What, do they not ponder (yatadabbarūna) the QurÌān? If it had been from other than God surely they would have found therein much inconsistency.
And when there comes to them an issue, be it of security, or of fear, they broadcast it. If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them, those among them who are able to think it out (yastanbiṬūnahu) would have known it from them. And but for the bounty of God to you and His mercy, you would surely have followed Satan, except a few [of you].
“Pondering” (tadabbur) is an allusion to meanings acquired through immersing [oneself] deeply in contemplation. The mining of the jewels of meanings is through precise “extraction” (istinbāṬ).
And when there comes to them an issue. . . Because they are heedless of the Real, they have no one to whom they can transmit their secrets, so they reveal the secret to each other. As for the believers, the Knower of their secrets is their Friend and Protector. They speak with Him about what comes to them and have no need to broadcast the secret to any created being. The Hearer of their whispered confidence is God and the Knower of their hidden affairs is God.
If they had referred it to the Messenger and to those in authority among them. . . that is, if they had brought their secrets to those who are respected and those among the people of the story, it would have dispelled their doubts and helped them, through the light of guidance and spiritual instruction.
And but for the bounty of God with His friends, they would wander in every wadi of separation of the moment just as those outwardly like them do.