Hamka once said, “If life is just living, the pigs in the forest also live.” This sentence is so full of meaning. That human life must have a clear meaning and purpose. So, what is the foundation for finding the true purpose of life?
Regarding the true purpose of human life, Al Ghazali, a leading Islamic scholar, explained that there are five foundations for finding the true purpose of life.
Here are the foundations:
1. The true faith
Holding on to the true faith is the first foundation. As for the deviation of the true faith, it is due to the dominance of lust over the heart and fanaticism to the sect of heretics.
An imam said, “Many people are saved by faith, even though their deeds are few. However, not a few also perish because of their faith, even though their deeds are many. Love of position, possessions, and the world is a deadly poison. Power and fame breed arrogance and plunge the servant into the love of the world. Both are destroyers of religion.”
2. Fulfilling rights and obligations towards Allah SWT
The foundation for finding the purpose of life, illustration of a believer reading the Koran
Imam Al Ghazali explained, there are two kinds of rights of Allah SWT that must be fulfilled, namely fulfilling all obligations and leaving forbidden things. According to him, fulfilling every obligation and leaving His prohibitions is a form of piety.
Whoever does some of this, said Al Ghazali, means that he has protected himself from the consequences that will be received in the form of evil in this world and in the hereafter. He will receive the pleasures of heaven and the pleasure of Allah SWT.
3. Love for fellow human beings
According to Al Ghazali, compassion for Allah’s creatures means glorifying Allah’s affairs. Therefore, Muslims should give what they ask of him and not burden them beyond their capacity.
Al Ghazali said, Muslims should also be happy for everything that makes them happy, and sad for something that has made them sad. He also prefers a person who guards the heart of a believer according to the Shari’a than someone who goes to Hajj and war so many times.
According to Al Ghazali, a believer should also prefer the honor of his brother to his own honor, and prefer the humiliation of himself to the humiliation of his brothers.
4. Know yourself well
Imam al-Ghazali also quoted the hadith of the Prophet:
من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه
“Whoever knows himself knows his Lord.”
The fifth foundation is a strong stance and not easily shaken (Istiqamah). According to Al Ghazali, the notion of istiqamah means having a strong or firm stance, determined, diligent and constantly increasing efforts to achieve goals.