What is Life’s Purpose, and Why Should You Convert to Islam?
If you do not have a relationship with your Creator, then your soul eternally will seek something to fill the emptiness of your heart. All of the wealth and material goods of this world never will fill the void, the emptiness, the gap of your vacant soul. Your happiness is not derived from the gathering of possessions. Real wealth is obtained only from the richness and contentment of the heart and soul. And the only true poverty is the poverty of your spirit and heart. Whether you believe it or not, whether you like it or not, this is how God designed you and how He designed the world you live in.
In today’s materialistic world, the endless quest for fame and wealth distracts you from reflecting on the beautiful creation of God and the purpose behind it. You live in a world where people are obsessed with materialism; their main aim and focus is to gather all the money and prizes they can possess. You are in a world in which people are obsessed with taking as much as possible from this world. A perpetual state of excessive materialism can affect your inner peace. You cannot achieve satisfaction in life if you do little but pursue material gain to an excessive and extreme extent; instead, you should look at the situation of those less fortunate than you. This way, you will have a greater appreciation of the love, gifts, benefits, and mercy the Almighty has bestowed upon you regarding your wealth, family, friends, housing, etc.
You were created and born with a sense of awe and wonder, but many kill that sense of wonder somewhere along their journey to adulthood. Many no longer feel awe at God’s creation around them because of their excessiveness, obsession, and distraction as rooted in the material things of this world. Many are so preoccupied with useless material goods, vain talk, and gossip that they have forgotten and even are immune to the wonder of the miracles happening around them every second of every day. One should think deeply and ask more critical questions about life and its purpose rather than thinking about that which is less significant.
For the few that ponder and think deeply on this creation, which others overlook, they discover within it signs and great lessons all around them that lead them straight back to their Creator. Signs that lead one to an appreciation of the Wisdom and Wonders of the Almighty’s creation, bringing them thus closer to their Lord. In the Holy Quran, God invites individuals of true understanding to think about the issues other people overlook.
You surely harbor fundamental questions that malign your conscience. Why was I created? What am I doing here? What is the purpose of my existence? Where am I headed? These are questions that only God can answer. Only He can provide you with a meaningful purpose for your life and the guidance needed to fulfill your life’s purpose.
Other religions do not answer the big questions of life. You cannot live peacefully in this world without knowing who you are, who created you, where you are headed, what your role is, and how to fulfill that role. The Almighty implanted the need to answer these questions into your inner nature. However, your human intellect alone cannot answer these questions unaided. You need Divine guidance to discover these all-important spiritual answers.
The answers lie in Islam.
The brightest and most significant thinkers of the past never would deny the various signs that point to the existence of their Creator. However, the element that led many people of the past astray was their lack of knowing God to the truest extent and the fact that they did not have access to a true and preserved Revelation originating from God. Addressing the ones that deny God’s existence, God poses an argument in the Quran, stating:
“…Or were they created by nothing, or are they their own creators?” (Quran 52:35)
The Holy Quran teaches you that the signs and proofs of God’s knowledge, Wisdom, Power, Mercy, and existence are evident in the world around you. Together they point to a Creator, a Maker, a Designer, and a Fashioner. This creation is flawless and perfect. Life on Earth and the Universe itself demonstrates so much order, purpose, intelligence, and design, all of which prove the existence of a Creator that designed and fashioned everything.
Thus, God calls you to ponder, reflect, and think deeply about the design of this complex creation to build a better understanding of Him. When you reflect, you realize that this world and everything it contains was created with intelligence and Infinite Wisdom — not by chance. Allah refers to the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the merging of the night into the day, and the merging of the Day into Night, as His miraculous signs and evidence of the existence of a Creator. God states that the skies and the Earth are fashioned perfectly, showing proof they originated from the act of a Creator.
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the great ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every kind of moving creature, and His directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason.” (Quran 2:164)
God asks you to reflect upon the Mountains, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Trees, etc. so that you realize the value and extent of your blessings. You will witness a clear sign, evidence, and proof of His existence, as you look up to the sky and admire the beauty of the ocean, mountain, and sunset:
Have they not looked at the Heaven above them — how We structured it and adorned it and how it has no rifts? (Quran 50:6)
The miracles of nature, the Earth, and the Universe are enough evidence to show you that there exists something bigger than us. You do not need to see anything more from God to believe; the world is already enough of a miracle and sufficient proof of His power. God also encourages you to look at your own self, your body, and how it was constructed so perfectly to see additional proof.
