Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(He it is Who maketh you to go) it is He Who protects you when you travel (on the land) on mounting beasts (and the sea) on ships (till, when ye are in the ships and they sail with them) with people aboard (with a fair breeze) gentle and calm (and they are glad therein) the sailors are happy with the gentle breeze, (a storm wind reaches them) i.e. the ships (and the wave cometh unto them from every side and they deem) they know (that they are overwhelmed) destroyed (therein; (then) they cry unto Allah, making their faith pure for Him only) singling Him out alone in their supplication; (If Thou deliver us from this) storm and hardship, (we truly will be of the thankful) among the obedient believers.
He it is who makes you journey on land and sea. Even so, when you are in the ship-it takes them along with a goodly breeze, and they rejoice in it; there comes upon them a raging wind, and waves come from every place and they think that they will be encompassed by them; they supplicate God, purifying the religion for Him: " If Thou savest us from this, we shall surely be among the thankful. "
In the tongue of the folk of allusion, the journey on land is taking the road to the drinking places of the Shariah through inference by means of the message. The journey on the sea is the overwhelming force of the Real which, at the moment of ecstasy, pulls the reins of the servant's steed without intermediaries through the way stations of the Haqiqah to the places of contemplating holiness.
Just as on the sea you make a one-month journey in one day, so also in this field the chevalier traverses the distance of a whole lifetime with one divine attraction. This is why they say, " One attraction of the Real is equivalent to all the deeds of jinn and men. "
The journey on land is the journey of the worshipers and renunciants in the desert of struggle on the steed of discipline with the guidance of the Shariah. Their goal is the paradise of approval and everlasting blessings.
The journey on the sea is the journey of the recognizers and the sincerely truthful in the ship of kind favor, which is driven by the wind of solicitude in the sea of contemplation. Their goal is the Kaabah of union and the mystery of the Beneficent.
It has also been said that land and sea are allusions to the contraction and expansion of the recognizers. Sometimes in contraction they weep between confoundedness and bewilderment, and sometimes in expansion they are delighted between witnessing and finding. When the wind of happiness again blows from the horizon of self-disclosure and the rain of generosity pours down from the cloud of gentleness, they see solicitude and kind favor, and the hard cash of their present moment becomes it takes them along with a goodly breeze, and they rejoice in it: On the carpet of
witnessing, in the state of intimacy, joy comes over them.
They see an expansion and are immersed in joy. In that joy and coquetry they say,
" We are the knights, the knights are wewe tread on the eyes of Jupiter. "
As soon as expansion reaches its limit, they enter by way of power into awe and confoundedness. The ocean of tremendousness throws up the waves of awe, and the poor servants fall into the lowland of veiling. They loose the tongue of pleading and say with weeping and lowliness,
" I am bewildered in Thee, take my hand,
O guide of those bewildered in Thee! "
This is why He says, " There comes upon them a raging wind, and waves come from every place. "
That distracted one of the time and leader of the Tariqah, Shiblī, gave reports of both sides in his traveling and passed over both stations. In the station of expansion at the time of happiness and joy, he was saying, " Where are the heavens and the earth that I may carry them on a hair of my eyelid! " In the station of contraction at the time of weeping and lowliness, he was saying, " My abasement suspends the abasement of the Jews. "
The witness to this story in the holy Shariah is that MuṣṬafā would sometimes say, " I am the master of the children of Adam, without boasting. " Sometimes he would say, " Do not consider me more excellent than Jonah the son of Mattā. "
He it is Who conveys you (yusayyirukum: a variant reading has yanshurukum) across the land and the sea, until when you are in ships and they sail with them (there is a shift of address from second [to third] person) with a fair, gentle, breeze and they rejoice therein, there comes upon them a stormy wind, blowing violently, destroying everything, and waves come on them from every side, and they think that they are overwhelmed, that is, [that] they shall perish, they call upon God, secure in their faith, their supplication, only to Him: ‘If (la-in: the lām is for oaths) You deliver us from these, terrors, we shall verily be of the thankful’, [of those] who affirm [Your] Oneness.
Man changes when He receives Mercy after Times of Distress
Allah tells us that when He makes men feel His mercy after being afflicted with distress,
إِذَا لَهُمْ مَّكْرٌ فِى ءايَـتِنَا
(They take to plotting against Our Ayat.) The coming of mercy after distress is like the coming of ease after hardship, fertility after aridity, and rain after drought. Mujahid said that man's attitude indicates a mockery and belying of blessings. The meaning here is similar to Allah's statement:
(And when harm touches man, he invokes Us, lying on his side, or sitting or standing.)(10:12) Al-Bukhari recorded that Allah's Messenger led the Subh (Dawn) prayer after it had rained during the night, then he said:
(Allah said; "This morning, some of My servants have become believers and some disbelievers in Me. He who said: `We have had this rainfall due to the grace and mercy of Allah' is a believer in Me and a disbeliever in the stars. And he who said `we have had this rainfall due to the rising of such and such star' is a disbeliever in Me and a believer in the stars.) The Ayah:
قُلِ اللَّهُ أَسْرَعُ مَكْرًا
(Say: "Allah is more swift in planning!'') means that Allah is more capable of gradually seizing them with punishment, while granting them concession of a delay until the criminals think that they would not be punished. But in reality they are in periods of respite, then they will be taken suddenly. The noble writers (meaning the angels who write the deeds) will write everything that they do and keep count of their deeds. Then they will present it before the All-Knowing of the seen and unseen worlds. The Lord will then reward them for the significant deeds and even the seemingly insignificant that may be as tiny as a spot on a date pit. Allah further states:
(Till when you are in the ships, and they sail with them with a favorable wind, and they are glad therein...) meaning smoothly and calmly;
(then comes (these ships))
(a stormy wind)
وَجَآءَهُمُ الْمَوْجُ مِن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ
o(and the waves come to them from all sides, )
وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ أُحِيطَ بِهِمْ
(and they think that they are encircled therein) meaning that are going to be destroyed.
