Ayah

Word by Word
وَمَا
And not
يَسۡتَوِي
equal
ٱلۡأَحۡيَآءُ
(are) the living
وَلَا
and not
ٱلۡأَمۡوَٰتُۚ
the dead
إِنَّ
Indeed
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
يُسۡمِعُ
causes to hear
مَن
whom
يَشَآءُۖ
He wills
وَمَآ
and not
أَنتَ
you
بِمُسۡمِعٖ
can make hear
مَّن
(those) who
فِي
(are) in
ٱلۡقُبُورِ
the graves
وَمَا
And not
يَسۡتَوِي
equal
ٱلۡأَحۡيَآءُ
(are) the living
وَلَا
and not
ٱلۡأَمۡوَٰتُۚ
the dead
إِنَّ
Indeed
ٱللَّهَ
Allah
يُسۡمِعُ
causes to hear
مَن
whom
يَشَآءُۖ
He wills
وَمَآ
and not
أَنتَ
you
بِمُسۡمِعٖ
can make hear
مَّن
(those) who
فِي
(are) in
ٱلۡقُبُورِ
the graves

Translation

Nor are alike those that are living and those that are dead. Allah can make any that He wills to hear; but thou canst not make those to hear who are (buried) in graves.

Tafsir

nor are the living equal to the dead, the believers and the disbelievers [respectively] (the addition of the particle laa, 'nor', in all three instances is for emphasis). Indeed God makes to hear whomever He will, to be guided, so that such [a person] then responds to Him by embracing faith. But you cannot make those who are in the graves to hear, namely, the disbelievers - whom He has likened to the dead - [to hear] and so respond.

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