Connect with us
Advertisement

Transformation – Our Purpose in life

Iqbal Ebrahim
UNDERSTANDING ISLAM


“And I did not create the Jinn (Spiritual beings) and mankind except that they should serve and worship Me. No sustenance do I require of them, nor do I require that they should feed Me. For Allah is He who gives all sustenance” (Quran 51: 56).

If we were to ask the question, “What is the goal and purpose of life?” we are bound to get many different answers?  Is it simply because we haven’t thought about it, or are we confused or we don’t really know. But if we were to ask about the purpose of eating or why do we eat, everyone will say in one word or another that they are hungry or it is for nutritional purposes, because eating sustains our life. If we ask anyone why they work, they will say because it’s a necessity in order to support themselves to provide for the needs of their families or to buy a home or a car etc..

 

If we ask anyone why they sleep, why they wash, why they dress, etc., they will answer with appropriate answers, for these are common necessities for all human beings.Think about it. Is our purpose in this world simply to eat, sleep, dress, work, look after our family, acquire some material things and enjoy ourselves? Is this our sole purpose? Why are we born? What is the wisdom and object of our existence in this universe?


Our purpose in this life is to recognise our Creator, to be grateful to Him for the bounties we have received, to worship Him, to surrender ourselves to Him and to obey the laws that He has laid down for us. It therefore means worship is our purpose in life. Whatever we do in the course of that worship, (i.e., the eating, the sleeping, the dressing, the working, the enjoying,) between birth and death is important and is part of the package.


At the time of Creation Allah told the Angels: ‘I will create a Vicegerent on earth..’ (Quran 2:30) – And thus humankind was created. ‘It is We who placed you with authority on this earth, and provided you therein with means for the fulfilment of your life……It is We who created you and gave you shape (Quran 7: 10-11)


Since we have the benefit of having been created to be the Lord’s vicegerent on this earth comes with many obligations because we were created pure and favoured with wisdom and intelligence. ‘I have fashioned him in due proportion and breathed into him My Spirit’ (Quran 38: 72). This brings many responsibilities into our lives because it distinguishes us from the rest of creation on earth.  


In our daily lives we tend to forget what our purpose in life is but even more frighteningly in the wider world out there are some non-believer sceptics who question and argue that there is no proof of any divine origin; no proof that there is a God and there is no proof that this universe was created through divine intervention. Some of them say that the world came about by the ‘big bang’ theory almost as if things were just thrown together.


This subject is addressed in the Quran, “And to Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Allah is over all things competent. Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding-Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or (lying) on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying), “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You (above such a thing); then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.” (Quran 3:189-191)


Once we accept that the world was created through the Glory of Allah, we then have to live our lives in accordance with His commands. Let’s not look only the world but what about your eyes, your kidneys, your heart, your brain, your children, and your life: Lets be thankful that we were not born blind, or have have heart and kidney problems, and all the other ailments? Is He not worthy of praise and thanks? Is He not worthy of your worship and recognition? Should we the fortunate ones not show gratitude to Him and say ‘thank you’ for all that we have been given?


Unfortunately in this life we become conditioned to accept these great blessings without ever thinking about them or even being grateful for them – ‘To Allah belongs the mystery of the heavens and the earth…… It is He who brought forth from the wombs of your mothers when you knew nothing; and He gave you hearing, sight, intelligence and affections; that you may give thanks to Allah’ (Quran 16:78) ‘ Verily Allah is full of Grace and Bounty to men yet most of them give no thanks’ (Quran 40;61). As the verse states not many of us ever stop to say ‘thank you Lord for our Blessings’.


The question therefore is: what is the secret of a happy and spiritually contented life? The answer lies with us and it for us to find it – for a start, are we living our lives according to teachings of the Quran? To Muslims, Islam is not only a religion but a complete way of life. It is not only reduced to a few rituals that we perform but it goes deeper than that. We need to create and establish a closer relationship with our Lord and Creator through sincere faith and right conduct in order to live our lives in His way. In doing so, we will discover true happiness in this life and in the Hereafter.

 

What we need to do is to link up with Him to make ourselves worthy of His Grace, Mercy and Blessings. ‘If you remember Me, I will remember you……seek help with patient perseverance and prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere’ (Quran 2: 152-153)  

This is where transformation begins: ‘….Because Allah will never change the Grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their own souls’ (Quran 8: 53). Many of us believe that happiness comes from material possessions; while it is true that we need some material possessions to make our lives more comfortable, it should not become our sole objective in life to amass wealth and possessions.

 

No doubt about it, wealth does make life easier but it cannot always bring happiness because money can buy you medicine, but it cannot buy your health. As Allah says in the Quran; ‘Your riches and your children may be but a trial’. (64:15).  We need to stop and take a breather every now and then to consider focusing on making life changing goals. We can achieve many goals materially and spiritually if we follow the Guidance of our Lord. So our worldly possessions are just a blessing in this fleeting life – we should not forget that whilst we may be blessed with them, others may not be as fortunate as us.

 
We need to stop and take a breather every now and then to consider focusing on making life changing goals. We can achieve many goals materially and spiritually if we follow the Guidance of our Lord. So while we have the energy and life within us we should take this opportunity to transform ourselves 

Continue Reading

Columns

Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.

It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

 

Continue Reading

Columns

Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020
Samson

… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan

With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.

Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

 

Continue Reading

Columns

‘RO, ‘RO ‘RO YOUR ‘BOT

23rd September 2020

If I say the word ‘robot’ to you,  I can guess what would immediately spring to mind –  a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and  tv shows.  Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name,  Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama,  Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…

Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us  inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator,  Box in Logan’s Run,  Police robots in Elysium and  Otomo in Robocop.

And that’s to name but a few.  As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves.  And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of  robotics in the workplace.

ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.

A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles.  It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.

DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.

AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,

AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.

INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour

These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com    because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.

This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count!  For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars.  It’s a theory, at any rate.

Already, customers at the South-Korean  fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic.  The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners.  Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.   

‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP. 

Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions. 

Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders.  Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.

These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly  Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.

And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth.  Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.

But there may be more redundancies on the way as well.  Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable?  So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid?  Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons  may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!