Saturday 16 July 2016

Why Am I Here? | Understanding the Purpose of Life

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

By Hadhrat Moulana AbdulHamid Is`haq Saheb 
(Daamat Barakaatuhum)

If a person takes admission into a Darul Uloom, his objective is to study and complete the course. If he is sincere, his prime object is to study. However, he will have to also fulfil the necessities of life – such as eating, drinking, sleeping, doing his laundry and so forth. All these are not the purpose of his time in the Darul Uloom, but they will have to be done to fulfil the main purpose.

Of course, if the person does not attend the classes and does not work towards completing the course, then even if the food and the facilities are the best, the objective will not be fulfilled.

…A person is traveling from Johannesburg to Durban because he has to attend a funeral – which will be taking place at a certain time. The objective is to reach Durban to attend the Janaza Salaah. However, enroute, the person will stop for Salaah, to eat, to fill up petrol, etc. Despite these stops, he keeps in mind that he has to reach Durban in time. He is traveling with a purpose in mind and to fulfil that purpose.

Similarly, we have come into this world and there is a great purpose to life. …Do we ask ourselves: Why am I here? What am I here for? …A person has passed thirty, forty, fifty years and perhaps even more, of his life, but has no idea as to what his purpose is and makes no attempt to even find out.  

…If a person has a GPS, but he does not enter in his destination, he will drive around without direction, without purpose. His petrol gets finished and he fills more petrol; his tyre pressure is less and he fills it up. Why? ...Whilst there should be a purpose, he is driving along with no destination in mind.

So our purpose, here, in this world needs to be identified and defined.

We did not come into the world on our accord. We did not request to come here. Furthermore, whoever comes into this world, cannot leave on his own accord. If a person wants to stay longer or he wants to leave early, he cannot. It will only be when Allah Ta’ala decrees. Many people try to commit suicide but do not succeed. Maut (death) only comes on its appointed time. …In Islam, suicide is Haraam (forbidden) because we do not own this body. Allah Ta’ala is the Owner. We are the creation of Allah Ta’ala and belong to Allah Ta’ala. The decision of life and death is from Allah Ta’ala. It is not for any person to decide for himself.

When our coming into this world is not in our control, and our going is not in our control, then this proves that our purpose is also not for us to define. He who has sent us and He who is going to call us back has defined our purpose. To understand this better, let us take an example: We employ someone to work for us, and from amongst his duties, he has to wash the cars once a week. From our side, we provide the water, buckets, soap, sponges, polish, tyre cleaners and whatever else is required for the car – for the outside and inside cleaning.  The instruction is that the cars are to be washed and cleaned.

Instead of following through with the instruction, the employee brings his own car and he washes, cleans and polishes it, using all the material we had provided. We are paying him to wash our cars and we are giving him all that will be required to wash our cars, in our time and on our property. However, he leaves our cars aside and his car is given a full car wash.  Will anyone accept that … and put up with that? Nobody will.

Allah Ta’ala has clearly outlined and defined why He has created us:

“I did not create the jinn and the human beings except for the purpose that they should worship Me.”
[Surah Az-Zaariyaat 51 : 56]

The Mufassireen (Commentators of the Qur`aan Sharief) have explained that this Ayat (verse) directs towards the Ma’rifat (recognition) of Allah Ta’ala. By way of explanation, the word, “Li’yabudoon” is translated as “Li’yarifoon” (to recognize). If there is Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala, then there will be the worship of Allah Ta’ala and the fulfilment of the purpose of our creation. Likewise, the natural outcome of the recognition of Allah Ta’ala is the love of Allah Ta’ala. The more a person recognizes Allah Ta’ala, the more he will have love for Allah Ta’ala. With love, follows obedience. When a person loves, then he is obedient to the one he loves. Practically, this becomes evident in the worship Allah Ta’ala.

Allah Ta’ala has put us here, on His earth, for His Ibaadat (worship), for His work and He is supplying every single thing to us – everything that is required to fulfil the purpose of our time here in the world, and Allah Ta'ala also rewards generously if we have to work in the direction of earning His Pleasure. ...The sun, moon, stars, sky, wind, rain and everything operates for our benefit. We are given shelter, clothing, food, drink… we are given our sight, hearing, speech, intellect and so much else …so that we may achieve our purpose in this world. But we fail to do so.

