Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
Allah mentions after this the unbelievers' love for their objects of worship in this world, and how they disown each other in the Hereafter, saying: (Yet of mankind) i.e. the unbelievers (are some who take unto themselves) who worship (rivals to Allah) idols, (loving them with a love like (that which is the due) of Allah) like the love that sincere believers have for Allah (-Those who believe are stauncher) more lasting (in their love for Allah) than are the unbelievers vis-à-vis their idols; it is also said that this verse was revealed about the hypocrites who buried their gold and silver or hid it in caves; and it is also said that this means: they took their leaders as gods (-that those who do evil had but known) if only the idolaters knew, (when they behold the doom) on the Day of Judgement, (that power) and might and invincibility (belongeth wholly to Allah, and that Allah is severe in punishment!) in the Hereafter-if they knew this, they would certainly have believed in this world.
Among the people are some who take peers apart from God, loving them as if loving God. And those who have faith are more intense in love for God.
If this were the only verse in the whole Qur'an about the faithful and God's friends, their eminence and honor would be complete, for the Lord of the Worlds is saying, “They love Me intensely and more completely than the unbelievers love their objects of worship.” Do you not see that every once in a while the unbelievers set up another idol and take up another object of worship. Like poor people, they are content with something carved of wood. Then, when they can, they take down the wooden one and make another from silver or gold. If their love for their object of worship is real, why do they turn away from it toward another?
They say that a man met a woman recognizer, and her beauty exercised its influence over his heart. He said, “'My all is busy with your all.' O woman! I have lost myself in love for you.”
She said, “Why don't you look at my sister, who is more beautiful and lovely than I?” He said, “Where is your sister so that I may see her?”
She said, “Go, idler! Passion is not your work. If your claim to love me were true, you would not care about anyone else.”
And those who have faith are more intense in love for God. The Lord of the Worlds says, “The love of the faithful for Me is not like the unbelievers' love for idols, such that every once in a while they incline toward another. Rather, the faithful never turn away from Me and never incline toward anyone else. For, if they did turn away, they would never find someone like Me, no matter how much they sought.”
Poor man, God has many servants like you. If something bad is to occur for you, it will occur.
How can you turn away, for you will not find a Lord like Him.
Shiblī said, “I learned Sufism from a dog that was sleeping at the door of a house. The owner came out and was driving the dog away, but the dog kept on coming back. I said to myself, 'How base this dog is! He drives him away, and he keeps on coming back.' The Exalted Lord brought that dog to speech and it said, 'O Shaykh! Where should I go? He is my owner.'”
I will not leave the Friend at a hundred iniquities and cruelties.
Even if He increases them, I will not be troubled, It is I who chose Him over everyone else;
Yet there be people who take to themselves compeers, idols, besides God, that is, other than God, loving them, by magnifying them and being subservient to them, as God is loved, that is, as their love of Him; but those who believe love God more ardently, than those who love their compeers, because the former never reject God, whereas the latter when faced with hardship soon abandon those [compeers] for God; If he, [if you] O Muhammad (s), were to see those who did evil, by taking to themselves compeers, when (idh here denotes idhā) they see (read either as active [yarawna, ‘they see’] or passive [yurawna, ‘they are made to see’]) the chastisement, you would see a grave sight, that, this is because, the might, the power and the vanquishing, altogether (a circumstantial qualifier) belongs to God, and that God is terrible in chastisement (according to one reading, the person listening [to the verse] governs the verb yarā, ‘he sees’, and constitutes the subject [of the clause]; according to another [reading], it is the ‘evildoers’ [who constitute the subject of the clause and govern the verb yarā]; and so it [yarā] has the sense of ya‘lam, ‘he knows’; the particle an, ‘that’, and what comes after it have taken the place of the objects in both cases; the response to the [initial conditional] law, ‘if’, has been omitted). The general meaning [of the verse] then is: ‘If they were aware in this world of the severity of God’s chastisement and of the fact that power is God’s alone, the moment they come to see it with their own eyes, on the Day of Resurrection, they would not take to themselves compeers’.
