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 For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah. Allah does not change a people’s lot unless they change what is in their hearts. But when (once) Allah willeth a people’s punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect.

Lit., “that which is in themselves”. This statement has both a positive and a negative
i.e., God does not withdraw His blessings from men unless their inner selves become depraved
(cf. 8:53),
just as He does not bestow His blessings upon wilful sinners until they change their inner
and become worthy of His grace. In its wider sense, this is an illustration of the divine law of
and effect (sunnat Allah) which dominates the lives of both individuals and communities, and
the rise and fall of civilizations dependent on people’s moral qualities and the changes in
“their inner selves”.


Asad, Muhammad (1980). The Message of the Quran.

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