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وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِي جَعَلَكُمْ خَلاَئِفَ ٱلأَرْضِ وَرَفَعَ بَعْضَكُمْ فَوْقَ بَعْضٍ دَرَجَاتٍ لِّيَبْلُوَكُمْ فِي مَآ آتَاكُمْ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ سَرِيعُ ٱلْعِقَابِ وَإِنَّهُ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
-Al-An‘âm ( الأنعام )

Tafsir al-Tustari

… Surely your Lord is swift in punishment, and surely He is Forgiving, Merciful.He [Sahl] said:This refers to the punishment of the heart which is a cover and veil, so that it [the heart] inclines to that which is other than Him. Furthermore, whenever God looks upon the heart of a servant and finds there that which is other than Him, He empowers his enemy over him. However, He is most forgiving to the one who repents for what he has done.No harm (maḍār) can be considered a punishment, because it [acts as] a purification and an expiation (kaffāra), except for hardness (qaswa) of the heart, for that in itself is a punishment. External punishments are a torment (ʿadhāb), but the punishments of the heart have differentlevels, for the lower self holds a share and a design with regard to the heart. [As for the one whose] heart is veiled, God empowers his enemy over him. His heart does not orbit the celestial dominions (malakūt), nor does the divine omnipotence (qudra) manifest itself to him, nor does he witness (yushāhid) God. But as for the one whose heart is hardened, God leaves him to his own devices and means. Truly the tendency of the heart may be compared to the tongue; when a person speaks, he can speak of only one thing [at a time]. Similarly if a heart is full of concern [for something] there is no room for anything along with that. But God knows best.His words, Mighty and Majestic is He:

Tafsīr al-Tustarī, trans. Annabel Keeler and Ali Keeler
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