بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
This verse describes the ignorance of those who were blessed with knowledge but failed to act upon it. Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى references the people of Musa عليه السلام, who were given the Torah but refused to acknowledge it despite their observance of multiple divine signs. The inception of their faith was set with the precedence that they will only uphold that which is convenient to their lifestyle and forgo that which is disadvantageous.
Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى likens these people to that of a donkey carrying volumes of books. Although a donkey has the potential to trail through difficult terrains carrying books, it will never have the capability to understand and convey the contents of the books. Similar are those who were handed divine scriptures but did not uphold or convey the teachings of the scriptures.
This example transcends to the Ummah of our Prophet Muhammad صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّم in regards to those of us who have been blessed with the knowledge or the opportunity to gain knowledge but fail to uphold it. Once we acquire knowledge, it becomes our duty to sustain that knowledge through our actions. If we succeed in that, we will be grouped with those who are the best of Allah’s سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى creation and if we fail, we risk falling with those Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى describes in this verse as the “wretched”.
Mufti A Rashid