One Who Turns Away from Allah’s Speech

From among these examples is Allah’s statement drawing a likeness of the one who turns away from His Speech and from reflecting upon it,

“Why do they turn away from the Admonishment, as if the were (frightened) donkeys feeling from a lion?” (Surah al-Muddaththir:49-51)

He compared them, in their turning away and fleeing from the Qur’an with donkeys that see a lion or a hunter and flee from it. And this is a marvellous example of an analogical exemplification because those people in their ignorance of what Allah has sent His Messengers with, are like donkeys that do not comprehend anything. And when they hear the sound of a lion or a hunter, they run away from it most vehemently. And this is (from) the utmost form of censure of these people because they run away from guidance – that contains happiness and life for them – the way in which a donkey runs away from something that was going to kill it or hamstring it. The meaning resulting from the employment of the word “fleeing” is more far-reaching than the word “naafirah” because it indicates the forcefulness of their fleeing is such, that they drive away one another and includes others who run away.

The word patterns used, contains additional meaning that indicates seeking to perform the action compared to the basic root – as if they were encouraging one another to run or had conspired to do it together. And when the word is with a fathah on the letter ‘fa‘, as per one of the ways it is recited, the meaning is that the lion caused it to flee due to its severity and power.

Paragons of the Qur’an by Ibn Qayyim al Jawziyyah Pages 56-57

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