Allah reminds us of His grace towards His creation in that He has given them the night in which they rest and relax from their activities so that they can go back to them for their livelihood during the day. He has given them the day with its light, so that they can undertake their journeys and engage in their business.
(Truly, Allah is full of bounty to mankind; yet, most of mankind give no thanks.) means, they do not express gratitude for the favors which Allah bestows upon them. Then Allah says:
(That is Allah, your Lord, the Creator of all things, La ilaha illa Huwa.) means, the One Who does all of these things is Allah, the One, the Unique, the Creator of all things, besides Whom there is no other god or lord.
(How then are you turning away) means, `how can you worship idols which cannot create anything but are themselves hand-made and carved'
(Thus were turned away those who used to deny the Ayat of Allah) means, just as these people (Quraysh) were led astray by their worship of gods other than Allah, those who came before them also disbelieved and worshipped others, with no proof or evidence, but on the basis of ignorance and desires. They denied the signs and proof of Allah.
(Allah, it is He Who has made for you the earth as a dwelling place) means, `He made it stable and spread it out for you, so that you might live on it and travel about in it; He strengthened it with the mountains so that it does not shake with you.'
(and the sky as a canopy,) means, `a roof covering and protecting the world.'
(and has given you shape and made your shapes good) means, `He created you in the best and most perfect form.'
(and has provided you with good and pure things.) means, of food and drink in this world. Allah states that that He is the Creator of the dwelling place and of the inhabitants and of the provision; He is the Creator and Provider, as He says in Surat Al-Baqarah:
(O mankind! Worship your Lord (Allah), Who created you and those who were before you so that you may have Taqwa. Who has made the earth a resting place for you, and the sky as a canopy, and sent down water (rain) from the sky and brought forth therewith fruits as a provision for you. Then do not set up rivals unto Allah while you know.) (2:21-22) And here Allah says, after mentioning the creation of all these things:
(That is Allah, your Lord, so Blessed be Allah, the Lord of all that exists.) meaning, exalted and sanctified and glorified be Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. Then He says:
(He is the Ever Living, La ilaha illa Huwa;) means, He is the Ever Living, from eternity to eternity, Who was, is and shall be, the First and the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden.
(La ilaha illa Huwa) means, there is none comparable or equal to Him.
(so invoke Him making the religion for Him Alone.) means, affirm His Oneness by testifying that there is no God but He. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. 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, to Him belongs 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 belong blessings and virtue and goodly 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 the Tahlil in this fashion after every prayer.'' Similar was also recorded by Muslim, Abu Dawud and An-Nasa'i.
(66. Say: "I have been forbidden to worship those whom you worship besides Allah, since there have come to me evidences from my Lord; and I am commanded to submit to the Lord of all that exists.) (67. It is He, Who has created you from dust, then from a Nutfah then from a clot (a piece of coagulated blood), then brings you forth as an infant, then (makes you grow) to reach the age of full strength, and afterwards to be old -- though some among you die before -- and that you reach an appointed term in order that you may understand.) (68. It is He Who gives life and causes death. And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: "Be!'' - and it is.)
Allah says, `say, O Muhammad, to these idolaters, that Allah forbids them to worship anyone, such as these idols and false gods, except Him.' Allah explains that no one apart from Him is deserving of worship, as He says:
(It is He, Who has created you from dust, then from a Nutfah then from a clot (a piece of coagulated blood), then brings you forth as an infant, then (makes you grow) to reach the age of full strength, and afterwards to be old.) meaning, He is the One Who Alone, with no partner or associate, causes you to pass through these different stages, and this happens in accordance with His command, will and decree.
(though some among you die before) means, before being fully formed and emerging to this world; so his mother miscarries him. And there are some who die in infancy or in their youth, or when they are adults but before they reach old age, as Allah says:
(that We may make (it) clear to you. And We cause whom We will to remain in the wombs for an appointed term) (22:5).
(and that you reach an appointed term in order that you may understand. ) Ibn Jurayj said, "In order that you may remember the Resurrection.'' Then Allah says:
(It is He Who gives life and causes death.) meaning, He is the Only One Who does that, and none is able to do that except He.
(And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: "Be!'' -- and it is.) means, He cannot be opposed or resisted. Whatever He wills definitely comes to pass.
