being qualified by these extraordinary attributes embodies them in the [listener’s] mind, making them [almost] tangible to [his] imagination. It also indicates the reason for the statement, since sin leads to further sin. [For certainly a reason is necessary if one exchanges misguidance for guidance, and this is their above-mentioned crimes and attributes. Thus, the Qur’an alludes to them with “These (Ūlā’ika),” that is, those qualified by those attributes, so that the listener will know the reason for the condemnation of them in this verse.]1
As for the distance signified by “These (Ūlā’ika),” it indicates their great distance from the right path; they have reached the point of no return; they departed of their own accord, but they cannot return.
The relative pronoun “who (alladhīna)” indicates that this sort of commerce is strange and injurious. Only recently had it appeared and become a principle and course of action adopted by people. For as mentioned above, the relative pronoun indicates new facts that are just being established.
The verb “have purchased (ishtaraw)” alludes to the rejection of their excuse [when they say] “it is in our natures to do this.” It is as though the Qur’an is saying to them: “No! Allah has given you your lifespan as capital, and deposited in your spirits the potentiality to mature and be perfected, and planted in your consciences the seeds of truth, which constitute innate guidance, so that you might buy happiness. But rather than buying it, indeed renouncing it, you procured immediate pleasures and worldly benefits, and misusing your wills you chose the way of misguidance rather than the path of guidance, and you spoiled that innate guidance and lost your capital.
The phrase “error [at the price of] guidance (al-ḍalālata bi’l-hudā)” hints that they incur loss upon loss, for just as they lose by acquiring misguidance, so they lose through giving up the supreme bounty of guidance.
“But their trade is profitless (fa-mā rabiḥat tijāratuhum):” the use of the negative – for not only have they incurred a loss but have lost all their capital – suggests that it would have been intelligent not to attempt unprofitable trade, and particularly trade that causes loss and even the loss of one’s capital.
Also, by ascribing the verb to their commerce – although rightly it should have been ascribed to themselves; that is ‘but they gained no profit in their trade’ (fa-mā rabiḥū fī tijāratihim) – is a sign that in no respect, in
Nursi, İşârâtü’l-İ’jaz [Abdülmecid], 121-2.