Ayah

Word by Word
يَدۡعُواْ
He calls
لَمَن
(one) who
ضَرُّهُۥٓ
his harm
أَقۡرَبُ
(is) closer
مِن
than
نَّفۡعِهِۦۚ
his benefit
لَبِئۡسَ
Surely an evil
ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ
protector
وَلَبِئۡسَ
and surely an evil
ٱلۡعَشِيرُ
friend!
يَدۡعُواْ
He calls
لَمَن
(one) who
ضَرُّهُۥٓ
his harm
أَقۡرَبُ
(is) closer
مِن
than
نَّفۡعِهِۦۚ
his benefit
لَبِئۡسَ
Surely an evil
ٱلۡمَوۡلَىٰ
protector
وَلَبِئۡسَ
and surely an evil
ٱلۡعَشِيرُ
friend!

Translation

(Perhaps) they call on one whose hurt is nearer than his profit: evil, indeed, is the patron, and evil the companion (or help)!

Tafsir

He calls on him (the laam [of la-man] is extra) whose harm, when worshipped, is likelier than his benefit, even if he were to have any benefit, as he imagines [him to have]. Truly an evil patron, is he, that is, [an evil] helper, and an evil friend, [an evil] companion is he. After the mention of 'the doubter' and [his being in manifest] 'loss' [above, verse 11] there follows [the mention of] the believers and [their] reward, as follows:

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