It is one of the oldest questions human beings have asked: why am I here? Why was I born? Why do I exist? What is the purpose of life? This question is supremely important to numerous people but it is an impossible one to answer without help from Allah. Let me explain.
We didn’t choose how we came into this life. We just did because Allah wanted us to be born. Think about it all you want, but that’s the only truth. We didn’t choose anything about our existence. We were born to our parents that we didn’t choose. We were born in a family that we didn’t pick. We were born in a country at a time without anyone asking our permission beforehand. Today, when we are alive, we have an illusion of control: if I want to stay in this family, I’ll stay otherwise, I’ll leave. If I want to stay in this Country I’ll stay otherwise I’ll leave. However, this control doesn’t mean much because we are still bound by who we are: our lineage, nationality, gender and age is all something we never chose.
Human beings are given some freedom in this life: we can become who want to become by studying, reading, traveling, associating with the friends that we choose and disassociating from those that we don’t choose, marrying whom we want and leaving those that we don’t want. However, all of this is also determined by Allah. Sometimes, we want to be friends with some people but we find that we cannot befriend them no matter how hard we try. Some other friends are put in our life without us even trying (maybe they moved to our neighborhood, were in the same school, got hired in the same company, were traveling together somewhere etc.).
What we have control over is how we behave. When we speak, do we tell the truth or do we lie. When we interact with people, do we cheat or are honest in our dealings. When we have power over someone, do we mistreat them or treat them well. We all make mistakes, but do we do the right thing after we made a mistake? Do we ask others for forgiveness and do we forgive them when they ask us for forgiveness. Do we want to recognize our Creator by trying to find out as much as we can about Him or do we ignore Him. Do we pray or do we neglect our prayers. Do we give charity or do we neglect the poor and keep our wealth to ourselves. Do we fast when we are supposed to fast or do we find it too hard to discipline ourselves. Do we ask Allah for forgiveness when we make mistakes.
Our actions and our utterances (what we say with our tongues) is what we have control over. We can choose to be good or we can choose to be bad. That is what we are being tested for in this life. The purpose of our life is to be the best we can be by recognizing Allah, learning what He wants us to do in life and serving Him and being good to other creatures of Allah. Allah sent the Prophet Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam and revealed the Quran in order to spell things out to us. If we read the Quran with understanding, we can be guided to the truth receive the help we need to lead this life with the purpose we were created for. That is the truly happy & fulfilled life everyone is trying hard to live.