even that is enough to cause immense sorrow and grief. Life is one of the greatest favors bestowed upon us by God. That He created us out of nothing and gave us consciousness and life is an incredible gift.
Question: If God had not created us we would not have experienced the beauty of life and therefore would not regret being nothing. So how is life a gift? Let’s suppose you are the first one to come up with a delicious recipe for a certain meal. Thrilled by your new discovery, you decide to give this meal to a friend. Now, what if the friend told you “The meal is very delicious. However, if you hadn’t given me this meal I would not regret not having it since I wouldn’t know that such a recipe exists. So this meal is actually not a gift.” Saying we would not feel upset about being nothing if God had not created us since we wouldn’t have these beautiful experiences of life to begin with, is no different.
Therefore, one of the purposes of our creation as humans is to benefit us. Similarly, anything that is brought into existence benefits itself and also benefits us as human beings. For example, the sun’s ☀ existence benefits itself since the state of existence is superior to the state of nonexistence. It also obviously benefits us as human beings.
- Every being teaches us about God and His names
Another purpose for the universe’s creation involves those who have consciousness like humans and angels. God created everything in a way that would teach us about Him and His names. For example, food 🍲 teaches us that God is The Provider, The Merciful, and so on. Mountains 🏔️ teach us that God is Great and Mighty. Mathematics 📉 teaches us that He must be The Knowledgeable (al-Alim) and The Just (al-Adil) (more on this later). And so on. Everything in life teaches us about our Creator, allowing us to know Him better and thus to worship better. So why did God create this universe? To be known.
To some degree, God has placed a similiar feeling in us. Suppose for instance that you paint 🎨 a great picture. You would naturally want others to appreciate your painting. Or suppose you wrote a book 📙. You would want others to read and appreciate your work. Also, note that we like to show our work to those we value. So when God creates us and makes Himself known to us by showing us His wondrous universe, it also means that He values us despite our insignificance. He puts us in this special position as observes of His creation even though we are nothing compared to Him and entirely dependent on Him for everything.
- Purposes pertaining only to God
Just as we desire others to see and appreciate our work, we also enjoy viewing it ourselves. In the case of a painter, for instance, they would enjoy looking at their paintings themselves just as they enjoy having others look at them.
Similarly, God (in His own glorious way) enjoys looking at His own creation. Note that God is above and beyond similitude, so when we say “God enjoys”, that’s not the type of joy we humans feel.
Furthermore, there are many purposes pertaining to God that we are unaware of. Indeed, it is not possible to comprehend why God does what He does. We are His creation and He knows everything about us, but we know very little about Him.
So to conclude, the first purpose applies to every being, the second applies to those who have consciousness, and finally the third to God Himself.
Source: The Thirtieth Flash, Sixth Point The Name of Self-Subsistent, Second Ray, Second Matter (http://www.erisale.com/index.jsp?locale=en#content.en.203.441)
RELEVANT PASSAGE FROM THE TENTH WORD
Is it at all possible that the state of lordship and the sovereignty of divinity to create particularly a universe such as this with very exalted goals and lofty purposes in order to show His perfection [and] to not have rewards for the believers who respond to His goals and purposes with faith and worship and to not punish those of delusion who respond to that purpose with rejection and scorn.