So glory be to God — in other words, [so] glorify God, meaning: perform prayer — when you enter the [time of the] night, in which there are two prayers, the sunset one (maghrib) and the later night one (‘ishā’), and when you rise in the morning, in which there is the morning prayer (subh).
Here Allah glorifies Himself and commands His servants to glorify and praise Him at these times which come one after the other and are indicative of His might and power in the heavens. This is when the night comes with its darkness, then in the morning the day comes with its light. This glorification is followed by befitting praise, as Allah says:
وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
(And His is all the praise in the heavens and the earth;) meaning, He is the One who is to be praised for what He has created in the heavens and on earth. Then Allah says:
وَعَشِيّاً وَحِينَ تُظْهِرُونَ
(and in `Ashiyya and when Tuzhirun.) -- the `Ashiyy is the time when the darkness is most intense, and Izhar is the brightest point of the day. Glory be to the One Who created both of them, the Cleaver of the daybreak and the One Who makes night a time of rest. Allah says:
(He brings out the living from the dead, and brings out the dead from the living.) This is what we see of His power to create things and their opposites. These Ayat which come one after the other are all of the same; in each of them Allah mentions the creation of things and their opposites, to indicate to His creation the perfection of His power. Thus He creates the plant from the seed and the seed from the plant; He creates the egg from the chicken and the chicken from the egg; He creates man from sperm and sperm from man; He creates the believer from the disbelievers and the disbeliever from the believers.
وَيُحْىِ الاٌّرْضَ بَعْدَ مَوْتِهَا
(And He revives the earth after its death.) This is like the Ayat:
(And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy. Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud) until:
(so that you may remember or take heed.) (7:57) Allah says here:
(And thus shall you be brought out.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
"So", here, implies: "When you have come to know the good results of belief and righteous acts and the evil consequences of disbelief and denial of the Truth, you should adopt the following conduct." It also means: "By holding the life Hereafter to be impossible, the polytheists and disbelievers are, in fact, holding Allah to be helpless. Therefore, as against them, you should glorify Allah, and proclaim that He is free from this weakness." This Command has been addressed to the Holy Prophet and through him to all the believers.
"To glorify Allah" means to proclaim Allah's being free from and exalted above the defects and faults and weaknesses, which the mushriks ascribe to Him due to their shirk and denial of the Hereafter. The best form of this proclamation and expression is the Prayer. That is why Ibn 'Abbas; Mujahid, Qatadah, lbn Zaid and other commentators say that here "to glorify" means to offer the prescribed Prayer. A clear indication in favor of this commentary is contained in the verse itself. It lays down certain definite times for the glorification of Allah. Evidently, if it was meant to instill the belief that Allah is free from all defects and weaknesses, there should be no question of the restriction of the times of the morning and evening, and the early and late afternoon, for a Muslim should always have this belief. Similarly, if it was meant to teach. glorifying Allah merely verbally, it' should be meaningless to specify the tunes, for a Muslim should express Allah's glory at all times. Therefore, inevitably the Command to glorify Allah with the restriction of the times points to its particular practical form which is none other than the Prayer.
This verse clearly points to the times of the Fajr (morning), Maghrib (evening). 'Asr (late afternoon) and the Zuhr (early afternoon) Prayers. Besides this, the other allusions made to the times of the Prayer in the Qur'an are as follows:
"Establish the Salat from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night, and be particular about the recital of the Qur'an at dawn." (Bani Isra'il 78)
"Establish the,Salat at the two ends of the day and in the early part of the night." (Hud: 114).