Yet there be people who take to themselves compeers besides God, loving them as God is loved: in other words, those who worship besides God things, either humans of their own species, such as [their] partners, children, parents, ancestors, brothers, lovers, leaders, kings and others; or [who worship things] that are non-human, such as animals, inanimates and all their other properties by dedicating themselves to them, turning their attention to them, taking them into considering, preserving them, looking after them and their condition, thinking of [other] things of the same kind, loving them as they do God, that is, as God ought to be loved. Thus for them these things become equal to God in terms of [their] love and become compeers or associates of God from their point of view, or that they become their objects of love and their objects of worship and nothing else, and so they are for them their deities just as God is the Deity of creatures: they have thus appointed for themselves deities as compeers to the God of all creatures, the God of all worlds.
but the believers love God more ardently, than any other, because they only love God. Their love for Him is not confounded with love of others and is not subject to change. They love things through [their] love of God and for God and in the measure that they find in these [things] a divine aspect, as some have stated: 'The Truth is our Beloved and creatures are our beloved, but if the two conflict, then the Truth is more beloved to us', in other words, if the divine aspect no longer resides in them because of their divergence from Him, our love for them is no more; or [it means that] they love [God] more than they love their deities because they love things in themselves for themselves and so inevitably their love changes [for these things] when they themselves change the accidents of their souls upon fear of perdition and the harm that the soul brings upon them. Believers love God through their spirits and their hearts, nay, through God and for God. Their love [for Him] does not change because it is selfless. They expend their spirits and their souls for the sake of His countenance and His approval, abandoning all of their desires for His desire, loving His acts even when they conflict with their caprices, as one of them said: 'I desire to connect with Him while He desires to abandon me, so I abandon what I desire for what He desires'.
If he were to see those who did evil [when they see the chastisement], that is, [those who] associated [others with God] by their love of warning at the moment they see the chastisement that is the due of their veiling themselves with their deities, that the might altogether belongs to God [and that God is terrible in chastisement], meaning that all power belongs to God, their deities having no share of it. As for the severity of God's chastisement [of them] by joining them in fire-chains to their deities in the fire of privation fueled by their love of these [deities] cannot be described [in words] which is why the apodosis of the [conditional particle] law ('if') has been omitted.
The Condition of the Polytheists in this Life and the Hereafter
In these Ayat, Allah mentions the condition of the polytheists in this life and their destination in the Hereafter. They appointed equals and rivals with Allah, worshipping them along with Allah and loving them, just as they love Allah. However, Allah is the only deity worthy of worship, Who has neither rival nor opponent nor partner. It is reported in the Sahihayn that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said: I said, "O Messenger of Allah! What is the greatest sin'' He said:
«أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك»
(To appoint a rival to Allah while He Alone has created you.)
وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِ
(But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else))
Because these believers love Allah, know His greatness, revere Him, believe in His Oneness, then they do not associate anything or anyone with Him in the worship. Rather, they worship Him Alone, depend on Him and they seek help from Him for each and every need.
(If only, those who do wrong could see, when they will see the torment, that all power belongs to Allah.) if these people knew what they will face and the terrible punishment they are to suffer because of their disbelief and Shirk (polytheism), then they would shun the deviation that they live by.
