PURPOSE OF HUMAN LIFE ON EARTH
Prior to discussion on “Faith in Islam”, it is necessary to be very clear about the purpose of life on Earth. This is because Allah has given Iman, Islam, Books, and have sent Prophets only to facilitate humankind to achieve the purpose for which He has created them.
If a believer is able to understand “Faith in Islam” with respect to Purpose of Human Life on Earth, then his Faith will help to achieve the purpose of life. In fact, when Iman gives a believer direction in the course of action, he gets enormous strength towards achieving the purpose of life set by Allah, The Almighty.
What Is The Purpose Of Life On Earth?
Every one of us understands that whenever anyone makes something, there is a purpose behind making it. A carpenter makes a chair for people to sit on, a builder makes a home for people to live in, Automotive Industry makes a car for transportation and so on. Whatever Allah has created or will create, is also not without any purpose.
“Not without purpose did we create Heavens and the Earth. And all in between! That were the thoughts of unbelievers!”(Quran 38:27)
. “Not for (idle) sports, did we create the Heavens and the Earth” (Quran 21: 16).
Creation is not for sports or play, Allah has a serious purpose behind each of His creation.
Everything Allah has created in the universe has a purpose and each creation is fulfilling the
Purpose of creation without any exception
“It’s He who has created for you all things that are on Earth” (Quran 2:29).
Water, Sun, Moon, day, night, tree, animals, and so on-are directly or indirectly serving people. These are obeying commands of Allah to satisfy the purpose of their creator.
“To Him belongs every being that is in the Heavens and on Earth. All are devoutly obedient to Him” (Quran 30:16).
Human life on Earth is also not without any purpose.
“Do you think that we have created you without any purpose and that you will not be brought back to Us? “(Quran 23:115).
Allah has created first man and women in the heavens. Then He sent them on earth, with a mission that they manage the world as His obedient representative (caliph of Allah), He has revealed the purpose of creating humans before they were created:
“I will create a vicegerent on earth” (Quran 2:30).
“It is He who has appointed you vicegerent over the Earth” (Quran 6:165).
“Vicegerent” is a person who executes delegated power on behalf of a sovereign or ruler. Ambassador of a country is an example. He executes delegated power in obedience to ruler of the country, he represents.
Same is with humans as “Caliph of Allah “on earth. He is required to perform his duties in this world by obeying and following the Law of Allah. Man has no right to disobey command of his Creator:
“None can command except Allah “(Quran 12:68).
“I have only created Jinn and humans to obey me “(Quran 12:68).
From the discussion above, we understand that Allah has created everything in the universe and entrusted these to humankind. He has given responsibility to every human being to search and develop these wonderful creations and make use of these by obeying the Law of Allah for their own benefit.
Training and Guidance for Managing the world as Calipha:
Allah did not just drop human being from Heaven on earth and ask to start work as His Calipha, without any assistance.
First, He made humans superior in intellectual and spiritual power than any other creation in the world. Also has given enough physical strength to make use of intellectual and spiritual power to lead the world:
“ We have indeed created the human in the best of forms “ ( Quran 95:04 )
Second, He had sent Messengers to train and develop every man and woman to work as representative of Allah on earth:
“We have sent a Messenger from your own people to show you evidence about Me , to purify you from sins, to teach you Book ( Quran), to give you wisdom and instruct you in that which you did not know “ ( Quran 2:151).
Allah has made Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) “ Role Model” so that humans can follow him in rendering responsibility as true representative: “ Indeed in the Messenger of Allah has the Best Model to follow “ ( Quran 33:21 ). He has made it obligatory to follow this Role Model and strictly warned for any non-compliance: “Take whatever the Messenger gives you and refrain from whatever he forbids you. Fear Allah, for Allah is severe in inflicting punishment “(Quran 59:7).
Third, He has sent” Book of Guidance” for successful life on earth. Success and failure in this life and life after death very much depends on how human being acts on earth with respect to Guidance of Allah.
“ As is sure, there comes to you Guidance from Me, whosoever follows My Guidance, will not lose his way, nor fall into misery “(Quran 20 :123).
