CONTENTSDedication 5Acknowledgments 6Foreword 7Caution 9Introduction 10The Existence of a Creator 14The Essence of Religion 24What is Life? 29Life as a Purposeful Creation 34Concept Of the After Life 44Concept of Life in Various Religions 54Life in Islam - The Only Choice 65Islam - The Universal Religion 78Benefits and Unique Features of Islam 85Return to Your Lord, The Most Loving 94How does one Become a Muslim? 99Living Islam 100Conclusion 108Afterword 111For Further Reading 113Bibliography 114Softwares 116
DEDICATION This book is dedicated to all those people who sincerely wantto know about the True Purpose of Life and the Right Path leadingtowards the achievement of this sublime goal.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS FOREWORD My acknowledgments are due to my beloved teacher, In The Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Mercifulinstructor and guide Shaykh Zahoor Ahmad Shah Al Madni The sole aim of writing this book is to acquaint the reader withwho not only gave a direction to my knowledge but also by his a very fundamental topic; The Purpose of Life. This topic is indeedcharacter, left an everlasting impression on my heart. My of a very significant nature for, the various issues that exert a greatacknowledgments are also due to my family especially my mother influence upon life on this planet are actually founded on theMasarat Shah, my father Farooq Ahmad Sikander and my fundamental question of the purpose of our lives. This book isbrothers Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander & Raies Ul Haq meant for every sound-minded and logical human being irrespectiveAhmad Sikander who have always encouraged me to carry on of religion or ideology, provided that one reads this book with ansuch tasks. I am also very much thankful to Iesha Javed who not open heart and mind, without any bias or prejudice. Fresh air canonly emended this book but also assisted me to accomplish this come in only when the windows are let open. If the windows aretask with her utmost support and encouragement.And above all, kept closed, one is deprived of the much needed fresh air and isI am really grateful to GodAlmighty without whose help, this work forced to breathe foul air leading to suffocation. The same holdswould have never been achieved. If there is anything good in this true for knowledge and guidance. Only an open mind can graspbook, it is from God. All mistakes are mine. the truth. The one who has already made his mind rigid and stagnant and is not ready to accept the truth will be always divested from guidance. I have dealt with the subject matter of this book in a simple and lucid style, using simple English so as to make this work accessible for an average reader, keeping under consideration its size. I have discussed each topic briefly and precisely and have avoided going into arguments as my aim of writing this book is to make the reader think about this subject and not to indulge in any futile arguments which would have rendered this book inappropriate for a common man. From a quite long time I was getting some continuous requests to deal with this subject both in speech and in the form of a book. So I started writing this book to explain the real purpose of life
8 The True Purpose of Lifethat I have personally grasped after years of research andinteraction with people from different countries and ideologies. Ihope that this book will prove as a means of Hidayah (guidance)for the reader. CAUTION It is intended that this book will provide its reader with an In the following pages, you are now going to read about theinsight about this subject after which he can himself reflect upon real purpose of your life which is the most fundamental topicthe Truth and then find the path to God. It is also intended that this pertaining to life on Earth. Read through the pages carefully andbook arouses your interest in this very topic and then make you attentively with a relaxed and free mind so that what you readthink for a while that "Where I am and Where I am heading may change your outlook towards life.towards?" and if you are treading a wrong road then this bookwill definitely help you rediscover the true path of life. No matter When you finish, go through the contents and ponder upon alleven till now if you havent realized the true purpose of life, dont what you read in this book and thereby reflect.be disheartened because "It is never too late to mend." God willaccept you whenever you turn to him at any moment of your life.Its my humble prayer to God that may the readers of this bookfind the true purpose of their lives before the end of this brief life. REMEMBER that unlike any ordinary book, this bookaddresses the most fundamental question of your life. This bookis therefore not to be pushed into the corner of a book shelf butrather should serve as a source of inspiration for you. Oh God! Accept this work from me and bring True Peace inthe lives of all humans.
The True Purpose of Life 11 that have we come into this world just for getting wealth, luxury and sex? Or is there anything beyond about which we often forget to ponder and consequently it makes our statements contradictory INTRODUCTION about the purpose of life. First and foremost, he (man) needs to know his own nature A single glimpse at things around us will very soon make us and the nature of the world he lives in, how he came into thisrealize how complex in nature this world is, much more than what’s world and what will happen to him after death. More than anythingapparent and same is true of human life. People today have become else, it is man’s nature to seek answers to these questions. Thetoo busy in their personal jobs to take time out to reflect. Each world in which he lives in lacking in nothing; it lacks only theday so many people are born and so many die but globally no one answers he seeks. The sun provides him with heat and light, butis bothered. There are people all around us but it seems that they he does not know the sun’s true nature, or why it has been putare engrossed in the world to such an extent that they barely think to service. The wind is a source of life for man, but he is not ableof anything beyond this material world.Almost everybody around to stop the wind in its course and ask it what it is, and why it actsus is concerned with the present world only and are directing their as it does. Man’s own being stares him in the face, but he remainsbest efforts towards achieving and amassing as much as possible in the dark as to what he is, and what he has come into thisduring the short course of their lives. Most of the humans become world for. It is beyond the human mind to work out answers tohappy on getting food, clothes and other stuff. But it’s same like these questions. Yet answers he must have. Not everyone putsanimals that go happy on finding a prey. these questions in words, but still they linger in the human soul, When we exercise this materialistic type of behaviour in our causing untold anguish and sometimes welling up with such forcelives, it often makes us heedless about the true purpose of life, that they lead to insanity1.which is otherwise most fundamental. If only for a few moments, So the only and the best way left is to turn towards GOD andwe were to free our souls from our selfish motives and vested see what he has mentioned about this matter. If we say that God isinterests, and just ask our inner selves, “What’s the purpose of the creator then he must definitely has laid some rules and guidancemy life?” then we will truly come to some conclusion provided for his creation just like we see an operating manual with everyour thinking is rightly guided by authentic information on the gadget2.subject. What is life? Where have we come from? Where will What would you think of a person who tried to use a straw hatwe go after death? These are some critical questions that have, as a cooking pot or a glass bottle as a hammer? What would yousince the very ancient times, fascinated the philosophers along think of a person who used up all his life before finding out itswith the rest of the humankind. And these profound questions purpose? Until we put our lives to the use they were made for, weabout the purpose of life generally strike the minds of everyone are like that hat on the fire, or the bottle used as a hammer. Wesomewhere in life. destroy ourselves without finding the satisfaction of fulfillment. God We are so ignorant about the purpose of our lives. Let’s think has a purpose and plan for your life. He has a work for you to do
12 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 13on earth and has prepared a wonderful home for you in heaven. FootnotesYou were born to fit into God’s plan...If you don’t have fellowship  God Arises, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, p. 243-244.with God, you have missed the main purpose of life3.  For more information about the existence of the creator (God), see the next chapter. The fact worth mentioning is that human beings are imitative  The Great Questions of Life, International Correspondence Institute,by nature. We possess a natural tendency to blend into our p. 25-26.surroundings. We are always ready to follow what others are  Holy Qur’an Chapter 6, verse 116.doing, not realizing where it will lead us. Humans exhibit thisimitative nature because it’s very easy to do so. Following thecrowd is very easy as it will surely lead us to somewhere... evenif it be an evil destination. Our illustration is that We are all walkingand if somebody asks, “Why are we walking?” we will replybecause all are walking. But to follow the truth and finding outthe truth about life requires a deep thinking and study whichmajority of people are not ready to accept. But “were you tofollow the common run of those on earth, they will lead youaway from the Way of God. They follow nothing but conjecture;they do nothing but lie”4. In Reality, we need just a brief moment of time to understandthe purpose of our life. It will not take long. We just have toprepare our self to find it and then face the facts about the truthof life. We all desperately need a Divine code that will guide usand show us the true purpose of life. When we will finally get it,only then our minds will be stabilized and our heart will find restand tranquility, which is indeed a great joy for us all. Only aftergetting satisfied with life, can we devote our minds to other fieldsand get excellent results. If our life is well and peaceful, onlythen will our activities bear fruit. Just as every cause has an effect,Life is a cause and if this cause is good, so will be its effect. Thusthe dire need of today is to address this topic in context of thepresent world scenario and modern society in order to give aright direction to our lives and so as to make this world a betterplace to live in.
