Allah forbids His servants to strut and walk in a boastful manner:
(And walk not on the earth with conceit and arrogance.) meaning, walking in boastful manner and acting proud, like those who are arrogant oppressors.
(Verily, you can neither rend nor penetrate the earth) means, you cannot penetrate the earth with your walking. This was the opinion of Ibn Jarir.
(39. This is (part) of Al-Hikmah (wisdom) which your Lord has revealed to you. And set not up with Allah any other god lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy and rejected (from Allah's mercy).)
Allah says: `What We have commanded you to do is part of good manners, and what We have forbidden you are evil qualities. We have revealed this to you, O Muhammad, so that you may command the people likewise.'
(And set not up with Allah any other god lest you should be thrown into Hell, blameworthy) meaning, your own self will blame you, as will Allah and His creation.
(rejected) means far removed from everything good. Ibn `Abbas and Qatadah said: "(It means) cast out.'' This is an address to the Ummah via the Messenger, for he is infallible.
(40. Has then your Lord preferred for you sons, and taken for Himself from among the angels daughters Verily, you indeed utter an awful saying.)
Allah refutes the lying idolaters who claim, may the curse of Allah be upon them, that the angels are the daughters of Allah. They made the angels, who are the servants of Ar-Rahman (the Most Beneficent), females, and called them daughters of Allah, then they worshipped them. They were gravely wrong on all three counts. Allah says, denouncing them:
(Has then your Lord preferred for you sons,) meaning, has He given only you sons
(and taken for Himself from among the angels daughters) meaning, has He chosen for Himself, as you claim, daughters Then Allah denounces them even more severely, and says:
(Verily, you indeed utter an awful saying.) meaning, in your claim that Allah has children, then you say that His children are female, which you do not like for yourselves and may even kill them by burying them alive. That is indeed a division most unfair! Allah says:
(And they say: "The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a child.'' Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins. That they ascribe a son child to the Most Beneficent. But it is not suitable for (the majesty of) the Most Beneficent that he should beget a child. There is none in the heavens and the earth but comes unto the Most Beneficent as a servant. Verily, He knows each one of them, and has counted them a full counting. And every one of them will come to Him alone on the Day of Resurrection.) (19:88-95)
(41. And surely, We have explained in this Qur'an that they may take heed, but it increases them in naught save aversion.) Allah says:
(And surely, We have explained in this Qur'an) meaning, `We have explained Our warnings so that they may remember the proof, evidence and exhortations contained there- in, and be prevented from Shirk, wrong-doing and scandal.'
(but it increases them in naught) the wrong- doers among them
(save aversion.) aversion towards the truth; they go further away from it.
(42. Say: "If there had been other gods along with Him as they assert, then they would certainly have sought out a way to the Lord of the Throne.) (43. Glorified and Exalted is He high above what they say!) Allah says: `Say, O Muhammad, to these idolaters who claim that Allah has a partner among His creation, and who worship others besides Him that they may bring them nearer to Him: if the matter is as you say, and there is another god besides Him whom you worship in order to draw closer to Him and so that he will intercede for you with Him, then those whom you worship would themselves worship Him and seek means to draw closer to Him. So worship Him alone, just as those on whom you call besides Him worship Him. You have no need of a deity to be an intermediary between you and Him, for He does not like or accept that, rather He hates it and rejects it, and has forbidden that through all of His Messengers and Prophets.' Then He glorifies and sanctifies Himself far above all that, and says:
(Glorified and Exalted is He high above what they say!) meaning these idolaters who transgress and do wrong when they claim that there are other gods besides Him.
(high above) means, far above. He is Allah, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need. He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none comparable or coequal unto Him.
(44. The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.)
Allah says: the seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, meaning the creatures that dwell therein, sanctify Him, exalt Him, venerate Him, glorify Him and magnify Him far above what these idolaters say, and they bear witness that He is One in His Lordship and Divinity. In everything there is a sign of Allah indicating that He is One. As Allah says:
(Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins, That they ascribe child to the Most Beneficent) (19:90-91).
(and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise.) there is no created being that does not celebrate the praises of Allah.