“We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth. But is it not sufficient concerning your Lord that He is, over all things, a Witness?” (Quran 41:53)
Pondering over the creation of humanity and the Universe would help you realize that the Deity behind this ethereal creation can re-create it once again. You would understand that God can resurrect you and all of humanity with ease in anticipation of Judgement Day.
“How can you disbelieve in Allah when you were lifeless, and He brought you to life; then He will cause you to die, then He will bring you back to life, and then to Him, you will be returned.” (Quran 2:28)
God the Almighty, due to his abundant Love and Mercy for humanity, has not left you in pure darkness, leaving you alone and unenlightened to stumble your way down the right path with only the frailties of guesswork or trial and error to aid you. God gifted you with an intellect and a logical mind that can reason, ponder, and reflect. God gave you the gift of Divine Guidance, which outlines the Criterion for ultimate truth and knowledge.
You must use your intellect and reason to contemplate and recognize God’s signs and evidence of His wonder, build a relationship with Him, and follow His guidance. These signs serve to speak loudly in their impact and evidence, giving you the information you need.
The disbelievers, the rejecters of the truth, the deniers of God, will live a narrow, depressed life in this world and suffer in hellfire forever in the hereafter.
“And whoever turns away from My remembrance — indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.” (Quran 20:124)
Humans can’t navigate the twists and turns of this life without God’s Guidance. Humans must ask their Creator for guidance. God bestowed Guidance unto His servants in the form of Revelation and through prayer, the form of communication through which Muslims connect with God at least five times a day. Your goal as a follower of Islam is to become a faithful servant of God by submitting to His Will and worshiping Him Alone. Those who pass this test would enter Paradise eternally; those who fail would enter hellfire in the afterlife. Remember that Judgment Day is a blink away. You will live and die, and then you will be resurrected to face your Lord, who will judge you based on how you lived your life.
“…Indeed, we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him, we will return.” (Quran 2:156)
The Religion of Islam states that God forces no one to submit to His Will. He has laid out a clear path for you while making it known that you must choose from two routes: The straight path that leads to Heaven or the erroneous way, which leads to hell. You are free to make your own choices. If you worship God, pledge your devotion to Him, and obey His commands, you have grasped and achieved the firm handhold and eternal bond that never will break. But if you deny God’s existence or worship anyone other than Allah, you stand to face eternal punishment in the hereafter.
Your life purpose has been given to you by your Creator. He has sent it down to you via the power of Revelation via your Prophet. Your life’s purpose is to find God, build a relationship with Him, and continuously submit to His will. The best joy and peace you can achieve in this world will be derived from servitude to your Creator. You must try to be an obedient slave of God. God states unequivocally that humankind was created to worship Him. God states:
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” (Quran 51:56)
You could misunderstand this to mean that God wants you to exist in a constant state of prayer, dwell on the remembrance of Him at all times, and spend your entire life in a state of constant seclusion and absolute meditation. This is not the case. In Islam, worshipping God includes and entails every act, belief, statement, or sentiment of the heart, which God approves and loves. The act of worship in Islam is comprehensive in scope.
The worship of God can include actions such as removing an object from the road, helping one in need, being kind to your parents, lawfully making money, sharing food with neighbors, visiting an ill person, etc. The act must be done sincerely to please your Creator and not with boastful or impure motives. The action also should be consistent with the Almighty’s guidance and laws. Any thought or act that brings a person closer to his Creator would be considered an act of worship.
To worship God is to get to know Him, learn His Names and attributes, love Him, obey His commandments, and enforce His laws in every aspect of your life. To worship God is to serve His cause, engage in the struggle and quest to do right, shun evil, and be just to others. Obeying God’s commandments and refraining from prohibited activities would make your life easier and more comfortable and lighten your burdens.
