Human Being in the Qur’an

The discussion about human being in the Qur'an includes the origin, the characteristics, the capability and the weakness of human being. The Qur’an explains that the first human being was created from clay and after the shape was perfected, God then blew His spirit into it. It’s stated in the Qur’an chapter 38 verse 71-72, “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man from clay. When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”

As the Creator of human being, it is no doubt that God knows exactly what He has created. God knows the vices and virtues of human being. Some of the good and bad qualities of human being as stated in the Qur’an are as follow:

  • He is created in the best of shape. God says in chapter 95 verse 4 of the Qur’an, “We have indeed created man in the best of moulds.”
  • Human being is honored, as in the Qur’an chapter 17 verse 70, “We have honored the sons of Adam…and conferred on them special favors, above a great part of Our Creation.”
  • Man is unjust and ungrateful. Chapter 14 verse 34, “…Verily man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.”
  • Human being is impatient and fretful. Chapter 70 verse 19-20, “Truly man was created very impatient. (20)Fretful when evil touches him.”
  • Man is contentious. Chapter 18 verse 54, “…But man is, in most things, contentious.”

Since human being has both good and bad sides, a person can then choose whether he wants to follow his good characters or his bad ones. He himself chooses whether he wants to be a good person or a bad person.

Allah (God) had appointed human being as His vicegerent on earth, as stated in the Qur’an chapter 2 verse 30, “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I will create a vicegerent on earth.”  Thus, as representative of God, the duty of human being on earth is merely applying God’s rules, not anyone else’s rules. Therefore, the purpose of life of human being is to worship or serve God only. God says in chapter 51 verse 56, “I have only created jinns and men that they may serve Me.”

In order to successfully perform the duty as vicegerent, God equips human being with the following:

  • capability of knowing about many kinds of objects and things. Chapter 2 verse 31, “And He taught Adam the nature of all things…”
  • God gives human being understanding or mind, and senses. Chapter 67 verse 23, “Say: “It is He Who has created you (and made you grow) and made for you the faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding…”
  • God bestows human being the ability to change life on earth. Chapter 13 verse 11, “…Verily never will God change the condition of a people until they change it themselves (with their own souls)…”
  • Finally, God makes the earth and everything in it, i.e. animals, plants, seas, mountains, rivers, planets, etc, submitted to human being, so that people can use them for fulfilling the duty given by God. It’s clearly stated in chapter 45 verse 12, “It is God Who has subjected the sea to you, that ships may sail through it by His command, that ye may seek of His bounty and that ye may be grateful.”

However, human being also has limitations or weaknesses:

  • Most people only know about worldly matters as God says in chapter 30 verse 6-7, “(It is) the promise of God. Never does God depart from His promise; but most men understand not. (7) They know but the outer (things) in the life of this world but of the end of thins they are heedless.”
  • People also know very little about soul or spirit or ruh, what will happen to the spirit when we die, where the spirit will go, the difference between the spirit itself compared to when the spirit still stay in the physical body, etc. Some people, such as fortune tellers, clairvoyants, claim that they know a lot about the spirit or soul of human being. However, what they have is false believe. God says in chapter 17 verse 85, “They ask thee concerning the spirit (of inspiration). Say: “The spirit (cometh) by command of my Lord; of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you (O men!)”.
  • Human being also has little understanding of what is good and what is bad for them. People think that having abundant of wealth is good for them but that is not always the case. People think that getting sick is bad for them, and again, that’s often good for them. God says in chapter 2 verse 216, “…But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But God knoweth, and ye know not.”

Allah (God) is the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful. God does not let human being, with limitations and weaknesses, without a complete guidance to live on earth. That is why the Qur’an exists to guide people to live, to become vicegerent on earth that is to lead their life according to the rules of the Creator.  Therefore, it is very important to understand the Qur’an so that we can fulfill the purpose of life successfully which leads to true happiness in the world and in the hereafter.


Watch: The Bible & The Qur'an; Christ in Islam; Jews & Muslims; The Purpose of Life