Why can man not take as much pleasure as animals can from life?

The Details of the Question

- Why does man become a soldier of a sparrow? Will you explain it with examples?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- First of all, we should say that it is an indication of man’s being created as a candidate for the hereafter that man cannot take as much pleasure as animals can from life.

For, there is a great contradiction between man’s not taking as much pleasure as a sparrow can from the world and having such a large scope as “having a heart similar to the throne, an imagination looking at the realm of similitude, a memory that gives information from the Preserved Tablet, a mind that represents the realm of angels, a curiosity that reaches all over the world and desires that reach eternity. This contradiction can be eliminated only through man’s being a candidate for the hereafter, the land of eternal bliss.  

Otherwise, if man is squeezed between the two narrow walls of the worldly life with his great faculties, he will explode like a balloon. This is contrary to divine wisdom.

- One of the most important reasons why man cannot take as much pleasure as animals can from life is his mind. Mind is a nice tool of happiness but it virtually becomes a tool of torture due to the sorrows it brings from the past and worries from the future.

However, animals do not think about the problems they had in the past, for instance, their relatives that died, and they do not have any worries about the future by thinking about the state of themselves or their relatives.  

The following statement of Badiuzzaman Said Nursi – which we include in the form of a summary – sheds light on the issue:  

“Again, is it at all possible that He Who rules justly, Whose mercy is absolute, should bestow on man such a disposition that he took up the Supreme Trust, from which the heavens and mountains both shrank, in order to measure and know, with his slight and petty measures and crafts, the all-encompassing attributes, the universal workings, and the infinite manifestations of the Creator; that He should create him as the most delicate, vulnerable, weak and powerless of beings, while yet entrusting him with the regulation of all the vegetal and animal life upon earth, and causing him to intervene in their modes of worship and glorification of God? Is it possible that He should cause him to be a representation in miniature of His cosmic processes; that He should cause him to proclaim His glorious dominicality to all beings, in word and deed; that He should prefer him to the angels and give him the rank of vicegerent — is it at all possible that God should bestow all of this on man and not give him eternal bliss, the purpose, result and fruit of all of these duties? That He should cast him down to low degree, as the most wretched, ill-fortuned, humiliated and suffering of all His creatures?"

"Is it at all possible that Allah should make of intelligence, a gift from His own wisdom and a most blessed and luminous tool for the attainment of happiness, an inauspicious and somber tool of torment for that wretch, thus acting in total contradiction to His absolute wisdom and in opposition to His absolute mercy? No, it is by no means possible.(Sözler, Onuncu Söz, p. 87)

“Although man does not receive the pleasure from life that a sparrow receives, he becomes the most eminent and happy guest in the universe, superior to all the animals, and the best loved and most acceptable servant of the universe’s Owner.” (Asa-yı Musa, p. 42)

“Furthermore, man’s nature and spiritual faculties show that he is created for worship. For in respect of the power and actions necessary for the life of this world, he cannot compete with the most inferior sparrow…” (Sözler, p. 23)

It is understood from the explanations above that man does not lose anything from his skills because he cannot fly like a sparrow, cannot run like a rabbit, cannot carry loads like a camel and cannot be as strong as a lion. For, he is a candidate for eternity, a candidate for a more enjoyable life than all living beings and an invitee to a place like Paradise. What distresses him is to lose it.

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