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Thou wilt indeed find them, of all people, most greedy of life,-even more than the idolaters: Each one of them wishes He could be given a life of a thousand years: But the grant of such life will not save him from (due) punishment. For Allah sees well all that they do.

According to In the Shade of the Quran, pg. 102-103:

In these verses, the Qur’ān points to another contemptible characteristic of the
Jews: their craven desire to live, no matter at what price and regardless of quality,
honour and dignity. This has been borne out by Jewish behaviour during all stages of
their history; their heads are raised only when the big stick of the tormentor is put
away, but once the stick is wielded before them, their heads are bowed and they
acquiesce in fear and servility, scurrying for life, any kind of life.
Each of them would wish to live a thousand years because they do not believe in a
future life, after this present one is over. When one accepts that one’s days on earth
are numbered but supposes that life here does not lead to a future life, this life would
then seem very short, no matter how many years it lasts. Therefore, to believe in life after death is a blessing and a source of inspiration that brings hope, since man naturally entertains hopes that go far beyond his numbered years of life. To discard the hopes of an immortal and happy existence reflects a lack of appreciation for the
very meaning of life. Besides being a belief in God’s absolute justice and His most gracious reward,
belief in the hereafter is an expression of the value and vigour of life itself, not
confined to, or restricted by, the limits of this world. It links man’s existence to a life
that goes far beyond this one, to reach spheres and realms the edges of which are
known only to God Almighty.


Qutb. In the Shade of the Quran. ([sura 2] pg. 109-110).

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