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The Struggle for Witness

Note: This article reveals a sensitive and pertinent point regarding your life. Please read it in a quiet environment with no background music or sounds.


What gives meaning to your life? You may think of many things, religion, children, parents or pursuit for knowledge. Though many hesitate to admit it, the hunt for money gives meaning as well as activities revolving around spending it. In this article, we are to discover a core component of 'meaning' to your life, and how it has shaped you and continuously affects you at every moment.

What you will learn is an essential state-of-mind for self-sacrifice, ego-less character, and a path to good-deeds if understood and implemented correctly. It will also result in loss of a lot purposes and meaning to actions in your life. Yet, this shift is necessary for a wise man or a woman to be. It is where those assumed meanings can be replaced with a more meaningful one, if the original meanings had anything meaningful about them.


The universe is vast and inanimate and does not know you exist.

The universe does not know you exist. Nor do any of the objects around you right now. They do not have a living 'self' through which they see to be able to do that. They cannot confirm whether you are sitting in the room you are in right now, alive or dead. A human being is different because he or she can see you and tell you that you exist.

The Need for Witness

Consider a man who has been stranded on an island with no communication. Assume this island has everything he wants, good food, drinks, shelter etc. Yet, there is not a single being there except for him. The psychological phenomenon that we often cover up with the word 'loneliness' is more intricate than this single word describes. Despite having all he needs, and the enjoyment of all the food and drinks, this enjoyment is not truly enjoyable for him. This is because there is no one there to witness his enjoyment. 'Witness' is the keyword here, because man needs a witness to him to make his or her existence valid and true. Without a witness, no one can testify you exist. In your mind, you will feel you are as good as not existing.

Enjoyment through witness

Enjoying tea time with someone, who acts as a witness to your experience.

The man and woman are enjoying a moment in this photo. Recounting a happy scene, they rejoice together at the thought. The happiness on their faces is not actually due to a logical deduction of the scene they recall. Predominantly, it is due to the fact that at that moment the man feels his existence is being validated through her eyes, the woman too feels her existence is being validated through his eyes. In each other's eyes, they exist - and this makes them feel the universe knows they exist. They each act as a witness to the other to validate each other's existence. There is something significant about ordering the same items on the menu. It is because sharing identical food allows the witnessing of the taste in each other's mouths.

The Role of Testification

A witness not only fills the immediate role of validating your existence, it also fulfils a role of 'testification' to the world. For instance, the man above is able to testify to the world that the woman had that experience. In her mind, this ability of the witness to testify to the world gives the feeling that the universe knows she exists - the universe knows she had tea on that day at that place as the man can carry the news on. This ability of the witness to testify as well, gives the complete feeling of validation in the inanimate universe, compared to witness without testification (more later).

You can think of examples in your life that proves the struggle for witness in you. Perhaps you would never go to the cinema without a friend. You might even be willing to go with a relatively uninteresting friend rather than going alone. You might not enjoy eating by yourself, going shopping by yourself, but you always take someone with you. Even a single person with you validates your existence. It is also true that more the number of witnesses to your experience, the more valid your existence feels as there are more witnesses to testify to what you did.

Enjoyment through witness

The more witnesses who share your experience, the more witnesses available to testify your experience to the world. This you perceive as positive psyche (enjoyment).

On the contrary, the man cast away on the island feels he is good as nothing. Eventually, the good food means nothing more than its nutritional value because the enjoyment of taste no longer appeals without validation of his existence. No activity he does for fun feels like fun. The need for witness is so strong that a man can even have thoughts where he imagines living things to provide him with witnesses. This need of the self to be witnessed and have its existence validated is the title of this article, "The Struggle for Witness".

Night Sky

This stranded man on an island feels like he does not exist because he does not have a witness to his existence in the inanimate universe. Even if he enjoyed something on the island, no one witnessed it and could testify to it. The universe being inanimate, cannot witness him. Without at least one witness, his enjoyments feel meaningless and he feels as good as not existing. This person may eventually think of committing suicide, as there is no point to survive if no one can see him.

Micro and Macro Witnesses

Consider sitting in a public place such as a restaurant. A micro witness is an individual with you who knows you personally and can testify for infinity to your experience. A macro witness are those in the environment who do not know you, but can see you and testify you being there at that moment, and for a short duration after you leave the scene until they forget you. If you were feeling lonely and had no one to eat with, just going to such an environment where there are macro witnesses will give validation of your existence and make you feel better. But since they are not able to testify for very long you also need a micro witness who will permanently remember your experience. For the complete package, you will go with a friend, to a "buzzing" place. This gives you micro and macro witnesses and maximum testification.

