Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | November 24, 2013
In the chapter "Cave of the Quran", there is a verse which reads like this: "Say: 'Shall we tell you who will lose most through their labours? Those whose endeavours in this world are misguided and who yet think that what they do is right; who disbelieve the revelations of their Lord and deny that they will ever meet Him.' Vain are their works. On the Day of Resurrection, we shall not give any weight to them" (18:103-105).
What greater disappointment can there be than working, but not receiving the 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.
This 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 time.
One may labour all one's life, but what good does that do when one sees that all efforts go unrewarded? If one puts everything into this ephemeral world, one can expect nothing in the next, eternal world of God.
What a gruelling experience it will be for man to see himself with absolutely nothing to his credit. One who had held his head high in the world will have his head bowed in shame. One who was considered eminent in the eyes of the world will be cast into the furthest depths of ignominy. It will be as though he had never held any position, had never had any worth attached to him.