One Shukr that we should learn to make is: O Allah, You see to every necessity of mine – known and unknown. You fulfil my needs as well as my wants. You have given me eyes to go about doing my work with ease, You have given me the great gift of hearing, the use of my limbs – the ability to walk and do the activities of life, the function of my organs and unlimited favours…

At times, the Shukr is on individual bounties and at other times on a general note – for all bounties, as we find in the Masnoon Dua, which we read morning and evening, after Fajr and after Maghrib:

“O Allah, whatever favour of Yours falls upon me or upon any of Your creation, it is solely from You. You have no partner. For You is all praise and for You is all thanks.”

Rasulullâh Sallallahu Alayhi wa Sallam  said that the one who reads the above in the morning (and evening) fulfils his responsibility of thanking Allah Ta’ala for the favours of the day (or night).[1]

So Allah Ta’ala has defined a purpose for us and all Allah Ta’ala wants is one thing: That we please Him. We need to refresh this intention, revise it and be conscious of it: I am here for the recognition of Allah Ta’ala; for His Love and His Worship. This is the instruction of Allah Ta’ala, to us. Unfortunately, the majority of us are passing life, living to satisfy and gratify the nafs – with indulgence in sins, entertainment and other futile activities.

We won’t tolerate a worker washing his car in our time and utilising the material we provide; yet Allah Ta’ala is tolerating us for so long – giving us opportunity upon opportunity to make sincere Taubah; to come to our senses. Allah Ta’ala is giving us chances. He does not dismiss us or fire us. …He sometimes gives us a little taste of our sins, but even in this, is His Mercy and Kindness – so that we turn to Allah Ta’ala.

“Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have wrought, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, so that they may return (to righteousness).”
[Surah Ar-Rum 30 : 41]

…If you displease your wife, she does not want to cook. She refuses to listen to anything. She wants to go away to her mother’s house. She takes the children with her or she leaves all five / six children with you and she goes alone. Then you are sitting with problems because you displeased her. This is just the outcome of displeasing another human being. We displease Allah Ta’ala day in and day out. Our problems are because we have displeased Allah Ta’ala. The complaints are unending in respect to the problems and hardships people are experiencing … but the root cause is that we have not fulfilled our purpose and not playing our roles and fulfilling our duties as the servants of Allah Ta’ala.

Fortunate is that person who has the realisation and the understanding of his goal and he works towards pleasing Allah Ta’ala.

Atheists believe there is no God…. They adopt an attitude of independence. However, were they to reflect on just their existence, then any intelligent person will come to the realisation that there must be a purpose. Our life in this world cannot be without reason. We all know that the eyes have a purpose, the ears have a purpose, the tongue has a purpose, the heart has a purpose, the limbs have a purpose, the brain has a purpose …even the nails have a purpose – then what about the human being himself? When everything that is part of his composition and structure has a purpose, then what about him? There must be a purpose.

Allah Ta’ala says:

"Did you think that We had created you in play (without any purpose), and that you would not be brought back to Us?"
[Surah Al-Mu’minoon 23 : 115]

In a shop, there are many departments. Someone is delegated to do the buying, someone is doing the dispatching, someone else is doing the accounts – and like that, different people are assigned different work. …But we know, that for the business to be operational, functioning and running smoothly, there is someone co-ordinating the running of the business and the efficiency of work. …If this is the case for one shop, then most certainly there is someone behind the system of the entire universe and the co-ordination of the heavens and earth, the sun and the moon, the day and the night. Allah Ta’ala is in full control and fully in charge, at all times.

Despite these realities and all the beautiful signs of Allah Ta’ala, we find that the human being is easily swayed and taken away from the purpose of his creation. If we have to consider: Muslims are just over one billion. The vast majority of people in the world are non-Muslims. Most of the people have made their purpose the worldly life – living their lives according to their desires and ambitions, acquiring an education, earning money and earning more money, acquiring the commodities of Dunya, getting married, having children, saving money for their retirement and old age …and finally dying. They consider that death is the end. But this is not the end. The time of death is the beginning and commencement of everything.

There is a definite and real purpose behind our lives in this world and we have to be aware of this. Sadly, even the majority of Muslims have lost their direction and forgotten their purpose. We have become the slaves of nafs, slaves of fashion, slaves of the west and the east, Hollywood and Bollywood. May Allah Ta’ala take us out of this slavery and make us His true, sincere slaves. Just satisfying our ego all the time is slavery of the nafs. Higher and greater than our pleasure is the pleasure Allah Ta’ala. This is what we have to seek.

We are all returning to Allah Ta’ala. Introspect; reflect: What effort has been made to fulfil the purpose of our lives? What preparations have been made for our journey back to Allah Ta’ala?

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the understanding, the Taufeeq of Amal and fulfilling our purpose in this world.

[1] Ibn Hibbaan

Tuesday 5 July 2016