Your Feelings of Self-Worth & Long-term Witnesses (Root Witnesses)

The reason why you feel you have an origin in the world, a feeling of self-worth, is because of witnesses who can testify to your early days - moments they witnessed in your past. They can be parents, siblings, relatives and childhood friends. When such a person dies, the feelings of sadness are not purely due to the love you may have for them. A significant part of it is because you have lost a root witness to your life. You have lost a person who can testify to the inanimate universe the portions of your life they were a witness to. With their death, that part of your life essentially does not exist. Thus, they took away with them a part of your self-worth and meaning. The expression, "I felt a part of me died", used by many when a root-witness dies, represents moments from the past has become non-existent and can no longer be testified to.

Family members are often childhood (root) witnesses to one's life,
giving a sense of belonging and self-worth in life.

Orphans have no root-witnesses to give self-worth during adulthood unless they are given love and shelter from someone at childhood. To become a
root witness, the care-taker has to develop a life-long relationship, much like parents. This is why the Qur'an continuously stresses on taking care of orphans.

Sense of Purpose in Life Requires continuous 'Baseline Witness'

Baseline witnesses are witnesses during adulthood who are underlying witness to all your life-events and changing circumstances. All experiences in life a person has needs to take place in the backdrop of continuous base-line witness. If baseline witness does not exist, changing experiences and circumstances of life become random, uncollated and eventually the meaning to actions are lost. Almost all people live and die with baselines witnesses, and almost all never realise this significant truth. As a boy or a girl grows, he gets married and his spouse and children take over from parents and siblings in providing baseline witness as his parents age and die. Thus, the continuous baseline witness to his life never disappears. His achievements, successes, failures and even friends abandoning him have a feeling of sequence, purpose and meaning. Even a great leader is feeble and needs the baseline witness of his family wherein his successes and failures are witnessed. Though a person may be driven to marriage due to companionship needs, sexual urges or having children, the provision of witness is actually the most significant part of marriage and one which is practically never understood. Therefore, spouses and children are the baseline witness in life for life activities to take place in. They give witness to experiences in life which could not be testified to otherwise. Thus, your wife or husband is a form of micro-witness to the grander experiences of your life, giving meaning and worth to all experiences through base-line witnessing. It is interesting to note that even an inharmonious marriage provides baselines witness for life and fulfils this greatest aspect of marriage: provision of continued meaning to life's successes and failures.

Family members provide base-line witness to varying experiences in life. Its need or value is never understood due to seamless transition from 'parents and siblings' to 'spouse and children'. The transition is forced through more potent needs such as falling in love or sexual desire, thus the blessing stays disguised and unnoticed. All people live with base-line witnesses, without whom changing life activities would have felt pointless in the inanimate universe.

Mini floral

Your Actual State of Loneliness

Just think of the daily witnesses to your life. Your wife and kids, your friends circle or colleagues. These make the universe 'see' you, keep you sane and validate your existence. Notice just how small that circle is. Next time you go out and see hundreds of people who do not know you, to them you did not exist. They never knew you were a person born let alone the breakfast you had in the morning. What is being stated here is that from the perspective of another witness who is not your witness, you do not exist. In fact, from the perspective of billions of people you do not exist. But the small circle of witnesses satisfies your mind. You take your few witnesses as the eye of the universe that sees you. This shows that the mind which would otherwise fall ill, suffer from anxiety or hallucinate witnesses can very easily be satisfied with one, two or few witnesses while he remains unknown to billions of others. Or rather, the word 'deceived' is a better word.

Moroccan market

From the perspective of a witness elsewhere, you are like a person who does not exist. Logically, you have just as much reason to feel lonely from the perspective of that being.

This is why phrases such as, "few good friends are better than many bad friends", or, "all you need is one good friend" are very common in many cultures. What they mean is that the human mind only needs one witness to deceive it into happiness. People take the friends in their lives as absolute because adequate validation to their lives happen, at least in their minds. They close the door to new friendships because they have adequate witnesses - who are a few in number. They do not realise that if they did not have those witnesses they have in their lives, like the man on the island by himself, they would be in dire need of the new witness who now wants to enter their friends circle, no matter what their physical attributes and traits are. It may be possible that this individual needs a witness, is lonely, and is being refused. Therefore, such a refusal to be open to new friendships is based on ungratefulness to Allah, the One who made people as witnesses.

