Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Say: O Allah!) say O Allah! Lead us to goodness (Owner of Sovereignty!) O Master of kings and Owner of sovereignty (Thou givest sovereignty unto whom Thou wilt) i.e. unto Muhammad and his followers, (and Thou withdrawest sovereignty from whom Thou wilt) i.e. from the people of Persia and Byzantium. (Thou exaltest whom Thou wilt) i.e. Muhammad (and Thou abasest whom Thou wilt) i.e. 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy Ibn Salul, the people of Persia and the people of Byzantium. (In Thy hand is the good) exaltation, abasement, sovereignty, spoils, triumph and power. (Lo! Thou art Able to do all things) whether it is exaltation, abasement, sovereignty, spoils, triumph or power. This verse was revealed about 'Abdullah Ibn Ubayy Ibn Salul, the hypocrite, who said after the Conquest of Mecca: “How on earth can they have sovereignty over Persia and Byzantium?” It is also said that it was revealed about the Quraysh who said: “the king of Persia sleeps on couches made of silk brocade, if you are truly a prophet, show us your dominion?”
When the Prophet (s) promised his community sovereignty over the lands of Persia and Byzantium, the hypocrites said, ‘How preposterous!’, and so the following was revealed, Say: ‘O God, Master of the Kingdom, you give the Kingdom to whom You will, from among your creatures, and seize the Kingdom from whom You will; You exalt whom You will, by giving it [the kingdom] to him, and You abase whom You will, by seizing it from him; in Your hand, in Your power, is good, that is, as well as evil. You are Able to do all things.
Say: 'O God, Possessor of Mastery, You possess mastery of the world of bodies absolutely, disposing of it [however You wish], there being none who have mastery or disposal or effect in it other than You. You give mastery to whom You will, granting him disposal over some of it; and seize mastery from whom You will, by assigning that [power of] disposal in the hands of someone other than him, except that there really is no other [than You] there, rather You turn it about from one hand to another, for You are the [only] disposer in all cases in accordance with the different loci of manifestation; You exalt whom You will, by casting upon him a light from the lights of Your glory, for Truly glory belongs altogether to God [Q. 4:139]; and You abase whom You will, by stripping him of the garb of Your glory leaving him abased; in Your hand is good, all of it, and You are the absolute Powerful One, giving in accordance with Your will, at times self-disclosing Yourself in a certain locus of manifestation with the attributes of glory and grandeur, garbing that [locus] with the vestment of glory and splendour, and at others with the attributes of vanquisher and abaser, garbing that [locus] with the vestment of ignominy and lowliness; sometimes with the attribute of exalter but You are [in reality] abasing, and sometimes with the attribute of abaser while You are exalting; sometimes with the attribute of independent and You give wealth, sometimes with the attribute of availer but You make [that person] poor, that is, You avail him of wealth, indigent without need of anything.
(You give power to whom You will, and You take power from whom You will, and You endue with honor whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will.) meaning, You are the Giver, You are the Taker, it is Your will that occurs and whatever You do not will, does not occur. This Ayah encourages thanking Allah for the favors He granted His Messenger and his Ummah. Allah transferred the prophethood from the Children of Israel to the Arab, Qurashi, Makkan, unlettered Prophet, the Final and Last of all Prophets and the Messenger of Allah to all mankind and Jinn. Allah endowed the Prophet with the best of qualities from the prophets before him. Allah also granted him extra qualities that no other Prophet or Messenger before him was endowed with, such as granting him (more) knowledge of Allah and His Law, knowledge of more of the matters of the past and the future, such as what will occur in the Hereafter. Allah allowed Muhammad's Ummah to reach the eastern and western parts of the world and gave dominance to his religion and Law over all other religions and laws. May Allah's peace and blessings be on the Prophet until the Day of Judgment, and as long as the day and night succeed each other. This is why Allah said,
قُلِ اللَّهُمَّ مَـلِكَ الْمُلْكِ
(Say: "O Allah! Possessor of the power,'') meaning, You decide what You will concerning Your creation and You do what you will. Allah refutes those who thought that they could decide for Allah,
(And they say: "Why is not this Qur'an sent down to some great man of the two towns (Makkah and Ta'if)'') 43:31.
