5. The Attribution of Scheming: beguiling and Mockery to Allah

Abu Ja‘far, may Allah have mercy upon him, maintained that the meaning of Allah's saying:

(The hypocrites) seek to beguile Allah, but it is He Who beguileth them [4:142],

and: They have forgotten Allah, so He hath forgotten them [9:67],

and: And they devised, and Allah devised, and Allah is the best of devisers [3:54],

and: Allah shall mock them [2:15],

is that Allah will requite them for their base acts1 .

Abu ‘Abdillah concurs, and adds that the interpretation advanced by Abu Ja‘far is sound, but he has not supplied the reason; for the reason for the interpretation given above is that the Arabs often called a thing by the name of the recompense it brought, because of the relation which exists, and the comparison which can be made between the name and the recompense, since acts which bring a certain requital can fittingly be called by its name2.

Allah says: Those who consume the property of orphans unjustly, they only consume fire in their belies [4:10].

Thus, He called the consumed property, though in itself good; fire, because the punishment for it is fire.

  • 1. T, ‘an jazai 'l-af‘al: N, al-jaza’ ‘ala 'l-af‘al, which is correct.
  • 2. T, falamma kanati 'l-mujaza: N, falamma kanati 'l-af‘ali 'l-mujaza, which is correct.