spread corruption on earth (Alladhīna yanquḍūna ‘ahd Allāh min ba‘d mithāqihi wa yaqṭa‘ūna mā amara Allāh bi-hi an yūṣala wa yufsidūna fī al-arḍ):”
Consider this: there is an elevated subtlety in this manner of describing here the depraved who are doubtful about [the Qur’an’s] miraculousness and word-order. It is as though the Qur’an is saying: “It’s not at all unlikely that the depraved should be doubtful and ignorant about the miraculousness and inimitability of the Qur’an’s order, for they can’t see the miraculousness of divine power in the order of the universe, which is the greater Qur’an. For they look on the the universe’s order as [occurring] by chance, and its fruitful changes as purposeless, so the instances of wisdom in it are concealed from them – since their spirits are corrupted. So too, because of their dissolute natures and their rotten folly, they consider the Qur’an’s miraculousness to be a confused muddle and its preliminaries sterile and its fruits bitter.”
The phrase “break Allah’s covenant (yanquḍūna ‘ahd Allāh):”
A high style is indicated here with the use of the word ‘al-naqḍ,’ which means undoing the strands of a rope and breaking them, as though the covenant with the Most High were a luminous rope twisted with [divine] wisdom, grace, and will and stretching all the way from pre-eternity to post-eternity. It is manifested in the universe in the form of [its] general order, and has sent out chains to all the species and realms [of beings] and extended the tips of them to the human race. In the human spirit it has bequeathed the legacy of the seeds of [its] potentialities and abilities, which are watered and made to thrive through the faculty of will, [when] regulated by the commands of the Shari‘a; that is, the evidences of the Qur’an and Sunna (al-dalā’il al-naqliyya). Thus, the covenant is fulfilled by employing those abilities as they should be, and it is broken by doing the opposite and undoing [the rope and spoiling the order], like believing in some of the prophets and denying others, and accepting some precepts and rejecting others, and approving some verses and disapproving others. And this violates the order, arrangement, and regularity.
Now the phrase “and cut asunder what Allah has bidden to be joined (wa yaqṭa‘ūna mā amara Allāhu bi-hi an yūṣala):”
Consider this: the command here embraces legislative (tashrī‘ī) commands and creational (takwīnī) commands both of which are included within the natural laws (al-qawānīn al-fiṭriyya) and the laws of divine practice (al-‘ādāt al-ilāhiyya). So sundering what the Shari‘a commands to be