bismillah

View / Print this Newsletter Issue flipping pages

The Purpose of Life

Allah written in cloudsThis is an advice to all about the purpose of life. I request you to think of what I'm about to say to you as advice; not a lecture.

The information that I wish to share with you may seem a bit extensive. When you consider the capacity of the human brain and the amount of information that it can store and decipher, then a few pages of information, I'm sure, will not overwork you. It is my responsibility to address the topics of our discussion, "What is the purpose of our life?" and also ask a question, "What do you know about Islam?" I mean what do you really know about Islam? Not what you've heard about Islam, not what you've seen in the actions of some Muslims, but what do you know about Islam?

I would like to begin by saying that all of you have an equal responsibility. And that responsibility is to listen with an open heart and an open mind. In a world filled with prejudice and cultural conditioning, it is very hard to find people that are able to take a moment to think. To think about life objectively. And try to arrive at the truth about this world and the real purpose of our lives.

Unfortunately, when you ask most people the question, "what is the purpose of our life?" such a fundamental and important question, they will not tell you what they have concluded through observation or analytical reasoning. Rather, in most cases, they will simply tell you what someone else said. Or they will tell you what is commonly presumed by others. What my father said what the purpose of life is, what the minister of my church said the purpose of life is, what my teacher in school said, what my friends said. If I ask anyone what's the purpose eating, why do we eat? Most people will say, in one way or another, it's for nutrition; because nutrition sustains life. If I ask people why they work, they will say because it is a necessity in order to support themselves and to provide the needs of their family. If I ask people why they sleep, why they wash, why they dress, etc. they will answer this is a common necessity for all human beings.

We can follow this line of questioning with a hundred questions and receive the same or similar answers from people, in any language, in any place in the world. Simple. Now I ask you the question, "What is the goal and purpose of our life?" and we get so many different answers. That's because people are confused. They don't really know. They're stumbling in the dark. And rather than say, "I don't know", they just offer any answer that they've been programmed to answer. Well, think about it now. Is our purpose in this world simply to eat, sleep, dress, work, acquire some material things and enjoy ourselves? Is this our purpose? Why are we born? What is the object of our existence and what is the wisdom behind the creation of man and this tremendous universe? Think about that question.

Some persons argue that there's no proof of any divine origin, there's no truth that there is a God, there's no truth that this universe has come about through any divine purpose. They say that perhaps this world has come about by chance. A big bang and this whole great world, with all of its orchestrations, just came together. They argue that life doesn't have any definite purpose, and there's nothing that can be proven through either logic or science that there's a God, or a purpose, or any divine reason behind this world. I would like to mention a few verses from the Quran that addresses this subject.

"Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding, who remember Allah standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the creation of the heavens and the earth, (and conclude), "Our Lord! You have not created all this without purpose, glory to You! Grant us salvation from the torment of the Fire." (Quran 3: 190-191)

Now hearing these verses, Allah has mentioned very clearly to us by first drawing our attention to the creation of ourselves, to different postures of the human body, the different attitudes of the human psychology. He draws our attention to the heavens, the alternation of the night and day, the firmament, the stars, the constellations, and then He says to us that He has not created all of this for any foolish purpose. When you see the design of it, you know that the design of it is very powerful and very precise. And something very powerful and very precise that is beyond your own calculations and imagination; it cannot be foolish. It cannot be just thrown together. For instance, if you took ten marbles, and numbered then one through ten, and all of them were different colors, and you put them inside of a bag, and shook the bag, and closing your eyes, reached inside that bag. And I told you to pull out marble number one and pull out marble number two and marble number three in order. What is the chance that you will pull out the ten marbles in order? Do you know that the chances are? 26 million in one. So what are the chances of the heaven and earth being thrown in a big bang; and orchestrated like they are. What's the chance of that?

My dear respected readers, we have to ask ourself a further question. When you see a bridge, or a building, or an automobile, you automatically consider the person or the company that constructed it. When you see an airplane, a rocket, or a satellite, or a large ship, you also think about how incredible an invention it is. When you see a nuclear plant, an orbiting space station, or a super international airport, like what exists here in this country, you have to be thoroughly impressed with the engineering dynamic that are involved. Yet, these are just things that are manufactured by human beings.

