Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Thus) just as We have appointed Abu Jahl and those who sneer as your enemies, so (have We appointed unto every Prophet an adversary) a tyrant (devils of humankind and jinn) He says: We appointed human and jinn devils (who inspire in) dictate to (one another plausible discourse through guile) in order to deceive the son of Adam. (If thy Lord willed they would not do so) i.e. dictate plausible discourse and beguiling; (so leave them alone) leave, O Muhammad, those who sneer and their folk (with their devising) their embellishment of words and deception;
Thus have We made for every prophet an enemy, satans of jinn and men.
When someone's rank is higher, his trial will be more complete. When someone is nearer to the Real and his heart more limpid, his soul will be more captured by the hand of the enemy. Yes, without the grief of tribulation, the story of love cannot be told. Without the venom of trial, the honey of friendship cannot be found. Look at what Adam the Chosen, that sapling honored by the Real and nurtured by hallowing, saw from his enemy Iblis. God says, “Then Satan made them slip therefrom and brought them out from what they were in” [2:36].
And that other elder of the prophets and father of the world's folk, Noah-look at what he saw from his own people. For nine hundred and some years he invited them, and every day they beat him so much that he became unconscious, and they advised his own children to be his enemies. That paragon was patient in this trial and he kept hoping that they would have faith. Finally it was said to him, “None of your community will have faith except those who already have faith” [11:36]. He said, “Lord God, since my hope has been cut off and there is no way to wholesomeness, their being in this world will do nothing but increase corruption and cause ruin. Leave no disbeliever dwelling on the earth [71:26].”
After that Abraham, the prophet who was the tree of tawḤīd, fell to his knees night and day, placing his white old age in his hands: “Keep me and my sons away from worshiping idols” [14:35]. Look at what reached him from the rebellious Nimrod and what hardship he suffered from his arrogance and obstinacy!
So also the prophets one by one-Hūd, ṣāliḤ, Lot, Zachariah, John, Jesus, Moses-came to lamentation at the hands of the tyrants, the arrogant, and the refractory, weeping to the Real. Then, after all of them, MuḤammad MuṣṬafā's trial was more complete and his torment from enemies greater. Thus he said, “No prophet whatsoever has been tormented as I have been tormented.” Those estranged and disrespectful people did not know the measure of that paragon. They did not have the eyes to recognize him. They set out to kill him and bound their belts in cruelty toward him.
The elders ridiculed him, the poets lampooned him, the children threw stones at him, the women poured dust on him from the roofs. Then they came to an agreement and made a compact among themselves to remove him and to help their own gods. At that point Gabriel came and said, “O Master! Get up, and leave the city to them. Set out for exile, for 'Seeking the Real is exile.'”
In commanding him to exile there is a secret that a chevalier has brought out in his verses of poetry:
O you who were an orphan, now be gentle to orphans!
O you who were a stranger, now be kind to strangers!
The generosity We showed to you in your poverty and orphanhoodyou show the same, O generous in character, to Our creatures!
Be a mother to orphans, nurture them with gentleness, be noble to askers, fulfill their requests. [DS 36]
And so We have appointed to every Prophet an enemy, just as We have appointed these your enemies (and this [‘adūwwan, ‘an enemy’, is substituted by [the following, shayātīn, ‘devils’]) devils, the rebels, of mankind and jinn who inspire, whisper, fine speech to each other, the falsehood that is disguised as such [fine speech], in delusion, that is, in order to delude them; yet, had your Lord willed, they would never have done it, that mutual inspiration. So leave them, let the disbelievers be, with what they fabricate, of disbelief and otherwise, of what has been adorned for them — this was [revealed] before the command to fight [them].