The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 15 is in it and we call that Creator as GOD. "The question of Gods existence has preoccupied the great minds for many centuries. Those who believe in God seem to agree that the limited finite THE EXISTENCE OF A human intelligence cannot prove the existence of the Infinite Boundless God Who is. It can only illustrate or demonstrate His CREATOR existence to the satisfaction of the curious human mind. Those I came not knowing from where, but I came. who deny claim to rely on science, philosophy, or special theories And I saw a pathway in front of me, so I walked. of knowledge. Their arguments are sometimes inapplicable, And I will remain walking, whether I want this or not. sometimes irrelevant, always complex, and often incomprehensible. How did I come? How did I see my pathway? However, the developed free mind will find its way to God. Failure I do not know! to find the way does not mean that there is no way. Denial of Am I new or am I old in this existence? reality does not make it unreal2.” Am I free and unrestrained, or do I walk in chains? There are many people who question that, "Who created God?" Do I lead myself in my life, or am I being led? but it is a very illogical question as it contradicts the very definition I wish I know, but… of God i.e. He is uncreated and not made. He was there always I do not know! and will remain till eternity. He is infinite while as the creation is And my path, oh what is my path? Is it long or is it short? finite. The God makes His presence felt to His creation by the Am I ascending in it, or am I going down and sinking? means of His signs. God says: Am I the one who is walking on the road, "Soon will We show them Our Signs in the or is it the road that is moving? (furthest) regions (of the earth), and in their own Or are we both standing, but it is the time that is running? souls, until it becomes manifest to them that I do not know! this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord Before I became a full human, do you see witnesses all things?"3 if I were nothing, impossible? Or do you see that I was If we just begin to observe this massive universe, we will surely something? find the signs of God in it. There are billions of galaxies in the Is there an answer to this puzzle, or will it remain eternal? universe and each galaxy consists of billions of stars. Our earth is I do not know ... and why do I not know?? one of the smallest stars of the universe. The marvellous wonders I do not know! 1 of universe, the major astral bodies of the solar system, the sun, To know about the true purpose of life, it is indeed very the moon and the stars, all work in a perfect unison without asignificant to know the creator who has bestowed us with the slight deviation. There is a perfect order in whole of the universe.precious asset called life. There indeed exists a supreme and an Each of the celestial bodies are swimming perfectly in theirultimate creator who has created the entire universe and whatever respective orbits without any collision. How could all this just
16 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 17happen by an accident or by a chance? Just see the human body heavens and the earth and the alternation ofand its complexes. See the marvels of DNA and RNA. We can the night and the day are Signs for those ofsee the miracles of God everywhere in this universe. If you have a understanding-Who remember Allah whilereasoning mind at all, all you have to do is just to observe the standing or sitting or lying on their sides andcreation of God to realize that somebody has put it there together, give thought to the creation of the heavens anddesigned it, and then make it work like it does. the earth, [saying], "Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above As Dr. Robert A. Millikan (1868-1953), the great nuclear such a thing]; then protect us from thephysicist and pioneer of cosmic ray research, said, "If you would punishment of the Fire."6say that this watch just put itself together, invented itself, you wouldbe crazy! And just as there had to be a watchmaker behind the The vast majority of human beings have always believed insynchronized perfection and order of every watch, so there had God. From the most ancient civilizations to the most primitive ofto be a Divine Designer and Creator behind the intricate precision modern societies, religions with God at their center have formedof the Universe." And similarly if we see a beautiful painting, the the foundation of human culture. In fact, the denial of Godsconcept of its creator automatically hits our mind that there must existence (atheism) throughout history was limited to a fewbe some artist who has designed it, then the concept of the individuals until the rise of communism in the 20th century. Evenformation of so much complex universe with its perfect order today, in the secular societies of the West, where modern socialcoming into existence just by a chance sounds illogical. scientists armed with Darwinian theories have argued that God is merely a figment of the human collective imagination, the The famous physicist Sir Fred Hoyle makes a very striking overwhelming majority of citizens, laymen and even scientists, holdobservation about the origin of life. In his book The Intelligent steadfast to their belief in God.7 Even the anthropologists andUniverse he writes: The chance that higher life forms might have historians have found that the people of ancient civilizations haveemerged in this way (by coincidence) is comparable with the always believed in God as they have found various statues andchance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard might assemble other data that confirms their staunch belief in God. Howevera Boeing 747 from the materials therein.4 they just differed in the concept of God. The Bible says: "For the invisible things of Him (God) from As above mentioned that only a minority of people have deniedthe creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood the existence of God through the ages. The atheists believe thatby the things that are made, even His eternal power; so that this universe came into existence just by a mere chance but wethey are without excuse." 5 have already refuted this claim. They also believe that matter and Further the Quran says: time have always been there and the universe will keep on going "And to Allah belongs the dominion of the till eternity but today science has proved that both matter and time heavens and the earth, and Allah is over all had a beginning and will come to an end8. Even the atheists believe things competent. Indeed, in the creation of the that life came into existence by a mere chance but till now science