“And Allah wants to lighten for you your burden/ difficulties, and mankind was created weak.” (Quran 4:28)
God created you to be a follower and a worshipper. If you are not devoted to God, you instead will devote yourself to others, whether they are false gods, saints, idols, philosophers, etc., following them by committing thoughts and actions that would lead you astray. Muslims do not worship the creations of God, such as the Sun, the Moon, or an idol; instead, they worship the Creator Himself. Islam recognizes that God has created you with an innate eagerness and ability to seek God, to acknowledge and understand the existence of your Creator.
You may believe through error that disobeying the commands of God, all the while partying your whole life away, would make for a more enjoyable, peaceful life. You may think that if you find God and follow His commands, you will deprive yourself of things you could otherwise have enjoyed — and this couldn’t be further from the truth. Quite the opposite is true. While the commands of other religions often are viewed as burdensome and rigid, the rules of Islam are not seen in this way by the devout Muslim. Devout Muslims see these rules as guidelines to indicate as to what’s best for them so that they may be guided to success, happiness, honor, and contentment in this life and the next.
God states that if you abide by His commands, He will relieve your life’s burdens, rendering your existence much easier, more comfortable, and more relaxed. You would find contentment in your heart. You would find more peace and harmony within yourself and with the things and people around you. Each of God’s commandments is enforced to benefit the one that follows them. Anything that God renders impermissible is harmful to oneself or society. For example, alcohol is prohibited in Islam because of its danger and evilness. Many studies and evidence demonstrate the effects and risks of drinking alcohol. Those who follow these simple edicts will enjoy a pleasant, contented life in a blessed world. God promises in the Holy Quran:
“Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer — We will surely cause him to 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)
God created desires within the human being. You can control these desires in accordance with God’s Law and live decently, or succumb to them and go astray. Allah, the Glorious, created you with the knowledge that you would sin. Therefore, God taught humans, starting with Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, how to repent and purify oneself of sin.
Life in this world is also a test for humankind. Everyone faces a separate and unique test. Some are tested when they attempt to endure a life of poverty; some are tempted by wealth, some enjoy good health, some suffer bad health, etc. God states in his Holy Book:
“He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deeds — and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.” (Quran 67:2)
At times, the Almighty tests His creation through calamities and sometimes blessings to discover who will respond by being thankful and ungrateful, who will obey, and who will disobey.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (Quran 2:155)
God tests all of humanity in different ways. God is testing every individual every day. You should not mistake your life problems for punishments or as signs that God is displeased with you. Likewise, you should never interpret your wealth, provisions, rewards, luxuries, and pleasures as signs that Allah is pleased with you or that you are privileged. Sometimes, quite the opposite is true. Allah also says:
“Know that your wealth and your children are but a trial and that Allah has with Him a mighty reward.” (Quran 8:28)
God, in His Wisdom and Mercy, has decreed that people be tried and tested in various ways to develop their psyches and strengthen and improve their character. Sometimes when you undergo certain instances of suffering, you immediately think about and pray to God in response, even if you are not religious. At times, the very experience of suffering leads one to God.
A Muslim views this world as a temporary stop en route to a final destination: the afterlife, where you will live eternally. Not that this temporary world is unimportant or should be taken lightly, but this life should not be lived sinfully at the expense of the Hereafter — which is much longer and better in scope. If your goal in life is to become wealthy, then you will have no purpose in existence after you achieve the goal of wealth. How, then, could wealth be considered the aim of life? This world is not about acquiring material goods or physical pleasures.
A Muslim views and interacts with this world for that which it is, just a means to an end. The act of detaching from this world doesn’t mean that you abandon all material possessions and own nothing substantial; on the contrary, a healthy detachment from this world means that nothing can hold, own, and enslave you. This life is about attaining a higher purpose. One should spend their time on Earth preparing for the eternal joy of the afterlife. The purpose of life in Islam is to become faithful, sincere servants of God.
“And this worldly life is not but diversion and amusement. And indeed, the home of the Hereafter — that is the eternal life, if only they knew.” (Quran 29:64)
This life is temporary and will end someday for you; another day will bring an end for humanity altogether. But the Hereafter is eternal. The experience of life in this world is insubstantial when compared to life in the Hereafter. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, stated: What is the example of this worldly life compared to the Hereafter other than one of you dipping his finger in the sea? Let him see what he brings forth.
