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 70 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 centers 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 toward other goals and they occupied me so that I did not think about the real meaning of life. Now at 70, in the tranquility 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 is frightening!”
There is surely a reason for why a person falls into such hopelessness. That is simply because he or she cannot comprehend that the universe, all living things and human beings have purposes to fulfill 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 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. “And He it is Who has created the heavens and the earth in six days and His Throne was on the waters, that He might try you, which of you is best in deeds….” (11: 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 good pleasure of Allah and hence the Paradise.