Say thou: the knowledge is only with Allah, and but a warner manifest.
قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ
No One will help You and No One can grant Sustenance except for Allah
Allah addresses the idolators who worship others besides Him, seeking help and sustenance from them. Allah rebukes them for what they believe, and He informs them that they will not attain that which they hope for.
أَمَّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي هُوَ جُندٌ لَّكُمْ يَنصُرُكُم مِّن دُونِ الرَّحْمَنِ ...
Who is it besides the Most Gracious that can be an army to you to help?
meaning, there is no protector or helper for you besides Him. This is the reason that Allah says,
... إِنِ الْكَافِرُونَ إِلَّا فِي غُرُورٍ ﴿٢٠﴾
The disbelievers are in nothing but delusion.
Then Allah says,
أَمَّنْ هَذَا الَّذِي يَرْزُقُكُمْ إِنْ أَمْسَكَ رِزْقَهُ ...
Who is it that can provide for you if He should withhold His provision?
meaning, who is it that can provide for you if Allah cuts off your sustenance There is no one who gives, withholds, creates, provides and helps other than Allah alone, Who has no partner. This proves that they know this, yet they still worship others besides Him.
Thus, Allah says,
...بَل لَّجُّوا ...
Nay, but they continue,
meaning, they persist in their transgression, lying and misguidance.
... فِي عُتُوٍّ وَنُفُورٍ ﴿٢١﴾
to be in pride, and flee.
meaning, they continue in obstinance, arrogance and fleeing away from the truth. They do not listen to it nor do they follow it.
The Parable of the Disbeliever and the Believer
Then Allah says,
أَفَمَن يَمْشِي مُكِبًّا عَلَى وَجْهِهِ أَهْدَى أَمَّن يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ﴿٢٢﴾
Is he who walks prone on his face, more rightly guided, or he who walks upright on a straight path?
This is a parable which Allah made of the believer and the disbeliever. So the condition of the disbeliever is like one who walks prone on his face. This is like a person walking bent over on his face (with his head down) instead of walking upright. This person does not know where he is going or how. Rather, he is lost, astray and confused. Is this person more guided, or he who walks upright (أَمَّن يَمْشِي سَوِيًّا ), meaning, he who stands erect on a straight path (عَلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ ) meaning, this person who walks upright is on a clear path, and he is straight within himself while his path is straight as well.
This is their likeness in this world, and their likeness will be the same in the Hereafter. So the believer will be gathered (on the Day of Judgement) walking upright upon the straight path and the vast and spacious Paradise will be opened up for him. However, the disbeliever will be gathered walking down on his face to the Hellfire.
احْشُرُواْ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ وَأَزْوَجَهُمْ وَمَا كَانُواْ يَعْبُدُونَ
مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ فَاهْدُوهُمْ إِلَى صِرَطِ الْجَحِيمِ
Assemble those who did wrong, together with their companions and what they used to worship instead of Allah, and lead them on to the way of flaming Fire. (37:22,23)
"Companions'' here means those like them.
Imam Ahmad recorded from Anas bin Malik that it was said, "O Messenger of Allah! How will the people be gathered on their faces'' So the Prophet replied,
أَلَيْسَ الَّذِي أَمْشَاهُمْ عَلَى أَرْجُلِهِمْ قَادِرًا عَلَى أَنْ يُمْشِيَهُمْ عَلَى وُجُوهِهِم
Is not He who made them to walk on their legs able to make them walk on their faces''
This Hadith is also recorded in the Two Sahihs.
Allah's Power to create and It being an Evidence of the Final Abode
قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي أَنشَأَكُمْ ...
Say it is He Who has created you,
meaning, He initiated your creation after you were not even a thing worth mentioning (i.e., nothing).
Then He says,
... وَجَعَلَ لَكُمُ السَّمْعَ وَالْأَبْصَارَ وَالْأَفْئِدَةَ ...
and endowed you with hearing and seeing, and hearts.
meaning, intellects and powers of reasoning.
... قَلِيلًا مَّا تَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾
Little thanks you give.
meaning, how little you use these abilities that Allah has blessed you with to obey Him, to act according to His commandments, and avoid His prohibitions.
قُلْ هُوَ الَّذِي ذَرَأَكُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ ...
"It is He Who has created you on the earth...''
meaning, He has spread and distributed you all throughout the various regions and areas of the earth with your differing languages, colors, shapes, appearances and forms.
... وَإِلَيْهِ تُحْشَرُونَ ﴿٢٤﴾
and to Him shall you be gathered.
meaning, you all will come together after this separation and division. He will gather you all just as He separated you and He will bring you back again just as He originated you.
Then while informing of the disbelievers who reject the final return, and doubt concerning its real occurrence, Allah said;
وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَى هَذَا الْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ ﴿٢٥﴾
"When will this promise come to pass if you are telling the truth''
meaning, `when will this gathering after separation that you are informing us of, occur'
قُلْ إِنَّمَا الْعِلْمُ عِندَ اللَّهِ ...
"The knowledge is with Allah only...''
meaning, `no one knows the time of the Day of Judgement exactly except Allah, but He has commanded me to inform you that it is real and it will definitely occur, so beware of it.'
... وَإِنَّمَا أَنَا نَذِيرٌ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٢٦﴾
and I am only a plain Warner.
meaning, `I am only obligated to convey, and verily I have performed my duty (of conveying) towards you.'
Then Allah says,
فَلَمَّا رَأَوْهُ زُلْفَةً سِيئَتْ وُجُوهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ...
But when they will see it approaching, the faces of those who disbelieve will be sad and grievous.
means, when the Day of Judgement begins, and the disbelievers witness it, and they see that the matter has drawn close, because everything that is to occur will occur, even if it takes a long time. So, when what they denied occurs, it will grieve them because they will know what is awaiting them there (in Hell) of the worst evil.
This means that it will surround them and Allah will command what they were not able to reckon or fully comprehend to come to them.
وَلَوْ أَنَّ لِلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لاَفْتَدَوْاْ بِهِ مِن سُوءِ الْعَذَابِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَـمَةِ وَبَدَا لَهُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَمْ يَكُونُواْ يَحْتَسِبُونَ
وَبَدَا لَهُمْ سَيِّئَاتُ مَا كَـسَبُواْ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ
and there will become apparent to them from Allah what they had not been reckoning. And the evils of that which they earned will become apparent to them, and that which they used to mock at will encircle them. (39:47,48)
This is why it will be said to them in order to scold and reprimand them,
... وَقِيلَ هَذَا الَّذِي كُنتُم بِهِ تَدَّعُونَ ﴿٢٧﴾
This is what you were calling for!
meaning, that you were seeking to hasten.