A human being is created with a need for some form of purpose to guide and give meaning to his actions throughout his life. In this overwhelming world a purpose is essential to channel one’s energy. A life’s purpose stabilizes the fluctuations of a person’s personality and circumstances. It is a kind of a guideline which helps us differentiate the unimportant matters from the truly important ones. A purpose to life is essential to drive your actions and lead you to your objective because if you do not know where you are going then you are lost.
Why is a definite life purpose important for us?
A clear defined purpose leads to a conscious life. It guides you when you feel dishelved, provides you with inner peace of knowing where you are going. Every setback in your life becomes trivial. You just learn from your failures and move on.
Conversely, without direction and purpose, people feel lost and frustrated and tend to fall into depression.
Most people consider their life purpose to be some sort of mission they are born to fulfill or do something they are efficient at and passionate about; and they spend their lives in search for such a thing. Mark Twain famously said:
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.”
As poetic and pleasing as it seems, we know we have only one shot at this life which is short, and the burden of searching for our life’s purpose by ourselves and serving the world in some way through it is difficult.
When you question about their purpose, people respond in a myriad of different ways. Some people do not give it a thought at all, others have vague responses like, “to be my own self,” “to give back to the world,” or “to live my life to the fullest.” Some consider earning an X amount of money or reaching Y position to be their life purpose. Such ideas are good as secondary goals in life but not as life’s main purpose. Making them your life’s purpose is attaching the value of your life to them; so if and when you mess them up or even go on to achieve them, the meaning of life dissipates.
Therefore, it is true that you do need to set goals to organize and achieve things in this world. But your life’s main purpose must be distinct and higher than such trivial gains because all this ceases when we die.
So what should be the ‘prime purpose’ of life?
The easiest way to discover the purpose of an invention is to ask the creator of it. So the easiest way to discover the reason for our existence is to ask Allah for it because He (ﷻ) put us here.
We people actually have it so much easier if we only come to realize that we have the guideline laid out for us. All we need to do is follow it. Allah has not left us in the dark to wonder, guess, attempt, suffer and fail, and then start over and repeat. He (ﷻ) has revealed His Word and sent His Messenger to deliver it. He made sure it was passed down to us. Allah (ﷻ) says:
“I did not create the jinn and mankind except for My worship.”Quran 51:56
That is our real purpose of life. It’s the same for all mankind. To know and worship Allah (ﷻ). By worship, we mean submitting to the laws of the Creator who created you and everything around you. The objective of our life is to reach paradise which is the reward of willingly submitting to Allah’s commands revealed to His Messenger ﷺ.
In other words, the purpose of our life in this world is to live in accordance to Allah’s will, gain His pleasure and consequently be rewarded with paradise. To achieve this purpose, you must ask yourself this: What is at the center of my life?
Who do you live for? What are you going to build your life around? Career, loved ones, interests, money, or any other activity are all temporary things and should not belong at the center of your life. You need something solid and strong to hold you together when life starts breaking apart. You need an imperturbable center. A resilient connection with your Lord can keep you stable at all times.
When you priortize your Creator in your life, you realize that everything else is just a means to strengthen that connection with Him. And you realize that even during the worst of times you are clinging to your strongest lifeline and sailing ahead.
In conclusion, this life is very meaningful and purposeful to the believing Muslims, as they realize that it will determine their outcome and permanent position in the hereafter.