Allah states that He does what He wills with His creatures and none can resist His decision or avert what He decrees for them. He is the One Who has no partners, Who accepts the supplication from whomever He wills. Allah said,
(Say: "Tell me if Allah's torment comes upon you, or the Hour comes upon you, would you then call upon any one other than Allah (Reply) if you are truthful!'') This means, you -- disbelievers -- will not call other than Allah in this case, because you know that none except He is able to remove the affliction. Allah said,
(if you are truthful) by taking gods besides Him.
(Nay! To Him alone you call, and, if He willed, He would remove that (distress) for which you call upon Him, and you forget at that time whatever partners you joined with Him (in worship)!) for in times of necessity, you only call on Allah and forget your idols and false deities. In another Ayah, Allah said;
(And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon besides Him vanish from you except Him (Allah)) (17:67). Allah said;
(Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you. And We seized them with extreme poverty...) That is, loss of wealth and diminished provisions,
(and loss of health) various illnesses, diseases and pain,
(so that they might believe with humility) and call Allah and supplicate to Him with humbleness and humility. Allah said;
(When Our torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility) Meaning: Why do they not believe and humble themselves before Us when We test them with disaster'
(But their hearts became hardened,) for their hearts are not soft or humble,
(and Shaytan made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do.) That is, Shirk, defiance and rebellion.
(So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded,) by ignoring and turning away from it,
(We opened to them the gates of everything,) Meaning: `We opened the gates of provisions for them from wherever they wished, so that We deceive them.' We seek refuge with Allah from such an end. This is why Allah said,
(until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given,) such as wealth, children and provisions,
(all of a sudden, We took them to punishment and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.) They have no hope for any type of good thing. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "Whomever Allah gives provision and he thinks that Allah is not testing him, has no wisdom. Whomever has little provision and thinks that Allah will not look at (provide for) him, has no wisdom.'' He then recited the Ayah,
(So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.) He added, "By the Lord of the Ka`bah! Allah deceived these people, when He gave them what they wished, and then they were punished.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded this statement.
(46. Say: "Tell me, if Allah took away your hearing and your sight, and sealed up your hearts, is there a god other than Allah who could restore them to you'' See how variously We explain the Ayat, yet they turn aside.) (47. Say: "Tell me, if the punishment of Allah comes to you suddenly, or openly, will any be destroyed except the wrongdoing people'') (48. And We send not the Messengers but as givers of glad tidings and as warners. So whosoever believes and does righteous good deeds, upon such shall come no fear, nor shall they grieve.) (49. But those who reject Our Ayat, the torment will strike them for their rebelling.) Allah said to His Messenger, say, O Muhammad , to those rebellious liars,
(Tell me, if Allah took away your hearing and your sight.) just as He gave these senses to you. In another Ayah, Allah said;
(It is He Who has created you, and endowed you with hearing, seeing.) (67:23). The Ayah above might also mean that Allah will not allow the disbelievers to benefit from these senses in religious terms. This is why He said next,
(and sealed up your hearts,.) He also said in other Ayat,
(Or who owns hearing and sight) (10:31), and,
(And know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart.) Allah said;
(Is there a god other than Allah who could restore them to you) Meaning, is there anyone except Allah who is able to give you back these senses if Allah took them from you Only Allah is able to do so, and this is why He said here,
(See how variously We explain the Ayat,) and make them plain and clear, testifying to Allah's Oneness in lordship and that those worshipped besides Him are all false and unworthy.
