In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
(1. Alif-Lam-Mim-Sad.) (2. (This is the) Book (the Qur'an) sent down unto you, so let not your breast be narrow therefrom, that you warn thereby; and a reminder unto the believers.) (3. Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord, and follow not any Awliya' (protectors), besides Him (Allah). Little do you remember!) We mentioned before the explanation of the letters﴿ such as, Alif-Lam, that are in the beginning of some Surahs in the Qur'an﴾.
((This is the) Book (the Qur'an) sent down unto you (O Muhammad)), from your Lord,
(So let not your breast be narrow therefrom,) meaning, having doubt about it according to Mujahid, Qatadah and As-Suddi. It was also said that the meaning here is: `do not hesitate to convey the Qur'an and warn with it,'
(Therefore be patient as did the Messengers of strong will) (46:35). Allah said here,
(That you warn thereby) meaning, `We sent down the Qur'an so that you may warn the disbelievers with it,'
(And a reminder unto the believers). Allah then said to the world,
(Follow what has been sent down unto you from your Lord) meaning, follow and imitate the unlettered Prophet , who brought you a Book that was revealed for you, from the Lord and master of everything.
(and follow not any Awliya', besides Him (Allah)) meaning, do not disregard what the Messenger brought you and follow something else, for in this case, you will be deviating from Allah's judgment to the decision of someone else. Allah's statement,
(Little do you remember!) Is similar to,
(And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly) (12:103), and;
(And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah's path) (6:116), and,
(And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him) (12:106).
(4. And a great number of towns We destroyed. Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.) (5. No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this: "Verily, we were wrongdoers.'') (6. Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers.) (7. Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.)
(And a great number of towns We destroyed.) for defying Our Messengers and rejecting them. This behavior led them to earn disgrace in this life, which led them to disgrace in the Hereafter. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And indeed (many) Messengers before you were mocked at, but their scoffers were surrounded by the very thing that they used to mock at) (6:10), and
(And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing, so that it lie in ruins (up to this day), and (many) a deserted well and lofty castle!) (22:45), and,
(And how many a town have We destroyed, which was thankless for its means of livelihood And those are their dwellings, which have not been inhabited after them except a little. And verily, We have been the heirs) (28:58). Allah's saying,
(Our torment came upon them by night or while they were taking their midday nap.) means, Allah's command, torment and vengeance came over them at night or while taking a nap in the middle of the day. Both of these times are periods of rest and leisure or heedlessness and amusement. Allah also said
(Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing) (7:97-98) and,
(Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not Or that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and from, so that there be no escape for them Or that He may catch them with gradual wastage. Truly, Your Lord is indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful) (16:45-47). Allah's saying;
(No cry did they utter when Our torment came upon them but this: "Verily, we were wrongdoers.'') This means, when the torment came to them, their cry was that they admitted their sins and that they deserved to be punished. Allah said in a similar Ayah,
(How many a town given to wrongdoing, have We destroyed) (21:11), until,
(Extinct) (21:15). Allah's saying.
(Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent) is similar to the Ayat,
(And (remember) the Day (Allah) will call them, and say: "What answer gave you to the Messengers'') (28:65), and,
(On the Day when Allah will gather the Messengers together and say to them: "What was the response you received'' They will say: "We have no knowledge, verily, only You are the Knower of all that is unseen.'') (5:109). Allah will question the nations, on the Day of Resurrection, how they responded to His Messengers and the Messages He sent them with. He will also question the Messengers if they conveyed His Messages. So, `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas, who said commenting on the Ayah:
(Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers.) He said; "About what they conveyed.'' Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah's statement,
(Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We have not been absent.) "The Book will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection and it will speak, disclosing what they used to do.''
(and indeed We have not been absent) meaning, On the Day of Resurrection, Allah will inform His servants about what they said and did, whether substantial or minor. Certainly, He witnesses to everything, nothing escapes His observation, and He is never unaware of anything. Rather, He has perfect knowledge of what the eyes are deluded by and what the hearts conceal,
(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.) (6:59)
(8. And the weighing on that Day will be the true (weighing). So, as for those whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy, they will be the successful (by entering Paradise).) (9. And as for those whose scale will be light, they are those who will lose themselves for their wrongful behavior with Our Ayat.)
