“What is your reason for living or the purpose of your life?” When you ask most people this 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 has said, or they will tell you what is commonly assumed by other people.
If I ask anyone why they work, they will probably say because it’s a necessity, in order to support themselves, or to provide for the needs of their families. If I ask anyone why they sleep, why they wash or why they dress, they will answer with appropriate answers.
Then why, when we ask the question “what is the purpose of life?” do we get so manydifferent answers? Is it because we are confused, or we really don’t know? Are just stumbling in the dark but rather than say “I don’t know” we just offer any answer we have been programmed to give?
Think about it. Is our purpose in this world simply to eat, sleep, dress, work, acquire some material things and enjoy ourselves? Is this our purpose? Was this why we were put on this earth? What is the object of our existence? What is the wisdom behind the creation of man and this tremendous universe? Have you ever thought about these questions?
Did all of this synchronization, balance, harmony, variation and design happen all by chance? Do these things also function perfectly and perpetually just by chance? It would be totally illogical and foolish to assume that.
Allah, The Almighty Power and The Creator who has the knowledge to design and proportion, created all of this and is responsible for maintaining it and therefore He is the only One who deserves praise and gratitude but when we are too preoccupied by striving in the wrong direction in our lives, we forget this. We fail to look at the Quran and Sunnah for guidance and we fail to ponder the signs of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).
As a result, we forget the gravity of reciting la illaha illalah and we knowingly or unknowingly become the slaves of culture, traditions, fashions, celebrities, or worse, our own desires. Our sole purpose in life becomes acquiring the meaningless temporary benefits as dictated by the world and we forget the main purpose of life.
If I were to give each one of you one hundred dollars for no reason, you would at least say thank you. What about your eyes, your kidneys, your brain, your breath, your parents, your very life? Who gave you all of that? Is He not worthy of your praise and thanks? Is He not worthy of your worship and recognition?
In a nutshell, here is the real goal and purpose of life. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), said to us in the Holy Quran:
“And I did not create mankind except to worship Me.” (51: 56)
Our purpose in this life is to recognize Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), to be grateful to Him, to worship Him, to surrender ourselves to Him and to obey the laws that He has determined for us. Although ritualistic worship is essential, it is obeying and surrendering to His commands that makes our worship complete.
Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) makes a very clear and concise statement in His Book:
“This day I have perfected for you your religion, bestowed my favor upon you and chosen Islam, for you, as a complete way of life.” (5:3)
This is the way of life our Creator has chosen for us and this is what we have to embrace wholeheartedly. He further explains the purpose of our life in the Quran in the following words:
“(He) who created death and life to test you (as to) which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving”(67:2)
Therefore, dear friends the reason we live is to worship Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and to strive to please Him as per the teachings of our deen. We all know life is a constant struggle, be it the correct path or the corrupt one. Believers and non-believers both have to face the hardships of life. As Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) says:
“O mankind, indeed you are labouring toward your Lord with (great) exertion and will meet it (your reckoning).” (84:6)
Whether we like it or not and whether we believe in Him or not, every moment is taking us closer to standing in front of Him. When life is full of struggles, why not struggle towards doing deeds that please our Creator and that can help us attain success in its true sense. This in reality is permanent and genuine success.
This is what we will strive for InshaAllah; to attain eternal success, because Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) promises are always true. He (subhanahu wa ta’aala) says:
“Certainly will the believers have succeeded.” (23:1)