Whereas the essential purpose for which humankind was created is embodied in the worship of God, God does not need human worship. He certainly did not create you out of a need to seek His Glory. If not a single person worshipped God, His Glory would not diminish. God exists with no needs. On the other hand, you were created with needs and wants. Thus, it is you that requires the worship of God. You need to worship and glorify God by obeying his divinely revealed laws; obedience to God is the key to success in this life and the Hereafter.
You are encouraged to remember God as often as possible for your benefit. Remembrance of God is imperative, as sin is generally committed when God is forgotten. The forces of evil operate most freely when cognizance of God is weak or lost.
“Satan has overcome them and made them forget the remembrance of Allah. Those are the party of Satan. Unquestionably, the party of Satan — they will be the losers.” (Quran 58:19)
Satan and his children seek to occupy your mind with irrelevant thoughts, material distractions, and desires that make you forget your Lord.
“O, believers! Remember God often.” (Quran 33:41)
Everything in nature functions according to fixed laws set forth by God and cannot deviate from those laws. The Sun knows its role. It knows the cycle of its rotation; it knows its role as the giver of light, heat, and energy on Earth. The Earth knows its rotation cycle around its axis. Your eyes, heart, brain, body, and all of their components are subject to the laws of nature and have no choice but to operate as intended.
God’s creation worships Him in a manner appropriate to their situation. The Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Mountains, the trees, the animals, and the whole Universe all exist in a state of subjugation to Allah, the Almighty. All of them worshipping Him in an appropriate manner. God’s creation prostrates to Him as per their nature, even if they do not press their foreheads to the ground. Man is expected to worship and praise his Creator, much like the surrounding creations continuously praise God in humility. God, the Almighty, said:
“Do you not see that to Allah prostrates whoever is in the Heavens and whoever is on the Earth and the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Mountains, the trees, the moving creatures and many of the people? But upon many, the punishment has been justified. And he whom Allah humiliates — for him there is no bestower of honor. Indeed, Allah does what He wills.” (Quran 22:18)
“The seven heavens and the Earth and whatever is in them exalt Him. And there is not a thing except that it exalts Allah by His praise, but you do not understand their way of exalting. Indeed, He is ever Forbearing and Forgiving.” (Quran 17:44)
You are expected to worship and praise your Creator, much like the surrounding creations continuously praise God in humility. All of God’s creations know their mission and purpose. Just like the physical world submits to its Lord, human beings must submit to the Will and Laws of God. Unlike other creations of God, you were gifted with intelligence, the ability to comprehend and understand, and the wisdom to think, reflect, and ponder your Creator and your life purpose. You were gifted with the ultimate beauty of expression and the ability to make choices and decisions. God created many astounding creations, and the noblest of those creations are human beings. God states in the Quran:
“We have certainly created man in the best of stature.” (Quran 95:4)
You face a choice: the offer to submit before God like all other creations and be in harmony with everything else around you, or to go astray and violate God’s laws. All will be held accountable for their decisions and choices.
“To Him submits whatever is in the Heavens and the Earth.” (Quran 3:83)
“Glorify the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate to Him.” (Quran 15:98)
You were born with an innate eagerness and ability to seek God and recognize and understand your Creator’s existence. Once many discover the truth, they hasten to submit to Allah, entering a state of total submission — you should follow their lead.
You were born in a pure and pristine original state that inclines toward that which is ethical, morally, spiritually pure, upright, and wholesome. You are naturally inclined to help others, remove objects from the road, thank people when you are helped, etc. You have an internal moral conscience, a calculator, and a compass built into your being. If your being is not corrupted, your intrinsic moral conscience suffers discomfort and is disturbed when someone does wrong. This conscience always points toward good, which brings one closer to God. This goodness, programmed in you and all humans, compels you to be grateful when something good comes your way.
You have the instinct to believe in and worship your Creator, who is One — and who has no partners. This belief does not come about as a result of learning or personal reflection but is placed by God into the heart of every human. With time, the changing environment, and the outside influences from parents and friends, this innate belief in God affects and confuses some people at first. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, narrated: Every child is born in a state of fitrah (a natural belief in God), then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian. (Saheeh Muslim).
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