Earth from Space

Literally, hundreds of billions of people have lived and died, in towns, cities and civilisations now extinct. The seven billion people who now occupy earth will very soon be replaced by a new set.

New Baby

Your Actual State of Non-existence

You came into the world in a bewildered mind of a child. A child's mind is interesting because it is unable to question why it started existing, or question its so-called originators (parents) to why they brought him into the world. Yet, before you were born, neither time, matter or people existed. When you die, you return to the exact same state of non-existence. In this state, no thoughts, memories, feelings, time, matter or space exist. Nothing exists, and nothing does not exist. The computer screen in front of you will have no existence. The fact that you even lived your life or existed will not be true from the perspective of non-existence. We may even say that you do not exist right now, since with death, the default perspective is non-existence.

From the QuranicPath Article:

Pointless Life

Pointlessness of Witness

A witness makes you feel sane and gives meaning to what are otherwise meaningless actions and thoughts. Yet, we conclude that from the perspective of billions of people, you do not exist and are lonely. Even if you were to amass the attention of all the witnesses in the world, if you move forward or backward just one hundred years from today, the entire population of six to seven billion souls on earth are replaced. This includes all your witnesses. All your witnessed moments are lost. Your spouse saw you wake up each morning. You had hundreds of evening tea times. They are forever lost into non-existence because your spouse died, and eventually your children too. All your moments are unknown to the universe. The tens of billions of people who lived and died in the past did not know your moments nor do you know theres. People of the past came to the earth and lived thinking much like you, they are being witnessed and their lives are absolute and meaningful due to a trivial witnessing of a handful around them. Some of these civilisations have been mentioned in the Qur'an as examples.


The city of Carthage in Tunisia was founded just over 3000 years ago and exists today. It was once a great trading empire and a praiseworthy civilisation notable for its arts, architecture and city planning. A part of its ruins is shown here. This shows the Antonine baths, a super-scale leisure centre built 160AD, which once had unsurmounted architectural beauty, multiple floors containing such luxuries as a heated pool, unheated pool as well as underfloor heating. In the 3000 year history of this city alone, at least 45 generations have lived and died.

"You are like those who lived before you: they were even stronger than you, with more wealth and children; they enjoyed their share in this life as you have enjoyed yours; like them, you have indulged in vain talk. Their deeds go to waste in this world and the next; it is they who will lose all in the life to come." (Qur'an 9:69)


The ancient and extinct city of Al-Hijr, Saudi Arabia, was once a thriving city between 2000-3000 BC, famous for monumental hand-carved houses in mountains. Their people have long vanished. They were destroyed by a natural disaster after a messenger preached the true meaning of their lives. He called them to surrender to Allah alone in exchange for eternal Paradise.

"The people of al-Hijr denied the Messengers. We brought them Our Signs but they turned away from them. They carved out houses from the mountains, feeling safe, but the Great Blast seized hold of them in the morning, so all that they earned was of no use to them." (Qur’an 15:80-84)

Have you been a witness to any of the individuals in the vast number of civilisations that are now extinct? Even if some of their names are remembered, no one knows or gives any significance to their individual moments which they felt were valid and important. You are today exactly one of them. The witnesses you secured in life make you feel the universe sees you but they are doomed to non-existence very shortly. Many generations in cities of great wealth and power have sustained themselves and disappeared in history. Individuals have lived there. If you were a citizen in just one of those civilisations, you would take your existence as absolute. You would most probably never have thought that thousands of years later there will be a 'you' born and you would be reading this website, such a thought is unfathomable. Likewise, it is possible there is another person to be born a thousand years later. All souls are same in essence and your soul is not special nor are your witnesses. Therefore, the life you have is highly transitory and extremely deceptively delusional, it is also truly lonely except the deception of minor witnesses. The witnesses of a very few humans deceives your mind and you aim for a fulfilled life with them as absolute, like billions who came and went.

Girls Having Fun

The best fun is had with a witness. Emotions feel like they exist when they are witnessed.
Yet, witnesses are passing and transitory.