And so We have appointed to every Prophet an enemy, to the end [of the verse]: it is a concomitant of the hierarchical order of the levels of spirits that the purest and most luminous of preparednesses be countered by the most sullied, the darkest and the remotest of these, and the concomitant of that is that there be an enemy for every prophet on account of the real contrareity between the two. The significance of the existence of an enemy as his counterpart is that the perfection predetermined for him [that prophet] in accordance with his preparedness does not manifest itself upon him except by the potency of [his] love for [divine] reinforcement [against that enemy]. As for vanquishing, it is [the result of] his [that prophet's] soul being broken by that [enemy] and his humiliation and disdain of him [the enemy], his constancy upon encountering him at the station of the heart as well as his endurance in turning away from the soul and its pleasures by his preoccupation with the enemy, distracted from it by the intense vehemence and eager desire to secure the excellent quality by which he vanquishes that enemy, guarding himself against animal and satanic garments that he might thereby distance himself from his [the enemy's] station and [from] any correspondence with him, and lest the latter find a means of defaming, disdaining or scorning him by that [soul]. That is why he [the Prophet] said, 'No prophet has ever been suffered hurt as I have', for no one possesses the [potential for] perfection which he possesses. Thus the cause for bringing that [potentiality] out into actuality must necessarily be more powerful, given the sheer extent of his [the Prophet's] remoteness from the attributes of the soul and its habits.
Allah says, just as We made enemies for you, O Muhammad, who will oppose and rebel against you and become your adversaries, We also made enemies for every Prophet who came before you. Therefore, do not be saddened by this fact. Allah said in other Ayat:
(Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the criminals.) 25:31. Waraqah bin Nawfal said to Allah's Messenger, "None came with what you came with but he was the subject of enmity.'' Allah's statement,
(Shayatin among mankind...) refers to,
(enemies...) meaning, the Prophets have enemies among the devils of mankind and the devils of the Jinns. The word, Shaytan, describes one who is dissimilar to his kind due to his or her wickedness. Indeed, only the Shayatin, may Allah humiliate and curse them, from among mankind and the Jinns oppose the Messengers. `Abdur-Razzaq said that Ma`mar narrated that Qatadah commented on Allah's statement,
شَيَـطِينَ الإِنْسِ وَالْجِنِّ
(Shayatin (devils) among mankind and Jinn...) "There are devils among the Jinns and devils among mankind who inspire each other.'' Allah's statement,
(inspiring one another with adorned speech as a delusion.) means, they inspire each other with beautified, adorned speech that deceives the ignorant who hear it,
وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ مَا فَعَلُوهُ
(If your Lord had so willed, they would not have done it;) for all this occurs by Allah's decree, will and decision, that every Prophet had enemies from these devils,
فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ
(so leave them alone with their fabrications.) and lies. This Ayah orders patience in the face of the harm of the wicked and to trust in Allah against their enmity, for, "Allah shall suffice for you (O Muhammad) and aid you against them.'' Allah's statement,
(And Tasgha to it.) means, according to Ibn `Abbas, "incline to it.''
(the hearts of those who do not believe in the Hereafter...) their hearts, mind and hearing. As-Suddi said that this Ayah refers to the hearts of the disbelievers.
(And that they may remain pleased with it.) they like and adore it. Only those who disbelieve in the Hereafter accept this evil speech, being enemies of the Prophets, etc., just as Allah said in other Ayat,
(Certainly, you have different ideas. Turned aside therefrom is he who is turned aside.) 51:8-9 Allah said;
وَلِيَقْتَرِفُواْ مَا هُم مُّقْتَرِفُونَ
(And that they may commit what they are committing. ) meaning, "let them earn whatever they will earn'', according to `Ali bin Abi Talhah who reported this from Ibn `Abbas. As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd also commented, "Let them do whatever they will do.''
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
Here "Sign" stands for such a tangible miracle seeing which they should have no alternative left but to acknowledge that Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) was a true Prophet appointed by Allah.
That is, "I have no power to bring about and present Signs, for these are entirely in the power of Allah and He may or may not show them."
These words are addressed to those Muslims, who ardently wished (and sometimes even expressed their wish) that their misguided brethren should be shown such a Sign as might bring them to the Right Way. To this Allah has answered, 'You should realize that they would not believe even if a Sign were shown to them, for this demand is merely a pretext for their disbelief.
That is, there has been no change in their mentality since the first time they heard and rejected the Message of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him). They are still following the same crooked and perverted way of looking at the Message and, therefore, are unable to see and understand it rightly.
