(but those who disbelieve), i.e., those who reject the signs of Allah and His proof and evidence.
(So let not their ability of going about here and there through the land deceive you!) means, their wealth and luxurious life. This is like the Ayah:
(Let not the free disposal (and affluence) of the disbelievers throughout the land deceive you. A brief enjoyment; then, their ultimate abode is Hell; and worst indeed is that place for rest.) (3:196-197)
(We let them enjoy for a little while, then in the end We shall oblige them to (enter) a great torment.) (31:24). Then Allah consoles His Prophet Muhammad for the rejection of his people. He tells him that he has an example in the Prophets who came before him, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon them all, for their nations disbelieved them and opposed them, and only a few believed in them.
(The people of Nuh denied before these;) Nuh was the first Messenger whom Allah sent to denounce and forbid idol worship.
(and the groups after them) means, from every nation.
(and every (disbelieving) nation plotted against their Messenger to seize him,) means, they wanted to kill him by any means possible, and some of them did kill their Messenger.
(and disputed by means of falsehood to refute therewith the truth.) means, they came up with specious arguments with which to dispute the truth which was so plain and clear.
(So I seized them) means, `I destroyed them, because of the sins they committed.'
(and how was My punishment!) means, `how have you heard that My punishment and vengeance was so severe and painful.' Qatadah said, "It was terrible, by Allah.''
(Thus has the Word of your Lord been justified against those who disbelieved, that they will be the dwellers of the Fire.) means, `just as the Word of punishment was justified against those of the past nations who disbelieved, so too is it justified against these disbelievers who have rejected you and gone against you, O Muhammad, and it is even more justified against them, because if they have disbelieved in you, there is no certainty that they will believe in any other Prophet.' And Allah knows best.
(7. Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allah) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (saying): "Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!) (8. Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn (Eternal) Gardens which you have promised them -- and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.) (9. And save them from the sins, and whomsoever You save from the sins that Day, him verily, You have taken into mercy.'' And that is the supreme success.)
Allah tells us that the angels who are close to Him, the bearers of the Throne, and the angels who are around Him -- all glorify the praises of their Lord. They combine glorification (Tasbih) which implies that He is free of any shortcomings, with praise (Tahmid) which is an affirmation of praise.
(and believe in Him,) means, they humbly submit themselves before Him.
(and ask forgiveness for those who believe) means, for those among the people of earth who believe in the Unseen. Allah commanded that His angels who are close to Him should pray for the believers in their absence, so it is a part of the angels' nature that they say Amin when a believer prays for his brother in his absence. In Sahih Muslim it says:
(When a Muslim prays for his brother in his absence, the angel says, `Amin, and may you have something similar to it'.)'' Shahr bin Hawshab said, "The bearers of the Throne are eight; four of them say, `Glory and praise be to You, O Allah, to You be praise for Your forbearance after Your knowledge.' Four of them say, `Glory and praise be to You, O Allah, to You be praise for Your forgiveness after Your power.' When they pray for forgiveness for those who believe, they say:
(Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge,) meaning, `Your mercy encompasses their sins and Your knowledge encompasses all their deeds, words and action.'
(so forgive those who repent and follow Your way.)'' That is, `forgive the sinners when they repent to You and turn to You and give up their former ways, following Your commands to do good and abstain from evil.'
(and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!) means, `snatch them away from the punishment of Hell, which is a painful, agonizing punishment.'
(Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn (Eternal) Gardens which you have promised them -- and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring!) meaning, `bring them together so that they may find delight in one another in neighboring dwellings. ' This is like the Ayah:
(And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in faith, -- to them shall We join their offspring, and We shall not decrease the reward of their deeds in anything) (52:21). This means, `that all of them will be made equal in status. In this way they may delight in one another's company; the one who is in the higher status will not lose anything. On the contrary We will raise the one whose deeds are of a lower status so that they will become equal, as a favor and a blessing from Us.' Sa`id bin Jubayr said that when the believer enters Paradise, he will ask where his father, son and brother are. It will be said to him, `they did not reach the same level of good deeds as you did'. He will say, `but I did it for my sake and for theirs.' Then they will be brought to join him in that higher degree. Then Sa`id bin Jubayr recited this Ayah:
(Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn (Eternal) Gardens which you have promised them -- and to the righteous among their fathers, their wives, and their offspring! Verily, You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.) Mutarrif bin `Abdullah bin Ash-Shikhkhir said, "The most sincere of the servants of Allah towards the believers are the angels.'' Then he recited this Ayah:
(Our Lord! And make them enter the `Adn (Eternal) Paradises which you have promised them) He then said, "The most treacherous of the servants of Allah towards the believers are the Shayatin.''
(You are the Almighty, the All-Wise.) means, `the One Whom none can resist or overwhelm; what You will happens and what You do not will does not happen; You are Wise in all that You say and do, in all that You legislate and decree.'
(And save them from the sins,) means, the actions and the consequences.
(and whomsoever You save from the sins that Day,) means, the Day of Resurrection,
(him verily, You have taken into mercy.) means, `You have protected him and saved him from punishment.'
(And that is the supreme success.)
(10. Those who disbelieve will be addressed: "Indeed, Allah's aversion was greater towards you than your aversion toward yourselves, when you were called to the Faith but you used to refuse.'') (11. They will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice! Now we confess our sins, then is there any way to get out'') (12. (It will be said): "This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked, you disbelieved; but when partners were joined to Him, you believed! So the judgment is only with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great!'') (13. It is He Who shows you His Ayat and sends down provision for you from the sky. And none remembers but those who turn in repentance.) (14. So, call you upon Allah making religion sincerely for Him, however much the disbelievers may hate.)
