What is the meaning of Life?

 

By Ijaz Chaudry

God willing today we will answer some questions which influence our daily lives extensively which is “what is the meaning of life” using the Quran (The Final Testament). Meaning of life encompass many aspects of our lives, including why someone is happy in this world and others unhappy and why for some apparently unknown reason communities suffer disasters and other communities prosper.



What is happiness?

According to the Quran there are two types of happiness “Transient” and “Permanent”.  The “Transient Happiness” only last in this world, while “Permanent Happiness” continues after we leave this world and enter another world of Paradise.



So the question is how do we obtain these two types of Happiness? Quran is clear that the “Permanent Happiness” happen to those who comply with the following verse;



[42:27] If GOD increased the provision for His servants, they would transgress on earth. This is why He sends it precisely measured to whomever He wills. He is fully Cognizant and Seer of His servants.



Thus this happiness does not arrive by extravagant wealth, but precisely measured wealth. This is because wealth could corrupt or sway away from straight and narrow.



On the other hand “Transient Happiness” comes about by complying with the following verses;



[6:42-45] We have sent (messengers) to communities before you, and we put them to the test through adversity and hardship, that they may implore. If only they implored when our test afflicted them! Instead, their hearts were hardened, and the devil adorned their works in their eyes. When they thus disregard the message given to them, we open for them the gates of everything. Then, just as they rejoice in what was given to them, we punish them suddenly; they become utterly stunned.  The wicked are thus annihilated. Praise be to GOD, Lord of the worlds.



Our purpose in life;

Our purpose on earth is to search and follow the message from God, for example majority of the people in this world have received a messenger in the form of human or a book. The Torah, Gospel and the Quran are there as messengers with one proviso which is follow Torah and Gospel only if confirmed by the Quran. The reason for this is that new information comes with new scripture and Quran is the newest scripture and also the final Word of God on earth. Quran can be referred as a reference to all religions because of it being the final word of God. If we do not follow the scriptures as they should be then we could be in the category of those who are of “Transient Happiness”.



But why not all the people of this category “Transient Happiness” given as much as which would make them rich? For this question the answer lies in the following verse;



[17:30] For your Lord increases the provision for anyone He chooses, and reduces it. He is fully Cognizant of His creatures, Seer.



In fact in varying people in wealth, is Great Wisdom of God, because by varying the wealth in people under different circumstances brings about the true nature of humans like us and many lessons are thus learned from their experiences, which benefit the mankind. Also by showing poverty to some could encourage humility and humbleness in those people which are all traits of Islam (Submission), so that they are saved.


Why do the believers get tested even before the age of responsibility;

A believer might ask a question why we are tested before the age of forty, even though before the age of forty we will not be accounted for our sins;

46          15   We enjoined the human being to honour his parents. His mother bore him arduously gave birth to him arduously and took intimate care of him for thirty months. When he reaches maturity and reaches the age of forty he should say "My Lord direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do the good works that please You. Let my children be upright as well. I have repented to You; I am a submitter."

 

*the age of responsibility starts at 40, since one has not submitted to God before this age, one is not responsible for their deeds; this is God’s immense Mercy on human kind. Since one has been not responsible of any sin before the age of 40 anyone who dies before this age of any creed or race goes to Paradise. **Al-Muzzammil

 

Looking at this issue in general terms, but logically, put yourself in a scenario, if you or a person you know had a sinful but easy life, with lot of money, power and provisions, how can you or the person you know, be absolutely sure that one can suddenly turn around at the age of forty and stop sinning and become a sincere believer, if for last forty years one has been fooling around. This could happen but is it worth taking this risk. Hence for the chosen few, it makes sense that in God’s Great Wisdom, He has made possible for the them to have hardship in this life and implore God for help, and thus stay on the straight and narrow path and come even closer to God even before the age of forty and be certain to be a believer at and above the age of forty.

Quran sums up this scenario very well in just two verses;

[94:5] With pain there is gain.

[94:6] Indeed, with pain there is gain.



On what does prosperity of communities based on?



Now why does some communities suffer disasters and others are prosperous? This aspect of life can be summarized in the following example;



[7:163]  Remind them of the community by the sea, who desecrated the Sabbath. When they observed the Sabbath, the fish came to them abundantly. And when they violated the Sabbath, the fish did not come. We thus afflicted them, as a consequence of their transgression.



Indeed community who live by the Laws of God prosper whilst those communities which don’t suffer. But there is another example in the Quran which states that those communities which are unappreciative of God’s provisions also suffer;



[34:15 - 19]  Sheba's homeland used to be a marvel, with two gardens on the right and the left. Eat from your Lord's provisions, and be appreciative of Him - good land, and a forgiving Lord. They turned away and, consequently, we poured upon them a disastrous flood, and we substituted their two gardens into two gardens of bad tasting fruits, thorny plants, and a skimpy harvest. We thus requited them for their disbelief. Do we not requite only the disbelievers? We placed between them and the communities that we blessed other oases, and we secured the journey between them: "Travel therein days and nights in complete security." But they (turned unappreciative and) challenged: "Our Lord, we do not care if You increase the distance of our journeys (without any stations)." They thus wronged their own souls. Consequently, we made them history, and scattered them into small communities throughout the land. This should provide lessons for those who are steadfast, appreciative.

 

*Missing words “turned non-appreciative and” or tahawwalat ghyr taqdir w their respective gv’s are 844, 1210, 714 & 6, “without any stations” or dun 'ay mahattat their respective gv’s are 60, 11 & 458. 34 19 6 714 1210 844 458 11 60 = 1799827059 0044445164 x 19; Position is 4 “Act of righteousness”, indeed what happened to Sheba’s people was right. The Temporal connection suggests that this happened long time ago before the Quran was revealed. This is the reason why the chapter and verse (34:19) is left most and the geometric values are right most. Indeed only the disbelievers are un-appreciative. **Al-Muzzammil

 

Quran emphasises a fact that this life is temporary and when we die all this wealth we obtained is left here on earth whilst only our Souls are left which needs to answer the Almighty God for our deeds;



[3:196 - 197] Do not be impressed by the apparent success of disbelievers. They only enjoy temporarily, then end up in Hell; what a miserable destiny!



Putting into worldly prospective;

The real life situations existing today as implied by the verses (34:15 – 19) above are plenty. For example the people in the West are well to do and live reasonably happy life, these are the same people who regard human rights, respect human values, they are charitable and mostly honest people all the characteristics are of sign of being appreciative of what they have.



Whilst on the other hand people of the third world countries are quite the opposite, most of the people who live there cheat, bribe, ignore human rights, do not respect human values, are not charitable all these characteristics are of being unappreciative of what they have and indeed in return majority of these people live poor and unhappy lives. They are unappreciative because they are not content with what they have they want more, and in order to get more they use devious and evasive tactics described earlier. As a result these communities dispute and fight amongst themselves. And the only victims of these are the common people who have to leave their homes and belongings because of the war implied by their corrupt and land greedy war lords. Some of these get killed. However, this is mercy in disguise because by the Mercy of God the ones who die under the age of 40 go straight to Paradise. Since the age of responsibility set by God is the age of 40 and over (46:15).



Materials of This World: All That the Disbelievers Get;

[43:33 - 35] If it were not that all the people might become one (disbelieving) congregation, we would have granted everyone who disbelieves in the Most Gracious mansions with silver roofs, and stairs upon which they could climb. Their mansions would have impressive gates, and luxurious furnishings.  Also many ornaments all these are the temporary materials of this lowly life. The Hereafter - at your Lord - is far better for the righteous.

 Breakdown of Arabic used in this page