The True Goal of Human Life

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In the constant struggle of good and evil, which is the lot of every human being, it is within our power to overcome evil with sincere effort and Divine grace, writes ANEES AZEEZ.

According to Islam, the greatest success for a human being is to attain true salvation and to, thereby, achieve Paradise. Paradise is an eternal and perfect abode wherein is found everything that we would ever want – both spiritually and physically. However, Islam also teaches us that our sojourn within this material life is also, and more importantly, an opportunity for us to prepare ourselves in becoming worthy of Paradise and the Supreme Felicity: the proximity to the Divine.

Now what is the eligibility criterion for our entry into Paradise? And who are the ones who will dwell in Paradise? Certainly, paradise is not for the sinless, for man is prone to make mistakes and commit sins. Rather, the inmates of Paradise will be those who, having been cleansed of sin through Divine grace, do not ever want to commit sins anymore. They are those who sought, and found, true contentment by following and adhering to the commandments of God.

This can be seen from an incident from the life of Prophet Mohammad, on whom be peace. Once, when he was addressing his followers, he said that every person has a devil who accompanies him and bids him to do evil. Hearing this, one of his companions asked the Prophet: “Is that the case even with you, O Prophet of God?” To that, the Prophet replied: “Yes, but God has given me power over him and now he bids me only to do good.” This shows that control or mastery over our evil propensities is a very realistic and achievable objective.

In the constant struggle of good and evil, which is the lot of every human being, it is within our power to overcome evil with sincere effort and Divine grace. Then, when the contradictions within ourselves are reconciled, we begin to experience real peace and tranquility. This peace and tranquility, attained in this very material life itself, is the precursor to the abounding bliss that awaits us in Paradise, in the life Hereafter. This is reflected in the Qur’an where God says:

“O (thou) soul, in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back thou to thy Lord well-pleased (thyself), and well-pleasing unto Him! Enter thou, then among my Devotees! Yea, enter thou my Heaven”!