وَأَسَرُّوا النَّدَامَةَ لَمَّا رَأَوُا الْعَذَابَ ۖ وَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ بِالْقِسْطِ
Wa-asirrun-nadaamata lamma rawul-`adhaaba, wa qudhiya baynahum bil-qist
They will hide their remorse when they see the punishment, and judgement will be made between them with justice. Surat Yunus (No. 10), Ayat 54
This verse describes the scene on the Day of Judgment when there will be intensified regret. Many people will regret bitterly on that day, and the Qur’an talks about different ways of reacting to that deep regret. Some will try to look around secretly (42:45), some will bite their hands (25:27), and some, as in the verse above, will be so ashamed that they will hide their regret to avoid further humiliation in front of others.
Human beings regret actions which have unpleasant consequences, when they see or realize it with certainty. Some forms of regret can be compensated for and something can be done to atone and make up for the actions. But the other type of regret is when nothing can be done any more. Then the human being feels completely helpless and the fire of regret burns even deeper. This is the type of regret people will experience on that day.
The amazing thing is that Hadith tells us even the righteous people will experience some form of regret on the Day of Judgment. The Holy Prophet (s) advised his companion; O Ibn Masud, increase [your] good deeds and virtues, for the good doer and the evil doer will regret. The good doer will say, if only I had increased my good deeds, and the evil doer will say: I have fallen short.
To avoid regret on the Day of Judgment, we have to start acting from now. We should not just be satisfied with doing a few good deeds here and there, but need to put efforts in increasing good deeds. There is much that needs to be done, that can be done, but we often get occupied with distractions that don’t really matter. Life waits for no-one and the years keep passing without us achieving the heights that are possible for us. We need to make the most of our days, and fill each moment with remembrance of Allah, and efforts to reach perfection. Ameerul Mu’mineen Ali (a) says; Surely the Night and the Day work on you, so work on them, and they take away from you, so you too take away from them. It is advice worth following.
Tafsir Namune, Aytaullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed).
Mizanul Hikmah, Muhammad al-Ray Shahree