(69. See you not those who dispute about the Ayat of Allah How are they turning away) (70. Those who deny the Book, and that with which We sent Our Messengers they will come to know.) (71. When iron collars will be rounded over their necks, and the chains, they shall be dragged along,) (72. In the boiling water, then they will be burned in the Fire.) (73. Then it will be said to them: "Where are (all) those whom you used to consider partners'') (74. ''Besides Allah'' They will say: "They have vanished from us. Nay, we did not call upon anything before.'' Thus Allah leads astray the disbelievers.) (75. That was because you had been exulting in the earth without any right, and that you used to rejoice extremely.) (76. Enter the gates of Hell to abide therein, and (indeed) what an evil abode of the arrogant!)
Allah says, `do you not wonder, O Muhammad, at those who deny the signs of Allah and dispute the truth by means of falsehood, how their minds are diverted from the truth and are misguided'
(Those who deny the Book, and that with which We sent Our Messengers) means, guidance and clear proof.
(they will come to know.) This is a stern warning and clear threat from the Lord to these people. This is like the Ayah:
(Woe that Day to the deniers!) (77:15)
(When iron collars will be rounded over their necks, and the chains.) means, the chains will be attached to the iron collars, and the keepers of Hell will drag them along on their faces, sometimes to the boiling water, and sometimes to the Fire. Allah says:
(they shall be dragged along, in the boiling water, then they will be burned in the Fire. ) This is like the Ayat:
(This is the Hell which the criminals denied. They will go between it and the fierce boiling water!) (55:43-44). After describing how they will eat Zaqqum (a bitter tree of Hell) and drink Hamim (boiling water), Allah says:
(Then thereafter, verily, their return is to the flaming fire of Hell.) (37:68), And Allah says:
h(And those on the Left Hand -- how (unfortunate) will be those on the Left Hand In fierce hot wind and boiling water, and shadow of black smoke, (that shadow) neither cool nor (even) pleasant.) until
(Then moreover, verily, -- you the erring-ones, the deniers (of Resurrection)! You verily, will eat of the trees of Zaqqum. Then you will fill your bellies therewith, and drink boiling water on top of it. And you will drink (that) like thirsty camels! That will be their entertainment on the Day of Recompense!) (56: 41-44, 51-56),
(Verily, the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the sinners. Like boiling oil, it will boil in the bellies, like the boiling of scalding water. (It will be said:) ''Seize him and drag him into the midst of blazing Fire, then pour over his head the torment of boiling water. Taste you (this)! Verily, you were (pretending to be) the mighty, the generous! Verily, this is that whereof you used to doubt!'') (44:43-50) i.e., this will be said to them to rebuke and ridicule them.
(Then it will be said to them: "Where are (all) those whom you considered partners -- besides Allah'') means, it will be said to them, `where are the idols whom you used to worship instead of Allah Can they help you today'
(They will say: "They have vanished from us...'') mean, they have gone away and they cannot do anything for us.'
(Nay, we did not invoke (worship) anything before.) means, they will deny that they worshipped them. This is like the Ayah:
(There will then be (left) no Fitnah (excuse) for them but to say: "By Allah, our Lord, we were not those who joined others in worship with Allah.'') (6:23) Allah says:
(Thus Allah leads astray the disbelievers).
(That was because you had been exulting in the earth without any right, and that you used to rejoice extremely.) means, the angels will say to them, `what you are suffering now is your recompense for your exulting in the earth without any right, and for your extravagance.'
(Enter the gates of Hell to abide therein, and (indeed) what an evil abode of the arrogant!) means, what a terrible abode and final destination, filled with humiliation and severe punishment for those who arrogantly ignored the signs of Allah and refused to accept His proof and evidence. And Allah knows best.
(77. So be patient, verily, the promise of Allah is true and whether We show you some part of what We have promised them, or We cause you to die, then still it is to Us they all shall be returned.) (78. And, indeed We have sent Messengers before you, of some of them We have related to you their story. And of some We have not related to you their story, and it was not given to any Messenger that he should bring a sign except by the leave of Allah. But, when comes the commandment of Allah, the matter will be decided with truth, and the followers of falsehood will then be lost.)