The Object of Life according to Islam

By Moulvi Ahmad Saied


The Holy Qur’aan says: Wa maa khalaq tul, jinna wal in-sa il laa li yaa badoon.


“I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve me”.

(Al-Qur’aan: 51:56)


      The Holy Qur’aan has not addressed Muslims only, but every man of every Nation, regardless of caste and creed.

      It is worthwhile to consider here the point that in these verses of the Holy Qur’aan, Allaah has not said, “O Muslims”, but he has very generously used the words, “O Mankind”, and thus, in telling the object of our life, He (Allaah) has not addressed any particular sect (group) of tribe or race, but the people of the whole world at large. What is the object of man’s life as He (Allaah) tells us? Service! And nothing but service. The word Ibaadat (service) defines and explains the object of life.

       The Holy Prophet Muhammad (Sallal laaho alaihi wa sallam) said:

Allaah created everything for the service of mankind, and created mankind for His (Allaah’s) service.”

According to Islam, Ibaadat (service) is divided into two distinct sections, viz:

      (a) HUQOO-QULLAH (The rights of Allaah) and

      (b) HUQOO-QUL-IBAAD (The rights of mankind).


      In fact, our services can never be complete and acceptable to Allaah unless we observe all the rights with equal attention. The man who devotes himself only to the rights of Allaah, by becoming a monk or Raahib (one who abstains from all social intercourse) is not a perfect man. Nor is he a perfect man who devotes himself solely to the rights of mankind, without giving God His proper share. So Ibaadat (service) is the balance of a perfect harmony between the rights of Allaah (Huqoo-Qullah) and the rights of mankind (huqoo-qul-ibaad). In brief, we cannot soar (reach out) towards the high stands of the noble object of life, without having these two wings to take us there.

      Islam is the only religion which has strictly forbidden Rahbaaniyyat (Monasticism) and has taught man to be a useful and active member of society. This is a religion of action and progress in life, and therefore, prevents us entry into monasteries (avoiding social activities) and adhering to complete devotion only.

      Muslims have been honoured with the title of Ummat-e-Wastaa (justly balanced nation), because they neither renounce the world and the lawful pleasure of life nor are they so lost in them as to forget Allaah (God) and His commandments.


      The Holy Qur’aan says:

      “Thus have we made of you a nation justly balanced, that you might be witnessed as between the (other) nation and the Apostle (Muhammad) a witness as between yourselves.” (2:143).

       So the Service of Allaah and the service of Humanity both go together to form a perfect man or a Muslim or “Momin” (faithful), whatever you may call Him.

The Rights of Allaah:

      The Holy Qur’aan says: There are particularly five rights of Allaah (in other words, five Principles of Islam) that should be strictly observed.

1. The Unity of God: (Tawheed, means worship of only one God).

2. Prayer: (Namaaz or Salaat) which is performed five times a day).

3. Fasting: (Rozah) only one month a year.

4. Legal Alms (Zakaat) to help the poor.

5. Pilgrimage: (Hajj) only once in one’s lifetime if circumstances permit.

       These five things are called “FARAIZ-E-ISLAMIAH”, (The Fundamentals of Islam). They are constructive and fruitful in results that no religion of the world can present anything equal to their standard. The religion of Islam has a force which is beyond time and space. They have Universal appeal due to their truth and spiritual sublimity. That is, Allaah says in the Holy Qur’aan:

“This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and chosen for you Islam as your (true and best) religion.” (5:4).

The Rights of Mankind:

      Sometimes the rights of men are more important than the rights Allaah. Heavenly books say that if people do not adhere to the rights of Allaah, sometimes they will be forgiven, provided they repent, and are not negligent in the future, but on the other hand, the rights of men will never be forgiven by Allaah unless they are forgiven by men whom they were due and were usurped. (Whose possessions were seized wrongfully).

Who is a poor man?

      Hazrat Abu Huraira (Rd.A) reported that the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) asked the companions, do they know who are Poor? The companions answered: He who has neither money nor property is poor in our eyes.

      The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:

“The Poor Man amongst my people is he who shall come with account of his prayers (Namaazes or Salaat), his fasts and charities on the Day of Judgment, but who would have also abused this one, back biting that one, devoured (eat up greedily) the property of this, shed the blood of that one and beaten this one, then this one and that one will be given some of his good deeds. If his good deeds come to an end before what is against him is recompensed) some of their sins will be taken and these (sins) will be thrown over him, afterwards he will be thrown in the Hell.” (Muslim).

       A truly poor man is he whose good deeds will be taken away and given to others and who will receive sins of others in the next world on account of oppression (tyranny), back biting and disorderly conduct.

