Pen Pal Column
The Purpose of Life
Allah (swt) is ‘az-Zahir’ and ‘al-Baatin,’ meaning – to the respective words – ‘The Manifest or The Apparent’ and ‘The Hidden.’ When one contemplates over the qualities of the Creator, we see them actively surrounding us.
Everything in the universe is like, in the duty of manifesting the most beautiful names of the Creator, and are being the mirrors to them. For example, when we say Allah (swt) is ‘The Hidden’ and ‘The Apparent,’ these qualities are reflected in the different phenomenon of the universal objects.
For instance, we all know white light is not white in colour, rather it is the combination of seven different colours, violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red.The hidden and the apparent nature of light is the reflection of its Creator’s qualities.
Similarly, Sun is a black body, in the sense, it absorbs all the light, but since its temperature is very high, close to 5800 degree Kelvin, it emits radiations that make the Sun appear as a radiator of light: here, again, is a mirror of hidden and apparent nature.
These scientific facts would not have been known to us, except that the curious-heart of the humans pondered over it, and the intellect strived to reach to the truth. No other creation of Allah (swt) has this ability to contemplate and reason, except we, ‘al-Ins’ i.e., ‘the humans.’
Furthermore, for a person who wants to know his Creator, recognise Him and feel His presence, the objects of this world signify a deeper meaning. Thus, even the scientific discoveries and inventions save him from absolute heedlessness of the divinity, and he finds a way to reach to the Almighty God in every possible thing.
The divine plan has been set, the puzzle-board is right in front, it is up to us to put the pieces together in its proper place. Nothing in this world is purposeless: the purpose of our lives is to know Allah (swt), recognise Him, and submit ourselves to Him wholly.
As Muhi-ud-deen Arabi said to Faker al-deen Razi in a letter: “Knowing God is different from knowing that God exists.”
Yes, the knowledge to recognise God is obtained from the Qur’an, and from its miraculous explanation; but one should combine it with a constant sense of divine presence. Thereupon, everything becomes a mirror yielding knowledge of God.
As Sa’id Shirazi said: “To the conscious gaze, each leaf is a book yielding knowledge of the divine.”
In everything a window opens up to learning. Example of a person whoacquires this ability to absorb the divine light illuminated by the Qur’an is like a person who knows how to dig wells and extract water everywhere he goes.
Each verse from the Qur’an is like a spring of water from which water gushes forth for the seeker of knowledge.
However, the journey does not end here, the knowledge acquired has to reach its destination – to be used, just like when the food is eaten and it enters the stomach, it is digested and the glucose derived from it is distributed to various organs of the body to be used.
Similarly, the knowledge after entering the mind, the matters of faith derived from it, has to be absorbed by the spiritual heart and the soul within, making the necessary changes towards good and the truth.
Thus completing the expedition, and attaining the purpose for which the human being was created.