To Him belongs whoever is in the heavens and the earth. And those near Him are not prevented by arrogance from His worship, nor do they tire. They exalt [Him] night and day [and] do not slacken.
The following excerpt is taken from “In the Shade of the Quran” Sayyid Qutb vol 12 pg. 17-18:
The sūrah goes on to show them a model of obedience to God and worshipping Him, contrasted with their rejection and turning away. The model shows creatures that are closer to God than them, yet they continue to worship Him, obeying His every order without fail: “To Him belong all those who are in the heavens and on earth. Those that are with Him are never too proud to worship Him and never grow weary of that. They extol His limitless glory by night and day, tirelessly.” (Verses 19-20)
‘Those who are in the heavens and on earth’ are known only to God who knows everything about them. Human knowledge is certain only of human existence, while believers are certain also of the existence of the angels and the jinn because both are mentioned in the Qur’ān. But we know of them only what God, their Creator, has told us. There may be other intelligent creatures on other planets, with forms and natures that are suited to those planets. But the knowledge of all this rests only with God.
Therefore when we read in the Qur’ān, “To Him belong all those who are in the heavens and on earth,” we know only of these whom we know, and we acknowledge that the Creator of the heavens and earth knows everyone else. The phrase, those that are with Him,’ appears initially to refer to the angels, but we do not wish to attach particular meaning to this phrase, which is very general in its import, referring to the angels and other creatures. The expression here appears to mean those who are closer to God. When it applies to God, the phrase, ‘with Him’, does not signify a place or a description. The sūrah makes it clear that “those that are with Him are never too proud to worship Him”, whilst the unbelievers demonstrate their
arrogance by refusing to do so. Nor do they ‘grow weary of’ offering worship to Him. Indeed their lives are a continuous act of worship, as they ceaselessly glorify God.
Human beings are able to make their whole lives a continuous act of worship, without having to dedicate every minute to worship rituals and the glorification of God’s name, as the angels do. Islam considers every move and every breath an act of worship if it is dedicated for God’s sake, even when it involves partaking of the pleasures of this world.
Qutb. In the Shade of the Quran. (Vol. 12 p. 17-18). https://archive.org/details/Volume1Surah12/In%20the%20Shade%20of%20the%20Qur%27an%20Sayyid%20Qutb%20Volume_12_surahs_21-25