The Purpose of Life

purposeThese four words probably come to every human being’s mind regardless of religion, creed or caste. They are the motivating factors for the conversion of many non-Muslims. These words are what make us the best of creation. They make us ponder over the creation and the Creator. Furthermore, they make us realize that we were not created for mere play. The purpose of our life is not to get a job, marry, have children, grandchildren and then retire. Our purpose, our goal, our destiny is something higher. It is to gain the pleasure of our Creator and to return to our home, Jannah.

These words are what make us the best of creation. They make us ponder over the creation and the Creator. Furthermore, they make us realize that we were not created for mere play.

There comes a point in our life when we realize we are tired, tired of doing the exact same things every day. Things that are utterly useless, things that do not take us anywhere. We realize that life has lost its joy and contentment. If you haven’t felt it till now, you will feel it someday because Allah has put it in our Fitrah. You will lie on your bed, look at the ceiling and wonder why you were created, how you were created, how you will die, where you will end up and so on. Yes, we have all heard about heaven and hell but have we ever thought about it, about our real and eternal home? Have we ever desired going there? The answer for most of us is no. This is not surprising as the pleasure of life has so encompassed us that we do not desire anything higher. We have lost our vision, our belief.

However the people who have thought about the purpose of life, know that your Creator did not just create you. He is not just a Khaaliq. He is also a Rabb, the one who maintains, the one who holds you together, the one who loves you. He has sent you with an instruction manual and a role model, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (sa). Allah clearly says in the Quran in Surah Al-Mulk, Ayah 2 “Who has created death and life, that He may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.”

He again says in another place “And I (Allah) created not the Jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).”(Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

The idea of a life without purpose sounds crazy. Allah expresses this in the Quran by saying,

“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Al Muminun 23:115)

Our work starts here. We have to go on a Holy Quest. We have to search for the purpose. It is not hard, just one sincere prayer for guidance can lead you to the truth if He wills. Our Lord wants us to find him, to know him. Your desire to know the right path is enough for him to bring you to it, know that you just have to take the first step, He will cover the rest.

Life and its Worth

image life and its worthA friend once told me that the most certain thing in the world to be believed in … is death. It is as palpable as life, but more dominating, more capturing than life itself. From that point onwards one cannot sustain a thought process that considers death a mere neutralizer of life. From that point onwards thought processes focus on death as a pivot and deeds as neutralizers. Therefore let me suppose that the very next moment I live is my last, and that I might not get to complete this article, and that death not only finishes my earthly pilgrimage but also manages to make me immortal.

Most of the aforesaid statement sounds acceptable. Most of it … except the last little bit: death, bestowing immortality. Although it sounds far beyond possible, human history is filled with examples to suffice the above-mentioned phenomenon. Men have proven their lives to be worthy of death only because of the immortality it gives. Martyrs, freedom fighters, soldiers and rulers, all live in deeds, not in years.

If death takes me this very moment, I will be dead before the 20th year of my life. The time I have spent may not be enough to evoke revolutions or change the world. But it is enough to impact, to affect and penetrate many lives around me. Subsequently the lament I would want at my funeral is not to be “… and so young!” I would want it to be, “Well lived”. Come death this minute taking me during a cause worth fighting for, my age is not going to be the crux of it all. It was not the crux for Rashid Minhas. It was not the crux for Keats. Nor was it in the case of the thousands of youngsters dying in Kashmir and Palestine every day. They have not measured their lives in years.

Holding on to life as a treasure is quite justified, I agree. But each moment can only be worth living if we understand that the number of our birthdays have not given us our sagacity or our magnitude. Our deeds have.

If we spend every minute of our lives as if they are precious, as if they can impart some good one way or the other, the number of years we live will cease to be of any consequence. Each moment will be an eternity lived.

I believe in death – as soundly as I believe in goodness. I believe in the exalted chance of life Allah (swt) has given to me. I believe in the extraordinary potential of a human to make one moment a lifetime. Therefore, I believe in the measure of deeds for a human. Hundred years lived, as weasel cannot weigh a grain. Yet the single-day life of the lion will have the ounces of glory. A life without purpose, a life without passion and dedication will certainly be measured in years. It is the lowest measure of human achievement. But a life with a dedication to improve, to help and to hope is a life that sets a standard for all those around us. It creates immortality. Those who choose to tread this path have listened to the call of the righteous.