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Sura 74
Aya 37
لِمَن شاءَ مِنكُم أَن يَتَقَدَّمَ أَو يَتَأَخَّرَ

Yusuf Ali

To any of you that chooses to press forward, or to follow behind;-1
  • Three interpretations are possible. (1) Those pressing forward may be the Righteous, and those following behind may be the laggards, the Unbelievers, who reject God’s love, care, and mercy. (2) Men of two kinds of temperament may be referred to; those who are always in the van and those who are always in the rear. God’s Message is open to both. But there may be a danger to both; in the one case, overconfidence, or hope in wrong things; in the other case missing great opportunities so that their spiritual lives may be “bound in shallows and in miseries”. Extremes should be avoided. (3) Or it may mean that the warning is effective only for those willing to move forwards or backwards, as the case may be, but is lost on the inert or the lethargic. For our moral and spiritual progress, we have in some cases to go forward, but in some cases we have to retreat from false positions. The hopeless case is that of the obstinate man, whose heart is so dead that he dares not advance to the right or withdraw from the wrong.