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أَوْ كَصَيِّبٍ مِّنَ ٱلسَّمَآءِ فِيهِ ظُلُمَٰتٌ وَرَعْدٌ وَبَرْقٌ يَجْعَلُونَ أَصَٰبِعَهُمْ فِيۤ آذَانِهِم مِّنَ ٱلصَّوَٰعِقِ حَذَرَ ٱلْمَوْتِ وٱللَّهُ مُحِيطٌ بِٱلْكَٰفِرِينَ
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-Al-Baqarah ( البقرة )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

Or, the likeness of them is as a cloudburst, that is, [the likeness of them is] as people are during rain (ka-sayyib: the term is originally sayyūb, from [the verb] sāba, yasūbu, meaning ‘it came down’); out of the heaven, out of the clouds, in which clouds is darkness, layer upon layer, and thunder, the angel in charge of them [sc. the clouds]; it is also said that this [thunder] is actually the sound of his voice; and lightning, the flash caused by his voice which he uses to drive them — they, the people under the rain, put their fingers, that is, their fingertips, in their ears against, because of, the thunderclaps, the violent sound of thunder, in order not to hear it, cautious of, fearful of, death, if they were to hear it. Similar is the case with these: when the Qur’ān is revealed, in which there is mention of the unbelief that is like darkness, the threat of punishment that is like the sound of thunder, and the clear arguments that are like the clear lightning, they shut their ears in order not to hear it and thereby incline towards [true] faith and abandon their religion, which for them would be death; and God encompasses the disbelievers in both knowledge and power, so they cannot escape Him.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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