Then Allah tells us about those who denied the resurrection, who were like the disbelievers who came before them:
(Nay, but they say the like of what the men of old said. They said: "When we are dead and have become dust and bones, shall we be resurrected indeed'') They thought it very unlikely that this would happen after they had disintegrated into nothing.
("Verily, this we have been promised -- we and our fathers before (us)! This is only the tales of the ancients!'') This means, "It is impossible that we could be brought back. This was said by those who learned it from the books and disputes of the ancients.'' This denial and rejection on their part is like the Ayah where Allah tells us about them:
("Even after we are crumbled bones'' They say: "It would in that case, be a return with loss!'' But it will be only a single Zajrah, When behold, they find themselves on the surface of the earth alive after their death.) (79:11-14)
(Does not man see that We have created him from Nutfah. Yet behold he (stands forth) as an open opponent. And he puts forth for Us a parable, and forgets his own creation. He says: "Who will give life to these bones after they are rotten and have become dust'' Say: "He will give life to them Who created them for the first time! And He is the All-Knower of every creation!'') (36:77-79)
(84. Say: "Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein If you know!'') (85. They will say: "It is Allah's!'' Say: "Will you not then remember'') (86. Say: "Who is (the) Lord of the seven heavens, and (the) Lord of the Great Throne'') (87. They will say: "Allah.'' Say: "Will you not then have Taqwa'') (88. Say: "In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything And He protects, while against Whom there is no protector, if you know'') (89. They will say: "(All that belongs) to Allah.'' Say: "How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth'') (90. Nay, but We have brought them the truth, and verily, they are liars.)
Allah states that the fact that He is One and that He is independent in His creation, control, dominion and guides one to realize that there is no God except Him and that none should be worshipped except Him Alone, with no partner or associate. He tells His Messenger Muhammad to say to the idolators who worship others besides Him, even though they admit His Lordship, that He has no partner in Lordship. But despite this they still attributed partners in divinity to Him, and worshipped others besides Him even though they recognized the fact that those whom they worshipped could not create anything, did not own anything, nor do they have any control over anything. However, they still believed that these creatures could bring them closer to Allah,
(We worship them only that they may bring us near to Allah) (39:3). So Allah says:
(Say: "Whose is the earth and whosoever is therein'') meaning, "Who is the Owner Who has created it and whatever is in it of animals, plants, fruits and all other kinds of creation''
("If you know!'' They will say: "It is Allah's!'') means, they will admit that this belongs to Allah Alone with no partner or associate. If that is the case,
(Say: "Will you not then remember'') that none should be worshipped except the Creator and Provider.
(Say: "Who is Lord of the seven heavens, and Lord of the Great Throne'') means, "Who is the Creator of the higher realm with its planets, lights and angels who submit to Him in all regions and in all directions Who is the Lord of the Great Throne, which is the highest of all created things'' Allah says here:
(and Lord of the Great Throne), meaning the Mighty Throne. At the end of the Surah, Allah says:
(the Lord of the Supreme Throne!) (23:116), meaning splendid and magnificent. The Throne combines the features of height and vastness with splendor and magnificence. This is why it was said that it is made of red rubies. Ibn Mas`ud said, "There is no night or day with your Lord, and the light of the Throne is from the Light of His Face.''
(They will say: "Allah.'' Say: "Will you not then have Taqwa'') meaning, since you admit that He is the Lord of the heavens and the Lord of the Mighty Throne, will you not fear His punishment for worshipping others besides Him and associating others with Him
(Say: "In Whose Hand is the sovereignty of everything'') i.e., sovereignty is in His Hands.
(There is not a moving creature but He has grasp of its forelock) (11:56). meaning, He has control over it. The Messenger of Allah used to say,
(By the One in Whose hand is my soul.) When he swore an oath, he would say,
(By the One Who turns over (controls) the hearts.) He, may He be glorified, is the Creator, the Sovereign, the Controller,
(And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector, if you know) Among the Arabs, if a leader announced his protection to a person, no one could go against him in that, yet no one could offer protection against that leader. Allah says:
(And He protects (all), while against Whom there is no protector, ) meaning, He is the greatest Master, and there is none greater than Him. His is the power to create and to command, and none can overturn or oppose His ruling. What He wills happens, and what He does not, will not happen. Allah says:
(He cannot be questioned about what He does, while they will be questioned.) (21:23) He cannot be asked about what He does because of His greatness, Pride, overwhelming power, wisdom and justice, but all of His creation will be asked about what they did, as Allah says:
(So, by your Lord, We shall certainly call all of them to account. For all that they used to do.) (15:92-93)
(They will say: "(All that belongs) to Allah.'') means, they will admit that the Almighty Master Who protects all while against Him there is no protector is Allah Alone, with no partner or associate.
