وَمَا جَعَلْنَا أَصْحَابَ النَّارِ إِلَّا مَلَائِكَةً وَمَا جَعَلْنَا عِدَّتَهُمْ إِلَّا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا لِيَسْتَيْقِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَيَزْدَادَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِيمَانًا وَلَا يَرْتَابَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَلِيَقُولَ الَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِم مَّرَضٌ وَالْكَافِرُونَ مَاذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِهَذَا مَثَلًا كَذَلِكَ يُضِلُّ اللَّهُ مَن يَشَاء وَيَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء وَمَا يَعْلَمُ جُنُودَ رَبِّكَ إِلَّا هُوَ وَمَا هِيَ إِلَّا ذِكْرَى لِلْبَشَرِ
“We have not appointed anyone but angels as keepers of fire, and We have not fixed their number but as a trial for those who disbelieve, so that those who were given the Book may have certainty, and those who believe may have greater increase in faith, and those to whom the Book has been given and those who believe may not doubt; and that those in whose hearts is a disease and the disbelievers say: ‘What does Allah mean by the similitude?’ Thus does Allah leave to stray whomsoever He wills, and guides whomsoever He wills. None knows the hosts of your Lord save Himself. This is naught but a reminder to mankind”
Imam Baqir (as) said, “We have not appointed anyone but angels as keepers of fire”. “Fire” (in this verse) refers to the Qaem (as) whose light at the time of the rising will illuminate the east and the west. “Angels” in this verse refer to those who will carry the knowledge of the family of Mohammed (sawa).
“And We have not fixed their number but as a trial for those who disbelieve”. “Those who disbelieve” refer to the Murji’ah.
“So that those who were given the Book may have certainty”. “Those who were given the Book” are the Shia. They are those to whom the Book, the prophethood, and the ruling have been given.
“And those to whom the Book has been given and those who believe may not doubt”. This means that the Shia do not have (any) doubts about the affairs of the Qaem (as).
“And that those in whose hearts is a disease” refers to those weak (in faith) from among the Shia.
Allah replies to them by saying, “Thus does Allah leave to stray whomsoever He wills, and guides whomsoever He wills”. This verse means the believers will stay steady in their beliefs but doubt will (enter the hearts of) the disbelievers.
“None knows the hosts of your Lord save Himself”. “The hosts of your Lord” are the Shia who are Allah’s witnesses on earth. “This is naught but a reminder to mankind”
“To any of you who desires to go forward or lag behind”. This refers to the day(s) before the rising of the Qaem (as). Whoever wants to can choose to believe in Haq and go forward or to disbelieve and lag behind.
“Every soul is a pledge for what it has earned except the people of the right hand” (Chapter 74 verse 38-39). This refers to the children of the believers who believed in the covenant about whom Allah says, “And those who believe and whose progeny follow them in faith, We will unite their offspring with them” (Chapter 52 verse 21).
“And we used to belie the day of religion” (Chapter 74 verse 46). “The day of religion” is the day of the rising of the Qaem (as).
“Then what is the matter with them that they turn away from the reminder” (Chapter 74 verse 49). “The reminder” refers to the Wilayat of the Commander of the Believers (as).
“As though they were frightened asses fleeing from a lion” (Chapter 74 verses 50-51) refers to the Murji’ah. When they hear about the virtues of the family of the Prophet (as), they turn away from Haq.
“Nay, but every one of them wants that he should be given open pages (of heavenly book addressed to him)” (Chapter 74 verse 52). This means that every one of the enemies (of the Ahlul Bayt (as)) wants a book from the heavens to be revealed to him.
“Nay, but they do not fear the hereafter” (Chapter 74 verse 53). “The hereafter” in this verse refers to the ruling of the Qaem (as).
After Allah informs them that “the reminder” (Chapter 74 verse 49) is the Wilayat, He adds, “Nay, verily it is a reminder. So whosoever wills may pay attention to it. They will not heed unless Allah wills. He is worthy of piety and He is worthy of forgiveness” (Chapter 74 verse 54-56). “Piety” in this verse refers to the Messenger of Allah (sawa) and “forgiveness” refers to the Commander of the Believers (as). (Taweel Al Ayat Al Zahirah page 709)