Allah refuted them by saying,
أَهُمْ يَقْسِمُونَ رَحْمَةَ رَبِّكَ
(Is it they who would portion out the Mercy of your Lord) 43:32, meaning, "We decide for Our creation what We will, without resistance or hindrance by anyone. We have the perfect wisdom and the unequivocal proof in all of this, and We give the prophethood to whom We will.'' Similarly, Allah said,
اللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ حَيْثُ يَجْعَلُ رِسَالَتَهُ
(Allah knows best with whom to place His Message) and,
انظُرْ كَيْفَ فَضَّلْنَا بَعْضَهُمْ عَلَى بَعْضٍ
(See how We prefer one above another (in this world)) 17: 21
(You make the night enter into the day, and You make the day enter into the night) meaning, You take from the length of one of them and add it to the shortness of the other, so that they become equal, and take from the length of one of them and add it to the other so that they are not equal. This occurs throughout the seasons of the year: spring, summer, fall and winter. Allah's statement,
(You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living.) means, You bring out the seed from the plant and the plant from the seed; the date from its seed and the date's seed from the date; the faithful from the disbeliever and the disbeliever from the faithful; the chicken from the egg and the egg from the chicken, etc.
وَتَرْزُقُ مَن تَشَآءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
(And You give wealth and sustenance to whom You will, without limit.) meaning, You give whomever You will innumerable amounts of wealth while depriving others from it, out of wisdom, and justice.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Verses 26 and 27 fit in beautifully between the preceding and the subsequent verses. From verse 19 begins a warning and challenge to the opponents of Islam, and in verse 25, the Muslims have been consoled with the assurance that their enemies shall be paid in full on the Day of Judgment. But in order to reassure them, Allah has in these verses, answered an unasked question which arises when one sees that the disbelievers and the disobedient to Allah are prospering in the world, while the believers and the obedient servants of Allah are starving and suffering from hardships. The question is: What wisdom underlies this disparity in the prosperity and adversity of the two groups? At the time (A.H. 3) of the revelation of this discourse the Holy Prophet and his Companions were so hard pressed on all sides that the same question was arising in the people's minds. Its answer is contained in these verses: Allah to Whom belongs all authority, power, wealth, prosperity etc., etc., gives a portion of these to whomsoever He wills, and they should not feel uneasy and anxious about this disparity because He is All Wise and All-Knowing. Moreover Allah gives wealth to whomsoever He wills; therefore it is not to be made the criterion of honour and friendship. Hence in the subsequent verses, the Muslims have been prohibited from making the prosperous disbelievers their friends.
Say: “O God Allāhumma Master of the kingdom Allāhumma: Its meaning is “O God yā Allāh.” The letter mīm at the end of the word is a substitute for the vocative particle yā. This is a teaching of the Real on how to praise the Real that is “describe Me as I should be described in exalted measure” by saying: “O Master of the kingdom there is no associate to You no assistant no helper no companion no partner to You in essence no sharer in the kingdom no competitor in creating.” you give the kingdom to whom You will and seize the kingdom from whom You will; “... so that we will know that You are the King.” Among created beings the king is he before whom one is humbled and the kingdom that is seized is the kingdom of those who are haughty toward him. [In a similar manner] created beings are beautified tajammul by abasing themselves tadhallul before the Real. Their honor and might ʿizz is in their effacement maḥw in Him and their remaining baqāÌ is in their annihilation fanāÌ in Him. You exalt tuʿizzu whom You will by the might ʿizz of Your essence. and You abase tudhillu whom You will; by Your forsaking. You exalt whom you will guiding him to witness You and declare Your oneness and You abase whom You will such that he denies You and is deprived of You. You exalt whom you will with the good fortune of Your drawing near and You abase whom You will by the estrangement of Your turning away. You exalt whom You will by bringing him to intimacy with You and You abase whom You will by estranging him from You. You exalt whom You will by occupying him with You and You abase whom You will by distracting him from You. You exalt whom You will by eliminating the controlling elements of his lower self and You abase whom You will by giving the upper hand to its clamor. You exalt whom You will by the gleams of the rising Ṭawāliʿ of his intimacy [with You] and You abase whom You will by the night visitors Ṭawāriq of his lower self. You exalt whom You will by expanding basṬ him through You and You abase whom You will by constricting qabḌ him from You.
You give the kingdom to whom You will by tightening the belt of [his] service to You and seize the kingdom from whom You will by excluding him from the carpet of worship to You. You give the kingdom to whom You will by causing his innermost self to be singularly devoted to You and You seize the kingdom from whom You will by binding his heart to some created thing. You exalt whom you will by raising him up in spiritual desire irāda and You abase whom You will by sending him back to what the people of habit ahl al-ʿāda do. in Your hand is good. He did not mention evil protecting the good manners ādāb of speech auspiciously mentioning the beautiful and avoiding the inauspicious mention of evil. You are able to do all things. [You do all things by] veiling and attracting helping and forsaking accepting and rejecting separating and gathering constricting and expanding.
