Allah states that He took a pledge from every Prophet whom He sent from Adam until `Isa, that when Allah gives them the Book and the Hikmah, thus acquiring whatever high grades they deserve, then a Messenger came afterwards, they would believe in and support him. Even though Allah has given the Prophets the knowledge and the prophethood, this fact should not make them refrain from following and supporting the Prophet who comes after them. This is why Allah, the Most High, Most Honored, said
(And (remember) when Allah took the covenant of the Prophets, saying: "Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah.'') meaning, if I give you the Book and the Hikmah,
("and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.'' Allah said, "Do you agree (to it) and will you take up Isri'')
Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ar-Rabi`, Qatadah and As-Suddi said that `Isri' means, "My covenant.'' Muhammad bin Ishaq said that,
(Isri) means, "The responsibility of My covenant that you took,'' meaning, the ratified pledge that you gave Me.
(They said: "We agree.'' He said: "Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses.'' then whoever turns away after this,'') from fulfilling this pledge and covenant, c
(they are the rebellious.) `Ali bin Abi Talib and his cousin `Abdullah bin `Abbas said, "Allah never sent a Prophet but after taking his pledge that if Muhammad were sent in his lifetime, he would believe in and support him.'' Allah commanded each Prophet to take a pledge from his nation that if Muhammad were sent in their time, they would believe in and support him. Tawus, Al-Hasan Al-Basri and Qatadah said, "Allah took the pledge from the Prophets that they would believe in each other'', and this statement does not contradict what `Ali and Ibn `Abbas stated.
Therefore, Muhammad is the Final Prophet until the Day of Resurrection. He is the greatest Imam, who if he existed in any time period, deserves to be obeyed, rather than all other Prophets. This is why Muhammad led the Prophets in prayer during the night of Isra' when they gathered in Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). He is the intercessor on the Day of Gathering, when the Lord comes to judge between His servants. This is Al-Maqam Al-Mahmud (the praised station) (refer to 17:79) that only Muhammad deserves, a responsibility which the mighty Prophets and Messengers will decline to assume. However, Muhammad will carry the task of intercession, may Allah's peace and blessings be on him.
(83. Do they seek other than the religion of Allah, while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned.) (84. Say: "We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrahim, Isma`il, Ishaq, Ya`qub and Al-Asbat, and what was given to Musa, `Isa and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him (Allah) we have submitted.'') (85. And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.)
Allah rebukes those who prefer a religion other than the religion that He sent His Books and Messengers with, which is the worship of Allah Alone without partners, to Whom,
(submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth,) Willingly, or not. Allah said in other Ayat,
(And unto Allah (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly.) (13:15), and,
(Have they not observed things that Allah has created: (how) their shadows incline to the right and to the left, making prostration unto Allah, and they are lowly And to Allah prostrate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, of the moving creatures and the angels, and they are not proud. They fear their Lord above them, and they do what they are commanded) (16: 48-50).
Therefore, the faithful believer submits to Allah in heart and body, while the disbeliever unwillingly submits to Him in body only, since he is under Allah's power, irresistible control and mighty kingship that cannot be repelled or resisted. Waki` reported that Mujahid said that the Ayah,
(While to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly), is similar to the Ayah,
(And verily, if you ask them: "Who created the heavens and the earth'' Surely, they will say: "Allah'') (39:38).
He also reported that Ibn `Abbas said about,
(while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly.)
"When He took the covenant from them.''
(And to Him shall they all be returned) on the Day of Return, when He will reward or punish each person according to his or her deeds.
Allah then said,
(Say: "We believe in Allah and in what has been sent down to us) the Qur'an,
(and what was sent down to Ibrahim, Ismai`l, Ishaq, Ya`qub) the scriptures and revelation,
(and the Asbat,) the Asbat are the twelve tribes who originated from the twelve children of Israel (Ya`qub).
(and what was given to Musa, `Isa) the Tawrah and the Injil,
(and the Prophets from their Lord.) and this encompasses all of Allah's Prophets.
(We make no distinction between one another among them) we believe in all of them,
(And to Him (Allah) we have submitted (in Islam))
Therefore, faithful Muslims believe in every Prophet whom Allah has sent and in every Book He revealed, and never disbelieve in any of them. Rather, they believe in what was revealed by Allah, and in every Prophet sent by Allah. Allah said next,
(And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him,) whoever seeks other than what Allah has legislated, it will not be accepted from him,
(and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers.)
As the Prophet said in an authentic Hadith,
(Whoever commits an action that does not conform to our matter (religion) then it is rejected).
(86. How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief and after they bore witness that the Messenger is true and after clear proofs came to them And Allah guides not the people who are wrongdoers. (87. They are those whose recompense is that on them (rests) the curse of Allah, of the angels and of all mankind.) (88. They will abide therein. Neither will their torment be lightened nor will it be delayed or postponed.) (89. Except for those who repent after that and do righteous deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)
Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn `Abbas said, "A man from the Ansar embraced Islam, but later reverted and joined the polytheists. He later on became sorry and sent his people to, `Ask the Messenger of Allah for me, if I can repent.' Then,
(How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief) until,
(Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) was revealed and his people sent word to him and he re-embraced Islam.''
This is the wording recorded by An-Nasa'i, Al-Hakim and Ibn Hibban. Al-Hakim said, "Its chain is Sahih and they did not record it.''
(How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their belief and after they bore witness that the Messenger is true and after clear proofs came to them)
means, the proofs and evidences were established, testifying to the truth of what the Messenger was sent with. The truth was thus explained to them, but they reverted to the darkness of polytheism. Therefore, how can such people deserve guidance after they willingly leapt into utter blindness This is why Allah said,
(And Allah guides not the people who are wrongdoers.)
He then said,
(They are those whose recompense is that on them (rests) the curse of Allah, of the angels and of all mankind.)
Allah curses them and His creation also curses them.
(They will abide therein) in the curse,
(Neither will their torment be lightened nor will it be delayed or postponed.) for, the torment will not be lessened, not even for an hour. After that, Allah said,
(Except for those who repent after that and do righteous deeds. Verily, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.)
This Ayah indicates Allah's kindness, graciousness, compassion, mercy and favor on His creatures when they repent to Him, for He forgives them in this case.
(90. Verily, those who disbelieved after their belief and then went on increasing in their disbelief never will their repentance be accepted. And they are those who are astray.) (91. Verily, those who disbelieved, and died while they were disbelievers, the (whole) earth full of gold will not be accepted from anyone of them if they offered it as a ransom. For them is a painful torment and they will have no helpers.)