[p. 160-162, he discusses the narrations and meanings of the sahih hadith: "I was Prophet when Adam was between spirit and body." Then he says:] Most of the Salaf hold that the bringing out [p. 162] of the seed of Adam from him was after the spirit was breathed into him, and this is what the majority of the reports indicate. So it is possible that Muhammad - Allah bless and greet him - was specifically brought out from the loins of Adam before the spirit was breathed into the latter, for Muhammad - Allah bless and greet him - is the purpose (al-maqsud) in the creation of the human species, he is its very essence (`aynuhu), quintessence (khulasatuhu), and core (wasita `aqdih). And it has been narrated that Adam - upon him peace - saw the name of Muhammad - Allah bless and greet him - written on the Throne and that Allah - Almighty and Glorified - said to Adam: "Were it not for Muhammad I would not have created you." Al-Hakim narrated it in his Sahih [see its documentation in the Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine 4:36-41].
[The above position is also that of Ibn Rajab's two teachers, Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim. Ibn Taymiyya said in his Fatawa al-Kubra (11:95-97):
"Muhammad - Allah bless and greet him - is the Chief of the Children of Adam, the Best of Creation, the noblest of them in the sight of Allah. This is why some have said that "Allah created the Universe due to him," or that "Were it not for him, He would have neither created a Throne, nor a Footstool, nor a heaven, earth, sun or moon." However, this is not a hadith on the authority of the Prophet - Allah bless and greet him -... but it may be explained from a correct aspect...
"Since the best of the righteous of the children of Adam is Muhammad - Allah bless and greet him -, creating him was a desirable end of deep-seated purposeful wisdom, more than for anyone else, and hence the completion of creation and the fulfillment of perfection was attained with Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace... The Chief of the Children of Adam is Muhammad, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, Adam and his children being under his banner. He, may Allah Exalted bless him and grant him peace, said: "Truly, I was written as the Seal of the Prophets with Allah, when Adam was going to-and-fro in his clay," i.e. that my prophethood was decreed and manifested when Adam - upon him peace - was created but before the breathing of the Spirit into him, just as Allah decrees the livelihood, lifespan, deeds and misery or happiness of the slave when He creates the embryo but before the breathing of the spirit into it.
"Since man is the seal and last of all creation, and its microcosm, and since the best of man is thus the best of all creation absolutely, then Muhammad - Allah bless and greet him -, being the Pupil of the Eye, the Axis of the Mill, and the Distributor to the Collective, is as it were the Ultimate Purpose from amongst all the purposes of creation. Thus it cannot be denied to say that "Due to him all of this was created", or that "Were it not for him, all this would not have been created," so if statements like this are thus explained according to what the Book and the Sunna indicate, it is acceptable." End of Ibn Taymiyya's words.
Similarly Ibn al-Qayyim wrote in his Bada'i` al-Fawa'id (p. 63): "Have you realized your value? I only created all the universes for your sake... All things are trees whose fruit you are."]