Ships are also among the Signs of Allah

Allah tells us that another sign of His great power and dominion is the fact that He has subjugated the sea so that ships may sail in it by His command, so they sail in the sea like mountains. This was the view of Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and Ad-Dahhak. In other words, these ships on the sea are like mountains on land.

إِن يَشَأْ يُسْكِنِ الرِّيحَ

(If He wills, He causes the wind to cease,) means, the winds that cause the ships to travel on the sea. If He willed, He could cause the winds to cease, then the ships would not move and would remain still, neither coming nor going, staying where they are on the surface of the water.

إِنَّ فِى ذلِكَ لآيَـتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ

(Verily, in this are signs for everyone patient) means, who is patient in the face of adversity


(and grateful.) means, in the fact that Allah has subjugated the sea and He sends as much wind as they need in order to travel, there are signs of His blessings to His creation for everyone who is patient, i.e., at times of difficulty, and grateful, i.e., at times of ease.

أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا

(Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned. ) means, if He wills, He may destroy the ships and drown them, because of the sins of the people on board.

وَيَعْفُ عَن كَثِيرٍ

(And He pardons much.) means, of their sins; if He were to punish them for all of their sins, He would destroy everyone who sails on the sea. Some of the scholars interpreted the Ayah

أَوْ يُوبِقْهُنَّ بِمَا كَسَبُوا

(Or He may destroy them because of that which their (people) have earned.) as meaning, if He willed, He could send the wind to blow fiercely so that it would take the ships and divert them from their courses, driving them to the right or the left, so that they would be lost and would not be able to follow their intended path. This interpretation also includes the idea of their being destroyed. This also fits the first meaning, which is that if Allah willed, He could cause the wind to cease, in which case the ships would stop moving, or He could make the wind fierce, in which case the ships would be lost and destroyed. But by His grace and mercy, He sends the wind according to their needs, just as He sends rain that is sufficient. If He sent too much rain, it would destroy their houses, and if He sent too little, their crops and fruits would not grow. In the case of lands such as Egypt, He sends water from another land, because they do not need rain; if rain were to fall upon them, it would destroy their houses and cause walls to collapse.

وَيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ يُجَـدِلُونَ فِى ءَايَـتِنَا مَا لَهُمْ مِّن مَّحِيصٍ

(And those who dispute as regards Our Ayat may know that there is no place of refuge for them. ) means, they have no means of escape from Our torment and vengeance, for they are subdued by Our power.

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