The Purpose of Life
After starting the first minute of his weekly khutbah or sermon before students at Good Tree Academy in Arabic, Ustadh Michael Wolfender declares Allah as Most Forgiving, referencing the beginning of Surah Mulk (The Sovereignty 67:1-2): “Blessed is the One in Whose Hands rests all authority. And He is Most Capable of everything. ˹He is the One˺ Who created life and death in order to test which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Almighty, All-Forgiving.”
Life is a test to test us so we can do the best deeds. We don’t know the outcome of the test but we each determine the outcome based on our choices, decisions and actions. Allah will show us the result of these tests in this life and on the Day of Judgment.
In Surah Adh-Dhariyat (The Winnowing Winds 51:56-57) Allah tells us the purpose of life: “I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me. I seek no provision from them, nor do I need them to feed Me.”
Our purpose here is to worship Allah; how many of us understand our purpose? Particularly by checking in with Him five times a day in prayer?
In Surah Al-Ahqaf (The Wind-Curved Sandhills 46:33), Allah provides a description of how it is not hard for Him to create: “Do they not realize that Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth and did not tire in creating them, is able to give life to the dead? Yes ˹indeed˺! He is certainly Most Capable of everything.”
Contrast this to the challenges humans face in creating: rockets which fail to reach beyond the atmosphere, airplanes which fall from the sky, bridges which tumble with travelers trying to cross. Allah doesn’t need our worship. We make things to serve us. Notwithstanding, Allah is our Provider; He is serving us. We actually benefit ourselves in worshipping Allah, as He states in Surah Fatir (Originator 35: 15-16): “O humanity! It is you who stand in need of Allah, but Allah ˹alone˺ is the Self-Sufficient, Praiseworthy. If He willed, He could eliminate you and produce a new creation.”
We are slaves to Allah and Allah is our Master who gives us everything. This life is a test and we can use natural disasters as an example of how Allah keeps everything in control; He is the Force of Stability so oceans are not constantly in tsunami forces, volcanoes are not continually erupting wreaking havoc and the earth isn’t shaking constantly in violent earthquakes. These forces are tamed by Allah and not left to run wild, showing the value of struggle contained and the value of struggle endured with a foundation of the power of forgiveness. Brother Michael references the beginning of Surah Mulk (The Sovereignty 67:1-2) again: Blessed is the One in Whose Hands rests all authority. And He is Most Capable of everything. ˹He is the One˺ Who created life and death in order to test which of you is best in deeds. And He is the Almighty, All-Forgiving.”
Do the best deeds and be forgiving. Brother Michael offers a personal example of why Allah provides tests and how realizing this helped him quell frustration and anger. Understanding our relationship with Allah recognizes that we are slaves to Him for our own benefit. This realization makes life easygoing and encourages being forgiving to others. Material things don’t provide happiness. One’s relationship with Allah and understanding our true purpose here equals the true meaning of happiness. This feeling guides us to our Creator.