After mentioning the creation of man, Allah then mentions the creation of the seven heavens. Allah often mentions the creation of the heavens and earth alongside the creation of man, as He says elsewhere:
(The creation of the heavens and the earth is indeed greater than the creation of mankind) ﴿40:57﴾. A similar Ayah appears at the beginning of Surat As-Sajdah, which the Messenger of Allah used to recite on Friday mornings. At the beginning it mentions the creation of the heavens and earth, then it says how man was created from semen from clay, and it also discusses the resurrection and rewards and punishments, and other matters.
(seven Tara'iq.) Mujahid said, "This means the seven heavens.'' This is like the Ayat:
(The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him) (17:44)
(See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another) (71:15)
(It is Allah Who has created seven heavens and of the earth the like thereof. His command descends between them (heavens and earth), that you may know that Allah has power over all things, and that Allah surrounds all things in (His) knowledge) (65:12) Similarly, Allah says here:
(And indeed We have created above you seven Tara'iq, and We are never unaware of the creation.) meaning, Allah knows what goes into the earth and what comes out of it, what comes down from heaven and what goes up into it. He is with you wherever you are, and Allah sees what you do. No heaven is hidden from Him by another and no earth is hidden from Him by another. There is no mountain but He knows its features, and no sea but He knows what is in its depths. He knows the numbers of what is in the mountains, the hills, the sands, the seas, the landscapes and the trees.
(And not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record.) (6:59)
(18. And We sent down from the sky water in measure, and We gave it lodging in the earth, and verily, We are able to take it away.) (19. Then We brought forth for you therewith gardens of date palms and grapes, wherein is much fruit for you, and whereof you eat.) (20. And a tree that springs forth from Tur Sinai, that grows oil, and relish for the eaters.) (21. And verily, in the cattle there is indeed a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies. And there are, in them, numerous benefits for you, and of them you eat.) (22. And on them, and on ships you are carried.)
Allah mentions His innumerable blessings to His servants, whereby He sends down rain in due measure, meaning, according to what is needed, not so much that it damages the lands and buildings, and not so little to be insufficient for crops and fruits, but whatever is needed for irrigation, drinking and other benefits. If there is a land that needs a lot of water for its irrigation but its fertile soil would be carried away if rain fell on it, then Allah sends water to it from another land, as in the case of Egypt, which is said to be a barren land. Allah sends the water of the Nile to it, which brings red soil from Ethiopia when it rains there. The water brings the red soil which is used to irrigate the land of Egypt, and whatever of it is deposited is used for agriculture, because the land of Egypt is infertile, and most of it is sand. Glory be to the Subtle One, the All-Knowing, the Most Merciful, the Forgiving.
(and We gave it lodging in the earth,) means, `when the water comes down from the clouds, We cause it to settle in the earth, and We cause the earth to absorb it and the seeds etc. in the earth to be nourished by it.'
(and verily, We are able to take it away.) means, `if We wanted to cause it not to rain, We could do so; if We wanted to divert it towards the wilderness and wastelands, We could do so; if We wanted to make it salty so that you could not benefit from it for drinking or irrigation, We could do so; if We wanted to cause it not to be absorbed by the earth, but to remain on the surface, We could do so; if We wanted to make it go deep underground where you would not be able to reach it and you could not benefit from it, We could do so.' But by His grace and mercy, He causes sweet, fresh water to fall on you from the clouds, then it settles in the earth and forms springs and rivers, and you use it to irrigate your crops and fruits, and you drink it and give it to your livestock and cattle, and you bathe and purify yourselves with it. To Him is due the praise and thanks.
(Then We brought forth for you therewith gardens of date palms and grapes,) means, `from that which We send down from the sky, We bring forth for you gardens and orchards which look beautiful.'
(of date palms and grapes,) These were the kinds of gardens that were known to the people of the Hijaz, but there is no difference between a thing and its counterpart. The people of each region have fruits which are the blessing of Allah given to them, and for which they cannot properly thank Allah enough.
(wherein is much fruit for you,) means, of all fruits. As Allah says elsewhere:
(With it ﴿the rain﴾ He causes to grow for you the crops, the olives, the date palms, the grapes, and every kind of fruit) (16:11).
(and whereof you eat.) This implies that you look at its beauty, wait for it to ripen, then eat from it.
(And a tree that springs forth from Tur Sinai,) means the olive tree. Tur means a mountain. Some of the scholars said, "It is called Tur if there are trees on it, and if it is bare it is called Jabal, not Tur. And Allah knows best. Mount Sinai is the same as Tur Sinin, and it is the mountain on which Allah spoke to Musa bin `Imran, peace be upon him, and in the surrounding mountains there are olive trees.
(that grows oil,) Some scholars think it ﴿linguistically﴾ means that it brings forth oil. Others say it ﴿linguistically﴾ means "comes forth with oil.'' Allah said,
(and relish) meaning a condiment. according to Qatadah.
