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the meaning and purpose of existence

This means that the path of revival is represented in the view of the human for the human himself and the life that is around him in this vast universe in which he lives. This is so that he is able to understand this period of time that the human is alive for in this existence. In other words he must have knowledge about the meaning of his existence in this life and know that this is not arrived at unless a comprehensive thought is formulated by him about the universe, life and the human. This is to establish a firm and constant truth in respect to it being eternal or created? If he establishes that it is created then what was before it? Therefore it is necessary to formulate a thought about this creator that all of life in existence depends upon just as it is essential to formulate a comprehensive thought about what lies after the life of the Dunyaa.

As long as this life of the Dunyaa has a beginning then it must also have an end. So what is it? And what is the relationship between all of these things together and between that which is before them (i.e. the creator) and what is the relationship with that which is after them? In other words is there a relationship between the life of this world and what was before it and is there a relationship between it and what lies after it? By answering all of these questions he is then able to understand the life of this world and the period of life that he lives. He will then be capable of knowing the meaning and purpose of his existence and the meaning of life. As for the necessity of these questions and the necessity of answering them to formulate a comprehensive idea about them, then this is because the human is forced to interact and deal with them and it is absolutely not possible for him to live in isolation from them.

He is an individual from amongst human kind and he is inevitably connected in relationships with others and he has no choice but to engage with them. Similarly he sees that he is surrounded by living creatures of whom he is one and it is essential for him to interact and participate in living upon the earth in this vast universe. This earth contains things and it is essential to utilise them. He fulfils his needs with them, satisfies his hungers (organic needs and instincts) and he fulfils his wishes or desires with them. This is particularly because Allah (swt) has put all that is in the earth at the human’s disposal.

In summary this human represents a picture from this universe in terms of what is in it. He shares in the universe in terms of what it is made of, he shares in the living creatures in regards to the soul and he is unique by the power of the intellect that puts everything else under his disposal, and this mind is the focal place of the Takleef (legal responsibility). Due to this it is necessary for a comprehensive thought about the universe, the human and life to be formulated. He will understand himself firstly and then he will understand the life that he lives in with others and the universe that he lives. He will then be able to know and understand the life of this world and the consequences of this upon him in regards to the period of time that he is living within it. In other words he will know and understand the meaning and purpose of life. Without answering these questions and without forming a comprehensive thought about existence (irrespective of the correctness or error or this thought) he will be incapable of defining the meaning of his existence in life.

He will just wander about in it and his greatest concern will be the satisfaction of the greatest amount of sensual gratification. He will therefore not differ from any animal and indeed his condition would be even worse than that: Allah (swt) says: They have hearts with which they do not understand with, they have eyes with which they do not see with, and they have ears with which they do not hear with. They are like livestock; rather, they are even more astray (Al-A’araaf 179). And they say, "There is not but our worldly life; we die and live, and nothing destroys us except time. (Al-Jaathiyah 24).
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