tion, especially if the answer sought arises from a combination of things. For [here] the limited nature of the listener’s mind, and the extended nature of the discussion, and the intervention of forgetfulness, and the reason for guidance emerging from the combination of all the elements of the discussion [hinder] understanding of it. So because “they (ūlā’ika)” combines these things, its conciseness explains the reason more clearly.
The third is a question about the results and fruits of guidance, and its being a bounty and pleasure, as though the listener asks: “What is its pleasure and [how is it a] bounty?” And it replies saying that it is [only] in guidance that happiness is to be found in this world and the next; that is, the result of guidance is itself and its fruits are the same as itself. For of itself it is the greatest bounty, and rapture of the conscience; it is the paradise of the spirit. Just as misguidance is its hell. Later it will produce the fruits of happiness and salvation in the hereafter.
When it comes to the perceptibility (al-maḥsūsiyya) of “they (ūlā’ika),” it is a sign that the frequent mention of the qualities leads to their being embodied in the listener’s brain, made present in his mind, and perceptible to his imagination. So from their being known by [mere] mention they become (lit. a door opens onto) known actually (lit. externally), and from this he understands the believers’ distinction and gazes on their shining radiance among mankind. It is as though nothing else will appear to whoever raises his head and opens his eyes to look.
The distance expressed by “they (ūlā’ika),” although on the whole they are near, indicates the loftiness of their rank, for when seen from afar only the tall in stature are visible. Nevertheless if distance of time and space is real, it is the best judge of the imperatives of eloquence. For the Era of Bliss [may be thought of as] a tongue reciting this verse as it was revealed, and all subsequent centuries tongues reciting it also, making it young and fresh as though newly revealed, not [something that] was revealed long ago that has been related. For the front rows, referred to by “they (ūlā’ika),” appear from afar. So their being visible despite the distance proclaims their great stature and lofty rank.
Now for [the preposition] “on (‘alā).” Consider this: the mystery of the relationships [or associations] between things makes most of them like mirrors reflecting each other. This one reflects that, and that one this. Just as a fragment of glass can show you a vast desert; so sometimes a single word may provoke endless imaginings, and one sentence may conjure up a strange tale before your eyes, and one phrase may take your mind on a