Guidance elevates and misguidance debases: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah describes some of the qualities of the believers in the beginning of surah al-Baqarah and then begins His conclusion of their attributes by saying:

أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّ‌بِّهِمْ

“Those are upon guidance from their Lord”

Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di makes a fine linguistic point in his book of tafsir when he writes:

وأتى بـ “على” في هذا الموضع, الدالة على الاستعلاء, وفي الضلالة يأتي ب ـ “في” كما في قوله: {وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَى هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ} لأن صاحب الهدى مستعل بالهدى, مرتفع به, وصاحب الضلال منغمس فيه محتقر.

And the word

عَلَىٰ

upon

in this instance demonstrates superiority, while the word “misguidance” usually comes with the preposition

في

in

such as when Allah’s statement,

وَإِنَّا أَوْ إِيَّاكُمْ لَعَلَى هُدًى أَوْ فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ

And surely, either we or you are upon right guidance, or in clear error [34:24]

because a person who has guidance is elevated by that guidance and raised up by it, while a person who has misguidance is submerged in it and debased.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg 30]

See also: Surely either we or you are upon right guidance, or in clear error

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2 thoughts on “Guidance elevates and misguidance debases: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: al-Thann in the Qur’an: Imam al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Surely either we or you are upon right guidance, or in clear error | Tulayhah

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