Here Allah tells us that His believing servants, who recite and believe in His Book, and do the deeds prescribed in it such as establishing regular prayer at the prescribed times, night and day, spending (in charity) out of that which Allah has provided for them secretly and openly,
(they hope for a (sure) trade-gain that will never perish.) means, they hope for a reward from Allah which will inevitably be theirs. Allah says:
(That He may pay them their wages in full, and give them (even) more, out of His grace.) meaning, that He may give them a reward for what they have done, and multiply it by adding more, such as has never occurred to them.
(Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving,) means, He forgives their sins,
(Most Ready to appreciate.) means, He appreciates even a little of their good deeds.
(31. And what We have revealed to you of the Book, it is the (very) truth confirming that which was (revealed) before it. Verily, Allah is indeed All-Aware and All-Seer of His servants.)
And what We have revealed to you -- O Muhammad, of the Book, i.e., the Qur’an,
(it is the (very) truth confirming that which was (revealed) before it.) means, of the previous books. It confirms them just as they bore witness to the coming of the Qur'an and that it would be sent down from the Lord of the worlds.
(Verily, Allah is indeed All-Aware and All-Seer of His servants.) means, He is All-Aware of them and knows who deserves to receive the blessing which He may give to him and not to others. The Prophets and the Messengers are favored above the rest of mankind, and some of the Prophets were given more than others and given higher status than others. The position given to Muhammad is higher than that of all the others, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them all.
(32. Then We gave the Book as inheritance to such of Our servants whom We chose. Then of them are some who wrong themselves, and of them are some who follow a middle course, and of them are some who are, by Allah's leave, foremost in good deeds. That -- that is indeed a great grace.)
Allah says: `Then We made those who uphold the Book confirming what came before, the one whom We have chosen from among Our servants. They are this Ummah, who are divided into three types.' Allah says:
(Then of them are some who wrong themselves,) these are the ones who are careless about doing some obligatory actions, and who commit some forbidden actions.
(and of them are some who follow a middle course,) these are the ones who fulfill their obligations and avoid things that are forbidden, but they may neglect some good deeds and do some things which are disliked.
(and of them are some who are, by Allah's leave, foremost in good deeds.) these are the ones who do obligatory actions and things which are encouraged, and who avoid doing unlawful and disliked actions, and avoid some actions which are permissible. `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on the Ayah:
(Then We gave the Book as inheritance to such of Our servants whom We chose.) "This refers to the Ummah of Muhammad. Allah caused it to inherit every Book that He had revealed; those who wrong themselves will be forgiven, those who follow a middle course will have an easy accounting, and those who are foremost in good deeds will enter Paradise without being brought to account.'' Abu Al-Qasim At-Tabarani reported from Ibn `Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said one day:
(My intercession will be for those among my Ummah who commit major sins.)'' Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "Those who are foremost in good deeds will enter Paradise without being brought to account; those who follow a middle course will enter Paradise by the mercy of Allah; and those who wrong themselves and Ashab Al-A`raf will enter Paradise by the intercession of Muhammad .'' It was also reported from a number of the Salaf that those among this Ummah who wrong themselves are still among those whom Allah has chosen, even though they are imperfect and fell short (by not adhering to the straight path). Others said that those who wrong themselves are not part of this Ummah and are not among those whom Allah has chosen and who inherited the Book. The correct view is that they are also part of this Ummah.
The scholars are the most fortunate of people with regard to this blessing, and the most entitled to this mercy. Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy on him, recorded that Qays bin Kathir said, "One of the people of Al-Madinah came to Abu Ad-Darda' (may Allah be pleased with him) when he was in Damascus. (Abu Ad-Darda') said, `What brought you here, my brother' He said, `A Hadith which I heard that you narrate from the Messenger of Allah .' He said, `Have you come for trade' He said, `No.' He said, `Have you come for any other reason' He said, `No.' He said, `Have you come only to seek this Hadith' He said, `Yes.' He, may Allah be pleased with him said, `I heard the Messenger of Allah say:
(Whoever follows a path to seek knowledge, Allah will show him the way to Paradise. The angels lower their wings being pleased with the one who seeks knowledge. Whoever is in the heavens and on earth, even the fish in the sea, ask for forgiveness for the scholar. The superiority of the scholar over the worshipper is like that of the moon over all other heavenly bodies. The scholars are the heirs of the Prophets, for the Prophets did not leave behind Dinars and Dirhams, but they left behind knowledge; and whoever receives it, receives an abundance of good fortune.)''' It was also reported by Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.
