(And verily, this your religion is one religion,) means, `your religion, O Prophets, is one religion and one group, which is the call to worship Allah Alone with no partner or associate.' Allah said:
(and I am your Lord, so have Taqwa.) We have already discussed this in Surat Al-Anbiya'. The phrase
(one nation) is descriptive.
(But they have broken their religion among them into sects,) the nations to whom Prophets were sent.
(each group rejoicing in what is with it.) means, they rejoice in their misguidance because they think that they are rightly-guided. Allah says, threatening and warning:
(So, leave them in their error) meaning their misguidance,
(for a time.) means, until the appointed time of their destruction comes. This is like the Ayah:
(So give a respite to the disbelievers; deal gently with them for a while.) (86:17) And Allah says:
(Leave them to eat and enjoy, and let them be preoccupied with (false) hope. They will come to know!) (15:3)
(Do they think that in wealth and children with which We prolong them, We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.) means, `do these deceived people think that what We give them of wealth and children is because they are honored and precious in Our sight No, the matter is not as they claim when they say,
(We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.) (34:35) But this thinking is wrong, and their hopes will be dashed. We only give those things to them in order to make them go further (in sin) and to give them more time.' Allah says:
(but they perceive not.) as He says elsewhere:
(So, let not their wealth nor their children amaze you; in reality Allah's plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world...) (9:55)
(We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness) (3:178).
(Then leave Me Alone with such as belie this Qur'an. We shall punish them gradually from directions they perceive not. And I will grant them a respite.) (68:44-45)
(Leave Me Alone (to deal) with whom I created lonely.) until His saying:
(opposing) (74: 11-16)
(And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us, but only he who believes, and does righteous deeds...) (34:37) And there are many other Ayat which say similar things. Imam Ahmad recorded that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah has distributed your behavior to you just as He has distributed your provision. Allah gives the things of this world to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, but He only gives religious commitment to those whom He loves. Whoever is given religious commitment by Allah is loved by Him. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, no servant truly submits until his heart and his tongue submit, and he does not truly believe until his neighbor is safe from his harm.) They said, `What is his harm, O Messenger of Allah' He said,
(His wrongdoing and misbehavior. No person who earns unlawful wealth and spends it will be blessed in that; if he gives it in charity, it will not be accepted from him and if he leaves it behind (when he dies), it will be his provision in the Fire. Allah does not wash away an evil deed with another, but he washes away evil deeds with good deeds, for impurity cannot wash away with another impurity.))
(57. Verily, those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;) (58. And those who believe in the Ayat of their Lord;) (59. And those who join not anyone as partners with their Lord;) (60. And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear, because they are sure to return to their Lord.) (61. It is these who hasten in the good deeds, and they are foremost in them.)
(Verily, those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;) means, even though they have reached the level of Ihsan and have faith and do righteous deeds, they are still in awe of Allah and fear Him and His hidden plans for them, as Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "The believer combines Ihsan with awe, while the disbelievers combine evil deeds with a sense of security.''
(And those who believe in the Ayat of their Lord;) means, they believe in His universal and legislative signs, as Allah says about Maryam, peace be upon her:
(and she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord, and His Scriptures) (66:12), meaning that she believed that whatever existed was by the will and decree of Allah, and that whatever Allah decreed, if it was a command, it would be something that He liked and accepted; if it was a prohibition, it would be something that He disliked and rejected; and if it was good, it would be true. This is like the Ayah:
(And those who join not anyone (in worship) as partners with their Lord;) meaning, they do not worship anyone or anything else besides Him, but they worship Him Alone and know that there is no god except Allah Alone, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who does not take a wife or have any offspring, and there is none comparable or equal unto Him.
(And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear, because they are sure to return to their Lord.) means, they give in charity, fearing that it may not be accepted from them because of some shortcoming or failure to meet the required conditions of giving. This has to do with fear and taking precautions, as Imam Ahmad recorded from `A'ishah: I said: "O Messenger of Allah,
(And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear...) Are these the ones who steal and commit Zina and drink alcohol while fearing Allah'' The Messenger of Allah replied:
(No, O daughter of Abu Bakr. O daughter of As-Siddiq, the one who prays, fast and gives in charity, fearing Allah.) This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded something similar in which the Prophet said:
(No, O daughter of As-Siddiq, they are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity while fearing that it will not be accepted from them, (It is these who hasten in the good deeds.)) This is also how Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and Al-Hasan Al-Basri interpreted this Ayah.