18 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 19has failed to prove this claim9. "If man were to come into being byaccident or by sheer chance, his entire life would be based onchance, and his whole existence would be meaningless. But nosensible man can conceive of his life as meaningless, and no rationalbeing would leave his existence at the mercy of fluctuating chance.Every reasonable human being tries to make his life as meaningfulas possible and set for himself a model of conduct according tosome design. Individuals, groups and nations do plan their courseof action, and every careful plan produces some desired effects.The fact of the matter is that man does engage in planning of onesort or another, and can appreciate the merits of good planning."10 It must be noted that human beings have a natural inclinationtowards God and there exists a spiritual vacuum in human beingsthat can only be filled by believing in One Supreme God. Itsinteresting to see that the people who dont believe in God likeatheists and materialists do show respect to their ideals like KarlMarx, Fredrick Engels and Lenin in order to fill their spiritualvacuum. If one doesnt believe in God then the life becomespurposeless. Consequently, the overwhelming body of archeological datain support of Gods existence has led some anthropologists toconclude that belief in God (deism) must be inborn and not learnt.Although the vast majority of social scientists proposed otherwise,recent scientific discoveries appear to support the minority viewthat deism is innate. In an article entitled "God Spot is found inthe Brain," Dr. Vilayanur Ramachandran of the University ofCalifornia at San Diego said that the phenomenon of religiousbelief in God is hard-wired into the brain.11 unbelievers do not have credible answers to the purpose of ones This feeling of doubt and confusion about the presence of a existence. And thus they say that man lives for himself and for theCreator and whether He sent messengers and Prophets to guide pleasures of this life. So what happens when life turns sour? Whatmankind must be quite painful because it deprives the Atheist and happens when one goes through hardships? It is no coincidencethe Agnostic of tranquility, security and peace of mind. The then that the largest number of suicides takes place amongst
20 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 21Atheists, Agnostics and people who do not know their purpose in John Ray (the most important name in British natural history).life. Do you know which country has the largest number of Nicolaus Steno (a famous stratiographer who investigatedsuicides? Its Japan. In the year ending March 2000, there were earth layers).33,000 suicides in Japan. That is 91 suicides per day or 1 suicide Carolus Linnaeus (the father of biological classification).every 15 minutes! This despite Japan being the second largest Georges Cuvier (the founder of comparative anatomy).economy in the world wherein people do not have to worry about Matthew Maury (the founder of oceanography).providing a roof over their heads or about food or medical care.12 Thomas Anderson (one of the pioneers in the field of organic There are hundreds of scientists that had a complete faith in chemistry)..14God because there comes a stage in science when a person is left "The root cause of the majority of the ills of modern life lies inwith no other alternative except to believe in a Divine Creator i.e. personal philosophies and social aims being so often diametricallyThe God. Johannes Kepler, Samuel Morse, Isaac Newton, opposed to each other. What we call crime, corruption and all theMichael Faraday, James Prescott Joule, Louis Pasteur, J J other attendant evils are nothing other than the results of any givenThomson, Maxwell, Max Planck, John Dalton are some of the societys members setting their sights on material happiness.many examples of great scientists who had a staunch belief in Whether individuals, groups or nations are concerned, the momentGod. Albert Einstein, who is one of the most important scientists the goal in life becomes individual prosperity, the seeds ofof the last century, was also known for his faith in God. He did not destruction are sown for the rest of the humanity.hesitate to defend that science could not exist without religion. As The insatiable lust for self-fulfillment leads to innumerable socialhe put it: "I cannot conceive of a genuine scientist without that evils: fornication, robbery, looting, fraudulence, kidnapping,profound faith. The situation may be expressed by an image: science treachery, terrorism, murder and, ultimately war. All these are thewithout religion is lame."13 result of people pursuing their own happiness, come what may - Some other scientists who admit that the universe is created and, inevitably, it is society that pays the price.by a Creator and who are known by their cited attributes are: The only solution to this problem is for humanity to turn to its Robert Boyle (the father of modern chemistry). true purpose in life. The fact that materialism has given rise to such Iona William Petty (known for his studies on statistics and conflict between individual aims and social purpose clearly indicates modern economy). that mans true goal in life is quite other. Rather than aim at worldly Michael Faraday (one of the greatest physicists of all times). satisfactions, he should set himself to earning the approbation of Gregory Mendel (the father of genetics; he invalidated his Creator in the life after death, for this is what mans purpose in Darwinism with his discoveries in the science of genetics). life truly is. If he were to adopt this course, the individual and Louis Pasteur (the greatest name in bacteriology; he declared society would be able to progress in harmony with one another, war on Darwinism). for there would then be no confrontation between the two; the John Dalton (the father of atomic theory). individuals who constitute the society would then be working Blaise Pascal (one of the most important mathematicians). towards ends which did not clash with those of society as a whole,
22 23but which contributed positively to the general good. Making  Did God become man, Dr. Bilal Philips, p.5.eternity ones goal results in harmony. The pursuit of false objectives  For more information please refer to the book "Timelessness and the Reality of Fate" By Harun Yahya.can bring nothing but discord."15  For more information please refer to the book "Tell Me About There are various ways to know God, and there are many Creation" By Harun Yahya.things to tell about Him. The great wonders and the impressive  Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati p. 19.marvels of the world are like open books in which we can read  Did God become man, Dr. Bilal Philips, p.5.  The Purpose of Life By Mostafa Malaekah. Source: www.islam-about God. Besides, God Himself comes to our aid through the guide.commany messengers and revelations He has sent down to man. These  Science, Philosophy and Religion, New York 1941.messengers and revelations tell us everything we need to know  The existence of God, Harun Yahya p.56.about God. So by reflecting on nature, by hearing the words of  God Arises, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan p.254-255.the messengers, and by reading the divine revelations we can gain  Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati p. 26.most convincing knowledge about God and find the Straight Pathto Him.16 Be assured that GOD exists and He is close to you. He seesand knows everything that we do and he will one day definitelycall us for account.Footnotes This poem has been written by an Arab poet Elya Abu Madhi (A born Christian) to express his uncertainity about the purpose of life in his Arabic poem Al-Talasim meaning "puzzles" and has been translated to English by Mostafa Malaekah. Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati, p.18. For an interesting comparative view see, for example, Jacques Maritain, Approaches to God. (New York:The Macmillan Company, 1954); Muhammad Zafrulla Khan, Islam: Its Meaning For Modern Man. (New York: Harper & Row, 1962); John Hick, ed., The Existence of God. (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1964). Also refer to "The Way to Find God" by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan. Holy Quran Chapter 41 verse 53. Nature, 12 November, 1981.Quoted By Harun Yahya in "The Existence Of God" & also quoted by William Bonner in the book, "What went wrong in 20th century". Bible, Romans 1:20. Holy Quran Chapter 3 verse 189-191.