(yet they turn aside.) After this explanation, they still turn away from the truth and hinder people from following it. Allah's statement,
(Say: "Tell me, if the punishment of Allah comes to you suddenly...'') means, while you are unaware -- or during the night -- striking you all of a sudden,
(or openly) during the day, or publicly,
(will any be destroyed except the wrongdoing people) This torment only strikes those who commit injustice against themselves by associating others with Allah, while those who worship Allah alone without partners will be saved from it, and they will have no fear or sorrow. In another Ayah, Allah said;
(It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm, (wrong or Shirk).) (6:82) Allah's statement,
(And We send not the Messengers but as bearers of glad tidings and as warners.) means, the Messengers bring good news to Allah's servants, as well as, command all that is good and righteous. They also warn those who disbelieve in Allah of His anger and of all types of torment. Allah said,
(So whosoever believes and does righteous good deeds.) meaning, whoever believes in his heart with what the Messengers were sent with and makes his works righteous by imitating them;
(upon such shall come no fear,) concerning the future,
(nor shall they grieve.) about what they missed in the past and left behind them in this world. Certainly, Allah will be the Wali and Protector over what they left behind. Allah said next,
(But those who reject Our Ayat, the torment will strike them for their rebelling.) The torment will strike them because of disbelieving in the Message of the Messengers, defying Allah's commands, committing what He prohibited and transgressing His set limits.
(50. Say: "I don't tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah, nor (that) I know the Unseen; nor do I tell you that I am an angel. I but follow what is revealed to me.'' Say: "Are the blind and the one who sees equal Will you not then consider'') (51. And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him, so that they may have Taqwa.) (52. And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and evening seeking His Face. You are accountable for them in nothing, and they are accountable for you in nothing, that you may turn them away, and thus become of the wrongdoers.) (53. Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: "Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us'' Does not Allah know best those who are grateful) (54. When those who believe in Our Ayat come to you, say: "Salamun `Alaykum'' (peace be on you); your Lord has written mercy for Himself, so that, if any of you does evil in ignorance, and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds, then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)
Allah said to His Messenger ,
(Say: "I don't tell you that with me are the treasures of Allah.'') meaning, I do not own Allah's treasures or have any power over them,
(nor (that) I know the Unseen,) and I do not say that I know the Unseen, because its knowledge is with Allah and I only know what He conveys of it to me.
(nor I tell you that I am an angel.) meaning, I do not claim that I am an angel. I am only a human to whom Allah sends revelation, and He honored me with this duty and favored me with it.
(I but follow what is revealed to me.) and I never disobey the revelation in the least.
(Say: "Are the blind and the one who sees equal'') meaning, `Is the one who is guided, following the truth, equal to the one misled'
(Will you not then consider) In another Ayah, Allah said;
(Shall he then who knows that what has been revealed to you from your Lord is the truth, be like him who is blind But it is only the men of understanding that pay heed.) (13:19) Allah's statement,
(And warn therewith those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord, when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him,) means, warn with this Qur'an, O Muhammad ,
(Those who live in awe for fear of their Lord) (23:57), who,
(Fear their Lord, and dread the terrible reckoning.) (13:21),
(those who fear that they will be gathered before their Lord,) on the Day of Resurrection,
(when there will be neither a protector nor an intercessor for them besides Him,) for on that Day, they will have no relative or intercessor who can prevent His torment if He decides to punish them with it,
(so that they may have Taqwa.) Therefore, warn of the Day when there will be no judge except Allah,
(so that they may have Taqwa.) and thus work good deeds in this life, so that their good deeds may save them on the Day of Resurrection from Allah's torment, and so that He will grant them multiple rewards.