“Henceforth, there shall come Guidance (book) from Me. whoever will follow this, shall have neither fear nor sorrow. Whoever will refuse to accept it and defy our revelation, they shall be doomed to the fire wherein they shall remain forever “(Quran 2:38, 39).
Fourth, to achieve peace and happiness through Islamic Way of Life, humans need firm faith in Fundamentals of Faith in Islam. This will be discussed in following chapters.
Fifth, relation with Allah is most important for working as representative of Allah. Without this, it is not possible to work as Calipha of Allah. We understand very well that a government representative needs to maintain close relation with the ruler.
For maintaining constant relation with Allah five time daily ritual prayers spread over day and night is introduced. This helps to remember Allah always:
“Establish prayer for my remembrance “(Quran 2:183).
Fasting in Ramadan is a month long training to make body, mind and soul fit to obey Allah. Hajj is a spiritual gathering of Muslims from all over the world to the house of Allah. It is an event of great Spiritual and Moral purification, which is achieved through building solid relation with Allah. While explaining the result of Hajj, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
“Whoever perform the Hajj without engaging in any obscenity nor wickedness, will return (as sinless) as the day his mother give birth to him” (al- Bukhari).
Yearly Zakat is a training to control greed of wealth and purify soul:
“Receive from their wealth, some charity in order to cleanse them and purify them” (Quran 9:103).
Rituals as stated above are for purification of body, mind and soul through remembrance and consciousness of Allah. This purification helps to do good work and avoid corruption, which is vital for success in life:
“He has succeeded who purifies the soul, and he has failed, who corrupts the soul” (Quran 91:9-10).
Freedom and Test while working as Representative in this World:
Unlike other creation, Allah has given to humankind freedom in discharging their responsibility as Calipha. They have a choice to obey or disobey Allah in the life of this world. This freedom is given as a matter of test for rewarding and punishing according to choice made in this world:
“That He might try you which of you is best in conduct” (Quran11:7).
“We made you heirs in the land after them to see how you would behave” (Quran 10:14).
“He has created death and life to test you (as to see), which of you is best in deeds “(Quran 67:2).
Test is not without reward or punishment. No law is effective over man’s free will unless there is reward or punishment. This is the reason, why ruler of a country pay remuneration to the people who serve the country and make prison to punish wrongdoer.
Allah has promised reward for righteous and obedient people so that they follow His law to achieve objective of life:
“ Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while is a believer- we will surely cause them live a good life and we will surely give them their reward ( in the Hereafter) according to the best of what they used to do”(Quran 16 :97). Hope of reward for good deeds helps people to apply their free will to do righteous work as Calipha. Righteous work brings peace, prosperity and progress in the world.
On the other hand, Allah has warned with severe punishment for disobeying him and wrongdoing:
“God will not treat equally those who believed and done righteous deeds like corruptors in the land” (Quran 38:27-28).
“And for those who disbelieved, I will punish them with a severe punishment in the world and the Hereafter; and they will have no helpers” (Quran 3:56).
Above discussion based on Quran reflects purpose of life and ways to achieve. Allah has set up this, so that his creation can develop the world, enjoy His bounties and live with peace and happiness. This should be the goal of human being as representative of Allah and they should rush to do good work to achieve this. They should remember that Allah has power to make His representative accountable for non-compliance:
“Everyone has a direction towards which he turns; so excel one another in good works. Allah will bring you all together wherever you might be, for nothing is beyond His power “(Quran 2:148).
In spite of above facts, with the passage of time, many Muslims started to deviate from true understanding of “Worship of Allah” as purpose of life. They have confined “Worship of Allah” in practicing few rituals like prayer, Fasting, Hajj, Zakat and left many other activities of life ( like economy ,business, finance, trade, commerce, politics, Judiciary, social affairs, state affairs, international affairs etc.) out of teaching of Quran and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Worship of Allah that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) demonstrated is no less than obeying Allah in all affairs of life. His system of Worship of Allah established humans as obedient “Vicegerent of Allah”. Hence ultimate purpose of human life in this world is “Obey (Worship) Allah, do good work as obedient vicegerent of Allah for peace and happiness in this world and in the life after death”.