have fallen into the darkness of disbelief, which is a calamity that corrupts the very substance of man’s spirit, and implies that it is a source of suffering. And the replacement of ‘they do not give up unbelief’ (lā yatrukūna al-kufr) with “they will not believe (lā yu’minūn)” indicates that due to this loss they have lost their belief, the source of all happiness.
With the phrase “Allah has set a seal on their hearts (Khatama Allāhu ‘alā qulūbihim)” it indicates that having come to disbelieve, their hearts and consciences, which receive life, joy, happiness, and attain to perfection only through the manifestation of the divine truths through the light of belief, become like ruined buildings desolate and swarming with vermin and noxious things. So their doors are locked and sealed up, and they are shunned. They are abandoned and left to the scorpions and monsters.
With the phrase “and on their hearing (wa ‘alā sam‘ihim)” it indicates that due to their unbelief they have lost the immense bounty of hearing, for when the light of belief constantly [shines] behind and informs his ear, it is affected by the cries of all the world and understands the invocations of its beings. It hears the universe’s vociferations and understands its glorifications. Indeed, when the ear hears the dominical speech in the sighing of the blowing wind, the peals of the rolling thunder-clouds, the refrains of the billowing sea, the clamour of the throbbing stones, the pattering of the falling rain, and the songs of the twittering birds, and understands their lofty glorifications, the universe becomes a vast orchestra for him. It arouses in his heart an elevated sorrow and excites passion in his spirit. He feels sad on recalling his friends and companions, but it is a pleasurable sadness at their absence. It is not that he has no friends, so is distraught. But when the ear is blocked up by disbelief, it becomes deaf to these delightful sounds and it hears nothing from the universe except cries of mourning and the lamentations of death. This arouses in the heart the pathetic sorrow of the orphan; that is, the lack of friends; and the desolation of alienation; that is, being without owner or guardian. It is for this reason that the Shari‘a deems lawful such sounds as excite an elevated love and the sorrow of love, and it declares unlawful any that inflame the carnal appetites and produce the sorrow of the orphan. Any the Shari‘a does not specify for you, judge for yourself according to the effect they have on your spirit and conscience.
The phrase “and on their eyes is a veil (wa ‘alā abṣārihim ghishāwatun)” alludes to the loss of a huge bounty in consequence of their unbelief. For when the eye is illuminated with the light of belief dwelling behind its pupil, the light assists and impels it, and the whole universe becomes a