Human beings are special and different from all the other creatures.
Unlike the other creatures, such as the plants and animals, man was created from clay and not from water. Allah says:
We created man from sounding clay; from mud moulded into shape. (15:26)
Allah put in the personality of man two dimensions; a physical and a non-physical. As such he is charged with the responsibility of looking after and taking care of both. Just as the parent looks after himself and his infant; so too each and every one of us has to look after the nafs (physical dimension) and the ruh (non-physical dimension).
We are commanded to keep the physical dimension pure and clean. This is achieved through tahaarah (wudu, ghusl etc). With regards to the non-physical we have to use the physical dimension to keep it pure and clean through our thoughts, morals, conduct, etc. The other creatures don’t have a soul so man is different in this regard.
The other reason that makes us different from all other created things is that Allah has given humans the power of choice. We can either engage in good or choose to commit evil. The other creatures are not free to choose, they submit to Allah irregardless of conditions and feelings. This is their natural way.
Depending on the choices we makes there is reward or punishment. Allah makes mention of this in His Holy Words;
One highway is rough and steep. Traversing along this one is a bit challenging and difficult, but it will lead you to a most beautiful and relaxing place. The other highway is smooth and straight; easy and extremely comfortable to traverse on, however this particular highway will lead you to a precipice. Which one will you prefer?
Do you want to endure a little inconvenience while traversing along life in order to qualify yourself to enter the blissful garden? Or do you prefer ease and comfort in this temporary world for an eternity in the hell fire?
We are charged with this great responsibility. The decision is in our hands. On one hand, we have to take care and give due importance to both the physical (nafs) and non-physical (ruh) dimensions of our personality. On the other hand we must make the right decisions that will enable us to be accepted in the Paradise that Allah has prepared for the righteous. It sounds simple and in retrospect it is. However when we are faced with the trials and difficulties of life it becomes a bit difficult.
We need to have complete faith in our Merciful Loving Lord, because He will never let us down. Surely, He will test us at different times and in different ways, but He will never abandon us. Turn solely to Him and know that He will always take care of your affairs because He knows what is best for us.
May Allah, through His Divine Grace and Mercy, guide us to conduct ourselves in a manner that will nurture both aspects of our personalities and may He enable us to make decisions that will earn His Love and Satisfaction; and, insha Allah through this struggle and work we will be among the blessed ones to have beautiful meeting with Him on the Day of Accountability.