Objective of Human Life, and Challenges: Before heading off to tarwaweeh prayers: Shawn N Smith
For my faith to be complete, I have to move beyond a mere intellectual understanding of the truth that life and death are in the hands of Allah. Allah ordained a time when I was brought into existence and then appeared on this earth. And Allah has ordained when I will die. Allah has also ordained all the things that will happen to me in between, ie the course of my earthly existence.
I write these words because I have lived a life of chronic illness for so long that I have forgotten what it is like to feel well. I recently turned 55. At best, I have a vague recollection of living a pain-free existence. As a result, I feel vulnerable all of the time and never know what is going to happen next. This leaves me in a state of anxiety and sometimes depression. Being chronically ill also means living a life of almost entire isolation in which it is difficult to make connections with other people.
I am not here complaining but trying to come to an understanding of what my role is in life. At the most general level, I have been placed on this earth to acknowledge Allah and to worship and serve Him and no one else. I have to move beyond intellectualizing this and come to a more profound and experiential understanding of what it means to be a servant of Allah in which the life that has been given to me is pleasing to Allah. I also have to know and understand that others can only help me with Allah’s permission and without that permission, they cannot do anything to help or harm me in the least.
So my entire life, and how it unfolds, is in the hands of Allah. I have to have faith that Allah knows all and I know only what He has permitted me to know.
If I am a true servant of Allah I will accept what Allah has ordained even when I don’t like it.
But when I come to the point that I love what Allah has ordained for me — whether it is comfortable for me or not– then I know that I am getting closer to where Allah wants me to be.