Occasionally a person faces various physical and spiritual sorrows
and troubles in the world. Amongst these are feelings so intense that
they cannot be compared with any other physical pain. This feeling that
causes such great distress in the human soul is a feeling called "regret."
There are two completely different forms of regret, however. The regret
felt by people of faith and the regret that non-believers experience.
These two feelings are extremely different from one another.
Believers are the people who have an absolute faith in the fact that
events take place by Allah's Will, and whatever befalls them does so by
Allah's Will. This explains their all-important distinctive attribute
of putting their unyielding trust in Allah, at good times, in trouble
or when they make a mistake. The Prophet Muhammad (saas) pointed out the
strong character of the believer with a comparison in the hadith below:
The similitude of a believer is that of a standing crop in a field which
is shaken by wind and then it comes to its original position but it stands
at its roots. (Muslim)
Upon making a mistake, a believer immediately repents with sincerity
and hopes for Allah's forgiveness. As a result, he does not suffer from
a distressful and long-lived feeling of regret. The regret felt by believers
urges them to ask for repentance, to purify themselves and prevents them
from repeating this error. It helps them rectify their errors and prevents
them from plunging into a distressful and pessimistic mood. Moreover,
this regret does not reduce their enthusiasm, devotion, or religious zeal
nor does it drag them downward into a spiral of apprehension and depression.
Regret felt by disbelievers, on the other hand, is very distressing and
long-lasting, as they do not put their trust in Allah when they encounter
a difficulty or commit a transgression. Throughout their lives, they often
use phrases like "I wish I had not done this..." "I wish I had never said
this...," and so on.
More importantly, they are subject to a much greater regret in the Hereafter.
Those who lived a life apart from the religion (deen) in this world will
regret every misguided moment of their lives. They were warned before
and invited to the straight path. They had enough time to contemplate
and embrace the right way. Yet they did not listen when they were warned,
ignoring the Hereafter as if they would never die. Then in the Hereafter,
they will have no chance to get back to this world and correct their errors.
In the Qur'an, Allah relates their regretful expressions as follows:
We have warned you of an imminent punishment on the Day
when a man will see what he has done, and the disbeliever will say, "Oh,
if only I were dust!" (Surat an-Naba': 40)
If only you could see when they are standing before the
Fire and saying, "Oh! If only we could be sent back again, we would not
deny the Signs of our Lord and we would be among the believers." (Surat
They will say, "If only we had really listened and used
our intellect, we would not have been Companions of the Blaze." (Surat
The aim of this book is to warn people against a day when they will regret
saying "had we only understood...," "had we only not rejected the signs
of our Lord...," "had we only followed those who brought us the message...,"
"had we only done this and that" etc and to invite them to live for Allah
while they still have the chance to correct their wrongs.
Keep in mind that that day no one's regret will save him from Allah's
wrath. The only way to avoid this regret is to submit to Allah while there
is still time and to comply with the commands of Allah.
This book is an invitation to the way of Allah and a reminder of the
penalty in the inevitable Hereafter, where there will be no place to hide
nor any chance of deliverance. Allah reminds this fact in the Qur'an in
Respond to your Lord before a Day comes from Allah which
cannot be turned back. On that Day you will have no hiding-place and no
means of denial. (Surat ash-Shura: 47)