Woe to you, O life!

Suuratut – Tawbah Verse 38.

يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ مَا لَكُمْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمُ ٱنفِرُوا۟ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّـهِ ٱثَّاقَلْتُمْ إِلَى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ

أَرَضِيتُم بِٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا مِنَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ ۚ فَمَا مَتَـٰعُ ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ إِلَّا قَلِيلٌ ﴿٣٨

 

38. O you who believe! What is the matter with you, that when you are asked to march forth in the Cause of Allah (i.e. Jihad) you cling heavily to the earth? Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world as compared with the Hereafter.

Tafsir Ibn Kathir Vol.4 Page 428

﴿أَرَضِيتُم بِالْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا مِنَ الاٌّخِرَةِ﴾

(Are you pleased with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter) Why do you do this, is it because you prefer this life instead of the Hereafter.

Allah next diminishes the eagerness for this worldly life and increases it for the Hereafter,

﴿فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ﴾

(But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world compared to the Hereafter).

Imam Ahmad recorded that Al-Mustawrid, a member of Bani Fihr, said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَا الدُّنْيَا فِي الْآخِرَةِ إِلَّا كَمَا يَجْعَلُ أَحَدُكُمْ إِصْبَعَهُ هَذِهِ فِي الْيَمِّ،فَلْيَنْظُرْ بِمَ تَرْجِعُ؟»

(The life of this world, compared to the Hereafter, is just like when one of you dips his finger in the sea, let him contemplate how much of it his finger would carry.) The Prophet pointed with his index finger. Muslim collected this Hadith. Ath-Thawri narrated that Al-A`mash said about the Ayah,

﴿فَمَا مَتَاعُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلٌ﴾

(But little is the enjoyment of the life of this world compared to the Hereafter.) “What compares to the provision a traveler takes.” `Abdul-`Aziz bin Abi Hazim narrated that his father said, “When `Abdul-`Aziz bin Marwan was dying he said, `Bring the shroud I will be covered with so that I inspect it.’ When it was placed before him, he looked at it and said, `Is this what I will end up with from this life’ He then turned his back and cried, while saying, `Woe to you, O life! Your abundance is truly little, your little is short lived, we were deceived by you.’

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