¡ Those who disbelieve and turn from the way of God—He has made their deeds go astray.
1 Turn from translates ṣadda ʿan, which can mean both “to turn away from” and “to prevent from” (Iṣ, Z). Taking the two meanings together, the verse indicates that the disbelievers turn away from the way of God and also seek to prevent others from following it. As this behavior reflects their disposition toward religion, God has made their deeds go astray, meaning that their evil deeds will not have the intended effect, that any good deeds they have performed will bring no benefit for them in the Hereafter
(JJ), and that they mistake evil deeds for good deeds because the evil of their deeds is made to seem fair unto them (9:37). In this way, God brings their scheming and plotting to naught (Q). This verse stands in stark contrast to the last sentence of v. 4: And as for those who are slain in the way of God, He will not make their deeds go astray. But the use of the past tense here in v. 1 leaves open the possibility that those who disbelieve may repent in the future and thus be forgiven for their evil deeds.