(62. And We task not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged.) (63. Nay, but their hearts are covered from this, and they have other deeds, besides which they are doing.) (64. Until when We seize those of them who lead a luxurious life with punishment; behold, they make humble invocation with a loud voice. ) (65. Invoke not loudly this day! Certainly you shall not be helped by Us.) (66. Indeed My Ayat used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels.) (67. In pride, talking evil about it by night.)
Allah tells us of His justice towards His servants in this world, in that He does not task any person except according to his capacity, i.e., He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. On the Day of Resurrection He will call them to account for their deeds, which He has recorded in a written Book from which nothing is omitted. He says:
(and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth,) meaning, the Book of deeds
(and they will not be wronged.) means, nothing will be omitted from their record of good deeds. As for evil deeds, He will forgive and overlook many of them in the case of His believing servants. Then Allah says, denouncing the disbelievers and idolators of the Quraysh:
(Nay, but their hearts are covered), meaning because of negligence and misguidance,
(from this.) means, the Qur'an which Allah revealed to His Messenger .
(and they have other deeds, besides which they are doing.) Al-Hakam bin Aban narrated from `Ikrimah, from Ibn `Abbas that
(and they have other deeds,) means, evil deeds apart from that, i.e., Shirk,
(which they are doing.) means, which they will inevitably do. This was also narrated from Mujahid, Al-Hasan and others. Others said that this phrase means:
(And they have other deeds, besides which they are doing.) It was decreed that they would do evil deeds, and they will inevitably do them before they die, so that the word of punishment may be justified against them. A similar view was narrated from Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. This is a clear and appropriate meaning. We have already quoted from the Hadith of Ibn Mas`ud:
(By Him besides Whom there is no other God, a man may do the deeds of the people of Paradise until there is no more than a forearm's length between him and it, then the decree will overtake him and he will do the deeds of the people of Hell, then he will enter Hell...)
(Until when We seize those of them who lead a luxurious life with punishment; behold, they make humble invocation with a loud voice.) means, when the punishment and vengeance of Allah comes to those who are living a happy life of luxury in this world and overtakes them,
(behold, they make humble invocation with a loud voice.) means, they scream their calls for help. This is like the Ayat:
(And leave Me Alone (to deal) with the beliers, those who are in possession of good things of life. And give them respite for a little while. Verily, with Us are fetters, and a raging Fire.) (73:11-12)
(How many a generation have We destroyed before them! And they cried out when there was no longer time for escape.) (38:3)
(Invoke not loudly this day! Certainly you shall not be helped by Us. ) means, no one is going to save you from what has happened to you, whether you scream aloud or remain silent. There is no escape and no way out. It is inevitable: the punishment will surely come to you. Then Allah mentions the greatest of their sins:
(Indeed My Ayat used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels.) meaning, when you were called, you refused and resisted.
("This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked, you disbelieved, but when partners were joined to Him, you believed! So the judgment is only with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great!'') (40:12)
(In pride, talking evil about it by night.) refers to the arrogant pride which the Quraysh felt because they believed themselves to be the guardians of the Ka`bah, when in fact this was not the case. As An-Nasa'i said in his Tafsir of this Ayah in his Sunan: Ahmad bin Sulayman told us that `Ubaydullah told us from Isra`il, from `Abdul-A`la that he heard Sa`id bin Jubayr narrating that Ibn `Abbas said, "Talking by late night became disapproved of when this Ayah was revealed:
(In pride, talking evil about it by night.) He said, "They boasted about the Ka`bah and said, `We are its people who stay up talking at night.' They used to boast and stay up and talk at night around the Ka`bah. They did not use it for the proper purpose, and so in effect they had abandoned it.''
(68. Have they not pondered over the Word, or has there come to them what had not come to their fathers of old) (69. Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger so they deny him) (70. Or they say: There is madness in him Nay, but he brought them the truth, but most of them are averse to the truth.) (71. And if Al-Haqq had followed their desires, verily, the heavens and the earth, and whosoever is therein would have been corrupted! Nay, We have brought them their reminder, but they turn away from their reminder.) (72. Or is it that you ask them for some Kharj But the recompense of your Lord is better, and He is the Best of those who give sustenance.) (73. And certainly, you call them to the straight path.) (74. And verily, those who believe not in the Hereafter are indeed deviating far astray from the path.) (75. And though We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them, still they would obstinately persist in their transgression, wandering blindly.)