اُولٰۤئِكَ عَلٰى هُدًى مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَاُولٰۤئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
They are on [true] guidance from their Lord, and it is these who will prosper.
(Ūlā’ika ‘alā hudan min Rabbihim wa ūlā’ika humu’l-mufliḥūn.)
Consider this: the surmised places (al-maẓ̣ānn) in which the subtleties sparkle [in this verse] are the following: the positions of the words in relation to those that precede them; the perceptibility of “They (Ūlā’ika)” and the distance it expresses; the elevatedness denoted by “on (‘alā);” the use of the indefinite in “guidance (hudan);” the preposition “from (min);” the raising and sustaining inferred by “their Lord and Sustainer (Rabbihim).”
The positioning: this verse is tied to what precedes it with a number of threads of relationships. One of these is picking up the threads, that is, it is the answer to three implied questions:
The first is a question seeking an example, as though having listened to the Qur’an and heard that it is marked by giving guidance to people who as a result acquire fine qualities, the listener wants to see them actually clothed in these qualities seated on the throne of guidance. So it replies by depicting them for him, saying: “They are on [true] guidance from their Lord and Sustainer.”
The second is a question about the reason for guidance, as though the questioner is asking: “What are they like that they have deserved guidance and are distinguished by it?” And it replies: “They possess all these qualities in combined form. If you study them carefully, you will see that they are worthy of the light of guidance.”
• If you were to ask: Doesn’t the more detailed mention of the qualities in previous verses explain the reason for guidance more clearly than the concise “ūlā’ika (they)”?
You would be told: Conciseness is usually clearer than detailed explana-