Allah is the Creator and Sustainer
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala opens Ayah 12 by asking the disbelievers who is the Master of the entire universe and all that it contains. He then gives the answer Himself.
The reason for asking this question was that while the mushrikeen believed Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is the Creator of everything they did not exclusively worship Him alone. They had set partners with Him.
Therefore, in this ayah Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala confronts their false belief.
قُل لِّمَن مَّا فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ قُل للَّهِ
“Say: To whom belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth? Say: To Allah.”
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states that He is the King and Owner of the heavens and earth and all of what is in them.
كَتَبَ عَلَى نَفْسِهِ الرَّحْمَةَ
“He has prescribed mercy for Himself…”
He has written mercy on His Most Honorable Self. It means that He has made it obligatory upon Himself.
It is recorded in the two saheehs that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu anhu said that the Prophet salAllahu aalyhi wa sallam said,
إِنَّ اللهَ لَمَّا خَلَقَ الْخَلْقَ، كَتَبَ كِتَابًا عِنْدَهُ فَوْقَ الْعَرْشِ، إِنَّ رَحْمَتِي تَغْلِبُ غَضَبِي
“When Allah created the creation, He wrote in a Book that He has with Him above the Throne: My mercy overcomes My anger.”
لَيَجْمَعَنَّكُمْ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ لاَ رَيْبَ فِيهِ
“Indeed He will gather you together on the Day of Resurrection, about which there is no doubt.”
The word ila [إِلَى] has been used either in the sense of tawaffz meaning “to take in full, bring to a finish or gather” (as in the translation of the meaning given here), in which case, it would mean that Allah ta’ala will gather everyone from the beginning to the end, on the day of Qiyamah, or it could mean “to gather in the graves,” in which case, it would mean that human beings will be kept being gathered into their resting places unto the day of Qiyamah when they will be raised back to life. (Qurtubi)
Talking about the Day of Resurrection, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah al-Waqiah Ayah 50,
إِلَى مِيقَـتِ يَوْمٍ مَّعْلُومٍ
“…For appointed meeting of a known Day.”
That Day is known to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, this means that it will certainly come, and there is no doubt for His believing servants in this fact. As for those who deny and refuse, they are in confusion and disarray as is understood from Allah’s statement,
الَّذِينَ خَسِرُواْ أَنفُسَهُم فَهُمْ لاَ يُؤْمِنُونَ
“Those who destroy themselves will not believe.”
The disbelievers are deprived from Allah’s mercy because of their shirk and denial of the Day of Judgment. They did not choose the path of true belief and faith hence they do not fear the repercussions of that Day.
– We learn that everything in the heavens and the earth belongs to Allah, since He is the Khaliq (Creator) and Maalik (Owner) He deserves worship.
– Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala can make anything He Wills mandatory on Himself (such as His mercy).
– Because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has made mercy mandatory on Himself, He is Ar-Rahman – the Most Merciful. A person may wonder if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has made mercy mandatory upon Himself how come there is suffering? Remember that if a believer suffers from something, physical or financial difficulty, even that is a mercy of Allah. “Whoever Allah wishes good for He puts him through a trial.” When a person going through difficulty does sabr (remains patient) his status is elevated. Difficulties keep us humble otherwise we will become arrogant and enjoy our lives without thinking about the Hereafter or those below us.
– Warning about the Day of Judgment is also mercy which is why He sent Messengers.
May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala enable us to give Him the respect and attention that He deserves, and may He choose us for His mercy here and in the hereafter, aameen.