In the name of Allah who states “He who created death and life, that He may try which of you is best in deed; He is exalted in might, Oft-forgiving” Q14:42.
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his oppressed progeny.
The piece for this week is the mission behind the creation of man. It is very unfortunate that most people are either ignorant or careless about this mission for which they were created and placed on earth.
The philosophy behind life is very clear in Islam. Allah says “Behold, thy Lord said to the angels I will create a vicegerent on earth, they said Wilt though place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood? Whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name) He said I know what ye know not” Q2:30.
We can clearly understand from the verse above that Allah has created man to live as His vicegerent on earth. This means that he should run his life strictly in accordance with the directives of Allah as contained in the noble Qur’an. So it is part of this exercise to teach the children the essence of life which is to worship Allah alone and not associate anything with him.
Allah states “O you people! worship your Guardian-Lord, who created you and those who came before you; that you may become righteous. Who has made the earth your couch, and the heavens your canopy; and sent down rain from the heavens and brought forth therewith fruits for your sustenance; then set not up rivals unto Allah when ye know (the truth). Q2:21-22
Based on this, life has three stages; our living on earth, the interim stay in the grave otherwise referred to as the life in the unseen and the life hereafter. All these three stages are important but most important of all is the life here as is the fieldwork of the two lives to come.
Therefore, we must work harder to live as vicegerents of Allah so that we may acquire His pleasure and attain the greatest abode of His righteous servants in the hereafter. Therefore, in the cause of his life, man must make sure that he properly understands and gives more attention to the spiritual aspect of his being which has greater impact and determines his hereafter.
Here and hereafter is two accustomed expressions that simply refers to this life and life after. Which of the two is more important? The earthly life of course. This is because it is the seed for the life that comes after it. No doubt, all messengers of Allah were sent on this motive and no nation was left.
In fact, Allah has told us the answer of the rebellious in a response to angels on the coming of the messengers “They will say, yes indeed a Warner did come to us, but we rejected him and said Allah never sent down any (message); ye are in nothing but a grave error! Q67:9
Running a pleased life
Prosperous is he who purifies the soul and failed has he who soils it with sin and impurity. Q91:9-10. In a hadeeth, the prophet (S) every child is born on pure nature, it is his parent that brings him up as a Christian or a Jew.
Allah states”we will give a pure and wholesome life to everyone man or woman who acts righteously and has faith and we will reward them in accordance with the best of what they used to do” Q16:97.
On whatever capacity one lives in this world, he/she shall be judged based on his/her action. The trial of life covers the rich and the poor, scholar and ignorant, civil servant and the farmer just as it affects all and sundry.
So we must be very careful in our duty to Allah the Most High! And from the wisdom of Allah, the linking bridge is death that all souls must taste. We may ask what is death? Simply, death could be defined as an end to living. Life’s end or stoppage from being alive.
I could recall a little article I wrote during our university days on a similar appellation on which many commented including medical students. Although we know about death, we hardly think over it especially with regard to what comes after.
When the Western scientists enumerate characteristics of living things, they simply say death is the final but unimportant end! One must ask himself some related questions, however.
Is the death an end or a beginning? What is the wisdom behind death? Where do we go after death? What is the relation between the physical and spiritual aspects of a human being? And what are the lessons to learn from the death of others we witness? Regrettably, many people do not mind the religious teachings about death and therefore live unconscious of the related highlights.
Most important thing I want to draw our attention to is the spiritual aspect which is beyond the comprehension of a qualified medical doctor. A doctor pronounces a man dead when the various systems of his body such as circulatory and respiratory among others cease to function.
The organs are there but no longer function and the doctor can neither restart nor give a kick. Allah says “They will further say had we but listened or used our intelligence we should not (now) be among the companions of the blazing fire. They will then confess their sins; but far from Allah‘s mercy are the companions of the blazing fire!Q67: 10 -11.
In light of the above verses, we can understand that LISTENING and INTELLIGENCE are very important criteria for good comprehension of the essence behind this life. As such those that missed the guidance have perished in hell.
May Allah protect us! The sermon of Luqman el-Hakeem to his son is very relevant where he admonished him to associate no partner with Allah, to be obedient to his parents, to be steadfast in prayers, bid people unto virtue and forbid vice, bear patience with whatever may befall him in the path of Allah, turn not his face in scorn and pride and not be indifferent towards people. Q31;19.
The psychological contribution of Dr Alexis Carrel, a French scholar wrote in his book, Reflections sur la conduite de la vie, Persian translation, Pages 99 -100 is very relevant here and could be traced from its sources.
Rewards according to deeds
The righteous and the wicked are rewarded accordingly. “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Garden, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits therefrom, they say why, this is what we were fed with before, for they are given things in similitude and they have therein spouses purified; and they abide therein (forever)” Q2:25.
Imam Ali has said at times one’s enemy is more helpful than one’s friend because the latter makes one aware of his shortcomings leading him to overcome them. Therefore, the success behind this life is undoubtedly to live in accordance with the teachings of the creator and to attain His pleasure.
The losers are those that wasted their lives by missing the guidance of Allah running their lives in accordance with their wishes. Most people will not perceive this until they die. These are the ignorant, the careless that think they are in control but the real and actual controller is Allah, the Omnipotent and disposer of all affairs. I hope we will make the best use of our time to acquire the pleasure of our creator in this trial so that Allah might be pleased with us.
While urging us to put in more efforts to achieve the pleasure of Allah the Most High, the unconditional need for our goals, esteemed readers on the need to refer to Shi’a scholars, books and sites for more information and guidance, the need for the unconditional release of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and all his disciples cannot be overemphasized.