اُولٰۤئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلاَلَةَ بِالْهُدٰى فَمَا رَبِحَتْ تِجَارَتُهُمْ وَمَا كَانُوا مُهْتَدِينَ
These are the people who have purchased error at the price of guidance, but their trade is profitless, and they are not rightly-guided. (Ūlā’ika alladhīna ishtaraw al-ḍalālata bi’l-hudā fa-mā rabiḥat tijāratuhum wa mā kānū muhtadīn)
The verse’s positioning with regard to what precedes it:
Consider this: this verse is a summary of the preceding detailed descriptions, illustrating them in elevated and effective fashion. Commerce is chosen as the parable’s [subject] because the first people it was addressing had experienced the pleasures and hardships of trade on their journeys of winter and summer.
The verse’s pertinence is this: human beings were not sent to this world to make it their homeland, but to trade using the capital of their innate faculties and powers; to cultivate them and then dispose freely of their produce.
The positioning of the verse’s phrases:
This is a fluent, natural arrangement, reflecting the ordering of the parable. It is like this: there was a cheated failed merchant. He had been given rich capital but he had used it only to buy poison and things harmful to himself. He worked his capital, but it brought him no profit and was of no avail to him; indeed, it plunged him into ever greater loss. Finally he lost all of it, and then strayed from the path until there was no return.
The positioning of the parts of the phrases:
The demonstrative pronoun “These (Ūlā’ika)” brings close what is tangible and distant. This suggests that on hearing the crimes enumerated in the above verses, the listener feels in his heart a gradually increasing anger and disgust, so wants to see the dissemblers in order to vent his anger and confront them with his loathing and contempt. The palpability hints that their