The True Purpose of Life 25 It is not to deprive him of anything useful, or to burden him, or to oppress his qualities but to open for him inexhaustible treasures of sound thinking and right action. It is not to confine him to narrow THE ESSENCE OF limits but to launch him into wide horizons of truth and goodness.” In short, true religion is to acquaint man with God as well as with RELIGION himself and the rest of the universe. This is by no means an oversimplification of the function of religion. Here is what it means. "Throughout history religion has been abused andmisunderstood. Some people use it as a means of exploitation "When the purpose of true religion is carefully examined, it willand suppression, as a pretext for prejudice and persecution. Some be found that religion satisfies the spiritual and moderate materialother people use it as a source of power and domination over the needs of man. It unties his psychological knots and complexes,elite and the masses alike. In the name of religion unjustifiable sublimates his instincts and aspirations, and disciplines his desireswars have been launched, freedom of thought and conscience has and the whole course of life. It improves his knowledge of God -been oppressed, science has been persecuted, the right of the the Highest Truth in the universe and of his own self. It teachesindividual to maturity has been denied, and mans dignity and honor him about the secrets of life and the nature of man and how tohave been flagrantly debased. And in the name of religion an treat them, about good and evil, about right and wrong. It purifiesinjustice has been inflicted upon humanity with the result that religion the soul from evil, clears the mind from doubts, strengthens theitself has suffered many losses. character and corrects the thinking and convictions of man. All this can be achieved only when man faithfully observes the spiritual These are historical facts which no one can deny. But is this duties and physical regulations introduced by religion.the proper function of religion or the right approach to religion?Could this be the purpose of religion? The indisputable answer is On the other hand, true religion educates man and trains him inan emphatic “no”. There are many religions in the world, and each hope and patience, in truthfulness and honesty, in love for the rightone claims to be the one and only true religion. Each religion is and good, in courage and endurance, all of which are required forsupposed to have come from God for the right guidance of man. the mastery of the great art of living. Moreover, true religion insuresBut these claims contradict each other and have caused dissentions man with peace and security and makes his life meaningful."2among people and vehement reactions to religion - instead of "Despite growing evidence that man is hard-wired with awelding mankind into one universal brotherhood under the One "physical facility for belief," the fact that the concept of God hasUniversal Benevolent God. This situation makes any neutral varied greatly among human societies still leads some thinkers,observer confused and perhaps averse to all kinds of religion."1 even those who believe in God, to conclude that religions must be man-made. However, thorough research reveals a common "Religion is not only a spiritual and intellectual necessity but theological thread linking the various religions. That link is the beliefalso a social and universal need. It is not to bewilder man but to in a Supreme Being among the various gods, a monotheisticguide him. It is not to debase him but to elevate his moral nature. foundation that can be found in even the most externally pantheistic
26 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 27of religious systems. For example, the concept of God in Hinduism came to be regarded as lesser gods in some cases and asexists as a single example among many religions, which supports intercessors in others. Nevertheless, a Supreme God, in whateverthe view that human beings were originally monotheistic and through form He takes, is at the core of most religions."3various degenerative processes became polytheistic. In spite of Arnold Toynbee studied the history of the man through theits many gods and idols, Hinduism has a single Supreme God ages and put his findings in a monumental work consisting of tenabove all, Brahma. volumes. He summarized that in the History of the man, religion Traditionally, most anthropologists have concluded that religion stood at the centre. In an article in The Observer on October 24devolved from various stages of polytheism to monotheism, 1954, he wrote:beginning with early mans deification of the forces of nature, then, "I have come back at the belief that the religioneventually, devolving into ditheism to consolidate all of the holds the key to the mystery of existence;"4supernatural powers into two main gods (a god of good and a "But the “Trust in the God” has been misunderstood; it isgod of evil), and, finally, simplifying into a belief in one god, often taken to mean helpless fatalism and or categorical denial ofmonotheism. human free will and self-realization. An over emphasis on Thus, religion, according to anthropologists and social scientists, spirituality and resignation is bound to give rise to a counterhas no divine origin; it is merely a by-product of the evolution of emphasis on materialism, rationalism, "free will", and so on.early mans superstitions, based on his lack of scientific knowledge. Stressed beyond certain limits, spirituality may become superstition,Hence, these same theoreticians believe that science will eventually and confusion. Likewise, a counter stress may turn materialismunlock all of the secrets of nature, resulting in the disuse of religion into laxity, free will into libertinism, and rationalism into sheer vanity.to explain natural phenomena, and, the consequential extinction The intellectual history of the last few centuries demonstrates theseof religion altogether. tendencies only too well." 5 Mans innate belief in a Supreme Being, however, seems to It must be noted that only the society based upon religioussupport the opposite view, proposing instead that man began as a principles can prosper and excel in every field. When a society ismonotheist, but in time, strayed into various forms of polytheism. made according to the Divine will of God then there will be harmonyThis view is further supported by fact that all of the so-called and a peaceful coexistence among its components and members.primitive tribes, which have been "discovered," have been found But the society based upon the principles of man cant survive forto hold a belief in a Supreme Being. No matter what their long. For Example, after the Russian Revolution of 1917, theevolutionary stage of religious development is found to have been socialists transformed the society according to their own rulesat the time of "discovery," most were found to believe in a Supreme and motives and this was a reason for their failure6. Human beingsGod over all other gods and spirits. As such, the concept of a are fallible but God is not. He has created us and only He knowssingle Supreme Being remains in most of the religions as evidence which is the path for us. A society based upon human principlesthat the masses strayed away from monotheism by giving some of often leads to laxity and moral degradation along with many otherGods attributes to other aspects of creation, which eventually social ills. We can see various placards on roads which are to be
28 The True Purpose of Lifefollowed like Do not spit around, Stay away from illegal sex, PayTaxes, etc. but still the people do opposite as there is no strongpower to enforce them. But when a society is based upon Religion,and its individuals frame their lives according to it, then these goals WHAT IS LIFE?can be achieved without even advertising them because the religiondevelops the concept of accountability and an individual will "The meaning of life constitutes a philosophical questionautomatically mould his life according to it. concerning the purpose and significance of human existence. The concept can be expressed through a variety of related questions, such as Why are we here? Whats life all about? And What is theFootnotes meaning of it all? It has been the subject of much philosophical, Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati p. 57. scientific, and theological speculation throughout history and there Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati p. 58-59. have been a large number of answers from many different cultural Did God become man, Dr. Bilal Philips, p.7-8. and ideological backgrounds. Concept of God in Major Religions, Dr. Zakir Naik p. 2. Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati p. 86. The meaning of life is deeply mixed with the philosophical and For details read, "What went wrong in 20th Century" by William religious conceptions of existence, consciousness, and happiness, Bonner. and touches on many other issues, such as symbolic meaning, ontology, value, purpose, ethics, good and evil, free will, conceptions of God, the existence of God, the soul and the afterlife. Scientific contributions are more indirect; by describing the empirical facts about the universe, science provides some context and sets parameters for conversations on related topics."1 Popular Views2 "What is the meaning of life?" is a question many people ask themselves at some point during their lives, most in the context "What is the purpose of life?" Here are some of the life goals people choose, and some of their beliefs on what the purpose of life is: ...to realize ones potential and ideals • ...to live life to the fullest. • ...to lead a full and productive life. • ...to chase dreams.
