Allah is consoling His Prophet and commanding him to follow the example of the Messengers that came before him. He tells him that no Prophet was ever sent to a township but those among its people who lived a life of luxury disbelieved in him, and the weaker people of the town followed him. The people of Nuh (peace be upon him) said to him:
(Shall we believe in you, when the weakest (of the people) follow you) (26:110)
(nor do we see any follow you but the meanest among us and they (too) followed you without thinking) (11:27). The leaders among the people of Salih said:
(to those who were counted weak -- to such of them as believed: "Know you that Salih is one sent from his Lord.'' They said: "We indeed believe in that with which he has been sent.'' Those who were arrogant said: "Verily, we disbelieve in that which you believe in.'') (7:75-76). And Allah said:
(Thus We have tried some of them with others, that they might say: "Is it these (poor believers) that Allah has favored from among us'' Does not Allah know best those who are grateful) (6:53),
(And thus We have set up in every town great ones of its wicked people to plot therein) (6:123), and
(And when We decide to destroy a town (population), We (first) send a definite order to those among them who lead a life of luxury. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the Word (of torment) is justified against it (them). Then We destroy it with complete destruction) (17:16). And Allah says here:
And We did not send a warner to a township meaning a Prophet or a Messenger,
(but those who were given the worldly wealth and luxuries among them) means, those who enjoyed a life of riches and luxury, and positions of leadership. Qatadah said, "They are their tyrants, chiefs and leaders in evil.''
(We believe not in the (Message) with which you have been sent.) means, `we do not believe in it and we will not follow it.' Allah tells us that those who enjoyed a life of luxury and who disbelieved the Messengers said:
(And they say: "We are more in wealth and in children, and we are not going to be punished.'') meaning, they were proud of their great wealth and great numbers of children, and they believed that this was a sign that Allah loved them and cared for them, and that if He gave them this in this world, He would not punish them in the Hereafter. This was too far-fetched. Allah says:
(Do they think that in wealth and children with which We enlarge them We hasten unto them with good things. Nay, but they perceive not.) (23:55-56)
(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, and that their souls shall depart while they are disbelievers.) (9:55), and
(Leave Me Alone (to deal) with whom I created lonely. And then granted him resources in abundance. And children to be by his side. And made life smooth and comfortable for him. After all that he desires that I should give more. Nay! Verily, he has been opposing Our Ayat. I shall oblige him to face a severe torment!) (74:11-17) And Allah has told us about the story of the owner of those two gardens, that he had wealth and crops and children, but that could not help him at all when all of that was taken from him in this world, before he reached the Hereafter. Allah says here:
(Say: "Verily, my Lord expands the provision to whom He wills and restricts...'') meaning, He gives wealth to those whom He loves and those whom He does not love, and He makes poor whom He wills and makes rich whom He wills. He has complete wisdom and clear proof,
(but most men know not.) Then Allah says:
(And it is not your wealth, nor your children that bring you nearer to Us,) meaning, `these things are not a sign that We love you or care for you.' Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah does not look at your outward appearance or your wealth, rather He looks at your hearts and your deeds.) Muslim and Ibn Majah also recorded this. Allah says:
(but only he who believes, and does righteous deeds;) meaning, `only faith and righteous deeds will bring you closer to Us.'
(as for such, there will be multiple rewards for what they did,) means, the reward will be multiplied for them between ten and seven hundred times.
(and they will reside in the high dwellings in peace and security.) means, in the lofty dwellings of Paradise, safe from all misery, fear and harm, and from any evil they could fear. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(In Paradise there are lofty rooms whose outside can be seen from the inside and whose inside can be seen from the outside.) A Bedouin asked, "Who are they for'' He said:
(For those who speak well, feed the hungry, persist in fasting and pray at night while people are asleep.)
(And those who strive against Our Ayat, to frustrate them,) means, those who try to block people from the path of Allah and from following His Messengers and believing in His signs,
they will be brought to the torment. means, they will all be punished for their deeds, each one accordingly.
