- Life and The First Part of Life
- What Does it Mean to Live?
- How Should One Live?
- How Do You Live the First Part of Your Life to Win the Second Part of Life?
Alhamdulillah… Infinite praise and thanks are due to the Almighty Allah, who has given us the privilege of the first part of life as well as the second part. Complete blessings and salutations go to the one who ever lived the best form of human life on this earth, Sayyidinā Muhammad, his household, his companions, and all those who follow his guided path till the end of time.
It’s all about life. It’s for this, that everyone struggles. It’s for this, that everyone survives. The one who lives, lives for life and the one who dies, dies for life. The thrive, the struggle, the determination, and the hopefulness are all for life. What is life? What does it mean to live? How should one live? How does one live his first part of life to win the ticket to enjoy his second life? These are the questions that this article aims to answer, inshā Allah.
To start, let’s define life.
Life and the First Part of Life
There are various definitions for life. However, for the purpose of this article, life is the opportunity you are granted through the soul which the Creator reserved for you to serve as His honoured creature and vicegerent.
You are an honoured creature because you shall live eternally and because every single creature on this earth is subjected to your use and benefit. And so will many other creatures be subjected to serve you in the second part of your life. You are His vicegerent because you are brought to this earth to showcase His ability and wisdom.
Your life is a continuous gift. But it’s interrupted once by death. Death is just another experience which every soul must experience. But life–once given–is continuous and permanent.
With that, we understand that, life is a choice made by the Almighty for an honoured creature. In this situation, you are always indebted to the Almighty. You ought to show gratitude and gratefulness for the opportunity of being chosen out of a million of racing sperms.
With that, we agree that this life comes in two parts. For the offspring of Adam, the first part of life is lived on earth. Here, on earth, he is tried and tested. Thus, every form of his endeavour and decision is an extension of this test.
However, the period the son of Adam spends on this earth is very short in nature. The average period doesn’t exceed a day. (this article focuses on this part of life.) The second part of life is lived in Heaven or Hell, after the prizes of the tests and trials we underwent in the first part have been awarded, accordingly. (our next article will focus on this part of life, inshā Allah.) In other words, the first part of life is temporary; the second part is permanent.
Once you are given life, what does it mean to live?
As for the first part of life, living it means making use of the advantages given to you, to establish your relationship with your fellow human beings while maintaining a good relationship which already exists between the Almighty Creator and you.
The relationship between you and the Creator came into existence the moment you won the race, into your mother’s womb for your soul to be blown into your body. The moment your heartbeat kicked off and your mum started to communicate with you, either by literally verbally or by the virtue of thoughts and imaginations. This is given. The rest is up to you to refine or severe.
إِنَّا خَلَقْنَا ٱلْإِنسَـٰنَ مِن نُّطْفَةٍ أَمْشَاجٍ نَّبْتَلِيهِ فَجَعَلْنَـٰهُ سَمِيعًا بَصِيرًا * إِنَّا هَدَيْنَـٰهُ ٱلسَّبِيلَ إِمَّا شَاكِرًا وَإِمَّا كَفُورًا
“Indeed, We created man from a drop of mingled fluid so that We might try him; We gave him hearing and sight; (2) We showed him the way, whether he be grateful or ungrateful” (Sūrah al-Insān, 76:2-3).
The relationship between you and your fellow human beings must be established, as it is not given by default. You start to establish it, first with your mother. And that is the moment you were delivered. The next person you establish your relationship with is the person who attended your delivery. (Have you had to chance to see the person and say ‘Thank You’ to her or him? If not, have you ever prayed for her or his wellbeing? Think about it. But for now, let’s continue with our discussion.)
Next will be those who welcomed you to their comfort zone, with happiness or with hatred. All these are requisite for your evaluation and judgement when you grow up and start bearing responsibilities. That starts with puberty.
Because you were born into a multi-dimension world, full of differences in all aspects, full is rivalry and competition, full of try and error, full of contempt and temptations, because of all that, you are equipped with natural tools that serve as tools you can–in fact you must–use to navigate your ways for making better choices. They are nothing but tools. They don’t make choices for you. You make your choices for yourself. They are not responsible for anything you decide. You are responsible for everything you decide.
أَلَمْ نَجْعَل لَّهُۥ عَيْنَيْنِ * وَلِسَانًا وَشَفَتَيْنِ * وَهَدَيْنَـٰهُ ٱلنَّجْدَيْنِ
“Have We not given him two eyes. And a tongue, and a pair of lips. And shown him the two paths?” (Sūrah al-Balad, 90:8-10).