Allah mentions their false beliefs in their idols, and that those they followed will declare their innocence of them. Allah said:
(When those who were followed disown (declare themselves innocent of) those who followed (them).) the angels, whom they used to claim that they worshipped, declare their innocence of them in the Hereafter, saying:
(And who is more astray than one who calls on (invokes) besides Allah, such as will not answer him till the Day of Resurrection, and who are (even) unaware of their calls (invocations) to them And when mankind are gathered (on the Day of Resurrection), they (false deities) will become their enemies and will deny their worshipping.) (46:5, 6) Allah said:
(And they have taken (for worship) alihah (gods) besides Allah, that they might give them honor, power and glory (and also protect them from Allah' punishment). Nay, but they (the so-called gods) will deny their worship of them, and become opponents to them (on the Day of Resurrection).) (19:81, 82) Prophet Ibrahim said to his people:
(You have taken (for worship) idols instead of Allah. The love between you is only in the life of this world, but on the Day of Resurrection, you shall disown each other, and curse each other, and your abode will be the Fire, and you shall have no helper.) (29:25) Allah said:
(But if you could see when the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers) will be made to stand before their Lord,how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers!'' And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: "Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you Nay, but you were Mujrimin (polytheists, sinners, disbelievers, criminals).'' Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Nay, but it was your plotting by night and day, when you ordered us to disbelieve in Allah and set up rivals to Him!'' And each of them (parties) will conceal their own regrets (for disobeying Allah during this worldly life), when they behold the torment. And We shall put iron collars round the necks of those who disbelieved. Are they requited aught except what they used to do) (34:31-33) Allah said:
(And Shaytan (Satan) will say when the matter has been decided: "Verily, Allah promised you a promise of truth. And I too promised you, but I betrayed you. I had no authority over you except that I called you, and you responded to me. So blame me not, but blame yourselves. I cannot help you, nor can you help me. I deny your former act in associating me (Satan) as a partner with Allah (by obeying me in the life of the world). Verily, there is a painful torment for the Zalimin (polytheists and wrongdoers).) (14:22)
(...and they see the torment, then all their relations will be cut off from them.) meaning, when they see Allah's torment, their power and means of salvation are all cut off, and they will have no way of making amends, nor will they find a way of escape from the Fire. `Ata' reported that Ibn `Abbas said about:
وَتَقَطَّعَتْ بِهِمُ الاٌّسْبَابُ
(then all their relations will be cut off from them.) "meaning the friendship.'' Mujahid reported a similar statement in another narration by Ibn Abu Najih.
(And those who followed will say: "If only we had one more chance to return (to the worldly life), we would disown (declare ourselves as innocent from) them as they have disowned (declared themselves as innocent from) us.'')
This Ayah means: `If we only had a chance to go back to the life so that we could disown them (their idols, leaders, etc.) shun their worship, ignore them and worship Allah Alone instead.' But they utter a lie in this regard, because if they were given the chance to go back, they would only return to what they were prohibited from doing, just as Allah said. This is why Allah said:
(As for those who disbelieved, their deeds are like a mirage in a desert. The thirsty one thinks it to be water.) (24:39)
This is why Allah said ـ at the end of the Ayah 2:167 above
وَمَا هُم بِخَـرِجِينَ مِنَ النَّارِ
(And they will never get out of the Fire.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Anyone who does not look around like an animal but makes an intelligent observation of the great system of the universe that is working day and night before his very eyes, and is not blinded by prejudice or obduracy, can see many a sign pointing to the Reality. He will certainly see that it is being ruled only by the All-Powerful, All-Wise Sovereign. He can also understand that Allah alone is the God of the whole universe and that there is absolutely no room for any kind of interference or partnership, for no one else has any quality or power or authority to entitle him to the claim of Godhead.
They set up equals......": they ascribe some of the exclusive qualities and powers of Allah to others and render all or some of His exclusive rights to false gods. For instance, though Allah alone has control over all the forces of nature and has the power to fulfil all the needs of His creatures and to hear their prayers and requests, and although He alone knows all that is open or hidden, yet they invoke others for help or attribute all or some of these powers and qualities to others than Allah and thus set up compeers to rank with Him.
Again it is the exclusive right of Allah that His subjects should acknowledge Him as the Supreme Authority, bow down their heads before Him and fear Him alone in open and secret. But as they render all or some rights to others than Allah, they set up compeers with Him. Then, Allah alone is entitled to prescribe what is lawful and what is unlawful, what is clean and what is unclean. He alone has the authority to define the rights and duties of His subjects, lay down commands and prohibitions for them, etc. Therefore those who arrogate to themselves any of these rights shall be guilty of shirk. Again, He alone deserves to be acknowledged as the Sovereign and, as His subjects, the people should consider His Commandments to be final and turn to Him for guidance; therefore those who ascribe any of these rights to others than Allah, set up compeers with Him; likewise those institutions or persons who claim to possess any of these qualities or rights or assume to themselves any of these qualities or rights or demand that others should accede these to them, set themselves as compeers with Allah, whether or not they put forward formal claims to Godhead.
