A Description of the One Who Abandoned Knowledge of the Book and Preferred the Dunya over the Aakhirah
Ibn Jurayj (rahimahullaah) said:
A dog is among those animals with the least patience when thirsty. It eats the moist earth out of thirst, even though it does have some patience when in need of food. Nevertheless, among all animals it lolls its tongue out the most, whether it is standing, sitting, moving or not moving. Its intense desire (i.e. greed) necessitates that it will always loll it’s tongue. Likewise, this is the affair of that person likened to the dog because the extreme eagerness and burning desire in his heart necessitates that he will always exert himself (for the worldly goods at the expense of the Aakhirah). He still exerts himself whether he is admonished and advised, and he still exerts himself when not admonished.
Mujaahid (rahimahullaah) said:
This is similar to the one given knowledge of the Book, but he does not act upon it. Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu-anhumaa) said: If you direct him towards wisdom, he does not carry it, and if you leave him alone he is not guided towards good, just like the dog that lolls it’s tongue out whether it is taking a rest or driven away.
Al-Hasan (rahimahullaah) said:
It is the Munaafiq; he does not remain firm upon the truth whether he is called or left alone; whether he is admonished or not admonished, just like the dog that lolls its tongue out whether driven away or left alone.
So Allaah (The Most High) gave an example of the one who abandoned His Aayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc), saying: He is misguided whether he is admonished or left alone, just like the dog that lolls its tongue out, whether driven away or left alone. This Ayah (i.e. A’raaf 176) is similar to the saying of Allaah (The Most High):
[وَإِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ لَا يَتَّبِعُوڪُمۡۚ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيۡكُمۡ أَدَعَوۡتُمُوهُمۡ أَمۡ أَنتُمۡ صَـٰمِتُونَ – And if you call them to guidance, they follow you not. It is the same for you whether you call them or you keep silent]” [7:193]
[Source: بدائع التفسير الجامع لما فسَّره الإمام ابن القيم الجوزية Abridged and slightly paraphrased. Vol 1. Page: 426-427]