(for the eaters. ) means, it contains a beneficial oil and condiment. `Abd bin Humayd recorded in his Musnad and Tafsir from `Umar that the Messenger of Allah said:
(Eat (olive) oil as a condiment and apply it as oil, for it comes from a blessed tree.) It was recorded by At-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Allah's saying;
(And verily, in the cattle there is indeed a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies. And there are, in them, numerous benefits for you, and of them you eat. And on them and on ships you are carried), Here Allah mentions the benefits He has given to His servants in cattle, for they drink their milk which comes out from between dung and blood, they eat their meat and clothe themselves with their wool and hair, they ride on their backs and carry heavy burdens on them to far away lands, as Allah says:
(And they carry your loads to a land that you could not reach except with great trouble to yourselves. Truly, your Lord is full of kindness, Most Merciful.) (16:7)
(Do they not see that We have created for them of what Our Hands have created, the cattle, so that they are their owners. And We have subdued them unto them so that some of them they have for riding and some they eat. And in them there are benefits for them, and drink. Will they not then be grateful) (36:71-73)
(23. And indeed We sent Nuh to his people, and he said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other God but Him. Will you not then have Taqwa'') (24. But the chiefs of his people who disbelieved said: "He is no more than a human being like you, he seeks to make himself superior to you. Had Allah willed, He surely could have sent down angels. Never did we hear such a thing among our fathers of old.'') (25. "He is only a man in whom is madness, so wait for him a while.'')
Allah tells us about Nuh, peace be upon him, whom He sent him to his people to warn them of the severe punishment of Allah and His severe vengeance on those who associated partners with Him, defied His commands and disbelieved His Messengers:
(and he said: "O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other God but Him. Will you not then have Taqwa'') Meaning, "Do you not fear Allah when you associate others in worship with Him'' The chiefs or leaders of his people said:
(He is no more than a human being like you, he seeks to make himself superior to you.) meaning, `he is putting himself above you and trying to make himself great by claiming to be a Prophet, but he is a human being like you, so how can he receive revelation when you do not'
(Had Allah willed, He surely could have sent down angels.) meaning, `if Allah had wanted to send a Prophet, He would have sent an angel from Him, not a human being. We have never heard of such a thing -- i.e., sending a man to our forefathers' -- their predecessors in times past.
(He is only a man in whom is madness,) means, `he is crazy in his claim that Allah has sent him and chosen him from among you to receive revelation.'
(so wait for him a while.) means, `wait until he dies, put up with him until you are rid of him.'
(26. He said: "O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.'') (27. So, We revealed to him: "Construct the ship under Our Eyes and under Our revelation. Then, when Our command comes, and (water) gushes forth from the oven, take on board of each kind two, and your family, except those thereof against whom the Word has already gone forth. And address Me not in favor of those who have done wrong. Verily, they are to be drowned.'') (28. "And when you have embarked on the ship, you and whoever is with you, then say: `All the praise be to Allah, Who has saved us from the people who are wrongdoers.'') (29. "And say: `My Lord! Cause me to land at a blessed landing place, for You are the Best of those who bring to land.''') (30. Verily, in this, there are indeed Ayat, for sure We are ever putting (men) to the test.)
as Allah mentions in another Ayah:
(Then he invoked his Lord (saying): "I have been overcome, so help (me)!'') (54:10). Here he says:
(O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.) At that point, Allah commanded him to build a boat and to make it strong and firm, and to carry therein of every kind two, i.e., a male and a female of every species of animals, plants and fruits etc. He was also to carry his family,
(except those thereof against whom the Word has already gone forth.) meaning, those whom Allah had already decreed were to be destroyed. These were the members of his family who did not believe in him, such as his son and his wife. And Allah knows best.
(And address Me not in favor of those who have done wrong. Verily, they are to be drowned.) means, `when you witness the heavy rain falling, do not let yourself be overcome with compassion and pity for your people, or hope for more time for them so that they may believe, for I have decreed that they will be drowned and will die in their state of disbelief and wrongdoing.' The story has already been told in detail in Surah Hud, and there is no need to repeat it here.
(And when you have embarked on the ship, you and whoever is with you, then say: `All the praise be to Allah, Who has saved us from the people who are wrongdoers.') This is like the Ayah:
(and has appointed for you ships and cattle on which you ride: In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the favor of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say: "Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could never have it (by our efforts). And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!'') (43:12-14) So, certainly, Nuh adhered to what he was commanded, as Allah says elsewhere:
(And he said: "Embark therein: in the Name of Allah will be its (moving) course and its (resting) anchorage...'') (11:41) So Nuh mentioned Allah at the beginning of his journey and at the end, and Allah said:
(And say: `My Lord! Cause me to land at a blessed landing place, for You are the Best of those who bring to land.'')
(Verily in this, there are indeed Ayat,) means in this event, which is the saving of the believers and the destruction of the disbelievers there are signs, i.e., clear evidence and proof that the Prophets speak the truth in the Message they bring from Allah, may He be exalted, and that Allah does what He wills, and He is able to do all things and knows all things.
(for sure We are ever putting (men) to the test.) means, `We try Our servants by means of sending the Messengers.'
(31. Then, after them, We created another generation.) (32. And We sent to them a Messenger from among themselves (saying): "Worship Allah! You have no other God but Him. Will you not then have Taqwa'') (33. And the chiefs of his people who disbelieved and denied the meeting in the Hereafter, and whom We had given the luxuries and comforts of worldly life, said: "He is no more than a human being like you, he eats of that which you eat, and drinks of what you drink.'') (34. "If you were to obey a human being like yourselves, then verily, you indeed would be losers.'') (35. "Does he promise you that when you have died and have become dust and bones, you shall come out alive'') (36. "Far, very far is that which you are promised!'') (37. "There is nothing but our life of this world! We die and we live! And we are not going to be resurrected!'') (38. "He is only a man who has invented a lie against Allah, and we are not going to believe in him.'') (39. He said: "O my Lord! Help me because they deny me.'') (40. (Allah) said: "In a little while, they are sure to be regretful.'') (41. So, the Sayhah overtook them in truth, and We made them as rubbish of dead plants. So, away with the people who are wrongdoers.)