Note: the following article was authored by Faiez in 1998.
In the last 12 years of my professional life, I had this opportunity to interact with thousands of people and provided consultation to huge number as well. These people were not satisfied with their lives for some reason or the other. Of many reasons, to me, the most common one amongst all was that they were living a purposeless life. It included people from all race, gender and age group. All kind of people was included among them as men, women, old people, young etc.
Many did not even know that life has a purpose and those who know stood confused and unenlightened to the thousands of doubts and questions about life itself. Despite giving several lectures on this issue, it seemed there is still room to address this big issue and that has led me to come up with this article.
Unfortunately, the dilemma of our youth is running after a crowd with closed eyes, without knowing where this crowd is leading them and do they have the same destination. They spend their whole life following this crowd and when finally tired of running and following in the last phase of their lives, when they get time to sit and think, all they are left with disappointment. Where have I come? I never wanted to be here. And for rest of their lives, they curse this crowd for there they have ended.
Simply look around you, can you find a single thing which has no purpose for its existence. Be it sky or stars, sun or moon, trees or earth, hence nothing on earth or any living creature is not without a purpose. In short, the creation of this universe has a specific reason for existence. For one instance take a look inside you. Not a single organ of your body is there without a reason/purpose. Whether is it eyes, nose, ears, hands, feet, liver, heart, lungs or intestine? Every single organ has a purpose to it. It has a unique function to perform. Doesn’t our consciousness accept simple philosophy of life that if every particle in the body has a purpose to it, would the collection of all organs, as a whole body not has a purpose? If you think logically when every single part of your body has a function to perform there must be a purpose of the man himself as well.
Allah says in the Ayat No 115 of Surah-Al-Mu’minun:
“Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?” (Al-Mu’minun: 115)
Allah says in the 36 Ayat of Surah Al-Qiyamah:
“Does man think that he will be left neglected?” (Al-Qiyamah: 36)
Thank God these revelations of Quran have clearly proven that along with every single thing in the universe, man has a purpose in his life as well. Now the question arises what is the purpose of life. Before I continue, let me share my research with you. In 1998, we asked 300 high school kids, what is the purpose of your life? Half stood purposeless, to the question. Do life has a purpose? And rest replied in the following manner.
The young boys replied:
- To be successful and reach the top position.
- To do Ph.D., CA etc.
- Earn money
The young girls replied:
- To get married to an appropriate person
- To raise kids
- Happy marital life
Listen to these answers carefully and think about it. You will get to know why there is restlessness and chaos in our society. The basic reason behind it is that people do not know what is their purpose of life? After listening to the response of kids, it becomes quite obvious that along with them, their teachers and parents are themselves not aware of their purpose of life for a living. After all, that is what they have learned from their environment.
Since his birth, a child sees his father talking only of money and nothing else. He presumes as if this is the only purpose of life. When he sees his father telling lies for 10 rupees, to strew for promotion and allowance increment and sees his mother fighting with him for money. He develops beliefs that life without money is nothing. It is the ultimate thing. Same goes for girls, who learn the same beliefs from her mother.
- Study or else you would not get a proposal
- Learn to do house chores, otherwise would not get a proposal
- Learn English, you will get a good proposal
- Become a doctor, MBA, you will get a proposal
- Walk straight, otherwise, nobody will propose
- Take care of your hair and self for getting a good proposal
As she grows up with it, in her subconscious the only purpose of life is to get married.
I have already mentioned that nothing is created purposeless. Now I ask you if you do anything without a purpose.
Reason for bathing, the reason for eating, the reason for sleeping, studying, going to school and colleges, going to the office, in short, every act has a purpose behind it. Not only this but even when you are not sleeping only lying down, even it has a purpose, maybe relaxing, to get some sleep or passing time.
So everything has a purpose and every act has a purpose as well. But what is the purpose? Is it right or wrong? Good or bad? This will help not only in knowing people’s attitude towards it but also helps in predicting results.
For instance, two students go to school or college. One goes with an aim to get a job after he finishes college, whereas other one goes with the aim of getting knowledge and to develop his insight into life. Do you think the attitude and performance of both students will be the same? No, not at all. There will be a great deal of difference in their attitude and performance.
A student who goes to university the sole purpose of attaining a degree is certainly more interested in that authenticated piece of paper rather than gaining knowledge. He will go to any extent from cheating to bribery to depending on 20 questions of guess papers to plagiarism. Because his sole purpose is to get the degree. He will go to any extent and adopt any unethical means to achieve it, as the priorities his purpose is to get a degree, not knowledge.
