The Purpose of Life

What are human beings doing here on earth? What is the purpose of our existence in this world? What is the purpose of life? Many people try to answer this fundamental question. Some say, a human being exists to go through the normal cycle as a person, that is to grow, to reproduce, to educate his offspring, and finally to die. Some say that living in this world is to be rich, to be successful in career and family and have many children. Some say there is no specific reason why people live in this world, so they can do whatever they want to do.

In the Qur’an, the holy book of Islam, the purpose of the creation of human being is clearly stated. But before going any further, let’s have a journey for a while… a journey that every human being did before he was born into the world.

All of us were in our mothers’ wombs before we were finally born. But what happened before that?  In the Qur’an chapter 7 verse 172, God says regarding the existence of human beings prior to entering mothers’ wombs:

“And (remember) when your God drew forth from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants, and made their spirits testify concerning themselves, (saying): “Am I not your God (Who cherishes and sustains you)?” They said: Yes! We do testify!”. (This), lest Ye should say on the Day of Judgment: “Of this w re never mindful”.

So, human beings, in spirit form, already existed in the different world, that is the spirit (soul) world.  It is the world where all the spirits of human beings bear witness that God is the Creator, Cherisher, and Sustainer.

After taking their oaths, the spirits (souls) of human beings were 'breathed' into the fetuses in the mothers' wombs, as stated by the saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him):

"Verily, each of you is brought together in his mother’s abdomen for forty days in the form of a drop of fluid. Then it is a clinging object for a similar [period]. Thereafter, it is a lump looking like it has been chewed for a similar [period]. The angel is then sent to him and he breathes into him the spirit."

And after staying for nine months in the mothers’ wombs, babies (human beings) are born into the world. 

You see, what had happened in the spirit / soul world is crucial as the testimony of the spirits actually lays the basic foundation of how human beings are going to lead their lives in this world.

To emphasize the testimony of the spirits in the previous world, God clearly says the purpose of creation in the Qur’an chapter 51 verse 56:

            “I (God) have only created jinns and men that they serve Me.”

While many people have different ideas of their existence, God The Creator and Sustainer, has made a clear purpose of why people live on earth, that is, to serve or worship Him. This, of course, entails consequences and obligations. Accepting and understanding that  God created human beings just to worship Him means it is a recognition that God is The Master whose rules must be adhered to.  We, human beings as the servants of God must obey what God asks us to do. Therefore, we have to find out what sort of deed that God loves and hates. We must know the dos and not-to-dos that we have to implement during their lives on earth.

Acknowledging the purpose of life is to worship God also implies that other things cannot be taken as god. For example, when a man works to earn money, he must do it in the corridor of God’s rules, meaning he must earn money honestly and in a good way. So, if there is a person earns money by corruption, money laundering, and cheating, it is clear that he has made money into his god. When a woman obeys whatever her husband says or asks, despite what he says or asks is against God’s rules, it means she has made her husband into god.  And when some young people smoke and drink alcohol because they love them, it shows that they have taken their desires as gods to them.

Why is it that human beings have to serve God on earth and have to live by His rules? What is His plan for His servants? God obliges His servants to worship Him because there is judgment day waiting for them. God says in the Qur’an chapter 22 verse 7:

“And verily the day of judgment will come, there can be no doubt about it, or about the fact that God will raise up all who are in the graves.”

What will happen in the day of judgment? God further explains in the Qur’an chapter 21 verse 47:

“We (God) shall set up scales of justice for the day of judgment, so that not a soul will be dealt with unjustly in the least. And if there be (no more than) the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it (to account), and enough are We to take account.”

The day of judgment and the scaling of deed only lead to two places, heaven or hell. If a person’s good deed weigh more than the bad deed, surely he will end up in heaven forever. If it is the other way around, then hell is the place, forever as well. There is no turning back or switching places.

By revealing the purpose of creation in the Qur’an, it conveys that God wants His servants (human beings) to go to heaven. God’s willingness for us to go to heaven surpasses our own willingness to go there.  And by fulfilling our purpose to serve God only, to obey God only, will lead to the ultimate happiness as God promises in the Qur’an chapter 4 verse 13:

“Those who obey God and His Apostle will be admitted to gardens with rivers flowing beneath, to abide therein (forever), and that will be the supreme achievement.”

If human beings have the awareness of the reason of creation, then the best and the wisest thing to do is to live in accordance to God’s rules so that the eternal loss and suffering in the judgment day will not occur. Having the awareness to always obey God will surely end up in the ultimate victory and joy which cannot be replaced by even the most amazing thing that ever happen in this worldly life. 

God (Allah) says: “I (God) have only created jinns and men that they serve Me.”

Twitter: Maharani Hasibuan

The Purpose of Life by Prof. Jeffrey Lang

Bill Learned About Jesus, The Qur'an, And Islam