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Why Should I Give Up Fun?

A skeptic non-Muslim, or a non-practicing Muslim often looks for any way to find an excuse or justification to keep themselves away from religion, and often any religion.

Their critical mind may only see the negatives or even turns the positive to negative.

Yet, this may be a very logical question for an atheist. If so, go no further, as this article will not benefit you; but wait a moment, there must be something that has brought you to this page! Could it be curiosity? Yes? If that is the case please hang in there for a while.

If you are one who believes in the existence of God, then you might ask yourself: why did God create me in the first place?

It would be very beneficial to read the response to this question here before you move on. It will help set the grounds for the rest of this article.

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Assuming you agree that God exists and His existence necessitates law and order, can we agree that this law and order for running the entire universe is so immense that no human can contain its vastness in their mind or even through advanced science?

{Do they not look at the sky above them? How We have made it and adorned it, and there are no flaws in it?} (Qaf 50: 6)

God informs us that: {The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind; yet, most of mankind knows not.} (Ghafir 40: 57)

When one thinks of the vastness of such grandeur, he cannot but come to realization that if God created such an expansive universe with a flawless system of organization, would He then not make sure the human creation, which is much less complicated, is set to function in perfect order as well?

What Is the Difference?

God created the ever expanding universe with a predestined order. In other words, the universe does not have the will of its own and is under a Divine systematic order.

The humans, on the other hand, are created with a soul, without which they cannot exist. This soul is given the knowledge of the Creator and His Oneness. It is also given free will. He is allowed to do right or wrong, each of which has its own consequence.

Would it not then make sense that since the element of free will is involved and unlike the angels who only do as they are commanded, that a system of guidance is also set in place for the humans to operate from?

The One who created the unperceivable universe and sat in order all of its affairs has also done so in regards to humans and gave us a blueprint by which to operate.

This blueprint is not only embedded on the human soul, but the Creator went further and fortified this wisdom by sending Prophets in order to give humans no excuse for going astray.

Assuming that the readers have done their own research to conclude that the Quran is the Word of God, unchanged and unadulterated, then, we refer to God’s own words to further find out why He created us.

{And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”} (Al-Baqarah 2:30)

It is obvious that God knew the capability of humans and thus bestowed on him this great obligation to be the vicegerent on earth, even though the angels perceived the negative aspect of this enormous duty. The Creator knew humans could incline toward evil by Satan, but also gave us the guidance as to differentiate between the right and wrong through successive messengers.

Having given us the knowledge of good and evil, God ordained to test us, regarding our actions, while we spend our limited time on earth.

{Who created death and life that He may try you- which of you is best in deeds; and He is the Mighty, the Forgiving.} (Al-Mulk 67:2)

God is not testing us to know, in the sense that He doesn’t already know. Having bestowed guidance to us, we are tested about our obedience or rejection of His guidance. God’s purpose for us is to grow spiritually.

Now, let us come to a very controversial verse that has confused some who have not yet come to truly know God. This verse may give a wrong impression of the Creator if it is used out of context.

{I have only created Jinns and men, that they may worship (or serve) Me.} (Adh-Dhariyat 51: 56)

What? He created us to worship Him and if we did not, He would punish us?

But wait, please read on…

{I seek no livelihood from them, nor do I ask them to feed Me. Behold! Allah is He Who gives livelihood, the Lord of Unbreakable Might.} (51:57-8)

Well, if we look at many verses that point to creation of human beings, we come to conclude that God created us, honored us even above the angels, gave us sustenance and free will and put us on earth to manifest our vast potentials.

So, in order for us to maintain our honored position, the only way is to really know our Maker. Can we do that without paying respect to Him? Does He need anything from us? No, of course, but we are the ones in need. So, in reality the only way we can stay on a straight path is to know and adhere to His commandments steadfastly. When we do this, the act is called worship.

It is important to note that along the side of human, He allowed evil (Satan) to co-exist, whose aim is only to destroy this honored creature and drag him to Hellfire with himself and his hosts, God promised to send a defense force for his human creatures. This force was His honored Prophets and their messages of guidance and mercy.

Summing up the worship concept and the role of the messengers, we conclude by re-emphasizing the importance of recognition of the message of the Prophets, starting with Prophet of Islam, Muhammad.

{Verily We have sent thee in truth, as a bearer of glad tidings, and as a warner: and there never was a people, without a Warner having lived among them (in the past).} (Fatir 35:24)

It is important that at this point we are making some kind of connection in our minds that we were not created in vain. There is a purpose for our creation!

Fun vs. Religion

We now go back to the original question. There is nowhere in the religion of Islam which consists of the Quran and the prophetic tradition that having a good time and enjoying life is prohibited.

We have narrations that indicate times when Prophet Muhammad was racing with his wife as well as other recreational activities. Many other stories of the past to present also indicate that enjoying life via various means is even recommended in order to maintain a good balance in life.

If, however, having fun means doing acts prohibited in Islam, then one may take a better look at their priorities and real sincerity regarding their Creator.

Of course, doing acts of fun that are not prohibited takes a back seat to performing obligatory religious duties. Once the obligation is fulfilled, then time can be spent to do other activities as long as one does not set him/herself to rebel against the Creator by doing the forbidden.

One way to encourage oneself to make the transition is to reflect on the Hereafter. Does that really exist? What does it mean to me?

Let us examine our own selves in this world. When we set out to study at the university for the purpose of getting a better job or having a better future, would we not strive hard to do our best to get there? How would we feel if we have fulfilled all our study obligations with good marks and have strived to enhance our qualifications and after a job interview we find out that someone much less qualified got the job? Don’t we feel that the employer was unfair?

We have established now the existence of God and His mercy upon us by sending us messengers for guidance. If we have fulfilled our obligations of the religious duties by implementing the knowledge that we have strived for, should we not expect a reward?

Would God’s justice be implemented if He rewarded the good and the wrong doer the same? Please think again with deeper reflection about your Creator:

{What! did you then think that We had created you in vain and that you shall not be returned to Us?} (Al-Mu’minun 23:115)

Some may think that God created us and gave us a set of instructions and order to worship Him and if we did not, He is set to punish us.

Do you also see that God is not interested to exert punishment upon us once we err? He gives us our entire life to learn, implement and perfect our spiritual life. He is fast to forgive and slow to punishment. Yet, once death befalls us, there is no more chance to return and repent.

So, for how long do we reject guidance? God reminds us that He does not punish anyone unless the warning has reached them:

{Who receives guidance, receives it for his own benefit: who goes astray does so to his own loss: No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another: nor would We visit with Our Wrath until We had sent an apostle (to give warning).} (Al-Isra’ 17:15)

When we have good thoughts about God, we may see His abundant justice – but we need to come to know him better!

{Allah is never unjust in the least degree: If there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from His own presence a great reward.} (An-Nisa’ 4:40)

Ultimately, God does not compel anyone to follow Him or give up the worldly pleasures for the sake of closeness to Him. The free will is among the numerous gifts He has given us.

{And say: “The truth is from your Lord”: Let him who will believe, and let him who will, reject (it).} (Al-Kahf 18:29)