|The Disbelievers' Refrain from Faith means that They were simply awaiting Punishment|
Threatening the idolators for their persistence in falsehood and their conceited delusions about this world, Allah says: Are these people waiting only for the angels to come and take their souls Qatadah said:
﴿أَوْ يَأْتِىَ أَمْرُ رَبِّكَ﴾
(Or there comes the command of your Lord) means the Day of Resurrection and the terror that they will go through.''
﴿كَذَلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ﴾
(Thus did those before them.) means, thus did their predecessors and those who were like them among the idolators persist in their Shirk, until they tasted the wrath of Allah and experienced the punishment and torment that they suffered.
﴿وَمَا ظَلَمَهُمُ اللَّهُ﴾
(And Allah did not wrong them.) because by sending His Messengers and revealing His Books He gave them enough warning and clearly demonstrated His proofs to them.
﴿وَلَـكِن كَانُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ يَظْلِمُونَ﴾
(but they were wronging themselves.) meaning, by opposing the Messengers and denying what they brought. For this reason Allah's punishment tormented them.
(they were surrounded) meaning, they were overwhelmed by the painful torment.
﴿مَا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ﴾
(by that which they used to mock.) meaning, they used to make fun of the Messengers when they warned them Allah's punishment, and for this it will be said to them on the Day of Resurrection:
﴿هَـذِهِ النَّارُ الَّتِى كُنتُم بِهَا تُكَذِّبُونَ ﴾
(This is the Fire which you used to belie.) (52:14).
﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ لَوْ شَآءَ اللَّهُ مَا عَبَدْنَا مِن دُونِهِ مِن شَىْءٍ نَّحْنُ وَلا ءَابَاؤُنَا وَلاَ حَرَّمْنَا مِن دُونِهِ مِن شَىْءٍ كَذلِكَ فَعَلَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ فَهَلْ عَلَى الرُّسُلِ إِلاَّ الْبَلَـغُ الْمُبِينُ - وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِى كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولاً أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُواْ الْطَّـغُوتَ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُمْ مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَـلَةُ فَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَانظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ - إِن تَحْرِصْ عَلَى هُدَاهُمْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى مَن يُضِلُّ وَمَا لَهُمْ مِّن نَّـصِرِينَ ﴾
(35. And those who worshipped others with Allah said: "If Allah had so willed, neither we nor our fathers would have worshipped any but Him nor would we have forbidden anything without (a command from) Him.'' Those before them did the same. Then! Are the Messengers charged with anything but to clearly convey the Message) (36. And We have indeed sent a Messenger to every Ummah (community, nation) (saying): "Worship Allah (Alone), and shun the Taghut (all false deities). '' Then among them were some whom Allah guided, and among them were some who deserved to be left to stray. So travel through the land and see the end of those who denied (the truth).) (37. (Even) if you desire that they be guided, then verily, Allah does not guide those whom He allowed to stray, and they will have no helpers.)
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