So too it is an allusion to the depths of mankind’s heedlessness.
As for the “ayyu,” it is used to single out [a person or a group] from the mass and infers that the whole universe is being addressed, and humankind is specified since men bear the trust in the form of “farḍ kifāya” [that is, it is human beings that are charged with performing worship]. So if they are lax [in doing this], they transgress against the rights of all [other] beings.
Also, in “ayyu” is an eloquent subtlety in that its conciseness is followed by the descriptive “people (al-nās).” Then the “hā” being a substitute for the second part of the genitive construction indicates that [its purpose] is to alert those summoned with the vocative interjection “yā – O!”
“People (al-nās):” being an active participle derived from [the verbal noun] nisyān, meaning forgetfulness, it indicates censure or reproof. That is, “O you people! How can you forget the pre-eternal covenant (al-mithāq al-azalī)? It indicates too an excuse; that is: “O you people! Your neglect can be due only to a mistake or forgetfulness; it can’t be deliberate or serious!”
As for “worship! (u‘budū),” since it is the conclusion (or apodosis) of the general summons to all the classes [of people] mentioned above, it points to obedience, and indicates sincerity, and hints at continuance, and alludes to divine unity. That is, obey! Be sincere and constant [in worship]! Increase [your worship]! Profess the divine unity!
“Your Lord and Sustainer (rabbakum)” indicates that just as worship should be desired and sought since it is an elevated relation, an illustrious connection; it should be sought too since it is [a way of] serving and offering thanks to the One who nurtures and raises you, of whom you are in need.
Now for the parts of the phrase: “who created you and those [who lived] before you (alladhī khalaqakum wa alladhīna min qablikum):”
As a relative pronoun, “who (alladhī)” is known only in so far as it is qualified by the relative clause. [For instance, all that is known about “the one who went” is that he has gone.] Thus, [here “Lord and Sustainer” being governed by “who”] it infers that knowledge of Allah the Most High can only be in respect of His actions and works, and not His essence.1
Then by virtue of its signifying determined, regular creation rather than the [mere] giving of existence (ījād) or giving rise to (inshā’), “created (khalaqa)” indicates that by nature the human being is turned toward the obligation [of worship]. It infers too that worship is a duty, for it is the
See, Nursi, İşârâtü’l-İ’caz [Abdülmecid], 169.