“And whoever becomes dim-sighted to the remembrance of al-Rahman…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah says in surah al-Zukhruf:

وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ‌ الرَّ‌حْمَـٰنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِ‌ينٌ * وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُم مُّهْتَدُونَ * حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَنَا قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِ‌قَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِ‌ينُ * وَلَن يَنفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذ ظَّلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِ‌كُونَ

And whoever becomes dim-sighted to the remembrance of the Most Merciful – We appoint for him a devil, and he is to him a companion. * And indeed, the devils avert them from the way [of guidance] while they think that they are [rightly] guided * Until, when he comes to Us [at Judgement], he says [to his companion], “Oh, I wish there was between me and you the distance between the east and west – how wretched a companion!” * And never will it benefit you that Day, when you have wronged, that you are [all] sharing in the punishment. [43:36-39]

Commenting on this in his book of tafsir, Imam ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

يخبر تعالى عن عقوبته البليغة، لمن أعرض عن ذكره، فقال‏:‏ ‏{‏وَمَنْ يَعْشُ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ يعرض ويصد ‏{‏عَنْ ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَنِ‏}‏ الذي هو القرآن العظيم، الذي هو أعظم رحمة رحم بها الرحمن عباده، فمن قبلها، فقد قبل خير المواهب، وفاز بأعظم المطالب والرغائب، ومن أعرض عنها وردها، فقد خاب وخسر خسارة لا يسعد بعدها أبدا، وقيَّض له الرحمن شيطانا مريدا، يقارنه ويصاحبه، ويعده ويمنيه، ويؤزه إلى المعاصي أزا، ـ

Allah informs us about His intense punishment for whomever turns away from His remembrance, so He said, “And whoever becomes dim-sighted” – meaning, he turns himself away and [also] averts others – “to the remembrance of the Most Merciful” which is the Magnificent Qur’an, which is the greatest mercy by which the Most Merciful has shown mercy to His slaves. So whoever accepts it, then he has accepted the best of gifts and has succeeded in the greatest of achievements and aspirations. But whoever turns away from it and rejects it, then he has been saddened and experienced a great loss after which there is no happiness for him ever, and the Most Merciful has appointed a rebellious shaytaan for him; He has joined it to him and made it as a companion for him, and it shows enmity towards him and afflicts him, and it forcefully incites him towards acts of disobedience.

‏ـ {‏وَإِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ الصراط المستقيم، والدين القويم‏.‏ ‏{‏وَيَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ‏}‏ بسبب تزيين الشيطان للباطل وتحسينه له، وإعراضهم عن الحق، فاجتمع هذا وهذا‏.‏ ـ

And indeed, the devils avert them from the way” – meaning, the straight path and the upright religion – “while they think that they are [rightly] guided” due to the shaytaan‘s adornment and beautification of falsehood for him, and their shunning of the truth, so it combines both this and that.

فإن قيل‏:‏ فهل لهذا من عذر، من حيث إنه ظن أنه مهتد، وليس كذلك‏؟‏ ـ

So if it is said, “Then is this an excuse for that, since he indeed thinks that he is rightly guided – isn’t that the case?”

قيل‏:‏ لا عذر لهذا وأمثاله، الذين مصدر جهلهم الإعراض عن ذكر اللّه، مع تمكنهم على الاهتداء، فزهدوا في الهدى مع القدرة عليه، ورغبوا في الباطل، فالذنب ذنبهم، والجرم جرمهم‏.‏ ـ

Then it is said (in response): there is no excuse for this or for anything like it – i.e. for those whose ignorance springs from turning away from the remembrance of Allah despite being enabled to find guidance. So they forsook guidance despite having the ability to grasp it and they are desirous of falsehood. So the sins are their own sins and the crimes are their own crimes.

فهذه حالة هذا المعرض عن ذكر اللّه في الدنيا، مع قرينه، وهو الضلال والغيّ، وانقلاب الحقائق‏.‏ ـ

So this is the condition in the dunya for this one who turns away from the remembrance of Allah along with his devil companion, and that is (a condition of) misguidance and error and and turning the truths on their head.

وأما حاله، إذا جاء ربه في الآخرة، فهو شر الأحوال، وهو‏:‏ إظهار الندم والتحسر، والحزن الذي لا يجبر مصابه، والتبرِّي من قرينه، ولهذا قال تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏حَتَّى إِذَا جَاءَنَا قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِقَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِينُ‏}‏ ـ

And as for his condition when he comes his Lord in the Hereafter, then this is the worst of conditions, which is the manifestation of regret, severe remorse, and distress which cannot mend his ailments, and disassociating himself from his devil companion. So in this vein Allah said:

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءَنَا قَالَ يَا لَيْتَ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَكَ بُعْدَ الْمَشْرِ‌قَيْنِ فَبِئْسَ الْقَرِ‌ينُ

Until, when he comes to Us [at Judgement], he says [to his companion], ‘Oh, I wish there was between me and you the distance between the east and west – how wretched a companion.’

كما في قوله تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَى يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا يَا وَيْلَتَى لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنْسَانِ خَذُولًا‏}‏ ـ

This is just as in His statement:

وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّ‌سُولِ سَبِيلًا * يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا * لَّقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ‌ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا

And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. * Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend. * He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.” [25:27-29]

وقوله تعالى‏:‏ ‏{‏وَلَنْ يَنْفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذْ ظَلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ‏}‏ أي‏:‏ ولا ينفعكم يوم القيامة اشتراككم في العذاب، أنتم وقرناؤكم وأخلاؤكم، وذلك لأنكم اشتركتم في الظلم، فاشتركتم في عقابه وعذابه‏.‏ ـ

And His statement, “And never will it benefit you that Day, when you have wronged, that you are [all] sharing in the punishment” – meaning, you will not benefit on the Day of Judgement, all of you sharing in the punishment – both you and your devil companions and your close friends. That is because you were sharing in wrongdoing, so you will be sharing in its end result and its punishment.

ولن ينفعكم أيضًا، روح التسلي في المصيبة، فإن المصيبة إذا وقعت في الدنيا، واشترك فيها المعاقبون، هان عليهم بعض الهون، وتسلَّى بعضهم ببعض، وأما مصيبة الآخرة، فإنها جمعت كل عقاب، ما فيه أدنى راحة، حتى ولا هذه الراحة‏.‏ نسألك يا ربنا العافية، وأن تريحنا برحمتك‏.‏ ـ

And the attitude of seeking out diversions and distractions will also not benefit them in the midst of trials, for if an affliction occurs in the dunya and those who are deserving of punishment share in it, then they will attach little importance to this disgrace and amuse one another with diversions and distractions. But as for the afflictions of the Hereafter, then this brings together all forms of punishment; there is nothing at all of comfort therein, such that there is no ease at all. We ask You, O our Lord, for ‘aafiyyah (well-being) and that You grant us comfort by Your Mercy!

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 902-903]

See also: “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other – except for the muttaqoon”

See also: Shaytaan’s address to the disbelievers at the end of time: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: “Beautified for people is the love of what they desire”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

See also: I will mislead them all, except Your chosen servants: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

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2 thoughts on ““And whoever becomes dim-sighted to the remembrance of al-Rahman…”: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: “And those who strive for Us – We will surely guide them to Our ways”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: “Beautified for people is the love of what they desire”: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

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