In The Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace.
35:1 All Praise is due to God, Originator of the heavens and the earth, who causes the angels to be [His] message-bearers, endowed with wings, two, or three, or four. [Unceasingly] He adds to His creation whatever He wills: for, verily, God has the power to will anything.
The “wings” of the spiritual beings or forces comprised within the designation of angels are, obviously, a metaphor for the speed and power with which God’s revelations are conveyed to His prophets. Their multiplicity (“two, or three, or four”) is perhaps meant to stress the countless ways in which He causes His commands to materialize within the universe created by Him: an assumption which, to my mind, is supported by an authentic hadith to the effect that on the night of his Ascension (see Appendix IV) the Prophet saw Gabriel “endowed with six hundred wings” (Bukhari and Muslim, on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud).
35:2 Whatever grace God opens up to man, none can withhold it, and whatever He withholds, none can henceforth release, for He Alone is Almighty, Truly Wise.
i.e., the process of creation is continuous, constantly expanding in scope, range, and variety.
35:3 O men! Call to mind the blessings which God has bestowed upon you! Is there any creator, other than God, that could provide for you sustenance out of heaven and earth? There is no deity save Him, and yet, how perverted are your minds!
See 10:31 and the corresponding note 49.
35:4 But if they [whose minds are perverted] give thee the lie, [O Prophet, remember that] even so, before thy time, have [other] apostles been given the lie: for [the unbelievers always refuse to admit that] all things go back to God [as their source].
Sc., “inasmuch as you attribute divine qualities or powers to anyone or anything besides Him”, For an explanation of the phrase anna tu’fakun (lit., “how turned-away you are”, i.e., from the truth), see surah 5, note 90.
35:5 O Men! Verily, God’s promise [of resurrection] is true indeed: let not, then, the life of this world delude you, and let not [your own] deceptive thoughts about God delude you!
See 31:33 (which is phrased in exactly the same way) and the corresponding note 30. As regards the explicit reference to Satan in the next verse of the present surah, see Razi’s remarks quoted in note 31 on 14:22, as well as note 16 on 15:17.
35:6 Behold, Satan is a foe unto you: so treat him as a foe. He but calls on his followers to the end that they might find themselves among such as are destined for the blazing flame.
See surah 14, note 4, which explains my rendering of this sentence.
35:7 [Seeing that] for those who are bent on denying the truth there is suffering severely in store, just as for those who have attained to faith and do righteous deeds there is forgiveness of sins and a great reward.
It appears that in this context – as in the first paragraph of 10:21 or in 34:33 – both the noun makr (lit., “a scheme”, or “scheming” or “plotting”) and the verb yamkurun (lit., “they scheme” or “plot”) has the connotation of “devising false [or “fallacious”] arguments” against something that is true. Since the preceding passages refer to God’s creativeness and, in particular, to His power to create life and resurrect the dead (verse 9), the “evil deeds” spoken of above are, presumably, specious arguments meant to “disprove” the announcement of resurrection.
35:8 Is, then, he to whom the evil of his own doings is [so] alluring that [in the end] he regards it as good [anything but a follower of Satan]? For, verily, God lets go astray him that wills [to go astray], just as He guides him that wills [to be guided]. Hence, [O believer] do not waste thyself in sorrowing over them, Verily, God has full knowledge of all that they do!
See second half of note 47 on 3:59, and note 4 on 23:12.
35:9 And [remember] it is God who sends forth the winds so that they raise a cloud, whereupon We drive it towards dead land and thereby give life to the earth after it had been lifeless, even thus shall resurrection be!
Lit., “makes you pairs” or “mates [of one another]”.
35:10 He who desires might and glory [ought to know that] all might and glory belong to God [alone]. Unto Him ascend all good words, and the righteous deed does He exalt. But as for those who cunningly devise evil deeds – suffering severe awaits them, and all their devising is bound to come to nought.
This interpolated sentence reflects Razi’s convincing explanation of the passage that follows
here, and its connection with the preceding one.