The Age-old question: What is the purpose of life?
In order to accomplish anything of benefit or value, we need to know why we are here. This is the crucial first step, finding a purpose.
If I create a hammer, I would have to have a purpose in mind (hammering something) before creating the hammer.
[00:03:00] YUSHA’S BACKGROUND
Before reverting to Islam, back in 1998, Yusha Evans was a Christian. Upon studying the bible from cover to cover and realizing many things were askew, and a lot of what he believed his entire life was not in line with what his research found, he left Christianity and went in search of the truth. After many twist and turns, ups and downs and after looking at the many world religions searching for the tangible proof of the right way of life he encountered a Muslim, and was given a Qur’an. After reading the Qur’an cover to cover he accepted Islam in the winter of 1998.
“What is the purpose of my life? And that was the answer I was looking for and something I was seeking.” – Yusha Evans
[00:05:36] EXISTENTIAL CRISIS
Yusha wants to find out the purpose of his life, but he is afraid. Why? Because that means he would have to make a drastic life change and rethink all his beliefs.. He has invested so much time and effort in this ideology that he is afraid to open his mind to critical thinking. Initially, he continued being a Christian, but as cognitive dissonance sets in, he finally decided to take a plunge to find out the truth.
What particularly terrifies Yusha Evans from making this life change?
In economics, we call it the sunk-cost fallacy.
“Reasoning that further investment is warranted on the fact that the resources already invested will be lost otherwise, not taking into consideration the overall losses involved in the further investment. ‘We have to keep going (investing) because otherwise what we have already spent will be wasted’.
Because Yusha Evans has invested so much time and dedication to a particular style of thinking, he is reluctant to change his point as of view pre-1998. Verbatim:
[00:05:43] “I would have to change. My ideas have to change. My life has to change. Everything about me is going to change revolving on that purpose. And one thing if human beings are afraid of anything, we’re afraid of change. Change is frightening.” – Yusha Evans
Yusha Evans is a Psychology major and knows this very well!
Humans are creatures of habit – https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/creatures-habit/200907/we-are-creatures-habit
[00:07:38] PURPOSE OF LIFE – ISLAM’S POV
Everyone has different reasons to get out of bed; to get a job, to go to work, to make a cup of coffee.
But one thing that is very beautiful about Islam is that the Muslim is taught to fine-tune that reason to a central point.
[00:09:54] ANALOGY #1 STARTS
[00:12:07] ANALOGY #1 ENDS
[00:12:40] CONSEQUENCES OF HAVING NO PURPOSE IN LIFE!
“Vices, suicide and drugs.” – Yusha Evans (Paraphrased)
[00:17:47] ANALOGY #2 STARTS
[00:20:55] ANALOGY #2 ENDS
[00:22:38] Yusha Evans reiterates that creation is not by random chance; rather it is careful planning and design.
He references the moon, stars, the sun, bees, and even salmon. This cannot be by random chance. You can’t put a bunch of mechanical tools in a bag, shake it for a billion years and then hope it becomes a Rolex watch!
Yusha Evans gives brilliant analogies here.
There is no doubt what we see around us is by design, not by random chance. Zero, Zilch!
[00:26:09] DESIGN – THE HUMAN BEING
Take a look at yourself in the mirror.
Isn’t it amazing how the brain is able to store so much information. Think about the serotonin, dopamine, and neurotransmitters that makes the human mind. And that’s not even 0.01% of what makes the mind so great. The brain’s architecture that is going about, firing information a millionth of a second every single moment of your life!
Think about your eyes! The greatest camera that ever existed. The eye translates what you see visually into the brain that starts an entire process in a microsecond.
All our organs are in-sync and has a purpose. They complement each other. Can that be a random set of circumstance? Answer: It can’t! This can’t be by random chance, but of a higher power.
[00:30:19] THEORY OF PROBABILITY
“Everything has a purpose. So what is that purpose? Is our life just to enjoy, eat, sleep, be married as the hedonist* would say?” – Yusha Evans
* Hedonism is a school of thought that argues that the pursuit of pleasure and intrinsic goods are the primary or most important goals of human life.
“If hedonism is the way of life, then “is life for some and not for others?”
Yusha Evans believes that everyone has a purpose; from the paraplegic, to the blind, to the death, to the disabled.
[00:34:27] ISLAM IS NOT AN ABSTRACT IDEA
Islam is a way of life; Islam is not what you see on CNN.
It’s a way of life based on principles that the Creator has sent to us through his many prophets and messengers.
Islam does not change according to time, period, date, or place.
Islam is one thing.
The negative connotations tied to the word “Mozlem.”
The reason why God created us onto this earth is for us to submit ourselves to him every day of our lives with sincerity in obedience to him to have peace in this life and the next life.
Surah 51:56, Adh-Dhariyat-
“Wama khalaqtu aljinna wal-insailla liyaAAbudoon”
English: “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me.”
The purpose of life is to please the one that created you!
[00:50:44] FREE WILL
Yusha Evans believes in free will.
The Creator has given us free will to do what we wish.
“But in order to be a Muslim, what I do is that I take that free will that he gave me and I give it back and say, “I don’t want to do my will anymore because if I try to do it myself, I’ll do a lot of mistakes. I can’t figure it out on my own.” – Yusha Evans
So we return our will to our creator.
“You created me. You put me here. So tell me what to do.” – Yusha Evans
[00:51:45] WHAT BEING A MUSLIMS MEANS
*The sun is a Muslim.
*The air is a Muslim.
*The moon is a Muslim.
Why? Because it is submitting itself to its creator and fulfilling its role.
“I have free will, so why do I give my will back to my creator?”
“So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted” – Surah Tawbah, 111
Islam is basically a deal with your Creator, If you fall in line and be kind towards others, you will be granted Paradise.
Do what we are created to do! Please our creator!
[00:55:07] MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH
“Your life has meaning. It has great importance!” – Yusha Evans.
[00:56:31] ADDRESSING THE GUESTS (NON-MUSLIMS)
The word, “Jihad,” is not a bad word.
Jihad is a beautiful word.
“Jihad means to make effort, to struggle against injustice no matter where it may be on the earth. A struggle against tyranny. A struggle against oppression. A struggle against evil. A struggle to put truth forward.” – Yusha Evans
Book of Oppresions:
“Allah’s Messenger said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one.
People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?”
The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.”
– Sahih al Bukhari
[01:02:19] JIHAD AGAINST TERRORISM.
If someone were going to strap a bomb on themselves, walk into a supermarket and blow themselves up, and we found out about it, what should we do?
We stop him. We stop him even if we have to take him out ourselves. We got to stop him.
[01:04:22] WHAT IS SHARIA?
Sharia means a way; a path. A path that leads to some benefit.
Sharia is a set of rules and laws that the Creator has designed for his creation so that humanity can fulfil its ultimate role in life; to fulfil their purpose.
[01:09:32] SUMMARY AND FINAL THOUGHTS
Our purpose of life in Islam is to recognize our creator and submit our will to him, and live our life according to him.
(3:190-191) Surely in the creation of the heavens and the earth,4 and in the alternation of night and day, there are signs for men of understanding.
Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly.
[01:13:35] ENDING STATEMENT
Sit down and reflect on your purpose of life!
“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose [resulting] plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes [scattered] debris. And in the Hereafter is severe punishment and forgiveness from Allah and approval. And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion.” – Surah Al Hadid: 57:20
Speaker: Yusha Evans, USA
Writer: Saiful Bahri Bin Baharom, Hougang.