|1) Fierce rivalry for this world distracts you 2) until you visit the graves. 3) No indeed! You will soon know! 4) Again, no indeed! You will soon know. 5) No indeed, if you only knew with a knowledge born of certainty! 6) You will certainly see the Blazing Fire. 7) Then you will see it with the eye of certainty! 8) Then you will be asked that Day about the pleasures (you indulged in!).
Allah reprimands His servants for being distracted from the purpose of their creation: worshipping Him alone without any partners, knowing Him, turning to Him in penitence, and giving preference to what He loves over everything else, Fierce rivalry for this world, exactly what worldly effects are being referred to have been left unmentioned so as to generalise the import of the verse to everything that man piles up and takes pride in of wealth, children, helpers, armies, servants, status and the likes: everything, whose goal is not Allahs face, that one man seeks to surpass another in Distracts you, from your purpose.
Your idle pastime and state of heedlessness will continue until you visit the graves, when the veil of negligence will be lifted from you; but then it will be too late to do anything! This verse proves that the Barzakh is a wayfaring post whose purpose is to pass one on his way to the Abode of the Hereafter. This is because Allah called the deceased in their graves visitors, and did not call them residents. This then directs man’s attention to the Resurrection and the recompense for deeds in an Abode that is eternal. It is for this reason that Allah proceeds to threaten them with His words, No indeed! You will soon know! Again, no indeed! You will soon know. No indeed, if you only knew with a knowledge born of certainty! i.e. if you knew what lies before you with a knowledge that penetrates the heart, fierce rivalry would not have distracted you; instead you would have rushed to work righteous deeds. However, the absence of true knowledge has led to your current state.
You will certainly see the Blazing Fire, you will witness the Rising in which you will behold Hell prepared for the disbelievers. Then you will see it with the eye of certainty, with the physical eye, as Allah says, The evildoers will see the Fire and realise they are going to fall into it and find no way of escaping from it. Then you will be asked that Day about the pleasures (you indulged in), in this world. Did you show Him due gratitude? Did you fulfil the rights of Allah in this world and not use his blessings to disobey Him? If so He will confer upon you a blessing far greater and better. Were you deceived by this world and abandoned due gratitude? If so, Allah will punish you: On the Day when those who disbelieved are exposed to the Fire: You dissipated the good things you had in your worldly life and enjoyed yourself in it. So today you are being repaid with the punishment of humiliation for being arrogant in the earth without any right and for being deviators.
1. Muslim records on the authority of `Abdullah ibn al-Shikhkhir who said, ‘I came to Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as he was reciting: Fierce rivalry for this world distracts you. He said: The son of Adam cries, My wealth, my wealth! He said, Son of Adam, what do you get of your wealth except what you ate and consumed, what you wore and wore out, or what you gave as charity and sent it forward? another narration adds, and all besides this (it is of no use to you) because you will pass on and leave it for other people.
2. al-Kahf (18): 53
3. al-Ahqaf (46): 20
4. Muslim records on the authority of Abu Hurayrah that,
| Allahs Messenger ﷺ went out (of his house) one day or one night, and there he found both Abu Bakr and `Umar. He asked, What has brought you out of your houses at this hour? They replied, Allahs Messenger, hunger. Thereupon he said, By Him in whose hand is my soul, what has brought you out has brought me out too; stand up! They stood up with him and (all of them) came to the house of an Ansari, but he was not at home. When his wife saw him she said, Welcome! Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said to her, Where is so-and-so? She said, He has gone to fetch some fresh water for us. When the Ansari came and saw Allah’s Messenger ﷺ with his two companions, he said, Praise be to Allah, no one has more honourable guests today than I! He then went out and brought them a bunch of ripe dates, some dry dates and fresh dates, saying, Eat! He then took hold of his long knife (for slaughtering a goat or a sheep). Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said to him, Do not kill a milking animal. He slaughtered a sheep for them and they ate it and the dates, and drank. When they had taken their fill and were fully satisfied with the drink, Allah’s Messenger ﷺ said to Abu Bakr and `Umar, By Him in whose hand is my soul, you will certainly be questioned about this joy on the Day of Judgment. Hunger brought you out of your house and you did not return until this bounty came to you.