In the chapter of the Quran entitled The Cave, there is a verse which states: “Say, ‘Shall I tell you of those who will lose the most through their actions? They are those whose efforts have been wasted in the life of the world while they thought they were doing good. They are those who deny their Lord’s signs and the meeting with Him.’ So their works are in vain, and We shall give them no weight on the Day of Resurrection.” (18:103-105)
What greater disappointment can there be than working, but having no reward for one’s labours; struggling on and on, yet failing to reach one’s destination; investing everything one possesses, yet making no profit; building a dream home for oneself, but, not being able to live in it?
When such calamities overtake one in this world, one is benumbed by shock. Imagine the situation then, in the next world, when one sees all one’s efforts crumble to nothing. The present world is limited; there is a limit to the profit and loss that one can make here.
The next world, however, is infinite: loss there will be total and for all times.
An individual may toil all his entire life, but what good does that do when he sees all his efforts go unrewarded? When reality comes into its own, the fanciful illusions with which our existence has been bolstered up will vanish into thin air.
If we put everything into this ephemeral world, we can expect nothing in the next, eternal world of God. What a grueling experience will it be for man to see himself with absolutely nothing to his credit. One who had held his head high in this world, will have his head bowed down in shame.
One who was considered eminent in the eyes of the world, will be cast into the furthest depths of ignominy and objection. It will be as though he had never held any position, had never had any worth attached to him.