      Abut Hurairah (Rd.A) reported that the prophet (S.A.W.) said:

“He who has done wrong affecting his brother’s honour or anything else must ask forgiveness for it today (in the world), before the hereafter (next world) comes. He will have neither silver nor gold coins (as compensation) making up for loss suffering.” (Bukhari).

       So far as service is concerned, Allaah does not confine (keep) it to our parents, relatives, friends and people of our own nation only. Our service, Allaah says, should be beyond the boundaries of colour, caste or creed.

      In other words, all human beings should pass their lives on earth as generously and impartially (fairly) as a cloud passes over every field, every jungle, every town and every nation, showering refreshing and life-giving water so broadmindedly. This universal and impartial (fair) service certainly changes, in due course of time, famine into a general prosperity, and autumn into a beautiful spring.

       Man was made for service (Ibaadat) no doubt, but the practical result of his service is, that he should be beneficent to all the children of Adam (A.S.) without any prejudice (hate).

      This message of the service to Humanity has been found at so many places in the Holy Qur’aan and Hadees. The Holy Qur’aan says:

“Surely the Mercy of Allaah is (always) near to those who do good to others.” (7:56).

      The Holy Qur’aan says:

“Allaah commands justice, the doing of good to others, and liberally to kith and kin and He forbids all shameful deeds and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you that you may receive admonition (warning about behaviour)”. (16:90).

       The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said:

1. Allaah is not merciful to him who is not so to mankind. (Hadees).

2. A true Muslim is he from whose tongue and hands mankind is safe. (Hadees).

3. The best man amongst you is he who is beneficent towards humanity.

4. Whosoever is kind to the creation of Allaah is kind to himself. (Hadees).

5. Allaah is always ready to help His worshipper, so long as he is ready to help his brother. (Hadees).

6. All Creation is the family of Allaah, and of all creation the most beloved to Allaah is he who does most good to his family. (Hadees).

       In his last Hadees, the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) informed us that “Humanity is Allaah’s own family”, and when we, all men and women, regardless of caste and creed are like members of one family and the same divine cord runs through all of us, should we not then feel the trouble and the need of one another?

       Shaikh Saadi says:

“All children of Adam are the limbs of the same body, for, originally they are made of one element, when ever there is pain in one limb, all others limbs become restless, automatically.”

      Therefore, that by service (Ibaadat), we would not only observe the Rights of Allaah, but, as a man or a woman, and as a son or daughter of Adam (A.S.) we have to observe the Rights of humanity too.

      So every man who lives for himself only is called “Worse than the lowest animal”. In the Holy Qur’aan, all the history of the past world is before us, we can easily know that all those who lived entirely for their own passion and desires, have been forgotten by humanity even if they were great Emperors of their time. If anybody remembers them at all, it is with hate and anger. On the other hand, people that lived for the good of humanity have lived for ever, even if they had little to eat and wear.

       They brought invaluable boons for mankind such as peace, prosperity and international love. That is why time, in spite of many storms and revolutions, has not been able to destroy their influence, popularity and respect. Their grip on minds of nations is so strong that no power on earth can weaken it.

      So man was not made only for prayer, but for practical help of his fellow beings, which is perhaps the greatest prayer he can ever perform.

       Khaaja Meer Dard says:

Only worship is not the object of creation (mankind), for Angels were sufficient for that purpose. Man is made for a different purpose, and it is to feel the miseries of suffering people and to help them in a practical method.”

       The Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.) did the greatest benefit to humanity. He uplifted the Arabs from the lowest depths of moral degradation (reduced to lowest rank) purged (cleansed) them of all age-long superstition (fear of unknown) and gross (indecent) sins of idol worship, raised them to pure monotheism (belief in One God), welded the discordant (disagreement) elements (any substance) into one harmonious agreement,  and elevated (raised up) them to a position from a secular and temporal point of view which have withstood all these fourteen centuries, in spite of the united world’s attempt at its destruction. In this way, service to humanity can be made permanently and effectually (answering its purpose).

       Service to humanity can be done in various ways. Physically, morally, mentally, spiritually and economically. So a Muslim, with a view to serve humanity in all aspects, shall devote his entire energies not only to alleviate (raise) the temporary sufferings arising out of physical and economic reasons, but also to guide him to the true path (Islam) which will lead to salvation of his soul. That is to serve one God (Allaah) without a second. This is a duty on every Muslim as he should love for others what he loves for himself.

       Ali-Ibn-Hasan (Rd.A) reported that the messenger of Allaah (S.A.W.) said:

“The main part of wisdom after religion is love for man (Mankind) and doing good to everyone, pious or sinner. (Daar-e-Qutni).


Moulvi Ahmad Saied







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