Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|The meaning of life|
|09/12/01 at 02:03:55|
|Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh|
[center]The meaning of life
by Dr Muhammad Kamal Al-Shareef[/center]
God says in the Qur'an: "Your Lord said to the angels 'I am appointing a vicegerent on Earth.' They said, 'Will You appoint on it someone who would spread corruption and shed blood, whereas we celebrate Your praises, and extol Your holiness?' He said, 'I surely know that of which you have no knowledge." (2: 30)
He also says: "Blessed be He in whose hand all dominion rests; He who has power over all things; He who has created death as well as life, so that He might put you to a test (to show) which of you is best in conduct. He alone is almighty, much-forgiving." (67: 1-2)
A human being who has not attained to faith and has not benefited by the light by which faith illuminates one's whole life tries to achieve different objectives such as fame, wealth, position, honor, or all these put together, or some other objectives he might set for his life. He will pursue his objectives, heedless of other concerns. However, should he pause to reflect on what lies beyond the achievement of his objectives, and what a huge wealth and worldwide fame would give him, he will realize that he is bound to leave all his achievements behind when death comes knocking at his door.
When man reaches this stage of questioning the meaning of his life, and of human life in general, he will, if he does not believe in God and the Day of Judgment, experience a profound sense of loss. He often feels that everything is meaningless. A person who is unable to have a sense of purpose for his life and cannot give his life even a "fabricated" purpose will be overwhelmed by worry and depression. He is bound to contemplate whether it may be better to take his leave and depart this miserable and senseless life.
Few indeed are those who commit suicide. Most people eventually find a purpose for their lives and set themselves one or more useful objectives which fill their days. Some devote whatever spare time and energy they have to a good cause. Thus they enrich life with what is of benefit to others. Theirs is a noble objective. Others may take up a political or intellectual cause, or join a reform movement, or some other cause to give their lives a better purpose. Those who are inventive find a greater meaning for their lives in their innovative approaches.
All such objectives adopted by many people are merely reflections of the original objective behind man's creation and his appointment as God's vicegerent on Earth. The fulfillment of this vicegerency may take many forms, reflected in any action in which a man or a woman pursues one of the Divine attributes. It is not for the achievement of material civilization that man has been created. In fact, the pursuit of knowledge, administration of justice, the rearing of one's children with compassion and tenderness, innovation and helping others through their difficulties are all aspects of man's vicegerency. After all, it is God who brings benefit, creates everything in the heavens and Earth, bestows mercy, knows everything and administers justice to all.
[i]Miserable indeed is a person who has no objective in life other than material pleasure. Even more miserable is the one whose objective is to defy God, spread corruption, and instigate others to rebel against their Lord. With such an attitude, he is no more than a Devil's disciple who refuses the role of God's vicegerent, placing himself instead in a position equal to that of God. Only in this way he satisfies his arrogant outlook. [color=Red]"Is man unaware that it is We who create him out of a mere drop of sperm, whereupon he shows himself endowed with the power to think and to argue?"[/color](36:77)[/i]
Yet such a conceited fool does not realize that his rebellion does not give him any status other than his original one, which makes him a creature aspiring to reflect in himself some of God's attributes. He aspires to greatness and demonstrates pride, but the result is his own unhappiness, because he has chosen the attributes which God has forbidden to mankind. In fact, He has threatened with punishment in hell those of His servants who claim for themselves part of His greatness and pride.
In a sacred Hadith, the Prophet says: "God says, 'Greatness is My robe and pride is My cloak. Whoever claims a share with Me in respect of either of them, him I will severely punish'." (Related by Muslim).
We face a tough test that puts in front of us a choice between fulfilling the role of vicegerency on Earth and that of conceited arrogance in defiance of God the Creator and injustice to His creation. Anyone of us who chooses the proper role will lead a happy life enlightened by faith. The one who rebels does injustice to himself and leads a miserable life. To know how miserable it is, we need only to refer to people like Neitsche, Kamu, Sartre and many others. It is very important for everyone of us to remember the following Qur'anic verse and reflect on it: "Do you think that We created you in mere idle play, and that you would not have to return to Us?" (23: 115)
[i]"Islam in Perspective" - Arab News - 01 January 2001[/i]
Wassalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh
Haniff (with 'f' squared)
Individual posts do not necessarily reflect the views of Jannah.org, Islam, or all Muslims. All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the poster and may not be used without consent of the author.The rest © Jannah.Org