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Tue, May

The Purpose of our Life

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The love of desires, of women and sons and hoarded treasures of gold and silver and well bred horses and cattle and tilth, is made to seem fair to men; this is the provision of the life of this world

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficient, the Most Merciful,
The love of desires, of women and sons and hoarded treasures of gold and silver and well bred horses and cattle and tilth, is made to seem fair to men; this is the provision of the life of this world; and Allah is He with Whom is the good goal (of life). Ale-Imran v14
What do we consider important in our lives?  What or who is the center of our attention?  What is the goal of our lives? Are we awake or are we sleeping?  These are real and serious questions that all of us must ask ourselves in order to be truly successful in our lives and in our hereafter.
How many years of life do we have? 100, 80, 50?  To be truthful, we really don’t know how many years we have.  It is quite possible that we might not have more than 80 years.  Maybe 70 years.  Maybe 50 years.  Maybe 25 years.  Maybe 10 years.  Maybe 5 years.  Maybe only one year.  6 months, 2 months, 1 month, 2 weeks, 5 days, 1 hour.
Since we don’t know how much time we have left, it is very important that we spend the time we have right now in the best possible way.  A life of piety and righteousness.
What do we do with this precious amanat given to us by Allah?  Are we squandering and wasting away our lives in petty and worldly things?  Spending our precious years on things that will stay in this world and will not even come with us to our graves.  Are we spending our life in trying to make an extra million?  Trying to get that sports car.  Maybe buy a house that’s twice as big as the one we currently have.  Are these the goals that Allah has put forth for us?  Is this the purpose of our creation? Is this why we are called as the the best of creations, Ashraful Makhlooqat?
The reason brothers and sisters why there is no satisfaction in our lives.  The reason why there is no fulfillment in our lives.  The reason we feel lost in our lives.  The reason why there is depression and unhappiness in our lives is because we have forgotten our real purpose in life and we have forgotten what our end goal is.  We have forgotten where we have come from and where it is we will return. 
إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ {156}
Our goals have become confused with the dream and mirage called this world and materialism.  Our hearts have become tarnished by the wealth and glamour of this world and endless consumerism.  We have decided to close the eyes of our hearts and become dazed by the deceit of this world.  It is the closing of the eyes of our hearts which have put us to sleep and have made us ghafil of the reality of this temporary world.  Let us wake up before we are woken up.
أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا بِالْآخِرَةِ ۖ فَلَا يُخَفَّفُ عَنْهُمُ الْعَذَابُ وَلَا هُمْ يُنْصَرُونَ       

These are they who buy the life of this world for the hereafter, so their chastisement shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped. Baqara v86

قُلْ مَتَاعُ الدُّنْيَا قَلِيلٌ وَالْآخِرَةُ خَيْرٌ لِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ فَتِيلًا       

Say: The provision of this world is short, and the hereafter is better for him who guards (against evil); and you shall not be wronged the husk of a date stone. (An-Nisaa: v77)
Dear brothers and sisters, We are celestial beings.  We have been created for a divine purpose.  Our goal and purpose is to be humble servants to our Creator, Allah.  Our souls are much more valuable than this lowly world and material things.  Why should we sell our precious souls for this cheap world?  Especially, when Allah is willing to buy our souls and pay us a reward that cannot be imagined.  For our obedience and service to Allah, He the Lord and Creator of everything has promised us a paradise full of blessings and an eternal life full of light and truth.  Why on earth would we settle for anything less?  We should understand our precious value.  We must value ourselves and act accordingly.
We give nutrients to our body.  Do we give nutrients to our soul?  We exercise and keep our body in good condition.  Do we exercise and keep our soul in good condition?  We watch our intakes that effect our body.  Do we watch our intakes that effect our soul?  We strengthen our bodies.  Do we strengthen our souls?  We protect our bodies from physical harm.  Do we protect our souls from spiritual pitfalls?  We take showers and wash our bodies.  Do we wash our souls through daily prayers? We watch our calories.  Do we watch our sins?  We weigh ourselves every other day.  Do we weigh our good and bad deeds?  We should all take time out today, without any delay, and think seriously, what are we doing for our souls?  Are we paying more attention to our bodies which will turn to dust?  Or should we be paying attention to our souls which are eternal?  What are we doing with our lives? 
So what should we do to wake up?  How do we begin to nurture, nourish, strengthen, and protect our precious souls?  How do we start to make a change in our lives and in our destiny?  I will humbly suggest 5 points that have been given to us by the Aimma Masoomeen (as).  1. Gratefulness to Allah. 2. Forgiveness for our sins and disobedience. 3. Realize that the world is temporary and is just a means not an end goal 4. Sincerity in our prayers and worship 5. And staying away from all things haram as possible.