Whereas there is a kid who goes to college to gain knowledge. He will read more books, will work harder, question his teachers, will do his homework more efficiently and will condemn cheating. In case the teacher is absent, he will avail the time by studying in the library rather than getting excited and wasting time elsewhere. He would not demand guess papers from his teachers and obviously, the end result will be a better performance by him in exams.
Now ponder if our new generation whose lives goals are making more money and are concerned only about promotion. And the girls who think getting married and bringing up children is the ultimate purpose of existence. Just imagine how their approach towards life is and their contribution towards society and they as individuals will be like? Whenever they will get the opportunity, they will avail it at no matter what cost. And unfortunately that’s all we see, when this kind of students work in schools, colleges and offices then they have only one purpose in mind and that is only collecting money whether it is by ethical means or unethical.
Same goes to girls, who are clad in immoral dresses and heavy jewelry and gaudy makeup. Now you can well imagine what I mean.
I am certainly not saying that earning money or getting married is a bad thing. I am just enlightening you with the difference between two that is one is a purpose while another one is a mean to an end. And we seem to have mixed them both. Consider the example to understand the difference between the two.
Suppose you leave early in the morning to reach Islamabad. You stay at a gas station for gas, eat at some hotel and rest for some time. Note that the purpose here is reaching Islamabad not eating, resting and filling at gas stations. These are merely means to reach your destination that is Islamabad. If these things, which are means, become your purpose, imagine where will you end up? If means like taking tea, eating and resting become your purpose while traveling to Islamabad than you may never reach there.
Same goes to getting married, the upbringing of children, college studies, earning money, doing job and promotions. But again these may be your means to reach your destination, but they are not the destination itself. If one considers these as a final destination, one will end up restless and disappointed. In short, life ends up in chaos. Before I proceed with the real meaning and purpose of life, I would like to mention one thing.
If you look at today’s man, what we see is that he eats, drinks, socialize, sleeps, bathes, fulfills his physicals needs and earn for living. Now for a second look at the animal’s life. They do every that thing which I mentioned a man does but the difference is, we go to offices to earn for a living and animals leave for jungles for survival.
Now the question arises if a man has to do every that act which animals did, what was the need to create human beings? If you think, for century’s different creatures in form of birds, animals land and sea were living in this planet already. Why Allah needed the creation of man, if he had to live and act exactly in the same manner in which his other creatures were behaving, maybe worst than animals? Allah says in the Ayats (28-35 )of Surah-Al-Hijr:
“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ” I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud. “So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.” So the angels prostrated themselves, all of them together. Except Iblis (Satan)- he refused to be among the prostrators. (Allah) said: “O Iblis (Satan)! What is your reason for not being among the prostrators?”(Satan) said: ” I am not the one to prostrate myself to a human being, whom You created from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud.”(Allah) said: “Then, get out from here, for verily, you are Rajim.” “And verily, the curse shall be upon you till the Day of Recompense.” (Al-Hijr: 28-35)
Now the thing to ponder is what quality in a man made him mighty of all creations before whom His angel bowed down to? And expelled the one from paradise who did not bow in front of a man and cursed till the doomsday. Those were the angels, who have been prostrating before Him for billions of centuries, bowed in front of man upon Allah’s order. It’s just like having a servant, who spent his life serving you dedicatedly and you hire a new servant and makes the previous one his subordinate. Now there must be some good reason behind this decision. In order to understand it, consider the following verses from the Quran, which will help in this regard. This is the translation of the Ayat of Surah Al- An’am (165):
“And it is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that He may try in that which He has bestowed on you. Surely, your Lord is Swift in retribution, and certainly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-An’am: 165)
It is said in the Surah Sad, Ayat No. (26)
“O Dawud (David)! Verily, We have placed you as a successor on the earth; so judge you between men in truth (and justice) and follow not your desire- for it will mislead you from the path of Allah. Verily, those who wander astray from the path of Allah (shall) have a severe torment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning.” (Sad: 26)
It is clear from the verses; Allah is referring man as Caliph. Caliph means deputy. Now, who is deputy? Understand it with this example. If you work in some office or organization, there must be somebody, whom you appoint as a deputy or head over others.