(33. `Adn (Gardens) will they enter, therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls, and their garments therein will be of silk.) (34. And they will say: "All praise and thanks be to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) grief. Verily, our Lord is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Ready to appreciate.'') (35. "Who, out of His grace, has lodged us in a home that will last forever, where toil will touch us not nor weariness will touch us.'') Allah tells us that those whom He chose among His servants, those who inherited the Book which was revealed from the Lord of the worlds, will, on the Day of Resurrection, have an abode in Everlasting Gardens which they will enter on the Day when they are raised anew and meet Allah.
(therein will they be adorned with bracelets of gold and pearls,) It was recorded in the Sahih from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah said:
(The ornaments of the believer will reach as far as his Wudu'.)
(and their garments therein will be of silk.) For this reason it is forbidden for them (the males) in this world, but Allah will permit it for them in the Hereafter. It was recorded in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Whoever wears silk in this world, will not wear it in the Hereafter.) And he said:
(It is for them in this world, and for you in the Hereafter.)
(And they will say: "All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has removed from us (all) grief...'') which means fear of everything that is feared; it has been lifted from us and we have been relieved of all that we used to fear of the anxieties of the world and the Hereafter. Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) and others said, "He forgives them for their major sins, and appreciates even the smallest of their good deeds.''
(Who, out of His grace, has lodged us in a home that will last forever,) means, `Who has given us this position and status out of His grace and blessing and mercy, for our good deeds are not equivalent to this.' It was reported in the Sahih that the Messenger of Allah said: -
(None of you will enter Paradise by virtue of his good deeds.) They said, "Not even you, O Messenger of Allah'' He said,
(Not even me, unless Allah encompasses me with His mercy and grace.)
(where toil will touch us not nor weariness will touch us.) means, neither hardship nor exhaustion will touch us. The words translated here as "toil'' and "weariness'' both mean exhaustion, as if what is meant by the negation of both is that neither their bodies nor their souls will become exhausted; and Allah knows best. They used to exhaust themselves in worshipping this world, but their obligations will come to an end when they enter Paradise, where they will enjoy eternal rest and repose. Allah says:
(Eat and drink at ease for that which you have sent on before you in days past!) (69:24)
(36. But those who disbelieve, for them will be the fire of Hell. Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die nor shall its torment be lightened for them. Thus do We requite every disbeliever !) (37. Therein they will cry: "Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not that 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. For the wrongdoers there is no helper.'')
Having told us how the blessed will be (in Paradise), Allah now starts to tell us what the state of doomed will be. He says:
(But those who disbelieve, for them will be the fire of Hell. Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die) This is like the Ayah:
(Wherein he will neither die nor live) (20:74). It was reported in Sahih Muslim that the Messenger of Allah said:
(As for the people of Hell who will dwell therein, they will neither live nor die there. ) And Allah says:
(And they will cry (to the keeper of Hell): "O Malik! Let your Lord make an end of us.'' He will say: "Verily, you shall abide forever.'') (43:77). When they are in this state, they will think that if only they could die, it would be a time of rest for them, but that can never happen to them. Allah says:
(Neither will it have a complete killing effect on them so that they die nor shall its torment be lightened for them.) This is like the Ayat:
(Verily, the criminals will be in the torment of Hell to abide therein forever. (That) will not be lightened for them, and they will be plunged into destruction with deep regrets, sorrows and in despair therein.) (43:74-75).
(whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire) (17:97), and
(So taste you. No increase shall We give you, except in torment.) (78:30). Then Allah says:
(Thus do We requite every disbeliever!) meaning, this is the recompense of everyone who disbelieved in his Lord and denied the truth.
