And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, (Allah would have hastened the punishment upon you). And that Allah is full of kindness, Most Merciful.
O you who believe! Follow not the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan). And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaitan (Satan), then, verily he commands Al-Fahsha’ [i.e. to commit indecency (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.)], and Al-Munkar [disbelief and polytheism (i.e. to do evil and wicked deeds; to speak or to do what is forbidden in Islam, etc.)]. And had it not been for the Grace of Allah and His Mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins. But Allah purifies (guides to Islam) whom He wills, and Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower.
Chapter 24 An-Nūr : Verses 20-21
A Reminder of the Grace of Allah and a Warning against following the Footsteps of Shaytan
(And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, and that Allah is full of kindness, Most Merciful.) meaning, if it were not for this, it would have been another matter altogether, but He, may He be exalted, is full of kindness towards His servants and Merciful towards them. He accepts the repentance of those who repent to Him from this sin, and purifies those among them who are purified by the prescribed punishment carried out on them. Then Allah says:
(O you who believe! Follow not the Khutuwat of Shaytan.) hmeaning, his ways and paths and what he commands,
(And whosoever follows the footsteps of Shaytan, then, verily, he commands immorality and the evil deeds.) This is a warning given in the most concise and eloquent manner. `Ali bin Abi Talhah recorded from Ibn `Abbas that
(the Khutuwat of Shaytan) means his deeds. `Ikrimah said that it means his evil whispers. Qatadah said: “Every sin is one of the footsteps of Shaytan.” Abu Mijlaz said: “Vowing to commit sin is one of the footsteps of Shaytan.” Then Allah says:
(And had it not been for the grace of Allah and His mercy on you, not one of you would ever have been pure from sins.) meaning, if He did not help whomever He wills to repent and come back to Him and be purified from Shirk, evil and sin, and whatever bad characteristics each person has according to his nature, no one would ever attain purity and goodness.
(But Allah purifies whom He wills) means, among His creation, and He sends astray whomever He wills, leaving him to be doomed in his misguidance and sin.
(and Allah is All-Hearer,) means, He hears what His servants say,
(All-Knower.) of who deserves to be guided and who deserves to be misguided.