"And glorify your Lord with His praise before the rising of the sun and before its setting, and glorify Him again during the hours of the night and at the extremes of the day. " (Ta Ha: 130)
The first of these verses tells that the times of the Prayer are from the declining of the sun to the darkness of the night (`Isha`) after which is the time of the morning Prayer (Fajr). In the second verse, the `"two ends of the day" imply the times of the morning (Fajr) and the evening (Maghrib) Prayers, and "in the early part of the night" implies the time of 'Isha`. In the third verse, "before the rising of the sun" implies the Fajr time and "before its setting" the Asr tune, and "during the hours of the night" implies the times of both the Maghrib and the 'Isha' Prayers; and the "extremes of the day" are three: the morning, the declining of the sun and the evening. Thus, the Qur'an at different places has pointed to the five Prayer times at which the Muslims the world over offer their Prayers. But, obviously, no one by merely reading these verses could have determined the Prayer times unless the divinely appointed teacher of the Qur'an, the Holy Prophet himself, had given guidance to these by his word and deed.
Let us pause a while here and consider the boldness of the deniers of Hadith. They make fun of "offering the Prayer", and say that the Prayer that the Muslims offer today is not at all the thing prescribed by the Qur'an. They assert that the Qur'anic injunction to establish the Salat does not mean the offering of the Prayer but establishing the Nizam-i-Rububiyat(Order of Providence). Ask them: "What is that order of Providence which can either be established before the rising of the sun or after the declining of the sun till the early hours of the night? And what is that order of Providence which is required to be established especially on Fridays? ("O believers when you hear the call to the Friday Prayer, hasten to the remembrance of Allah".--(LXII: 9). And what is that special kind of the order of Providence for establishing which one has first to wash one's face and the hands up to the elbows and the feet up to the ankles and wipe one's head with wet hands, otherwise one will not establish it ? ( "O believers, when you stand up to offer the Salat, you must wash your faces and your hands and arms up to the elbows, and wipe your heads with wet hands."--(V: 6). And what is this peculiarity of this order of Providence that one cannot establish it unless one has completely washed oneself after sexual intercourse? ("O believers, do not offer the Prayer... if you are unclean until you take your bath, except when passing on the way."--(IV: 433) And what is this odd thing that if one has touched the women, one will have to strike one's hands on pure dust and wipe thereby one's face and hands in case one does not find water, for the purpose of establishing this strange order of Providence ? ("... or if you have touched women and you can find no water, then cleanse yourselves with pure dust: strike your palms on it and wipe your Bands and faces with it."--(1V: 43). And what is this amazing order of Providence that while on a journey one should establish only half of it? ("When you go on a journey, there is no harm if you shorten the Salat. "--(IV : 101) Then, what an odd thing that during a war half of the soldiers should fall out,.carrying their weapons, in order to' establish the order of Providence behind the Imam, and the other half should stick to their positions and continue fighting the enemy; when the first group has performed one sajdah behind the Imam in its effort to establish the "order of Providence" it should go to relieve the other group, which should fall out and start establishing the "order of Providence" behind the Imam? ("And when you, O Prophet, are among the Muslims and are going to lead them in salat (in a state of war), let a party of them stand behind you, carrying their weapons with thetas. When they have made their prostrations, they should fall back, and let another party of them, who have not yet offered their Salat say it with you. "--(IV 102)
All these verses of the Qur'an clearly indicate that to establish the Salat implies the Prayer that the Muslims offer everywhere in the world today. But the deniers of Hadith seem to be bent upon changing the Qur'an instead of changing themselves. The fact is that unless a person becomes wholly fearless of Allah, he cannot dare play with His Word as these people do. Or, only such a person can engage in a pastime like this with respect to the Qur'an who believes it is not Allah's Word, but intends to mislead the Muslims in the name of the Qur'an. (See also E.N. 50 below in this connection).
That is. "How can that God Who is doing all this perpetually in front of your eyes, be helpless in raising man to life after death? He is causing absolutely dead matter to be discharged from living men and animals. He is ever bringing into existence countless animals and human beings by breathing life into dead matter, whereas the substances themselves which make up the bodies of the living beings are absolutely without life He is making you witness the ' phenomenon that wherever water becomes available, lands previously lying barren start blooming and blossoming with animal and vegetable life. In spite of witnessing all this if a person thinks that the God Who is sustaining the universe will be helpless to raise man back to life after death, he is wholly devoid of the common sense. His mind's eyes do not see the clear realities gleaming from the manifestations which his head's eyes see."