(And We granted not to any human being immortality before you;) means, O Muhammad.
(immortality) means, in this world. On the contrary,
(Whatsoever is on it (the earth) will perish. And the Face of your Lord full of majesty and honor will remain forever.) (55:26-27).
(then if you die) means, O Muhammad,
(would they live forever) means, they hope that they will live forever after you, but that will not happen; everything will pass away. So Allah says:
(Everyone is going to taste death,)
(and We shall test you with evil and with good by way of trial. ) Meaning, "We shall test you, sometimes with difficulties and sometimes with ease, to see who will give thanks and who will be ungrateful, who will have patience and who will despair.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas:
(and We shall test you) means, We will test you,
(with evil and with good by way of trial.) means, with difficulties and with times of prosperity, with health and sickness, with richness and poverty, with lawful and unlawful, obedience and sin, with guidance and misguidance.
(And to Us you will be returned.) means, and We will requite you according to your deeds.
(36. And when those who disbelieved see you, they take you not except for mockery (saying): "Is this the one who talks about your gods'' While they disbelieve at the mention of the Most Gracious.) (37. Man is created of haste. I will show you My Ayat. So ask Me not to hasten (them).)
(And when those who disbelieved see you,) meaning, the disbelievers of the Quraysh, such as Abu Jahl and his like.
(they take you not except for mockery) means, they make fun of you and insult you, saying,
("Is this the one who talks about your gods'') meaning, is this the one who insults your gods and ridicules your intelligence Allah says:
(While they disbelieve at the mention of the Most Gracious.) meaning, they disbelieve in Allah and yet they mock the Messenger of Allah . As Allah says:
(And when they see you, they treat you only in mockery (saying): "Is this the one whom Allah has sent as a Messenger He would have nearly misled us from our gods, had it not been that we were patient and constant in their worship!'' And they will know, when they see the torment, who it is that is most astray from the path!) (25:41-42)
(Man is created of haste.) This is like the Ayah:
(And man is ever hasty) (17:11), in all matters. The reason why the haste of man is mentioned here is that when mention is made of those who mock the Messenger, (the believers) will want to avenge them swiftly, and that so should happen sooner. Allah says,
(Man is created of haste.) because He delays (the punishment) until a time when, once He seizes him, He will never let him go. He delays it, then He hastens it; He waits, then He does not delay any longer. So He says:
(I will show you My Ayat) meaning, My vengeance, ruling and power over those who disobey Me.
(So ask Me not to hasten (them).)
(38. And they say: "When will this promise (come to pass), if you are truthful.'') (39. If only those who disbelieved knew (the time) when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces, nor from their backs, and they will not be helped.) (40. Nay, it will come upon them all of a sudden and will perplex them, and they will have no power to avert it nor will they get respite.)
Allah also tells us how the idolators seek to hasten punishment upon themselves, out of denial, rejection, disbelief, stubbornness and a belief that it will never happen. He says:
(And they say: "When will this promise (come to pass), if you are truthful''.) And Allah says:
(If only those who disbelieved knew (the time) when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces, nor from their backs,) meaning, if only they knew for certain that it will inevitably come to pass, they would not seek to hasten it. If only they knew how the torment will overwhelm them from above them and from beneath their feet.
(They shall have coverings of Fire, above them and coverings (of Fire) beneath them) (39:16)
(Theirs will be a bed of Hell (Fire), and over them coverings (of Hellfire)) (7:41). And in this Ayah Allah says:
(when they will not be able to ward off the Fire from their faces, nor from their backs,) And Allah says:
(Their garments will be of tar, and fire will cover their faces) (14:50). The torment will surround them on all sides,
(and they will not be helped.) means, and they will have no helper. This is like the Ayah:
(And they have no guardian against Allah) (13:34).
(Nay, it will come upon them all of a sudden) means, the Fire will come upon them suddenly, i.e., it will take them by surprise.
(and will perplex them,) means, it will scare them, and they will succumb to it in confusion, not knowing what they are doing.
(and they will have no power to avert it) means, they will have no means of doing so.
(nor will they get respite. ) means, it will not be delayed for them even for an instant.
(41. Indeed (many) Messengers were mocked before you, but the scoffers were surrounded by what they used to mock.) (42. Say: "Who can guard and protect you in the night or in the day from the Most Gracious'' Nay, but they turn away from the remembrance of their Lord.) (43. Or have they gods who can guard them from Us They have no power to help themselves, nor can they be protected from Us.)
Allah says consoling His Messenger for the pain and insult caused by the mockery and disbelief of the idolators,
(Indeed (many) Messengers were mocked before you, but the scoffers were surrounded by what they used to mock.) meaning, the punishment which they thought would never come to pass. This is like the Ayah:
(Verily, Messengers were denied before you, but with patience they bore the denial, and they were hurt; till Our help reached them, and none can alter the Words of Allah. Surely, there has reached you the information (news) about the Messengers (before you)) (6:34). Then Allah mentions His favor for His creatures; He protects them by night and by day, taking care of them and watching over them with His Eye that never sleeps.
(Say: "Who can guard and protect you in the night or in the day from the Most Gracious'') means, other than the Most Gracious Himself
(Nay, but they turn away from the remembrance of their Lord.) means, they do not recognize the blessings and favor of Allah towards them; they turn away from His signs and blessings.
(Or have they gods who can guard them from Us) This is a rhetorical question aimed at denouncing and rebuking. The meaning is, do they have any gods who can protect them and take care of them other than Us It is not as they imagine or as they claim. Allah says:
(They have no power to help themselves,) these gods on whom they rely instead of Allah cannot even help themselves.
(nor can they be protected from Us.) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, "Nor can they be guarded from Us.''
(44. Nay, We gave the luxuries of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them. See they not that We gradually reduce the land from its outlying borders Is it then they who will overcome) (45. Say: "I warn you only by the revelation. "But the deaf will not hear the call, (even) when they are warned.) (46. And if a breath of the torment of your Lord touches them, they will surely cry: "Woe unto us! Indeed we have been wrongdoers.'') (47. And We shall set up 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.)