By Sikandar Azam
In our days of scientific advancements, everything is tested on the anvil of purpose. Researchers see to it that every new item serves the purpose for which it has been created. Take, for instance, the making of a drone. Drone is said to have been made to serve a variety of purposes; but two of its basic functions are flight and navigation. If a drone does not serve at least these basic functions, what will you say? The only conclusion you all will agree to is that this drone is worthless; it is not worth calling a drone; let’s put it into the dustbin. With this precept, let us consider our own purpose.
The Qur’ān (23:115) asks us: “Did you imagine that We created you without any purpose, and that you will not be brought back to Us?” It means: ‘Did you think that We had created you merely for the sake of sport and there was no purpose behind your creation? Therefore you may eat, drink, be merry and enjoy yourself as you please.’ This emphatic tone with which God addresses us tends to impress upon us that we have been created with some specific purpose.
Then the question is: What is the purpose that God has created us to serve? This question may be answered variedly. But a close study of Islamic teachings reveals that God has created us to serve two basic purposes – one, to test whether or not we are His obedient and the other, to enjoin, teach and inspire fellow human beings to do only what is good and right (amr bil ma’aroof) and prohibit them with all our means from all that is evil and wrong (nahi anil munkar).
But, what if we the human beings are not serving the very basic purpose of our creation? Thanks to the people with sordid mentality, a large number of us are not serving the Divine purpose. They are serving their own desires, their own whims, their own urges. The result is that the society is writhing on the hot bed of corruption, injustice and oppression. Chaos and anarchy is ruling the roost. Every single day, crimes like killing, lynching, thrashing, harassing, rape and murder, et al are making headlines. And, to top it all, laws are devised to silence the voice of dissent, usurp civil rights and impose the will of a handful upon the large segments of masses. This is the sorry state of affairs that we are witnessing.
And we hardly think what will happen when we fail to serve the basic purpose of our creation. We have learned that if a drone does not serve the basic functions of its making, its maker throws it into the dustbin; likewise, in case we do not serve our basic purpose, our Creator will throw us into the dustbin of history. Human history is replete with the stories of destruction of earlier nations for the reason that they disobeyed God and followed their own desires. Let’s learn a lesson or two from those stories.