What we are in this world for?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
I have to say i agree with most of the things you have said but you are forgetting that we are all human beings and there are many reasons for why we do things, all about living. Rather than criticise and leaving the community don't you think it is better to stick together and try and stamp out all the unnecessary causes of worry, stress, hurt etc and live with the things that allow you to become a better, nicer, happier etc person. After all why are we here for if not to be happy, lead a good life etc. I am proud of so many things that we as Bohras stand for and we do.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
What we are in this world for?
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Your comment: I am proud of so many things that we as Bohras stand for and we do.
There is absolutely no doubt that a lot of the things done by the Bohras are indeed very noble and demand respect and recognition. But the issue we are dealing with in Bohraism, is the issue of shirk, a sin which Allah has promised Himself in the Holy Quran that he will not forgive. Whatever good one might have done, they will all be fruitless in the hereafter, if one was to die while committing this heinous crime of shirk or associating and invoking other beings with Allah.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 5 Surah Maidah verse 72: Whoever commits shirk (invoking anything with Allah), Allah shall forbid for him Paradise, and Hell shall be his abode. And for such wrong doers there will be no one to help.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 39 Surah Zumar verse 65-66: If you commit shirk all your works will be rendered vain and you will be among the losers. Therefore, you should worship Allah Alone, and be among His grateful servants.
Your comment: Rather than criticize and leaving the community don't you think it is better to stick together and try and stamp out all the unnecessary causes of worry, stress, hurt etc and live with the things that allow you to become a better, nicer, happier etc person.
Our mission is not to criticize the community, nor to ridicule their beliefs. But Allah has made it a duty for all muslims to invite their brethren and all mankind to Islam in the best possible manner, and to enjoin the right and forbid the evil, according to our ability. And that is exactly what we are doing: obeying the command of our Lord and Creator, Allah Subhanah.
Allah says in the Holy Quran: Chapter 16, Surah An-Nahl Ayat 125: Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and excellent admonition and argue with people in the best manner. Your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Way and who is Rightly guided.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale Imran verse 110: You (muslims) are the best community which has been raised for the guidance of mankind. You enjoin what is right, and forbid what is evil and you all believe in Allah Alone.
Islam is extremely tolerant, but the truth is that the Bohra leadership is extremely intolerant and intransparent. We are never allowed to ask any theological questions in Bohraism, nor is anything explained to us by giving evidence from the Holy Quran. A thing is halaal because the Syedna and the Bhaisahebs do it, and a thing is haraam because the Syedna and Bhaisahebs said so! If a common Bohra tries to understand the Quran and goes for clarification to any of their aamils and bhaisahebs, he is branded a traitor and immediately threatened with ostracism. All they ever demand is that we remain subjugated to them and go like cattle wherever they lead us, even if it be against the direct commandments of the Holy Quran! All that the aamils and the bhaisahebs seem interested in, is gathering more money and grabbing more power! The average Bohra assumes that the aamils and the bhaisahebs are guiding him from the Holy Quran and thus from Allah, and gently bears with patience every subjugation and humiliation. But what the Holy Quran guides to and what is happening in Bohraism are two distant poles! And the subjugation and humiliation of the common Bohra is such that he cannot do anything without the permission of the raza na saheb!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verse 77-79: Do they really not know that Allah is fully aware of what they hide and what they disclose? Then there are among them some ignorant people who have no knowledge of the Book, but depend upon empty hopes and are guided by mere conjecture and guesswork. So woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say to the people, This is from Allah, so that they might gain some paltry worldly gain! This writing of their hands will bring woe to them, and what they gain from it will lead them to their ruin.
We hereby declare that we are slaves of our Creator and Sustainer, Allah Alone! Allah Alone deserves our humility, our reverence, our invocation, our worship and all our rites of worship. There is absolutely no one who is worthy of our worship and our invocation, except the One Lord Allah, Alone!
Your comment: After all why are we here for if not to be happy, lead a good life etc.
This question is best answered from the very words of Allah Himself, the Al Quran.
This is what Allah, our Creator, says why he has created us:
Allah says in the Holy Quran in Chapter 67 Surah Al Mulk verse 2: He (Allah) created death and life that He may test you, to see which of you is the best in deeds.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 51 Surah Dhariyat verse 56: I have not created the jinn and men except for this that they should worship Me alone.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 3 Surah Ale-Imran verse 19: Indeed, Islam in the ONLY right way of life in the sight of Allah.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 22 Surah Hajj verse 77-78: O you who have believed, do rukooh (bow down) and do sajdah (prostration), and worship your Lord Allah Alone, and do righteous deeds: it may be that you attain true success! Exert your utmost for the cause of Allah, as one should. He has chosen you for His service, and has not laid on you any hardship in your religion. Therefore, be steadfast in the religion of your father Abraham. Allah had named you muslims before this, and has named you (muslims) in this Quran also, so that the Messenger may be a witness in regard to you, and you may be witnesses in regard to the rest of mankind.
