What does it mean to have a purpose? Life-purpose influences our actions, our outlooks, and our desires. Our purpose is the reason that we wake up and get out of bed each morning. We were all created for something–we all have personal dreams, aspirations, and goals. Maybe your goal is to own a business, raise a family, or climb Mount Everest. Maybe you’re not sure what your purpose is. Even if you haven’t discovered it, it’s there.
As believers, we all share a common purpose: submission to Allah(S). While we may have personal aspirations, in the end, we are servants of the one true God. Everything we do in life as we work towards our goals should be Allah(S)-oriented. How can we reconcile our goals with our service to Allah(S)? And if we aren’t sure what our purpose is, how can we find it?
In this piece, let's dive into what it means to live our purpose while being servants to Allah(S).
Our purpose as believers is to live a good life
There are two main ways to do this.
We should fulfil our obligation to Allah(S)
As believers, nothing belongs to us. Our money, belongings, family, and even our bodies are not ours. Everything that we have is granted to us by the mercy of Allah(S)(S). Therefore, it’s our purpose to use what we have to glorify Allah(S), just as he has instructed us to. He has rights over us, which is why we give to him what is ours. If our purpose is submission to Allah(S), then we must live as he instructed. This includes zakat, salah, saum, hajj, and Quranic recitation.
Obligation to Serve Each Other
As servants of Allah(S), it is our purpose to preserve and care for all that he has created. We should be purposeful in our respect to our parents, children, and community. We should lift each other up, support each other, and make our societies happy, healthy, and thriving. We ought to treat each other with kindness and respect. We should give generously and with humility.
We should treat our environment with care. From our neighbourhood streets, to our entire planet, we should preserve the health and beauty of the world that Allah((S) has given us.
Those are our obligations as Muslims. But what about our personal life goals?
Each of us has personal goals and aspirations. Maybe you are a business owner, an artist, or maybe you stay at home. How do we reconcile our own personal wants with submission to Allah(S)? It’s not wrong to have earthly aspirations. If you want to create art–create art. If you want to start a business–start it! Allah(S) wants to see us succeed. He will always bless the faithful and the reverent. No matter what our chosen-purpose is, we should use it to glorify Allah(S). For example, if you are a wealthy investor, give back some of your earnings to the community. Help the poor. If you are an artist, use your talents to paint mosaics for the local Masjid or volunteer to give glasses at the local Madrasse.
We should remember as believers that Dunya is not meant for our personal enjoyment–it is to earn Jannah.
We can enjoy ourselves, but don’t prioritise earthly pleasures over heavenly rewards.
What if I don’t know what my purpose is?
The good thing is–that’s okay. If you’re not sure what your personal purpose is, rely on the guidance of Islam. Continue to honor Allah(S), and he will provide. Try new experiences–things you may not normally consider. Donate money, time, or talent to something that you care about. Find a charitable organisation who’s mission you respect, and volunteer with them. Explore new interests. Life is a dartboard. If you keep on throwing darts, eventually you’ll hit the bullseye. Find relief in the fact that Allah(S) has a plan laid out for you. Trust His plan, and you cannot go wrong.