Regret is among the worst feelings one can experience. It is wishing that you had done something you didn’t do, or that you had refrained from doing something you did…It’s a very powerful and potentially destructive feeling. I’m positive that all of us can think back to a time where we wished we had or had not done something, and the emotion that results is absolutely torturous. You feel like an epic failure, knowing that you cannot go back to the future and modify that decision.
It’s quite clear that regret is something we’d like to avoid feeling at all costs, yet while pondering the horror of regret humans feel in the Dunya, the concept of regret in the Akhirah blew all that away.
Among the names of the Day of Judgement is the Day of Regret. Numerous places in the Qur’an speak of how the disbelievers will wail and cry out asking WHY did they not believe or WHY did they neglect…Imagine knowing at that moment that you had the full capacity to be successful but now it’s too late. Imagine begging to be brought back to Dunya so that you can go back and change your ways, but alas you do not have that chance. Regret serves as a form of torment and punishment in and of itself, aside from even the Fires of Jahanam.
“They indeed have lost, those who denied the meeting with Allah, until when The Hour is upon them they will say “Oh how great is our regret over what we neglected!” while they bear their burdens on their backs. Unquestionably, evil is that which they bear”
For activists and community members, burn-out often strikes. While maintaining balance in one’s life is important, it is also to be remembered that this life is definitely not for resting, but rather it is our “hunting and gathering” season. We must strive for every opportunity towards Jannah, so that we do our best to ensure regret is not something we feel when meeting Allah.
My Shaykh Mohammed Faqih said something that has stuck with me. “Never let an opportunity pass you by where you had the chance to do a good work or gain reward…Because perhaps on the Day of Regret, that would have been the one deed to tip your scale.”