30 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 31...to live ones dreams. to avoid suffering caused by ignorance and find happiness.• ...to spend it for something that will outlast it. • ...to face our fears and accept the lessons life offers us.• ...to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made • ...to find the meaning of life. some difference that you lived at all. ...to find the purpose of life.• ...to expand ones potential in life. • ...to find a reason to live.• ...to become the person youve always wanted to be. • ...to resolve the imbalance of the mind by understanding the• ...to become the best version of yourself. nature of reality.• ...to seek happiness and flourish. ...to do good, to do the right thing• ...to be able to put the whole of oneself into ones feelings, • ...to leave the world a better place than you found it. ones work, ones beliefs. • ...to do your best to leave every situation better than you• ...to follow our destiny. found it....to submit to our destiny. • ...to benefit others.• ...to shape your own destiny. • ...to give more than you take.• ...to fight lifes game(s) and win, or draw, or, at the very • ...to end suffering. least, lose with dignity. • ...to create equality.• ...to create your own reality. • ...to challenge oppression....to achieve biological perfection • ...to distribute wealth.• ...to survive, that is, to live as long as possible, including pursuit • ...to be generous. of immortality (through scientific means). • ...to contribute to the well-being and spirit of others.• ...to live forever or die trying. • ...to help others, to help one another.• ...to evolve into something more. • ...to take every chance to help another while on your journey• ...to evolve into the most harmonious state. here.• ...to replicate, to reproduce. "The dream of every cell is to • ...to be creative and innovative. become two cells." • ...to forgive.• ...to be fruitful and multiply. (Genesis 1:28) • ...to accept and forgive human flaws....to seek wisdom and knowledge • ...to be emotionally sincere.• ...to expand ones perception of the world. • ...to be responsible.• ...to follow the clues and walk out the exit. • ...to be honorable.• ...to learn as many things as possible in life. • ...to seek peace....to know as much as possible about as many things as • ...to be a true authentic human being.possible. ...to love, to feel, to enjoy the act of living• ...to seek wisdom and knowledge and to tame the mind, as • ...to love more.
32 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 33• ...to love those who mean the most. Every life you touch will One should not seek to know the meaning of life touch you back. • The answer to the meaning of life is too profound to be known• ...to be glad of life. and understood.• ...to treasure every enjoyable sensation one has. • You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.• ...to seek beauty in all its forms. • To live a meaningful life, one must forget about the search for• ...to have fun. the meaning of life....to enjoy life. • Its best to just get on with life and stop worrying about what• ...to seek pleasure and avoid pain. it means.• ...to be compassionate.• ...to be moved by the pain and sorrow of others, and try to Life has no meaning help them out of love and compassion. • Life or human existence has no real meaning or purpose• ...to love others as best we possibly can. because human existence occurred out of a random chance• ...to love something bigger, greater, and beyond ourselves, in nature, and anything that exists by chance has no intended something we did not create or have the power to create, purpose. something intangible and made holy by our very belief in it. • Life has no meaning, but as humans we try to associate a• ...to love God and all of his creations. meaning or purpose so we can justify our existence.• ...to glorify God by enjoying him forever. • There is no point in life, and that is exactly what makes it so...to attain spiritual enlightenment special. Dante and Beatrice see God as a point of light surrounded by Or its minimal counterpart: Life has meaningangels; from Gustave Dorés illustrations for the Divine Comedy: • ...uncertain, but there must be something• ...to reach the highest heaven and be at the heart of the Divine. Its very difficult to give a universally acceptable definition of• ...to have a pure soul and experience God. life as various religions, philosophers and thinkers have interpreted• ...to understand the mystery of God. life from various views and angles.So there are so many views• ...to know God. about life which even contradict each other. So in order to get the• ...to know oneself, know others, and know theWill of heaven. right meaning of life, we must adhere to the right religion and then• ...to attain union with God. mould the purpose of our life according to it....to have power, to be better• ...to strive for power and superiority. Footnotes• ...to rule the world.  Source: Wikipaedia.• ...to know and master the world.  Ibid....to know and master nature.• ...to fill the Earth and subdue it. (Genesis 1:28)
The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 35 man by God, and He is the only Rightful One to take it back; No one else has the right to destroy a life. When God gives life to man, it is not in vain that He endows LIFE AS A PURPOSEFUL him with unique qualities and great abilities, nor is it in vain that He CREATION charges him with certain obligations. God means to help man to fulfil the purpose of life and realize the goal of existence. He means If we just analyze once our immediate surroundings, we will to help him to learn the creative art of living and enjoy the goodsoon realize that everything around us and every object in the taste of life according to the divine guidance. Life is a trust fromuniverse has got some definite purpose. The plants provide us God, and man is a trustee who should handle His trust with honestyfood and oxygen and maintain the environmental balance, the sun and skill, with mindfulness of God and with consciousness ofgives us heat and light, the animals perform various fruitful activities responsibility to Him.and so on. So everything in the universe has got its respective job Life maybe likened to a journey starting from a certain pointto do and this principle holds true for every object whether minute and ending at a certain destination. It is a transitory stage, anlike bacteria or enormous like the planets and stars. Everything in introduction to the Eternal Life in the Hereafter. In this journeythe universe is carrying on its purpose and is not futile in anyway, man is a traveler and should be concerned with only what is of usethen how can the complex creation of man with his complex to him in the Future Life. In other words, he should do all thefaculties of reason, sight, hearing, etc. be useless? Its illogical to good he can and make himself fully prepared to move any minutesay so. Gods creation is not in vain. God has created us for a real to Eternity. He should consider his life on this earth as a chanceserious purpose that needs our high attention. "Life is real, life is provided for him to make the best of it while he can, becauseearnest,And the grave is not its goal", as famous poet Longfellow when his time to leave comes he can never delay it for one second.truly says.1 If his term expires, it will be too late to do anything about it or to "Did ye then think that We had created you in extend it. The best use of life, therefore, is to live it according to jest and that ye would not be brought back to Us the teachings of God and to make it a safe passage to the Future (for account)?” 2 Life of Eternity." 3, 4 "Life is a brilliant demonstration of Gods wisdom and "Man attains a highest distinction only when he leads aknowledge, a vivid reflection of His art and power. He is the Giver purposeful life. Such a life characterizes the most advanced stageand Creator of life. Nothing comes into existence by chance, and of human development. And this does not mean that by taking upnobody creates himself or anybody else. Life is a dear and a just any task which is apparently significant mans life becomescherishable asset, and no sensible or normal person would like to truly purposeful. A really purposeful life is one in which manlose it by choice. Even those who feel so desperate and take their discovers his supreme status; a life in which his personality makeslives by committing low suicide, try in the last minute to regain manifest its unique distinctive quality. An animal strives to obtaintheir existence and wish to capture a breath to live. Life is given to food; a bird flies in the search of a better country when the season
36 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 37changes; a wasp busies itself building up its own home from tiny from within.particles of earth; a herd of deer takes measures to protect itself It is in this unique conceptual quality of man that we can conceivefrom the wild beasts of prey. All of these appear to be purposeful of what his higher purpose in life should be. The latter can only beactions. But when the phrase a purposeful life is applied to man, one which does not result from the pressures of desire or ofthen it does not refer to efforts of this nature. Without doubt immediate exigencies. It must emanate from his own urge toarranging for ones food, clothes and habitation are sure of the worship God.tasks that man has to perform in this world; but this is a level of Mans true purpose in life can only be one which reflects thepurposefulness in which men and animals, being concerned only higher side of his personality; one which displays him as the superiorwith bare survival, are equal. Its true application in relation to man being he is…..can only be one, in which he appears in all his dignity. Mans life Only when a person goes beyond his self and his environmentbecomes purposeful only when it goes beyond common animalism can he understand that there is a higher purpose, on which heand takes the form of superior humanism. should focus his life. The motive force towards the fulfillment of Gods creation in this world fall into two categories: animate this purpose is not the urge to satisfy ones needs or those ofand inanimate. Obviously, animate objects enjoy a certain others…It is purpose, which sets before man a goal far above allsuperiority over inanimate objects. The former can be divided these things - a goal which does not follow internal needs orinto three classes: the vegetable, the animal and the human. Modern external pressures, but results purely from conceptual thought.scientific research has shown that plants also possess