The Purpose of Human Existence

Many philosophers and lay people alike find it awfully puzzling to answer the most important question in our life: Why are we here? What is the real purpose of human existence? The Qur’an has clearly and accurately stated the purpose of human existence thus: “I have only created the jinn and man to worship Me.” (Soorat Adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:56) It is clear, therefore, that we are here to worship Allah the Almighty. It is worth noting here, however, that worship, or ‛ibaadah, in Islam does not imply abandonment of the life of the world and its pleasures. It is a comprehensive term which includes, in addition to such acts of worship as prayer, fasting and the obligatory charity (zakaat), all human acts as long as they are done for the sake of Allah, as the prophet ﷺ once observed, “You will be rewarded even when you engage in sexual intercourse with your wives.” In this way, worship, despite being the main purpose behind human existence, becomes the essence of life, affording a Muslim the opportunity to turn all daily lawful practices into great acts of worship. The Qur’an says, “Say: ‘My prayer and my sacrifice, my living and my dying, are for Allah alone, the Lord of all the worlds.’” (Soorat Al-An‛aam, 6:162)