By: Muhammad Arshad
They say that a fool lives to eat and a wise person eats to live. But then the question remains: for what purpose does the wise person live? Living is not an end by itself. There has to be a purpose to life. So what is this purpose?
Most who reflect or think about life in any detail will consider and ponder about this. If the purpose of life is to become wealthy, then obviously there would be no further purpose after becoming wealthy. How could wealth then be considered as the aim of life?
Once upon a time, a strong woodcutter got a job with a timber merchant. The pay was good, so he determined to do his best.
His boss gave him an axe. The first day he brought 18 trees. He tried harder, but only managed 15 the second day. The third day saw him bring only 10.
Day by day the amount decreased. The woodcutter thought he was losing his strength and went to the boss and apologized.
“When last did you sharpen your axe?” asked the timber merchant. “Sharpen? I had no time for that. I was very busy trying to cut trees,” replied the woodcutter.
Our lives are like this. We get so busy that we don’t take time to sharpen our axe. Everyone is busier, but less happy than ever. Why? We have forgotten how to “stay sharp”.
There’s nothing wrong with activity and hard work. No doubt we have to work hard but we should intend that hard work as part of our primary objectives which must not be ignored! Indeed we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important matters like taking time to worship Allah Ta’ala and serve His Deen in the way shown to us by The Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him).
So we should always strive to fulfill our obligations Allah and to family and other creatures, we should strive to read and/or listen to the Quran even if only a little on a regular basis, seek some knowledge, and serve our communities even if only in small but consistent ways.
The purpose of life is to live a life of true purpose, for life without purpose is like a body without a soul.
So take time to reflect for if we don’t sharpen our axes, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness, and we seek Allah’s protection from that!