وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ

The commentator specifies the “hum” (them) in the verse by saying “ha-ulaa’i” (these). This is because there is a narration of Salman al-Farsi (RA) in the tafsir of Ibn Jarir where Salman al-Farsi (RA) is reported to have said that the verse is referring to hypocrites that are yet to come. But the dominant opinion is that this is referring to the hypocrites at the time of the Prophet (SAW), which is what the commentator seems to agree with. The two views can be reconciled by saying that Salman al-Farsi (RA) is informing us that such hypocrites will come in future generations as well and this verse applies to them as well.

In explaining لاَ تُفْسِدُواْ فِى الأَرْضِ [Baqarah:11] Imam Suyuti says, “La tufsidoo fi al-‘ard [bi al-kufr wa al-ta’weeq ‘an al-Iman]”. This “Ba” is “ba tasweeriyah” – it describes how the previous verb (tufsidoo, in this case) comes into being i.e. do not cause corruption through disbelief and being an obstacle in the path of people accepting Iman.

إِنَّمَا نَحْنُ مُصْلِحُونَ

“Innamaa” is used for hasr/qasr (confinement and restriction). In this case the mubtada is restricted within the khabr i.e. “We are only rectifying.” In hasr, as there is always an ithbaat (affirmation) of something and nahy (negation) of everything else, the commentator pulls out the other implied half, which is the negation: “…and what we are engaged in is not corruption.”

If it was “Innamaa al-muslihoon nahnu”, that would’ve meant “The ones who rectify are only us.”

أَلا إِنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْمُفْسِدُونَ
Imam Suyuti says that Allah says the above as refutation of the hypocrites. The reason he mentions this is to explain the absence of “waw” i.e. why is there a fasl between this sentence and the previous one rather than a wasl. This is because this sentence should not share the grammatical position (i’raab) of the previous sentence, because it is not from the sayings of the hypocrites.

Imam Suyuti says “alaa” is used for tanbeeh (alerting) as opposed another “allaa” (“an”+”laa”), which is the harf of ta’hdeed (persuasion) [refer to Hidayatun Nahw].

قَالُواْ أَنُؤْمِنُ كَمَآ آمَنَ السُّفَهَآءُ
It is a jumlah inshaa’iyyah but the istifham in the sentence is “Istifham Inkaari”, i.e. an interrogative sentence in the power of a negative jumlah khabariyyah. It is an emphatic method of negating.

وَإِذَا خَلَوْاْ إِلَى شَيَـطِينِهِمْ
There is tadmeen in the verb “khalaw”. Tadmeen is when a verb is inclusive of the meaning of another verb by assigning a different preposition to it. E.g. “Khala” would normally have “min” follow it but here it is “ilaa”, which the commentator says is for the meaning of “raja’a”. “Khala” can mean “madaa” (to go/pass/move away) or “infiraad” (to isolate oneself). If “khalaa” was taken as “infiraad” here, then the “ilaa” would be in the meaning of “ma’a” (i.e. when they isolate themselves with their shayateen) and there would be no tadmeen happening. But according to Imam Suyuti this portion of the verse means, “when they go away from the believers and return to their shayateen…”

وَيَمُدُّهُمْ فِي طُغْيَـنِهِمْ يَعْمَهُونَ

“…and leaves them increasing in their deviation to wander blindly”

In explaining طُغْيَـنِهِمْ Imam Suyuti says بتجاوزهم الحد في الكفر meaning “in their exceeding the limits of kufr”. By saying so, Imam Suyuti is clarifying that this is a case of a masdar being mudaaf to its faa’il (doer/subject) and, also, he pulls out the maf’ool bihi that is omitted in the ayah.

From Khasshaaf (Zamakhshari):

اللَّهُ يَسْتَهْزِىءُ بِهِمْ

“Allah mocks at them…”

Why is the mudari’ verb “yastahzi’u” used above instead of the ism “mustahzi’un” in contrast to the saying of the hypocrites “nahnu mustazioon” (meaning, “we were but mocking”)?

This is because “yastahzi’u” has the connotation of the istihzaa’ emerging and renewing time after time. This is like the verse below:

أَوَلاَ يَرَوْنَ أَنَّهُمْ يُفْتَنُونَ فِى كُلِّ عَامٍ مَّرَّةً أَوْ مَرَّتَيْنِ
“See they not that they are put in trial once or twice every year…” [Tawbah:126]


From Jalalayn:

أُوْلَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُاْ الضَّلَـلَةَ بِالْهُدَى فَمَا رَبِحَت تِّجَـرَتُهُمْ وَمَا كَانُواْ مُهْتَدِينَ ﴾

(16. These are they who have purchased error with guidance, so their commerce was profitless. And they were not guided.)

“Ishtaraa” (buying) happens in items not guidance and misguidance are not items that can be bought or sold. Because the Arabs were mostly merchants, here, Allah (SWT) is using their language in addressing them.

Those addressed by this verse did not have any guidance to begin with. So why say that they exchanged guidance for error? The guidance referred to here is the guidance that every human being is born with through their fitrah.

فَمَا رَبِحَت تِّجَـرَتُهُمْ (their commerce was profitless) is Isnad Majazi, as it is the people who did not profit from the trade, and the trade itself does not gain or loose. The subject of the verb “rabi’ha” is a person. Examples of Isnad Majazi have come a number of times before (please refer to earlier posts).

مَثَلُهُمْ كَمَثَلِ الَّذِى اسْتَوْقَدَ نَاراً فَلَمَّآ أَضَاءَتْ مَا حَوْلَهُ ذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِنُورِهِمْ وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَـتٍ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ

“Their likeness is as the likeness of one who kindled a fire; then, when it illuminated all around him, Allah removed their light and left them in darkness.” [Baqarah:17]

Imam Suyuti explains “mathalu hum” as “sifatu hum” otherwise the “ka” of “ka mathali alladhee” would be zaai’dah (superfluous). “Mathal” is a comparable and “sifah” is an attribute. But this “sifah” has to be unique to be called a “mathal”.

“Istawqada” is in the meaning of “awqada” i.e. lighting a fire. That means the “seen” and “taa” in “istawqada” are not for talab (seeking) but for ta’keed (emphasis).

فَلَمَّآ أَضَاءَتْ assumes the fire was lit in darkness. That’s why the commentator says “fee dhulmatin” (in darkness) after “istawqada naaran” because it is the iqtidaa’u al-nass (required meaning i.e. that which is not explicitly mentioned but required by the text).

وَتَرَكَهُمْ فِي ظُلُمَـتٍ لاَّ يُبْصِرُونَ
“Allah removed their light and left them in darknesses. (So) they could not see.”

The added mention of “laa yubsiroon” means they can’t see anything even if they previously could see something through night-vision. “Laa yubsiroon” is missing it’s maf’ool bihi (e.g. shayan min al-mubsiraat). When the object is omitted it indicates ‘umoom (generality i.e. they can’t see anything at all).

صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْىٌ فَهُمْ لاَ يَرْجِعُونَ

“[They are] deaf, dumb, and blind, so they return not (to the right path).”

The musnad ilayh is omitted and “summun”, “bukmun” and “‘umyun” are in raf’ on the basis of khabr. This is called “Ijadu hadhf” (abbreviation by omitting a portion of the sentence). Imam Zamakhshari says that the musnad ilayh is omitted to protect the tongue from even mentioning them in order to insult them i.e. wherever their mention can be omitted, it is omitted as they are so vile.