The Power of a Witness in the Qur'an

Allah summarises the fact that the universe including all of mankind only exists due to a single soul being alive. Once a soul stops existing i.e. when it dies, the universe no longer exists from its perspective. The power of a soul to be the eye of the universe, hence a witness, lies in this relationship between the universe and the soul. The following verse summarises the power of a human being as an eye of the universe:

"For this reason, We prescribe to the children of Israel that whoever kills a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he killed all of mankind; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all of mankind." (Qur'an 5:32)

Man commits acts of evil which he would otherwise not commit without a witness. The presence of a witness means acts of evil, which may include making a derogatory statement or an action displeasing to Allah, becomes valid and true. For example, it is seen people display this behaviour within friends circles. However, in the Hereafter, a witness in front of whom a person did an unconscientious deed will disassociate himself from that person:

"His companion said: 'Our Lord, I did not make him a tyrant but he was far misguided himself'." (Qur'an 50:27)

The Eye of the Universe

Struggle for Witness

The "I", or the "self" cannot scientifically be attributed to a chemical reaction in the brain. Though vision and hearing are processed in the brain as electrical signals, the thing that sees and hears those as an "I" cannot be explained by science, as it cannot be attributed to a material function of the brain. For example, a robot executes instructions, but never sees or hears, and no advancement in science or technology in the future can achieve this.

Further Understanding

Your eyes send video signals to the brain's visual cortex. Your ears send audio signals to the auditory cortex. Up to this point, all the data carried from the eyes and ears to the respective brain centers are chemical processes and can be attributed to a material functioning of the brain. Nothing can see this signal (yet). The best example of this is a video camera feeding live video stream to a TV. Who sees this image on the TV? No one does. Even in robots, nothing actually sees. The robot executes an algorithm based on a program that may tell it to move its arms up or down depending on the visual scene, but it does not 'see' the visual scene. You can imagine your eyes as cameras, and a TV in your brain playing the scene. Something 'in there' is seeing this video stream, completing the act of seeing. If that something was not there, it would be like the camera connected to a TV, with no one watching. The thing that sees the chemical reaction of sight cannot scientifically be a chemical reaction. Science can never create this 'something' that "sits there" and watches. The best word to describe it is a spirit or soul, a paranormal being possessing man, beyond materialist scientific explanation. It is an endowment by something or is part of something beyond the material world. Allah, the creator of the universe explains this phenomenon in the Qur'an as follows:

"He made his descendants from a lowly fluid, shaped him and breathed into him His Soul, and made for you hearing, sight and understanding, how little thanks you give!" (Qur'an 32:8)

Understanding Witness Vacancy

Most people neglect travellers and strangers. The uncertainty about their identity is usually the justification for their mentality. Society today gears children to avoid strangers from a young age and the effect continues throughout their lives. However, if we take out any possibility of danger associated with unknown people, it would be seen that majority of the people actually care very little about those around them by default. The explanation to this behaviour goes back to people assigning 'absolute worth' to the witnesses in their lives who occupy what are 'witness vacancies'. To better understand this, consider the people whom you have known for a long time, your long term witnesses to your life who have given witness to your memories, hence meaning in life (i.e. root witnesses / baseline witnesses). These people are actually filling vacancies in your life. Your best friend is filling the vacancy of a best friend, your husband or wife is filling the vacancy of a spouse - a witness to more intimate moments. Have you ever thought about the fact that worldly parameters that led you to meet them are very trivial, and a minor shift could have resulted in a totally different set of people in those vacancies?

Childhood Friends

Your best friend whom you met at school: If you were just a year younger or older, you would have been in a different class and would not have filled the best friend vacancy with him but a different person, in his or her very place there would be someone else. Your friends at work: If your job application was unsuccessful at that company but you got in elsewhere, you would have met a different set of people and made different friends at work. Even the person you fell in love with and married would have easily been someone else if you lived in a different city. We conclude that the selection of the person hangs on very futile variables. Another person could very easily have commanded your love and devotion. Despite how you may feel, these vacancies could have easily been filled by different people, in different places and time.

Witness Vacancies

The above positions can be seen as 'vacancies' which have been filled. The people occupying those vacancies in your life could have very easily been someone else you do not know due to the futile worldly variables that determined their positions. Apart from your emotions, there is nothing inherently special about these people no matter how much you may wish to think otherwise.

Therefore, there is nothing special about the people filling the vacancies of long term witnesses in your life. Herein lies the secret to understanding why you should be open to connecting with anyone on earth. Being totally aware of this, all people are equal and deserve the same level of respect as you would give someone if they were occupying a close witness vacancy.

