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Commentary

Mentioned in the previous verse was that this world is a place of trial. Good deeds here are tied with some effort. This is a way laid out with hurdles. The same is true about evil deeds. They come with a web of deception laced with unending desires and their short-lived gratifications, a way of living which makes these evil deeds look good in the sight of human beings who are unaware of their reality and heedless to their ultimate end. Such is their pull that the smartest of the smart in this world would not hesitate to jump into the bandwagon.

In the first (123) of the present verses, it is said that this trial can be seen as an ongoing spectacle of life since the beginning of the universe of our existence. Usually, it is the big people of a community, the rich, the influential, the holders of clout and access who, when they get used to the taste of money, power and recognition, start committing crimes in one or the other form, never bothering to reflect on the ultimate end of what they were doing. As for the common people, they become accustomed to following the example set by these big people. They copy them with the conviction that it is good for them and that they are on the obvious road to success. In contrast, there are the blessed prophets and their deputies charged with learning, teaching and preaching. They try to stop people from their evil deeds and warn them of the consequences of what they were doing. Then, these big people open a front of hostility and conspiracy against them, which is obviously to harass or harm these pious souls, but in the ultimate analysis, the curse of what they do against them recoils back on them alone. And this can happen to them even within their life in the present world.

In this statement of guidance, Muslims have been warned against aspiring to be like the big, the rich, the wealthy of the world. They should leave the habit of looking at them as role-models and stop following them mob-like. For them, the ideal is that they should make a habit of seeing everything in perspective making sure that they are aware of the final end of their deeds, and that they should themselves learn to figure out as to what is good or bad for them.

In addition to that, the purpose here is to comfort the Holy Prophet ﷺ when he has been asked not to grieve about the hostility of the chiefs of Quraysh, for it was nothing new. Prophets in the past had also faced such people. But, in the end, they (the people) were disgraced and the word of Allah reigned supreme.