Here Allah praises Himself for the Noble Qur'an He has revealed to His noble Messenger. This is like the Ayat:
(All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has sent down to His servant the Book, and has not placed therein any crookedness. (He has made it) straight to give warning of a severe punishment from Him, and to give glad tidings to the believers, who do righteous deeds...) (18:1-2) Here Allah says:
(Blessed be He.) The verbal form used here implies an ongoing, permanent, eternal blessing.
(Who sent down the criterion) The verb Nazzala is a form which implies something done a great deal and often. This is like the Ayah:
(And the Book which He (Nazzala) sent down to His Messenger, and the Scripture which He (Anzala) sent down to those before (him)) (4:136). Each of the previous Books was sent down at one time, but the Qur'an was revealed gradually, in stages, Ayat after Ayat, rulings after rulings, Surahs after Surahs. This is more eloquent and indicative of greater care for the one to whom it is revealed, as Allah says later in this Surah:
(And those who disbelieve say: "Why is not the Qur'an revealed to him all at once'' Thus, that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We have revealed it to you gradually, in stages. And no example or similitude do they bring, but We reveal to you the truth, and the better explanation thereof.) (25:32-33) This Surah was named Al-Furqan, because it is the criterion that decides between truth and falsehood, guidance and misguidance, right and wrong, lawful and unlawful.
(to His servant) This description is one of praise and commendation, because here Allah is connecting him to Himself, describing him as His servant. Allah also described him in this manner when referring to the noblest of events, the Night of the Isra', as He said:
(Glorified be He Who took His servant for a journey by night) (17:1). Allah also described him in this way when He described how he stood and called to Him:
(And when the servant of Allah stood up invoking Him in prayer they (the Jinn) just made round him a dense crowd as if sticking one over the other (in order to listen to the Prophet's recitation).) (72:19) This description is also used here when Allah describes how the Book is revealed to him and how the angel comes down to him:
(Blessed be He Who sent down the criterion to His servant that he may be a warner to all nations.)
(that he may be a warner to all nations.) means, he alone has been blessed with this great, detailed, clear Book which,
(Falsehood cannot come to it from before it or behind it, (it is) sent down by the All-Wise, Worthy of all praise (Allah).) (41:42) The One Who made it the mighty criterion, singled him out to convey it to those who seek the shade of trees and to those who live on the land (i.e., to all of mankind, nomad and settled alike), as the Prophet said:
(I have been sent to the red and the black.) And he said:
(I have been given five things which no Prophet before me was given.) Among them he mentioned:
((Before me) a Prophet was sent only to his own people, but I have been sent to all of mankind.) And Allah says:
(Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah...'') (7:158), meaning, the One Who has sent me is the Sovereign of the heaven and the earth, who merely says to a thing "Be!'' and it is. He is the one who gives life and causes death. Allah says here:
(He to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth, and Who has begotten no son and for Whom there is no partner in the dominion.) Allah states that He is above having any offspring or partner. Then He tells us:
(He has created everything, and has measured it exactly according to its due measurements.) meaning, everything apart from Him is created and subject to Him. He is the Creator, Lord, Master and God of all things, and everything is subject to His dominion, control and power.
(3. Yet they have taken besides Him other gods who created nothing but are themselves created, and possess neither harm nor benefit for themselves, and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.)
Allah tells us of the ignorance of the idolaters in taking other gods instead of Allah, the Creator of all things, the One Who controls the affairs of all things; whatever He wills happens and whatever He does not will does not happen. In spite of that, they still worshipped others besides Him, idols who could not even create the wing of a gnat, but were themselves created. They could neither do harm nor bring benefit to themselves, so how could they do anything for their worshippers
(and possess no power (of causing) death, nor (of giving) life, nor of raising the dead.) means, they could not do any of that at all; that power belongs only to Allah, Who is the One Who gives life and death, and is the One Who will bring all people, the first and the last, back to life on the Day of Resurrection.
