When it is said to them, “Do not [foment] corruption in the land,” they say, “We are only putting things right.”
Truly, they are the agents of corruption, but they perceive not.
This alludes to the fact that when thoughts of warning came secretly to their hearts, calling them to right conduct, they followed self-indulgent interpretations (rukhaṣ al-taÌwīl) and deceived themselves about that which bore witness to the hardness of their hearts. When they denied the proof of the Real in the thoughts that came to their hearts, God took the bless- ing away from their states and in its place gave them a deaf ear to the Real. Their affliction is in their resistance to the path (Ṭarīqa) and their loss of belief in it.
Just as an apostate is a more intense enemy to Muslims, so the one who
returns from spiritual desire (irāda) to the world and ordinary customs is the worst of people in rejecting this path, and the most distant from its followers. As the proverb goes, “Anyone who loses their stored grain to fire wishes the same for others.” According to the sincere among those [on the path], the help of those who have deserted the way of spiritual desire should not be accepted, just as the Messenger ﷺ did not accept the almsgiving (zakāt) of Thaʿlaba.
It is said that it is sufficient to expose those who lie by saying to such a person's face, “You have lied.” When they said, “We are only putting things right,” the Real (سبحانه) showed them to be liars and He said, “Truly, they are the agents of corruption, but they perceive not,” meaning “We are aware of them and have exposed them.”