His [Satan's] power is only over those who choose him as [their] ally, at the station of the soul by virtue of the correspondence that is between them in terms of darkness and impurity, since the adoption of an ally is dictated by the genus-correspondence [between a person and his ally], and those who associate him [with God], by attributing power and effect to him, nay by obeying him and complying with his commands by virtue of the alliance mentioned [above].
The Command to seek Refuge with Allah before reciting the Qur'an
This is a command from Allah to His servants upon the tongue of His Prophet, telling them that when they want to read Qur'an, they should seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Shaytan. The Hadiths mentioned about seeking refuge with Allah (Isti`adhah), were quoted in our discussion at the beginning of this Tafsir, praise be to Allah. The reason for seeking refuge with Allah before reading is that the reader should not get confused or mixed up, and that the Shaytan would not confuse him or stop him from thinking about and pondering over the meaning of what he reads. Hence the majority of scholars said that refuge should be sought with Allah before starting to read.
(Verily, he has no power over those who believe and put their trust only in their Lord.) Ath-Thawri said: "He has no power to make them commit a sin they will not repent from.'' Others said: it means that he has no argument for them. Others said it is like the Ayah:
(His power is only over those who obey and follow him (Shaytan), ) Mujahid said: "Those who obey him.'' Others said, "Those who take him as their protector instead of Allah.''
وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِهِ مُشْرِكُونَ
(and those who join partners with Him.) means, those who associate others in worship with Allah.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This does not mean that one should merely repeat the Arabic words: (I seek Allah's refuge against the accursed Satan). It means that one should have a sincere desire and do one's utmost to guard against Satan's evil suggestions when one is reciting the Holy Qur'an and should not allow wrong and irrelevant doubts and suspicions to enter one's heart. One should try to sec everything contained in the Qur'an in its true light, and refrain from mixing it up with one's self-invented theories or ideas foreign to the Qur'an so as to construe its meaning against the will of Allah. Moreover, one should feel that the most sinister and avowed design of Satan is that the reader should not obtain any guidance from the Quran. This is why Satan tries his utmost to delude the reader and pervert him from getting guidance from it, and mislead him into wrong ways of thinking. Therefore, the reader should be fully on his guard against Satan and seek Allah's refuge for help so that Satan should not be able to deprive him of the benefits froth this source of guidance, for one who fails to get guidance from this source, will never be able to get guidance from any where else. Above all, the one who seeks to obtain deviation from this Book, is so entangled in deviation that he can never get out of this vicious circle.
The context in which this verse occurs here is to serve as an introduction to the answers to the questions which the mushriks of Makkah were raising against the Qur'an. They have been warned that they could appreciate the blessing of the Qur'an only if they would try to see it in its true light by seeking Allah's protection against Satan's misleading suggestions, and not by raising objections against it. Otherwise Satan does not let a man understand the Qur'an and its teachings.