|Taking Musa as an Example|
﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا مُوسَى الْكِتَـبَ فَاخْتُلِفَ فِيهِ﴾
(And indeed We gave Musa the Scripture, but dispute arose therein.) means, they disbelieved in him and did not show him any respect.
﴿فَاصْبِرْ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُواْ الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ﴾
(Therefore be patient as did the Messengers of strong will) (46:35).
﴿وَلَوْلاَ كَلِمَةٌ سَبَقَتْ مِن رَّبِّكَ إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى﴾
(And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord,) i.e., to delay the Reckoning until the Day of Resurrection,
(the matter would have been settled between them.) means, the punishment would have been hastened for them. But they have an appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.
﴿وَإِنَّهُمْ لَفِى شَكٍّ مِّنْهُ مُرِيبٍ﴾
(But truly, they are in grave doubt thereto.) means, their words of disbelief are not due to any wisdom or insight on their part; rather they spoke without any attempt at examining it thoroughly. This was also the interpretation of Ibn Jarir, and it is a plausible interpretation. And Allah knows best.
﴿مَّنْ عَمِلَ صَـلِحاً فَلِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ أَسَآءَ فَعَلَيْهَا وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّـمٍ لِّلْعَبِيدِ - إِلَيْهِ يُرَدُّ عِلْمُ السَّاعَةِ وَمَا تَخْرُجُ مِن ثَمَرَتٍ مِّنْ أَكْمَامِهَا وَمَا تَحْمِلُ مِنْ أُنْثَى وَلاَ تَضَعُ إِلاَّ بِعِلْمِهِ وَيَوْمَ يُنَادِيهِمْ أَيْنَ شُرَكَآئِى قَالُواْ ءَاذَنَّاكَ مَا مِنَّا مِن شَهِيدٍ - وَضَلَّ عَنْهُم مَّا كَانُواْ يَدْعُونَ مِن قَبْلُ وَظَنُّواْ مَا لَهُمْ مِّن مَّحِيصٍ ﴾
(46. Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for himself; and whosoever does evil, it is against himself. And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) servants.) (47. To Him is referred the knowledge of the Hour. No fruit comes out of its sheath, nor does a female conceive nor brings forth (young), except by His knowledge. And on the Day when He will call unto them (saying): "Where are My (so-called) partners'' They will say: "We inform You that none of us bears witness to it!'') (48. And those whom they used to invoke before (in this world) shall disappear from them, and they will perceive that they have no place of refuge.)
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