As I’m reviewing, I’m starting to have some trouble with the mutashaabihaat ayaat, and I’ve had to force myself to stop and just flip the pages and scrutinize these ayaats and figure out some explanations to myself so I would remember what is where.
In Al Baqarah 18
Deaf, dumb and blind – so they will not return [to the right path].
The ayah before it:-
Their example is that of one who kindled a fire, but when it illuminated what was around him, Allah took away their light and left them in darkness [so] they could not see.
in Al Baqarah 171
The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries cattle or sheep – deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand.
The part of the ayaat : Ones deaf, Ones dumb, Ones blind so they do not (_____________) is the subject of my scrutiny.
And I figured (this is not tafseer) that in ayat 18, the analogy given is that in which a person is left in darkness, and so in this ayat, the word يَرجِعُون is used, to show that this person won’t find his way back.
In ayat 171, the analogy is that in which a person is shouting at another but this other person doesn’t hear it except as unintelligible cries and calls. So in this case, the word يَعقِلُون is used to show the state of this person of not being able to understand the shouts.
Interestingly, the analogy in ayat 18 is that of a hypocrite and the analogy in ayat 171 is that of a person who disbelieves. So a hypocrite is one who understands the message, maybe even accepts it, but with the meaning ‘they will not return’, it indicates that he was once there, but he has deviated or steered away through his actions or words somehow, and so he has left the path. As for a disbeliever, he doesn’t even get it in the first place, so ‘they don’t understand’ indicates that.
Disclaimer: These are not tafseer. These are just my own self-derived explanations in order for me to better remember the similarity and differences between these mutashaabihaat ayaat.