mockery indicates that their mockery is nothing compared with its punishment. Moreover, the use of the term “mocking” to describe Allah the Most High’s chastisement of them, which is unfitting for His exaltedness, is to give the idea of the similarity between the holders of a conversation, and to indicate that the chastisement is the punishment for their mockery and its inevitable result, although its purpose is to humiliate and scorn them. Furthermore, it hints that their mockery of the believers does not profit them, indeed, it harms them, as though Allah the Most High is mocking them [for it]. Like someone who thinks he is making fun of you, but you look on him as crazy and want him to talk to you even if he abuses you, for his making fun of you is part of your making a fool of him.
Here, the derisory “mocks (yastahziyyu’)” is a verb in the imperfect tense, although in the previous verse “mustahzi’ūn” it is an active participle, which indicates that Allah the Most High’s chastisement and His debasing them are continually renewed so that they suffer the pain and are affected by it. For the effects of something continuous and regular diminish, or disappear altogether. This is the reason it is said that variation is necessary to make things felt.
“And give them rope in their trespasses so they will wander like blind ones [to and fro] (wa yamudduhum fī ṭughyānihim ya‘mahūn)”
That is, they make use of the means of misguidance and seek it, so Allah the Most High gives it to them. Thus, the word “(lit.) grant them a respite, give them rope (yamuddu)” implies rebuttal of the Mu‘tazilites, [who asserted man creates his own actions], and since it includes the meaning of ‘seeking help’ (istimdād) it infers rejection of the Jabriyya; that is, misusing their wills the dissemblers chose this path and sought help to follow it, so Allah the Most High helped them, and loosed their halters.
The addition of the pronominal suffix “their (-hum)” to “trespasses (lit. rebellion) (ṭughyān),” that is, they chose it voluntarily, signifies that they were not coerced so that they might be excused. While “ṭughyān” [which has the meaning of overflowing and exceeding all bounds] indicates that their harm has inundated everything good like a flood, destroying the foundations of perfection, and that nothing remains but black scum.
“So they will wander like blind ones [to and fro] (ya‘mahūn):” that is, they are bewildered and hesitant. This indicates that they have no beliefs and no fixed goal.