(And turn not away those who invoke their Lord, morning and evening seeking His Face.) meaning, do not turn away those who have these qualities, instead make them your companions and associates. In another Ayah, Allah said;
(And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost.) (18:28) Allah's statement,
(invoke their Lord...) refers to those who worship Him and supplicate to Him,
(morning and evening.) referring to the obligatory prayers, according to Sa`id bin Al-Musayyib, Mujahid, Al-Hasan and Qatadah. In another Ayah, Allah said;
(And your Lord said, "Invoke Me, I will respond (to your invocation).'') (40:60), I will accept your supplication. Allah said next,
(seeking His Face.) meaning, they seek Allah's Most Generous Face, by sincerity for Him in the acts of worship and obedience they perform. Allah said;
(You are accountable for them in nothing, and they are accountable for you in nothing,) This is similar to the answer Nuh gave to his people when they said,
(Shall we believe in you, when the meekest (of the people) follow you'') (26:111). Nuh answered them,
(And what knowledge have I of what they used to do Their account is only with my Lord, if you could (but) know.) (26:112-113), meaning, their reckoning is for Allah not me, just as my reckoning is not up to them. Allah said here,
(that you may turn them away, and thus become of the wrongdoers.) meaning, you will be unjust if you turn them away. Allah's statement,
(Thus We have tried some of them with others) means, We tested, tried and checked them with each other,
(That they might say: "Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us'') This is because at first, most of those who followed the Messenger of Allah were the weak among the people, men, women, slaves, and only a few chiefs or noted men followed him. Nuh, was also addressed by his people
(Nor do we see any follow you but the meekest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking.) (11:27) Heraclius, emperor of Rome, asked Abu Sufyan, "Do the noblemen or the weak among people follow him (Muhammad )'' Abu Sufyan replied, "Rather the weak among them.'' Heraclius commented, "Such is the case with followers of the Messengers.'' The idolators of Quraysh used to mock the weak among them who believed in the Prophet and they even tortured some of them. They used to say, "Are these the ones whom Allah favored above us,'' meaning, Allah would not guide these people, instead of us, to all that is good, if indeed what they embraced is good. Allah mentioned similar statements in the Qur'an from the disbelievers,
(Had it been a good thing, they (weak and poor) would not have preceded us to it!) (46:11), and,
(And when Our clear verses are recited to them, those who disbelieve say to those who believe: "Which of the two groups is best in position and station.'') (19:73) Allah said in reply,
(And how many a generation (past nations) have We destroyed before them, who were better in wealth, goods and outward appearance) (19:74). Here, Allah answered the disbelievers when they said,
("Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from amongst us'' Does not Allah know best those who are grateful) Meaning is not Allah more knowledgeable of those who thank and appreciate Him in statement, action and heart Thus Allah directs these believers to the ways of peace, transfers them from darkness to light by His leave, and guides them to the straight path. In another Ayah, Allah said;
(As for those who strive hard for Us (Our cause), We will surely guide them to Our paths (i.e. Allah's religion). And verily, Allah is with the doers of good'') (29:69). An authentic Hadith states,
(Allah does not look at your shapes or colors, but He looks at your heart and actions.) Allah's statement,
(When those who believe in Our Ayat come to you, say: "Salamun `Alaykum'' (peace be on you);) means, honor them by returning the Salam and give them the good news of Allah's exclusive, encompassing mercy for them. So Allah said;
(your Lord has written Mercy for Himself,) meaning, He has obliged His Most Honored Self to grant mercy, as a favor, out of His compassion and beneficence,
(So that, if any of you does evil in ignorance...) as every person who disobeys Allah does it in ignorance,
(and thereafter repents and does righteous good deeds,) by repenting from the sins that he committed, intending not to repeat the sin in the future, but to perform righteous deeds,
(then surely, He is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.) Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
(When Allah finished with the creation, He wrote in a Book that He has with Him above the Throne, `My mercy prevails over My anger'.) This Hadith was also recorded in the The Two Sahihs.
(55. And thus do We explain the Ayat in detail, that the way of the criminals, may become manifest.) (56. Say: "I have been forbidden to worship those whom you invoke (worship) besides Allah.'' Say: "I will not follow your vain desires. If I did, I would go astray, and I would not be one of the rightly guided.'') (57. Say: "I am on clear proof from my Lord, but you deny it. I do not have what you are hastily seeking (the torment). The decision is only for Allah, He declares the truth, and He is the best of judges.'') (58. Say: "If I had that which you are asking for impatiently (the torment), the matter would have been settled at once between you and I, but Allah knows best the wrongdoers.'') (59. And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is on the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but he knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.)