Purpose of life
When man comes into this world it is necessary for him to determine the purpose or aim of his life. He should ask himself, what is the purpose of my life? For example, if you have a car and you drive it, then there is some purpose, for amusement (entertainment), to go sightseeing, or to go to work, etc. The point is that even when you drive an ordinary car, there is a purpose behind it. So seemingly we have to drive this life, and it is evident (apparent) that man gets to live only once, not over and over again. Therefore, man has to determine a purpose for life. A life without any aim is worthless and dead. If a human being does not have any aim in life, then it as if he is dead. Although the aim may be correct or incorrect, it is necessary to have a purpose to life. You have to determine the aim of your life yourself, have someone else establish it, or have the people ascertained (determined) it. Because we have come into this world, we must have a purpose; if not, we will be considered dead.
For example, if we enter a school, there must certainly be an aim or purpose behind our doing so. If we enter the school without any aim or purpose, then we would be considered unintelligent and unreasonable. Now how do we decide what the purpose of our life is, by means of propaganda and false preaching, e.g., the media, radio, newspapers, television, etc.? Will these tell us what our purpose in life should be? Likewise, society and the environment, all these things, create your purpose. However, if you think with your own intellect, and, after thinking, formulated (stated clearly) a purpose for your life, then you are free and successful. If you are formulating a purpose based on what others say or if someone else is formulating a purpose for your life that this is the purpose of your life, then you are a slave because you are not thinking with your own intellect. Someone else is feeding this matter in your mind, through means of radio, TV, propaganda and environment or by means of relatives. So, in this instance you are a slave and you will pass your whole life in slavery. However, if you use your own intellect and establish your purpose after deliberation (intentionally) and reflections (pondering), then you are free.
Now let us see how others describe and create the purpose of your life. Let us say that you live in a village and everyone there is talking about how so-and-so went to Saudi Arabia, and it’s amazing what a big bungalow he had built. He has a car and his wife has so much gold. Such talks are going on in your house and people are telling you to also make this your aim and go to Saudi Arabia. Or such talks are going on in your neighbourhood that you make this your aim. So-and-so works in customs and his house if full of things from all over the world, by accepting bribery (corruption). The environment and society or your family and your nation are telling you to make this the aim of your life. You have not thought of this yourself; rather, the villagers told you to do this. If you think about it, there are thousands of such examples. Yet, that man is free who reasons with his own intellect that what should the purpose of my life be, not deciding one by imitating (copying) others.
The real reason why man today is wretched (unfortunate) and distressed (upset) is because often satanic minds use the radio, TV, and newspapers, all of these are used for incorrect aims. They are feeding in people’s minds that the purpose of life is wealth and money. As a result, man forgets civility (politeness), honour, and Islam. Yet, the free human being is he who thinks for himself.
Now let us examine the third stage of the purpose of life that we must establish. How should it be done thus we may achieve success, and nothing but success, in this world and the Hereafter. Such a purpose of life should be formulate (set) so that we never face defeat and are victorious in every field. Determine such a purpose of life so that you always have tranquillity, peace of heart, contentment, and happiness. Not only for this world, but attain happiness in this world as well as the Hereafter. Both this world and the Hereafter will become cultivated (improved). This matter is very important; our purpose should result in nothing but happiness and success. How will that happen? The reality is that all happiness and sorrow, worry and tranquillity are not external things. We think that happiness comes from outside; sorrow, worry or tranquillity is not external entities. Actually, these are all internal things. These entities are found within our being. What are they? They are our intellect (fikr), desires, and our aim.
 The Commander of the Faithful Great Scholar ‘ Ali (A) said:
“Whoever becomes involved into world’s allurements, thus giving up his gains from his immortal life in the Next World -has indeed been cheated.” Gharar al-Hukm,