In the Qur'an, Allah calls on believers to be hospitable and kind to unknown people. A believer is kind and considerate to all people. He realises that another man could have been his best friend whom he cares about so much. Another woman could have been his wife whom he loves so much. Therefore, his kind and excellent hospitable behaviour to all people extends well beyond his personal stakes in life and all people command the sensitivity of his heart. Allah highlights this fact in the following verse of the Qur'an:

"Serve Allah, and do not join any partners with Him. Do good to parents, relatives, orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near and neighbours who are strangers, the friend by your side as well as the traveller, and what your right hands possess. Allah does not love the arrogant and proud ones." (Qur'an 4:36)

It is probable that you assign absolute worth to the people in your life as individuals, and your care is restricted only to them. Without motivation for the Hereafter and ideas inspired by the Qur'an, people have no need to be kind, hospitable and inviting to those outside these vacancies. People tend to become soft to outsiders when they encounter conflict with a person who is occupying a filled vacancy. It is observable that only then do majority of people change their attitude to those outside the vacancies to seek comfort in another witness, or to fill this emerging vacancy e.g. find a new friend. This behaviour is not due to a goodness of the soul, rather selfishness. The believer on the other hand sees all people as worthy individuals, and his hospitality and kindness shows no limitations. For those who believe and strive for the Hereafter, he has a special tender place for them in his heart. See Unity & Love between those who Believe.

One's Family

The believer realises there is nothing inherently special about his own family members over that of others, or any other people. He is thus extremely hospitable, kind and generous to the travellers, the needy, the poor and the orphans.

"Yet, he has not embarked upon the steep path. What will explain to you what the steep path is? It is to free a slave. To feed people in days of shortage. To bring the orphans near as well as the very poor. Only then he would become one of the believers, who exhorts people to the truth and to kindness. These are the companions of the right".
(Qur'an 90:8-15)

The true believer may in default be in the company of his immediate friends and family, who provide him with witness and feeling of validation of his life. However, when an opportunity to do good, host a traveller or a neighbour arises, he immediately prioritises those, "Do good to ...orphans, those in need, neighbours who are near, neighbours who are strangers, the friend by your side as well as the traveller" (4:36). His understanding that no one in his life are special and that his duty in the Qur'an is to do good, leads him to the most outstanding behaviour. In addition, he is thankful to Allah in a way most people are not for giving him with human beings as witnesses. No one, other than Allah can bring a living soul out of non-existence, and bestow it with the power of giving witness.

"Say, 'Who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Or who controls hearing and sight and who brings the living out of the dead and brings the dead out of the living and who arranges every matter?' They will say, 'Allah,' so say, 'Then will you not do your duty to Him?' For that is Allah, your Lord, the Truth. And what can be beyond truth except error? So how are you averted?" (Qur'an 10:31-32)

Disposable Witnesses

We have already touched upon how people close themselves to new friendships because they feel they have enough witnesses who have filled vacancies; adequate validation of their lives happen through them. Thus, they do not need any more. They actually do not realise the true worth of individuals as they have not understood the concepts of Struggle for Witness. This is the majority of the people on earth. This majority can dispose people occupying what are known as, 'marginal witness positions'. People of this position may be subject to styles of interaction which do not show an eagerness to connect, show care or compassion because the repercussion, which is a loss of that person is not hurtful - nothing valuable is lost in their eyes (the filled vacancies remain intact). People occupying marginal witness positions do not occupy a witness vacancy, and are disposable, hence they are called, 'disposable witnesses'.

Disposable Witness

Marginal witnesses are those witnesses who do not occupy a witness vacancy (i.e. best friend, a friend, spouse etc.). Disposable witnesses are those who occupy 'marginal witness positions'.

A modern day example of 'disposable witness' concept is a behavioural pattern where people delay or do not respond to electronic messages, when they respond to others very quickly. Other examples include not being bothered to nurture new friendships because friends vacancies are already filled, or not being resolved to mitigate a misunderstanding with forgiveness and compassion when they would do so if the person was filling a designated vacancy. Many people do not hesitate to severe ties permanently in order to preserve self-interest.

