| O you who believe! If you converse in secret, then do not converse in secret with a view to sin, enmity, and disobeying the Messenger; converse in secret with a view to piety and reverence. And reverence God, unto Whom you shall be gathered.
Ċ Secret converse is only from Satan, so that those who believe may grieve; yet he harms them not a whit, save by God’s Leave. And in God let the believers trust.
9-10 Whereas vv. 7-8 discuss the secret converse of the disbelievers and the hypocrites, these verses clarify that, although secret converse is often of an insidious nature, private discourse is not evil in and of itself, as in 4:114: There is no good in most of their secret converse, save for him who enjoins charity or kindness or reconciliation between men. And whosoever does that, seeking God’s good pleasure, We shall grant him a great reward. In this vein, a ḥadīth states, “The speech of the Children of Adam always works against them, not for them, except when it is to command the right and forbid the wrong, or to remember God.” That Satan does not harm anyone save by God’s leave indicates that he is ultimately powerless, as in 14:22: And Satan will say, when the matter has been decreed, “Verily God made you the Promise of truth; and I made you a promise, but I failed you. And I had no authority over you, save that I called you, and you responded to me. So do not blame me, but