It has usually come to the notice that the deputy in an organization is closer and reliable one for the chief executive of the company. He is dearer than rest to his boss. Just imagine how close Allah’s deputy will be with him, to whom he calls his dearest creature. He has awarded only the man with this position, making him elite from rest. Therefore he is dearest and the mighty of all creations, the most eminent of all his creations.
Just imagine if you are appointed a deputy of some organization to your big boss? How would you feel? Naturally very good. Now if you think deeper, a person who is the happiest one around just to be deputy to his boss of a small organization. How would a man feel if he knows he has been appointed as Allah’s deputy, the ultimate of all bosses? You, me and every other person living on this planet are His deputy. His happiness should be beyond limits. Looking at today man’s poor conditions, it seems he does not even know who he is? If only he knows what a piece of a miracle he is. The Almighty always knew he’s creating a man who will do bloodshed and riots on earth but still He comments on this to His angels I know what you know not of. It is the translation of Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat No 30:
“And when your Lord said to the angels: “Verily, I am going to place generations after generations on earth.” They said: “Will You place therein those who will make mischief therein and shed blood, while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You.” He said: “I know that which you do not know.” (Al-Baqarah: 30)
In this verse He clearly says, that He knows the man will bring destruction and violence and despite knowing all, He made him eminent of all creations and answer to His angels’ question:
“I know what you know not of”.
Why man was appointed as a deputy? Before I can proceed on with it, I will like to justify another theory. Because of its unawareness, people are confused about the purpose of their lives.
It is said in the Quranic Surah No 51 Adh-Dhariyat, Ayat no 56:
“And I (Allah) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone).“
Usually, the gist of this verse is taken more like man’s only purpose for existence to worship Allah. And worship usually means saying your players, praising Him, fasting etc.
Due to this misconception, a lot of people are not aware of the purpose of life. They cannot correlate religion and world, in which they are living. On one hand, to praise Allah, they do all obligations from saying prayers to, fasting to pilgrimage and at the same time do every legal, illegal or unethical act to be the part of this social world. And while coping with this dilemma, they end their lives. Such people have two decisions of their lives, with which they cannot cope. They cannot connect the two that is religion or faith and world.
The world is full of pious people who offer their prayers, fast, please Him and at the same time lie for worldly survival. This is a paradox, where one commits frauds, deception and takes Allah’s name at the same time as well. They believe religion is worship and cannot implement Islam as a religion in their daily lives. Such personalities are called ‘split personalities’ whose devotion to Allah is limited only to prayers and Quran and not by implementing in daily social life.
Imagine the Arabic word, comes from ‘Abad’ meaning slave Meaning, the translation of the verse that we thought is worship, actually does not mean prayers but submission to Allah.
Just think that if worshiping Allah was the only purpose of our existence then do not you really think angels, birds, all creatures including stones, trees etc were doing more efficiently and who needed a man for it by the way. It is said in the Quranic Surah Al-Anbiya, Ayats No 19and 20:
“To Him belongs whosoever is in the heavens and on earth. And those who are near Him (i.e. the angels) are not too proud to worship Him, nor are they weary (of His worship). They (i.e. the angels) glorify His Praises night and day, (and) they never slacken (to do so).” (Al-Anbiya: 19:20)
And it is said in Surah An- Nahl Ayat No 49:
“And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud.“(An-Nahl: 49)
Did you ever know, Allah has not given the ability to say ‘No’ to none of His creations, who are worshipping Him like anything except for ‘man’ and ‘jinn’. From the day first to the day of resurrection, His creation is devoted to praise Him day and night, because they are created for this purpose. They are not designed to say ‘No’ in front of Him. For centuries animals and birds wake up at dawn and praise Him and leave for home before dusk falls in.
They are not designed to say O Allah! Can’t wakes up for Fajr prayer, as last night there was a very good movie going on or cannot return back before sunset as nightlife has just started! But man has been given the ability to say ‘No’. As it is said in the Quran, Surah Ash-Shams Ayat No (7-10)
“By Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul), and Him Who perfected him in proportion; Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him. Indeed he succeeds who purifies his own self. And indeed he fails who corrupts his own self.” (Ash-Shams: 7-10)
Hence it has been proven that man has been given good and evil abilities both. Now it is up to his choice. Have you ever thought what if we never had the option of bad deeds? There was only one road that is towards good acts. If he stays away from evil in this regard, it’s not a big deal to abstain here.
