45:21 As for those who indulge in sinful doings – do they think that We place them, both in their life and their death, on an equal footing with those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds? Bad, indeed, is their judgment.
i.e., the Qur’an, which unfolds to man the purpose of all faith.
45:22 For, God has created the heavens and the earth in accordance with [an inner] truth, and [has therefore willed] that every human being shall be recompensed for what he has earned and none shall be wronged.
The meaning is twofold: “that We consider them to be equal with those who…”, etc., and “that We shall deal with them in the same manner as We deal with those who…”, etc. The reference to the intrinsic difference between these two categories with regard to “their life and their death” points not merely to the moral quality of their worldly existence, but also, on the one hand, to the inner peace and tranquility with which a true believer faces life’s tribulations and the moment of death, and on the other, to the nagging anxiety which so often accompanies spiritual nihilism, and the “fear of the unknown” at the time of dying.
45:23 Hast Thou ever considered [the kind of man] who makes his own desires his deity, and whom God has [thereupon] let go astray, knowing [that his mind is closed to all guidance], and whose hearing and heart He has sealed, and upon whose sight He has placed a veil? Who, then, could guide him after God [has abandoned him]? Will you not, then, bethink yourselves?
See note 11 on 10:5. The implication is that without differentiation between right and wrong or true and false – there would be no “inner truth” in the concept of a divinely-planned creation.
45:24 And yet they say “There is nothing beyond our life in this world. We die as we come to life, and nothing but time destroys us.” But of this they have no knowledge whatever, they do nothing but guess.
Thus Razi, evidently reflecting the views of Zamakhshari, which have been quoted at length in my note 4 on 14:4.
45:25 And [so] whenever Our messages are conveyed to them in all their clarity, their only argument is this, “Bring forth our forefathers [as witnesses), if what you claim is true!”
See note 7 on 2:7
45:26 Say “It is God who gives you life and then causes you to die, and in the end, He will gather you together on Resurrection Day, [the coming of] which is beyond all doubt – but most human beings understand it not.”
i.e., by accident, or as an outcome of blind forces of nature.
45:27 For, God’s is the dominion over the heavens and the earth, and on the Day when the Last Hour dawns – on that Day will be lost all who [in their lifetime] tried to reduce to nothing [whatever they could not understand].
Lit., “their argument is nothing but that they say”.
45:28 And [on that Day] thou wilt see all people kneeling down [in humility], all people will be called upon to [face] their record, “Today you shall be required for all that you ever did!
Cf. 44: 36 and the corresponding note 19.
45:29 This Our record speaks of you in all truth, For, Verily, We have caused to be recorded all that you ever did!”
i.e., whatever they could not “prove” by direct observation or calculation. For the above rendering of al-mubtilun, see surah 29, note 47.
45:30 Now as for those who have attained to faith and done righteous deeds, their Sustainer will admit them to His grace: that, that will be [their] manifest triumph!
Lit., “and that which they were wont to deride will have enfolded them”