Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
And from his own chain of transmitters on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas that he said in the explanation of Allah's words (Alif. Lam. Ra.): '(Alif. Lam. Ra.) He says: I am Allah: I see what you say and do; it is also said that it is an oath by which Allah swore. ((This is) a Scripture which We have revealed unto thee (Muhammad)) with which We have sent Gabriel to you (that thereby thou mayst bring forth mankind) that you may call the people of Mecca (from darkness unto light) to leave disbelieve and accept faith, (by the permission of their Lord) you call them by the command of their Lord, (unto the path) to Religion (of the Mighty) in His retribution against those who do not believe, (the Owner of Praise) in the eyes of him who professes His divine Oneness; it is also said that this means: the Praised One in His acts.
Alif lām rā’: God knows best what He means by these [letters]. This Qur’ān is, a Book We have revealed to you, O Muhammad (s), that you may bring forth mankind from darkness, [from] unbelief, into light, [into] faith, by the leave, by the command, of their Lord (ilā’l-nūr, ‘into light’, may be substituted by [the following ilā sirāt]), to the path, the way, of the Mighty, the Victor, the Praised, the One who is [constantly] praised.
Alif lām rāÌ. A Book We have revealed to you that you may bring forth mankind, from the darkness of the multiplicity to the light of the unity; or, from the darkness of the attributes of origination to the light of primordial nature; or, form the darkness of the veils of acts and attributes to the light of essence, by the leave of their Lord, by His facilitation in depositing that light in them in the form of preparedness from the Holiest Effusion drawn from the World of the Divinity, and by His granting of success in preparing the means of its emergence into actuality from the Presence of the Lordliness. For His leave is the gift of preparedness and the preparation of the means: otherwise there would be no one to bring them out; to the path of the Mighty, the Strong who vanquishes the darkness of the multiplicity with the light of His unity, the One who is Praised, for the perfection of His Essence. According to the second meaning: the path of the Mighty who vanquishes the attributes of the soul by the light of the heart, the Praised one who bestows the graces of virtues and forms of knowledge when the primordial nature is pure. According to the third: the Mighty who by the august glories of His essence vanquishes the lights of His attributes and annihilates by the Reality of His He-ness all of His creatures, the Praised one who bestows the subsisting existence that is perfect, after the annihilation of vices and the one that is deficient by the existence of His essence and the beauty of His countenance.
Describing the Qur'an and warning Those Who defy it
Previously we discussed the meaning of the separate letters that appear in the beginnings of some Surahs.
كِتَابٌ أَنزَلْنَـهُ إِلَيْكَ
((This is) a Book which We have revealed unto you...) Allah says, `This is a Book that We have revealed to you, O Muhammad. This `Book', is the Glorious Qur'an, the most honored Book, that Allah sent down from heaven to the most honored Messenger of Allah sent to all the people of the earth, Arabs and non-Arabs alike,
(in order that you might lead mankind out of darkness into light) We sent you, O Muhammad, with this Book in order that you might lead mankind away from misguidance and crookedness to guidance and the right way,'
(Allah is the Wali (Protector or Guardian) of those who believe. He brings them out from darkness into light. But as for those who disbelieve, their Awliya (supporters and helpers) are Taghut (false deities), they bring them out from light into darkness.) 2:257, and,
(Say: "O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah - to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth.) 7:158 Allah's statement,
وَوَيْلٌ لِّلْكَـفِرِينَ مِنْ عَذَابٍ شَدِيدٍ
(And woe unto the disbelievers from a severe torment. ) means, `woe to them on the Day of Judgment because they defied you, O Muhammad, and rejected you.' Allah described the disbelievers as preferring the life of the present world to the Hereafter, coveting the former life and working hard for its sake. They have forgotten the Hereafter and abandoned it behind their backs,
وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ
(and hinder (men) from the path of Allah), from following the Messengers,
(and seek crookedness therein) they seek to make Allah's path crooked, even though it is straight itself and does not deviate on account of those who defy or betray it. When the disbelievers do this, they become engulfed in ignorance and misguidance far away from truth, and therefore, there is no hope that they will gain guidance and correctness while on this state.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This is the purpose for which the Holy Prophet had been sent. He was entrusted with the mission that he should bring mankind back from the ways of darkness (ways of wickedness) into the Way of God by the help of the Light of the Qur'an. For everyone, who is not on the Way of God, is, in fact, wandering about in the ways of the darkness (of ignorance), even though he might consider himself to be very enlightened and full of knowledge. On the other hand, the one who finds the Way of Allah, comes into the Light of Knowledge, even though he might be an illiterate person.
As regards "by the help of their Lord", this implies that the most a missionary of Islam (even though he be a Messenger of Allah) can do is to present the Right Way. It is not in his power to bring anyone forcibly to the Way, for this can only happen by the help and permission of Allah. That is why only that person whom Allah helps and permits gets guidance: otherwise even a perfect Missionary like a Messenger fails to bring a person to the Way. As regards the Divine Law, according to which Allah helps and permits a person to gain guidance, we learn from different passages of the Qur'an that Allah gives help only to that person who himself has a desire to get guidance: who frees himself from obduracy, obstinacy and prejudice: who is not a follower of his lust, nor a slave of his desires: who is inclined to see with open eyes) and hear with open cars and think with a clear mind, and is ready w accede to any reasonable thing.
The word (Hamid) is more comprehensive than (Mahmud). A person will be entitled to be Mahmud only when he is praised. But the Being Who is Hamid, is naturally and permanently worthy of praise, whether anyone praises Him or not, because the element of praise is inherent in Him and is inseparable from Him.