Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo AAalaykum anfusakum la yadurrukum man dalla itha ihtadaytum ila Allahi marjiAAukum jameeAAan fayunabbiokum bima kuntum taAAmaloona
The Aya says:
O you who made themselves safe (in Allah) upon you are your own selves. The one who is misguided will not harm you once you have attained guidance. Towards Allah is your return, all, then He will inform you in what you happened to be doing.
My personal note:
This Aya contains a very important principle. “Upon you are your own selves” is an expression that suggests that the primary responsibility (not necessarily the only responsibility) of the person is his own self and in this context it is the responsibility to work on getting oneself guided and straight on the straight path of Allah.
There are two words that the Qur’an uses for harm. The first is DARAR and it does suggest significant harm or harm that is difficult to overcome and so on. The other is ATHA and this is a harm that is somewhat of a lesser degree and can be more easily overcome. This is more of a nuisance or distraction rather than a significant harm. The Aya suggests that no significant form of harm or dangerous harm hits us once we attained guidance.
Some scholars commented on the way to attain guidance. Ibn Taimiyyah suggested that guidance that is safe from potential significant harm to the belief system happens when the person attains Iman=safety in Allah in addition to or aided by attaining good knowledge of the Qur’an. If one attains both, where both are aided by Taqwa= consciousness and where both help strengthen each other, then the person is safe from the harm to their belief system and spirituality.
Some people may misunderstand the Aya as meaning that the person should not care about what others do or say or believe. This understanding is not supported by the aya. However, the Aya puts the emphasis on the personal belief and the work on the self. It reassures such a person that when you share your belief with the person who is not guided then he or she will not harm you. This Aya may also say to the person that he or she needs to first work on themselves before they work on others. So, if the person is lacking in knowledge or Iman then it may be better to first work on oneself before preaching to others. This is also the understanding of the scholars related to the important concept of “Enjoining good and prohibiting evil”. Their understanding is that a person needs to know exactly the matter he or she is talking about before they enjoin good and forbid evil regarding that matter.
Translation of the transliterated words:
Ya ayyuha allatheena: O those who
Note: the three words used here are callings.
Amanoo: made themselves safe
Note: the root is Hamza-M-N and it means safe or safety. AMANOO is an action that is derived from the root and that is completed. It means: the action of making the object (not mentioned and therefore the subject and the object can be the same entity here) become safe happened by the subject (third person plural). So, it ends up meaning: they made themselves safe.
AAalaykum: upon you (plural)
Note: ANFUSAKUM is derived from the root N-F-S and it means to breath but is extended to mean self since the self breathes and that defines her existence. ANFUSA is a noun that is derived from this root and it means Selves of. KUM means plural you.
la yadurrukum: does not significantly harm/ will not harm
Note: LA is a negation of the action that is coming next. YADURRKUM is derived from the root Dhad-R-R and it means to harm or opposite of benefit. Concrete word is DAREER and it means blind person or a person that is afflicted with weakness and illness. Conceptually, it covers any kind of significant harm or affliction. YADURRU is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of causing harm to the object (KUM=plural you) is happening or will be happening by the subject (third person singular pointing to man).
Dalla: He lost the path/ became misguided
Note: the root is Dhad-L-L and it means getting lost as in lost the path or road in concrete terminology. Conceptually, it is used for any form of loosing the path, whether it is the path to a location or to the truth, or to be correct spiritually and so on. The imagery is very strong since loosing the path in the desert can mean near certain death. DALLA is an action that is completed. It means: the actions of loosing the path, or becoming misguided happened by the subject (third person singular).
Itha: when/ if/ if and when
Ihtadaytum: became guided/ you guided yourselves
Note: IHTADAYTUM is derived from the root H-D-Y and it means gift in all it’s forms and it carries the meaning of guidance since guidance is a gift. IHTADAYTUM is an action that is completed. It means: the action of guiding oneself or for oneself happened by the subject (second person plural).
Ila: to/ towards
marjiAAukum: your time/place of return/ your return
Note: the root is R-J-Ain and it means returning. MARJiAAuKUM is the place or time of return or both. It can also mean return period, because return will happen in it’s place and it’s time at the same time.
jameeAAan: altogether/ all/collectively
Note: the root is J-M-Ain and it means gather the different parts together or putting things together. JAMeeAAaN means together or all. The context suggests all of it.
Fayunabbiokum: so He informs you (plural)
Note: FA means then or therefore or so. YUNABBIOKUM is derived from the root N-B-Hamza and it means news or informing since the news are meant to inform. YUNABBIO is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of making the object (KUM=plural you) informed is happening or going to happen by the subject (third person singular pointing to God).
Bima: by what/ with what/ in what
Note: Bi denotes that what comes after is a tool and/or an object or an association with an action that was mentioned. If it is an object of the action then it makes it stronger. MA means what
Kuntum: you (plural) happened to be/ were
Note: the root is K-W-N and it means being. KUNTUM is an action that is completed that is derived from the root. It means: the action of being happened by the subject (second person plural). This in turn means: you (plural) happened to be
taAAmaloona: you (plural) do
Note: the root is Ain-M-L and it means doing or work. TaAAaMALOONA is an action that is being completed or will be completed. It means: the action of doing or making is happening or will be happening by the subject (second person plural). The combination of Kuntum TaAAMALOON gives the impression of this: you happened to be doing or you happened to do.
Salaam all and have a great day.