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وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِ ءَايَاتُنَا وَلَّىٰ مُسْتَكْبِراً كَأَن لَّمْ يَسْمَعْهَا كَأَنَّ فِيۤ أُذُنَيْهِ وَقْراً فَبَشِّرْهُ بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
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-Luqmân ( لقمان )

Tafsir al-Jalalayn

And when Our signs, in other words, [in] the Qur’ān, are recited to such [a one] he turns away disdainfully as though he never heard them, as though there were a deafness in his ears (both comparisons constitute two circumstantial qualifiers referring to the subject of [the verb] wallā, ‘turns away’; or it is that the second [comparison] is an explication of the first). So give him tidings of, inform him of, a painful chastisement. The use of [the expression] ‘good tidings’ meant derisively against such [a person] — this was al-Nadr b. al-Hārith. He used to visit al-Hīra for commerce and purchase books containing the stories of the non-Arab peoples and then recount these to the people of Mecca. He would say, ‘Muhammad recounts to you the stories of ‘Ād and Thamūd, whereas I relate to you the stories of the Persians and the Byzantines!’ They would thus [go to] enjoy his stories and neglect to listen to the Qur’ān.


Tafsir al-Jalalayn, trans. Feras Hamza
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