life, in that When a person works, makes money, builds a house, makesthey nourish themselves, they grow and they have feelings. an effort to improve his standard of living, he appears to be engaged But animals and men surely represent a higher form of life. In in efforts towards some worthy end. But a life of this nature cannotwhat way does man excel animals? Many theories have been be called a purposeful life, for these activities do not demonstrateadvanced in answer to this question over the ages, and great minds mans unique status. It might seem as if they are the result of aare still, studying it. But modern biologists have come to the deliberation, but if one looks at the matter in depth, one will seeconclusion that it is mans capacity for conceptual thought, which that in actual fact the motive force behind these actions is thedistinguished him from other life forms. Animals lack this quality, same urge that motivates an animal in various ways, its concernwhereas man is conscious of the fact that he is thinking. He for its own survival. It is the driving force of ones desires; theconsciously forms all plans of action in his mind; in his everyday pressure of ones needs, and the wish to fulfill the demands oflife his actions are determined by him. Whereas this is not the case ones self that underlie such a life. These are the considerationswith animals. Though many of their actions appear to be those which, in fact, guide a person in his search for his livelihood.like of men, these actions are not the result of thought. They all When man grows up, he realizes that there are certain materialstem from pure instinct.Animals are simply led intuitively by their necessities without which he cannot live. He requires food, clothes,desires and their needs in certain direction. Their actions are a place to live; he requires a reliable source of income to sustaingoverned by environmental stresses without any physical pressures
38 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 39him throughout his life. He is forced by these considerations to colour are to be found in abundance in the cosmos, so shouldobtain these things. Then he sees that those who have an abundance mans life be enhanced by the fairness and honesty of his dealings.of these material things enjoy respect and apparently possess every He should be like the tree which breathes out oxygen in return forform of happiness and luxury in this world. Thus he is driven on to the carbon dioxide which it breathes in: that is, he should returndo more than just seek a livelihood; he desires to earn a degree good for evil; he should be kind to those who wrong him. Hegreatly in excess of his actual requirements. should learn too, from the fact that nothing in the cosmos ever In bustling markets, grandiose offices and opulent buildings, encroaches upon anything else. Each physical entity concentrateshe is not really guided by deliberate thought. Rather, he is being solely upon playing its own part in the order of the universe. Manguided by inflated ideas of his own needs, desires, longings and must also engage in the same positive action avoiding all negativeambitions to achieve fame and high status in this world. For this activities. Innumerable activities are going on throughout the cosmosreason these activities cannot be considered as being directed on the grandest of scales, but without any recompense. In liketowards the purpose, which sets man apart from the animal and manner, man should keep on discharging his responsibilities withoutlends him a higher distinction. any hope of reward. He should reflect upon how the lofty Mans greater dignity can be based only on a purpose, which mountains and the trees cast their shadows upon the earth, withemanates from inner desires and pressures of environment. Mans no thought for what anyone can do for them in return, and shouldtrue purpose in life can only be to seek the pleasure of God. When emulate this act in all humility…man seeks the pleasure of his Lord, his human qualities find full The activities going on in the world at every moment proclaimmanifestation. This is a purpose loftier than the one towards which who are the worthy and who are the unworthy. Those who arean animal directs its energies. It distinguishes man from animals. It motivated solely by the superficial interests of money, honour oris the ultimate station of human dignity. fame are little better than miserable misfits in this selfless world of To determine the purpose of life, in short, the effort to make God. They are not true to the standards set in this universe, whichlife meaningful. It must surely, therefore, be one which is in is a living manifestation of divine ethics. Only those who can beaccordance with mans unique status; it must be one which leads motivated by the truth, pure and simple, who can rise aboveman on the path to success and progress in terms of his true nature."5 personal interests, freeing themselves from complexes and obsessions, shall be deserving of honour and glory from God. In "The purpose and wisdom, which manifest themselves in the the heavenly world to come, all those who have been activatedwider universe under the direct control of God have to be adopted solely by their immediate worldly interests, will be marked downby man of his own accord in his personal life. What God has as unworthy, and cast out from it. This beautiful and blissful worldestablished on a physical plane, man has to establish on a moral will be inherited only by those who, motivated by unworldlyplane. With the same strength as is possessed by the iron which is interests, lifted their eyes from the immediate, material things infound everywhere in the cosmos, man must have real staunchness order to be able to see things distant and unseen…of character. But kindheartedness must spring from him too, in theway that springs gush forth form the rocks. Just as fragrance and Those who refuse to learn their lesson and persist in following
40 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 41the path of selfish passion are wrongdoers of the worst kind. Those my soul, and my soul lives from You.”who refuse to see Gods signs, although they have eyes, and refuse Saint Augustine, 354-430, theologian and philosopher,to hear Gods voice, although they have ears, are, in the eyes of Confessions .God, the worst animals .6, 7 “No man is good without God: is anyone capable of rising Allah has provided to man faculties of hearing and sight along above chance unless with Gods help? Its Him that prompts us towith the power of decision making and complex thinking. But still noble and exalted endeavors. In each and every good man, asin spite of all these blessings still when a man turns away from the Virgil says, a god (what god we are uncertain) dwells.”real purpose of life, he becomes like a boat without oars and his Seneca , Roman philosopher and politician, Letters to Luciliuslife loses the right direction. Thats why God says: “You are the Truth, oh my God, my light, health of my face.All "They have hearts wherewith they understand people want this path, the only happy path, the joy that lives in not, eyes wherewith they see not and ears truth.” wherewith they hear not. They are like cattle Saint Augustine, 354-430, theologian and philosopher, nay more misguided: for they are heedless (of Confessions. warning)." 8 Listen to the words of Pascal, in the seventeenth century: Further the Bible says: "When I consider the short duration of my life, "Seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they swallowed up in the eternity that lies before and do not listen, nor do they understand". 9 after it, when I consider the little space I fill and And then Allah affirms that good and bad can never be equal I see, engulfed in the infinite immensity of spacesand so a purposeful and a purposeless life too can never be equal. of which I am ignorant, and which know me not,God presents a contrast before us: I rest frightened, and astonished, for there is no "The blind and the seeing are not alike; Nor reason why I should be here rather than there. are the depths of Darkness and the Light; Nor Why now rather than then? Who has put me here? are the (chilly) shade and the (genial) heat of By whose order and direction have this place and the sun; Nor are alike those that are living and time have been ascribed to me?" those that are dead. Allah can make any that Pensees (Penguin Classics). He wills to hear; but thou canst not make those to hear who are (buried) in graves."10 Some Quotes Describing Life as a PurposefulGod as a Source of a Meaningful Life11 Creation12 “When I seek you, my God, I am seeking happiness. I will Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that heseek you in order for my soul to live, because my body lives from must count just with himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth,
42 43in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no Footnotes:other aims than those he sets himself, with no other destiny than  Quoted by Abdullah Yusuf Ali in his commentary to the Holy Quran,the one he forges for himself on this earth. footnote No. 2950.  Holy Quran Chapter 23 verse 115. Jean Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French writer and philosopher,  Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati p. 55-56.Being and Nothingness.  Please refer to the chapter, The Concept of After Life. Life is nothing until it is lived, but it is yours to make sense of;  Islamic Studies Text Book for Class XI by Dr. Farida Khanam p. 36- 38the value of life is nothing other than the sense you choose.  Holy Quran Chapter 8 verse 22. Jean Paul Sartre, 1905-1980, French writer and philosopher,  Islamic Studies Text Book for Class XI by Dr. Farida Khanam p. 34-Existentialism is a Humanism . 35.  Holy Quran Chapter 7 verse 179. Man is the artificer of his own happiness.  Bible, Matthew 13:13. Henry Thoreau, 1817-1862, American essayist, Journal.  Holy Quran Chapter 35 verse 19-22.  Source: www.meaningsoflife.com Life has the meaning we give it. It has our richness, our  Ibid.enthusiasm, our pride. Or our cowardice. Miguel Torga, 1907-1995, Portuguese writer, Diário. These then are my last words to you: Be not afraid of life.Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create thefact. William James, 1842-1910, American philosopher, The Willto Believe. Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problemwhich he has to solve and from which he cannot escape. Erich Fromm, 1900-1980, American philosopher andpsychologist, Man for Himself. Ignorant men do not know the excellence of whats in theirhands, until theyve flung it away. Sophocles, 496-406 BC, Greek Poet, Ajax.
