ISLAM and the AIM of LIFE
What is your purpose in life? What is the rationale behind our life?
Why do we live in this life? These questions frequently intrigue
people who try to find accurate answers.
People provide different answers to these questions. Some people
believe the purpose of life is to accumulate wealth. But one may
wonder: What is the purpose of life after one has collected colossal
amounts of money? What then? What will the purpose be once money is
gathered? If the purpose of life is to gain money, there will be no
purpose after becoming wealthy. And in fact, here lies the problem of
some disbelievers or misbelievers at some stage of their life, when
collecting money is the target of their life. When they have collected
the money they dreamt of, their life loses its purpose. They suffer
from the panic of nothingness and they live in tension and
Can Wealth Be an Aim?
We often hear of a millionaire committing suicide, sometimes, not the
millionaire himself but his wife, son, or daughter. The question that
poses itself is: Can wealth bring happiness to one’s life? In most
cases the answer is NO. Is the purpose of collecting wealth a standing
purpose? As we know, the five-year old child does not look for wealth:
a toy for him is equal to a million dollars. The eighteen-year old
adolescent does not dream of wealth because he is busy with more
important things. The ninety-year old man does not care about money;
he is worried more about his health. This proves that wealth cannot be
a standing purpose in all the stages of the individual's life.
Wealth can do little to bring happiness to a disbeliever, because he/
she is not sure about his fate. A disbeliever does not know the
purpose of life. And if he has a purpose, this purpose is doomed to be
temporary or self destructive.
What is the use of wealth to a disbeliever if he feels scared of the
end and skeptical of everything. A disbeliever may gain a lot of
money, but will surely lose himself.
Worshipping Allah as an Aim
On the contrary, faith in Allah gives the believer the purpose of life
that he needs. In Islam, the purpose of life is to worship Allah. The
term "Worship" covers all acts of obedience to Allah.
The Islamic purpose of life is a standing purpose. The true Muslim
sticks to this purpose throughout all the stages of his life, whether
he is a child, adolescent, adult, or an old man.
Worshipping Allah makes life purposeful and meaningful, especially
within the framework of Islam. According to Islam this worldly life is
just a short stage of our life. Then there is the other life. The
boundary between the first and second life is the death stage, which
is a transitory stage to the second life. The type of life in the
second stage a person deserves depends on his deeds in the first life.
At the end of the death stage comes the day of judgment. On this day,
Allah rewards or punishes people according to their deeds in the first
The First Life as an Examination
So, Islam looks at the first life as an examination of man. The death
stage is similar to a rest period after the test, i. e. after the
first life. The Day of Judgment is similar to the day of announcing
the results of the examinees. The second life is the time when each
examinee enjoys or suffers from the outcome of his behavior during the
In Islam, the line of life is clear, simple, and logical: the first
life, death, the Day of Judgment, and then the second life. With this
clear line of life, the Muslim has a clear purpose in life. The Muslim
knows he is created by Allah. Muslims know they are going to spend
some years in this first life, during which they have to obey God,
because God will question them and hold them responsible for their
public or private deeds, because Allah knows about all the deeds of
all people. The Muslim knows that his deeds in the first life will
determine the type of second life they will live in. The Muslim knows
that this first life is a very short one, one hundred years, more or
less, whereas the second life is an eternal one.
The Eternity of the Second Life
The concept of the eternity of the second life has a tremendous effect
on a Muslims during their first life, because Muslims believe that
their first life determines the shape of their second life. In
addition, this determines the shape of their second life and this
determination will be through the Judgment of Allah, the All just and
With this belief in the second life and the Day of Judgment, the
Muslim's life becomes purposeful and meaningful. Moreover, the
Muslim's standing purpose is to go to Paradise in the second life.
In other words, the Muslim's permanent purpose is to obey Allah, to
submit to Allah, to carry out His orders, and to keep in continues
contact with Him through prayers (five times a day), through fasting
(one month a year), through charity (as often as possible), and
through pilgrimage (once in one's life).
The Need for a Permanent Purpose
Disbelievers have purposes in their lives such as collecting money and
property, indulging in sex, eating, and dancing. But all these
purposes are transient and passing ones. All these purposes come and
go, go up and down. Money comes and goes. Health comes and goes.
Sexual activities cannot continue forever. All these lusts for money,
food and sex cannot answer the individual's questions: so what? Then
However, Islam saves Muslims from the trouble of asking the question,
because Islam makes it clear, from the very beginning, that the
permanent purpose of the Muslim in this life is to obey Allah in order
to go to Paradise in the second life.
We should know that the only way for our salvation in this life and in
the hereafter is to know our Lord who created us, believe in Him, and
worship Him alone.
We should also know our Prophet whom Allah had sent to all mankind,
believe in Him and follow Him. We should, know the religion of truth
which our Lord has commanded us to believe in, and practice it …
Those in search of truth
Who have an open mind and heart,
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