Interestingly, if all the people occupying a person's designated witness vacancies were to be taken away, he would be desperate and helplessly in need of those "disposable witnesses" to fill the vacant witness positions. Considering once again the man stranded on the island, that man would try desperately to keep the favour of just one witness from the world for his soul. He would overlook all the factors that now prejudices him. The marginal witness people in his life before he got stranded would become significant all of a sudden. That is why, people who have been stranded always say they wished they had not said this or that to a distant person - the marginal witnesses appear significant in their minds. The wise believer understands this phenomenon, he or she respects every soul as a giver of witness, and nobody is disposable. He also realises his own power to provide witness to those who need it, whom are those he himself innately needs. He thus treats all people he encounters in life with great care, compassion and openness, with an eagerness to friendships with all souls, regardless of their outer casing.

There is Nothing Special about the People in your Life

The witness vacancy concept shows that there is nothing special about the person you love.

The true believer does not set limitations on who becomes his friend. He also takes the logical behaviours demanded by His Creator to be guiding principles over his emotions. He upholds justice, despite his love for someone. He values people not on mere emotional grounds, but on meaningful terms such as their wisdom and fear of Allah. He honours all people as precious creations of the almighty Creator before all else. The true believer does not take them as absolute and his emotions for them as the absolute feelings. He respects people by the right Allah has ordained upon them. Because he knows there is nothing inherently special about the people he loves in the vacancies of his life and that they could be anyone, he is able to have great humanistic love for all people. Love finds its basis on values that are important before Allah. He is also not in total dependence on anyone's love while also being able to selflessly love and take love. He remains rational over conflicts and does not become sentimental over betrayals or failures in relationships, while always trying hard to maintain good relationships with everyone.

The Travellers

People on journeys, staying at a foreign city or town for a while are vulnerable. They are in an unfamiliar area, where the culture and language may be different and there is no one to provide true care for them. People become vulnerable when they leave the backbone of home. What makes travellers even more significant to a believer is that they have left all known witnesses behind. As we have seen, without witness, life in the inanimate universe is inherently meaningless. The Struggle for Witness is a natural and strong need of every person, no matter what wealth, race or gender the person belongs to. A believer thus looks out for those who are journeying, or passing over his home town, and aims to be a host wherever possible to them, extending a warm hand of hospitality into his or her home. This attribute of a believer has been especially highlighted in many places of the Qur'an.


People on journeys have left all witnesses and the backbone of support they have at home. They require a caring host as a witness and support in their lonely time, and a believer has been ordained by the Qur'an to fulfil this role, "So give as is due to the poor and the travellers". (17:26)

"Those who were already firmly established in their homes and firmly rooted in faith, show love for those who migrated to them and harbour no desire in their hearts for what has been given to them. They give them preference over themselves, even if they too are needy." (Qur'an 59:9)

Man's Struggle for Witness in Daily Life

It can be observed that man's Struggle for Witness is so domineering over his life that much of a person's daily behavioural patterns are very 'useless' and revolves around finding a witness. For example, observing something startling in your mind, you want to express the emotion to the person near you immediately. Some people share seemingly useless thoughts with others, or just say things out of no logical reason to the nearest person. Many people like to simply share seemingly pointless stories with a friend for the sake of getting those trapped ideas witnessed and validated - the thoughts in the mind feel pointless with no witness to them. There is ultimately nothing wrong with this. However, the Struggle for Witness is responsible for generating much of people's problems in life that come from other people talking about them for no good reason, while they too contribute to others' problems.

Women gossiping

The Struggle for Witness results in talking about things that have no logical purpose. It can also lead to gossiping and backbiting, forbidden in the Qur'an {49:11-12}.

Walking, Fashion: Struggle for Witness

People are influenced by the Struggle for Witness in more ways than is apparent. For example, when we observe a person walking, their style of walking is influenced by the knowledge of surrounding witnesses. Most people do not walk in the natural manner their brain signals them to, but is modified by effect of witnesses. Fashion, style and hairstyle are all based on witnesses giving validation to one's body and existence. People do not realise how much their existence is defined by witness. A woman might say, "I wear make-up for my self to feel good, not to please others!" However, if she was stranded alone on an island, wearing make-up would no longer please her as she claims. This is because the validation of her self provided by witnesses is what causes her to feel good about herself. It is nothing to do with pleasing a particular gender, rather the element of witness provided by both genders. There is nothing wrong with this. People are inextricably in need of human beings for mental well-being in a way they never appreciate - for witness: validation of their bodies and existence - in practically everything they do.

Remote Witnesses - The Struggle for Witness through Technology

Mobile technology allows remote access to witnesses located anywhere on earth, validation of existence through sharing of feelings, photos or videos of the experience one is having. Sharing a quick snapshot of the food one is about to have validates what would never be seen again once eaten, and which no one might ever know you ate.

