(I am only a human being like you. It is revealed to me that your God is One God,) `not like these idols and false gods which you worship. Allah is one God,'
(therefore take straight path to Him) means, `worship Him Alone sincerely, in accordance with what He has commanded you through His Messengers.'
(and seek forgiveness of Him) means, `for your past sins.'
(And woe to the polytheists.) means, doom and destruction is their lot.
الَّذِينَ لاَ يُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَوةَ
(Those who give not the Zakah) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported from Ibn `Abbas that this means those who do not bear witness that there is no God except Allah. This was also the view of `Ikrimah. This is like the Ayat:
(Indeed whosoever purifies himself shall achieve success. And remembers (glorifies) the Name of his Lord, and prays.) (87:14-15) And;
فَقُلْ هَل لَّكَ إِلَى أَن تَزَكَّى
(And say to him: "Would you purify yourself'') (79:18) What is meant by Zakah here is purification of the soul, ridding oneself of all bad qualities, the worst of which is Shirk. The Zakah paid on one's wealth is so called because it purifies wealth, and it is a means of increasing it, blessing it and making it more beneficial, and a means of assisting one to use it in doing good deeds. Qatadah said, "They withheld the Zakah of their wealth.'' This is the apparent meaning according to many of the scholars of Tafsir, and this is the view favored by Ibn Jarir. But the matter is subject to further examination, because the obligation of Zakah was instituted during the second year after the Hijrah to Al-Madinah, according to what is stated by several scholars. Yet this Ayah was revealed in Makkah. However, it is not unlikely that the principle of giving charity and Zakah was already in place and had been enjoined at the beginning of the Prophet's mission, as Allah says:
وَءَاتُواْ حَقَّهُ يَوْمَ حَصَادِهِ
(but pay the due thereof on the day of their harvest) (6:141). As for the details of Zakah and how it is to be calculated according to the Nusub, were explained in Al-Madinah. This is how we may reconcile between the two opinions. Similarly, prayer was originally enjoined before sunrise and before sunset at the beginning of the Prophet's mission; it was only on the Night of the Isra', a year and a half before the Hijrah, that Allah enjoined upon His Messenger the five daily prayers. The conditions and essential elements of prayer were explained later, in stages. And Allah knows best. Then Allah says:
(Truly, those who believe and do righteous good deeds, for them will be an endless reward that will never stop.) Mujahid and others said, "It will never be cut off or decrease.'' This is like the Ayat:
مَّاكِثِينَ فِيهِ أَبَدًا
(They shall abide therein for ever.) (18:3)
عَطَآءً غَيْرَ مَجْذُوذٍ
(a gift without an end) (11:108)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "It is not in my power to remove the covering that envelops your hearts, open your ears, and tear away the curtain which you have drawn between me and yourselves, I am only a man: I can make only him understand who is inclined to listen, and can only meet him who is ready to meet me."
That is. "You may if you so like put coverings on your hearts and make your ears deaf, but the fact is that you don't have many gods: then is only One God, whose servants you are. And this is no philosophy, which I might have thought out myself, and which might have equal probability of being true or false, but this reality has been made known to me through revelation, which cannot admit of any likelihood of error. "
That is, "Do not make any other your God: do not serve and worship any other deity: do not invoke and bow to any other for help: and do not obey and follow the customs and laws and codes made and set by others. "
"Ask for His forgiveness": Ask for His forgiveness for the unfaithfulness that you have been showing so far towards Him, for the shirk and disbelief and disobedience that you have been committing till now, and for the sins that you happened to comfit due to forgetfulness of God.
Here, the meaning of the word zakat has been disputed by the commentators. Ibn `Abbas and his illustrious pupils, `Ikrimah and Mujahid, say that zakat here implies the purity of the soul and self which accrues from belief in Tauhid and obedience to Allah. According to this explanation, the translation of the verse would be: "Woe to the mushriks, who do not adopt purity." The other group which includes commentators like Qatadah, Suddi, Hasan Basri, Dahhak, Muqatil and Ibn as-Sa'ib take this word here also in the meaning of the zakat on property and wealth. According to this explanation, the verse means: "Woe to those who do not fulfil the right of Allah by committing shirk and the right of the men by withholding the zakat.
The words ajrun ghaira mamnun in the original have two other meanings also:
(1) That it will be a reward which will never decrease and diminish; and
(2) that this reward will not be given with reminders of good done, like the gift made by a miserly person, who keeps on reminding the beneficiary of his favor if at all he gives away anything.