Ayah

Word by Word
وَإِذَا
And when
تُتۡلَىٰ
are recited
عَلَيۡهِ
to him
ءَايَٰتُنَا
Our Verses
وَلَّىٰ
he turns away
مُسۡتَكۡبِرٗا
arrogantly
كَأَن
as if
لَّمۡ
not
يَسۡمَعۡهَا
he (had) heard them
كَأَنَّ
as if
فِيٓ
in
أُذُنَيۡهِ
his ears
وَقۡرٗاۖ
(is) deafness
فَبَشِّرۡهُ
So give him tidings
بِعَذَابٍ
of a punishment
أَلِيمٍ
painful
وَإِذَا
And when
تُتۡلَىٰ
are recited
عَلَيۡهِ
to him
ءَايَٰتُنَا
Our Verses
وَلَّىٰ
he turns away
مُسۡتَكۡبِرٗا
arrogantly
كَأَن
as if
لَّمۡ
not
يَسۡمَعۡهَا
he (had) heard them
كَأَنَّ
as if
فِيٓ
in
أُذُنَيۡهِ
his ears
وَقۡرٗاۖ
(is) deafness
فَبَشِّرۡهُ
So give him tidings
بِعَذَابٍ
of a punishment
أَلِيمٍ
painful

Translation

When Our Signs are rehearsed to such a one, he turns away in arrogance, as if he heard them not, as if there were deafness in both his ears: announce to him a grievous Penalty.

Tafsir

And when Our signs, in other words, [in] Al-Qur'an, are recited to such [a one] he turns away disdainfully as though he never heard them, as though there were a deafness in his ears (both comparisons constitute two circumstantial qualifiers referring to the subject of [the verb] wallaa, 'turns away'; or it is that the second [comparison] is an explication of the first). So give him tidings of, inform him of, a painful chastisement. The use of [the expression] 'good tidings' meant derisively against such [a person] - this was al-Nadr ibn al-Haarith. He used to visit al-Heera for commerce and purchase books containing the stories of the non-Arab peoples and then recount these to the people of Mecca. He would say, 'Muhammad recounts to you the stories of 'aad and Thamood, whereas I relate to you the stories of the Persians and the Byzantines!' They would thus [go to] enjoy his stories and neglect to listen to Al-Qur'an.

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