The Purpose of Creation
By Hadhrat Maulana Maseehullah رحمه الله
Insān (man/mankind) has been created for ʿibādat (the worship of Allāh l). When insān fulfills this objective and fills his 17 to 18 hours with ʿibādat, the 6 to 7 hours reserved for sleep also become ʿibādat, because those 6 to 7 hours are to refresh that insān for ʿibādat during the remaining 17 to 18 hours. It follows that a person’s whole life, both waking and sleeping, is for ʿibādat.
Whatever work one has to tackle, one should first think: ‘This task that I am about to do has to be done within the confines of the sharīʿah. What are the sharʿī laws in respect to this task?’ The tasks may vary. Some have to farm. Others are in employment. Others are in trade and commerce. Others are artisans. Others have to teach. Others have to study; and so forth.
So, the farming that the farmer does also becomes ʿibādat. But when? When he farms according to the ʿilm (knowledge) that Allāh l and his Rasūl صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم have passed on. The farmer has to adhere to the laws of Allāh l: What type of land is it? Whose land is it? Is it his or somebody else’s? If so, does he have the owner’s permission or is he farming without his permission? Is the owner happy or displeased? Has the land been grabbed and usurped or has the owner given permission without duress?
If everything is according to the sharīʿah thus far, the next phase of farming is planting seeds. How have the seeds been bought? What are the laws of buying and selling? And so forth. If this farming is done according to the sharīʿah from beginning to end, then it is ʿibādat. The moment the farmer deviates from the sharīʿah, it ceases to be ʿibādat. The farmer has deviated from the purpose of his creation.
What about the 6 to 7 hours set aside for sleep? This period is meant for sleep. Is anybody stopping you from sleeping 6 to 7 hours?
On face value the period spent sleeping appears wasted and does not appear to be ʿibādat. However, this sleep is a means of regaining bodily vigor, of refreshing the body and mind, of bringing cheer and joy into the heart, of attaining tranquillity within oneself, so that the remaining 17 to 18 hours may be utilised for ʿibādat. This act of sleeping for the sake of ʿibādat is also an ʿibādat! This sleeping is like gold, very precious and valuable, because it is for the sake of ʿibādat, which is in itself very precious.
(Majālis Masīḥul ʿUmmah: For Friends – Vol. 1, page 226)