The True Purpose of Life 45 compassion and selflessness and these are the qualities that are required most for a healthy society to flourish. It must be noted that many researchers and scientists after THE CONCEPT OF doing research concluded that there definitely exists an After Life. AFTER LIFE For instance there is Dr. Raymond A. Moodi ofAmerica who is a doctorate in philosophy but he has done extensive research on As mentioned earlier too that life is not an end in itself. Life is NDE (Near Death Experiences) in which the doctors mention avery short and in this brief time, man must realize his true purpose patient that he is "Clinically Dead" but after some time the patientof life and prepare himself for the life to come. The life is a test and comes back to life again like normal. Dr. Raymond A. Moodithe one who lives it according to the divine will of God will only be made research and did surveys on many such persons and all ofsuccessful in the life to come as He is the One who gave us this life them narrated that they had seen some unusual things during theand it should obviously be lived only according to His will. Some time those persons were supposed to be dead. Like they sawpeople claim that there is no after life and this life is an end in itself. souls moving here and they even saw glimpses of the ParadiseBut this statement is really illogical. Say for example a child enters and Hell and then a voice appeared and said to them that, "Whata school and then leaves it at a particular stage and same holds do you have to show me that you have done with your life". Andtrue for an employee who retires from his office after his tenure is all the patients had seen these similar things but they just usedover. So similarly after we die there must be a life to come. If different words to express it. Then Dr. RaymondA. Moodi pennedthere is no hereafter life and if the world is an end in itself then one down his research in the form of three books namely:may really say that God has created us for a stupid purpose. Life After Life, If there is no hereafter then every person will try to acquire as The Light Beyond, &much material wealth as possible without caring for others because Reflections on Life after Life.it is actually the concept of hereafter that guides this present life Dr. Moodis book (Life after Life) was first published in 1975and the sense of accountability before God that guides the actions after he made a research of 8 years and interviewed around 150of the humans in this world. When hereafter is our context then people and then this interesting topic made many other doctors toour life will become hereafter-oriented and this will make us to act research further on this topic.After this a pediatrician by the nameaccording to the will of God and we will do every deed to please of Dr. Melvin Morse wrote another book namely Closer to theHim only and to get His good pleasure and this in turn will make Light in which he has mentioned that children have also undergoneour life fruitful. The commandments of God will act like a tether through this experience and he himself interviewed such childrenthat will restrict our actions and stop us from doing injustice and and then put his research in his 236 page book. Then another manungodly acts. When our life is hereafter-oriented then we will do namely Pollster George Gallup did a survey of people inAmericaevery deed just to please our Lord and not to seek reward from and to his astonishment he found that around 5% of the US peoplepeople for our deeds. This will inculcate in us the feelings of got NDE and then Dr. Raymond A. Moodi continued his research
46 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 47further and again interviewed a 1000 people and wrote another Many people wonder as to how a person with a scientific andbook The Light Beyond. So all these facts give us a glimpse of logical temperament, can lend any credence to the belief of lifethe After Life and make us conclude that there really is another after death. People assume that anyone believing in the hereafterLife to come and the human reason confirms it too.1 is doing so on the basis of blind belief. My belief in the hereafter is "There are people who commit sins, neglect God and indulge based on a logical argument.in immoral activities, yet they seem to be "superficially" successful 2. Hereafter a logical beliefin business and prosperous in life. And there are virtuous and There are more than a thousand verses in the Glorious Quran,God-minded people, yet they seem to be getting less rewards for containing scientific facts (refer my book "Quran and Moderntheir sincere efforts and more suffering in the present world. This Science-Compatible or Incompatible?"). Many facts mentionedis puzzling and incompatible with the Justice of God. If the guilty in the Quran have been discovered in the last few centuries. Butpeople can escape the mundane law unharmed and, in addition, science has not advanced to a level where it can confirm everybe more prosperous, what is, then, left for the virtuous people. statement of the Quran. Suppose 80% of all that is mentioned inWhat will promote the cause of morality and goodness? There the Quran has been proved 100% correct.About the remainingmust be some way to reward goodness and arrest evil. If this is 20%, science makes no categorical statement, since it has notnot done here on this earth - and we know that it is not done advanced to a level, where it can either prove or disprove theseregularly or immediately - it has to be done someday, and that is statements. With the limited knowledge that we have, we cannotthe Day of Judgement. This is not to condone injustice or tolerate say for sure whether even a single percentage or a single verse ofmischief in this world. It is not to sedate the deprived or comfort the Quran from this 20% portion is wrong. Thus when 80% oftheir exploiters. Rather, it is to warn the deviants from the Right the Quran is 100% correct and the remaining 20% is not disproved,Path and remind them that the Justice of God shall run its full logic says that even the 20% portion is correct. The existence ofcourse sooner or later."2 the hereafter, which is mentioned in the Quran, falls in the 20% Dr. Zakir Naik has very logically proved the concept of life ambiguous portion which my logic says is correct.hereafter in his book Answers to non-Muslims common questions 3. Concept of peace and human values is useless withoutabout Islam3 and I would like to reproduce that here in order to the concept of hereaftersatisfy the reader. Though Dr. Zakir Naik has proved it according Is robbing a good or an evil act? A normal balanced personto the Muslim perspective but still the arguments provided are would say it is evil.logical and universal to people belonging to all religions. How would a person who does not believe in the hereafter Question:— How can you prove the existence of convince a powerful and influential criminal that robbing is evil?hereafter, i.e. life after death? Suppose I am the most powerful and influential criminal in the Answer:— 1. Belief in the hereafter is not based on blind world. At the same time I am an intelligent and a logical person. Ifaith. say that robbing is good because it helps me lead a luxurious life. Thus robbing is good for me. If anybody can put forward a single
