Islam's Purpose and Meaning

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The Islamic worldview instates a complete lifestyle of servitude and faith into its followers, thus granting both purpose and meaning as a Muslim's entire life is lived with the mission to submit to Allah's divine intendment therefore providing such regulation and guidance. (Al-Hariri – Wendel, 2002 pg. 79). Submission to Allah's plan thus gives recognition to God's absolute authority, and reaches a conviction that God alone possesses all power. The natural effect of such a realisation is to devote one's worship and one's life absolutely to God alone. According to al-Faruqi (1976), in calling man to exercise his prerogatives given by Allah, Muslim preaching rehabilitates him and re-establishes him in his integrity, his dignity and his innocence, thus this moral vocation grants both a fixed purpose and meaning. Subsequently, the Islamic worldview instates both meaning and purpose through a synthesis of beliefs, ethics and sacred texts.

"Allah's guidance is the (only) guidance, and we have been directed to submit ourselves to the Lord of the worlds." (Sura 6:71, The Holy Qur'an)
The core theology and beliefs of Islam inspires Muslims with a sense of meaning and direction in their lives. Paramount to Islamic beliefs are the Aqida ul-Islam or the Articles of Faith - the fundamental principles which direct, thus add meaning to an Islamic life, by dictating what Allah wills of His adherents. The first Article, the belief in Tahwid, the recognition of a singular being, installs meaning and purpose as Muslims live their lives in submission to their divine creator and His will for humans (Muslims). Tahwid outlines that there is only God, who establishes direction and meaning into a Muslim's life. (Sultan, 2004 pg. 25)

"Thee alone we worship; Thee alone we ask for help. Show us the straight path." (Sura 1:5-6, The Holy Qur'an)

The second Article of Faith, Mala'ika, the belief in angels, and the notion of angelology is central to the Islamic worldview. Meaning derived from the supernatural is exemplified through the recognition of one's ‘guardian angels' who note a person's good and bad deeds. (Jommier, 1988 pg. 41) Mala'ika generates a personal mission to act according to Allah's will and ensure that the distribution of deeds is positive, to extend prospects of eventual Paradise, thus instating meaning.

The belief in Prophethood, Rusula and the Books of Allah, Kutubu'llah are other fundamental articles in the Aquida al-Islam. The al-Akhira and al-Qadr – beliefs about life, death, fate and the world to come are also continuances of these doctrinal statements, which boast significant importance. Islam views life in three tiers. Allah rules in paradise, a domain where happiness is found by the faithful, the second tier is the present and the final tier is a damned place called Jahannam, where the wicked are banished and suffer under the tyranny of Iblis (Satan). (Bailey et al, 2005 pg. 133). Fate is also a prominent belief which reserves significance in the Islamic worldview. Muslim theology connects fate with the concept of predestination – fate has locked a path destined to either Paradise or Jahannam. Although Muslims are held responsible for their own actions, Al-Hadi (The Guide) is said to have known a Muslim's predetermined fate, yet one's level of devoutness and capitulation can alter their ultimate destiny, hence dictating meaning and purpose to live accordingly, and to gain the eventual reward of Paradise upon the revealed Day of Judgement (eschatology). (Bailey et al, 2005 pg. 133); (Kidwai, 1998 pg. 41)

Islam also establishes an intricate system of ethical standards to be obeyed by Muslims, primarily based on Qur'anic texts and the Hadith. Islam places an important focus on right actions with Islamic law being classed in either two categories. A category where Muslims relate to Allah and a category of how Muslims relate to each other in the umma - community. (Gordon, 2002 p. 63) Islam grants meaning...
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