"If you make intense supplication and the timing of the answer is delayed,
do not despair of it.
His reply to you is guaranteed; but in the way He chooses, not the way you choose,
and at the moment He desires, not the moment you desire."
Ibn Ata Allah Iskandari (k.s)
(57. Verily, those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;) (58. And those who believe in the Ayat of their Lord;) (59. And those who join not anyone as partners with their Lord;) (60. And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear, because they are sure to return to their Lord.) (61. It is these who hasten in the good deeds, and they are foremost in them.)
(Verily, those who live in awe for fear of their Lord;) means, even though they have reached the level of Ihsan and have faith and do righteous deeds, they are still in awe of Allah and fear Him and His hidden plans for them, as Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, "The believer combines Ihsan with awe, while the disbelievers combine evil deeds with a sense of security.''
(And those who believe in the Ayat of their Lord;) means, they believe in His universal and legislative signs, as Allah says about Maryam, peace be upon her:
وَصَدَّقَتْ بِكَلِمَـتِ رَبَّهَا وَكُتُبِهِ
(and she testified to the truth of the Words of her Lord, and His Scriptures) ﴿ 66:12
﴾, meaning that she believed that whatever existed was by the will and decree of Allah, and that whatever Allah decreed, if it was a command, it would be something that He liked and accepted; if it was a prohibition, it would be something that He disliked and rejected; and if it was good, it would be true. This is like the Ayah:
وَالَّذِينَ هُم بِرَبِّهِمْ لاَ يُشْرِكُونَ (59)
(And those who join not anyone (in worship) as partners with their Lord;) meaning, they do not worship anyone or anything else besides Him, but they worship Him Alone and know that there is no god except Allah Alone, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who does not take a wife or have any offspring, and there is none comparable or equal unto Him.
(And those who give that which they give with their hearts full of fear, because they are sure to return to their Lord.) means, they give in charity, fearing that it may not be accepted from them because of some shortcoming or failure to meet the required conditions of giving. This has to do with fear and taking precautions, as Imam Ahmad recorded from `A'ishah: I said: "O Messenger of Allah,
(No, O daughter of Abu Bakr. O daughter of As-Siddiq, the one who prays, fast and gives in charity, fearing Allah.) This was recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and Ibn Abi Hatim recorded something similar in which the Prophet said:
(No, O daughter of As-Siddiq, they are the ones who pray and fast and give in charity while fearing that it will not be accepted from them, (It is these who hasten in the good deeds.)) This is also how Ibn `Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b Al-Qurazi and Al-Hasan Al-Basri interpreted this Ayah.
(62. And We task not any person except according to his capacity, and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth, and they will not be wronged.)
(63. Nay, but their hearts are covered from this, and they have other deeds, besides which they are doing.)
(64. Until when We seize those of them who lead a luxurious life with punishment; behold, they make humble invocation with a loud voice. )
(65. Invoke not loudly this day! Certainly you shall not be helped by Us.)
(66. Indeed My Ayat used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels.)
(67. In pride, talking evil about it by night.)
Allah tells us of His justice towards His servants in this world, in that He does not task any person except according to his capacity, i.e., He does not burden any soul with more than it can bear. On the Day of Resurrection He will call them to account for their deeds, which He has recorded in a written Book from which nothing is omitted. He says:
( وَلَدَيْنَا كِتَابٌ يَنطِقُ بِالْحَقِّ )
(and with Us is a Record which speaks the truth,) meaning, the Book of deeds
( وَهُمْ لاَ يُظْلَمُونَ )
(and they will not be wronged.) means, nothing will be omitted from their record of good deeds. As for evil deeds, He will forgive and overlook many of them in the case of His believing servants. Then Allah says, denouncing the disbelievers and idolators of the Quraysh:
( بَلْ قُلُوبُهُمْ فِى غَمْرَةٍ )
(Nay, but their hearts are covered), meaning because of negligence and misguidance,
( مِّنْ هَـذَا )
(from this.) means, the Qur'an which Allah revealed to His Messenger.
