Now we commence with the positioning [and relationships]
of the constituents of the phrases:
The first phrase, that is, “How can you refuse to acknowledge Allah seeing that you were lifeless? (Kayfa takfurūna bi’llāhi wa kuntum amwātan):”
The interrogative form is [used] here to call attention to [the disbelievers’] error so that they might see it themselves and come to think fairly and acknowledge [Allah].
“How (kayfa)” infers through the denial of the circumstantial sentence necessitated by “how” that their disbelief is [in reality] non-existence.
The use of the second person in “you refuse to acknowledge Allah (lit. you disbelieve)” indicates, as was discussed above, [Allah’s] intense anger [at them], and the non-use of ‘do you not believe’ instead of “you disbelieve” indicates their extreme obduracy, for they hold back from belief, for which there are evidences, and accept disbelief for the futility of which there are manifold proofs.
The circumstantial [conjunction] “and (wa)” (al-wāw al-ḥālīyya) in “seeing that (lit. and) you (wa kuntum)” implies an unstated phrase. [The conjunction indicates that “kuntum amwātan” is circumstantial (ḥ̣āl) to the verb “takfurūn.” The circumstantial word or phrase has to be together with the factor governing it (‘āmil dhī’l-ḥāl). Whereas there are four phrases here, two of which refer to the past (are in the perfect tense) and two of which refer to the future are (in the imperfect tense). They are therefore opposed to the rule of simultaneity. Therefore the circumstantial “and” implies an unstated sentence or phrase], which is: “seeing that (lit. and) you know that you were lifeless (lit. dead).” [In this way, the words “you know” are circumstantial (ḥāl) to the doer of the verb “takfurūn – (lit.) you disbelieve.”]1
• If you were to ask: They know the first life and death, but they don’t know they are from Allah. Also they don’t accept the second life or agree that they will return to Allah the Most High?
You would be told: It is a rule of eloquence to accord the ignorant man the status of a knowing or learned one [that is, not to call ignorance ignorance] if there are clear evidences to dispel his ignorance. Since reflection on the stages of the first death and first life compels one to acknowledge the Maker and knowledge of them convinces one intellectually about the
72. See, İşârâtü’l-İ’caz [Abdülmecid], 258.