What is the purpose of life on earth according to the Qur’an? Why did God create us?
“And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.” [Qur'an, 51:56]
What is the significance of this verse? In this verse, our Creator is telling us the purpose behind our creation. We were created only so that we may worship God. Our worship can be in many ways. It can be through prayer, supplication, sleep, the act of eating, work, studies, marriage, and so on. Anything done for the sake of God alone can be considered worship. If our intention behind eating is to sustain our bodies in order to worship our Creator, then it is worship. If our intention behind studying is to gain knowledge to understand the creation of our Creator, then it is worship.
Despite all of this, however, Muslims today fail to realize the underlying purpose of life. Our life on earth is only a test. We are here to be tested between good and evil. Will we pick the right path? Will we enjoin the good and forbid the evil? Will we worship our Creator or deny Him? This is the test that we have been placed on earth to take. Our life here is simply a journey to the afterlife (the akhira). Unfortunately, many Muslims today have been caught up with this worldly life (the dunya). We seek wealth, fame, power; all of these things which are absolutely meaningless for the afterlife. Our money, power, and fame will not follow us into the grave. When we are standing before our Creator, we will be questioned about our deeds, our intentions. We will not be questioned about our wealth or our fame.
Therefore, I urge the ummah to please come back to reality. Keep the afterlife as the goal. I am not saying wealth is bad. If you truly earned it then it is rightfully yours, but think about those around the world who die every day without food. It is our duty to help feed and clothe those in need if God has blessed us with this wealth. If we do that and we remind ourselves that this worldly life is of no true meaning, then we will have succeeded that test, insha’Allah (God-Willing).