(But you understand not their glorification.) means, `You do not understand them, O mankind, because it is not like your languages.' This applies to all creatures generally, animal, inanimate and botanical. This is the better known of the two opinions according to the most reliable of two opinions. It was reported in Sahih Al-Bukhari that Ibn Mas`ud said: "We used to hear the Tasbih of the food as it was being eaten. '' Imam Ahmad recorded that (Mu`adh bin Anas said that) the Messenger of Allah came upon some people who were sitting on their mounts and talking to one another. He said to them:
(Ride them safely then leave them safely. Do not use them as chairs for you to have conversations in the streets and marketplaces, because the one that is ridden may be better than the one who rides it, and may remember Allah more than he does.) An-Nasa'i recorded in his Sunan that `Abdullah bin `Amr said: "The Messenger of Allah forbade us from killing frogs.''
(Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.) means, He does not hasten to punish those who disobey Him, rather He gives them time and waits, then if they persist in their stubborn Kufr, He seizes them with a punishment of the All-Mighty, All-Capable. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that:
(Allah will let the wrongdoer carry on until, when He does seize him, He will never let him go.) Then the Messenger of Allah recited:
(Such is the punishment of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) towns while they are doing wrong. ) (11:02) Allah says:
(And many a township did I give respite while it was given to wrongdoing.) (22:45) until the end of two Ayat.
(And many a township did We destroy while they were given to wrongdoing.) (22:48) Whoever gives up his disbelief and disobedience, and turns back to Allah in repentance, Allah will accept his repentance, as He says:
(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness) ﴿4:110﴾ Here, Allah says:
(Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.) At the end of Surah Fatir, He says:
(Verily, Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places, and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving...) until His saying;
(And if Allah were to punish men)(35:41-45)
(45. And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an invisible veil.) (46. And We have put Akinnah over their hearts, lest they should understand it, and in their ears deafness. And when you make mention of your Lord Alone in the Qur'an, they turn on their backs, fleeing in extreme dislike.)
Allah says to His Messenger Muhammad: `When you recite Qur'an to these idolaters, We put an invisible veil between you and them.' Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said, "It is coverings over their hearts,'' as Allah says:
(And they say: "Our hearts are under coverings (screened) from that to which you invite us; and in our ears is deafness, and between us and you is a screen) meaning, there is something that is stopping and preventing your words from reaching us.
(an invisible veil.) meaning something which covers, or that cannot be seen, so there is a barrier between them and guidance. This is the interpretation that Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him) thought was correct. Al-Hafiz Abu Ya`la Al-Mawusili recorded that Asma' bint Abi Bakr (may Allah be pleased with her) said, "When the Ayah,
(Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!) (111:1) was revealed, the one-eyed woman Umm Jamil (the wife of Abu Lahab) came with a stone pestle in her hand, screaming, `What was sent to us is somebody blameworthy, or, we reject somebody blameworthy (Abu Musa - one of the narrators - said, it is I who am not sure what was said); we shun his religion and disobey whatever he commands!' The Messenger of Allah was sitting with Abu Bakr by his side. Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, said, `This woman has come and I am afraid she will see you.' The Prophet said,
(Certainly she will not see me.) and he recited Qur'an through which he was protected from her:
(And when you recite the Qur'an, We put between you and those who believe not in the Hereafter, an invisible veil). She came and found Abu Bakr, but she did not see the Prophet. She said, `O Abu Bakr, I have heard that your companion is lampooning me.' Abu Bakr said, `No, by the Lord of this House (the Ka`bah), he is not lampooning you.' Then she went away, saying, `The Quraysh know that I am the daughter of their master.'''
(And We have put coverings over their hearts,) Akinnah (coverings) is the plural of Kinan, which covers the heart.
(lest they should understand it,) means, lest they should understand the Qur'an.
(and in their ears deafness) something that will stop them from hearing the Qur'an in such a way that they will understand it and be guided by it.