(Say: "Truly, my Lord expands the provision for whom He wills of His servants, and (also) restricts (it) for him...'') means, according to His wisdom, He gives a lot of provision to one, and gives very little to another. He has great wisdom in doing so, which cannot be comprehended by anyone but Him. This is like the Ayah:
(See how We favor one above another, and verily, the Hereafter will be greater in degrees and greater in favor.) (17:21). This means that just as there are differences between them in this world -- where one may be poor and in straitened circumstances while another is rich and enjoys a life of plenty -- so they will be in the Hereafter. There one will reside in apartments in the highest levels of Paradise, whilst another will be in the lowest levels of Hell. As the Prophet said, describing the best of people in this world:
(He truly succeeds who becomes Muslim and is given just enough provision and Allah makes him content with what He has given.)'' It was recorded by Muslim.
(and whatsoever you spend of anything, He will replace it.) means, `whatever you spend in the ways that He has commanded you and permitted you, He will compensate you for it in this world by giving you something else instead, and in the Hereafter by giving you reward.' It was reported that the Prophet said:
(Allah says: "Spend, I will spend on you.'') In another Hadith it is reported that every morning, two angels come, and one says, "O Allah, bring destruction upon the one who withholds (does not spend).'' The other one says, "O Allah, give compensation to the one who spends.'' And the Messenger of Allah said:
(Spend, O Bilal, and do not fear that the One Who is on the Throne will withhold from you.)
(40. And (remember) the Day when He will gather them all together, then He will say to the angels: "Was it you that these people used to worship'') (41. They (the angels) will say: "Glorified be You! You are our Protector instead of them. Nay, but they used to worship the Jinn; most of them were believers in them.'') (42. So Today, none of you can profit or harm one another. And We shall say to those who did wrong: "Taste the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.'')
Allah tells us that on the Day of Resurrection, He will rebuke the idolaters before all of creation. He will ask the angels whom the idolaters used to worship, claiming that their idols were in the form of these angels and that they could bring them nearer to Allah. He will ask the angels:
(Was it you that these people used to worship) meaning, `did you command them to worship you' Allah says in Surat Al-Furqan:
(Was it you who misled these My servants or did they (themselves) stray from the (right) path) (25:17). And He will say to `Isa, peace be upon him:
(Did you say unto men: "Worship me and my mother as two gods besides Allah,' He will say: "Glory be to You! It was not for me to say what I had no right (to say).'') (5:116). Similarly, the angels will say:
Glorified be You! meaning, exalted and sanctified be You above the notion that there could be any god besides You.
You are our Protector instead of them. means, we are Your servants and we disown these people before You.
(Nay, but they used to worship the Jinn;) meaning, the Shayatin, because they are the ones who made idol worship attractive to them and who misguided them.
most of them were believers in them. This is like the Ayah:
(They invoke nothing but females besides Him, and they invoke nothing but Shaytan, a persistent rebel! Allah cursed him) (4:117-118). Allah says:
(So Today, none of you can profit or harm one another.) means, `none of those idols and rivals whom you hoped would benefit you, will be of any avail to you, those whom you worshipped in the hope that they would help you at times of stress and calamity. Today they will have no power either to benefit you or to harm you.'
And We shall say to those who did wrong: -- meaning the idolaters --
("Taste the torment of the Fire which you used to deny.'') meaning, this will be said to them by way of rebuke.
(43. And when Our Clear Verses are recited to them, they say: "This is naught but a man who wishes to hinder you from that which your fathers used to worship.'' And they say: "This is nothing but an invented lie.'' And those who disbelieve say of the truth when it has come to them: "This is nothing but evident magic!'') (44. And We had not given them Scriptures that they could study, nor sent to them before you any warner.) (45. And those before them denied; these have not received even a tenth of what We had granted to those (of old); yet they denied My Messengers. Then how (terrible) was My denial!)