(And the weighing), of deeds on the Day of Resurrection,
(will be the true (weighing)), for Allah will not wrong anyone. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And We shall set up the Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything. And if there be the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it. And Sufficient are We to take account.) (21:47),
(Surely, Allah wrongs not even the weight of a speck of dust, but if there is any good (done), He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.) (4:40),
(Then as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be heavy. He will live a pleasant life (in Paradise). But as for him whose scale (of good deeds) will be light. He will have his home in Hawiyah (pit, Hell). And what will make you know what it is (It is) a fiercely blazing Fire!) (101:6-11) and,
(Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another. Then, those whose scales (of good deeds) are heavy, they are the successful. And those whose scales (of good deeds) are light, they are those who lose themselves, in Hell will they abide) (23:101-103). As for what will be placed on the Balance on the Day of Resurrection, it has been said that the deeds will be placed on it, even though they are not material objects. Allah will give these deeds physical weight on the Day of Resurrection. Al-Baghawi said that this was reported from Ibn `Abbas. It is recorded in the Sahih that Al-Baqarah (chapter 2) and Al `Imran (chapter 3) will come on the Day of Resurrection in the shape of two clouds, or two objects that provide shade, or two lined groups of birds. It is also recorded in the Sahih that the Qur'an will come to its companion (who used to recite and preserve it) in the shape of a pale-faced young man. He will ask (the young man), "Who are you'' He will reply, "I am the Qur'an, who made you stay up sleeplessly at night and caused you thirst in the day. '' The Hadith that Al-Bara' narrated about the questioning in the grave states,
(A young man with fair color and good scent will come to the believer, who will ask, `Who are you' He will reply, `I am your good deeds'). The Prophet mentioned the opposite in the case of the disbeliever and the hypocrite. It was also said that the Book of Records that contains the deeds will be weighed. A Hadith states that a man will be brought forth and ninety-nine scrolls containing errors and sins will be placed on one side of the balance each as long as the sight can reach. He will then be brought a card on which `La ilaha illallah' will be written. He will say, "O Lord! What would this card weigh against these scrolls'' Allah will say, "You will not be wronged.'' So the card will be placed on the other side of the Balance, and as the Messenger of Allah said,
(Behold! The (ninety-nine) scrolls will go up, as the card becomes heavier.) At-Tirmidhi recorded similar wording for this Hadith and said that it is authentic. It was also said that the person who performed the deed will be weighed. A Hadith states,
(On the Day of Resurrection, a fat man will be brought forth, but he will not weigh with Allah equal to the wing of a mosquito). He then recited the Ayah,
(And on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them) (18:105). Also, the Prophet said about `Abdullah bin Mas`ud,
(Do you wonder at the thinness of his legs By He in Whose Hand is my soul! They are heavier on the Balance than (Mount) Uhud.) It is also possible to combine the meanings of these Ayat and Hadiths by stating that all this will truly occur, for sometimes the deeds will be weighed, sometimes the scrolls where they are recorded will be weighed, and sometimes those who performed the deeds will be weighed. Allah knows best.
(10. And surely, We gave you authority on the earth and appointed for you therein livelihoods. Little thanks do you give.)
Allah reminds of His favor on His servants in that He made the earth a fixed place for dwelling, placed firm mountains and rivers on it and made homes and allowed them to utilize its benefits. Allah made the clouds work for them (bringing rain) so that they may produce their sustenance from them. He also created the ways and means of earnings, commercial activities and other professions. Yet, most of them give little thanks for this. Allah said in another Ayah,
(And if you count the blessings of Allah, never will you be able to count them. Verily, man is indeed a wrongdoer, an ingrate.) (14:34)
(11. And surely, We created you and then gave you shape; then We told the angels, "Prostrate yourselves to Adam,'' and they prostrated, except Iblis (Shaytan), he refused to be of those who prostrated.)