﴿38﴾ كُلُّ نَفْسٍ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ رَهِينَةٌ
pledge against the fulfillment of his obligations, such that when he fulfils them, he will be set free, otherwise, he will remain in bondage. Thus, the blessed Verse 39 adds: "Except those on the Right [whose records of deeds are given to their right hand as a token of their faith and fear of God Almighty]," who are free from such bondage since they have broken the shackles and fetters of bondage through faith and doing good righteous deeds as a consequence of which they freely enter Paradise.
Qur’an exegetes disagree on the meaning of "the people on the right." Some maintain that it makes a reference to those whose records of deeds are given to their right hand. Some hold that they are the believers who have committed no sins at all. Some others believe that a reference is made to the angels. However, the Qur’anic evidence reflects the first suggestion – those who have faith and have done good righteous deeds and their few sins are overshadowed by their good righteous deeds, as reflected elsewhere in the Holy Qur’an (11:114): "The good deeds remove the evil deeds." Their good deeds efface their evil deeds, or they freely enter Paradise, or the reckoning of their deeds shall be quite easy, as reflected elsewhere in the Glorious Qur’an (84:7-8): "Then as for him who will be given his record in his right hand, he shall receive an easy reckoning."
Qurtubī, the Sunnī Qur’an exegete of repute narrates from Imam Bāqir (as) as saying: "We and our adherents are "the people of the right hand" and whoever regards our Ahl al-Bayt as enemies, he shall be in the bondage of his deeds." The blessed Verses 40-42 say: "In Gardens they will ask, the sinners [inquiring]: "What has caused you to enter Hell?" The blessed Verses clearly reflect that the ties between the people of Paradise and those of the Hell shall not be totally severed, as the former may witness the dire fate of the latter and converse with them.
 Tafsīr Qurtubī, vol. 10, p. 6878.
In the blessed Verses 43-45, the sinners respond to the question posed by the people of the right hand by confessing to their four grave sins: " They will say: "We were not of those who used to offer the prayers, nor we used to feed the poor; and we used to talk falsehood with vain talkers." Had they offered their prayers, they would have remembered God Almighty forbidding them from committing evil deeds and calling them unto the Divine Straight Path. They confess that they did not feed the poor, seemingly implying that they refrained from attending to the urgent necessities and requirements of the needy, with respect to clothes and accommodation. Qur’an exegetes maintain that reference is herein made to the obligatory alms, since failing to pay the supererogatory alms may not entail ending up in Hell, emphasizing that some of the Qur’anic Verses revealed in Mecca addressed the issue of paying alms, though the details and specifications of the same, particularly its concentration in the Muslim treasury (bayt al-māl) were specified in Medinan Verses.
They also confess that they used to associate with the followers of falsehood and whenever they heard some words against the Truth or upon being notified of some session aiming at the dissemination of falsehood, they joined them acknowledging their denial of Truth and derived please from deriding the words of Truth.
The verbal form nakhūdu ("we entered"), derived from kh-w-d, originally denotes entering water and moving in it, though it is also applied to getting adulterated by impurities. The word is used in the Holy Qur’an in the sense of engaging oneself in unfounded and false affairs. Mention is herein made of attending meetings held for deriding Divine Verses, anti-Islamic propaganda, dissemination of heresy, obscene jokes, and taking pride and deriving pleasure from the sins committed, slander and sportive vain talks. The blessed Verse in question mainly refers to attending the meetings held for destabilizing faith in God Almighty, sacrilege, and dissemination of disbelief.