Our goal in this world is not to play and be happy, but rather to work and prepare for the life hereafter. We put our children through 18 or 22 years of school, so that they might get a good education which will help them get a decent job, and support themselves and their families, in this worldly life. We just dont leave them to play and enjoy themselves as they like! But for the eternal and everlasting after life, we are cool and think there we need no preparation. Whatever we sow in this worldly life of ours, we shall reap in the Hereafter. If we sow nothing, we will reap nothing; and if we sow thorns, we will reap thorns (Allah forbid!).
But yes, if we lead our lives in submission to the will of our Creator, Allah has promised such doers of good, eternal happiness and rewards in the life of the Hereafter. And each and every one of Allahs promises in the Holy Quran are true, and who is there to make a better promise than Allah?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 4 Surah An-Nisa verse 122: The promise of Allah is true, and who can be truer in his word than Allah?
Please read carefully what Allah has to say about people who treat their life of this world as a sport and a pastime:
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verse 70: And leave alone those who have taken their deen as a sport and past time, and have been deluded by the life of this world. Nevertheless, you go on admonishing them by reciting the Quran to them, lest any person should be seized because of his own deeds; and that too, at a time, when there would be no protector, no helper and no intercessor to rescue him from Allah; when no conceivable amount of ransom would be accepted from him. This is because such people shall be seized, in consequence of what they themselves had earned.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 57 Surah Hadid verses 20: Know it well that the life of this world is nothing but a sport and a pastime, and a show, and a thing of boasting among yourselves, and a rivalry in wealth and children. Its example is of vegetation after a shower of rain, which delights the tillers; then the same ripens and you see it turn yellow; then it becomes straw. Contrary to this, in the life to come there is severe torment; and forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure. The life of this world is nothing but an illusionary screen.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 70 Surah Mairaj verses 42-44: Therefore, leave them engrossed in their vain talk and sport, until they encounter that Day of theirs which they are being promised; when they shall be rushing out of their graves as though they are racing towards the shrines of their deities. Their eyes shall be downcast and abasement shall be covering them. That is the Day they are being promised.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 29 Surah Ankaboot verse 64: And the life of this world is nothing but a sport and a pastime. The home of real life is indeed the Hereafter. Would that these people knew (what awaits them)!
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 6 Surah Anam verse 32: This worldly life is but a sport and a pastime. In fact, the abode of the Hereafter is better for those who desire to be safe from harm. Will you not, then, use your common sense?
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 43 Surah Zukhruf verse 83: Well, let them remain absorbed in their falsehoods and sports, till they see that Day of theirs with which they are being threatened.
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 7 Surah Aaraaf verses 50-51: (On the Day of Judgement) The inmates of Hell will cry out to the people of Paradise: Pour upon us a little water or throw down a bit of the provisions Allah has bestowed upon you. The people of Paradise will reply, Allah has forbidden both these things to the disbelievers, who had made their religion a sport and a pastime, and who had been deluded by the worldly life. Then Allah will say, Today We will forget them just as they forgot the meeting of this Day, and rejected Our Revelations.
Allah has honored man above all his creations, and given him the faculty of intelligence to think, ponder, counsel and contemplate; who is his Creator? Who Created everything in the heavens and the earth? What are his Creators rights on him? Is there anything after this worldly life? What are the requirements of success in the life hereafter?
Allah has given us a will and the limited freedom to do right and wrong. No other creation of Allah (except the Jinns) have this will. This is the trust Allah gave us, and lets see what Allah says in the Holy Quran about this trust:
Allah says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verse 72-73: We (Allah) offered this trust to the heavens and the earth and the mountains, but they all refused to bear it, and were afraid it. But man undertook to bear this trust. Indeed, he is unjust and ignorant! The inevitable result of bearing the burden of the trust is that Allah should punish the hypocrite men and women, and the mushrik (one who invokes others with Allah) men and women, and accept the repentance of the believing men and women. Allah is indeed Forgiving and Merciful.
O Allah, help us, guide us, and forgive us our sins. O Allah, help us to read and understand the Holy Quran, so that we can understand the significance of our creation and its responsibilities. O Allah, help us and guide us to the Path, which you have chosen for us. O Allah, forgive us our sins, and take us into Your Mercy. O Allah, help us and guide us to the Siraat al Mustaqeem. Ameen.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,