Allah tells us that the disbelievers will feel regret on the Day of Resurrection, when they enter Hell and sink in the agonizing depth of fire. When they actually experience the unbearable punishment of Allah, they will hate themselves with the utmost hatred, because of the sins they committed in the past, which were the cause of their entering the Fire. At that point the angels will tell them in a loud voice that Allah's hatred towards them in this world, when Faith was offered to them and they rejected it, is greater than their hatred towards themselves in this situation. Qatadah said, concerning the Ayah:
(Indeed, Allah's aversion was greater towards you than your aversion toward yourselves, when you were called to the Faith but you used to refuse.) "Allah's hatred for the people of misguidance -- when Faith is presented to them in this world, and they turn away from it and refuse to accept it -- is greater than their hatred for themselves when they see the punishment of Allah with their own eyes on the Day of Resurrection.'' This was also the view of Al-Hasan Al-Basri, Mujahid, As-Suddi, Dharr bin `Ubaydullah Al-Hamdani, `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari, may Allah have mercy on them all.
(They will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice!...'') Ath-Thawri narrated from Abu Ishaq from Abu Al-Ahwas from Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him): "This Ayah is like the Ayah:
(How can you disbelieve in Allah Seeing that you were dead and He gave you life. Then He will give you death, then again will bring you to life and then unto Him you will return.)''(2:28) This was also the view of Ibn `Abbas, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah and Abu Malik. This is undoubtedly the correct view. What is meant by all of this is that when they are standing before Allah in the arena of Resurrection, the disbelievers will ask to go back, as Allah says:
(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.'') (32:12), However, they will get no response. Then when they see the Fire and they are held over it and they look at the punishments therein, they will ask even more fervently than before to go back, but they will get no response. Allah 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 (to the world)! Then we would not deny the Ayat of our Lord, and we would be of the believers!'' Nay, it has become manifest to them what they had been concealing before. But if they were returned, they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars.) (6:27-28). When they actually enter Hell and have a taste of its heat, hooked rods of iron and chains, their plea to go back will be at its most desperate and fervent:
(Therein they will cry: "Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do righteous good deeds, not that we used 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.'') (35:37)
(Our Lord! Bring us out of this. If ever we return (to evil), then indeed we shall be wrongdoers.'' He (Allah) will say: "Remain you in it with ignominy! And speak you not to Me!) (23:108). According to this Ayah, they will speak more eloquently, and they will introduce their plea with the words:
(Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice!) meaning, `by Your almighty power, You have brought us to life after we were dead, then You caused us to die after we were alive; You are able to do whatever You will. We confess our sins and admit that we wronged ourselves in the world,'
(then is there any way to get out) means, `will You answer our prayer to send us back to the world, for You are able to do that, so that we might do deeds different from those which we used to do Then if we go back to our former ways, we will indeed be wrongdoers.' The response will be: `There is no way for you to go back to the world.' Then the reason for that will be given: `Your nature will not accept the truth and be governed by it, you would reject it and ignore it.' Allah says:
((It will be said): "This is because, when Allah Alone was invoked (in worship), you disbelieved; but when partners were joined to Him, you believed!'') meaning, `if you were to go back, this is how you would be.' This is like the Ayah:
(But if they were returned (to the world), they would certainly revert to that when they were forbidden. And indeed they are liars) (6:28).
(So the judgment is only with Allah, the Most High, the Most Great!) means, He is the Judge of His creation, the Just Who is never unjust. He guides whomsoever He wills and sends astray whomsoever He wills; He has mercy on whomsoever He wills and punishes whomsoever He wills; there is no God except Him.
(It is He Who shows you His Ayat) means, He demonstrates His power to His servants through the mighty signs which they see in His creation, above and below, which indicate the perfection of its Creator and Originator.
(and sends down provision for you from the sky.) this refers to rain, through which crops and fruits are brought forth, which with their different colors, tastes, fragrances and forms are a sign of the Creator. It is one kind of water, but by His great power He makes all these things different.
(And none remembers) means, no one learns a lesson or is reminded by these things, or takes them as a sign of the might of the Creator,
(but those who turn in repentance.) which means, those who have insight and turn to Allah, may He be blessed and exalted.
(So, call you upon Allah making religion sincerely for Him, however much the disbelievers may hate.) This means, worship Allah and call upon Him alone in all sincerity. Do not be like the idolaters in conduct and beliefs. Imam Ahmad recorded that after ending every prayer, `Abdullah bin Az-Zubayr used to say: "There is no (true) God except Allah Alone with no partner or associate, His is the dominion and praise, for He is able to do all things; there is no strength and no power except with Allah; there is no (true) God except Allah and we worship none but Him; to Him belongs the blessings and the virtue and good praise; there is no (true) God except Allah, we worship Him in all sincerity even though the disbelievers may hate that.'' He said, "The Messenger of Allah used to say Tahlil with this after every prayer.'' Something similar was also recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i. It was reported in Sahih from Ibn Az-Zubayr (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allah used to say the following after the prescribed (obligatory) prayers:
(There is no (true) God except Allah Alone with no partner or associate, His is the dominion and praise, for He is able to do all things; there is no strength and no power except with Allah; there is no (true) God except Allah and we worship none but Him; His is the blessing and virtue and good praise; there is no (true) God except Allah, we worship Him in all sincerity even though the disbelievers hate that.)
(15. (He is Allah) Owner of high ranks and degrees, the Owner of the Throne. He sends the revelation by His command to any of His servants He wills, that he may warn of the Day of Mutual Meeting.) (16. The Day when they will come out, nothing of them will be hidden from Allah. Whose is the kingdom this Day It is Allah's, the One, the Irresistible!) (17. This Day shall every person be recompensed for what he earned. This Day no injustice. Truly, Allah is swift in reckoning.)