Allah tells us that the disbeliever deserve to be severely punished by Him, because when His clear Verses were recited to them, and they heard them fresh from the lips of His Messenger, they said:
(They say: "This is naught but a man who wishes to hinder you from that which your fathers used to worship.'') meaning, that the religion of their fathers was the truth and that what the Messenger brought to them was false -- may the curse of Allah be upon them and their fathers!
(And they say: "This is nothing but an invented lie.'') referring to the Qur'an.
(And those who disbelieve say of the truth when it has come to them: "This is nothing but evident magic!'') Allah says:
(And We had not given them Scriptures that they could study, nor sent to them before you any warner) meaning, Allah did not reveal any Book to the Arabs before the Qur'an, and He did not send any Prophet to them before Muhammad. They used to wish for that and say, `if only a warner comes to us or a Book is revealed to us, we would be more guided than others,' but when Allah blessed them with that, they disbelieved him and stubbornly rejected him. Then Allah says:
(And those before them denied;) meaning, other nations.
(these have not received even a tenth of what We had granted to those (of old);) Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), said, "Of the power of this world.'' This was also the view of Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd. This is like the Ayat:
(And indeed We had firmly established them with that wherewith We have not established you! And We had assigned them the hearing, seeing, and hearts; but their hearing, seeing, and their hearts availed them nothing since they used to deny the Ayat of Allah, and they were completely encircled by that which they used to mock at!) (46: 26)
(Have they not traveled through the earth and seen what was the end of those before them They were more in number than them and mightier in strength) (40:82). but that did not protect them from the punishment of Allah, and Allah destroyed them because they denied His Messengers. Allah says:
(yet they denied My Messengers. Then how (terrible) was My denial!) meaning, `how severe was My wrath and how great was My avenging of My Messengers.'
(46. Say: "I exhort you to one (thing) only, that you stand up for Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect, there is no madness in your companion. He is only a warner to you in face of a severe torment.'')
Allah says: `Say, O Muhammad, to these disbelievers who claim that you are crazy,'
I exhort you to one (thing) only, meaning, I am only telling you to one thing, and that is:
that you stand up for Allah s sake in pairs and singly, and reflect, there is no madness in your companion. meaning, `stand sincerely before Allah, without being influenced by your own desires or tribal feelings, and ask one another, is Muhammad crazy Advise one another,'
and reflect means, let each person look within himself concerning the matter of Muhammad, and ask other people about him if he is still confused, then let him think about the matter. Allah says:
(that you stand up for Allah's sake in pairs and singly, and reflect, there is no madness in your companion.) This meaning was stated by Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ka`b, As-Suddi, Qatadah and others. This is what is meant by the Ayah.
(He is only a warner to you in face of a severe torment.) Al-Bukhari recorded that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), commented on this Ayah: "One day, the Prophet climbed up As-Safa' and shouted,
(O people!) The Quraysh gathered around him, and said, `What is the matter with you' He said,
(What do you think If I told you that the enemy were approaching and will reach us in the morning or in the evening, would you believe me) They said, `Of course.' He said:
(I am a warner to you in the face of a severe punishment.) Abu Lahab said, `May you perish! You have called us together only to tell us this' Then Allah revealed:
(Perish the two hands of Abu Lahab and perish he!) (111:1) We have already discussed this in our Tafsir of the Ayah:
(And warn your tribe of near kindred) (26:214).
(47. Say: "Whatever wage I might have asked of you is yours. My wage is from Allah only, and He is a Witness over all things.'') (48. Say: "Verily, my Lord sends down the truth, the All-Knower of the Unseen.'') (49. Say: "The truth has come, and the falsehood can neither create anything nor resurrect.'') (50. Say: "If (even) I go astray, I shall stray only to my own loss. But if I remain guided, it is because of the Revelation of my Lord to me. Truly, He is All-Hearer, Ever Near.'')