(And they have other deeds, besides which they are doing.) It was decreed that they would do evil deeds, and they will inevitably do them before they die, so that the word of punishment may be justified against them. A similar view was narrated from Muqatil bin Hayyan, As-Suddi and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam. This is a clear and appropriate meaning. We have already quoted from the Hadith of Ibn Mas`ud:
(By Him besides Whom there is no other God, a man may do the deeds of the people of Paradise until there is no more than a forearm's length between him and it, then the decree will overtake him and he will do the deeds of the people of Hell, then he will enter Hell...)
(Until when We seize those of them who lead a luxurious life with punishment; behold, they make humble invocation with a loud voice.) means, when the punishment and vengeance of Allah comes to those who are living a happy life of luxury in this world and overtakes them,
( إِذَا هُمْ يَجْـَرُونَ )
(behold, they make humble invocation with a loud voice.) means, they scream their calls for help. This is like the Ayat:
(And leave Me Alone (to deal) with the beliers, those who are in possession of good things of life. And give them respite for a little while. Verily, with Us are fetters, and a raging Fire.) (Q.S. 73:11-12)
(Invoke not loudly this day! Certainly you shall not be helped by Us. ) means, no one is going to save you from what has happened to you, whether you scream aloud or remain silent. There is no escape and no way out. It is inevitable: the punishment will surely come to you. Then Allah mentions the greatest of their sins:
("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!'') (Q.S. 40:12)
مُسْتَكْبِرِينَ بِهِ سَـمِراً تَهْجُرُونَ (67)
(In pride, talking evil about it by night.) refers to the arrogant pride which the Quraysh felt because they believed themselves to be the guardians of the Ka`bah, when in fact this was not the case. As An-Nasa'i said in his Tafsir of this Ayah in his Sunan: Ahmad bin Sulayman told us that `Ubaydullah told us from Isra`il, from `Abdul-A`la that he heard Sa`id bin Jubayr narrating that Ibn `Abbas said, "Talking by late night became disapproved of when this Ayah was revealed:
( مُسْتَكْبِرِينَ بِهِ سَـمِراً تَهْجُرُونَ )
(In pride, talking evil about it by night.) He said, "They boasted about the Ka`bah and said, `We are its people who stay up talking at night.' They used to boast and stay up and talk at night around the Ka`bah. They did not use it for the proper purpose, and so in effect they had abandoned it.''
(68. Have they not pondered over the Word, or has there come to them what had not come to their fathers of old)
(69. Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger so they deny him)
(70. Or they say: There is madness in him Nay, but he brought them the truth, but most of them are averse to the truth.)
(71. And if Al-Haqq had followed their desires, verily, the heavens and the earth, and whosoever is therein would have been corrupted! Nay, We have brought them their reminder, but they turn away from their reminder.)
(72. Or is it that you ask them for some Kharj But the recompense of your Lord is better, and He is the Best of those who give sustenance.)
(73. And certainly, you call them to the straight path.)
(74. And verily, those who believe not in the Hereafter are indeed deviating far astray from the path.)
(75. And though We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them, still they would obstinately persist in their transgression, wandering blindly.)
Allah denounces the idolators for not understanding the Qur'an or contemplating its meaning, and for turning away from it, even though they had been addressed specifically in this Book which Allah did not reveal to any Messenger more perfect and noble, and especially since no Book or warner had come to their forefathers who had died during the Jahiliyyah. What these people, upon whom the blessing had been bestowed, should have done, was to accept it and give thanks for it, and try to understand it and act in accordance with it night and day, as was done by the wise ones among them who became Muslim and followed the Messenger , may Allah be pleased with them.
