MAKE due allowance for man's nature,162
and enjoin the doing of what is right; and leave alone all those who choose to remain ignorant.163
Lit., "accept what is easily forthcoming [from man's nature]". According to Zamakhshari, khudh al-'afw means: "Accept what comes easily to thee [or "what is willingly accorded to thee"] of the doings and the nature of men, and make things easy [for them], without causing them undue hardship (kulfah); and do not demand of them efforts that may be too difficult for them." This interpretation - which has been adopted by many other classical commentators as well - is based on the identical explanation of the phrase khudh al 'afw by 'Abd Allah ibn az-Zubayr and his brother 'Urwah (Bukhari), as well as by 'A'ishah and, in the next generation, by Hisham ibn 'Urwah and Mujahid (see Tabari, Baghawi and Ibn Kathir). Thus, in accordance with the Qur'anic statements that "man has been created weak" 4:28 and that "God does not burden any human being with more than he is well able to bear" ( 2:286 , 6:152 , 7:42 , 23:62 ), the believer is admonished to make due allowance for human nature and not to be too harsh with those who err. This admonition is the more remarkable as it follows immediately upon a discourse on the most unforgivable of all sins - the ascribing of divine powers or qualities to anyone or anything but God.
Lit., "the ignorant ones" - i.e., those who wilfully remain deaf to moral truths, and not those who are simply unaware of them.