Allah tells us how the idolaters thought it unlikely that the resurrection would ever come to pass, and how they said:
(When we are lost in the earth,) meaning, `when our bodies have been scattered and have disintegrated and dispersed in the earth,'
(shall we indeed be created anew) means, `after that, will we come back again' They thought it unlikely that this would happen, and in terms of their own feeble abilities it is indeed unlikely, but this is not the case with regard to the power of the One Who created them from nothing, Who when He wills a thing merely says to it, "Be!'' and it is. Allah says:
(Nay, but they deny the meeting with their Lord!) Then Allah says:
(Say: "The angel of death, who is set over you, will take your souls...'') The apparent meaning of this Ayah is that the angel of death is a specific personality among the angels, as is also apparent from the Hadith of Al-Bara' which we quoted in (our Tafsir of) Surah Ibrahim. In some reports he (the angel of death) is called `Izra'il, which is well known. This is the view of Qatadah and others. The angel of death has helpers. It was reported in the Hadith that his helpers draw out the soul from the rest of the body until it reaches the throat, then the angel of death takes it. Mujahid said, "The earth is brought together for him and it is like a platter from which he takes whenever he wants.''
(Then you shall be brought to your Lord.) means, on the Day when you are resurrected and brought forth from your graves to receive your reward or punishment.
(12. 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.'') (13. And if We had willed, surely We would have given every person his guidance, but the Word from Me took effect, that I will fill Hell with Jinn and mankind together.) (14. Then taste because of your forgetting the meeting of this Day of yours. Surely, We too will forget you, so taste you the abiding torment for what you used to do.)
Allah tells us the state of the idolaters on the Day of Resurrection and what they will say when they see the Resurrection and are standing before Allah -- may He be glorified -- humiliated and brought low, with their heads bowed, i.e., in shame. They will say:
(Our Lord! We have now seen and heard,) meaning, `now we hear what You say and we will obey You.' This is like the Ayah,
(How clearly will they see and hear, the Day when they will appear before Us!) (19:38). And they will blame themselves when they enter the Fire, and will say:
("Had we but listened or used our intelligence, we would not have been among the dwellers of the blazing Fire!'') (67:10) Similarly, here they are described as saying:
(Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back) to the world,
(that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily, we now believe with certainty.) means, `now we are sure and we believe that Your promise is true and that the meeting with You is true.' But the Lord, may He be exalted, knows that if He were to send them back to this world, they would behave as they did previously, and they would reject and disbelieve in the signs of Allah and would go against His Messengers, as He says:
(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,'') (6: 27) And Allah says here:
(And if We had willed, surely We would have given every person his guidance,) This is like the Ayah,
(And had your Lord willed, those on earth would have believed, all of them together) (10:99).
(but the Word from Me took effect, that I will fill Hell with Jinn and mankind together.) i.e., from both classes, so their abode will be Hell and they will have no escape from it and no way out. We seek refuge with Allah and in His perfect Words from that.
(Then taste because of your forgetting the meeting of this Day of yours.) means, it will be said to the people of Hell by way of rebuke: `taste this punishment because you denied it and believed that it would never happen; you tried to forget about it and acted as if you had forgotten it.'
(Surely, We too will forget you,) means, `We will deal with you as if We have forgotten you,' but nothing escapes Allah's attention, and He makes the punishment fit the crime, as He says:
(This Day We will forget you as you forgot the meeting of this Day of yours) (45:34).
(so taste you the abiding torment for what you used to do.) i.e., because of your disbelief and rejection, as Allah says in another Ayah:
(Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink. Except Hamim, and Ghassaq) until:
(No increase shall We give you, except in torment) (78:24-30).
(15. Only those believe in Our Ayat, who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate, and glorify the praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.) (16. Their sides forsake their beds, to invoke their Lord in fear and hope, and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them.) (17. No person knows what is kept hidden for them of delights of eyes as a reward for what they used to do.)
(Only those believe in Our Ayat,) means, who accept them as true,
(who, when they are reminded of them, fall down prostrate,) means, they listen to them and obey them in word and deed.
