“By time, indeed mankind is in loss, except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” (Surah Al-Asr)
Have you ever stopped to think, just for a moment, what your thoughts, your words and your actions seek to achieve? Have you ever paused, in the midst of life’s chaos and virtual marathon to excel, to ponder over the reason you run this race; the reason you wake up every day and set out to an educational institution or your workplace? As the day slowly progresses and you remain engrossed in one activity or another, have you taken a moment to analyze why you do what you do? In those final moments before you drift off to sleep, have you thought about the seconds, the minutes and the hours that passed you by and what you inherently sought to derive out of them? Have you ever reflected over the primary reason behind every act that you indulge in? If not, do so now. Take a moment, a few seconds, to reassess yourself and the reasons behind your actions – ask yourself, when I wake up every morning, what propels me towards the activities I carry out during the course of my day?
What is our purpose in life? Why are we here and why must we reflect upon the ripples setting all our waves of action into motion? Allah SWT says in the Quran, “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (51: 56) These divine words, untouched and intact through the sands of time, speak volumes – we were created for one solitary purpose: the worship of the Almighty, Lord of all the Worlds. Through His Mercy and Love for His Creation, Allah SWT beautified this world, adorning it with human attributes of love and compassion, gems and jewels, and diversity in Nature and creation. Be it sound education, other beings, wealth or fame, our human nature drives us to chase the sparkle and glitter of this world. Mankind is forever in pursuit of the worldly, often forgetting the significant, the eternal – the worship of Allah, the Exalted.
When we awaken, we rush towards whatever worldly agenda we have carved for the day, forgetting that this agenda too, should come with the sole purpose of pleasing our Creator. We rush to schools and colleges, offices and market-places, recreation centers and entertainment havens, forgetting that as we strive to educate our minds or earn a living or enjoy the many blessings bestowed upon us, the eternal soul remains neglected and overlooked unless that education, that job, that leisure time revolves around the purpose of our very existence – the worship of the One who gave us life and will take it away when He so wills. We bask in the vibrant colours splattered across the canvas of life, forgetting all the while that as we enjoy our meal, the comfort of our homes and the blissful company of loved ones, we must endeavor to remember and thank Him without whose blessings and mercy we are lost and astray. We seek comfort and joy in the transient as we hasten to acquire what lies in this world, forgetting that true comfort and true joy can only emanate through worship: the very purpose of our creation – “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)
We were created to worship – and worship alone. Yet we were also endowed free will and blessed with the opportunity to engage in worldly dealings. In order to survive and thrive, we must acquire knowledge, we must work, we must partake in inter-human relationships – in fact, we are encouraged to do so – yet we must remember to ensure all our dealings revolve around one central premise: the pleasure of the Almighty. When we learn, we must learn with the goal of benefitting others with our knowledge; when we work, we must work with the intention to seek sustenance through lawful means and be an asset to society; when we enjoy the many blessings life offers, we must always remember to thank He who gave us everything to begin with. No act of ours – be it seemingly simple motions such as eating, drinking and sleeping, or of bigger proportions – should lack the perspective that we should please the Most Loving, the Most High through it. We must strive to please Allah at all times, irrespective of where we are and what occupies us because as Allah Himself tells us, this is the one true reason we were created. We must stop, ponder and reflect, asking ourselves where we shall stand before Allah on the day there is no shade but His if our primary goal in life is to excel at our career, acquire fame, recognition, social status and wealth; if our one true goal, at the end of the day, is not the one true reason for our existence.
*Note: The above picture was taken from the iERA website – One Reason. Interested in learning more about the purpose of life? Go to this link to read more: http://www.onereason.org/what-is-your-purpose/