The interpretation of the Ayah: quot;Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generation after generation on earthquot;
Q: Please give us a Fatwa on
the explanation of the following Ayah (the meanings of which are translated as):
And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: "Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generation after generation on earth."
Would you please explain the meaning of the phrase "generation after generation on earth"? How can we reconcile the previous Ayah and the following one (the meanings of which are translated as):
And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).
(Part No. 3; Page No. 146) Actually, I have been confused regarding the goal for which humankind is created. Which is given priority; is it worshipping Allah, populating the earth, or both? What is the relationship between worshipping Allah (Exalted be He) and populating the earth?
Verily, I am going to place (mankind) generation after generation on earth
means generations of people succeeding one another, century after century. In the same regard, Allah (Exalted be He) says:
And it is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth.
He (Glorified be He) also says:
...And makes you inheritors of the earth
Moreover, He (Glorified be He) says:
And if it were Our Will, We would have [destroyed you (mankind) all, and] made angels to replace you on the earth.
This is in addition to other Ayahs to the same effect.As for Allah's saying:
And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone)
, it means that Allah has created them only in order to worship Him and tests them through His Commandments, and then rewards them with good for the good deeds they do and punishes them for the evil deeds they do.Having known the meaning of both Ayahs, your confusion can easily be removed. The first Ayah indicates that the human species will live in succeeding generations on earth. However, the second Ayah highlights the goal for which Jinn (creatures created from fire) (Part No. 3; Page No. 147) and humans are created, that is, to worship Allah Alone. Accordingly, the wisdom behind creating them is to worship Allah (Exalted be He) and succeed one another generation after generation.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.