Quranic Reflection No 642. Āyat 10:7 – Lack of faith in the hereafter

إنَّ الَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ لِقَاءَنَا وَرَضُوا بِالْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَاطْمَأَنُّوا بِهَا وَالَّذِينَ هُمْ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا غَافِلُونَ

Indeed, those who do not expect to meet Us, being pleased and content with this worldly life, and who are heedless of Our signs.

(Surat Yūnus, No.10, Āyat 7)

This verse describes the qualities of people whose actions will result in loss and suffering for them in the Hereafter. Two main qualities are described here:

1) Lack of hope in the meeting with Allah. Not expecting anything after death makes the human being attached and pleased with the world. Without faith in Allah ‘azza wajall and belief in the return to Him there is nothing but the transient life of this world to look forward to. Thus, such people become completely occupied in what the world has to offer. Allāmah Tabātabā’ī in Tafsīr al-Mīzān says this lack of hope in the meeting with Allah refers to the lack of belief in the Day of Judgment. There is no hope for reward or fear of punishment. The worldview of such a person becomes devoid of any sense of responsibility beyond the confines of this world.

By nature, the human being wishes to live forever and be happy in life. When these instincts are confined to the world only, he becomes pleased and content with it. All his efforts revolve around it. This is a disease that can be deadly. In one of his supplications, the Prophet sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam prays that the world should not become such a focus. He says: Do not let the world be our biggest concern nor the extent of our knowledge (Mafatīhul Jinān, Du‘ā for 15th Sha‘bān).

Hope in the meeting with Allah is an essential quality of a believer. It triggers motivation for good actions. Allah says in Sūrat al-Kahf:

فَمَن كَانَ يَرْجُو لِقَاءَ رَبِّهِ فَلْيَعْمَلْ عَمَلًا صَالِحًا وَلَا يُشْرِكْ بِعِبَادَةِ رَبِّهِ أَحَدًا

So, whoever hopes for the meeting with their Lord, let them do good deeds and associate none in the worship of their Lord (Q 18:110).

The hope in the meeting with Allah is a sign of love of Allah and a desire to go back to Him. The Prophet (s) says: Whoever loves to meet Allah, Allah loves to meet him. (Tafsīr al-Nūr).

2) Being heedless of the signs of Allah. Ghaflah or heedlessness is a mental state which covers up the mind and makes the person forget what needs to be done for the Hereafter. It is a form of blindness that covers the heart. On the Day of Judgment, the disbelievers will be told:

لَّقَدْ كُنتَ فِي غَفْلَةٍ مِّنْ هَٰذَا فَكَشَفْنَا عَنكَ غِطَاءَكَ فَبَصَرُكَ الْيَوْمَ حَدِيدٌ

Indeed, you were heedless of this, now We have removed your covering, and sharp is your sight this Day! (Q 50:22).

A Hadith of Imam Ali (a) says: The intoxication of heedlessness and vanity are of worse consequences than the intoxication of wine (Ghurar al-Hikam, H 5750).

The above two qualities result in a human being making many misguided decisions. Actions are based on concern for the immediate only. We see the tragic consequences of such a worldview in the actions of the army of Yazīd in Karbala. The atrocities they committed despite claiming to be Muslims clearly showed their lack of belief in the meeting with Allah and their heedlessness. We take refuge in Allah from these qualities.

Sources: Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr Nūr