Word by Word
He delivers you
you turn away
He delivers you
you turn away
When distress seizes you at sea, those that ye call upon - besides Himself - leave you in the lurch! but when He brings you back safe to land, ye turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man!
And when distress, difficulty, befalls you at sea, [such as] fear of drowning, those whom you [are wont to] invoke are no longer present, [those whom] you [are wont to] worship of gods [are no longer present], and so you do not call on them - except Him, exalted be He, for on Him alone you do call, because you are suffering a distress which only He can remove. But when He delivers you, from drowning and brings you, to land, you are rejective, of [God's] Oneness, for man is ever ungrateful, [ever] denying [God's] graces.
"Ships are a Sign of the Mercy of Allah
رَّبُّكُمُ الَّذِي يُزۡجِي لَكُمُ الۡفُلۡكَ فِي الۡبَحۡرِ لِتَبۡتَغُواۡ مِن فَضۡلِهِ
Your Lord is He Who drives the ship for you through the sea, in order that you may seek of His bounty.
Allah tells us of His kindness towards His servants by subjugating for them ships on the sea. He makes it easy for them to use ships to serve their interests, seeking His bounty through trade between one region and another.
إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمۡ رَحِيمًا
Truly, He is ever Most Merciful towards you.
meaning, He does this for you out of His grace and mercy towards you
When Harm befalls Them, the Disbelievers do not remember anyone except Allah
Allah tells us that when harm befalls people, they call on Him, turning to Him and sincerely beseeching Him.
Hence Allah says:
وَإِذَا مَسَّكُمُ الۡضُّرُّ فِي الۡبَحۡرِ ضَلَّ مَن تَدۡعُونَ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ
And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him.
meaning, everything they worship besides Allah disappears from their hearts and minds.
Similar happened to Ikrimah bin Abi Jahl when he fled from the Messenger of Allah after the conquest of Makkah, and headed for Ethiopia. He set out across the sea to go to Ethiopia, but a stormy wind arose. The people said to one another:
""None can save you except Allah Alone.""
Ikrimah said to himself,
""By Allah if none can benefit on the sea except Allah then no doubt none can benefit on land except Allah. `O Allah! I promise You that if You bring me safely out of this, I will go and put my hand in the hand of Muhammad and surely, I will find him full of pity, kindness and mercy.""'
They came out of it safely and were delivered from the sea.
Then Ikrimah went to the Messenger of Allah, and declared his Islam, and he became a good Muslim, may Allah be pleased with him.
فَلَمَّا نَجَّاكُمۡ إِلَى الۡبَرِّ أَعۡرَضۡتُمۡ
But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away.
means, you forget what you remembered of Divine Oneness (Tawhid) when you were on the sea, and you turn away from calling on Him Alone with no partner or associate.
وَكَانَ الاِنۡسَانُ كَفُورًا
And man is ever ungrateful.
means, by nature he forgets and denies His blessings, except for those whom Allah protects
Does not the Punishment of Allah come on Land too
أَفَأَمِنتُمۡ أَن يَخۡسِفَ بِكُمۡ جَانِبَ الۡبَرِّ أَوۡ يُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَاصِبًا
Do you then feel secure that He will not cause a side of the land to swallow you up, or that He will not send against you a Hasib!
Allah says, do you think that by emerging onto dry land you will be safe from His vengeance and punishment, that a side of the land will not swallow you up or He will not send against you a Hasib - which is a kind of rain that carries stones.
This was the view of Mujahid and others.
As Allah says:
إِنَّأ أَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡهِمۡ حَـصِباً إِلاَّ الَ لُوطٍ نَّجَّيۡنَـهُم بِسَحَرٍ نِّعۡمَةً مِّنۡ عِندِنَا
Verily, We sent against them, except the family of Lut, them We saved in the last hour of the night, As a favor from Us. (54:34-35)
Elsewhere, Allah says:
وَأَمۡطَرۡنَا عَلَيۡهَا حِجَارَةً مِّن سِجِّيلٍ مَّنۡضُودٍ
and We rained on them stones of Sijjil, in a well-arranged manner one after another.
أَءَمِنتُمۡ مَّن فِى السَّمَأءِ أَن يَخۡسِفَ بِكُمُ الاٌّرۡضَ فَإِذَا هِىَ تَمُورُ
أَمۡ أَمِنتُمۡ مِّن فِى السَّمَأءِ أَن يُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ حَـصِباً فَسَتَعۡلَمُونَ كَيۡفَ نَذِيرِ
Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, and then it should quake Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send against you a Hasib! Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My warning. (67:16-17)
ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُواۡ لَكُمۡ وَكِيلً
Then, you shall find no guardian.
no helper to turn the punishment away from you and save you
Perhaps He will send You back to the Sea
Or do you feel secure,
`you who turn away from Us after acknowledging Our Oneness at sea once you are back upon dry land,'
أَن يُعِيدَكُمۡ فِيهِ تَارَةً أُخۡرَى
that He will not send you back a second time to sea
فَيُرۡسِلَ عَلَيۡكُمۡ قَاصِفا مِّنَ الرِّيحِ
and send against you a Qasif,
which will destroy your masts and sink your vessels.
Ibn Abbas and others said,
""Al-Qasifis the wind of the sea which destroys vessels and sinks them.""
فَيُغۡرِقَكُم بِمَا كَفَرۡتُمۡ
and drown you because of your disbelief,
means because of your rejection and turning away from Allah.
ثُمَّ لَا تَجِدُواۡ لَكُمۡ عَلَيۡنَا بِهِ تَبِيعًا
Then you will not find any avenger therein against Us.
Ibn Abbas said that this means a helper.
""A helper who will avenge you,""
i.e., take revenge on your behalf.
Qatadah said it means,
""We are not afraid that anyone will pursue Us with anything of that nature (i.e., vengeance).
The Honor and noble Nature of Man
وَلَقَدۡ كَرَّمۡنَا بَنِي ادَمَ
And indeed We have honored the Children of Adam,
Allah tells us how He has honored the sons of Adam and made them noble by creating them in the best and most perfect of forms, as He says:
لَقَدۡ خَلَقۡنَا الاِنسَـنَ فِى أَحۡسَنِ تَقۡوِيمٍ
Verily, We created man in the best stature (mould). (95:4)
He walks upright on his two feet and eats with his hand, while other living creatures walk on four feet and eat with their mouths, and He has given him hearing, sight and a heart with which to understand all of that, to benefit from it, and distinguish between things to know which are good for him and which are harmful, in both worldly and religious terms.
وَحَمَلۡنَاهُمۡ فِي الۡبَرِّ وَالۡبَحۡرِ
and We have carried them on land and sea,
means, on animals such as cattle, horses and mules, and also on the sea in ships and boats, great and small.
وَرَزَقۡنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ
and have provided them with At-Tayyibat,
meaning agricultural produce, fruits, meat, and milk with all kinds of delicious and desirable flavors and colors and beautiful appearance, and fine clothes of all kinds of shapes colors and sizes, which they make for themselves or are brought to them by others from other regions and areas.
وَفَضَّلۡنَاهُمۡ عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنۡ خَلَقۡنَا تَفۡضِيلً
and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.
means, over all living beings and other kinds of creation.
This Ayah indicates that human are also preferred over the angels."
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