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.)
Allah tells His Messenger to say to the idolaters:
(Have you considered your partners whom you call upon besides Allah) the idols and rivals.
(Show Me what they have created of the earth. Or have they any share in the heavens) meaning, they have nothing at all of that, they do not possess even the membrane covering the stone of a date.
(Or have We given them a Book, so that they act on clear proof therefrom) meaning, `have We revealed to them a Book on which they base their Shirk and disbelief' This is not the case at all.
(Nay, the wrongdoers promise one another nothing but delusions.) means, they are merely following their own whims, opinions and wishes which are their personal desires, and they are no more than misguidance and falsehood. Then Allah tells us of His mighty power, by which the heavens and the earth stand by His command, and the forces that He has placed between them to hold them. He says:
(Verily, Allah grasps the heavens and the earth lest they should move away from their places,) means, lest they should shift from where they are. This is like the Ayat:
(He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth except by His leave) (22:65), and
(And among His signs is that the heaven and the earth stand by His command) (30:25).
(and if they were to move away from their places, there is not one that could grasp them after Him.) means, no one can make them stay and preserve them except Him. He is Ever Most Forbearing and Oft-Forgiving because He sees His servants disbelieving in Him and disobeying Him, yet He is patient and gives them time, He waits and does not hasten the punishment, and He conceals the faults of others and forgives them. He says:
(Truly, He is Ever Most Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving.)
(42. And they swore by Allah their most binding oath that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any of the nations; yet when a warner came to them, it increased in them nothing but flight (from the truth).) (43. (They took to flight because of their) arrogance in the land and their plotting of evil. But the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it. Then, can they expect anything (else) but the Sunnah (way of dealing) of the peoples of old So, no change will you find in Allah's Sunnah, and no turning off will you find in Allah's Sunnah.)
Allah tells us how Quraysh and the Arabs swore by Allah their most binding oath before the Messenger came to them,
(that if a warner came to them, they would be more guided than any of the nations;) i.e., than any of the nations to whom Messengers had been sent. This was the view of Ad-Dahhak and others. This is like the Ayat:
(Lest you (pagan Arabs) should say: "The Book was sent down only to two sects before us, and for our part, we were in fact unaware of what they studied.'' Or lest you should say: "If only the Book had been sent down to us, we would surely have been better guided than they.'' So, now has come unto you a clear proof from your Lord, and a guidance and a mercy. Who then does more wrong than one who rejects the Ayat of Allah and turns away therefrom) (6:156-157)
(And indeed they (Arab pagans) used to say: "If we had a reminder as had the men of old, We would have indeed been the chosen servants of Allah!'' But they disbelieve therein, so they will come to know!) (37:167-170) Allah says:
(yet when a warner came to them,) -- meaning, Muhammad with the Book revealed to him, i.e., the Clear Qur'an,
(it increased in them nothing but flight (from the truth).) means, they only increased in their disbelief. Then Allah explains this further:
((They took to flight because of their) arrogance in the land) means, they were too arrogant to follow the signs of Allah.
(and their plotting of evil.) means, they plotted to prevent people from following the path of Allah.
(But the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it.) means, the evil consequences of that will come back upon them and not on others.
(Then, can they expect anything (else) but the Sunnah (way of dealing) of the peoples of old) meaning, the punishment of Allah for disbelieving in His Messengers and going against His command.
(and no turning off will you find in Allah's Sunnah.) means, it does not change or alter, and this is what happens to every disbeliever.
(and no turning off will you find in Allah's Sunnah.) means,
(But when Allah wills a people's punishment, there can be no turning back of it) (13:11). This means, no one can remove that from them or ward it off from them. And Allah knows best.
(44. Have they not traveled in the land, and seen what was the end of those before them -- though they were superior to them in power Allah is not such that anything in the heavens or in the earth escapes Him. Verily, He is All-Knowing, All-Able.) (45. And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth; but He gives them respite to an appointed term, and when their term comes, then verily, Allah is Ever All-Seer of His servants.)