Suppose if a person never gets the opportunity to steal or he’s afraid of consequences and he abstains from it. It is seriously no big deal here if you abstain in such circumstance. In another case for instance, if anybody never gets the availability of liquor and he abstained, he did not do a big thing/deal. Yes if a person has an opportunity to get liquor, stealing or fraud and he does not have fear to get caught, then it should be well acknowledged. Here he is making a conscious choice despite the availabilities. Such a man worth bowing to, the same man His angels bowed to.
All animals and birds have no choices given. They are not designed to say no. All they know is praising Allah from dawn till dusk. However, if a man makes a choice leaving his worldly desires to stand up for prayers, then he deserves to be eminent of all creations.
So it is quite clear from the above analysis that it is the conscience of a man, which makes him different from others, and that he is not made solely to worship Him. Now the question arises what is the quality that makes him eminent of all creation? And what is that superior purpose for which he was made elite to others?
Before answering this question, let me make something clear, that God forbid I am not asking you not to say prayers and other obligatory worships but rather I am trying to convey is that they are means to achieve your purpose of living.
With reference to Sheikh Saadi, purpose of life is devotion to Allah.
Arrival to life is devotion.
Life is shame is without devotion.
Essence of my life.
Your religion’s prosperity.
For it, I am Muslim.
For it, I am religious.
Ayat no 177 of Surah Baqarah proves this, Allah says:
“It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, and every act of obedience to Allah) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is (the quality of) the one who believes in Allah, the Last Day, the Angels, the Book, the Prophets and gives his wealth, in spite of love for it, to the kinsfolk, to the orphans, and to Al-Masakin (the poor), and to the wayfarer, and to those who ask, and to set slaves free, performs As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and gives the Zakat, and who fulfil their covenant when they make it, and who are patient in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles). Such are the people of the truth and they are Al-Muttaqun.” (Al-Baqarah: 177)
Now you can well imagine your faith is something more than saying prayers.
To understand the meaning of life in a comprehensive manner, let consider the meaning of devotion to Allah:
Now the question from you people is, if you have a deputy working under you, what expectations do you have from him? The usual answer expected is that they want them to help them out with work constraint. It same like having your wife as deputy, whom you expect to be there for you always through thick and thin and same goes for having your eldest son around while you go out for long tours. In any case, one expects full devotion from one’s deputy no matter what. And just imagine what Allah will be expecting from His deputies. Simply relate it to previous examples. Obviously, He wants us to fulfill His commandments. Now, what is that thing for which He made you His deputy? The answer is in the Quran:
It is said in Surah Al-Aser:
“By Al-Asr (the time). Verily, man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islamic monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth, and recommend one another to patience. (Surah Al- Asr: 1-3)
If you look at this verse of Quran, having faith is just the beginning and not the end. It’s the same as if you are deputy to your boss, and it is obligatory for you to have faith in his superiority and later on proceed with the work you are assigned to. Now what man has been assigned to do is good deeds, with patience and truth. What are good deeds here? In order to proceed with this notion, let me clarify here that deputy has no authority himself. The authority is subdivided and transferred to him by his superior, which he can enjoy after it is assigned to him and later accomplish it. For example when, in absence of president of any state, the acting president takes his place for decision-making. Vice president or acting president is responsible for dare taking of state. Remember that he does not have the authority himself. He is just a member of parliament like other, though he acts as the head in his absence and it’s taken back when the president returns. Same goes to us, we can take away this authority from our deputies when want to. Remember here that its man’s caliphate (Khilafat), not his sovereignty. If for instance you become president instead of acting like one and start amending or bringing new rules and regulations, instead of implementing an existing one. Who is ever going to appreciate this act? No one, so how can you imagine Allah would appreciate it. That is the simple difference between caliphate (Khilafat) and sovereignty. Caliph is not supposed to alter the commandments rather its completion and implementation. Altering these commandments is only Allah’s ingenuity, not Caliph’s.
Now, what do you call good deeds? Quran mentions several good deeds, for instance, helping each other, abstaining from evil, helping out each other, respecting parents, elders, and relatives, to be just with people, living with harmony and loving Allah’s people, knowledge seeking, taking good care of animals etc. etc. In simple words, we can say ” man was created to take care of each other.”
