Is it not desirable to intend paradise as a goal for good deeds?
What is contentment in paradise?
If our aim is to do good for gaining comfort in the hereafter we are feeding our selfishness and no matter how hard we try we will continue to fall into the trap of the world of illusion.
However, if we turn around and first perfect our faith and belief in the existence of our creator and then contemplate our relationship with him...we then turn around seeking his approval his love in all our actions...how easy it is to do things for the one we love? Life is in itself a journey for his love...
If we address our life with the aim of achieving his love it makes the act of Tazkia so much easier.
Man is an emotional animal/species...we need to feel and understand the depth of our relationship with Allah. His Laws are to be interpreted through the contemplation of what he is trying to teach us...how he is trying to show us the importance of nurturing the spirit and soul of our existence.
If we aim to find favor with him and not just to gain comfort in the next world but to gain his love and then whatever he may give us at the end of the journey it should include his love for without it this journey will be meaningless and Paradise an empty cold place.
Thanks for a well thought response.
Life is an ongoing journey to learn more and more. One should never get stuck at one station to not be able to achieve a higher one.
I would have been a follower of the philosophy you have mentioned had I not read the Qur'an. I understand what is in it to be superior to everything else. God has expressed Himself in His book to guide the entire mankind.
It is the Qur'an which tells us that the objective of achieving the success of paradise is the ultimate goal of humans. It's neither selfish nor lowly to seek it. It's not a this-worldly goal. It is sought only because God has promised it. God's love and concern for the paradise aren't distinct goals. It's like I love my father and he wants me to become a doctor. Working to be a doctor would be working to love my father. My father knew it's important for my future to be a doctor, If I won't strive to be a doctor and yet claim to love my father, my claim will not only be hollow, but I will also show that I am more intelligent than my father.
In real life I can actually decide better than my father, but I can never know better than God who knows that I am not a super human. Like I have needs in this life, I'll have them in the hereafter too.
To sum up, Qur'an urges that we make paradise our goal. It can't teach us anything inferior. It is the love of God which inclines us to seek success in the hereafter as our goal. And the two go hand in hand.