Say: ‘O God! Master of the Kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will…That is, the [kingdom (mulk) of] gnosis, the profession of divine oneness (tawḥīd), the codes of law of Your religion of Islam, and a praiseworthy end. [All] this [depends on] God’s taking care of the servant, and not relinquishing him to [reliance on] himself.His words:
(Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty!) [3:26]. Ibn 'Abbas and Anas ibn Malik said: “When the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, conquered Mecca and promised his nation the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium, the hypocrites and Jews said: 'How far fetched! How far fetched! How on earth can Muhammad conquer the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium? They are too mighty and strong for that. Are Mecca and Medina not enough for Muhammad that he covets the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium?' And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. Muhammad ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz al-Marwazi informed in his epistle> Abu'l-Fadl Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Haddadi> Muhammad ibn Yahya> Ishaq ibn Ibrahim> Rawh ibn 'Ubadah> Sa'id> Qatadah who said: “It was mentioned to us that the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, requested Allah to grant his nation the kingdoms of Persia and Byzantium, and so Allah, exalted is He, revealed (Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty!)”. The master Abu Ishaq al-Tha'alibi informed us> 'Abd Allah ibn Hamid al-Wazzan> Muhammad ibn Ja'far al-Matiri> Hammad ibn al-Hasan> Muhammad ibn Khalid ibn 'Athmah> Kathir ibn 'Abd Allah ibn 'Amr ibn 'Awf> his father> his father who said: “On the day of the Confederates, the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, drew lines indicating where the Ditch was to be dug and he assigned ten men for every forty cubits. 'Amd ibn 'Awf said: 'Myself, Salman [al-Farisi], Hudhayfah [ibn al-Yaman] al-Nu'man ibn Muqarrin al-Muzani and six men of the Helpers were assigned to dig forty cubits. We dug until we reached beneath Dhu Nab whereupon we came upon a rock of flint which broke our steel and proved extremely hard to break. And so we told Salman to go up and inform the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, about this rock and to consult him about either to go round it or command us something else about it, for we did not like going beyond the line he drew. So Salman went up to the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, who had on him a Turkish collar. He said: 'O Messenger of Allah! We came across a white rock of flint inside the ditch which has broken our steel and proved very hard to break, for we did everything we could to break it but in vain. Please tell us what to do, for we do not like going beyond the line you drew'. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, went down to the ditch along with Salman while the remaining nine people remained at the verge of it. He took the axe from Salman and struck the rock with one mighty blow which split it into two, and a light shone from its two sides, such that it was like lighting a lamp in a dark room. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, pronounced the Takbir which is usually pronounced after a conquest and the Muslims did the same. Then he struck it again with a blow and a light shone from its two sides, such that it was like lighting a lamp in a dark room. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, pronounced the Takbir which is usually pronounced after a conquest and the Muslims did the same. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, struck it a third time upon which the rock broke into pieces and a light shone, such that it was like lighting a lamp in a dark room. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, pronounced the Takbir which is usually pronounced after a conquest and the Muslims did the same. He then held the hand of Salman and climbed up. Salman said: 'May my mother and father be your ransom, O Messenger of Allah, I saw something which I had never seen before'. The Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, turned to the people present and said: 'Did you see that which Salman is talking about?' They said: 'Yes, O Messenger of Allah!' He said: 'I struck the first time and the light which you saw shone and through it I could see the palaces of al-Hirah and the cities of Chosroes resembling the teeth of dogs. Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed me then that my nation will conquer them. Then I struck a second time and in that light I could see the red palaces of the land of Byzantium resembling the teeth of dogs. Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed me then that my nation will conquer them. Then I struck the rock with my third blow and the light which you saw shone and I saw the palaces of San'a' resembling the teeth of dogs. Gabriel, peace be upon him, informed me then that my nation will conquer them. So receive the good news'. The Muslims were happy to hear the good news. They said: 'Praise be to Allah, it is a true promise; he has promised us victory after digging the Trench'. But the hypocrites said: 'Are you not amazed that he is raising your hope for nothing and is promising you something which is clearly untrue. He informs you that he can see from Yathrib the palaces of al-Hira and the cities of Chosroes and that you will conquer them. All this while you are digging this ditch because of fear and are unable to show yourselves'. Allah then revealed in the Qur'an (And when the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, were saying: Allah and His messenger promised us naught but delusion) [33:12], and Allah, exalted is He, revealed about this incident: (Say: O Allah! Owner of Sovereignty!)”.