(Say: "How then are you deceived and turn away from the truth'') means, how can your minds accept the idea of worshipping others besides Him when you recognize and acknowledge that Then Allah says:
(Nay, but We have brought them the truth,) which is the declaration that there is no god worthy of worship besides Allah, and the establishment of clear, definitive and sound proof to that effect,
(and verily, they are liars.) means, in their worship of others alongside Allah when they have no evidence for doing so, as Allah says at the end of this Surah:
(And whoever invokes, besides Allah, any other god, of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, the disbelievers will not be successful.) (23:117) The idolators have no evidence for what they are doing, which has led them into lies and misguidance. Rather they are following their forefathers and predecessors who were confused and ignorant, as Allah describes them:
("We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.'') (43:23)
(91. No son (or offspring) did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him. (If there had been many gods), then each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him!) (92. All-Knower of the unseen and the seen! Exalted be He over all that they associate as partners to Him!)
Allah declares Himself to be above having any child or partner in dominion, control and worship. He says:
(No son did Allah beget, nor is there any god along with Him. (If there had been many gods), then each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have tried to overcome others.) meaning, if it were decreed that there should be a plurality of deities, each of them would have exclusive control over whatever he had created, so there would never be any order in the universe. But what we see is that the universe is ordered and cohesive, with the upper and lower realms connected to one another in the most perfect fashion.
(you can see no fault in the creation of the Most Gracious) (65:3). Moreover, if there were a number of gods, each of them would try to subdue the other with enmity, and one would prevail over the other. This has been mentioned by the scholars of `Ilm-ul-Kalam, who discussed it using the evidence of mutual resistance or counteraction. This idea states that if there were two or more creators, one would want to make a body move while the other would want to keep it immobile, and if neither of them could achieve what they wanted, then both would be incapable, but the One Whose existence is essential ﴿i.e., Allah﴾ cannot be incapable. It is impossible for the will of both to be fulfilled because of the conflict. This dilemma only arises when a plurality of gods is suggested, so it is impossible for there to be such a plurality, because if the will of one is fulfilled and not the other, the one who prevails will be the one whose existence is essential (i.e., God) and the one who is prevailed over will be merely possible (i.e., he is not divine), because it is not befitting for the one to be defeated whose existence is essential. Allah says:
(and some would have tried to overcome others! Glorified be Allah above all that they attribute to Him!) meaning, high above all that the stubborn wrongdoers say when they claim that He has a son or partner.
(All-Knower of the unseen and the seen!) means, He knows what is hidden from His creatures and what they see.
(Exalted be He over all that they associate as partners to Him!) means, sanctified and glorified and exalted be He above all that the wrongdoers and liars say.
(93. Say: "My Lord! If You would show me that with which they are threatened, '') (94. "My Lord! Then, put me not amongst the people who are the wrongdoers.'') (95. And indeed We are able to show you that with which We have threatened them.) (96. Repel evil with that which is better. We are best-acquainted with the things they utter.) (97. And say: "My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Shayatin.'') (98. "And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.'')
Allah commands His Prophet Muhammad to call on Him with this supplication when calamity strikes:
(My Lord! If You would show me that with which they are threatened.) meaning, `if You punish them while I am witnessing that, then do not cause me to be one of them.' As was said in the Hadith recorded by Imam Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi, who graded it Sahih:
(If You want to test people, then take me to You ﴿cause me to die﴾ without having to undergo the test.)
(And indeed We are able to show you that with which We have threatened them.) means, `if We willed, We could show you the punishment and test that We will send upon them.' Then Allah shows him the best way to behave when mixing with people, which is to treat kindly the one who treats him badly, so as to soften his heart and turn his enmity to friendship, and to turn his hatred to love. Allah says:
(Repel evil with that which is better. ) This is like the Ayah:
(Repel (the evil) with one which is better, then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient) (41:34-35). meaning, nobody will be helped or inspired to follow this advice or attain this quality,
(except those who are patient) meaning, those who patiently bear people's insults and bad treatment and deal with them in a good manner when they are on the receiving end of bad treatment from them.
