For centuries, mankind has been searching after the real meaning of life, and many of them try to find this meaning in the “absolute justice”, “felicity” or “worship”. But a short overview about this tragic situation in the whole world makes it clear that earthly life can never be full of bliss and righteousness. The other situation is that the natural condition of man shows that he can’t live only for worshipping because he has instincts and organic needs. Mankind is not able to find any answer to this difficult question without any instruction from the Creator of this life.
الَّذِي خَلَقَ الْمَوْتَ وَالْحَيَاةَ لِيَبْلُوَكُمْ أَيُّكُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْغَفُورُ
“He who created death and life to test you as to which of you is best in deed – and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.”
(Surah Al-Mulk: 2)
ابتلاء (the test) is the real meaning and formula of life. Allah (swt) knew about the behavior of Shaytan on the day of the Creation of Adam (as), but He has revealed the disobedience of the Shaytan to show him how he has behaved and why he will go to Hell. In the same way is this life for mankind. Allah (swt) knows who is going to which level of paradise and who is going to which level of hell, and it is even clear which man will be the last person who comes out of hell. But Allah (swt) has created life as revealing to every single person so they can realize and accept what he has done, and why he has earned this honor or this punishment in the day of resurrection.
إِنَّا جَعَلْنَا مَا عَلَى الْأَرْضِ زِينَةً لَّهَا لِنَبْلُوَهُمْ أَيُّهُمْ أَحْسَنُ عَمَلًا
“Indeed, We have made that which is on the earth adornment for it that We may test them (as to) which of them is best in deed.”
(Surah Al-Kahf: 7)
Mankind lives today an average of 60 to 70 years. The life of a worker bee lasts about 6 weeks. This appears to be short to mankind, but human life is also very short when we compare it to the existence of the whole universe and the system created by of Allah (swt).
قَالَ كَمْ لَبِثْتُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ عَدَدَ سِنِينَ * قَالُوا لَبِثْنَا يَوْمًا أَوْ بَعْضَ يَوْمٍ فَاسْأَلْ الْعَادِّينَ * قَالَ إِن لَّبِثْتُمْ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا لَّوْ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ
“(Allah) will say, “How long did you remain on earth in number of years?” They will say, “We remained a day or part of a day; ask those who enumerate.” He will say, “You stayed not but a little – if only you had known.”
(Surah Al-Mu’minun: 112-114)
There is much speculations by scientists about the real age of the universe. They talk about an age of billions of years. It is evident from the Islamic narrative that between the first prophet Adam (as) and the last Prophet Mohammad ﷺ is about 20 thousand years and between Mohammad ﷺ and the 21st century is 1438 years. The Day of Judgment (Day of Hashar) will be about 50 thousand years. So it is very important to realize that the human life is very short and senseless.
اعْلَمُوا أَنَّمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا لَعِبٌ وَلَهْوٌ وَزِينَةٌ وَتَفَاخُرٌ بَيْنَكُمْ وَتَكَاثُرٌ فِي الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَوْلَادِ كَمَثَلِ غَيْثٍ أَعْجَبَ الْكُفَّارَ نَبَاتُهُ ثُمَّ يَهِيجُ فَتَرَاهُ مُصْفَرًّا ثُمَّ يَكُونُ حُطَامًا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ شَدِيدٌ وَمَغْفِرَةٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرِضْوَانٌ وَمَا الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا إِلَّا مَتَاعُ الْغُرُورِ
“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose (resulting) plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes (scattered) debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.”
(Surah Hadid 20)
Allah (swt) sent prophets as a help to mankind with the same Aqeedah and different Shariah laws. Mankind will be tested and if they hold onto Islam, they will pass their exam, but if they don’t they will be misled.
قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
“(Iblees) said, “By your might, I will surely mislead them all.”
(Surah Sad: 82)
وَاللّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَاتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيمًا
“Allah wants to accept your repentance, but those who follow (their) passions want you to digress (into) a great deviation.”
(Surah An-Nisa: 27)
وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ
“And whoever is blinded from remembrance of the Most Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion.”
(Surah Az-Zukhruf: 36)
Mankind must fight with Imaan, Taqwa and Dhikr of Allah (swt) against this barrier to know the real meaning of life which is the most important concept ever. This will save the human being from this confusion and help them to use this short life only for the Akhira. The result is that the Quran must be read, understood and translated into actions. Allah (swt) has given clear signs in this Dunya and nobody can deny this fact. The salvation from the hellfire can be reached by fulfilling their obligations to Islam in a community and under the banner of the Caliphate upon the method of the Prophethood.
Member of the Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir