Man is a born seeker—a veritable truth-seeking animal. Every human being regards himself as incomplete until he has found that supreme principle by which he can explain his existence in this world and discover the purpose and meaning of his life. Everyone is a seeker. True. But few are finders. Why? Because, where seeking is instinctive, finding is the outcome of one’s own conscious effort.
There have been people who have been truth seekers throughout history; for example, in the pre-Islamic period, there were certain individuals in Arabia, called hunafa who were all truth seekers. Confining themselves to solitary places, they would remember God and say: “O God if we had known how to worship You, we would have worshipped you accordingly.” This was due to their urge to come to grips with reality—an urge such as is found in every human being, the difference between one individual and another being only one of degree: in some, the urge is weak, in others it is strong.
Then, there are some deviations. Some people take certain material objects to be their goal in life and do their utmost to obtain them. But there is an internal evidence that they do so mistakenly. Before obtaining these material objects, they are highly enthusiastic about them. But as soon as they have them in their possession their enthusiasm turns to frustration. For, with experience, they invariably find that what they have struggled for so hard, has failed to give them the desired sense of fulfillment. All these material things in this world are meant to fulfill only our physical needs. They have nothing to do with the purpose of our lives. This purpose can be only spiritual in nature, and not something material.
Man attains distinction only when he leads a purposeful life. A purposeful life is one in which man discovers his higher status. An animal strives to obtain food; a bird flies in search of a better country when the seasons change; a wasp busies itself building its own home from tiny dust particles; a herd of deer protects itself from wild beasts of prey. All these appear to be purposeful actions. But when the phrase “a purposeful life” is applied to man, it does not refer to efforts of this nature. Without doubt man, too, has to arrange for food, clothes and habitation for bare survival. Man’s life, however, becomes purposeful only when ….[ Read More]