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.)
Allah explains that they have been deceived and misled by the luxuries that they enjoy in this world and the long life that they have been given, so they believe that they are following something good. Then Allah warns them:
(See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders) This is like the Ayah:
(And indeed We have destroyed towns round about you, and We have shown the Ayat in various ways that they might return.) (46:27) Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: "This means the victory of Islam over disbelief.'' The meaning is: Do they not learn a lesson from the fact that Allah supported those (believers) against their enemies, He destroyed the disbelieving nations and the evil-doing townships, and He saved His believing servants So Allah says:
(Is it then they who will overcome) meaning, on the contrary, they are the ones who will be overcame, who will be defeated, humiliated and brought low.
(Say: "I warn you only by the revelation.'') meaning, `I only convey to you the warning of Allah's punishment and vengeance, and this is no more than that which Allah reveals to me.' But this is of no benefit to the one whom Allah has made blind and has put a seal over his hearing and his heart. He says:
(But the deaf will not hear the call, (even) when they are warned.)
(And if a breath of the torment of your Lord touches them, they will surely, cry: "Woe unto us! Indeed we have been wrongdoers!'') If these disbelievers were affected by the slightest touch of Allah's punishment, they would confess their sins and admit that they had wronged themselves in this world.
(And We shall set up Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection, then none will be dealt with unjustly in anything.) meaning, "We shall set up the Balances of justice on the Day of Resurrection.'' The majority of scholars state that it is one Balance, and the plural form is used here to reflect the large number of deeds which will be weighed therein.
(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.) This is like the Ayat:
(And your Lord treats no one with injustice) (18:49)
(Surely, Allah wrongs not even of the weight of speck of dust, but if there is any good, He doubles it, and gives from Him a great reward.) (4:40)
("O my son! If it be equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle, Well-Aware.'') (31:16) In the Two Sahihs it was recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Two words which are light on the tongue, heavy in the Balance and beloved to Ar-Rahman: "Subhan Allahi wa bi hamdihi, Subhan Allahil `Azim (Glory and praise be to Allah, Glory be to Allah the Almighty).'') Imam Ahmad also recorded that `A'ishah said that one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah sat down before him and said, "O Messenger of Allah, I have two slaves who lie to me, betray me and disobey me, and I hit them and insult them. How do I stand with regard to them'' The Messenger of Allah said:
(The extent to which they betrayed you, disobeyed you and lied to you will be measured against the punishment you meted out to them. If your punishment was commensurate with their misconduct, then you will be equal and you will not have anything counted for you or against you. If your punishment of them was less than that what they deserved for their misconduct, then this will count in your favor. If your punishment of them was more than what they deserved for their misconduct, then Allah will take what is due to them from you.) Then the man started to weep before the Messenger of Allah , and the Messenger of Allah asked,
(What is the matter with him Has he not read the words of Allah, (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.)) The man said, "O Messenger of Allah, I think there is nothing better than keeping away from these people -- meaning his slaves -- I call upon you to bear witness that they are all free.''
(48. And indeed We granted to Musa and Harun the criterion, and a shining light and a Reminder for those who have Taqwa.) (49. Those who fear their Lord in the unseen, and they are afraid of the Hour.) (50. And this is a blessed Reminder which We have sent down; will you then deny it)
We have already noted that Allah often mentions Musa and Muhammad together -- may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both -- and He often mentions their Books together as well. He says:
(And indeed We granted to Musa and Harun the criterion) Mujahid said, "This means the Scripture.'' Abu Salih said: "The Tawrah.'' Qatadah said: "The Tawrah, what it permits and it forbids, and how Allah differentiated between truth and falsehood.'' In conclusion, we may say that the heavenly Books included the distinction between truth and falsehood, guidance and misguidance, transgression and the right way, lawful and unlawful, and that which will fill the heart with light, guidance, fear of Allah and repentance. So Allah says:
(the criterion, and a shining light and a Reminder for those who have Taqwa.) meaning, a reminder and exhortation for them. Then He describes them as:
(Those who fear their Lord in the unseen.) This is like the Ayah:
(Who feared the Most Gracious in the unseen and came with a repenting heart.) (50:33)
(Verily, those who fear their Lord unseen, theirs will be forgiveness and a great reward.) (67:12)
(and they are afraid of the Hour.) means, they fear it. Then Allah says:
(And this is a blessed Reminder which We have sent down;) means, the Magnificent Qur'an, which falsehood cannot approach, from before it or behind it, revealed by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise.
(will you then deny it) means, will you deny it when it is the utmost in clarity and truth
(51. And indeed We bestowed aforetime on Ibrahim his guidance, and We were Well-Acquainted with him.) (52. When he said to his father and his people: "What are these images to which you are devoted'') (53. They said: "We found our fathers worshipping them.'') (54. He said: "Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error.'') (55. They said: "Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who play about'') (56. He said: "Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them and to that I am one of the witnesses.'')
Allah tells us about His close Friend Ibrahim, peace be upon him, and how He bestowed upon him guidance aforetime, i.e., from an early age He inspired him with truth and evidence against his people, as Allah says elsewhere:
(And that was Our proof which We gave Ibrahim against his people) (6:83). The point here is that Allah is telling us that He gave guidance to Ibrahim aforetime, i.e., He had already guided him at an early age.
(and We were Well-Acquainted with him.) means, and he was worthy of that. Then Allah says:
(When he said to his father and his people: "What are these images, to which you are devoted'') This is the guidance which he had been given during his youth: his denunciation of his people's worship of idols instead of Allah. Ibrahim said:
("What are these images, to which you are devoted'') meaning, which you worship with such devotion.
(They said: "We found our fathers worshipping them.'') means, they had no other evidence apart from the misguided actions of their forefathers. Ibrahim said:
(Indeed you and your fathers have been in manifest error.) meaning, Speaking to your fathers whose actions you cite as evidence would be the same as speaking to you. Both you and they are misguided and are not following any straight path.' When he called their intelligence into question, and said that their fathers were misguided and belittled their gods,
(They said: "Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who play about'') They said: `These words that you are saying, are you speaking in jest or are you telling the truth For we have never heard such a thing before.'
(He said: "Nay, your Lord is the Lord of the heavens and the earth, Who created them...'') meaning, your Lord, beside Whom there is no other god, is the One Who created the heavens and the earth and all that they contain; He is the One Who initiated their creation; He is the Creator of all things.
(and to that I am one of the witnesses. ) means, and I bear witness that there is no God other than Him and no Lord except Him.
(57. "And by Allah, I shall plot a plan for your idols after you have gone away and turned your backs.'') (58. So he broke them to pieces, except the biggest of them, that they might turn to it.) (59. They said: "Who has done this to our gods He must indeed be one of the wrongdoers.'') (60. They said: "We heard a young man talking against them, who is called Ibrahim.'') (61. They said: "Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may testify.'') (62. They said: "Are you the one who has done this to our gods, O Ibrahim'') (63. He said: "Nay, this one, the biggest of them did it. Ask them, if they can speak!'')