In this article, we will explain the purpose and characteristics of the Islamic lifestyle from the Holy Quran, supplications and narrations.
The purpose of the Islamic lifestyle
From the Islamic point of view, the ultimate goal of life is nearness to God, attainment to God. Imam Ali prays to God Almighty in Du’a Kumayl:
وَاجْعَلْنِي مِنْ أَحَسَنِ عَبِيدِكَ نَصِيباً عِنْدَكَ وَأَقْرَبِهِم مَّنْزِلَةً مِّنْكَ وَأَخَصِّهِمْ زُلْفَةً لَّديْكَ
“And make me one of the most excellent of Your slaves in Portion from You and the nearest of them in station to You and the most elected of them in proximity to You.”
Also, Imam Ali al-Sajjad (Zayn al-Abidin) asks God Almighty in Munajat al-Muftaqirin [The Whispered Prayer of the Utterly Poor]:
اِلهى كَسْرى لا… ضُرِّي لا يَكْشِفُهُ غَيْرُ رَأْفَتِكَ وَ غُلَّتِي لا يُبَرِّدُهَا إِلا وَصْلُكَ وَ لَوْعَتِي لا يُطْفِيهَا إِلا لِقَاؤُكَ وَ شَوْقِي إِلَيْكَ لا يَبُلُّهُ إِلا النَّظَرُ إِلَى وَجْهِكَ وَ قَرَارِي لا يَقِرُّ دُونَ دُنُوِّي مِنْكَ
“My God, nothing will… cool my burning thirst but reaching Thee, quench my ardour but meeting Thee, damp my yearning but gazing upon Thy face, settle my settling place without closeness to Thee, allay my worry but Thy repose, cure my illness but Thy medicine, eliminate my grief but Thy nearness.”
As it turns out, there is no higher purpose in life than nearness to God, because approaching God is the attainment of all perfections, beauties, pleasures, and eternal bliss. When a lifestyle is built on the foundation of God, life finds the taste of the hayyat al-tayyibah, “the good life,” and becomes stable and immortal. Therefore, the Muslim seeks to implement a lifestyle that is most in harmony with the attainment of nearness to God in his personal and social life, and it is not a style other than the Islamic lifestyle that is the true manifestation of attaining nearness to God. It is as if the Islamic lifestyle is from God to God, which means that it originates from monotheistic and divine principles and ends with monotheism and closeness to God.
It is clear that nearness to God and attainment of God is not of the type of spatial and temporal approximations, because God Almighty does not have a material existence with which to establish a spatial or temporal relationship. Also, closeness to God does not mean credit, contractual and ceremonial closeness, but rather it is an existential reality. Since God Almighty is absolute perfection, nearness to absolute perfection means becoming more perfect, it means the breadth of human existence. By doing good deeds, mankind reaches a level of perfection of existence, the existence of which becomes a divine existence.
It is clear that nearness to God and attainment of God is not of the type of spatial and temporal approximations, because God Almighty does not have a material existence with which to establish a spatial or temporal relationship. Also, closeness to God does not mean credit, contractual and ceremonial closeness, but an existential reality. Since God Almighty is absolute perfection, nearness to absolute perfection means becoming more perfect, it means the breadth of human existence; By doing good deeds, mankind reaches a level of perfection of existence, the existence of which becomes a divine existence.
Therefore, it should be noted that the Islamic lifestyle pursues a sublime goal, which is to reach God. Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammad-Baqer Mostafavi says in this regard: “Life is for a person to do something that he will become a servant of God, otherwise what is with mankind will end. Therefore, if one connects himself to God and the everlasting goal which is the Living One who does not die, and dies connected to the truth, this is where life finds meaning.”
Characteristics of the Islamic lifestyle
In general, it can be said that the Islamic lifestyle has features that distinguish it from other styles. The following is a summary of a number of them:
1) The main source of the Islamic lifestyle is the divine book, in such a way that Islamic life makes sense in Quranic life.
Other sources of the Islamic lifestyle include the sunnah (tradition) and sirah (lifestyle) of the Infallibles, human reason and experience, which we should refer to in any field, including the Islamic lifestyle.
The lifestyle in Islamic culture is derived from monotheistic, Quranic thought and the practical system of life is also based on the shari’ah and the tradition of the Imams.
2) As we previously stated, the Islamic lifestyle is a concept that can be examined at three levels, these levels are: insight, action and tendencies.
A) Insight means the same knowledge, knowledge, beliefs and intellectual foundations of the person that causes the emergence, behaviour and action in the person.
B) Action also includes deeds, behaviours, and speech. In other words, whatever is in the realm of one’s activities is called action and is the result of one’s insight.
C) Tendencies. Man tends to do certain acts over time and abandons certain actions over time, and because his actions are the result of his insight, he tends to them in such a way that it is difficult for him to change those actions or it is impossible and causes him dissatisfaction.
3) The most important insight and belief in the Islamic lifestyle is monotheism and knowing God. In other words, looking at life through the lens of faith in God and God’s presence in all stages of human life and other beliefs in the shadow of this belief. Beliefs such as belief in prophethood and imamate, belief in life after death, etc.
4) Since the Islamic lifestyle relies on God, it is not devoid of purpose. The life of the Muslim has been based on a specific goal, which is closeness to God and attainment to God. The Islamic lifestyle is from God toward God.
5) The basic criterion of the Islamic lifestyle and the attainment of the hayat al-tayyibah (the good life) is faith and righteous deeds. God says in the Holy Quran:
مَنْ عَمِلَ صَالِحًا مِّن ذَكَرٍ أَوْ أُنثَىٰ وَهُوَ مُؤْمِنٌ فَلَنُحْيِيَنَّهُ حَيَاةً طَيِّبَةً ۖ وَلَنَجْزِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْرَهُم بِأَحْسَنِ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
“Whoever acts righteously, [whether] male or female, should he be faithful, We shall revive him with a good life and pay them their reward by the best of what they used to do.” [16:97]
6) In the Islamic lifestyle, even the smallest of life situations are planned. For example, it is not the case that religion has a general recommendation that the family environment should be warm and that there is nothing wrong with how to warm the family environment, but that religion is also involved in the smallest issues of life and expresses ahkam (religious rulings) and guidelines. It can be said that the only lifestyle that guides human beings in all walks of life and all its dimensions and areas is the Islamic lifestyle, which has not neglected anything, whether partial or general, individual or social, intellectual or practical, and so on. It has always led mankind to true happiness in the temporal world and the hereafter.
7) The Islamic lifestyle is manifested in the divine lifestyle, which can be examined from two perspectives: one from the perspective of creating its institutionalization in society, because the Islamic lifestyle is constructive and not acquirable, the second from the perspective of assessing the current situation and determining the distance to the desired situation, extracting the characteristics of the Islamic lifestyle will provide both purposes because the characteristics in a way, reflect the desired situation and in another way indicate the distance between the current situation and the desired situation.
8) The characteristics of the Islamic lifestyle can be examined in three categories on how to interact and communicate with God, with oneself and with others. With this classification, the boundaries of the Islamic lifestyle can be determined in a better manner.
Rasa News Agency