And (remember) the Day He will say: “Call those (so-called) partners of Mine whom you pretended.” Then they will cry unto them, but they will not answer them, and We shall put a barrier between them.(52)
Allah azza wa jal presents for us a scene from the Day of Judgment in these two ayaat.
Allah ta’ala will order the mushrikeen (pagans) to call upon their shurakaa (partners setup in worship with Allah). These partners can be idols, Shaytan or whatever being they associated with Allah in worship. When they call upon these partners, they will not respond to them. The scholars mention for two reasons:
1- If the partners were idols, then there is no reality to their existence.
2- if they worshiped a being, then that being cannot help them.
Allah ta’ala says وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُم مَّوْبِقًا, and We shall put a barrier between them. Maubiq comes from the word wabaq which means a prison and a barrier. Some scholars say maubiq is a specific level in hell-fire that is like a sewer–the place where the pus, blood and bodily fluids of the people of Jahannam is collected.
بَيْنَهُم between them, can have two meanings:
1- The maubiq will be the meeting place for the people and the partners they set up with Allah.
2- Between the worshipper and worshipped will be a barrier. They will not find eachother, and as Allah ta’ala says in another ayah: “so it will be lost from them what they fabricated.” (10:30)
In the hereafter, people who worshipped other than Allah in this life will disassociate and curse what they used to worship. Allah ta’ala says in surah Fatir, “If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call; and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you like Him Who is the All-Knower. (35:14)
Allah azza wa jal continues the scene of the Day of Judgment:
And the criminals shall see the fire, then they shall know that they are going to fall into it, and they shall not find a place to which to turn away from it.(53)
The criminals will see the fire in front of them, and Allah describes in surah Furqan, they will hear it raging and roaring (25:12). They will see hell-fire and hell-fire will see them; as if it is a living monster.
If you have ever witnessed someone being burned, you can hear their screams of pain and anguish but in the hereafter they will also hear the screaming of the hell-fire along with their screams. This Day is not ordinary, rather it is a Day that will make a child become gray haired because of its length and terror.
Allah describes the feelings of these criminals, فَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُم, then they shall certainly know. In Arabic, when dhanna (ظَنَّ) is followed by anna (أَنَّ), it means to be certain and absolutely sure of something. The criminals will realize the Promise of Allah is true when it is too late.
Finally, Allah azza wa jal ends this powerful ayah by stating:
وَلَمْ يَجِدُوا عَنْهَا مَصْرِفًا, and they shall not find a place to which to turn away from it.
Masrifa comes from sarafa which means to turn away. Masrif is a place one could turn to.
When they enter the hell-fire, they will not be able to escape from it and there will be no place to run or hide. Allah describes in surah Ghafir, “Theirs will be a bed of Hell (Fire), and over them coverings (of Hell-fire). Thus do We recompense the wrong-doers.” (40:41)
They will be seeing the fire in front of them and Allah tells us what they will say in surah Sajdah:
وَلَوْ تَرَىٰ إِذِ الْمُجْرِمُونَ نَاكِسُو رُءُوسِهِمْ عِندَ رَبِّهِمْ رَبَّنَا أَبْصَرْنَا وَسَمِعْنَا فَارْجِعْنَا نَعْمَلْ صَالِحًا إِنَّا مُوقِنُونَ
And if you only could see when the criminals shall hang their heads before their Lord (saying): “Our Lord! We have now seen and heard, so send us back (to the world), that we will do righteous good deeds. Verily! We now believe with certainty.” (32:12)
Imagine looking at hell-fire, knowing that you will fall into it and that a second chance at good is not coming. How many chances do we have right now? O Allah protect us from this evil end.