The Quran

Commentaries for 17.66

Bani Israil (The Israelites) - الإسراء

17.66 Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
((O mankind), your Lord is He Who driveth for you the ship upon the sea that you may seek of His bounty) so that you seek of His provision; and it is also said this means: so that you seek of his knowledge. (Lo! He was ever Merciful towards you) by deferring your punishment; it is also said that this means: He is ever merciful towards whoever repents amongst you.
17.66 Jalal - Al-Jalalayn
Your Lord is He Who drives for you the ships upon the sea that you may seek of His bounty, exalted be He, through [engaging in] commerce. Truly He is ever Merciful towards you, by disposing these [ships] for you.
17.66 Kathir - Ibn Al Kathir
Ships are a Sign of the Mercy of Allah
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. He says:
إِنَّهُ كَانَ بِكُمْ رَحِيمًا
(Truly, He is ever Most Merciful towards you.) meaning, He does this for you out of His grace and mercy towards you.
17.66-68 Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
This passage (vv. 66-72) is closely connected with the previous one. It tells man that if he wants to protect himself from the allurements, temptations and false promises of Satan who has been his avowed enemy from the day of his creation, he should recognize his real Lord and be steadfast in His obedience. Satan intends to prove that man is not worthy of the honor with which Allah has blessed him. Therefore if he follows any other way he cannot escape the snares of Satan.
In this passage, arguments of Tauhid have been put forward in order to make man steadfast in his Faith and refrain from shirk.
That is, "Try to avail of the economic, social, educational and intellectual benefits which are provided by the sea voyages."
That is, "This is a proof of the fact that your real nature knows no other Lord than Allah, and you feel in the depths of your hearts that He alone possesses the real power of every gain or loss. Had it not been so, man would never have invoked Allah at the time when he realized that no other helper could remove his misfortune."