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Good Life in the Qur'an

MIT
11/4/2015
271 views

{Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall certainly make him live a good life, and We shall certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did} (An-Nahl:97)

 

It is very clear that every human being wants nothing short of a good life. This can be easily seen to be a life of happiness and fulfillment with little suffering, pain, or sickness. 

Aristotle wrote about it. Several novels and plays have been written on it. Singers like Tony Bennett have made it popular with their songs. 

However, the approaches to attaining this life differ. The American dream defined it to be richer, better, and fuller for everyone in the form of good education, a well-paying job, and a comfortable life.  The state of Nebraska even chose ‘A Good Life’ to be her promotional slogan.

God’s Word, on the other hand, sets a slightly different standard for a good life.  It bases a ‘good life’ on spiritual contentment.  It does not limit a good life tied to superior education, material plenty, or the perfect body.  It brings happiness not from what lies outside, but from within.  More accurately, a ‘good life’ is God centered. Thus, while God in the Qur'an called upon us to get the best of this world, it also did make us understand that it is only when such, at whatever level and standard it may be, is founded upon the consciousness of God that a 'Good Life' will actually be attained.

God promises a ‘good life’ to whoever does good deeds and has God at heart.  What makes deeds ‘good’? It is not what people define ‘good’ for themselves.  Worst criminals justify their crimes and are let free.  Fighting parties do not think of themselves as anything but ‘good.’ A ‘good deed’ is simply every good action that is listed in the Book that God has revealed for humanity or it was taught by the prophet that God send.  Qur'an is the Book revealed by God and Prophet Muhammad is the last prophet He send.

From the Qur'anic perspective, there are so many points to be noted with regard to the understanding of 'A Good Life'. Some of them are:

1.           A ‘good life’ is promised by God to every child of Adam, man or woman.  It is an equal opportunity to attain happiness for every human being.  It does not matter where or when they live.  The recipe of success is the same for all.  Male or female, all are equal in the sight of how God rewards them in terms of the effort they put in this life. Allah said:

 

{And indeed We have honoured the children of Adam, and have carried them in land and sea, and have provided them with tayyibat (lawful good things) and have preferred them to many of those whom We have created with marked prefernment} (Al-Isra': 70)

 

He also said:

{Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall certainly make him live a good life, and We shall certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did} (An-Nahl:97)

 

2.   The only requirement for the person is to have faith.  Faith in God is the foundation on which life must be based.  This ‘good life’ is not tied to wealth, family status, or membership of a privileged class.  They may be ingredients to happiness, but without a connection with God they lose meaning.  The way to have a connection with God is to believe in His prophet as well.  Therefore, a person must have faith in God and His prophet.  Only a person with faith will perform works that are commanded by God and His prophet.  Faith is the driving force of any action acceptable to God. This is why He said in the previous verse "…and is a believer…".

3.   The ‘good life’ can be any form of comfort.  It can be earning a decent livelihood that does not contradict God’s teachings.  Take in and eat lawful food that will not harm your body nor that is derived from evil earnings such as usury and the like. Allah said:

Forbidden to you are carrion, blood and flesh of swine, and that which has been hallowed to other than Allah, and that which has been killed by strangling, or by a violent blow, or by a headlong fall, or by being gored to death; and that which has been partly eaten by a wild animal-excepting that you have sacrificed duly…” (Qur’an 4:3)

He said elsewhere:

{Eat of the good things which We have provided for you} (Al- Baqarah 2:172)

 

4.   This life is not the end of it.  There is more after death.  Living a ‘good life’ on this earth is further rewarded by God in the eternal life to come after death.  God promises to reward men and women of faith with the best actions they did in this life – and the reward is no less than eternal Paradise. He said:

{Whoever does good, whether male or female, and is a believer, We shall certainly make him live a good life, and We shall certainly give them their reward for the best of what they did} (An-Nahl:97)

 

 

5.   Most people work all their lives to have the perfect ‘good life.’ Whether it is finding ways to make more money or going to college, yet not everyone is able to live a life of happiness and fulfillment.  Why? Because a ‘good life’ is a gift of God.  He gives it to whom He wills. He said:

{Indeed, all things We created with predestination (or measure)} (Al-Qamar: 49)

 

6.   Many people put forth great services for fellow human beings.  They make discoveries, create inventions, find cures, build free clinics and schools, but they lack faith.  God does not wrong them.  God pays them back in this world, but in the life to come, they get nothing.  God informs us in the Quran,

{If anyone desires a harvest in the life to come, We shall increase it for him; if anyone desires a harvest in this world, We shall give him a share of it, but in the Hereafter he will have no share} (Quran 42:20)

Such people do not serve humanity to earn reward in the life to come, they do it to earn fame or to get rich.  They usually get what they worked for.  That is their reward.  God states,

{But the deeds of those who disbelieve are like a mirage in a desert: the thirsty person thinks there will be water but, when he gets there, he finds only God, who pays him his account in full - God is swift in reckoning} (Quran 24:39)

 

These are but just a little drop of water out of an ocean to let us have an idea of how Good Life is viewed by the Qur'an. It has provided us with ways to achieving the best of life through catering for our bodies in what we eat, wear etc; how we deal with others and our Creator as well; what is expected of us as in belief in the unseen and so many other things. It is the conglomeration of these things together that brings about a good and better life.






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