“Let them laugh a little: much will they weep: a recompense for the (evil) that they do.” (Surah At-Taubah 9/82) Who are the people mentioned in this verse? Muslims or Unbelievers?

The Details of the Question
“Let them laugh a little: much will they weep: a recompense for the (evil) that they do.” (Surah At-Taubah 9/82) Who are the people mentioned in this verse? Muslims or Unbelievers?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

 “Let them laugh a little: much will they weep: a recompense for the (evil) that they do.” (Surah At-Taubah 9/82)

This verse was revealed about the hypocrites who remained behind from the Tabuk expedition. Almighty Allah (SWT) informed us about the situations of the hypocrites who offered excuses for justifying their absence from the expedition and saw the expedition as a bad thing and rejoiced at sitting still behind in their homes as follows:

Those who were left behind (in the Tabuk expedition) rejoiced in their inaction behind the back of the Messenger of Allah: they hated to strive and fight with their goods and their persons, in the Cause of Allah: they said, "Go not forth in the heat. Say "The fire of Hell is fiercer in heat." If only they could understand! Let them laugh a little: much will they weep: a recompense for the (evil) that they do. (Surah At-Taubah 9/81-82)

Almighty Allah (SWT) answered them in return for their rejoicing for sitting still behind by saying that “The fire of Hell is fiercer in heat”. That is, the fire of hell which is prepared for the disobedient and for you because of your opposition is fiercer than the heat that you run away from. If they could have thought about it, they would not have rejoiced. Then, Allah informed about the result of their actions as follows: “Let them laugh a little: much will they weep”.

Almighty Allah threatens them because of their own decisions and actions and informed us that they will rejoice for a short time but will weep a lot in Hell.

Although the cause of this verse’s revelation is hypocrites’ attitude, the warning of this verse is valid for all humans. In a hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said the following: “Verily, if you knew what I know you would laugh less and weep more.” (Ibn Maja, Zuhd: 19; Bukhari, Riqaq: 27)

According to this verse: “Allah hath purchased of the Believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the Garden (of Paradise)” (Surah At-Taubah, 9:111), the people who do not sell their lives and goods to Allah (SWT), that is, who do not use them in the way of His orders and as a result of their attitude, will weep more; laugh less. Let them laugh a bit, rejoice and have fun as much as they can. However, they will weep a lot in the hereafter because this world life is too short and limited, but the life is permanent in the hereafter. How long is the joy of this world life, which is very short when compared to the weeping of the hereafter, which is permanent?

However, if those who repent for what they did in this world and weep, then their repentance will be accepted by Allah. The only reason of informing the torment and remorse is to warn people who insist on walking on the way of mischief.

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