دَعَوُاْ اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ
(Then they invoke Allah, making their faith pure for Him (alone)) meaning that in this situation they would not invoke an idol or statue besides Allah. They would single Him out alone for their supplications and prayers. This is similar to Allah's statement:
(And when harm touches you upon the sea, those that you call upon vanish from you except Him (Allah alone). But when He brings you safe to land, you turn away (from Him). And man is ever ungrateful.) 17:67 And in this Surah, He says:
(O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against yourselves,) it is you yourselves that will taste the evil consequence of this transgression. You will not harm anyone else with it, as comes in the Hadith,
(There is no sin that is more worthy that Allah hasten punishment for in this world -- on top of the punishment that Allah has in store for it in the Hereafter -- than oppression and cutting the ties of the womb.) Allah's statement:
مَّتَاعَ الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا
(a brief enjoyment of this worldly life...) means that you only have a short enjoyment in this low and abased worldly life.
ثُمَّ إِلَينَا مَرْجِعُكُمْ
(then (in the end) unto Us is your return...) meaning your goal and final destination.
(and We shall inform you) of all your deeds. Then we shall recompense you for them. So let him who finds good (in his record) praise Allah, and let him who finds other than that blame no one but himself.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
They practiced deceptions regarding "the Sign of the famine" that had been inflicted on them (vv. 11, 12). This verse alludes to the same, as if to say, "How dart you demand a Sign again, whereas recently the Sign of the famine has been shown to you ? At that time you invoked the help of your deities but in vain, though you had set them up as intercessors with Allah and believed that offerings to their shrines would prove very effective in removing the famine. But you yourselves learned by first hand experience that those so-called gods possessed no power at all. Therefore when you were convinced that all power belongs to Allah alone, you turned to Him and began to invoke His help. This experience ought to have convinced you of the Truth of the Message of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) for this was the very fundamental thing which he was teaching. Instead of learning a lesson from this Sign, you began to practice deceptions to explain it away, as soon as the famine was over and there had come the blessed rainfall. You invented many explanations (deceptions) concerning the causes of the famine and its subsequent end in order to 'escape' from the doctrine of Tauhid and stick to your shirk. The verse is meant to declare that no Sign would convince such people as those who had not benefited from the great Sign of the famine. Therefore there was no use of showing any sign to them.
"Allah is more swift in His plans than you......" means this: "If you practice deceptions in order to explain away the Sign of the famine so that you might find excuses to evade the implications of its acceptance, in order to continue your rebellious attitudes, Allah is more swift in carrying out His plans to out-do your deceptive methods. He will leave you free to move in your wrong ways: He will even bestow upon you the worldly prosperity, which will so delude you that you will forget that you were being closely watched and will, therefore, commit evil deeds with apparent immunity and enjoy yourselves to your heart's content. But His angels will go on keeping a full and complete record of your deeds, which will be presented for your prosecution after your death."
The fact that even the most obdurate mushriks and the most hardened atheists who forget Allah when things go well with them, begin to invoke Allah's help when they are pressed hard from all sides and despair of help froth any other quarter, is a clear evidence that there is the All-Powerful Allah Who is controlling each and every thing in the universe. (Please refer to E.N. 29, Al An 'am. )
The parable is meant to warn those who are utterly neglectful of the Life-after-death because of their apparent "success" in this worldly life. They have been likened to the owners of the land who were happy to presume that the crop was ripe and luxuriant and it was within their power to reap it and enjoy the produce of their harvest. They were so sure of this that they began to enjoy the fore-taste of the ripened crops, unaware of the Decree of Allah which destroyed their crops and all their great expectations also. Like-wise those who neglect to make preparations for the life-after-death will find to their sorrow that all they did to earn for the enjoyments of this world was, in relation to the Next World, like the ripe crop that was destroyed all of a sudden.
That is, "Allah invites to the Way that leads to the Abode of Peace in the Hereafter."
"The Abode of Peace" here means Paradise, where there will be no fear whatsoever of any loss, calamity, sorrow, pain and trouble.
That is, "Allah by His grace will give to those who did good deeds more than their due reward. "
That is, "In contrast to the additional rewards to the good people, those who earned evil deeds, shall be punished only in proportion to their crimes." (For further explanation see E.N. 109a of XXVII).
It shall be that kind of gloom that overspreads the faces of the criminals when they are caught, and they despair all hope of escape.
Some commentators are of the opinion that the original words of the text mean this: "We will cut off every kind of connection and relation between them so that they are not able to show any concern for one another. " But these meanings are opposed to the Arabic usage, according to which they mean: "We will distinguish them from one another" or "We will cause a distinction among them." That is why these have been translated into English like this: "We will remove the state of strangeness from among them. " That is, the mushriks and their deities shall stand in front of each other and recognize their mutual and respective positions. The mushriks shall come to know the whole truth about those whom they worshiped and their deities will learn everything about their worshipers.
…Then they pray to God, becoming sincere [in their] faith in Him…He [Sahl] said:Sincerity (ikhlāṣ) is witnessing (mushāhada). The life of the heart is in two things: in its root (aṣl) it is faith (īmān), and in its branch (farʿ) it is sincerity. Sincerity is a matter of great importance and the one who possesses it is wary lest his sincerity should not prevail till death, for actions are [judged] on the ones that come last — Worship your Lord, until what is certain comes to you [15:99]. His words, Exalted is He: