Article appeared Friday, October 19th, 2012 in The News Today, Bangladesh

The Revelation (249)

yousuf mahbubul Islam, PhD

Is it important to think about God’s purpose in creating us? What if He has a serious purpose? If He does, what if we do not fulfill His Purpose? Before trying to answer these questions, let us pause and think about the questions that Dr Laura Schlessinger asked a caller {1} on her radio talk show, Dr Laura Show: “Do you believe your life is meaningless?…Does your life have meaning, or are you just some chemical phenomena? If all you are is some random chemical process, no matter what stage of advancement you may have reached, your whole life doesn’t really have any significance. And if that’s the case, there’s not really any point in your calling me with your problems, because it doesn’t really matter what happens to you anyway.” {1} Just like chemicals expire and decay, will everything for human beings end with death? Will our end be simply dry bones and dust? Is there a higher purpose than just becoming dust? Does God have a special purpose for each human being? If there is a purpose, where will we find the purpose? After an in-depth study of the Bible, Warren {2} concludes God’s purpose in his book, ‘Purpose Driven Life: What on earth are we here for?’ “You were formed for God's family. God wants a family, and he created you to be a part of it. This is God's second purpose for your life, which he planned before you were born. The entire Bible is the story of God building a family who will love him, honor him, and reign with him forever.” {2} Before God created, He was alone. He created individual human beings to independently acknowledge Him, love and honor Him. To do this, He gave human beings knowledge, intelligence, feelings and an independent will. Our Creator has put us temporarily on earth to separate those who wish to give Him priority from those who don’t. Warren uses the word ‘family’ for those who give Him priority. The most recent Revelation, the Qur’an, however uses the word ‘companion’ and enlightens us about who will qualify for this title and benefit. “But those who have faith and work righteousness they are Companions of the Garden therein shall they abide (forever).” [2.82] Given free-will, there will be those who give priority to the temporal things, joys and successes of the life on earth. Our Creator explains the inclination of such people: “Those who rest not their hope on their meeting with Us but are pleased and satisfied with the life of the present are those who heed not Our Signs.” [10.7] And explains the role of what He has given on earth: “Whatever you are given (here) is (but) a convenience of this Life: but that which is with Allah is better and more lasting: (it is) for those who believe and put their trust in their Lord.” [42.36] Unfortunately, those who give priority to temporal things do not look forward to meeting the Creator on the Day of Judgment. As such they conveniently ignore the ‘Signs’ of the Creator. What is a Sign? Looking through the Qur’an we find examples: “And among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the living creatures that He has scattered through them...” [42.29] Those who study creation will find evidence of intelligent and purposeful design. They will also find things that support the livelihood of human beings. For example how and why did ‘Trade Winds’ {3} come into being?

“And among His Signs are the ships smooth-running through the ocean (tall) as mountains. If it be His Will He can still the Wind: then would they become motionless on the back of the (ocean). Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful.” [42.32 – 42.33] Do winds have intelligence to understand the needs of trade? Those who do not wish to demonstrate belief in the Creator by giving priority and honoring Him have the audacity to ask for additional Signs.

6.37 “They say: "Why is not a Sign sent down to him from his Lord?" Say: "Allah has certainly power to send down a Sign: but most of them understand not."”
As priority and honor is an expression of free-will, our Creator will not force anyone to believe. “It you reject (Allah) truly Allah has no need of you; but He likes not ingratitude from His servants: if you are grateful He is pleased with you… In the end to your Lord is your return when He will tell you the truth of all that you did (in this life). For He knows well all that is in (men's) hearts.” [39.7]

6.38 “There is not an animal (that lives) on the earth nor a being that flies on its wings but (forms part of) communities like yours. Nothing have We omitted from the Book (of Design) and they (all) shall be gathered to their Lord in the end.”
Just like every living being has a community of its own, Allah specially created human beings to be companions who love and honor their Creator. “Did you then think that We had created you in jest and that you would not be brought back to Us (on the Day of Judgment)?” [23.115] “Those who believe not in the Signs of Allah, Allah will not guide them and theirs will be a grievous Penalty.” [16.104]

6.39 “Those who reject Our Signs are deaf and dumb in the midst of darkness profound: whom Allah wills He leaves to wander whom He wills He places on the way that is straight.”
When in trouble, we generally seek the Creator. Allah therefore asks a logical question:

6.40 “Ask: "Think to yourselves that if there comes upon you the wrath of Allah or the hour (Day of Judgment) would you then call upon anyone other than Allah? (Reply) if you are truthful!” 6.41 “Nay, on Him would you call and if it be His Will He would remove (the distress) which occasioned your call upon Him and you would forget (the false gods) which you join with Him!”
We can honor our Creator by giving Him priority in our day-to-day lives, just as He has honored us by giving us the potential to be His ‘companions’ in the Hereafter. “Nay, whoever submits his whole self to Allah and is a doer of good he will get his reward with his Lord...” [2.112] -----{Notes}: {1} {2} Warren, R. (2002). The Purpose Driven Life: What on earth am I here for? Zondervan. 77. {3}

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