Then your hearts became hardened [thereafter], in other words, after the duration became prolonged and the languor of the extent of the interval with one variegation (talwīn) after another and one attitude after another, your hearts became hardened because of the frequency with which you pursue [this-worldly] matters, corporeal pleasures and being surrounded by ego-centric attributes; and they are like stones, that are unaffected by the engravings of knowledge, or, something, even yet harder, than that, such as iron, for example. He then illustrates how stones are more malleable than these [hearts of theirs], since the state of these [stones] are limited to [one of] the three aspects mentioned. This means that hearts are of four [kinds]: a heart that is illumined by the divine light, obliterated by it, ploughing deep into the sea of knowledge, ensconced in it, so that there gushes forth from it rivers of knowledge, whoever drinks from them lives forever, as is the case with the hearts of the people of God, the foremost [towards God], and this is what is alluded to in His statement: for there are stones from which rivers come gushing; [or] a heart that drank from knowledge, learnt and absorbed [it] and people profited from it, as is the case with the hearts of the scholars deeply-rooted in knowledge, and this is what is alluded to in His statement: and others split so that water issues from them; [or] a heart that is humble, pliant, submits and is obedient, as is the case with the hearts of [God's] servants and pious renouncers from among the Muslims, and this is what is alluded to in His statement: and others come down in fear of God; . The lowest of its states is that it comes down in fear of God, that is to say, to obey what God has commanded in the way of inclining to the centre compliantly. There then remains that heart which is not affected at all by knowledge and has not been made more pliant by fear, rejecting guidance, arrogant, filled with caprice, and rebellious, such that there is no substance that resembles it, since all [substances] receive what God has commanded: consider how even iron can be made malleable when required. The Prophet said: 'The similitude of the guidance and knowledge with which God has sent me is as the abundant rain that falls on a land, of which one part is wholesome and receives the water and produces plentiful herbage and grass, while another part is subservient, retains the water by which God makes the people profit so that they drink, water and sow; another part on which it falls is a plain that does neither retains water nor produces herbage: that is the similitude of the one who acquires an understanding of religion, learns and acts [by it], and the similitude of the one who does nothing of the sort, rejecting the guidance of God that I have been sent with. Thus did he [the Prophet] illustrate the last three [kinds of] hearts, while the first of the four is the Muḥammadan heart. And God is not heedless of what you do: a threat for those with hardened hearts, meaning that God is looking [over them] and veils them from His light and abandons them in their darknesses. The verses that you recite constitute the exoteric aspect of this [interpretation given]; however, [symbolic] interpretation is more appropriate.