Moreover, you are given mind to think, decide and choose. You are given the instinct to support your rational thoughts and feelings, so to make correct judgments. Above all, you are given a life manual–the Qur’an–for your reference as a constitution. Just in case your tools tend to overwhelm or misguide you. On top of all that, you are taught how to seek divine intervention through Istikhārah and Du’a.
You are given senses–touch, taste, hearing, smell and sight–, each of which enhances your moral judgement for that, which is good, as well as for that, which is bad. Here, you are expected to have a taste, not necessarily a class. Tastes are made in the first part of life. Classes are attained in the second part of life, based on the tastes you have developed. Your class (obviously in the next life–stay tuned for the next article, inshā Allah) will, however, be determined by the taste you established in the first part of your life.
وَٱللَّـهُ أَخْرَجَكُم مِّن بُطُونِ أُمَّهَـٰتِكُمْ لَا تَعْلَمُونَ شَيْـئًا وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ ٱلسَّمْعَ وَٱلْأَبْصَـٰرَ وَٱلْأَفْـئِدَةَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
“And Allah brought you forth from the wombs of your mothers while you knew nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and hearts, so that you might be grateful” (Sūrah al-Naḥl, 16:78).
So, how should one live? How can one make a taste, in a way that will smoothen his attainment of class in the next life? Read on.
You were brought to a place–this earth– where you have never been before. To be fair to you, you are made to know what are the expectations of you. All required from you is to worship your Lord, your Creator.
You know that this first part of life is temporal. It’s not but a transit. You can’t stay in a transit forever. Thus, you see your seniors–your fellow humans–leaving one after another. Also, you are given the means to earn a living while in the transit, although you need not, but to worship Him.
Therefore, you should take from the tools provided only that, which you need. Only that which will speed up your pace in your voyage. Do not take that which will slow you down. If you do, you surrender yourself to a burden that will pull you down.
Note that this life (first part of life) is lived on a lower platform. The second part of life is going to be on a higher platform. The heavier your load (baggage) the tougher your climb. So, please mind your baggage.
Imām al-Bukhārī reports from the narration to Abdullāh ibn ‘Umar, raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhumā, that Rasūlullāh ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
كُنْ فِي الدُّنْيَا كَأَنَّكَ غَرِيبٌ، أَوْ عَابِرُ سَبِيلٍ
“Be in the world like a stranger or a wayfarer.”
That which speeds your pace is righteous deeds, spread of love and justice, and enjoining to goodness and warning against evil. That which slows you down is evil, jealousy, hatred, injustice, greed, corruption and immorality of all sorts.
The first part of your life is made temporal because the second part is permanent and eternal. Both two parts can’t be eternal at the same time. One must be temporal for the other to be eternal. Thus, however you live the first part of your life, you shall be living your second life eternally.
Thus, however long you perceive the first part of your life to be, it’s short. Simply because it’s temporal. That’s why the wise lives his first life with the eternal life–which awaits him–in mind.
وَٱبْتَغِ فِيمَآ ءَاتَاكَ ٱللَّـهُ ٱلدَّارَ ٱلآخِرَةَ وَلا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ ٱلدُّنْيَا
“But seek, through that which Allah has given you, the home of the Hereafter; and [yet], do not forget your share of the world” (Sūrah al-Qaṣaṣ, 28:77).
It’s worth emphasizing, that the eternal life comes in two categories. Two and only. No third option. That means all mankind will be grouped into two different groups; a group for Heaven and the other for Hell.
This is to say, in the second part of life, the group of Heaven dwellers are the winners, and the group of Hell inhabitants are the losers. Real life comes with excitement. Excitement is attained after success. To succeed, you must lead a life in your first life, so you will win a ticket to join the group of Heaven dwellers, and that will mean to win your second life.
The first part of your life is a bit portion of your whole life. You’ve already started living it. It has transition points and stations, which include, life in the womb, life on earth, life in the grave, life after resurrection, and life after judgement. But life as a whole is not separated.
You can never undo what you’ve already done in the past years of your life. However, you can work on ensuring the remainder entitles you for a pleasant abode in your second life. Our next article will share about our second life, inshā Allah.
May we be guided to live a life that entitles us to be among the dwellers of Heaven. Amin!
Allah knows best.
Allahu Hafiz 🙂