(And when you make mention of your Lord Alone in the Qur'an,) means, when you declare Allah to be One in your recitation, and say La Ilaha Illallah,
(they turn) means they turn away
(on their backs, fleeing in extreme dislike.) As Allah says:
(And when Allah Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust (from the Oneness of Allah).) (39:45)
(And when you make mention of your Lord Alone in the Qur'an,) Commenting on this Ayah, Qatadah said that when the Muslims said La Ilaha Illallah, the idolaters disliked this and found it intolerable. Iblis and his troops hated it, but Allah insisted on supporting it so that it would prevail over those who opposed it. Whoever uses it against his opponent will prevail, and whoever fights for it will be victorious. Only the Muslims of the Arabian Peninsula, which can be traversed by a rider in a few nights, knew it and accepted it, out of all mankind.
(47. We know best of what they listen to, when they listen to you. And when they take secret counsel, then the wrongdoers say: "You follow none but a bewitched man.'') (48. See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.)
Allah tells His Prophet about what the leaders of Quraysh discussed when they came and listened to him reciting Qur'an in secret, without their people knowing about it. They said that he was Mashur which according to the better-known view means someone affected by magic (Sihr); it may also mean a man who has a lung, i.e., a mere human being, as if they were saying that if you follow Muhammad, you will only be following a human being. This second suggestion does not sound correct, because what they meant here was that he was under the influence of Sihr (magic) which made him see dreams in which he learned these words that he recited. Some of them said he was a poet, or a soothsayer, or crazy, or a sorcerer. Allah says:
(See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.) meaning, they will never be guided to the truth and will never find a way to reach it. Muhammad bin Ishaq said in As-Sirah: "Muhammad bin Muslim bin Shihab Az-Zuhri told me that it happened that Abu Sufyan bin Harb, Abu Jahl bin Hisham and Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq bin `Amr bin Wahb Ath-Thaqafi, the ally of Bani Zahrah, went out one night to listen to the Messenger of Allah when he was praying at night in his house. Each one of them took up a position for listening, and none of them knew that the others were also there. They stayed listening to him all night until dawn came. When they left, they met up on the road, each of them blaming the others, saying to one another; `Do not come back again, lest you give the wrong impression (i.e., that you like what you hear).' Then they went away until the second night came, when each of them came back to his place and spent the night listening. When dawn came they left, then when they met up on the road, each of them blamed the others, saying the same as they had said the previous night. Then they went away until the third night came, when each of them came back to his place and spent the night listening. When dawn came they left, then when they met up on the road, they said to one another, `Let us not leave until we promise not to come back,' so they made a promise to that effect, and went their separate ways. In the morning, Al-Akhnas bin Shurayq took his stick and went to the house of Abu Sufyan bin Harb, where he said, `Tell me, O Abu Hanzalah (i.e., Abu Sufyan), what do you think of what you have heard from Muhammad' Abu Sufyan said, `O Abu Tha`labah (i.e., Al-Akhnas), by Allah, I have heard something I understand and I know what is meant by it, and I have heard things I do not understand and do not know what is meant by it.' Al-Akhnas said: `Me too, by the One by Whom you swore.' Then he left and went to Abu Jahl, and entered his house. He said, `O Abu Al-Hakam (i.e., Abu Jahl), what do you think of what you have heard from Muhammad' He said, `What did you hear' He said, `We and Banu `Abd Manaf competed for honor and position: they fed people so we fed people, they engaged in battle so we engaged in battle, they gave so we gave, until we were neck and neck, like race horses. Then they said, we have a Prophet among us who receives revelation from heaven. How could we compete with that By Allah we will never believe in him.' Then Al-Akhnas got up and left him.''
(49. And they say: "When we are bones and fragments (destroyed), should we really be resurrected (to be) a new creation'') (50. Say: "Be you stones or iron,'') (51. "Or some created thing that is yet greater (or harder) in your breasts.'' Then, they will say: "Who shall bring us back (to life)'' Say: "He Who created you first!'' Then, they will shake their heads at you and say: "When will that be'' Say: "Perhaps it is near!'') (52. On the Day when He will call you, and you will answer with (words of) His praise and obedience, and you will think that you have stayed (in this world) but a little while!)