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Sura 10
Aya 12
وَإِذا مَسَّ الإِنسانَ الضُّرُّ دَعانا لِجَنبِهِ أَو قاعِدًا أَو قائِمًا فَلَمّا كَشَفنا عَنهُ ضُرَّهُ مَرَّ كَأَن لَم يَدعُنا إِلىٰ ضُرٍّ مَسَّهُ ۚ كَذٰلِكَ زُيِّنَ لِلمُسرِفينَ ما كانوا يَعمَلونَ

Muhammad Asad

For [thus it is:] when affliction befalls man, he cries out unto Us, whether he be lying on his side or sitting or standing;1 but as soon as We have freed him of his affliction, he goes on as though he had never invoked Us to save him from the affliction2 that befell him! Thus do their own doings seem goodly unto those who waste their own selves.3
  • These three metaphorical expressions are often used in the Qur'an to describe the various situations in which man may find himself. The "calling unto God" under the stress of misfortune describes the instinctive reaction of many people who consider themselves "agnostics" and in their conscious thinking refuse to believe in God. See also verses 22-23 below, as well as 6:40-41.
  • Lit., "called out unto Us against (ild) an affliction".
  • The expression musrif, which often (e.g., in 5:32 or 7:81) denotes "one who is given to excesses" or "commits excesses" or (as in 6:141) "one who is wasteful", has in the above context the meaning of "one who wastes his own self" (Razi) - namely, destroys his spiritual potential by following only his base impulses and failing to submit to any moral imperative. (Cf. the very similar expression alladhina khasiru anfusahum occurring in many places and rendered by me as "those who have squandered their own selves".) In the sense in which it is used here, the term israf (lit., "wastefulness" or "lack of moderation in one's doings") is almost synonymous with the term tughyan ("overweening arrogance") occurring in the preceding verse (Manor XI, 314), and relates to the same type of man. The phrase "goodly seem [to them] their own doings" describes the unthinking complacency with which "those who waste their own selves" go through life.