This is our belief that this world is transitory and we should strive for the life in the Hereafter. If this is so, then, what is the need to engage in worldly affairs like research works in different disciplines of medicine, engineering, space etc. Any how, one is destined to die one day then what is the use of all such activities?
Man’s involvement in worldly activities is not based upon any religious directive, but is, in fact, related to his inherent nature, abilities and desires.
There could be various reasons for one to relish activities that may not be beneficial for his self in one’s own life span. However, I would allude to some of the more significant ones:
Man has inherited his urge to make his life in this world more and more suitable and comfortable. He tries to enrich the available facilities and enhance the sources for the future generations. This is because of a strong social memory which he possesses. He does not engender offspring and forget them, like most animals do, after sometime rather he remains emotionally attached to them throughout his life. This is one of the most striking differences between humans and animals. Unlike other animals, man craves for close relationship with his relations and does not remove them from his memory even after a long time. This strong social memory keeps him emotionally attached to others and brings him upon doing his best to benefit not only his immediate, but also his future generations. This urge of man does not whither even in the absence of relations. Thus, man works for the betterment of his future generations and strives to bring comfort to the lives of his descendents even without coming into acquaintance with them. Had this realization not been there we would have been living the life of the first generation on earth. Like animals, man would then strive only for his own needs and no progress would have been possible in any of the spheres of human activity.
Man knows that he cannot achieve all the facilities he enjoys in this world, by himself alone. He is alive to the fact that all the advancement he enjoys has in fact been passed on to him by his ancestors. This sense makes him think that he should also play his part in this struggle.
Another inherent urge in man is that he desires to transform this world into a cherished place – Jannah – for which he has a strong desire implanted strongly within his nature. To achieve this ideal he works and adds to the collective knowledge of the human beings in this world and, thus, the inheritance accumulates. In this manner, fulfilling his own urge to realize his dreams for an eternal and ideal life, he benefits the coming generations.
I hope this helps
Tariq Mahmood Hashmi
February 4, 2003