Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Unto Allah belongeth whatsoever is in the heavens and whatsoever is in the earth) of created beings and marvels: they are all his bondsmen and bondswomen. (Allah ever surroundeth) has the knowledge of (all things) in relation to the dwellers of the heavens and the earth.
To God belongs everything in the heavens and everything in the earth, and God encompasses everything.
In these verses, He says three times “To God belongs everything in the heavens and everything in the earth.” Each is an admonishment for a different group and specific to a designated meaning. The first is an admonishment for the common Muslims, the second an admonishment for the worshipful servants and godwary, and the third an admonishment for the sincerely truthful and elect.
First He says for the common Muslims, “Everything in heaven and earth is My possession and kingdom. All is My creation and artisanry. My knowledge reaches all and I am aware of all. I have made certain rightful dues incumbent among you and set apart obligatory acts for you. So comply with the rightful due of women, orphans, and the weak and put My commands into action. Strive to give comfort and achieve peace. Whether you do good or bad, whether you are at peace or war, know that in reality I know and I see, for all is My creation and My artisanry. How can My creation and artisanry be concealed from Me? Does He who created not know, while He is the Gentle, the Aware? [67:14].”
To God belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth, as possessions, creatures and servants; and God is ever the Encompasser of all things, in knowledge and power, that is, He is ever possessed of such attributes.
Success is Only Achieved by Performing Righteous Deeds, not Wishful Thinking
Qatadah said, "We were told that the Muslims and the People of the Scriptures mentioned their own virtues to each other. People of the Scriptures said, `Our Prophet came before your Prophet and our Book before your Book. Therefore, we should have more right to Allah than you have.' Muslims said, `Rather, we have more right to Allah than you, our Prophet is the Final Prophet and our Book supersedes all the Books before it.' Allah sent down,
(And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face (himself) to Allah; and he is a Muhsin.) Allah then supported the argument of the Muslims against their opponents of the other religions.'' Similar statements were attributed to As-Suddi, Masruq, Ad-Dahhak and Abu Salih. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah 4:123, "The followers of various religions disputed, the people of the Tawrah said, `Our Book is the best Book and our Prophet (Musa) is the best Prophet. ' The people of the Injil said similarly, the people of Islam said, `There is no religion except Islam, our Book has abrogated every other Book, our Prophet is the Final Prophet, and you were commanded to believe in your Books and adhere to our Book.' Allah judged between them, saying, o
(It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor those of the People of the Scripture, whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof).'' This Ayah indicates that the religion is not accepted on account of wishful thinking or mere hopes. Rather, the accepted religion relies on what resides in the heart and which is made truthful through actions. It is not true that when one utters a claim to something, he attains it merely on account of his claim. It is not true that every person who claims to be on the truth is considered as such, merely on account of his words, until his claim gains merit with proof from Allah. Hence Allah's statement,
(It will not be in accordance with your desires, nor those of the People of the Scripture, whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof), meaning safety will not be acquired by you or them just by wishful thinking. Rather, the key is in obeying Allah and following what He has legislated through the words of His honorable Messengers. This is why Allah said afterwards,
مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ
(whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof,) Similarly, Allah said,
(So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom, shall see it.) and it was reported that when these Ayat were revealed, they became hard on many Companions. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that `A'ishah said, "I said, `O Messenger of Allah! I know the hardest Ayah in the Qur'an.' He said, `What is it, O `A'ishah!' I said,
مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ
(whoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof,) He said,
(Be steadfast and seek closeness. Everything that afflicts the Muslim, even the thorn that pierces his skin and the hardship he suffers, will be an expiation for him.)'' This is the wording collected by Ahmad through Sufyan bin `Uyaynah. Muslim and At-Tirmidhi also recorded it. Allah's statement,
(and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allah,) `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said; "Unless he repents and Allah forgives him.'' Ibn Abi Hatim recorded it. Allah then said,
(And whoever does righteous good deeds, male or female, and is a believer). Allah mentions the recompense for evil actions and that He will surely inflict its punishment on the servant, either in this life, which is better for him, or in the Hereafter, we seek refuge with Allah from this end. We also beg Allah for our well-being in this life and the Hereafter and for His forgiveness, mercy and pardon. Allah then mentions His kindness, generosity and mercy in accepting the good deeds from His servants, whether male or female, with the condition that they embrace the faith. He also stated that He will admit the believers into Paradise and will not withhold any of their righteous deeds, even the weight of a Naqir - speck on the back of a date-stone. Earlier, we discussed the Fatil - the scalish thread in the long slit of a date-stone, and both of these, along with the Qitmir -- the thin membrane over the date-stone were mentioned in the Qur'an. Allah then said,
(And who can be better in religion than one who submits his face to Allah.) meaning, performs the good actions in sincerity for his Lord with faith and awaiting the reward with Allah,
(and he is a Muhsin) following the correct guidance that Allah legislated in the religion of truth which He sent His Messenger with. These are the two conditions, in the absence of which no deed will be accepted from anyone; sincerity and correctness. The work is sincere when it is performed for Allah alone and it becomes correct when it conforms to the Shari`ah. So, the deed becomes outwardly correct with following the Sunnah and inwardly correct with sincerity. When any deed lacks either of these two conditions, the deed becomes null and void. For instance, when one lacks the pillar of sincerity in his work, he becomes a hypocrite who shows off for people. Whoever does not follow the Shari`ah, he becomes an ignorant, wicked person. When one combines both pillars, his actions will be the deeds of the faithful believers whose best deeds are accepted from them and their errors erased. Consequently, Allah said,
واتَّبَعَ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفاً
(And follows the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (Monotheist). ) referring to Muhammad and his following, until the Day of Resurrection. Allah said,
(Then, We have sent the Revelation to you (saying): "Follow the religion of Ibrahim the Hanif (Monotheist) and he was not of the Mushrikin). The Hanif, intentionally and with knowledge, avoids Shirk, he goes attentively to the truth, allowing no one to hinder him or stop him from it.