(and glorify the praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.) means, they are not too proud to follow them and submit to them, unlike the ignorant among the rebellious disbelievers. Allah says:
(Verily, those who scorn My worship, they will surely enter Hell in humiliation!) (40:60). Then Allah says:
(Their sides forsake their beds,) meaning, they pray the voluntary night prayer and forego sleep and resting on a comfortable bed. Mujahid and Al-Hasan said that the Ayah
(Their sides forsake their beds,) refers to voluntary night prayer. Ad-Dahhak said, "It refers to Salat Al-`Isha' in congregation and Salat Al-Fajr in congregation.
(to invoke their Lord in fear and hope,) means, in fear of His punishment and in hope of His reward.
(and they spend out of what We have bestowed on them.) means, they do both obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship. Their leader in this world and the Hereafter is the Messenger of Allah. Imam Ahmad recorded that Mu`adh bin Jabal said, "I was with the Messenger of Allah on a journey one morning, walking near him. I said, `O Prophet of Allah, tell me of a deed that will grant me admittance to Paradise and keep me away from Hell.' He said:
(You have asked about something great, and it is easy for the one for whom Allah makes it easy. Worship Allah and do not associate anything with Him, establish regular prayer, pay Zakah, fast Ramadan and perform pilgrimage to the House.) Then he said:
(Shall I not tell you of the gates of goodness Fasting is a shield, charity wipes out sin, and the prayer of a man in the depths of the night.) Then he recited:
(Their sides forsake their beds,) until he reached
(as a reward for what they used to do.) Then he said:
(Shall I not tell you of the greatest of all things and its pillars and pinnacle) I said, `Of course, O Messenger of Allah.' He said:
(The greatest of all things is Islam, its pillars are the prayers and its pinnacle is Jihad for the sake of Allah.) Then he said:
(Shall I not tell you the factor on which all of that depends) I said, `Of course, O Messenger of Allah.' He took hold of his tongue and said,
(Restrain this.) I said, `O Messenger of Allah, will we be accountable for what we say' He said,
(May your mother be bereft of you, O Mu`adh! Will the people be thrown into Hell -- (or he said) on their faces -- except because of what their tongues say) It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, An-Nasa'i and Ibn Majah in their Sunans. At-Tirmidhi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.''
(No person knows what is kept hidden for them of delights of eyes) means, no one knows the vastness of what Allah has concealed for them of everlasting joy in Paradise and delights such as no one has ever seen. Because they conceal their good deeds, Allah conceals the reward for them, a fitting reward which will suit their deeds. Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "If people conceal their good deeds, Allah will conceal for them what no eye has seen and what has never crossed the mind of man. It was recorded by Ibn Abi Hatim. Al-Bukhari quoted the Ayah: d
(No person knows what is kept hidden for them of delights of eyes) Then he recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah says: "I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and it has never crossed the mind of man.'') Abu Hurayrah said: "Recite, if you wish:
(No person knows what is kept hidden for them of delights of eyes.) It was also recorded by Muslim and At-Tirmidhi. At-Tirmidhi said, "It is Hasan Sahih.'' In another version of Al-Bukhari:
("and no body has ever even imagined of. All that is reserved, besides which, all that you have seen is nothing.'') It was also reported from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet said:
(Whoever enters Paradise, will enjoy a life of luxury and never feel deprivation, his clothes will never wear out, his youth will never fade. In Paradise there is what no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, and has never crossed the mind of man.) This was recorded by Muslim.
(18. Is then he who is a believer like him who is rebellious Not equal are they.) (19. As for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them are Gardens of Abode as an entertainment for what they used to do.) (20. And as for those who rebel, their abode will be the Fire, every time they wish to get away therefrom, they will be put back thereto, and it will be said to them: "Taste you the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.'') (21. And verily, We will make them taste of the near lighter torment prior to the greater torment, in order that they may return.) (22. And who does more wrong than he who is reminded of the Ayat of his Lord, then turns aside therefrom Verily, We shall exact retribution from the criminals.)