Then what about the human body; with its massive and intricate control systems? Think about it. Think about the brain; how it thinks, how it functions, how it analyses, how it stores information, retrieves information, distinguishes and categorizes information in a millionth of a second! And does it constantly. Think about the brain for more. This is the brain that made the automobile, the rocket ship, the boats, and so and so; think about the brain that makes everything. Think about the heart. This magnificent pump works 24 hours a day for your entire lifetime without stopping. It pumps 100,000 beats in a day, while sending five liters of blood circulating through your body in just 13 seconds. In one single day your heart can pump enough blood to fill a good sized oil truck. How it pumps continuously for 60 or 70 years; in taking and discharging blood throughout the body and maintaining a steady precision throughout the life of that person.

Think about it. Think about the kidneys; what kind of function do they carry? The purifying instrument of the body; which performs hundreds of chemical analysis simultaneously. And also controls the level of toxicity in the content of the body...and it does this automatically.

Think about your eyes. The human camera; that adjusts, focus, interprets, evaluates, applies color automatically; the natural reception and adjustment to light and distance. The eye is the world's best camera. It can take flawless pictures and transfer them to the brain without any blurring. Six large powerful muscles control the eye and allow it to move in any desired direction. The focusing muscles of the eye move about 100 000 times a day. To give the leg muscles the same exercise would involve walking 50 miles a day. The delicate parts of this precision instrument are kept clean by the eyelids which act as window wipers. The retina can take ten different pictures each second or 800 000 pictures a day. You blink about 15 times a minute. Who created that? Who has mastered that? Who plans that? And who regulates that? Human beings? Themselves? No of course not!!

What about this universe? Think about this. This earth is one planet in our solar system. And our system is one of the systems in the Milky Way. And the Milky Way is one of the constellations in that galaxy. And there are millions of galaxies like the Milky Way. Think about that...and they're all in order. They're all precise. They are not colliding with each other, they are not conflicting with each other and they are swimming along in an orbit that has been set for them. Have human beings set that into motion, are human beings maintaining that precision? No, of course they're not. Think about the oceans, the fish, the insects, the birds, the plants, bacteria, the chemical elements that have not been discovered and cannot be detected even with sophisticated instruments. Yet each one of them has a law that they follow. Did all of this synchronization, balance, harmony, variation, design, maintenance, operation, and infinite operation; did all of this happen by chance? And also, do these things function perpetually and perfectly also by chance? And do they keep on reproducing themselves and maintaining themselves also by chance? No, of course not!! That would be totally illogical and foolish to think and in the least it would indicate that however it came to be, it is totally outside the realm of human capabilities; we would all agree to that.

The Almighty Power, God...the Creator who has the knowledge to design and to proportion; who has created all of this and is responsible for maintaining all of this is the only one who is deserving of praise and gratitude. If I gave each one of you $100 for no reason, you would at least say thank you. What about your eyes, your kidneys, your brain, your life, your breath, your children...what about that? Who gave you that? Is He not worthy of praise and thanks? Is He not worthy of your worship and recognition? My readers, that in a nutshell, is the goal and purpose of this life. Allah (SWT) has said to us in the Quran,
"I have not created the jinn, the spirits, nor the human beings, for any other purpose except to worship Me." (Quran 51: 56)

This is what the Almighty said. So our purpose in life is to recognize the Creator, to be grateful to the Creator, to worship the Creator, to surrender ourselves to the Ceator, and to obey the laws that He determined for us. In a nutshell, it means worship. This is our purpose in this life. And whatever our system...the eating, the drinking, the dressing, the working, the enjoying between the life and the death...all of this is just coincidental. We have been created for worship and that is the purpose of our life. I don't think that anyone can have much argument with that purpose.

 

This story is also available in audio format:

'The Purpose of Life' mp3 format (80MB)

top


The Islamic Bulletin
P.O. Box 410186, San Francisco, CA 94141-0186

Vol. XX, No. 25
Note from the Editor
Letters to the Editor
Everyday Dua'a
Islam in Colombia
The Purpose of Life
Inna Lilahi Wa Inna
Ilayhi Rajioon
Ask and He Gives
How I Embraced Islam
Three Special
Individuals
Salaahtul Janazah -
Shafi'i
Salaahtul Janazah -
Hanafi
Learn to Perform and
Correct Your Wudhu
How to Perform
Salaatul Tasbeeh
Prayer Locations
Supplications After
Prayer
The Last Sermon
The Prophets Quiz
Monthly Prayer Calendar
Cook's Corner
Secrets of
Surah Kahaf
Contemplations of
Surah Al Asr
The Past is
Gone Forever
Speaking of Time
Olive Oil
Stories of the Sahabah
Sayings of the Prophet
Extras