Monday, May 20, 2013

Purpose of Life

The earlier message from The Listserve was a repeat from yesterday's e-mail from Steve Reid. Today's winner, Hesham Naiem, graciously tweeted us: "@thelistserve Today's mail (my Turn) is not what i sent and repeated from yesterday with different subject with my name I'm Very Lucky." Sorry, Hesham. Here's his message:

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What is the purpose of everything?

How did we get here?

"What is the meaning of Life?"

You might be amazed to learn, that Islam is providing clear and concise answers for these questions. Have you heard about “The Stanford Prison Experiment”? Or maybe you’ve seen the movie “The Experiment”? . Zimbardo is a famous psychologist who used to teach at Stanford University, and made this experiment. Twenty-four males were part of it; twelve were assigned the roles of “prisoners” and the other twelve were assigned the roles of “guards”. A mock prison was created.

Each person had to play their role for two weeks. However, the experiment had to stop after six days as a result of what happened. The participants got too involved in their roles, that it had become more to them than just an experiment. The guards who were given ultimate power and wooden batons became extremely violent and tortured the prisoners. The prisoners on the other hand suffered from depression and humiliation as a result of the guards’ acts.

I recently watched the movie and I couldn’t stop thinking; “What were those people thinking? How did this happen? They knew it was an experiment, how could they just drift into it like this?”

Then I realized how this experiment could be a metaphor of this Life we are living in. This Life is temporary! We all know that, but for some reason most of us do not live according to it. We strive to build careers as if it is the end of the world. We fight for money even with the closest of people. We worry about tomorrow when we are not even sure we will make it through today.

These things can do little or nothing to bring happiness because regardless of what he or she would gain in this life they would always live in fear of what will happen to them in the end.

Worship of the [Allah in Arabic] as a primary goal or aim in life provides a believer with everything he needs. The word for total surrender, submission, obedience, purity of heart and peace in the Arabic language is "Islam". Those who try to perform these actions are called "Muslims" .

Because Islam teaches that this life is only a test or trial for the individual to show him his true nature, it is only natural that he would accept death as not so much an ending to everything but more as a beginning of the final and lasting life in the Hereafter.

Every person will be rewarded [or punished] according to their attitude, efforts during this stay on earth. None will be asked about the actions and beliefs of others, nor will anyone be asked regarding that which he was unaware of or incapable of doing. As a result, The Permanent or Afterlife will either be spend in luxurious splendor(Heaven) or miserable punishment (Hell)

This life is very meaningful and purposeful to the Muslim, as he realizes that it will determine his outcome and permanent position in the Next Life. For a disbeliever the purpose of this life is to collect and amass great wealth, money, power and position. But all of this will not avail them anything good in the in the Next Life.

Look how Islam solves the mystery of life. It provides the answers to the questions and concern of the human beings on all levels .It is quite simple. The purpose of life as understood by the Muslim can be simply stated in only two words:

Obey God!

Hesham Naiem
Cairo, Egypt
heshamint[AT]gmail.com

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