The Importance of Life in Islam
The purpose of life within the Muslim community is to serve their creator. They believe that they were created by their God to serve Him and thus there is a particular manner in which they should do so to achieve that purpose in life. The Quran explicitly states that human beings were created to be God’s trustees on earth and their responsibility and basic trust is to worship and believe in God. The understanding of the Muslim community in terms of worship is to make one’s life to be an act or symbol of worship. Their objective in life is taken to be pleasuring God by refraining from any evil and always doing what is right. Activities done every day can be turned to worship acts by having good intentions and through these activities looking for God’s pleasure.
In life, Muslims believe that worship is the core provider of the necessities that leads to both their worldly and spiritual well being. Compared to the soul a person’s body needs resources such as food, a way of reproduction, and drinks for it to exist but the soul its needs can only be fulfilled by being obedient and having faith in God through worshipping him. The ultimate or main goal, as per Islamic believe, of life is to meet with the creator in the afterlife as in the end all humans beings will perish. A Muslim should then always believe in the creator and follow His commands by doing what is righteous. Life in this world is just but a preparation for the next eternal life in the eternal home, and a Muslim should strive to be always righteous by doing what is taught based on teachings of the Quran (Abdullah, 2005).
Muslims accept that their present life is a preparation and is a trial for the next life in the next existence realm. Their view on death is quite symbolic to the short existence on this world. When there is death among the Muslim community, the dead person is washed and then wrapped in a white, clean cloth and it is usually done by a member of the family. He or she is then buried the same day preferably after a prayer (World Assembly of Muslim Youth).
In Islam the soul is believed to be a creature of Allah, their God. The Islamic religion teaches that the soul comes in contact with fetus when it is 120 days old and remains inside a person throughout his or her lifespan. When a person dies the soul leaves the body and goes back to heaven where it resides. Basically, when a body receives a soul then life begins and death begins when the soul departs from the body. The body and soul is believed to travel through different worlds which are the womb, this world, the grave, and the hereafter. At the womb the soul is joined with the body and then they come to this world where they are to stay for short period of which when the body dies it goes to the grave. After the grave, the last destination for all people is the hereafter. In Islam, each world is of more importance compared to the last passed through but the final world is everlasting (Hassan, 2012).
This world is believed to be futile and the hereafter permanent, in the Islam religion, but it is difficult to comprehend this in this worldly life. Those in this world believe the grave to be a dark and empty hole, though to the dead it is a window to either Heaven or Hell. To Muslims life is seen as test, and for one to promote and preserve the soul as well as the body he or she has to do what is righteous and good before the eyes of Allah. Death does not mark the end of one’s existence but the end of the opportunity to do what is good. After death, the next life is solely based and determined by a person’s activities, beliefs, and deeds in this worldly life. Islam religion depicts that a person is created and is given a free will to do what he or she feels like but should be responsible for his or her actions.
The Muslim people believe in the Day of Judgment, where every soul is to account for all the deeds of the worldly life. They believe that everyone’s deeds on this world are recorded and kept until the Day of Judgment comes. This belief should make a person afraid and ashamed to commit any sin as every deed is recorded and will be exposed on that day. A person should strive to make a good use of the opportunities of this worldly life to ensure that they have a place in paradise and should avoid the condemnation that waits in hell.
Islam emphasizes on being accountable and responsible for one’s action. One’s actions are not predetermined meaning a person is free to do anything but there are guidance provided for one to discern if something is right or wrong. If a person follows the way of Godliness and piety he will definitely succeed not only in this world but also in the next (Mawdudi, 2013), while still in this world the person will have a fulfilling life of contentment and in the hereafter he will have eternal bliss. Contrary to this, choosing the course of evil will mean that this worldly life will know no peace but only corruption, frustration and disruption and in the hereafter only misery and pain in hell.
It is recorded in history about the Arabian people long before Prophet Muhammad arrived (World Assembly of Muslim Youth, 2014). They were engaged in gambling, plundering, murdering, and tribal feuds mainly because they did not believe in the second eternal life or rather life after death. Once they accepted the teachings of Prophet Muhammad, their lives were changed. They started a system of brotherhood where they helped one another and introduced a system of justice and equality in settling any disputes. This depicts that where there is denial of the hereafter eternal life, it leads to so many vices arising among society and it is destroyed by evils.
In conclusion, for a Muslim person to preserve and promote the worldly life, he or she has to believe in God and His existence. His or her faith should never yield to worldly pleasures but instead be firm in Allah (God) and there will be no problem in directing worship to only God. Only the belief in God and the afterlife stimulates the soul in seeking a good worldly and hereafter life.
Hassan, S., (2012). ‘The Journey of the Soul’. Mission Islam. Retrieved From http://www.missionislam.com/knowledge/Soul.htm
Islam Religion, (2013). ‘The Purpose of Life (part 2 of 3): The Islamic Viewpoint’ Retrieved from http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/279/
World Assembly of Muslim Youth, (2014). ‘Life After Death’. Retrieved from http://www.islam-guide.com/life-after-death-by-wamy.htm
Mawdudi, S., A., A. ‘Islamic Way of Life’ Retrieved from http://web.youngmuslims.ca/online_library/books/islamic_way_of_life/#bk
Abdullah, M., A., (2005). ‘Being a Good Muslim and Its Relation to Corporate Social Responsibility’. Retrieved from http://www.islam.gov.my/%E2%80%9Cbeing-good-muslim-and-its-relation-corporate-social-responsibility%E2%80%9D-mohd-asri-bin-abdullah-paper-wo
Stapley, A., (2013). ‘This Worldly Life is Only a Transition’. Retrieved from http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-islam/living-islam/first-steps/fasting/463601-this-worldly-life-is-only-a-transition-.html