Part 1: The One Likened to a Dog Because He Abandoned Allaah’s Aayaat and Was Eager for the Dunyah
In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Allaah [The Most High] said in Surah Al-Araaf Aayaat 175-176:
وَٱتۡلُ عَلَيۡهِمۡ نَبَأَ ٱلَّذِىٓ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فَٱنسَلَخَ مِنۡهَا فَأَتۡبَعَهُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ فَكَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡغَاوِينَ
And recite [O Muhammad] to them the story of him to whom We gave Our Ayat [proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.], but he threw them away, so Shaitan [Satan] followed him up, and he became of those who went astray. [7:175]
وَلَوۡ شِئۡنَا لَرَفَعۡنَـٰهُ بِہَا وَلَـٰكِنَّهُ ۥۤ أَخۡلَدَ إِلَى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَٱتَّبَعَ هَوَٮٰهُۚ فَمَثَلُهُ ۥ كَمَثَلِ ٱلۡڪَلۡبِ إِن تَحۡمِلۡ عَلَيۡهِ يَلۡهَثۡ أَوۡ تَتۡرُڪۡهُ يَلۡهَثۚ ذَّٲلِكَ مَثَلُ ٱلۡقَوۡمِ ٱلَّذِينَ كَذَّبُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَاۚ فَٱقۡصُصِ ٱلۡقَصَصَ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And had We willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of a dog: if you drive him away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he [still] lolls his tongue out. Such is the description of the people who reject Our Ayat [proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.]. So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.
Allaah likened him to a dog because he was given knowledge of the Book and taught what was not given to others, but he abandoned it; followed his desires and preferred the Anger of Allaah over the Pleasure of Allaah; preferred the worldly life over the afterlife and preferred the created beings over the Creator]. A dog is considered to be among the meanest animals, the greediest and most eager [for food]. And due to this eagerness, it does not roam about except that its nose is placed on the ground, whilst sniffing greedily and eagerly. When it takes possession of a dead animal enough for a hundred dogs, it would not allow another dog to eat anything from it, except whilst growling and seeking to gain the upper hand due to eagerness, greed and covetousness.
This person -the one who abandoned the verses of Allaah and followed his desires- did so out of severe eagerness for the worldly life and due to his heart being disconnected from Allaah and the afterlife. He is extremely eager for the dunyah and his eagerness is similar to the constant eagerness of a dog [for food] whether it is troubled or left alone.
Ibn Jurayj [rahimahullaah] said: A dog is among those animals with the least patience when it is thirsty. Among all animals it lolls its tongue out the most, whether it is standing, sitting, moving or not moving. Its intense desire [i.e. greed] necessitates that it will always loll its tongue. Likewise, this is the affair of that person likened to the dog because the extreme eagerness and burning desire in his heart necessitates that he will always exert himself [for the worldly goods at the expense of the Aakhirah]. He still exerts himself whether he is admonished or not.
Mujaahid [rahimahullaah] said: This is similar to the one given knowledge of the Book, but he does not act upon it. Ibn Abbaas (radiyallaahu-anhumaa) said: If you direct him towards wisdom, he does not follow it, and if you leave him alone he is not guided towards good, just like the dog that lolls its tongue out whether it is taking a rest or driven away.
Al-Hasan [rahimahullaah] said: It is the Munaafiq- he does not remain firm upon the truth whether he is called or left alone; whether he is admonished or not admonished, just like the dog that lolls its tongue out whether driven away or left alone. So Allaah [The Most High] gave an example of the one who abandoned His Aayaat [proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc], saying: He is misguided whether he is admonished or left alone, just like the dog that lolls its tongue out, whether driven away or left alone. This Ayah [i.e. Al-A’raaf 176] is similar to the saying of Allaah [The Most High]:
[وَإِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ لَا يَتَّبِعُوڪُمۡۚ سَوَآءٌ عَلَيۡكُمۡ أَدَعَوۡتُمُوهُمۡ أَمۡ أَنتُمۡ صَـٰمِتُونَ – And if you call them to guidance, they follow you not. It is the same for you whether you call them or you keep silent] [7:193]
To be continued InShaaAllaah
[Source: بدائع التفسير الجامع لما فسَّره الإمام ابن القيم الجوزية Abridged and slightly paraphrased. Vol 1. Page: 426-427]