Allah is responsible for running the universe because He takes care what He has created and we as deputies are responsible for custodianship of all creatures, Note that again here it is custodianship, not sovereignty. That certainly doesn’t mean one should dedicate oneself only to social work and not earn for living. Please do note that, but the question here is for whom? And fortunately the question is answered in this verse of Surah Al Imran, Ayat 92, Allah says:
“By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness-here it means Allah’s reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allah’s Cause) of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.“(Al:Imran: 92)
Now ponder, how can you spend on something, which you never had. It is a rawait in Tibrani that our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“God loves those believers who labor to earn a living through lawful means.“(Tibrani)
It is not ambiguous here to say that earning is not discouraged but it is important to accomplish the aspirations of your life.
A deputy is not appointed because it’s the boss helplessness rather he is appointed to test his integrity over others and above all, he will get his reward in the end. The purpose of appointing a deputy is to provide him with his bread and better. It for his benefit not for the boss. If it’s not him, a superior can always find many options, which can work for him according to his wishes.
Allah says in Ayat 1 and 2 of Surah Mulk:
“Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion; and He is Able to do all things. 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.” (Al-Mulk: 1-2)
Consider if this system has never existed, man would have not been a social animal. He would live for himself just the way animals do, who live and die for themselves only. Allah has created us and He knows the real you. He knows the man would never do anything without reward, as he is greedy by nature. Be a fair analyst your self. Why will somebody give you something, which you need badly without any reward or greed to get something back in return? Just imagine:
Would you like to pay a doctor, who cannot cure the diseases?
Would you give fees to some professor, who cannot prepare you well for your exams?
Would you like to give a commission to a person who cannot fix your car or who cannot provide you with the appropriate dress?
The thing I am trying to convey is that without the existence of the system, a man would have been living like an animal. But Allah knew how to run this universe. For this purpose, He gave man specific qualities so that the system works in a coherent manner. Allah says in the 165 Ayat of Surah Al-An’am:
“And it is He Who has made you generations coming after generations, replacing each other on the earth. And He has raised you in ranks, some above others that He may try you in that which He has bestowed on you. Surely, your Lord is Swift in retribution, and certainly He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-An’am: 165)
Hence it is quite clear that knowing a man’s psychology Allah has created a system in while human beings help out, and are dependant on his fellowmen and in return He gets what He wishes for himself. The secret Allah has hidden is as simple as anything. If you want to get more, give as much as you can. A man would not get anything unless his products or services are benefiting others. It is said in a Hadith in Tirmidhiy, Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“…God helps a man as long as he helps his brother… (Tirmidhiy)
Unfortunately, this simple thing seems to be complicated for people to understand. In order to understand this philosophy let me narrate a true story to you:
It is a story of two doctors. Both started this career in the same year they graduated as MBBS doctors. They did jobs and practiced privately in the evening. The purpose of one is to serve humanity and other one does it for money. Both have the same educational credibility and have done FRCS.
After 15 years one charges Rs. 400 as inspection fees, and free for those who cannot afford. Possesses one Kanal bungalow and lives with his small family. He owns a 5 years old corolla car and his kids are well behaved and mannered. In short, he is at peace with himself and life.
On the other hand, the second one charges Rs. 800 as inspection fees, owns a four Kanal bungalow, never paid any need in serving poor. Visits America every year with his family, does not miss any luxury in his house. His first marriage ended in divorce and has 3 kids from the second one, who are the most ill-mannered kids around.
He quarrels with his wife in routine life and the wife is prone to illness. His parents remain ill as well, a huge amount is spent on them and according to him, and there is restlessness and unhappiness in his life despite the money and luxuries. He himself is a heart patient. After all why? The answer is given in Surah Al-Imran Ayat No 92:
“By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness-here it means Allah’s reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allah’s Cause) of that which you love; and whatever of good you spend, Allah knows it well.” (Al-Imran: 92)
Allah says in Surah Shura, Ayat No 30:
“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardon much.“(Al-Shura: 30)
It is a said in Tirmidhiy that
Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Nothing keeps away the decree (of God) except prayer, and nothing increases the life (of man) except goodness; and man is only denied the provisions (of life) because of sins upon which he falls.“(Tirmidhiy, Mishkat)
It is the translation of Ayat 147 of Surah An- Nisa:
“Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him. And Allah is Ever All-Appreciative (of good), All-Knowing.“(An-Nisa: 147)
You see my dear; both are earning, one for him and other for humanity. The differences in their lives drastically differ from each other.
