19. Here again the word tabaraka has been used and in the context it means: Allah has full control over everything and has unlimited powers: if he wills to favor somebody, He can do so as and when He wills without let or hindrance.
20. The word as-saat, meaning the time or the Hour, has been used in the Quran as a term for the promised Hour of Resurrection, when all human beings of all ages will be raised from the dead and gathered together before Allah Almighty to account for their beliefs and deeds, right or wrong, and rewarded or punished accordingly.
21. That is, the objections they are raising are not due to the reason that they doubt the authenticity of the Quran on some rational ground, or that they do not believe in you for the reason that you eat food and walk about in the streets like the common people, or that they did not accept your message of truth only because you were not escorted by an angel, or were not given a treasure. But the real reason why they are putting forward all sorts of absurd arguments to reject your message is that they do not believe in the lifeafter- death, and this denial has made them free from all moral obligations. For when one denies the life-after death, there remains no need for him to consider and decide what is true or false, or what is right or wrong, etc. Their argument is like this: There is going to be no life after this one on the earth when we will be called to account for our deeds before God. Death will be the end of everything, and it will therefore make no difference whether one was a worshiper of God or a disbeliever or a mushrik or an atheist. When the ultimate end is to become one with the dust, there is no need of judging what is right and what is wrong except by the criterion of success and failure in this life. Those who deny the Hereafter also see that worldly success or failure does not entirely depend upon one’s faith or conduct; nay, they very often see that the righteous and the wicked persons meet with the same end irrespective of their faith for which there is no ordained punishment or reward in this life; one righteous person may be living a life of hardship while another enjoying all the good things of life; one wicked person may be suffering for his misdeeds while the other enjoying a life of pleasure and plenty. As such, as far as the worldly consequences of adopting a particular moral attitude are concerned, the disbelievers in the Hereafter cannot be satisfied whether it is right or wrong. In view of this, those who deny the Hereafter, do not see any need to consider an invitation to faith and morality even if it is presented in a most forceful way.
22. “The Fire sees them” The words used in the text may be metaphorical, or they may mean that the Fire of Hell will be endowed with the faculties of seeing, thinking and judging.
23. Literally: It is a promise whose fulfillment can be demanded (from Allah).
Here one may ask the question: How can the promise of the Garden and the threat of the Fire produce any effect on the attitude of a parson who denies resurrection and the existence of Paradise and Hell? In order to understand the wisdom of this method of admonition, one should keep in view that it is meant to appeal to the self-interest of an obdurate person, who does not otherwise listen to such arguments. This is, as if to say: Even if, for the sake of argument, there is no proof of the reality of the life-afterdeath, there is also no proof that such an event will not occur at all, and there is a possibility for both. In the latter case, the believer and the disbeliever both will be in one and the same position, but if there is life in the Hereafter, as the Prophet asserts, then the disbelievers will be doomed to utter ruin. Therefore, such an approach breaks the stubbornness of the disbelievers and proves to be highly effective when the entire scene of resurrection gathering of the people, their accountability and of Hell and Heaven is presented in a vivid manner as if the Prophet (peace be upon him) had himself seen it with his own eyes. For further explanation, see (Surah HaMim Sajdah, Ayat 52 and E. N. 69) thereof, and (Surah Al-Ahqaf, Ayat 10).
24. Here, deities do not mean idols but the angels, the prophets; the saints, the martyrs and the pious men, whom the mushriks of different communities have made their deities.
25. Such dialogues between Allah and the gods of the disbelievers occur at several places in the Quran. For instance, in Surah Saba it has been stated: On the day when He will gather them all together, He will ask the angels, Did these people worship you? They will answer, Glory be to Thee! Thou art our Patron and not they: they in fact worshiped the jinns (that is, satans); most of these believed in them. (verses 40-41). Similarly in Surah Al- Maidah, it is said: And when Allah will say, O Jesus, son of Mary, did you ever say to the people: Make me and my mother gods instead of Allah? He will answer, Glory be to Thee! It did not behoove me to say that which I had no right to say. I told them only that which Thou didst bid me: Worship Allah, Who is my Lord as well as your Lord. (verses. 116, 117).
26. That is, they were mean people: You gave them all the provisions of life so that they may show gratitude to You, but they became ungrateful and ignored all the admonitions given by the Prophets.
27. That is, on that day your religion, which you now believe, to be true, will prove to be false and even your gods, whom you yourselves have set up, will declare it to be a lie; for none of them ever asked you to make them your deities and worship them as such. Consequently, instead of interceding on your behalf; they will bear witness against you.
28. They will be guilty of iniquity. They will be unjust to the reality and the truth and guilty of disbelief and shirk. The context shows that those who reject the Prophet (peace be upon him) and set up other deities instead of Allah and deny life in the Hereafter, are guilty of zulm (iniquity).
29. This is an answer to the objection of the disbelievers of Makkah that Muhammad (peace be upon him) could not be a Messenger of Allah because he ate food and moved about in the streets. They have been told that all the Messengers of Allah who came before Muhammad, like Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Moses and many others (peace be upon them all) whom they knew and acknowledged as Prophets and Messengers of Allah also ate food and walked about in the streets. Nay, even Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him), son of Mary, himself, whom the Christians had made the son of God (and whose image had also been placed in the Kabah by the disbelievers of Makkah) ate food and walked about in the streets like a common man even according to the Gospels themselves.
30. It is obvious that the Messenger and the believers were a test for the disbelievers as to whether they would believe even after hearing the divine message and seeing their pure character. On the other hand, the disbelievers were a test for the Messenger and his followers in the sense that they were a means of proving and trying their true faith by their persecution. For it is this test alone which helps to discriminate the true believers from the hypocrites. That is why, at first, only the poor and the helpless but sincere people embraced Islam. Had there been no persecution and hardships but prosperity, wealth and grandeur, the worshipers of the world and the selfish people would have been the first to embrace Islam.
31. That is, now when you have understood the wisdom of the test by persecution, it is hoped that you will endure all kinds of hardships without complaint, and willingly undergo the persecutions that are inevitable.
32. It probably means two things: First, the way your Lord is conducting your affairs, is according to His will and nothing that happens is without His knowledge. Second: He is fully aware of your sincerity and righteousness in serving His cause under all kinds of hardships. You should therefore rest assured that you will have your full reward. He also sees the persecution and iniquity of the disbelievers; therefore they will not escape the consequences of their wickedness.