Those Who Hear Nothing But Calls and Cries: Tafsir al-Sa’di

Allah strikes the following parable in surah al-Baqarah:

وَمَثَلُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا كَمَثَلِ الَّذِي يَنْعِقُ بِمَا لَا يَسْمَعُ إِلَّا دُعَاءً وَنِدَاءً ۚ صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ

And the likeness of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries. Deaf, dumb, and blind, so they do not understand. [2:171]

Commenting on this ayah, Sheikh ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sa’di wrote:

لما بين تعالى عدم انقيادهم لما جاءت به الرسل, وردهم لذلك بالتقليد, علم من ذلك أنهم غير قابلين للحق, ولا مستجيبين له, بل كان معلوما لكل أحد أنهم لن يزولوا عن عنادهم، أخبر تعالى, أن مثلهم عند دعاء الداعي لهم إلى الإيمان كمثل البهائم التي ينعق لها راعيها, وليس لها علم بما يقول راعيها ومناديها، فهم يسمعون مجرد الصوت, الذي تقوم به عليهم الحجة, ولكنهم لا يفقهونه فقها ينفعهم

After clearly showing their lack of compliance with what the messengers brought and their rejection of the messengers on the basis of blind following, it has become clear that they are not receptive or responsive to the truth. On the contrary, it has become plain to everyone that they will persist in their obstinance.

After all this, Allah then informs us that the way in which they react when the caller calls them to eemaan is like a beast of burden whose shepherd calls it but it does not know what the shepherd is saying, for they merely hear a voice. This voice is establishing a proof against them, but they do not understand it – that is, they do not truly understand it so that they could benefit from it.

فلهذا كانوا صما, لا يسمعون الحق سماع فهم وقبول, عميا, لا ينظرون نظر اعتبار, بكما, فلا ينطقون بما فيه خير لهم.ـ

So, they are deaf – not hearing the truth in the sense of understand and accepting it -, blind – not seeing it in the sense of taking a lesson from it -, and dumb – not saying anything that is good for them.

,  والسبب الموجب لذلك كله, أنه ليس لهم عقل صحيح, بل هم أسفه السفهاء, وأجهل الجهلاء. فهل يستريب العاقل, أن من دعي إلى الرشاد, وذيد عن الفساد, ونهي عن اقتحام العذاب, وأمر بما فيه صلاحه وفلاحه, وفوزه, ونعيمه فعصى الناصح, وتولى عن أمر ربه, واقتحم النار على بصيرة, واتبع الباطل, ونبذ الحق – أن هذا ليس له مسكة من عقل, وأنه لو اتصف بالمكر والخديعة والدهاء, فإنه من أسفه السفهاء.ـ

The root cause of all of this is that they do not have a sound intellect; on the contrary, they are the most foolish and ignorant of people. For if someone were to be called to uprightness and warned against corruption, stopped from rushing towards punishment and commanded to do what would bring about uprightness, success and blessings for him – would any person of intellect doubt such a caller and instead disobey this sincere advisor, turning away from the command of his Lord and knowingly charge into the Hellfire, following falsehood and rejecting the truth?! Such a person doesn’t have a bit of intellect. He couldn’t even be described as scheming or cunning or crafty, for this is the most foolish of people.

[Taysir al-Kareem al-Rahman pg. 78]

For more explanations of the parables of the Qur’an, see our Parables of the Qur’an Article Index

See also: Those Who Threw Off the Guidance that Allah Gave Them: Tafsir al-Sa’di

2 thoughts on “Those Who Hear Nothing But Calls and Cries: Tafsir al-Sa’di

  1. Pingback: Those Who Threw Off the Guidance that Allah Gave Them: Tafsir al-Sa’di | Tulayhah

  2. Pingback: Tafsir of Surah al-Baqarah 168-176: al-Tafsir al-Muyassar | Tulayhah

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