So what is the ultimate goal of Islam? What was the transformation of the people and what does the religion bring to the world?
The Quran defines the mission of our prophet and thus those who follow him as mentioned in the section about Muhammad (PBUH). It was to bring benevolence and compassion to the world (21:107). The only way we can do this is engage in self-accountability checking our egos and desires by our commitment to God. As beings with many imperfections we must seek peace and comfort in closeness to perfection.
“He guides those who turn to him. They are those whose faith brings tranquility to their hearts. It is truly in the remembrance of God do the hearts become tranquil.” (13:27-28)
When you are close to and in the remembrance of The Merciful Compassionate Beneficent God, then you will be affected accordingly.
In the chapter of the dawn, God addresses man’s corruption from tyrants to selfish individuals. He then challenges us to not be part of the problems of and embrace altruism and benevolence. He calls us to account for our lack of special care for the orphans or feeding the poor. He warns us of fighting over inheritance, hoarding wealth and materialism. Then he reminds us of the coming hour of the Day of Judgment and how many people will regret their lives wishing they had not been so selfish and materialistic. Then in the end he depicts the reality of the altruistic benevolent believer,
“O tranquil soul, return to your Lord whom you were pleased with as He you. Enter eternal bliss among My servants.” (89:27-30)
The very next chapter of the Quran is called “The Homeland”. It speaks again to man’s negligence of his soul and his accountability thereof. It tells us of the purpose of life and what we are to use our gifts for,
“Didn’t We (Majestic Plural) give each of you two eyes to see with and a tongue and lips to speak with? Didn’t We guide you to know the difference between good and evil. But man has not embarked on that steep climb of morality. What is this steep climb of morality? Free the slaves! Feed those in hunger! Eradicate poverty, take under your wing the orphans close to you. The reality is that those on the right path are the believers who others in patience and fortitude as well as compassion and benevolence.” (90:8-18)
Islam calls us to benevolence and excellence in character toward others. The Quran relates the worship of God as only true if it moves us to be Godly toward those around us.
“Worship God alone and exert your best manners toward your parents, your family, the orphans, the poor, your immediate neighbors and those after them, your friends and colleagues, the wayfarer and those under your authority. Indeed God does not like the arrogant and boastful.” (4:36)
The Prophet (PBUH) was once sitting with his companions and boldly told them,
“You are not true believers until you are benevolent. They responded, “But we are O messenger of God!” He then taught them, “It is true benevolence when it is toward your friends or family, but rather it must be toward everyone.”