What I want to clarify here is that earning money itself is not the purpose of existence nor it is a good or bad act. The thing is what is the purpose of such earning and its usage? It makes it good or bad. If the purpose of earning money is to compliment, or aspirations and purpose life, that is, helping your fellowmen than such earning is a good action.
Now be a judge yourself. My dears will you help a deputy who starts his work by leaving your work or who spends money on himself (which you have given him for the help of people) rather than spending on people. Then the question here is why Allah has appointed someone who deserts Him and starts doing his own work rather than working for Him. If the excess richness, building, and knowledge are not using as a purpose of life, then do not take only as a blessing of Allah, but it is a test for you from Allah. The more he gives you the more he expects from you. Same as when you hire deputy on high pay, you expect high performance as well.
The biggest misconception, which is needed to be clear, is that people think that as their work is going well so they would be right. I have told you before a Hadith of the Quran while answering this question and that is it is testing from Allah. Besides, it will be clear with one more Hadith that it is the man’s work to decide. Allah will help you no matter what path you choose, either it is good or bad. It is another thing that he will face the wrath of Allah later.
As it has been cleared with the story of a doctor.
A riwait in Mishkat that Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
” …Whoso is good, good actions are easy for him, and whoso is bad, evil actions are easy for him…”
So, the thing is, do not assume if the income is increasing or the business is flourishing then Allah is with that person and whatever he is doing would be quite right. It is what Allah is helping him.
To explain the purpose or gist of life in very short words, nothing is better than Surat-Asr. Allah says:
Wal-Asr severe upon times, In Nal Insaana, no wonder man is on the losing end, Illa’l lazeen a Aamanoo except the faithfuls, Wa-amilu Saulihaat and performed good deeds, Wa-ta Was au bil Haq and preached the righteous path, Wa-ta Wa Sau Bis Sabr and told them to stay calm and patient.
So, people, our Creator has assigned this job and this is the purpose of our life. Now it is up to us to decide our profession to accomplish our aim. Do we want to become doctor or engineer? Teacher or mechanic? Nurse or tailor? Professional manager or Imam of a Masjid? Whatever you think will be a source to achieve your goal, go for that one.
All of us have the same purpose of life and that is to improve the living of others and at the same time favoring truth, so people should not destroy their life by their own hands. Because in it, lies our own happiness. Interestingly we cannot make a difference in other people’s lives unless we gain knowledge. Imagine a doctor or engineer or mechanic who is making difference in lives of thousands of people do you think they could have done without gaining knowledge in their specific field.
Keep doctors or engineers aside, consider gardener or mechanic or driver, they are doing their jobs only after gaining expertise in their field. A Riwaiat in Mushkat that Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“…Superiority of knowledge is better than superiority in worship…”(Mishkat)
An illiterate person who could not improve his life, how come it’s possible that he can improve others’ lives. And actually gaining this knowledge is a challenge, which is a scared job as well.
A lot of people argue that if Allah has given a purpose in life, why has he not given sources to compliment it? And this knowledge, which becomes the base of pious deeds, is the challenge for all. Most people argue on this question that if God has given the purpose then why He did not give the resources? A person who is rich has the sources to gain knowledge, how can a poor manage it? The answer to it is also found in my article “Knowledge is free not education”. Let me clarify one thing here not every person has the sources but they do have something. To understand this gives the answer to a question.
Do you ask your deputy to accomplish a certain task without providing him with resources? No, not at all. Before assigning the task it is noticed that whether the concerned person is able to accomplish that or not. After this, he is provided necessary resources, such as car, office, servant, budget him.
Same as God has given the potential of doing that work to man before giving him the responsibilities. The proof of this is found in the Ayats of Surah-Al-Hijr (28-29), Listen:
“And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels: ” I am going to create a man (Adam) from dried (sounding) clay of altered mud.” “So, when I have fashioned him completely and breathed into him (Adam) the soul which I created for him, then fall (you) down prostrating yourselves unto him.“(Al-Hijr: 28-29)
In these verses, Allah says I granted life to the body. The thing to learn here is, if the body gets the qualities from his parent merely via droplet of blood. Would you not possess the traits of Allah who has given you his soul.
Now, imagine do not you have Allah’s qualities because he granted you with life, soul, and body. That’s why I have said, you have potential and now it’s your job to develop it. That’s why every man has the potential to explore Allah’s capabilities and qualities. Now, do you know how much He loves you, for more than a mother loves her child?