Ibrahim is Allah's Khalil
وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَهِيمَ خَلِيلاً
(And Allah did take Ibrahim as a Khalil (an intimate friend)!) encourages following Ibrahim Al-Khalil, because he was and still is an Imam whose conduct is followed and imitated. Indeed, Ibrahim reached the ultimate closeness to Allah that the servants seek, for he attained the grade of Khalil, which is the highest grade of love. He acquired all this due to his obedience to His Lord, just as Allah has described him,
(Verily, Ibrahim was an Ummah, obedient to Allah, a Hanif, and he was not one of the Mushrikin). Al-Bukhari recorded that `Amr bin Maymun said that when Mu`adh came back from Yemen, he led them in the Fajr prayer and recited,
وَاتَّخَذَ اللَّهُ إِبْرَهِيمَ خَلِيلاً
(And Allah did take Ibrahim as a Khalil!) One of the men present commented, "Surely, the eye of Ibrahim's mother has been comforted.'' Ibrahim was called Allah's Khalil due to his Lord's great love towards him, on account of the acts of obedience he performed that Allah loves and prefers. We should mention here that in the Two Sahihs, it is recorded that Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri said that when the Messenger of Allah gave them his last speech, he said,
(O people! If I were to take a Khalil from the people of the earth, I would have taken Abu Bakr bin Abi Quhafah as my Khalil. However, your companion (meaning himself) is the Khalil of Allah.) Jundub bin `Abdullah Al-Bajali, `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As and `Abdullah bin Mas`ud narrated that the Prophet said,
(Allah has chosen me as His Khalil, just as He has chosen Ibrahim as His Khalil.) Allah's statement,
وَللَّهِ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ
(And to Allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth.) means, everything and everyone are His property, servants and creation, and He has full authority over all of this. There is no one who can avert Allah's decision or question His judgment. He is never asked about what He does due to His might, ability, fairness, wisdom, compassion and mercy. Allah's statement,
وَكَانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَىْءٍ مُّحِيطاً
(And Allah is Ever Encompassing all things.) means, His knowledge encompasses everything and nothing concerning His servants is ever hidden from Him. Nothing, even the weight of an atom, ever escapes His observation in the heavens and earth, nor anything smaller or bigger than that.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Since everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah, the best thing for man is to surrender his independence completely to Him, and to submit to Him unreservedly. He will come nearer to Nature, if he willingly becomes His servant and obeys Him without showing any kind of rebellion against him.
That is, if man does not submit and surrender to Allah, he cannot escape His punishment, for Allah encircles him on all sides.
And who is fairer in religion than he who submits his purpose to God and is virtuous and who follows the creed of Abraham as a ḥanīfḍ And God took Abraham as a close friend. To God belongs all that is in the heavens and in the earth; and God is ever the Encompasser of all things. There is no one fairer in religion than he who submits his purpose to God. It means one who has made seeking God his sole objective and has purified his compact with God from what is other than God. For that reason he submits himself in all of his states to God through God and does not hold back anything from God from his wealth his body his spirit his strength his family and his children. This was the state of Abraham عليه السلام. And is virtuous muḥsin: Being virtuous iḥsān as attested to in the sacred law is to worship God as if you see Him. It is necessary that a remnant from the reality of separation ʿayn al-farq remain for the servant so that the performance of [God's] rights سبحانه will be sound for if he were to be completely taken over by the [ultimate] reality his submission and virtue would not be sound. This is following Abraham عليه السلام the ḥanīf. Nothing remained of him which could be described as permanent. And God took Abraham as a close friend khalīl: He separated the event from any effort labor seeking and striving when He said this so that it would be known that friendship khulla is an act of being clothed by the Real not an attribute which the servant acquires. It is said that the friend al-khalīl is entirely in need of the Real at every breath. In every one of his breaths and states there is nothing for him that is not through God and for God. [The word khalīl] is derived from khalla which means poverty khaṣāṣa and need ḥāja. It is [also] said to come from [the word] khulla which means love maḥabba. Friendship khulla is love maḥabba that reaches every part of someone. It permeates takhallala one's innermost self until there is no entry to it for anyone else. When God سبحانه had purified and emptied [Abraham] عليه السلام of [any other] He raised him up in upholding His right after [Abraham's] erasure from everything that is not God سبحانه. Then He said “And announce among the people the [season for] pilgrimage” [22:27]: The pilgrim does not say labayyka except to God and this is an allusion to the gathering of the gathering jamʿ al-jamʿ.