Knowledge necessitates sacrifice
واتل عليهم نبأ الذي آتيناه آياتنا فانسلخ منها فأتبعه الشيطان فكان من الغاوين
“And recite (O Muhammad pbuh) to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayât , but he threw them away, so Shaitân (Satan) followed him up, and he became of those who went astray.”
( Al-Acraaf 7:175)
My 2 cents:
There’s a widespread notion that one goes astray because of the shaytaan. But that’s both overestimating the shayaateen’s powers and underestimating one’s control of one’s life. This aayah is describing a man who became an caalim, an erudite scholar. But it reached a point where the knowledge called him to outgrow certain things and leave his comfort zone behind, and that’s where his love of Allaah and devotion ended. It wasn’t worth it anymore, to him. So it wasn’t until he succumbed to his comfort zone and reluctant soul that the shaytaan accompanied him.
ولو شئنا لرفعناه بها ولكنه أخلد إلى
الأرض واتبع هواه فمثله كمثل الكلب إن تحمل عليه يلهث أو تتركه يلهث ذلك مثل القوم الذين كذبوا بآياتنا فاقصص القصص لعلهم يتفكرون
“And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of a dog: if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out.
Imaam as-sacdi says about this aayah in his illustrious tafseer
( his words are marked with an * asterisk, and the portion of the verse is within” quotation marks “)
“And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith”:
* by (Allaah) guiding him to act by his knowledge which would result in him being elevated in this world and the hereafter, thus being protected ( by Allaah) from his enemies.
*however, Allaah left him to his devices because
” He clung to the earth “:
*he was too attached to lowly desires and materialistic goals.
” And he followed his own vain desires “:
*by doing so he left the obedience of his Lord
“So his description ” :
*In his extreme obsession with the world and his heart being devoted to it
“… is the description of a dog ; if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out “:
*the dog does not stop lolling his tongue out at all times. Likewise, this person doesn’t cease to crave (material things) with an absolute attachment that no poverty would ever deter him from coveting the world.
From his tafseer, ‘ Tayseer al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam al-Mannaan’ pg. 318