English - Ma'ariful Qur'an - Mufti Shafi Usmani RA - Vol - 7
Surah Ghâfir / Al-Mu'min - 40 : Verses 13 - 22
Verses 13 - 22
It is He who shows you His signs and sends down provision for you from the sky; and no one takes lesson but the one who turns to Him.  So, worship Allah, making your submission exclusive for Him, even though the disbelievers dislike.  He is High in stations, the Owner of the Throne. He sends the spirit down, under His command, on whomever He wills from among His servants, so that he warns of the Day of Encounter -  the day they will come in open view. Nothing about them will remain hidden from Allah: To whom belongs the kingdom today? To Allah alone, the One, the All-Dominant.  Today, everyone will be recompensed for what one earned. There is no injustice today. Surely, Allah is swift in reckoning.  And warn them of the Day of approaching horror, when hearts will jump up into the throats, (and they will be) choked. There will be neither a friend, for the unjust, nor an intercessor to be listened to.  He knows the treachery of the eyes and whatever is concealed by the hearts.  And He will give His judgment with truth. And those whom they invoke beside Him cannot judge anything. Surely, it is Allah who is Hearing, Seeing.  Have they not traveled through the earth and seen how was the fate of those who used to be before them? They were stronger than these in power and in traces left on the earth, but Allah seized them because of their sins. And there was no one to save them from Allah.  That was because messengers used to come to them with clear signs, but they disbelieved. Then, Allah seized them. Surely, He is Strong, severe in punishment. 
The word: (darajat, translated above as 'stations') in: (He is High in stations - 40:15) has been taken by some commentators as meaning 'attributes.' If so, the sense of the expression would be that His attributes of perfection are most exalted. Ibn Kathir has relied on the words as they appear outwardly and has said that it refers to the most exalted 'arsh' (throne) for it comprehends all land masses and heavens and is located above them all like a roof as in Surah Al-Ma'arij: (From Allah, the Lord of the stairways to whom ascend the angels and spirit, in a day the length of which is fifty thousand years - 70:3,4).
According to some further investigation into this verse by Ibn Kathir, it should be borne in mind that this measure of fifty thousand years is a description of the travel distance from the seventh level of the earth up to the 'arsh, and this is what has been declared as the preferred position by a majority of earlier and later scholars. He has also said that according to many scholars, 'arsh is made of a red ruby the diameter of which is so big as would take a travel distance of fifty thousand years to cover. Similarly, its height would take an identical travel distance to cover. Then there are commentators who have said that (rafi'u-d-darajat) appears in the sense of (rafi'u-d-darajat: that is, the One who elevates others in ranks), that is, Allah Ta'ala is the one who elevates the ranks of believers who have His fear in their hearts as borne by verses of the Qur'an, such as: (We raise in ranks whom We will -Al-An'am, 6:83) and (They are of various ranks with Allah -'Al-'Imran, 3:163).
The word: (barizun) in verse 16: (the day they will come in open view) refers to what would happen on the day of Resurrection when its land surface will be turned into a single level without any mountains, caves, trees or buildings that could obstruct the view. Therefore, everyone will be in an open expanse, open to view.
In the concluding sentence of the same verse, it was said: (To whom belongs the kingdom today?). This statement has appeared in this verse after (a day of encounter) and (the day they will come in open view) and it is obvious that 'the day of encounter' and 'the day of gathering together' will materialize after the second Horn has been blown. Similarly, the event of 'the day they will come in open view' will also materialize after the second Horn has been blown, and a new venue in the form of a level surface will be put in place, a place with no natural or man-made object obstructing the view. After that, now that this statement: (To whom belongs the kingdom today?) has been introduced, it only shows that this statement of Allah Ta'ala will be made after everyone has been raised again by virtue of the blowing of the second Horn. Al-Qurtubi has presented a Hadith in support with reference to Nahhas. This Hadith has been reported by Abu Wa'il from Sayyidna 'Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud . According to this Hadith, all human beings will be assembled together on a clear surface, a surface on which no sin would have been committed by anyone. At that time, a herald will be commanded to herald: (To whom belongs the kingdom today?). Thereupon, the entire creation, believer or disbeliever, will respond saying: (To Allah alone, the One, the All-Dominant.). As for the believers, they will be more than pleased to say so, for this would be part of their belief. As for the disbelievers, they will confess to it sadly and helplessly.
But, some other narrations show that this statement will be made by Allah Ta'ala Himself when the entire creation will lie annihilated after the blowing of the first Horn, and when even specially close ones, the angels - Jibra'il, Mika'il, Israfil and the angel of death - will also meet death, and no one except the One Being of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala will remain, that will be the time He will say: (To whom belongs the kingdom today?). Since there will be no one to answer at that time, He will Himself answer: (To Allah alone, the One, the All-Dominant.). Sage Hasan al-Basri has said: In this situation, the entity asking the question and the entity responding to it is no other but the entity of one and only Allah. Muhammad Ibn Ka'b al-Qurai also says this. It is supported by the Hadith of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah and Ibn 'Umar (R.A) in which it is said, 'On the Day of Judgment, Allah Ta'ala will - with all earth surfaces rolled up in His left hand and all heavens rolled up in His right hand - say: "" (I am the owner of the kingdom. Where are the tyrants? Where are the arrogant?). In Tafsir Ad-Durr-ul- Manthur where, after reporting both narrations of this nature, it has been said that it is possible that this statement is made twice, the first being at the time of the annihilation of the existing universe following the first blowing of the Horn, and the second at the time the entire creation has been brought back to life following the second blowing of the Horn. Maulana Ashraf 'Ali Thanavi has said in Bayan-ul-Qur'an that the Tafsir of the noble Qur'an does not hinge on declaring it as made twice only, instead, it is also possible that the cited verse is mentioning the event that will come to pass after the first blowing of the Horn, but it has been referred to here (while mentioning the events after the second blowing) as a reminder of what happened before. Allah knows best.
In verse 19, it was said: (He knows the treachery of the eyes), in other words, eyes that betray the trust. It means the action of a person who would, secretly and surreptitiously, cas.t a glance over something haram and impermissible for him or her, for example, casts a glance at a non-mahram person with sexual desire, and takes it away in the event someone was around, or casts a glance in a manner that is not noticed by others. All these things are open before Allah Ta'ala.
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