Researchers in psychology are keen to understand the human condition and how things can be improved. A prominent psychologist recently gave a TED talk in which he summed up his latest research. His insights revealed three major issues that face people in our society:
On hearing this many passages of The Majestic Quran came to my attention. So, I asked isn’t this what the Quran diagnosed as the ‘poorly human condition’. Let’s briefly examine them and see what solution Islam offers.
This is when we can’t stay focused on one thing for too long. Social media, smartphones and the desire to sample everything around us has reduced our attention span and focusing ability. The Quranic solution to this is a simple one, be mindful, live in the moment, enjoy the task underway, reach out and the best way to do this is by remembering the Loving Lord. The term Taqwa sums this up nicely.
The second issue he highlighted is the growing loneliness. The UK already has an army of nine million people who identify themselves as being lonely. During the pandemic, this has been severely heightened. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) taught us to build a social network around us, a family, husband, wife, children, parents, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. The next circle is your neighbours, work colleagues, these concentric circles can keep growing and growing. He emphasised the role of relatives in our lives “anyone who wants to live a long, healthy life let her/him be good to his/her relatives.” So, pick up the phone now and say salam to your sibling who you haven’t spoken to in ages!
Loss of purpose of life
The professor of psychology said the third issue our society faces is ‘meaningless life’, people have no purpose to live for. The Majestic Quran asks “Did you reckon We created you without a purpose and you wouldn’t be returned to Us?” (Al Mu’minun: 115). This rhetorical question emphasises that life is a great gift, purposeful and full of rich meanings.
The Quran’s meta-narrative is about what life means. We all love stories and the Quran is full of beautiful stories. These are stories of past Prophets, their lives and works and they relate the history of Human disobedience eloquently, as well as stories of sincere and devout people. Stories are about real life, they have a plot, contain a sense of mystery and they lead to something where we can relate to them.
It’s the story of Allah: His Majesty, creation, love and wrath. By providing headings to these stories I have made it easy to recognise where a story begins and ends. The one who gives meaning to life. I believe that by looking at what Allah is doing in the lives of people, we can see connections to our own everyday life, they show how Allah works with and through people. The Quranic stories connect the past ages with the world of today.
What are you going to do?
I invite you to open Allah’s Book, study Allah’s words so you can avoid the trappings outlined above. Stay focused, be connected and full of life. Read The Majestic Quran with fervour and passion.