Abbas - Tanwîr al-Miqbâs min Tafsîr Ibn ‘Abbâs
(And He it is Who hath given independence to the two seas (though they meet); one palatable, sweet, and the other saltish, bitter; and hath set a bar) a barrier between the sweet and the salty (and a forbidding ban between them) preventing either one from transgressing against the other, such as to make the taste of either of them change.
He it is who mixed the two oceans, this one sweet, delicious; that one salty, bitter.
Hū [He] is one solitary letter that alludes to the solitary Lord. It is neither a name nor an attribute, but an allusion to a Lord who has no name and no attribute. The one letter is the h. The ū is the resting place of the breath. Do you not see that when you make its dual, you say humā, not hūmā? This is so that you will know that it is indeed one letter pointing to the One Lord.
Whenever you say any of the names and attributes, you say them from the tip of the tongue, in contrast to hū, which comes forth from the midst of the spirit and goes by way of the core of the breast and the depth of the heart. The tongue and lips have nothing to do with it.
When this word comes from the depths of the breasts of the men of the religion's road and the lords of the eye of certainty-those who have limpid hearts, high aspirations, and empty breastswhat they mean and understand is nothing but the Real. Unless someone becomes a chevalier of this sort, the reality of the He-ness will not be unveiled to him.
A great man was walking on a road, and a dervish was coming toward him. He said, “Where are you coming from?”
He said, “He.”
He said, “Where are you going?” He said, “He.”
He said, “What is your goal?” He said, “He.”
No matter what he asked, he replied “He.” This is like what someone said:
“So much is your image in my eyes
that whatever I see I fancy is you.”
And He it is who mixed the two oceans, this one sweet, delicious; that one salty, bitter. The salty ocean has no sweetness, and the sweet no saltiness. The two are one in substantiality, but God in His power made them differ in attribute. In the same way He created hearts, some of which are quarries of certainty and recognition and others of which are loci of doubt and ingratitude.
Sweet, delicious is an allusion to the hearts of the friends, which are bright with the light of guidance and adorned with the ornament of faith and within which is shining the radiance of tawḤīd's sun.
Salty, bitter is an allusion to the hearts of the estranged, which have become dark through the darknesses of unbelief and the opacities of doubt and remained in the bewilderment of ignorance. One has put on the robe of elevation without deviation, and the other's foot is shackled with abasement and degradation, without iniquity. Indeed, when the Exalted Lord wants to place the crown of exaltation on a servant's head, He gives him access to the carpet of secret whispering and keeps the road of faith bright for him. When He wants to place the scar of loss on his cheek, He drives him from the station of proximity with the whip of vengeance. And he to whom God assigns no light has no light [24:40].
And He it is Who merged the two seas: letting them [flow] one adjacent to the other: this one palatable, sweet, and the other saltish, bitter; and He set between the two an isthmus, so that the one does not mix with the other, and a forbidding ban, a shield that prevents the two from becoming mixed.
(And had We willed, We would have raised a warner in every town.) `Calling them to Allah, but We have singled you out, O Muhammad, to be sent to all the people of earth, and We have commanded you to convey the Qur'an,'
لاٌّنذِرَكُمْ بِهِ وَمَن بَلَغَ
(that I may therewith warn you and whomsoever it may reach) (6:19).
(And it is He Who has let free the two seas, this is palatable and sweet, and that is salty and bitter;) means, He has created the two kinds of water, sweet and salty. The sweet water is like that in rivers, springs and wells, which is fresh, sweet, palatable water. This was the view of Ibn Jurayj and of Ibn Jarir, and this is the meaning without a doubt, for nowhere in creation is there a sea which is fresh and sweet. Allah has told us about reality so that His servants may realize His blessings to them and give thanks to Him. The sweet water is that which flows amidst people. Allah has portioned it out among His creatures according to their needs; rivers and springs in every land, according to what they need for themselves and their lands.
وَهَـذَا مِلْحٌ أُجَاجٌ
(and that is salty and bitter;) meaning that it is salty, bitter and not easy to swallow. This is like the seas that are known in the east and the west, the Atlantic Ocean and the Straits that lead to it, the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea, the Persian Gulf, the China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and so on, all the seas that are stable and do not flow, but they swell and surge in the winter and when the winds are strong, and they have tides that ebb and flow. At the beginning of each month the tides ebb and flood, and when the month starts to wane they retreat until they go back to where they started. When the crescent of the following month appears, the tide begins to ebb again until the fourteenth of the month, then it decreases. Allah, may He be glorified, the One Whose power is absolute, has set these laws in motion, so all of these seas are stationary, and He has made their water salty lest the air turn putrid because of them and the whole earth turn rotten as a result, and lest the earth spoil because of the animals dying on it. Because its water is salty, its air is healthy and its dead are good (to eat), hence when the Messenger of Allah was asked whether sea water can be used for Wudu', he said:
«هُوَ الطَّهُورُ مَاؤُهُ، الْحِلُّ مَيْتَتُه»
(Its water is pure and its dead are lawful.) This was recorded by Malik, Ash-Shafi`i and Ahmad, and by the scholars of Sunan with a good Jayyid chain of narration.
وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَهُمَا بَرْزَخاً وَحِجْراً
(and He has set a barrier and a complete partition between them. ) meaning, between the sweet water and the saltwater.
(a barrier) means a partition, which is dry land.
(and a complete partition) means, a barrier, to prevent one of them from reaching the other. This is like the Ayat:
(Is not He Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and placed firm mountains therein, and set a barrier between the two seas Is there any god with Allah Nay, but most of them know not!) (27:61)
وَهُوَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ مِنَ الْمَآءِ بَشَراً
(And it is He Who has created man from water,) means, He created man from a weak Nutfah, then gave him shape and formed him, and completed his form, male and female, as He willed.
فَجَعَلَهُ نَسَباً وَصِهْراً
(and has appointed for him kindred by blood, and kindred by marriage.) in the beginning, he is someone's child, then he gets married and becomes a son-in-law, then he himself has sons-in-law and other relatives through marriage. All of this comes from a despised liquid, Allah says:
وَكَانَ رَبُّكَ قَدِيراً
(And your Lord is Ever All-Powerful to do what He wills.)
Maududi - Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an
That is, "If We had willed, We could have sent a separate Prophet to every habitation but We did not do so, because like the sun, Our Last Prophet suffices to enlighten the whole world."
The Arabic words Jihad-i-Kabir imply three meanings:
(1) To exert one's utmost for the cause of Islam,
(2) To dedicate all one's resources to this cause, and
(3) To tight against the enemies of Islam on all possible fronts with all one's resources in order to raise high the "Word of Allah". This will include jihad with one's tongue, pen, wealth, life and every other available weapon.