1.    Gratefulness and thanking Allah for His countless blessings.  Should we not love intensely the One who has given us all that we have?  From our children to our parents.  From our homes to our clothes.  From our food to our comforts.  A good and safe life.  From our breath to our very existence.  Our love of Ahlul Bayt (as).  Our being Shia of Amiral Momineen, Imam Ali (as).  Our legs, our hands, our hands, our ears.  Our friends, our family, each other.  How many millions of blessings are there that we never think about?  Is it really fair of us to use these blessings, but not thank the giver? We get one paycheck and it’s thanks boss (salute).  And how do we thank Allah, the One who is the best of givers.
I’m sure that the parents among us know well, when you give a gift to a child and he thanks you, you want to give him ten more gifts.  And as a parent, if our child does not show his gratitude then we feel ignored and sad.  So what of Allah, though he is Merciful and Forgiving, is it fair for us to think that he should endlessly give us blessings without us thanking Him? Thanking Allah for His blessings should be a major step for us and the Imam’s assure us that thanking Allah for His current and past blessings and bounties will surely attain His pleasure and satisfaction.  And on top of that it will increase our future bounties and blessings.  Thanking Allah for His blessings.  Show your love to Allah because He has given you everything you have both in this world and the hereafter.  And I assure you that He loves you deeply.  It only seems fair to love Him back.
2.    Forgiveness for our sins and disobedience.   This links back to a lack of love, lack of marifat, lack of marifate Ilahi, and lack of knowledge of what sins are and what disobedience means.  When we realize that Allah has given us all we have, and we have realized how very much Allah loves us, then how can we go against Allah’s commands and disobey Him.  It is possible to disobey the One we love?  Is it possible to say we love Allah, when we disobey His commands?  By the blessings of Allah, some of us have children.  When say for example, son please put your seat belt on, he says no baba, I don’t want to.  Then when I don’t speak to him for a few minutes, he says quietly Baba, I love you.  I think every parent at this point says, no baby, you don’t love me.  If you loved me you would listen to what I’m asking you to do.  Especially since it is in your best interest…..Yet, when it comes to the commands of Allah, we freely break them and expect Allah to continue loving us and blessing us and giving us higher ranks.  We commit sins, but expect to go to heaven.  It does not seem rational or logical to think that disobeying Allah will in any way increase Allah love for us.
 And all of us have committed sins, perhaps small or large.  I know that I am not innocent.  So what should we do?  We have realized that we have sinned.  We have remembered our sins of the past.  Know when we are in a state of worry, we start to ask for forgiveness.  We repent with sincerity.  We return towards to Allah.  We run towards the safe haven of every believer.  We run towards the One who is most quick to return to forgiveness.  Promise ourselves to make real Islamic changes in our lives.  And once we have realized our sins, and then we have asked for forgiveness and repentance, we then try our best to stay away from sins.
3.    Realize that the world is temporary and will not last.  It is just a means to help us better worship Allah and obey His commands.  This world is not the end goal.  This world is not the purpose of our creation.  We must free ourselves from the chains of materialism and consumerism that will eventually lead to our destruction.  We must break free from the enchantment of this world. 
We will not be able to take this material wealth with us to our graves.  The only thing that we will take is our actions, whether good or bad.  Yes, this world is valuable if we use it for good.  It is recommended that we provide for our families.  It is recommended to help the poor and needy amongst us.  It is recommended to spend in the way of Allah.  And only in these cases is the material wealth of this world of any use to us.  Love of this world and its material things only distances us from Allah.  Materialism and consumerism only take us away from the path that leads to Allah.
4.    Sincerity in our prayers and worship.  We should be sincere in our prayers and our worship.  Our niyat and intention should be sincere and for the pleasure and satisfaction of Allah.  Let’s take a minute and think about ourselves.  If someone came up to us and said, Salam, How are you, how are your kids, inshaAllah I pray all is well with your family, may Allah help you succeed, and it was all just for show…..or it was just to ask you for a favor…..how would we feel.  We would be pretty disgusted with someone that acts like that, right.  So how important is it for us to be sincere in our worship and obedience to Allah?  How very important and special is it for us to be sincere?  Especially since the One we are worshipping knows our secrets and knows our thoughts. 
Sincerity in our prayers and worship.  Our obedience is for the sake of Allah.  Our obedience is for the satisfaction of Allah.  Our obedience is to Allah, because it is He who deserves to be obeyed.  Don’t do it for this world.  Don’t do it for the people.  Don’t do it because mom and dad said so.  Quran Riya.  Do it for Allah.  Because Allah deserves to be worshipped.  He deserves to be loved.
5.    Staying away from all things haram.  Sins are the main obstacles in our path of self-refinement and perfection.  Sins are like a cancer that breaks our connection with Allah.  Is it possible to be a good momin, to be a good follower of Ahlul Bayt, to be a sincere servant of Allah, while we are engrossed in sins?  Sins create dark spots upon our hearts and if not cured, these sins will cover our hearts and turn them to stone.  Sins can be large or small, but both have a negative effect on our souls. 
For our own sake, we must prevent ourselves from committing sins.  Lying, cheating, disobeying our parents, hitting our children, backbiting, making fun of others, verbally abusing people, looking down upon others, arrogance, pride, and greed are all sins that we know about and it is within our control to not commit them.  We only need to take a small step towards Allah and Allah promises that He will help us in this struggle against sins.  Refraining from sins will begin to purify us and we will certainly feel a positive change within us. 

So what have we learned?  Our lives are a precious amanat.  We must value ourselves and realize our great potential.  We must break free from love of this material world.  We must try our best to love our Creator Allah because He surely loves us.  And our five easy points that we can practically apply.  Gratefulness to Allah, Forgiveness for our sins, Realizing that the world is a means not an end goal, Sincerity in our worship, And staying away from all things haram as possible.  In the end, Allah is most merciful and forgiving as He himself has said in the holy Qur’an:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ       

Verily, God is much-FORGIVING, a dispenser of grace. – (2:182)
May Allah help us to obey Him as He would want us to obey Him.  May Allah help us to excel in excellent morals in this world and to excel in the hereafter.  May Allah forgive us our sins of the past and future, small and big.  May Allah protect our children and keep them on the straight and righteous path.  May Allah guide us for our whole lives.  May Allah wipe away the rust of our hearts and replace it with light and truth.  May Allah protect you and your families today and always.  May Allah protect and hasten the appearance of the Imam of our Age and make us of his true and sincere supporters and followers. 
Author: Golzar

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