(The creation of you all and the resurrection of you all are only as (the creation and resurrection of) a single person) (31:28). This is like the Ayat;
(And Our commandment is but one as the twinkling of an eye.) (54:50)
(But it will be only a single Zajrah. When behold, they find themselves on the surface of the earth alive after their death.) (79:13-14)
(It will be a single Zajrah, and behold, they will be staring!) (37:19)
(It will be but a single Sayhah, so behold they will all be brought up before Us!) (36:53). He is Allah besides Whom there is no other God and besides Whom there is no other Lord. No one should be worshipped except Him because whatever He wills happens and whatever he does not will does not happen. He has no offspring nor progenitor, nor equal nor likeness nor rival nor peer. He is the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Whom all creatures need, He begets not, nor was He begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable unto Him.
(4. Those who disbelieve say: "This is nothing but a lie that he has invented, and others have helped him in it.'' In fact, they have produced an unjust wrong and a lie.) (5. And they say: "Tales of the ancients which he has written down, and they are dictated to him morning and afternoon.'') (6. Say: "It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'')
Allah tells us about the foolishness of the disbelievers' ignorant minds, when they said about the Qur'an:
(This is nothing but a lie), meaning an untruth.
(that he has invented,) meaning the Prophet .
(and others have helped him in it.) means, he asked other people to help him compile it. So Allah said:
(In fact, they have produced an unjust wrong and a lie.) meaning, they are the ones who are telling a lie, and they know that it is false, for their own souls know that what they are claiming is not true.
(And they say: "Tales of the ancients which he has written down...'') meaning, the ancients wrote them down, and he has copied it.
(and they are dictated to him) means, they are read or recited to him.
(morning and afternoon.) at the beginning and end of the day. Because this idea is so foolish and is so patently false, everyone knows that it is not true. It is known through Mutawatir reports and is a common fact that Muhammad the Messenger of Allah never learned to read or write, either at the beginning or the end of his life. He grew up among them for approximately forty years, from the time he was born until the time when his mission began. They knew all about him, and about his honest and sound character and how he would never lie or do anything immoral or bad. They even used to call him Al-Amin (the Trustworthy One) from a young age, until his mission began, because they saw how truthful and honest he was. When Allah honored him with that which He honored him, they declared their enmity towards him and came up with all these accusations which any reasonable person would know he was innocent of. They were not sure what to accuse him of. Sometimes they said that he was a sorcerer, at other times they would say he was a poet, or crazy, or a liar. So Allah said:
(See what examples they have put forward for you. So they have gone astray, and never can they find a way.) (17:48) In response to their stubbornness, Allah says here:
(Say: "It has been sent down by Him Who knows the secret of the heavens and the earth''.) meaning, He has revealed the Qur'an which includes true information about the earlier and later generations, information which concurs with the realities of the past and future.
(Who knows the secret) means, Allah is the One Who knows the unseen in the heavens and on the earth; He knows their secrets just as He knows what is visible therein.
(Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) This is an invitation to them to repent and turn back to Allah, telling them that His mercy is vast and His patience is immense. Whoever repents to Him, He accepts his repentance. Despite all their lies, immorality, falsehood, disbelief and stubbornness, and saying what they said about the Messenger and the Qur'an, He still invites them to repent and give up their sin, and to come to Islam and true guidance. This is like the Ayat:
(Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allah is the third of the three.'' But there is no god but One God. And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall on the disbelievers among them. Will they not turn with repentance to Allah and ask His forgiveness For Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (5:73-74)
(Verily, those who put into trial the believing men and believing women, and then do not turn in repentance, then they will have the torment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire.) (85:10) Al-Hasan Al-Basri said: "Look at this kindness and generosity! They killed His friends and He is calling them to repentance and mercy.''
(7. And they say: "Why does this Messenger eat food, and walk about in the markets. Why is not an angel sent down to him to be a warner with him'') (8. "Or (why) has not a treasure been granted to him, or why has he not a garden whereof he may eat'' And the wrongdoers say: "You follow none but a man bewitched.'') (9. See how they coin similitudes for you, so they have gone astray, and they cannot find a path.) (10. Blessed be He Who, if He wills, will assign you better than (all) that -- Gardens under which rivers flow and will assign you palaces.) (11. Nay, they deny the Hour, and for those who deny the Hour, We have prepared a flaming Fire.) (12. When it sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and its roaring.) (13. And when they shall be thrown into a narrow place thereof, chained together, they will exclaim therein for destruction.) (14. Exclaim not today for one destruction, but exclaim for many destructions.)