(Therein they will cry) means, they will call out in the Fire, beseeching Allah with their voices:
("Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not that we used to do.'') which means, they will ask to go back to the worldly life so that they can do something different to the first deeds they did. But Allah, may He be glorified, knows that if He sent them back to this world, they would go back to what they had been forbidden to do, and He knows that they are lying, so He will not respond to their plea. This is like the Ayah where Allah tells us that they will say:
(Then is there any way to get out (of the Fire). (It will be said): "This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked you disbelieved (denied), but when partners were joined to Him, you believed!) (40:11,12) i.e., `there will be no response for you because you were like that; if you were to return to this world, you would just go back to that which you had been forbidden to do.' Allah says here:
(Did We not give you lives long enough, so that whosoever would receive admonition could receive it And the warner came to you.) meaning, `did you not live for long enough in the world that if you were to be among those who would benefit from the truth, you would have benefited from it during your lifetimes' Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet said:
(Allah has left no excuse for the person who lives to be sixty or seventy years old; Allah has left no excuse for him; Allah has left no excuse for him.) Imam Al-Bukhari also recorded, in the Book of Riqaq in his Sahih, that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Allah has left no excuse for a man who reaches the age of sixty.)'' Ibn Jarir recorded that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(Whoever is granted a long life until the age of sixty, Allah has left no excuse for him.)'' This was also recorded by Imam Ahmad and An-Nasa'i in Ar-Riqaq. Because this is the age at which Allah removes any excuse from His servants, this is the usual age of people in this Ummah, as was reported in the Hadith of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who said, "The Messenger of Allah said:
(The usual life span in my Ummah is between sixty and seventy years, and only a few pass this age.)'' This was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah in the Book of Zuhd (of his Sunan).
(And the warner came to you.) It was reported that Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) `Ikrimah, Abu Ja`far Al-Baqir (may Allah be pleased with him) Qatadah and Sufyan bin `Uyaynah said, "This means grey hair.'' As-Suddi and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said, "This means the Messenger of Allah '' and Ibn Zayd recited,
(This is a warner of the (series of) warners of old.) (53:56). This is the correct view according to Shayban who narrated that Qatadah said, "Proof will be established against them by the fact that they lived long enough and that Messengers came to them.'' This is also the view favored by Ibn Jarir, and it is the apparent meaning of the Ayah:
(And they will cry (to the keeper of Hell): "O Malik! Let your Lord make an end of us.'' He will say: "Verily, you shall abide forever.'' Indeed We have brought the truth to you, but most of you have a hatred for the truth.)(43:77-78) meaning: `We showed you the truth clearly through the Messengers, but you rejected it and opposed it.' And Allah says:
(And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger) (17:15).
(Every time a group is cast therein, its keepers will ask: "Did no warner come to you'' They will say: "Yes, indeed a warner did come to us, but we denied him and said: `Allah never sent down anything; you are only in great error'.'') (67:8-9).
(So taste you. For the wrongdoers there is no helper.) means, `taste the punishment of the Fire, as a recompense for your going against the Prophets in all your deeds, for today you will have no helper to save you from your fate of punishment and chains.'
(38. Verily, Allah is the All-Knower of the Unseen of the heavens and the earth. Verily, He is the All-Knower of that is in the breasts.) (39. He it is Who has made you successors generations after generations in the earth, so whosoever disbelieves, on him will be his disbelief. And the disbelief of the disbelievers adds nothing but hatred of their Lord. And the disbelief of the disbelievers adds nothing but loss.) Here Allah tells us that He knows the unseen in the heavens and earth, and that He knows all that is hidden and the secrets of the hearts. And He tells us that He will reward or punish everyone according to his deeds. Then Allah says:
(He it is Who has made you successors generations after generations in the earth,) meaning, all people succeed one another, generation after generation. This is like the Ayah:
(and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations) (27:62).
(so whosoever disbelieves, on him will be his disbelief.) means, he and no one else will have to bear the consequences of that.
(And the disbelief of the disbelievers adds nothing but hatred of their Lord.) means, the longer they persist in their disbelief, the more Allah hates them, and the longer they persist in it, the more they and their families will lose on the Day of Resurrection. This is in contrast to the believers, for the longer they live and do good deeds, the higher their status in Paradise will be, the greater their reward, and the more beloved they will be to their Creator.
(40. Say: "Have you considered your partners whom you call upon besides Allah Show Me, what they have created of the earth. Or have they any share in the heavens Or have We given them a Book, so that they act on clear proof therefrom Nay, the wrongdoers promise one another nothing but delusions.'') (41. Verily, Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places, and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could grasp them after Him. Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.)