This is an overdue post. It has been sitting in my word document for a long time 🙈 I enjoyed writing it and I pray you benefit from it!♥️
Alhamdulillah for being a Muslim. I believe we have it easy with identifying our life’s purpose for Allah ﷻ tells us in the Qur’an. Allah ﷻ says: ‘And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.’ Qur’an 51:56 This is a verse we have heard countless times and it sums up the purpose of our creation. As Muslims we should be grateful for this direction because people search for meaning and purpose in life. They want to have a clear sense and purpose of their life. As Muslims we know the ‘WHY’ of our creation – to worship Allah! Research proves that people who have a sense of purpose are physically and mentally healthier and are more socially connected with their community. This is because to live a meaningful life we must understand the reason and purpose of living. Indeed, it is from the grace of Allah ﷻ that you are a Muslim 🙂
Allah ﷻ legislates worship upon us. We learn from the Seerah that when the Prophet ﷺ went on the Isra and Miraj, Allah ﷻ enjoined upon the Prophet ﷺ that we should pray 50 times a day. Following the instruction of Prophet Musa عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ the Prophet ﷺ returned to Allah ﷻ and it was reduced to 5 with the reward for praying 50 times a day. This exemplifies that we were created for worship. Imagine if we have to pray 50 times a day? We will not have time for the dunya. The question that then arises, how do we fulfil this purpose? What are the things we engage in to fulfil the purpose of our creation?
Most times we attribute Ibadah’s to fulfilling obligations or the so called “recognized” voluntary deeds and try to disassociate ourselves from engaging in worldly activities. The more a person is becoming more religious, the more they begin to feel disassociated from the dunya. They start getting resentful of worldly activities (which is a normal feeling) But, disassociating yourself from the dunya is quite impossible as the dunya is a place for us to fulfil this PURPOSE. It may be difficult and challenging for some people who believe that if the act they are engaging in is not “Worship” they will not engage in it. However, we need to learn how to balance. Merge them together to fulfill our purpose because Islam is a complete way of life. It informs what we do in all spheres of our lives.
Many of you may be like me who at some point began to question whether they are fulfilling this purpose. I question myself for days, looked for answers until I learnt about finding purpose in everything. And that was it. It connected the dots for me because I learnt about how I should connect the things I do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ. (I will explain this in detail soon). And with this I had a complete change of perception with my approach to life. Alhamdulillah. (keep on reading to learn how I connected an hobby to fulfilling life’s purpose😉)
“Worshipping does not mean only praying and fasting. Every action in the life of a true Muslim is considered an act of worship, and it is the right intention and sincerity that turn a mere physical or social ritual into an act of worship and obedience to the Almighty. Having this clear picture in mind ensures that our short-term goals are always compatible with the ultimate purpose of our creation.”The True Secret Dr. AMIRA AYAD
To fulfill this purpose of worship. It is not by constantly praying 24/7, not by constantly fasting. In essence we can be doing anything (halal) and it would serve as a means to fulfill our purpose. I once heard how a pious predecessor use to regard sleeping as an Ibadah. He would sleep with the intention to wake up energized to perform Taajjud and pray. This goes with reframing your mindset and working on your intentions. With this new framework seek reward in whatever you do. Whether it is helping someone, speaking to a friend, being a listening ear, cooking, serving your parents, being kind to people, studying, in your career, taking care of your families, shopping for the house etc.
How can we find purpose in everything (to turn our life activities into Ibadah)? By finding meaning and purpose in things we do daily, things we love doing and, in the people, around us. In Sha Allah by this we will strive to live a more fulfilled life. Ask yourself what do you do frequently that gives you a sense of meaning and purpose? And through this learn how to connect the things you do in the dunya to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ.
How can we learn to connect the dots?
We’ll do this through a popular hadith. Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “A man suffered from thirst while he was walking on a journey. When he found a well, he climbed down into it and drank from it. Then he came out and saw a dog lolling its tongue from thirst and licking the ground. The man said: This dog has suffered thirst just as I have suffered from it. He climbed down into the well, filled his shoe with water, and caught it in his mouth as he climbed up. Then he gave the dog a drink. Allah appreciated this deed, so he forgave him.” They said, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for charity even for the animals?” The Prophet ﷺ said, “Yes, in every creature with a moist liver is a reward for charity.” (Bukhari and Muslim) This man connected his thirst to that of the dog, recognized it was Allah ﷻ that made it possible for him to quench his thirst and did the same for the dog.
Another great example is the hadith about Tawakkul. Umar ibn al-Khattab رضي الله عنه, reported: The Messenger of Allah, ﷺ said, “If you were to rely upon Allah with reliance due to him, he would provide for you just as he provides for the birds. They go out in the morning with empty stomachs and return full.” (Tirmidhi) Someone made an interesting connection by feeding birds and when she is asked she says: ‘don’t you want Allah ﷻ to provide for you as He provides for the birds’. By making this connection she found purpose in feeding the birds and consequently found fulfilment in feeding the birds with the hope of gaining reward from Allah ﷻ.
It may be difficult to begin with finding purpose in all you do and making that connection. But practice it with something you enjoy doing. For example, if you enjoy cooking and you are cooking for your family remember that the food you are cooking will make someone happy. And you will ease someone’s task. Just remember the Hadith on Allah ﷻ loves those who are beneficial to others and you will find pleasure and fulfilment in making the food. Attach whatever you do to seek the pleasure of your Rabb! By making this connection with the things you do in your life it will help you a great deal in finding purpose in all you do. It is by making that connection between what we do in the dunya and connecting them to seek the pleasure of Allah ﷻ that gives us a sense of meaning in our life.
And if you look around you, Almighty Allah ﷻ provides opportunities for you to fulfil this life purpose. I end with urging YOU to find purpose in everything YOU do.
I’d love to hear your thought on this post in the comment section and feel free to share how you make connection with ordinary things to gain the pleasure of Allah ﷻ
If you’ve enjoyed reading do share with friends and families. Till next time Fiammanillah 👋