(And verily, if you ask them: "Who created the heavens and the earth'' Surely, they will say: "Allah.'') means, the idolaters used to recognize that Allah was the Creator of all things, but despite that they still worshipped others besides Him, others who had no power to bring benefit or cause harm. Allah said:
(Say: "Tell me then, the things that you invoke besides Allah -- if Allah intended some harm for me, could they remove His harm Or if He (Allah) intended some mercy for me, could they withhold His mercy'') meaning, they cannot do any of that at all. Here Ibn Abi Hatim recorded a narration from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) attributing it to the Prophet:
(Be mindful of Allah and He will protect you; be mindful of Allah and you will find Him ever with you. Turn to Allah in times of ease and He will turn to you in times of difficulty. If you ask anyone for anything, then ask Allah; if you seek help from anyone, then seek help from Allah. Know that even if the entire nation were to come together to do you some harm that Allah has not decreed for you, they will never be able to harm you, and if they were to come together to do you some good that Allah has not decreed for you, they will never be able to do that. The pages have dried and the pens have been lifted. Strive for the sake of Allah with thankfulness and firm conviction, and know that in patiently persevering with regard to something that you dislike there is much goodness. Victory comes with patience, a way out comes from difficulty and with hardship comes ease.)
(Say: "Sufficient for me is Allah...'') means, `Allah is enough for me.'
(In Him I put my trust, and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him.) (12: 67)This is like what Hud (peace be upon him) , said to his people:
("All that we say is that some of our gods have seized you with evil. '' He said: "I call Allah to witness and bear you witness that I am free from that which you ascribe as partners in worship, with Him. So plot against me, all of you, and give me no respite. I put my trust in Allah, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature but He has the grasp of its forelock. Verily, my Lord is on the straight path.'')(11:54-56).
(Say: "O My people! Work according to your way...'') This is a threat and a warning.
(I am working) means, `according to my way.'
(Then you will come to know) means, you will learn the consequences.
(To whom comes a disgracing torment,) means, in this world,
(and on whom descends an everlasting torment.) means, ongoing and eternal, with no escape, which will come on the Day of Resurrection. We seek refuge with Allah from that.
(41. Verily, We have sent down to you the Book for mankind in truth. So, whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for himself; and whosoever goes astray, he goes astray only to his (own) loss. And you are not a trustee over them.) (42. It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed. Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.) Allah says, addressing His Messenger Muhammad:
(Verily, We have sent down to you the Book) meaning, the Qur'an.
(for mankind in truth.) means, for all of creation, mankind and Jinn, so that he may warn them therewith.
(So, whosoever accepts the guidance, it is only for himself;) means, the benefit of that will return to him.
(and whosoever goes astray, he goes astray only for his (own) loss.) means, the consequences of that will return to him.
(And you are not a trustee over them.) means, `you are not responsible for guiding them.'
(But you are only a warner. And Allah is a Trustee over all things) (11:12).
(your duty is only to convey and on Us is the reckoning) (13:40).
Then Allah tells us that He is in control of all things and does as He wills. He causes men to die (the "greater death'') when He sends the angels to take men's souls from their bodies, and He causes them to "die a lesser death'' when they sleep. Allah says:
(It is He, Who takes your souls by night (when you are asleep), and has knowledge of all that you have done by day, then He raises (wakes) you up again that a term appointed be fulfilled, then (in the end) unto Him will be your return. Then He will inform you of that which you used to do. He is the Irresistible, over His servants, and He sends guardians (angels guarding and writing all of one's good and bad deeds) over you, until when death approaches one of you, Our messengers (angels) take his soul, and they never neglect their duty.)(6:60-61). Here Allah mentions the two deaths, the lesser death then the greater death after it; in the Ayah above (39: 42), He mentions the greater then the lesser. Allah says:
(It is Allah Who takes away the souls at the time of their death, and those that die not during their sleep. He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death and sends the rest for a term appointed.) This indicates that they ﴿the souls﴾ meet in the higher realm, as was stated in the Hadith attributed to the Prophet which was narrated by Ibn Mandah and others. In the Two Sahihs of Al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is reported that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Messenger of Allah said:
(When anyone of you goes to bed, let him brush down the bed with his garment, for he does not know what has come on his bed since he left it. Then let him say, "In Your Name, O Lord, I lay down my side and in Your Name I raise it up; if You take my soul, have mercy on it, and if You send it back, protect it with that which You protect Your righteous servants.'')
(He keeps those (souls) for which He has ordained death) means, those which have died, and He returns the others back for an appointed term. As-Suddi said, "For the rest of their lives.'' Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said, "He keeps the souls of the dead and sends back the souls of the living, and He does not make any mistakes.
(Verily, in this are signs for a people who think deeply.)
(43. Have they taken as intercessors besides Allah Say: "Even if they have power over nothing whatever and have no intelligence'') (44. Say: "To Allah belongs all intercession. His is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth. Then to Him you shall be brought back.'') (45. And when Allah Alone is mentioned, the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust and when those besides Him are mentioned, behold, they rejoice!)
Allah condemns the idolaters for taking intercessors besides Allah, namely the idols and false gods whom they have taken on the basis of their own whims, with no evidence or proof. These idols are not able to do anything; they have no minds with which to think, and they cannot hear or see. They are inanimate and are much worse off than animals. Then Allah says: `Say -- O Muhammad -- to these people who claim that those whom they have taken as intercessors with Allah, that intercession is of no avail except for the one with whom Allah is pleased and to whom He has granted permission to intercede. The whole matter rests with Him.'
(Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His permission) (2:255).
(His is the sovereignty of the heavens and the earth.) means, He is the One Who is in control of all that.
(Then to Him you shall be brought back.) means, `on the Day of Resurrection, then He will judge between you with His justice, and He will reward or punish each person according to his deeds.' Then Allah condemns the idolaters further:
(And when Allah Alone is mentioned) means, when it is said there is no (true) God except Allah Alone,
(the hearts of those who believe not in the Hereafter are filled with disgust) Mujahid said, "Their hearts are filled with disgust means they recoil in horror.'' This is like the Ayah:
(Truly, when it was said to them: "La ilaha illa Allah,'' they puffed themselves up with pride.) (37:35) which means, they were too proud to follow it. Their hearts could not accept anything good, and whoever cannot accept good will accept evil. Allah says:
(and when those besides Him are mentioned,) meaning, the idols and false gods -- this was the view of Mujahid --
(behold, they rejoice!) means, they feel happy.
(46. Say: "O Allah! Creator of the heavens and the earth! All-Knower of the unseen and the seen! You will judge between your servants about that wherein they used to differ.'') (47. And those who did wrong, if they had all that is on the earth and therewith as much again, they verily, would offer it to ransom themselves therewith on the Day of Resurrection from the evil torment; and there will become apparent to them from Allah what they had not been reckoning.) (48. And the evils of that which they earned will become apparent to them, and that which they used to mock at will encircle them.)