48 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 49logical argument as to why it is evil for me, I will stop immediately. am a logical person and I see no benefit in caring for other humanPeople usually put forward the following arguments: beings. a. The person who is robbed will face difficulties f. It is a selfish act Some may say that the person who is robbed will face Some may say that robbing is being selfish. It is true that robbingdifficulties. I certainly agree that it is bad for the person who is is a selfish act; but then why should I not be selfish? It helps merobbed. But it is good for me. If I rob a thousand dollars, I can enjoy life.enjoy a good meal at a 5 star restaurant. 1. No logical reason for robbing being an evil act b. Some one may rob you Hence all arguments that attempt to prove that robbing is an Some people argue that someday I may be robbed. No one evil act are futile. These arguments may satisfy a common man butcan rob me because I am a very powerful criminal and I have not a powerful and influential criminal like me. None of thehundreds of bodyguards. I can rob anybody but nobody can rob arguments can be defended on the strength of reason and logic. Itme. Robbing may be a risky profession for a common man but is no surprise that there are so many criminals in this world.not for an influential person like me. Similarly raping, cheating etc. can be justified as good for a person c. The police may arrest you like me and there is no logical argument that can convince me that these things are bad. Some may say, if you rob, you can be arrested by the police.The police cannot arrest me because I have the police on my 2. A Muslim can convince a powerful and influentialpayroll. I have the ministers on my payroll. I agree that if a common criminalman robs, he will be arrested and it will be bad for him, but I am Now let us switch sides. Suppose you are the most powerfulan extraordinarily influential and powerful criminal. Give me one and influential criminal in the world, who has the police and thelogical reason why it is bad for me and I will stop robbing. ministers on his payroll. You have army of thugs to protect you. I d. Its easy money am a Muslim who will convince you that robbing, raping, cheating, Some may say its easy money and not hard-earned money. I etc. are evil acts. Even if I put forth the same arguments to proveagree completely that it is easy money, and that is one of the main that robbing is evil the criminal will respond the same way as hereasons why I rob. If a person has the option of earning money did earlier. I agree that the criminal is being logical and all histhe easy as well as the hard way, any logical person would choose arguments are true only when he is the most powerful and influentialthe easy way. criminal. e. It is against humanity 3. Every human being wants justice Some may say it is against humanity and that a person should Each and every human being desires justice. Even if he doescare for other human beings. I counter argue by asking as to who not want justice for others he wants justice for himself. Somewrote this law called humanity and why should I follow it? This people are intoxicated by power and influence and inflict pain andlaw may be good for the emotional and sentimental people but I suffering on others. The same people, however, would surely
50 51object if some injustice was done to them. The reason such people try which of you is best in deed; and He is thebecome insensitive to the suffering of others is that they worship Exalted in Might, Oft-Forgiving."power and influence. Power and influence, they feel, not only allows [Al-Quran 67:2]them to inflict injustice on others but also prevents others from 8. Final justice on day of judgementdoing likewise to them. The Glorious Quran says: 4. God is Most Powerful and Just "Every soul shall have a taste of death: and only As a Muslim I would convince the criminal about the existence on the Day of Judgement shall you be paid yourof Almighty God (refer to answer proving the existence of God). full recompense. Only he who is saved far fromThis God is more powerful than you and at the same time is also the Fire and admitted to the Garden will havejust. The Glorious Quran says: attained the object (of life): for the life of this "Allah is never unjust in the least degree" world is but goods and chattels of deception." [Al-Quran 4:40] [Al-Quran 3:185] 5. Why does God not punish me? Final justice will be meted out on the Day of Judgement. After The criminal, being a logical and scientific person, agrees that a person dies, he will be resurrected on the Day of JudgementGod exists, after being presented with scientific facts from the along with the rest of mankind. It is possible that a person receivesQuran. He may argue as to why God, if He is Powerful and Just, part of his punishment in this world. The final reward anddoes not punish him. punishment will only be in the hereafter. God Almighty may not punish a robber or a rapist in this world but he will surely be held 6. The people who do injustice should be punished accountable on the Day of Judgement and will be punished in the Every person who has suffered injustice, irrespective of financial hereafter i.e. life after death.or social status, almost certainly wants the perpetrator of injustice 9. What punishment can the human law give Hitler?to be punished. Every normal person would like the robber or therapist to be taught a lesson. Though a large number of criminals Hitler incinerated six million Jews during his reign of terror.are punished, many even go scot-free. They lead a pleasant, Even if the police had arrested him, what punishment can the humanluxurious life, and even enjoy a peaceful existence. If injustice is law give Hitler for justice to prevail? The most they can do is todone to a powerful and influential person, by someone more send Hitler to the gas chamber. But that will only be punishmentpowerful and more influential than he, even such a person would for the killing of one Jew. What about the remaining five million,want that person perpetrators of injustice to be punished. nine hundred and ninety nine thousand, nine hundred and ninety- 7. This life is a test for the hereafter nine Jews? This life is a test for the hereafter. The Glorious Quran says: 10. Allah can burn Hitler more than six million times in hellfire "He who created death and life, that He may Allah say in the Glorious Quran:
52 The True Purpose of Life The True Purpose of Life 53 "Those who reject Our signs, We shall soon cast Footnotes: into the Fire; as often as their skins are roasted  For further details, refer to the book, "Dunya ke us Paar" (Urdu) By through, We shall change them for fresh skins, Maulana Taqi Usmani.  Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati p. 36. that they may taste the penalty: for Allah is  Answers to non-Muslims common questions about Islam, Dr. Zakir Exalted in Power, Wise." [Al-Quran 4:56] Naik, p.37. If Allah wishes he can incinerate Hitler six million times in the  Holy Quran Chapter 39 verse 42.hereafter in the hellfire.  Holy Quran Chapter 45 verse 24-26.  For further details on this subject, refer to the book, "Life, Death and 11. No concept of human values are good and bad without the After Life" by Dr. Ahmad Sakr and also refer to the chapter,the concept of hereafter Arguments for the Life Hereafter from God Arises by Maulana It is clear that without convincing a person about the hereafter, Wahiduddin Khan.i.e. life after death, the concept of human values and the good orevil nature of acts is impossible to prove to any person who isdoing injustice especially when he is influential and powerful. "It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed. Verily in this are Signs for those who reflect."4 "And they say: "What is there but our life in this world? We shall die and we live, and nothing but Time can destroy us." But of that they have no knowledge: they merely conjecture: And when Our Clear Signs are rehearsed to them, their argument is nothing but this: they say, "Bring (back) our forefathers, if what you say is true!" Say: "It is Allah Who gives you life, then gives you death; and He will gather you together for the Day of Judgment about which there is no doubt": But most men do not understand." 5, 6