This woman is in her seventies. Have you ever wondered how somebody her
age would assess her life?
If she recalls anything about her life, it is surely that it was a "fleeting
She would simply remark that her life has not been a "long" one as she
dreamed in her teens it would be. It probably never crossed her mind that
one day she would grow so old. Yet now, she is overwhelmed by the fact
that she has put seventy years behind her. Earlier in life, she probably
never thought that her youth and its desires would pass so quickly.
If she were asked late in life to tell her story, her reminiscences would
only make a five or six-hour talk. That is all that remains from what
she says was "a long life of seventy years".
The mind of a person, worn out with age, is occupied with many questions.
These are actually important questions to consider and answering them
truthfully is essential to understanding all aspects of life: "What is
the purpose of this life that passes so quickly? Why should I remain positive
with all the age-related problems I have? What will the future bring?"
The possible answers to these questions fall into two major categories:
those given by people who trust Allah and those given by disbelievers
who do not trust Him.
Someone who does not trust Allah would say, "I spent my life chasing
vain pursuits. I have put seventy years behind me, but to tell the truth,
I still have not been able to grasp what I lived for. When I was a child,
my parents were the centres of my life. I found all happiness and joy
in their love. Later in life, as a young woman, I devoted myself to my
husband and children. During that time, I set many goals for myself. Yet
by the time they were achieved, each of them proved to have been a passing
whim. When I rejoiced in my success, I headed towards other goals and
they occupied me so that I did not think about the real meaning of life.
Now at seventy, in the tranquillity of old age, I try to find out what
was the purpose of my past days. Is it that I lived for people of whom
I have only dim memories now? For my parents? For my husband whom I lost
years ago? Or my children whom I see rarely now that they have their own
families? I am confused. The only truth is that I feel close to death.
Soon I will die and I will become a faint memory in people's minds. What
will happen afterwards? I really have no idea. Even the thought of it
There is surely a reason for why she falls into such hopelessness. That
is simply because she cannot comprehend that the universe, all living
things and human beings have predetermined purposes to fulfil in life.
These purposes owe their existence to the fact that everything has been
created. An intelligent person notices that plan, design and wisdom exist
in every detail of the infinitely varied world. This draws him to recognition
of the Creator. He further concludes that since all living things are
not the consequences of a random or mindless process they all serve important
purposes. In the Qur'an, the last surviving authentic revealed guide to
the true path for humanity, Allah repeatedly reminds us of the purpose
of our life, which we tend to forget, and thereby summons us to clarity
of mind and consciousness.
It is He Who created the heavens and the earth
in six days when His Throne was on the water, in order to test which of
you has the best actions. (Surah Hud: 7)
This verse provides a full understanding of the purpose of life for believers.
They know that this life is a place where they are tried and tested by
their Creator. Therefore, they hope to succeed in this test and attain
the Paradise and hence the good pleasure of Allah.
However, for the sake of clarity, there is an important point to consider:
those who believe in the 'existence' of Allah do not necessarily have
true faith; they do not put their trust in Allah. Today, many people accept
that the universe is the creation of Allah; yet, they little comprehend
the impact of this fact upon their lives. Therefore, they do not lead
their lives as they should. What these people generally regard as the
truth is that Allah initially created the universe but then, they believe,
He left it on its own.
Allah, in the Qur'an, addresses this misapprehension in the following
If you ask them, who it is that created the heavens
and the earth, they will certainly say, "Allah". Say: "Praise be to Allah!"
But most of them understand not. (Surah Luqman: 25)
If you ask them, who created them, they will certainly
say, "Allah." How then are they deluded away (from the truth)? (Surat
Due to this misapprehension, people cannot relate their daily lives to
the fact that they have a Creator. That is the basic reason why each individual
develops his or her personal principles and moral values, shaped within
a particular culture, community and family. These principles actually
serve as "life-guides" until death comes. People who adhere to their own
values always find comfort in the wishful thinking that any wrong actions
will be punished temporarily in Hell. The same rationale suggests that
eternal life in paradise will follow this period of torment. Such a mentality
unwittingly eases fears of the grievous penalty at the end of life. Some,
on the other hand, do not even contemplate this issue. They merely remain
heedless of the next world and "make the most of their lives".
