Fulfilling Our Individual Life Purposes

Lessons from the Heart
By Amina Cisse Muhammad
Writer - U.S.

The third article of this series (“Being Aligned with Our Fitrah as Human Beings”) discussed the inclination that we all share as human beings to worship, obey and love Allah as our Creator and Sustainer. While this is our collective purpose, each of us has an individual purpose as well (“To each is a goal to which Allah turns him…” Al Baqarah 2: 148) that requires  us to develop and utilize the personal gifts and talents bestowed upon us by Allah.




It is imperative that we recognize our individual purposes in order to fulfill our collective purpose. Hence, the saying, “Life is not about finding oneself; it’s about creating [in my words, discovering and developing] oneself.”  


Our early childhood should facilitate this development. Our discussion on self-love points out the importance of children growing up in a loving environment that encourages self-love and acceptance. However, because parents themselves are sometimes lacking in positive self-regard, and are unsure of their own purposes, they are incapable of planting the seeds that should lead to their children’s self-discovery. Consequently, many people unfortunately spend their entire lives without truly discovering their strengths or utilizing them, and most are unaware of the richness of human talents.


In the words of the leading management and performance authority Brian Tracy:


“There lies within each person a huge reservoir of untapped potential for achievement, success, happiness, health and greater prosperity. It’s like a huge ocean unsailed, a new continent unexplored, a world of possibilities waiting to be released and channeled toward some great good.”


Allah tells us in the Qur’an that we will be held accountable for our use, abuse and neglect of the gifts He has bestowed upon us:


{“It is He who hath made you His agents, inheritors of the earth. He hath raised you in ranks, some above others, that He may try you in the gifts He hath given you…} (An Anam 6: 165)


While some may interpret this verse to refer to financial wealth, the talents and skills that we possess are often more valuable than money.


If you are not quite sure about your own personal mission, the following exercise may help you begin to identify it.


  • First, write down five of your strengths or positive traits (if you have a hard time doing this, I recommend you refer back to my article on self-love).


  • Then, write down five activities that you really like.


Compare your two lists. How many of the activities require the strengths that you wrote down? Our individual life purposes are typically linked to our strengths and passions.


Another question you can ask yourself is: “If all my financial needs were met, what would I be doing with my life?”


If you’re one of those fortunate people who are already doing what you believe Allah has placed you on earth to do, I invite you to take a look at how you can take it to the next level.  


There are few more rewarding feelings than the zeal and satisfaction that comes with working to fulfill our life purposes. To quote playwright George Bernard Shaw:


“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.


“I want to rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no ‘brief candle’ to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as rightly as possible before handing it on to future generations"


Visualization, a technique of consciously picturing in one's mind a desire you want to fulfill, often helps in gaining a clearer vision of one's life purpose. In conclusion, I invite you to try the following visualization exercise:


In the name of God the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficent


Insha’Allah, we are going to visualize our world with everyone in it fulfilling their human and individual purpose, which can help you to do your part to make the world a better place.


  • First, close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. Consciously relax your body from head to toe.


  • Next, visualize a world where you and everyone else in it is a believing,  upright Muslim following their natural fitrah ( their human purpose in life) by following Allah’s commandments as laid down in the Holy Qur’an and as exemplified by all of His Prophets from Adam to Muhammad (May Allah’s Peace be upon them). The world is full of love, divine light, mercy, compassion, and plenty for everyone. It is free of greed, envy, hate, poverty, crime, war, disease and illness.


  • Now, envision everyone having realized their individual purposes in life as well. Everyone is doing exactly what they were created to do. Because we all have unique missions, no one is envious of anyone else.


  • Imagine your day. How does it feel to be full of love, full of energy, full of enthusiasm for life? How does it feel to be consumed by your purpose in life, and not by worrying about how you are going to survive? What is it like to be living out your dreams and passions… to be fully utilizing all of the gifts that Allah has given you?


  • Envision yourself reaching out to the youth – helping them to identify their talents, and to pursue their dreams. Experience the peacefulness, the sense of satisfaction and joy – the reward that comes with knowing that you are living life optimally; making the most of each and every day.


  • Feel grateful to Allah and for all His many blessings in your life. Be filled with appreciation for His wonders… for Him having created this incredibly beautiful and spectacular world, for having created you., and for having given you the blessings of Islam, as well as a loving family and community.


  • Consider this line of poetry: “Each soul is like a drop of water without which the whole world would thirst” (poet and playwright Ugo Betti).


  • Now, march forth boldly into the world… proclaiming all of Allah’s blessings, and proclaiming yourself to the world - amin!
Brian Tracy. The Treasury of Quotes. Your Success Store. U.S. 1998.  


Shaw, G. B. Man and Superman (play), 1903.


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