A person who has explored qualities of Allah in him, he gets dear to Him than others. Same goes with the children as when a son/daughter has qualities of his/her parents in them to proudly carry on.
Same goes to deputy–boss relationship. A deputy who dominates such qualities in him which as the reflection of his boss is dearer to him than other employees. It is for you and Allah.
It is also very necessary to perform the life purpose in a better way that you keep on highlighting the God-given abilities and capabilities as it is in Hadith, that Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“Inculcate in you the habits of God.”
If Allah has not wanted it, then He has not mentioned again and again in the Quran along with his qualities. I am forgiving; you should be forgiving as well. I am merciful, be merciful as well.
So, in short, this was the aim of life, which Allah has given us, for which we enjoy calling ourselves deputies and eminent of all creations.
Now a person who stays devoted/busy the whole day to fulfill the purpose of life, wakes up in the morning for the same purpose, gets ready not for himself but considering it a service to God, eats with the intention to gain the objective of life and that by not doing so, he may fall ill and then goes to office for the fulfillment of the same objective. He sleeps and rests to fulfill this job in the best way. Then each and every action of this person’s life becomes worship because anything he performs is not for himself but to show devotion to Allah.
Now consider, if you deputy does not perform the job for which you have hired him, instead he serves you the whole day and continue praising you, press your legs will you be satisfied with him? No. No one can stay happy with such a person especially when you are paying him from your pocket. Now think that if we set aside the job for which Allah has appointed us and stay prostrating before. Him. Will Allah be pleased with us? Never yes, if along with this job, we continue saying prayers and appreciations of Him and prostrating before Him, it will add to the elegance.
At this point, let me clarify that no one from amongst us can ever stay happy without fulfilling the duty assigned to him by his Creator. Happiness, peace, and satisfaction come in life along with the fulfillment of this aim. As long as we are fulfilling the purpose of our creation, our Creator might have the need for our existence. Regarding this point, I have a bitter fact to share with you that I have observed. Many people get infected with fatal diseases. One basic reason for this is turning away from this aim of life. The truth is that why should our Creator keep us alive if our early death would cause a difference to someone’s life, some children are not able to gain education, some houses are left without food, some girls are not married, few people are not treated for their illness. In that case, Allah might need us, but if no difference is caused to anyone by our death, then why keep us alive.
Another reality that passed my observation is that those women who consider the upbringing of their children the sole purpose of their life when their children become independent after completing their education, their health gets affected very badly. The point to ponder is that why is it so? Actually, the truth behind this is that you kept thinking for years that the proper upbringing of your children is the sole purpose of your life. Your minds also accept this fact that until you are fulfilling that purpose, till then everything is fine. But the moment the training of your children is complete; the purpose of your life is also over. Now the question arises that when the objective is fulfilled, what’s left over with life? This kills the need for living while those people who keep striving for their aim till their old age and keep trying to gain the objective of life, one way or the other, even after retirement, it is seen that they live longer. Do ponder over this point too.
One last clarification, which is very vital in this regard and people frequently remain worried about it, I’ll use a question to mention it.
The question is that, do you think that your deputy would be able to fulfill his responsibilities effectively if he remains worried about his life or food? Never. Therefore, apart from assigning the job to your deputy, you also guarantee him security and salary.
Allah was aware of this, hence at numerous places in the Holy Quran, He has guaranteed both these things to His deputy, so that he can fulfill the purpose assigned to him by his Creator without any fear or worried. As Allah says in various places in the Quran:
It is said in Surah -Al- Jathiyah Ayat 26:
“Say (to them):” Allah gives you life, then causes you to die, —–But most of mankind know not.”
In Surah Al-Ankabut Ayat 60:
“And so many a moving (living) creature carries not its own provision! Allah provides for it and for you—-“
It is said in Surah Al- Mulk Ayat 21:
“Who is he that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision?…” (Al-Mulk: 21)
So my dear, forget worrying about your life and food and learn to live. Unfortunately, today’s human being is not carrying out the job that is assigned to him, instead of worrying about those things (life and food), which are not his responsibilities at all. In fact, these are Allah’s responsibilities. Why are you worried about something that is not your responsibility? You should think about those responsibilities that are assigned you. Because you will be questioned about that what is your responsibility. You should prove yourself as Allah’s deputy. You do your work, and being the Master, let Allah do His.