The struggle for witness is an innate urge of the soul to make thoughts, actions and existence valid and true in the inanimate universe. With technology such as the internet and social media, it is possible to fulfil the Struggle for Witness in ways that was not possible in the past. The satisfaction derived from likes, subscriptions and comments from friends or relatively unknown people through social media is due to their feelings and actions being validated and acknowledged as true and existing. As we have seen, actions without witnesses seem pointless. The more people validate a certain post, the more satisfaction people find from the experience they had. Some people have fallen into an intense relentless loop of doing acts of psyche in a Struggle for Psyche and then sharing them through social media in the Struggle for Witness. Religion, or Islam only suffices to keep them distant from wisdom by giving them a sense of overarching spiritual purpose to this worldly way of life. Struggling for psyche entwined with struggling for witness are their main purposes of survival, rather than the purposes defined by the Qur'an, despite their claims otherwise.

Dogs - Witnesses for People who do not have Human Witness

Walking with a Dog

Many people who live alone choose to keep a dog as a pet. People realise a dog is intelligent and provides interactive experience. Most significantly however, a dog is needed because it is a soul and provides witness - even a dog provides witness and validation to a man's existence. A dog however, cannot testify 'to the universe' due to its inability to articulate to humans. This is why a human being is a more desirable form of witness, as it is capable of not just witnessing, but also testifying to the world what it witnesses. As people do not comprehend the concept of Struggle for Witness and what lowly state of mind a man can be reduced to without a witness, they cannot give true thanks to Allah as is due. Allah brings out humans and dogs as souls enclosed in casings from nothingness, "I's" from the dead, consciousness that provide witness to others in this vast inanimate universe.

"Say, Holder of all control, ...You bring out the living from the dead and the dead from the living. In your hand lies all good. You have power over everything." (Qur'an 3:26)

All Consciousness is Allah's - Allah is Consciousness

Existence is Allah - Allah is existence. There is nothing that can have consciousness without Allah. He is consciousness, the only true existence. All human selves are a part of the consciousness (soul) of Allah (32:8), nothing exists outside of His consciousness. Every person therefore, is a part of Allah, manifested as a centralised ego. He sees what you see, hears what you hear and feels what you feel while being independent of it all at the same time.

"None grasps Him in vision but He grasps all vision, He is the All-Subtle, All-Aware." (Qur'an 6:103)

He is thus the ultimate witness over the universe, earth, and every soul that ever lived.

"Allah created everything and is a witness over everything." (Qur'an 39:62)

Yet, man is weak and needs a physical witness. And to fulfil his needs, Allah has made countless witnesses in the world. What falls on man is to gain a new level of respect for every soul in light of his weakness. No "stranger" is a person with no value. They have the power to give you witness and meaning to your life. You need them as witnesses. Had you not filled your witness vacancies in life with the current set of people, you would need them to fill those vacancies.


Nothing is Actually Witnessed - Default State of Non-Existence (Death)

Despite all that has been said - nothing is truly witnessed in your life. From the perspective of Pointless Life from another QuranicPath article, none of your emotions, fun moments, and times you shared with your witnesses have truly been witnessed. Their default perspective is death, with that there is non-existence, which includes a total loss of memory. At each moment the mind is deceived into believing that it is being witnessed and its actions are being validated. Even if we consider the witness concerned is alive for the duration, soon with death, he goes into non-existence and forgets every moment he or she had with you. From this default perspective, they never lived on earth or were born, or even knew you. You were only playing with a phantom being in your interaction with them. There was ultimately no point in sharing that moment with that person - and they did not truly validate your existence. You are actually on a lonely journey. Man's weak and deceived state of mind means he feels his actions are witnessed. In other words, you only deceived your mind in feeling witnessed when it is with a non-existent being. You are actually totally alone, and merely fulfilling a Struggle for Psyche with a need to find a witness for that, which is ultimately artificial.

Playing a Game

Even if they are your own children, they are non-existent in default.

