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Sura 34
Aya 33
وَقالَ الَّذينَ استُضعِفوا لِلَّذينَ استَكبَروا بَل مَكرُ اللَّيلِ وَالنَّهارِ إِذ تَأمُرونَنا أَن نَكفُرَ بِاللَّهِ وَنَجعَلَ لَهُ أَندادًا ۚ وَأَسَرُّوا النَّدامَةَ لَمّا رَأَوُا العَذابَ وَجَعَلنَا الأَغلالَ في أَعناقِ الَّذينَ كَفَروا ۚ هَل يُجزَونَ إِلّا ما كانوا يَعمَلونَ

Muhammad Asad

But those who had been weak will say unto those who had gloried in their arrogance: "Nay, [what kept us away was your] devising of false arguments, night and day,1 [against God's messages as you did] when you persuaded us to blaspheme against God and to claim that there are powers that could rival Him"2 And when they see the suffering [that awaits them], they will [all] be unable to express [the full depth of] their remorse:3 for We shall have put shackles around the necks of those who had been bent on denying the truth:4 [and] will this be aught but a [just] requital for what they were doing?
  • I.e., always. The term makr (lit., "a scheme" or "scheming") has here the connotation of "devising false arguments" against something that is true: in this case, as is shown in the first paragraph of verse 31 above, against God's messages (cf. a similar use of this term in 10:21 and 35:43; see also 86: 15).
  • Lit., "[that we should] give God compeers (andad)". For an explanation of this phrase and my rendering of it, see surah 2, note 13.
  • For a justification of this rendering of the phrase asarru 'n-nadamah, see surah 10, note 77.
  • As pointed out by several of the classical commentators (e.g., Zamakhshari, Razi and Baydawi) in their explanations of similar phrases occurring in 13:5 and 36:8, the "shackles" (aghlal) which these sinners carry, as it were, "around their necks" in life, and will carry on Judgment Day, are a metaphor of the enslavement of their souls to the false values to which they had surrendered, and of the suffering which will be caused by that surrender.