That is, "As they are not going to reject falsehood and accept the Truth by making a free and deliberate choice, the only alternative left for making them follow it is that Allah should force it upon them: He should change their nature so as to deprive them of the freedom of thought and action like other species which have not been made responsible for what they do. But this is against the wisdom of the object for which Allah has created man. You should not, therefore, expect that Allah would make them believers by His supernatural intervention."
Allah is consoling His Messenger, so as to say, "You should not worry at all about the united and active antagonism of the satans from among men and jinn against your Mission. This is not a new thing only happening to you for it has always been happening like this to the Messengers. Whenever a Messenger came to show the Right Way, all the satanic powers girded up their loins to make his Mission a failure.
"Charming things" are all those devices, schemes, suspicions, objections, etc., that are employed by the satans to excite and incite the common people against the Message and the Messenger who invites them to the Truth. Then all these things have been called the means of deceit and delusion as a whole, for all the weapons that the opponent use against the Truth are, in fact, deceptions not only for others but also for the deceivers themselves, though they appear to be very useful and effective weapons.
We have already explained in E.N. 73 above the fact of this matter, but the fine distinction between Allah's "will" (mashiyat) and His approval (rada) should also be kept in mind; otherwise there might arise very serious misunderstandings. It must be clearly understood that nothing whatsoever can happen without the "will" and permission of Allah, for no incident can happen, unless Allah makes room for it in His vast scheme and provides means for its happening. But it does not necessarily mean that Allah also. approves of and is pleased with that incident. For instance, no thief can commit theft, no murderer can kill, no tyrant can be tyrannical, no breaker of peace can cause disorder, no unbeliever can disbelieve and no mushrik can commit shirk, etc., etc., without the "Will" of Allah. Likewise, no believer can have Faith and no pious person can be pious unless it be the "Will" of Allah; yet He is not pleased with the first kind of bad deeds, whereas He is pleased with and approves of and likes the second kind of good deeds. It is true that the "Will" of Allah is working for an ultimate great good, but that can only come about by means of a conflict between light and darkness, good and bad, peace and disorder. Therefore, He allows, for the sake of His great good designs, the necessary freedom both to the powers of obedience and to those of disobedience, of piety and sin, of Prophethood and the forces of evil, so that both might be allowed to perform the deeds of their own choice and to those of His creatures (men and jinn) who have been delegated with a limited authority and the consequent responsibility. Everyone is free to make a choice of good deeds or of bad deeds for himself in this world. Both the good and the bad people are allowed to have the necessary means, as far as it suits and fits into the Divide Design, but only those who make a choice of good works merit His pleasure and approval, for Allah likes that His servants should make the right use of their freedom of choice and adopt good instead of evil.
In this connection, it will be worthwhile to understand why Allah mentions over and over again that it is by His "Will" that the enemies of Truth have been allowed to carry on their nefarious activities. This is to impress upon the Holy Prophet, and through him on his followers, that the nature of their work is different from that of the angels, who carry out the Commands of Allah without meeting with any resistance. Their Mission, requires that in their conflict with the wicked and rebellious people, they should exert their utmost to make the Way of Allah dominant over their ways. That is why it is the "Will" of Allah to allow such people as have deliberately chosen the way of rebellion against Allah to exert their worst in pursuance of their choice. Likewise, He allows the` Believers also full opportunity to exert their utmost in the service and obedience of Allah that they have deliberately chosen. Though He is pleased with and gives His help and succor to the Believers and guides them to the Right Way because they do the deeds He likes them to do, yet they should not expect that Allah will force, by His supernatural intervention, the unbelievers to believe, if they do not want to believe by their free choice; or that He will remove by force from their way those satans amongst men and jinn who have deliberately chosen to use all the powers of their hearts and minds and bodies against the Truth in order to block its way. They should note it well that, if they sincerely intend to work for the cause of truth, virtue and righteousness, they will have to prove this by putting up hard struggle and exerting their utmost in their conflict with the worshipers of falsehood. If Allah had willed to demolish falsehood and make the Truth dominate by miracles, there was no need to entrust this work to the Believers for in that case He Himself could have arranged the things so as to leave no satan in the world and no room for shirk and disbelief to make their appearance.