From: ذَرْهُمْ يَأْكُلُوا (Let them eat ...3) we can see that the making of eating and drinking the real occupation and aim of life, and keeping glued to long-drawn material plans while surrounded by countless things of worldly comfort, and becoming totally heedless to death, is something which can be done only by the disbelievers. The reason is that they do not believe in the 'Akhirah, the life to come, and the accounting of deeds there, and the reward and punishment for it. As for eating and drinking, a believer does it too, and takes care of economic needs to the measure of necessity, and makes future plans for occupation and business as well. But, a believer would not make all these efforts by forget-ting death and ignoring the concern for 'Akhirah. Therefore, he is careful about everything he does and finds out whether it is Halal or Haram, permissible or forbidden. Then, he does not occupy himself in the making of wasteful or unnecessary plans and projections, as hobby or compulsion. The Holy Prophet ﷺ said: Four things are signs of being unfortunate: (1) Not being able to shed tears (that is, not being in tears when ashamed of acts of negligence and sin); (2) and hard-heartedness; (3) fanciful hopes and plans for the future; (4) and the greed for worldly things. (Qurtubi from Musnad al-Bazzar from Sayyidna Anas ؓ
And the expression: يُلْهِهِمُ الْأَمَلُ 'let (their) fancy make them neglectful' means the making of long-drawn plans with engrossing love, and the greed for the material without any concern for death and 'Akhirah. (Qurtubi). As for plans made to achieve religious objectives, or those made to guard the future interests of a people or country, they are not included here - because, that is a form of the concern for 'Akhirah itself.
The Holy Prophet ﷺ said: The first set of people from this Ummah will have their salvation because of their perfect faith, and avoidance of the pursuit of the material (dunya); and the later people of the Ummah will be destroyed because of miserliness, and fancies projected too far.
It has been reported from Sayyidna Abu Ad-Darda' ؓ that he stood up on the Mimbar of Jami' Masjid of Damascus and said:
'0 people of Damascus, would you listen to what this well-wishing brother of yours has to say? So, listen to me. There have been big people before you who made big money, collected gold and things, built magnificent palaces and made long-hauled plans and projections for the future. Today they are dust. Their residences are their graves. And all their long winded hopes and plans have proved to be no more than a web of deception. Close to you lived the people of ` Ad who had stuffed their country with their fighting men, wealth, means, possessions, arms and horses. Is there someone around who would be ready to buy what they left behind as their legacy for two silver dirhams from me?'
Imam Al-Hasan Al-Basri (رح) said: A person with long plans, hopes and fancies is bound to ruin his proper conduct in life. (Al-Qurtubi)