Sunday, January 13, 2008

What's our Goal?- Part 1

Ok, I'm gonna be blunt here. My original intention and motivation for writing this series was Tariq Nelson's blog here. This article is a rebuttal of the original post and its early supportive comments. I think someone later on made this point but I'm gonna emphasize it anyway.

What's Our Goal?

What is our Goal in our life as Muslims? As I've seen in the West and in the East many Muslims both 'religious' and 'non-religious' minded forget to ask ourselves this question. And even if they do say the correct answer they don't apply it.

Before going onto what's right and what's wrong, let me remind the Goal in life of all Muslims.
"To win Allah's Mercy so that we can attain Jannah."

All around the globe, the majority of individuals whatever their class, religion, beliefs, etc. are competing for the same thing, Education. Why? Because, as I've been told since Pre-school, education leads to Wealth and wealth leads to prosperity and a HAPPY LIFE.

Unfortunately, we, as Muslims fall into the same trap. Everyone around us is going crazy for education and so we think we should, too. Now don't take me wrong on this. I study hard in college, devote quite a bit of my time to studying, and try to get excellent scores. But as Muslims we are not here to make Money through education. We are here to worship Allah.

Ok, it sounds real simple but it's not. We get ourselves confused with so many little questions that Shaytan puts in our mind to stop us from worshipping Allah.

Strategy #1-Mess up the Intention

Why Study?

Our Goal in life is not to learn as much as we can. By learning here I mean knowledge of the Dunya. Yeah, there's the hadith of the Prophet(S) telling us to seek knowledge but what did the Sahabah understand by the word Knowledge. They understood it as knowledge of the Quran, not knowledge of Newton's Laws. Yeah, knowledge is beneficial in many ways for the religion of Islam but do we all really study for the sake of Allah? Do we really study to help the Muslims (as is the common excuse) or is to get a good job and help ourselves earn money? I doubt there are many of us, ardent studiers who study Physics so that we can build a Masjid.

For the past 4 years, I have had these moods that I come home from school and ask my mom why should I study? What is there to achieve? What am I getting from all this? This was especially common after I had to come home from a discussion on Zina in the Scarlet Letter. My mom would try to appease me by saying, well we have to study to gain knowledge so we can increase our Iman by learning about Allah's Majesty. Well, thats probably, the best truthful excuse I can get. But that, at least for me that doesn't work. We are really all studying for the Dunya. Plain simple.

Remember Imam Nawawi's first Hadith in his forty hadith book. We are all like that person who made Hijrah to marry a woman.

What, we shouldn't Study?

My mother came home one day after one of her neighborhood Halaqas telling me about an incident that happened. One of the aunties made a speech on how knowledge of the Dunya was not beneficial in the Akhirah. On this many of the other sisters got angry. "You're telling us we shouldn't tell our children to learn this stuff." No, no. No one needs to take it an extra step. Who said that doing something for the Dunya is Haraam.

We should study but remember that we are not here to study. Life's not about studying, its about appeasing Allah(SWT).


Upcoming Parts
  • The Other Cousin, we're Different.
  • Ehics of Studying
  • More, if I see fit...


Tariq Nelson said...

as-salaam alaykum

What I said does not negate what you said. Of course we are here to worship Allah, this is a given. We can teach our children to worship their Creator AND to work hard in all of their endeavors. I am not saying that the goal in life is to make money. But I am saying that we should realize that this world is EXTREMELY competitive and that we must work hard with Allah's permission.

I realize that it is not your intention, but far too many people use this as an excuse to be lazy - which is an un-islamic quality. There is a difference between knowing our purpose on earth and fatalism

Abu AbdurRahman said...

JazakAllahuKhair for your explanation. I didn't even know people read my blog. Insha'Allah, in Part 2, I'll explain what I said more.

Abu AbdurRahman said...

About being lazy. Well, I'm quite lazy myself and until I deal with the problem, find its solution and medicine, I can't write about it.

Dori said...

Thanks for writing this.