|The gods of the Idolators can neither benefit nor harm; rather they themselves seek to draw close ..|
(Say) O Muhammad to these idolators who worship things other than Allah,
﴿ادْعُواْ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم مِّن دُونِهِ﴾
(Call upon those - besides Him whom you pretend.) such as idols and rivals of Allah. Even if you turn to them,
﴿فَلاَ يَمْلِكُونَ كَشْفَ الضُّرِّ عَنْكُمْ﴾
(They have neither the power to remove the adversity from you) they have no such power at all,
(nor even to shift (it from you to another person.)) to lift the distress from you and give it to someone else. The meaning is that the only one Who is able to do that is Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, Who is the One Who creates and issues commands.
﴿قُلِ ادْعُواْ الَّذِينَ زَعَمْتُم﴾
(Say: "Call upon those whom you pretend) Al-`Awfi reported from Ibn `Abbas, "The people of Shirk used to say, `we worship the angels and the Messiah and `Uzayr,' while these (the angels and the Messiah and `Uzayr) themselves call upon Allah.''
﴿أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ﴾
(Those whom they call upon, desire) Al-Bukhari recorded from Sulayman bin Mahran Al-A`mash, from Ibrahim, from Abu Ma`mar, from `Abdullah:
﴿أُولَـئِكَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ يَبْتَغُونَ إِلَى رَبِّهِمُ الْوَسِيلَةَ﴾
(Those whom they call upon, desire a means of access to their Lord,) "Some of the Jinn used to be worshipped, then they became Muslims.'' According to another report: "Some humans used to worship some of the Jinn, then those Jinn became Muslim, but those humans adhered to their religion (of worshipping the Jinn).''
﴿وَيَرْجُونَ رَحْمَتَهُ وَيَخَـفُونَ عَذَابَهُ﴾
(they hope for His mercy and fear His torment.) Worship cannot be complete or perfect unless it is accompanied by both fear and hope. Fear stops one from doing things that are forbidden, and hope makes one do more good deeds.
﴿إِنَّ عَذَابَ رَبِّكَ كَانَ مَحْذُورًا﴾
(Verily, the torment of your Lord is (something) to be afraid of!) meaning, one should beware of it and be afraid lest it happen. We seek refuge with Allah from that.
(58. And there is not a town (population) but We shall destroy it before the Day of Resurrection, or punish it with a severe torment. That is written in the Book (of Our decrees))
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