mark he smashes the shell of social life. And when his power of animal appetites exceeds the limits and he follows his desires, compassion for his fellow humans vanishes from his heart and he corrupts the people and makes difficulties for them in whatever he becomes involved in, and causes harm to the human race and spoils the order of the earth.
The positioning of the phrase: “these it is that shall be the losers (ūlā’ika humu al-khāsirūn):”
Having mentioned the crimes of the depraved and scared them, [the Qur’an] reinforces its threat [by mentioning] their ends and punishment, so as to scare them more effectively. And it says: “They make a loss by trading the hereafter for this world and exchanging guidance for their own caprices.”
Now let’s begin [analyzing] the positioning [and relationships]
of the phrases’ parts.
Consider this: the verses and their phrases and parts resemble the hands of a clock that show the seconds, the minutes, and the hours. If one proves one thing, another corroborates it to its own extent, and the other assists it as far as it can. Similarly, if this one wants something, that one helps, and the other aids it in such a way that it recalls the following lines:
Our phrases are diverse but your beauty is one,
And all of us do point to that beauty.
It is by virtue of this mystery that the Qur’an’s fluency and its pre-eminent level and the fineness of its embroideries reach the degree of miraculousness.
The parts of the phrase: “Behold, Allah does not disdain to propound a parable of a gnat, or of something [even] less than that (Inna Allāha lā yastaḥyī an yaḍriba mathalan mā ba‘ūḍatan fa-mā fawqahā):”
Consider this: the [particle] “Inna – Behold! (lit. indeed, verily)” is corroborative and [its purpose is] to dispel hesitation and rebut denial. So too it indicates the succession of vacillating [doubts] mentioned previously.
The word “Allah” is [used] to alert [the listener’s] mind against the error of [making the] comparison mentioned above.
The choice of “does not disdain (lit. is not ashamed to) (lā yastaḥyī)” rather than ‘does not desist or refrain from,’ – although shame (al-ḥayā’), which is a retraction of the self, is impossible in reference to the Most High and it is futile to negate the impossible – indicates that since such things as wisdom, eloquence and so on necessitate a fine parable, there is no reason