Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(Seest thou not) have you not been informed, O Muhammad, in the Qur'an (how Allah sendeth down water) rain (from the sky and then the earth becometh green) with vegetation (upon the morrow? Lo! Allah is Subtile) in making plants grow, (Aware) of their place.
Hast thou not seen that God sends down water from heaven, and then the earth becomes green?
The purport of this verse and the verses that follow is to remind of the blessings and to manifest the wisdom of creating benefits for creation. Whatever He created, He created as is worthy of Himself and as it should be created. Whatever He put, He put in its own place. Whatever He gave, He gave to its own folk. He is the powerful who does whatever He wants. And He is the wise who does not do whatever He can. In this world, He created even the foot of an ant and the wing of a gnat in keeping with the requirement of power, the requisite of wisdom, and according to His will. He gave wisdom and power each other's hands so that the work of the Divinity would go forth wellordered. If wisdom had not been with power, the universe would have been disrupted.
God has attributes that are the antagonists of the existence and acts of the creatures. These are the attributes of exaltedness, tremendousness, compulsion, magnificence, and endless unneediness. He also has attributes that are the interceders for the existence and acts of the creatures, like wisdom, mercy, gentleness, clemency, munificence, and generosity. The attributes of mercy and wisdom hold back the reins of the attributes of exaltedness and unneediness so that this handful of hapless creatures may live out their lives in the shadow of gentleness and mercy in accordance with wisdom. Were it not for these interceders, everything-from the Throne and the Footstool down to the ant's foot and the gnat's wing-would become nothing and nonexistent.
One word of the beginningless unneediness and independence showed itself to this world, and the day of deprivation came forth for the unbelievers and the estranged. Like strangers, they set their heads to their own thoughts and did not recognize God's measure or gain access to what is worthy of Him. They set up a helpless, inanimate idol without attributes as His partner, worshiping it and taking it as a friend, such that the Exalted Lord said of them,
Have you not seen, realised, that God sends down water, rain, from the heaven whereupon the earth turns green, with plants — and this [too] is a sign of His power. Indeed God is Subtle, in dealing with His servants, when He brings forth plants through water, Aware, of what is in their hearts when the rain is delayed.
(Then We made the Nutfah into a clot, then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh) 23:14. It was recorded in the Two Sahihs that between each stage there are forty days. Allah's saying,
فَتُصْبِحُ الاٌّرْضُ مُخْضَرَّةً
(and then the earth becomes green) means, it becomes green after being dry and lifeless. It was reported from some of the people of Al-Hijaz that the land turns green after rainfall. And Allah knows best.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَطِيفٌ خَبِيرٌ
(Verily, Allah is the Most Kind and Courteous, Well-Acquainted with all things.) He knows what seeds are in the various regions of the earth, no matter how small they are. Nothing whatsoever is hidden from Him. Each of those seeds receives its share of water and begins to grow, as Luqman said:
("O my son! If it be equal to the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and though it be in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Verily, Allah is Subtle, Well-Aware.) 31:16 And Allah says:
(And nothing is hidden from your Lord, the weight of a speck of dust on the earth or in the heaven. Not what is less than that or what is greater than that but it is (written) in a Clear Record.) 10:61
لَهُ مَا فِى السَّمَـوَت وَمَا فِى الاٌّرْضِ
(To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.) He owns all things, and He has no need of anything besides Himself, everything is in need of Him and in a state of submission to Him.
(And has subjected to you all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth) 45:13, meaning that all of this is a blessing and out of His kindness.
وَالْفُلْكَ تَجْرِى فِى الْبَحْرِ بِأَمْرِهِ
(and the ships that sail through the sea by His command) That is because He subjugates it to them and makes it easy for them. In the raging sea with its tempestuous waves, the ships sail gently with their passengers and carry them wherever they want to go for trading and other purposes from one land to another, so that they bring goods from here to there, or vice versa, whatever people want or need.
(He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth except by His leave.) If He willed, He could give the sky permission to fall on the earth, and whoever is in it would be killed, but by His kindness, mercy and power, He withholds the heaven from falling on the earth, except by His leave. He says:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(Verily, Allah is for mankind, full of kindness, Most Merciful.) meaning, even though they do wrong. As Allah says elsewhere:
(They will say: "Our Lord! You have made us to die twice, and You have given us life twice!'') 40:11 So how can you set up rivals to Allah and worship others besides Him when He is the One Who is independent in His powers of creation, provision and control of the existence
وَهُوَ الَّذِى أَحْيَاكُمْ
(It is He, Who gave you life,) means, He gave you life after you were nothing, and brought you into existence.
ثُمَّ يُمِيتُكُمْ ثُمَّ يُحْيِيكُمْ
(and then will cause you to die, and will again give you life.) means, on the Day of Resurrection.
إِنَّ الإِنْسَـنَ لَكَفُورٌ
(Verily, man is indeed Kafurun.) meaning, denying.
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
"So it is" (as stated in the preceding paragraph) because Allah is the Ruler of the universe and has the power to give punishments and rewards to those who deserve them.
The fact that "Allah brings forth.........day" is a proof that He is the Master, Sovereign and Ruler of the universe. But the deeper meaning of the verse is that Allah, Who is able to bring forth the light of the day out of the darkness of the night, has the power to bring out the light of the Truth out of the darkness of disbelief and ignorance, and the light of justice out of the darkness of tyranny.
He hears everything and sees everything and is not unaware of anything.
As Allah is in fact the Sovereign of the universe, His worshipers will surely attain true success and the worshipers of false gods will meet with utter failure.
This verse has a deeper meaning also, though apparently it merely declares that Allah alone has the power to send down rain which makes the land green. The deeper meaning is that the rainfall of the blessed Revelation will, in the near future, turn the barren land of Arabia into a garden of knowledge, morality and bring forth a high and righteous civilization.
The original word Latif in the Text has no equivalent in English. The word "subtle" has not been used because of its bad associations. Latif implies that Allah fulfills His designs in such fine ways that it is difficult to understand them till they become real and apparent.
As He is fully aware of everything, He knows how to conduct the affairs of His Kingdom.
He alone is "All-Sufficient" and does not stand in need of anyone in any way. He is "All-praiseworthy" because all praise belongs to Him alone whether anyone praises Him or not.