However, the above is false and the truth is contrary to what they think.
Those who pretend not to be aware of the existence of Allah will fall
into deep desperation. In the Qur'an, those people are characterised as
They know but the outer (things) in the life of
this world: but of the end of things they are heedless. (Surat ar-Rum:
Surely, little do these people grasp the real face and purpose of this
world, and they never think that life in this world is not perpetual.
There are some phrases commonly used by people regarding the shortness
of this life: "Make the most of your life while it lasts", "life is short",
"one does not live forever" are phrases always referred to in definition
of the nature of this world. Yet, these phrases contain an implicit attachment
to this life rather than the next. They reflect the general attitude of
people to life and death. Having such a strong affection for life, conversations
about death are always interrupted with jokes or by raising other subjects
thus attempting to alleviate the seriousness of the matter. These interruptions
are always on purpose, a deliberate effort to reduce such an important
subject to insignificance.
Mortality is surely a grave topic to ponder. Until this moment in his
life, it may well be that the person is unaware of the significance of
this reality. Yet, now that he has the chance to grasp its importance,
he must reconsider his life and his expectations. It is never too late
to repent to Allah, and to reorient all one's deeds and the conduct of
one's life in submission to the will of Allah. Life is short; the human
soul is eternal. During this short period, one should not allow temporary
passions to control one. A person should resist temptation and keep himself
away from everything that will strengthen his bonds to this world. It
is surely unwise to neglect the next world just for the sake of the temporary
joys of this one.
Nevertheless, disbelievers who cannot comprehend this fact spend their
lives in vain being forgetful of Allah. Moreover, they know that it is
impossible to attain these desires. Such people always feel a deep dissatisfaction
and want even more of what they currently possess. They have endless wishes
and desires. Yet, the world is not an appropriate arena in which to satisfy
Nothing in this world is perpetual. Time works against both what is good
and what is new. No sooner does a brand-new car go out of fashion than
another model is designed, manufactured and marketed. Similarly, someone
may crave others' stately mansions or opulent houses with more rooms than
occupants and with gold-plated fixtures, which once he has seen, he loses
interest in his own house and cannot avoid regarding them with envy.
An endless search for the new and better, attaching no value to something
once it has been achieved, deprecation of the old and placing all hopes
in something new: these are the vicious circles that people have everywhere
experienced throughout history. Yet an intelligent person should stop
and ask himself for a moment: why is he chasing after temporary ambitions
and has he ever gained any benefit from such pursuit? Finally, he should
draw the conclusion that "there is a radical problem with this viewpoint."
Yet people, lacking this kind of reasoning, continue to chase after dreams
they are unlikely to achieve.
Nobody, however, knows what will happen even in the next few hours: at
any time one may have an accident, be severely injured, or become disabled.
Furthermore, time flies in the countdown to one's own death. Every day
brings that predestined day closer. Death surely eradicates all ambitions,
greed and desires for this world. Under the soil, neither possessions
nor status prevail. Every possession with which we are being stingy, including
the body, will also vanish and decay in the earth. Whether one is poor
or wealthy, beautiful or ugly, one will be wrapped in a simple shroud
We believe that The Truth of The Life of This World
offers an explanation regarding the real nature of human life. It
is a short and deceptive life in which worldly desires seem fascinating
and full of promise, but the truth is otherwise. This book will enable
you to perceive your life and all of its realities, and help you reconsider
your goals in life, if you want to.
Allah enjoins on believers to warn others about these facts, and calls
upon them to live only to fulfil His will, as He says in the following
Verily, the promise of Allah is true: let not
then this present life deceive you…. (Surah Luqman: 33)