45. Al-Hijr was the capital city of the people of Thamud, and its ruins are found near the modern city of Al-Ula which is to the north west of Al-Madinah, and lies on the route from AI-Madinah to Tabuk. Though the caravans had to pass through the valley of Al-Hijr, the Prophet (peace be upon him) had forbidden the Muslims to stay in the valley on their journey.
When Ibn Batutah reached there in the eighth century of Hijrah on his way to Makkah, he wrote: I have seen the buildings of Thamud hewed into red mountains; the paintings look so bright as if they have been put on only recently, and rotten bones of human beings are found in them even today." See (E.N. 57 of Surah Al-Aaraf).
46. That is, their strong and secure buildings, which they had hewed into the mountains, could not protect them from the blast.
47. This was to reassure the Prophet (peace be upon him) that ultimately he would come out successful because he was propagating the truth, and the entire universe was based on truth. Such an assurance was urgently needed because at that time falsehood appeared to be triumphant over the truth. This implies: O Prophet, do not worry at all at the apparent success of falsehood for this is temporary. Likewise the difficulties, the obstacles and the troubles in the way of truth are not permanent. Take courage, and have confidence in the cause of the truth and you will triumph over falsehood because the whole system of the universe is akin to truth and averse to falsehood. Therefore, truth is permanent and falsehood is perishable. Refer to (E.Ns 25-26, 35-39 of Surah Ibrahim).
48. These attributes of Allah have been mentioned to reassure the Prophet (peace be upon him) as if to say: As Allah is the Creator, He has complete power over all his creatures, and no one is able to escape His punishment. Moreover, He is All-Knowing. He is fully aware that you are exerting your utmost for their reform, and He knows also their evil machinations against your efforts for reform. Therefore, you need not worry on this account, but you should wait patiently and with confidence that at the appropriate time they will be dealt with justly.
49. These seven verses which are recited over and over again in every prescribed salat are the verses of Surah Al- Fatihah. Though some of the commentators are of the view that this Al-Mathani, refers to the seven Surahs which contain two hundred or more verses, that is, Surahs 2-7 and (8-9) or 10. But the majority of the early commentators opine that it refers to Al-Fatihah. Imam Bukhari has cited two authentic traditions in support of the view that it refers to Al-Fatihah.
50. The mention of the precious gift of the glorious Quran has been made also to console the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his followers that they should not even look at the worldly wealth of their opponents because that was nothing as compared with this precious wealth. In order to grasp the full significance of this, one should keep in view the fact that at that time the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions were suffering badly from poverty. The trading activities of the Prophet (peace be upon him) had almost come to an end during the period in which he had been engaged in his mission. Besides this, he had almost used up the entire wealth of Khaijah (may Allah be pleased with her). As regards to his companions, some of the young men had been turned out of their homes and reduced to poverty. The economic boycott had mined the business of those who were engaged in trade. There were others who were mere slaves or proteges of the Quraish and had no economic position whatsoever. In addition to their sad economic plight, all the Muslims, along with the Prophet (peace be upon him), were suffering persecution from the people of Makkah and its surroundings. In short, they were so much persecuted, ridiculed and insulted that no one of them was safe from physical and mental torture. On the other side, the Quraish, their opponents and persecutors, enjoyed all the good things of this world, and lived lives of happiness and luxury. This is the background of the reassurance given to the believers, as if to say: Why should you feel disheartened at this? We have given you wealth which surpasses all kinds of worldly riches. Therefore, your opponents should envy your knowledge and high morals; you need not envy their ill canned wealth and their wicked enjoyments, for when they will go before their Lord, they themselves will find that they had not brought such wealth as carries any value there.
51. That is, do not grieve that they consider you as their enemy, though you are their sincere well wisher; that they regard their vices as their virtues; that they are not only themselves following but leading their followers on that way which inevitably leads to destruction. Nay, they are doing their best to oppose the reformative efforts of the one who is showing them the way of peace.
52. The schismatic were the Jews for they had split their religion into many parts and caused division in it. They believed in certain parts and rejected the other parts, and detracted some things from it and added others to it. Thus they had been divided into many sectarian groups, which were opposed to one another.
“They have made the Quran (Torah) into pieces” means that they believe in certain parts of it and reject other parts. The same thing has been stated in (Surah Al- Baqarah, Ayat 85) like this: Do you then believe in one part of the Scriptures and disbelieve in the other parts.
This warning is like the warning We sent to the schismatic Jews. This is meant to warn the disbelievers that they should learn a lesson from the plight of the Jews who neglected the warning that was given to than by God, and persisted in their wrong ways, as if to say: You are beholding the degradation of the Jews. Do you like to meet with the same end by neglecting this warning?
53. That is Salat and worship of your Lord are the only means which can generate in you that power of sustenance which is required to stand resolutely against the troubles and afflictions you will inevitably encounter in the propagation of the message of the truth and reform of humanity. This will comfort you, fill you with courage and enable you to perform that divine mission for which you have been sent in the face of abuse, derision and obstacles.