Religion Role in Human Life
God, in Islam
God, in Islam, does not only create this world but also maintain it and manage its operation. In Islam, human being is the servant of Allah. This is the truth about human nature. He is not independent from God or a master of the universe as portrayed by secular humanism and existentialists. This true nature of human being is indispensable, confusion in this salient fact will result in crisis of humanity itself as we witnessed today.
Religion tells us that wealth and worldly satisfaction should not be our goal in life but the pleasure (ridha) of God. That appearance should not be a parameter but one’s heart. Don’t be deceived by material and physical condition of a person but look at his heart and his deeds (morality).
This worldly life, the Qur’an tells us, is an adornment (zinah), which may distract us from achieving our real goal. Thus, we must have persistence and perseverance so that our whims and the Satan cannot mislead us from undergoing a life pleased by God.
The Prophet tells us that a truly wealthy person is the one with contentedness (qana’ah) or ghina al-nafs. God tells us that this worldly life is not the end it is only like a bridge to get into the eternal life (hereafter), wherein we are accountable and be punished or rewarded for our deed. With this in mind a person will not be desperate to build his paradise in this world because if he is good he is certain to get into the real paradise in hereafter. And if he chose to be a bad person he has opportunity to repent and ask God’s forgiveness.
Religion emphasizes that human being must choose to be a good person otherwise his life, both in this world and in hereafter, will be miserable.
True happiness must be permanent, it should not depend and measured based on material condition and physical appearance. It is, more than psychological condition, a spiritual condition. As a spiritual condition it is permanent and immanent. It is not affected by outward condition. A truly happy person should be happy even in a worse condition. Therefore, happiness is not only about feelings and emotion. It is about choosing the right way of life through moral conduct and religious guidance.
Happiness in this worldly life can be achieved only through Divine guidance. It is through Divine guidance human being will know his true nature, the true nature of God and existence. Morality does not make sense if it divorced from religion. Moral theories will remain theoretical and vague unless it is accompanied by the concept of the judgment day, justice and Divine wisdom. A person will abstain from consuming alcohol, even though it is alluring to him, because God forbids it. This Divine instruction is more effective than one’s rational thinking. His rationality cannot force him to avoid harmful actions. Only those who submit to God’s decision will experience true happiness. Because he will realize there is wisdom in every Divine injunction.
The happiness of human being cannot be attained by pursuing satisfaction of the self, because it will never be satisfied. Human being will be happy only through submission to God (Islam), because that is the real nature of human being. Being submissive to God entails accepting oneself as a servant of God which always depend on His blessings and love; obeying His instructions because they are good; abstaining from the unlawful because they are deleterious.
By Khalif Muammar