We have many things in our lives we would like to achieve at any given time. Some are short term goals, such as passing a test in a class, or giving a good presentation at work that will assure us a promotion. Some are long term goals, such as getting a good education.
Our goals and desires in life never end. Many are attainable and within our reach, some are wishes, which may or may not come true. There are other goals, which may seem to take forever to achieve. For example, when we were in high school, we looked forward to the day of graduation. At the time, it seemed so far away. During college days, we contemplated the day we could get our diploma, then find a good job. It also seemed so far away then. Yet, one day we find ourselves having achieved many of the things that we thought of being difficult or almost impossible to achieve.
One Life to Live?After God blesses us with a job and we have our own money to spend, we set up new goals. We usually want a car or to get a new one, to get married, have children, get a house, have a successful career, move to a bigger house and so on. If God gives us children, we worry about our children’s well being, education, and their future. We want them to be the best, and to have the best. We sometimes work ourselves to death trying to achieve all that.
Nevertheless, our desire to have better social and material things is endless. As the Quran states in Verse 41:49: “The human being never tires of imploring for good things…”
The next generation will want to achieve similar, if not better things in their lives. The cycle will continue until the end of the world. If we believe in the creation, this brings us to the following questions: Did God create us all in vain, for play? What is the purpose of this life? Further more, we should question ourselves: What do we want to really get out of this world by the time we die? Is it our aim that we want to accumulate wealth, have a big family, a successful career in life? How about preparing ourselves for the real, eternal life? The Quran gives us the answers:
God did not create the heavens and the earth, and everything between them, except for a specific purpose, and for a specific life span…[30:8]
We did not create the heavens and the earth, and everything between them for amusement. If we needed amusement, we could have initiated it without any of this, if that is what we wanted to do. [21:16-17]
God created the heavens and the earth for a specific purpose, in order to pay each soul for whatever it earned, without the least injustice. [45:22]
I did not create the jinns and the humans except to worship me alone. [51:56]
This worldly life is no more than vanity and play, while the abode of the Hereafter is the real life, if they only knew. [29:64]
What is Our Priority?
There is nothing wrong in wanting to be the best we can be, and to have the best we can have, as long as we realize the purpose of our lives, are appreciative of God’s blessings and use our resources to strive more in the cause of God:
Use the provisions bestowed upon you by God to seek the abode of the Hereafter, without neglecting your share in this world. Be charitable, as God has been charitable towards you…[28:77]
Our ultimate goal in this life should be to be a righteous person so that God will be pleased with us. In all our actions and decisions, our priority should be the eternal life of the Hereafter, not the temporary one on this earth. If we can maintain this throughout our lives, then we can be a winner both in this life and in the Hereafter. It will be the biggest triumph of our lives if we make it to Heaven, even barely, by God’s leave.
Anyone who chooses this fleeting life as his priority, we will rush to him what we decide to give him, then we commit him to Gehenna, where he suffers forever, despised and defeated. As for those who
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