The preposition “In (fī)” hints that their envy and hatred are sicknesses afflicting the inward dimensions of their hearts, the heart being a subtle dominical faculty, as discussed.
And in the term ‘heart’ (qalb) is an indication that just as a disease of the physical heart disturbs the functioning of all the body, so when what the heart signifies is sick with deception and dissembling, all the functions of the spirit are deflected from the straight path, for the heart in this sense is the source of life and its machine.
And “In their hearts (fī qulūbihim)” preceding “is a disease (maraḍun)” bears the meaning of restriction in two respects: by way of allusion it indicates that belief is a light which gives health and right direction to all man’s actions and works. Secondly, it infers that their corruption is fundamental so it is of no avail to repair minor matters.
The word “disease (maraḍun)” allusively confutes their excuses and rams them down their throats. For man’s innate disposition inclines naturally to the truth; corruption and destruction are sicknesses and accidental (‘āriḍ).
And in the use of the indefinite is a sign that the disease is so deep-seated that it is not possible to either see it or cure it.
The fifth phrase; that is, “and Allah has increased their disease (fa-zādahum Allāhu maraḍan):” when they do not recognize the disease or avoid it, but chase after it applauding it, Allah increases it, for “whoever seeks will find.”
In the “fa-” [of fa-zādahum Allāhu], which expresses purpose, – although the existence of the sickness is not a reason for its increase – is a sign that since they do not identify the disease, nor seek a means of curing it, indeed, take steps to aggravate it like someone who strikes a superior enemy with a broken hand, it seems they are seeking its increase. So Allah increases it by transforming their hopes into oppressive despair, due to the triumph of the believers, and transforms their enmity into burning hatred in their hearts, because the believers prevail. So there arise from the diseases of hatred and despair, the sickness of fear and ailment of weakness and illness of degradation, all of which overwhelm their hearts.
Allah the Most High did not say ‘Allah increased their disease’ (fa-zāda Allāhu maraḍahum), but “Allah has increased them in disease” and made the pronominal suffix the object and “disease” specificatory (tamyīz) in order to indicate that the inner sickness of the heart has spread to the outside, contaminating all they do. It is as if this malignant disease has cov-