(and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion) means, in this world and the Hereafter. And Allah says:
(And say: "My Lord! I seek refuge with You from the whisperings of the Shayatin.'') Allah commanded him to seek refuge with Him from the Shayatin, because no trick could help you against them and you cannot protect yourself by being kind to them. We have already stated, when discussing Isti`adhah (seeking refuge), that the Messenger of Allah used to say,
(I seek refuge with Allah, the All-Hearing, All-Seeing, from the accursed Shayatin, from his whisperings, evil suggestions and insinuations.) His saying:
("And I seek refuge with You, My Lord! lest they should come near me.'') means, in any issue of my life. So we are commanded to mention Allah at the beginning of any undertaking, in order to ward off the Shayatin at the time of eating, intercourse, slaughtering animals for food, etc. Abu Dawud recorded that the Messenger of Allah used to say:
(O Allah, I seek refuge with You from old age, I seek refuge with You from being crushed or drowned, and I seek refuge with you from being assaulted by the Shayatin at the time of death.)
(99. Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: "My Lord! Send me back,'') (100. "So that I may do good in that which I have left behind!'' No! (Kalla) It is but a word that he speaks; and in front of them is Barzakh until the Day when they will be resurrected.)
("My Lord! Send me back, so that I may do good in that which I have left behind!'' No!) This is like the Ayat:
(And spend of that with which We have provided you before death comes to one of you,) until His saying:
(And Allah is All-Aware of what you do) (63:10-11)
upto His saying; (that you would not leave (the world for the Hereafter).) (14:44) And His saying:
(On the Day the event is finally fulfilled, those who neglected it before will say: "Verily, the Messengers of our Lord did come with the truth, now are there any intercessors for us that they might intercede on our behalf Or could we be sent back so that we might do deeds other than those deeds which we used to do'') (7:53) And:
(And if you only could see when the criminals shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): "Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back, that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.'') (32:12) And;
(If you could but see when they will be held over the (Hell) Fire! They will say: "Would that we were but sent back! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord. ..'') until His saying;
(And indeed they are liars.) (6:27-28)
(And you will see the wrongdoers, when they behold the torment, they will say: "Is there any way of return'') (42:44)
(They will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice! Now we confess our sins, then is there any way to get out'') (40:11) and the Ayah after it:
(Therein they will cry: "Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not what we used to do.'' (Allah will reply:) "Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it And the warner came to you. So taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the wrongdoers there is no helper.'') (35:37) Allah says that they will ask to go back, when death approaches, on the Day of Resurrection, when they are gathered for judgment before the Compeller (Allah) and when they are in the agonies of the punishment of Hell, but their prayer will not be answered. Here Allah says:
(No! It is but a word that he speaks;) The word Kalla (No!) is a word that is used to rebuke, and the meaning is: "No, We will not respond to what he asks for and We will not accept it from him.''
(It is but a word that he speaks) refers to his asking to go back so that he can do righteous deeds; this is just talk on his part, it would not be accompanied by any action. If he were to go back, he would not do any righteous good deeds, he is merely lying, as Allah says:
(But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars) (6:28). Qatadah said: "By Allah, he will not wish to go back to his family and tribe, or to accumulate more of the things of this world or satisfy his desires, but he will wish that he could go back to do acts of obedience to Allah. May Allah have mercy on a man who does that which the disbeliever will wish he had done when he sees the punishment of Hell.''
(and in front of them is Barzakh until the Day when they will be resurrected.) Abu Salih and others said that:
(and in front of them) means before them. Mujahid said, Al-Barzakh is a barrier between this world and the Hereafter. Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "Al-Barzakh is what is between this world and the Hereafter, neither they are the people of this world, eating and drinking, nor are they with the people of the Hereafter, being rewarded or punished for their deeds.'' Abu Sakhr said, "Al-Barzakh refers to the graves. They are neither in this world nor the Hereafter, and they will stay there until the Day of Resurrection.''
(and in front of them is Barzakh). In these words is a threat to those wrongdoers at the time of death, of the punishment of Barzakh. This is similar to the Ayat:
(In front of them there is Hell) (45:10).
(and in front of him will be a great torment) (14: 17).
(until the Day when they will be resurrected). means, he will be punished continually until the Day of Resurrection, as it says in the Hadith:
(He will continue to be punished in it.) meaning, in the earth.
(101. Then, when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no kinship among them that Day, nor will they ask of one another.) (102. Then, those whose Scales (of good deeds) are heavy, these! they are the successful.) (103. And those whose Scales (of good deeds) are light, they are those who lose themselves, in Hell will they abide.) (104. The Fire will burn their faces, and therein they will grin, with displaced lips (disfigured).)