Question: What is the meaning of the ayat:
“Therefore they shall laugh little and weep much…”1
Does it mean that the Almighty Allah has commended us to laugh less and weep more? Though weeping more is not allowed by any jurist, secondly when laughing is caused by happiness and bestowed pleasure to the body and soul, then why be refrain from it?
Answer: Those who have explained the meaning of this ayat have not reflected upon the context. The above ayat of those ayats of Surah Tawbahh in which there is discussion regarding the covenant breakers, hypocrites and the rules of Islamic Jihad. Before this is the ayat: Those who were left behind were glad on account of their sitting behind Allah' apostle and they were averse from striving in Allah's way with their property and their persons and said:
Do not go forth in the heat. Say: The fire of hell is much severe in heat. Would that they understood (it).
Immediately after this is the ayat that:
Those who have behaved in this way must as the consequence of their deeds laugh little and weep more.
The gist of the discussion is that the last part of this ayat and the preceding and the succeeding ayat in the same way the sentence Then laugh… begins with 'Then' which shows the connection with the previous verse. All this clearly shows that this ayat is concerned with the hypocrites and the covenant breakers and it does not contain any command for the common people.
And the last words show that their laughing less and weeping more is a punishment of their deeds. It indicates towards the fact that if they understood it, that what punishments they will get, they would laugh less and weep more and they will not get comfort from grief and sorrow, even for a moment.