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Sura 33
Aya 19
أَشِحَّةً عَلَيكُم ۖ فَإِذا جاءَ الخَوفُ رَأَيتَهُم يَنظُرونَ إِلَيكَ تَدورُ أَعيُنُهُم كَالَّذي يُغشىٰ عَلَيهِ مِنَ المَوتِ ۖ فَإِذا ذَهَبَ الخَوفُ سَلَقوكُم بِأَلسِنَةٍ حِدادٍ أَشِحَّةً عَلَى الخَيرِ ۚ أُولٰئِكَ لَم يُؤمِنوا فَأَحبَطَ اللَّهُ أَعمالَهُم ۚ وَكانَ ذٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسيرًا

Yusuf Ali

Covetous over you.1 Then when fear comes, thou wilt see them looking to thee, their eyes revolving, like (those of) one over whom hovers death: but when the fear is past, they will smite you with sharp tongues, covetous2 of goods. Such men have no faith, and so God has made their deeds3 of none effect: and that is easy for God.4
  • Ashiḥḥatan: covetous, grasping, miserly. Here the meaning is twofold: (1) they spare themselves in the fight as compared with you; they are miserly with themselves as against you; they contribute little either in personal effort or with their money and resources; and (2) they covet any gains made or booty won, on the part of the real fighters.
  • In time of danger; they would look to the holy Prophet for protection, and keep themselves snugly from the fight. When the danger is past, they will come and brag and wrangle and show their covetousness or greed for gain though they gave of themselves but sparingly.
  • Even any good they may have done becomes vain because of their motives of envy, greed, and covetousness and their cowardice.
  • It is not surprising that men’s deeds fall as it were dead because there is no pure motive behind them. For men it may be difficult to probe motives, but it is easy for God, Whom hypocrisy or false show can never deceive.