They will say: “Our Lord! You have made us to die twice (i.e. we were dead in the loins of our fathers and dead after our deaths in this world), and You have given us life twice (i.e. life when we were born and life when we are Resurrected)! Now we confess our sins, then is there any way to get out (of the Fire)?”
(It will be said): “This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked (in worship, etc.) you disbelieved, but when partners were joined to Him, you believed! So the judgement is only with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great!”
Chapter 40 Ghāfir : Verses 11-12
The Regret of the Disbelievers after They enter Hell
Allah tells us that the disbelievers will feel regret on the Day of Resurrection, when they enter Hell and sink in the agonizing depth of fire. When they actually experience the unbearable punishment of Allah, they will hate themselves with the utmost hatred, because of the sins they committed in the past, which were the cause of their entering the Fire. At that point the angels will tell them in a loud voice that Allah’s hatred towards them in this world, when Faith was offered to them and they rejected it, is greater than their hatred towards themselves in this situation. Qatadah said, concerning the Ayah:
(Indeed, Allah’s aversion was greater towards you than your aversion toward yourselves, when you were called to the Faith but you used to refuse.) “Allah’s hatred for the people of misguidance — when Faith is presented to them in this world, and they turn away from it and refuse to accept it — is greater than their hatred for themselves when they see the punishment of Allah with their own eyes on the Day of Resurrection.” This was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Dharr bin `Ubaydullah Al-Hamdani, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy on them all.
(They will say: “Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice!…”) Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Ishaq from Abu Al-Ahwas from Ibn Mas`ud, may Allah be pleased with him: “This Ayah is like the Ayah:
(How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life and then unto Him you will return.)”(2:28) This was also the view of Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Abu Malik. This is undoubtedly the correct view. What is meant by all of this is that when they are standing before Allah in the arena of Resurrection, the disbelievers will ask to go back, as Allah says:
(And if you only could see when the criminals shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back, that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.”) (32:12), However, they will get no response. Then when they see the Fire and they are held over it and they look at the punishments therein, they will ask even more fervently than before to go back, but they will get no response. Allah says:
(If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: “Would that we were but sent back (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!” Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.) (6:27-28). When they actually enter Hell and have a taste of its heat, hooked rods of iron and chains, their plea to go back will be at its most desperate and fervent:
(Therein they will cry: “Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not that we used do.” (Allah will reply): “Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it And the warner came to you. So taste you. For the wrongdoers there is no helper.”) (35:37)
(Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be wrongdoers.” He (Allah) will say: “Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!) (23:108). According to this Ayah, they will speak more eloquently, and they will introduce their plea with the words:
(Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice!) meaning, `by Your almighty power, You have brought us to life after we were dead, then You caused us to die after we were alive; You are able to do whatever You will. We confess our sins and admit that we wronged ourselves in the world,’
(then is there any way to get out) means, `will You answer our prayer to send us back to the world, for You are able to do that, so that we might do deeds different from those which we used to do Then if we go back to our former ways, we will indeed be wrongdoers.’ The response will be: `There is no way for you to go back to the world.’ Then the reason for that will be given: `Your nature will not accept the truth and be governed by it, you would reject it and ignore it.’ Allah says:
((It will be said): “This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked (in worship), you disbelieved; but when partners were joined to Him, you believed!”) meaning, `if you were to go back, this is how you would be.’ This is like the Ayah:
(But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that when they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars) (6:28).
(So the judgement is only with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great!) means, He is the Judge of His creation, the Just Who is never unjust. He guides whomsoever He wills and sends astray whomsoever He wills; He has mercy on whomsoever He wills and punishes whomsoever He wills; there is no God except Him.