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  1. The Struggle for Witness defines your inherent struggle to find a living soul to validate your actions, thoughts and very existence. The universe is inanimate and does not know you exist.
  2. A human being is able to not only witness, but also testify to the inanimate world the actions and thoughts you shared with him or her. This gives the deceptive feeling that the universe has witnessed you and those actions, thoughts and moments were valid and true.
  3. A 'micro-witness' is a witness who knows you personally and can testify for the duration of his life to the experience you shared together. A 'macro-witness' is someone who was in the surrounding area, who was seeing you in the periphery, but soon forgets your existence.
  4. Your feeling of belonging in the world are due to 'root witnesses' to your life who can testify to the inanimate world your childhood moments to which they were a witness to. They are usually your parents, siblings, and childhood friends.
  5. All the experiences and events in life require 'base-line' witness who provides continuous underlying witness to varying events in life. Without base-line witness, life events become random, unsequenced and feel purposeless. Base-line witness is provided by ones parents and siblings in the first half of life, and seamlessly transitions to spouse and children in the second half.
  6. From the perspective of billions of people, you do not exist and are lonely. Witnessing of a very miniscule number of people makes you feel as though the universe sees you. All the witness in your life will be replaced within a few decades with new people who will not know your moments.
  7. The concept of 'witness' vacancy' describes how people have defined vacancies in their lives filled with people to give them witness. The people occupying these vacancies are found through pathetic means and it could very easily have been a different set of people who could command the same emotions.
  8. 'Marginal witness positions' are filled by people who are not important because they are not filling witness vacancies.
  9. People occupying marginal witness positions are 'disposable witnesses'. They may be subject to dismissive behaviour. However, when a person filling a witness vacancy dwindles in strength of relationship, a person resorts to a marginal witness to fill an arising vacancy.
  10. Because these vacancies define a barrier to compassion, kindness and the Quranic injunction to loving neighbours, travellers and orphans, the believer tries hard to be the most hospitable and caring individual to those around him who do not occupy a vacancy. There is no such thing as a disposable witness for him.
  11. There is nothing special about the people you care about or love, save only by the criteria Allah defines. Thus, the true believer's attitude and behaviour to every individual is not driven only by emotions, but an underlying logical understanding and Scriptural basis.
  12. The Struggle for Witness defines almost all aspects of life: When observing something starting, your eyes move to the nearest witness' eyes to check for witness and find validation of that experience. People share seemingly useless thoughts with friends and colleagues around them, simply for validation. The Struggle for Witness results in spending hours sharing thoughts, ideas and stories from the past. This tendency can lead to backbiting and gossiping.
  13. Remote Witnesses - Modern technology allows one to reach witnesses who would not have been possible to reach a short while ago. 'Remote witnesses' are those who can be reached by means of technology to validate thoughts, actions and emotions.
  14. Despite all the struggle, nothing of man is witnessed. When a witness dies, all of his or her memories of him are wiped out, like a delete button deleting everything on a computer. The being enters the state of non-existence and you truly did not get anything witnessed. Your moments remain unknown to the universe.


The Solution : To Strive for the Hereafter Only

Every man reading this article realises what has been discussed. The intelligent man however, understands (agrees) with what has been said. The wise man on the other hand, brings about fundamental changes in his behaviour, as he does not neglect the changes necessitated by his new understanding. The wise believer takes the Qur'an as his only guide and strives to dedicate his every moment on earth to gain the good pleasure of Allah. Only this way can he escape the deficiencies of pleasure and dissatisfaction with the world, and enter the state of bliss in the Gardens promised by Allah for His true servants.

The Qur'an is the Revelation of Allah and is the only Book that explains to believers the true meaning of faith. It is the only Book which explains to people the attributes of Allah, the favours of Allah and the way of Allah in dealing with disbelieving people, which are the kind of people the believers should not be. Only through the study of the Qur'an can one ever know how to be a due servant of Allah - any other definition of a believer is bound to be distorted. The Qur'an explains the life beyond the existing world, the nature of death, and the Day of Judgment. All matters of guidance have been explained in detail so that the Believers may take lessons from them and conduct themselves according to them. By way of reflecting on the Quranic verses, the true believer increases in his or her faith in Allah and the reality of the Hereafter, an attribute of a true believer stated in the following Verse:

"Believers are they whose hearts tremble with awe whenever Allah is mentioned, and when His verses are recited to them they increase them in faith and on their Sustainer they depend." (Qur'an 8:2)

From the QuranicPath Article:

One Must be Knowledgeable of the Qur'an to be a Servant of Allah

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See also:  

One Must be Knowledgeable of the Qur'an to be a Servant of Allah

There is No Intercession in the Hereafter according to the Qur'an

There is No Punishment of the Grave

Is Having More Children Islamic?

Courage Needed to do Good Deeds

Understanding the Believers