( أَفَلَمْ يَدَّبَّرُواْ الْقَوْلَ )
(Have they not pondered over the Word,) Qatadah said, "Because, by Allah, if the people had pondered the meaning and understood it properly, they would have found in the Qur'an a deterrent to disobeying Allah. But they only paid attention to the Ayat which are not entirely clear, and so they were destroyed because of that.'' Then Allah says, denouncing the disbelievers of the Quraysh:
(Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger so they deny him) means, `do they not recognize Muhammad and the honesty, trustworthiness and good character with which he grew up among them Can they deny that or argue against it' Ja`far bin Abi Talib said to An-Najashi, the king of Ethiopia: "O King, Allah has sent to us a Messenger whose lineage, honesty and trustworthiness are known to us.'' Al-Mughirah bin Shu`bah said something similar to the deputy of Kisra when he wanted to challenge him. When the Byzantine ruler Heraclius asked Abu Sufyan Sakhr bin Harb and his companions -- who were still disbelievers and had not yet become Muslim -- about the characteristics, lineage, honesty and trustworthiness of the Prophet , they could only tell the truth and admit that he was indeed noble and truthful.
( أَمْ يَقُولُونَ بِهِ جِنَّةٌ )
(Or they say: There is madness in him) This is a narration of what the Quraysh said about the Prophet . They said that he was making up the Qur'an by himself, or that he was crazy and did not know what he was saying. Allah tells us that their hearts did not believe that, they knew that what they were saying about the Qur'an was falsehood, for it had come to them from the Words of Allah and could not be resisted or rejected. So Allah challenged them and all the people of the world to produce something like it if they could -- but they could not and would never be able to do so. So Allah says:
(And if Al-Haqq had followed their desires, verily, the heavens and the earth, and whosoever is therein would have been corrupted!) Mujahid, Abu Salih and As-Suddi said, "Al-Haqq is Allah, may He be glorified.'' What is meant by the Ayah is that if Allah had responded to the desires in their hearts and prescribed things accordingly, the heavens and the earth and whosoever is therein, would have been corrupted, i.e., because of their corrupt and inconsistent desires. As Allah says of them elsewhere:
(Or have they a share in the dominion Then in that case they would not give mankind even a Naqir.) (Q.S. 4:53). All of this goes to show how incapable mankind is and how divergent and inconsistent their ideas and desires are. Only Allah, may He be glorified, is Perfect in all His attributes, words, actions, laws, power and control of His creation, may He be exalted and sanctified. There is no God but He and no Lord besides Him. Then He says:
( بَلْ أَتَيْنَـهُمْ بِذِكْرِهِمْ )
(Nay, We have brought them their reminder,) meaning the Qur'an,
( فَهُمْ عَن ذِكْرِهِمْ مُّعْرِضُونَ )
(but they turn away from their reminder.)
( أَمْ تَسْأَلُهُمْ خَرْجاً )
(Or is it that you ask them for some Kharj) Al-Hasan said, "A reward.'' Qatadah said, "Some payment.''
( فَخَرَاجُ رَبِّكَ خَيْرٌ )
(But the recompense of your Lord is better,) means, you are not asking for any wages or payment or anything for calling them to right guidance, rather you are hoping for a great reward from Allah, as He says:
(And verily, those who believe not in the Hereafter are indeed deviating far astray from the path.) meaning, they have gone astray and deviated.
(And though We had mercy on them and removed the distress which is on them, still they would obstinately persist in their transgression, wandering blindly.) Here Allah tells of their stubbornness in their disbelief, in that even if He had removed the calamity from them and made them understand the Qur'an, they still would not follow it; they would still persist in their disbelief and stubborn transgression. This is like the Ayat:
(And if (Lauw) 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 (to the world), they would certainly revert to that which they were forbidden.) (Q.S. 6:27-29) Until His statement:
( بِمَبْعُوثِينَ )
(be resurrected) This has to do with the knowledge of Allah. He knows about some- thing that will not happen, but if it were to happen, He knows how it would be. Ad-Dahhak reported from Ibn `Abbas: "Every- thing that is implied in the word:
( لَوْ )(If (Lauw)) is something that will never happen.''