Belief in Allah demands that one should prefer His Will to one's own will or to that of others, and cherish His love so dearly as to be ready to sacrifice all other affections for its sake.
This helpless end of the ring-leaders and misguiders and their followers has been specially mentioned here to warn the Muslims to be very careful in selecting and electing their leaders and guides. The former communities weal astray because they followed wrong leaders and evil guides. The Muslims should, therefore, learn a lesson from their end and discriminate between leaders and misleaders and should not follow the latter.
Yet there be people who take to themselves peers besides God loving them as God is loved These are people whom the Real سبحانه did not appoint as the people of love ahl al-maḥabba. He kept them occupied with the love of other things so that they were satisfied with loving everything that their lower selves desired. They were satisfied with worshiping something that was made for them and satisfied with loving something crafted for them that is other than Him but those who believe love God more ardently; If he were to see those who did evil when they see the chastisement that the might altogether belongs to God and that God is terrible in chastisement. What is intended here is not to recall the idol worshipers' love for other things but rather to praise the believers for their love. It is not necessary for you to increase your love so as to surpass the love of disbelievers for their idols; rather the lover wants to remember his beloved as much as he can and finds everything that comes from the beloved beautiful. It is said that the reason for the superiority of the love of believers for God over the love of the disbelievers for their idols is that the love of the latter is from like to like and it is expected that like will incline to like. But [the love of believers for God] is a love for One who is not like them and that is more precious and more worthy. It is said that [the disbelievers] love what they can see and there is nothing amazing about loving that which has been seen with one's own eyes. But the believers love the One who has come in between them and their seeing a cloak of grandeur on their faces. It is said that those who believe love God more ardently because they do not dissociate themselves from God even if He punishes them. The disbeliever dissociates himself from the idol and the idol from the disbeliever just as God most high said “When those who were followed disown their followers” [2:166]. It is said that the love maḥabba of the believers comes from God's love for them for that is more perfect. God most high said whom He loves and who love Him [5:54] while their love for idols is a matter of whim hawā.
It is said that the love of the believers is more perfect and more ardent because it conforms to the command while the love of the disbelievers conforms to whim hawā and human nature Ṭabʿ. It is said that when their circumstances were prosperous and their wealth and influence wide they adopted idols that were better than those they worshiped in their previous state of poverty. They used to adopt idols of silver when they were rich and abandon those of iron-this was how they measured things! For the believers the intensity of their love for God was because they worshiped One God in good times and bad.
(Yet there are people who take to themselves idols), loving them as if loving God; but those who believe love God more ardently…He said:It means that they love idols (andād) in the way that they love God, Mighty and Majestic is He. Indeed, God, Exalted is He, described the intensity of their disbelief and their constancy (ṣidq) in the state of disbelief as ignorance (jahl). He then described the love of the believers and their constancy in the state of faith in God, as truth (ḥaqq). Then He accorded superiority to the believers due to their knowledge [or gnosis, maʿrifa], saying, those who believe love God more ardently. This is due to their knowledge (maʿrifa), and all the other things that cause the believing servant to advance towards God and establish His remembrance. This is the level ofthe loving mystics (ʿārifūn muḥibbūn), since love is the inclination (ʿaṭf) for the purest reality (khāliṣat al-ḥaqq), which God, Exalted is He, [produces] in them.He was asked, ‘What is the sign of love?’ He replied:It is the embracing of obedience and the relinquishing of [any sense] of need [for other than God] (mubāyanat al-fāqa). It has been related that God, Exalted is He, said in a revelation to Moses, ‘Do you know why I cast my love upon you?’, to which he replied, ‘No, O Lord.’ He said, ‘Because you sought My delight (masarra). O Moses, [always] keep Me in mind, and don’t forget Me in any situation. Let your aspiration (himma) be for My remembrance (dhikr), for I will take care of your path.’ But God, Transcendent and Exalted is He, knows best.