Here Allah mentions the favor He does for His creatures by sending winds to them, as harbingers of His mercy, meaning that they will be followed by rain. Allah says:
(giving you a taste of His mercy,) that is, the rain which will come down and revive people and the land.
(and that the ships may sail at His command,) means, on the sea, for they are driven by the wind.
(and that you may seek of His bounty,) means, by trading, earning a living and traveling from one country to another, one region to another.
(in order that you may be thankful.) means, that you may give thanks to Allah for the innumerable favors He has done for you, both visible and hidden. Then Allah says:
(And indeed We did send Messengers before you to their own peoples. They came to them with clear proofs, then, We took vengeance on those who committed crimes;) These are words of consolation from Allah to His servant and Messenger Muhammad. They tell him that if many of his people and of mankind disbelieve in him, the previous Messengers were also rejected, despite the clear signs that they brought, but Allah punished those who rejected and opposed them, and saved those who believed in them.
(and it was incumbent upon Us to help the believers.) This is a duty which Allah took upon Himself as a blessing and a favor to them. This is like the Ayah,
(your Lord has prescribed mercy for Himself) (6:54). Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Abu Ad-Darda' (may Allah be pleased with him) said: "I heard Allah's Messenger saying:
(No Muslim man defends the honor of his brother except that there would be a right upon Allah to defend him from the fire of Hell on the Day of Resurrection.) Then he recited this Ayah:
(and it was incumbent upon Us to help the believers.)''
(48. Allah is He Who sends the winds, so that they raise clouds and spread them along the sky as He wills, and then break them into fragments until you see rain drops come forth from their midst! Then when He has made them fall on whom of His servants as He wills, lo, they rejoice!) (49. And verily, before that -- just before it was sent down upon them -- they were in despair!) (50. Look then at the effects of Allah's mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. Verily, that shall indeed raise the dead, and He is able to do all things.) (51. And if We send a wind, and they see it turn yellow -- behold, they then would become unthankful (disbelievers).)
Here Allah explains how He creates the clouds that rain the water.
(Allah is He Who sends the winds, so that they raise clouds) either from the sea, as was mentioned by more than one (of the scholars), or from whatever Allah wills.
(and spread them along the sky as He wills,) means, He spreads them and causes them to increase and grow. From a little He makes a lot, and creates the clouds that look like shields. Then He spreads them out until they fill the horizon. Sometimes the clouds come from the sea, heavy and full, as Allah says:
(And it is He Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy. Till when they have carried a heavy-laden cloud, We drive it to a land that is dead) until:
(Similarly, We shall raise up the dead, so that you may remember or take heed.) (7:57) Allah says here:
(Allah is He Who sends the winds, so that they raise clouds and spread them along the sky as He wills, and then break them into fragments) Mujahid, Abu `Amr bin Al-`Ala', Matar Al-Warraq and Qatadah said, "This means pieces.'' Others said that it means `piled up,' as Ad-Dahhak said. Others said that it means black, because they contained so much water, and sometimes they are heavy and close to the earth. His saying:
(until you see rain drops come forth from their midst!) means, `so you see the drops, i.e., the rain, which come from the midst of those clouds.'
(Then when He has made them fall on whom of His servants as He wills, lo, they rejoice!) They rejoice at the rain when it comes to them because of their need for it.
(And verily, before that -- just before it was sent down upon them -- they were in despair!) The people to whom this rain came were in despair, thinking that it rain would never fall, just before it came to them. When it came to them, it came at the time of greatest need, so it was a tremendous event for them What this means is that they were in need of it before it fell, and there had been no rainfall for a long time, so they were waiting for it at the time when it was due, but it did not come to them at that time. The rain was late, and a long time passed. Then the rain came to them suddenly, after they began to despair, and after their land became dry and barren, it was stirred to life, and it swelled and produced every lovely kind of growth. Allah says:
(Look then at the effects of Allah's mercy,) meaning, the rain.
(how He revives the earth after its death.) Thus Allah draws attention to the revival of people's bodies after they have died and disintegrated into nothing.
(Verily, that (Allah) shall indeed raise the dead.) means, the One Who does that is able to raise the dead.
(and He is able to do all things.)
(And if We send a wind, and they see it turn yellow -- behold, they then would become unthankful (disbelievers).)
(And if We send a wind,) means, a wind which dries up the crops which they have tended and cultivated and which have matured, and they see them turn yellow, and start to rot, if this were to happen, they would become ungrateful, i.e., they would deny the previous blessings that they were given. This is like the Ayah,
(Then tell Me about the seed that you sow in the ground.) until:
(Nay, but we are deprived!) (56:63-67)
(52. So verily, you cannot make the dead to hear, nor can you make the deaf to hear the call, when they show their backs and turn away.) (53. And you cannot guide the blind from their straying; you can make to hear only those who believe in Our Ayat, and have submitted (to Allah in Islam).)
Allah says, `just as you are not able to make the dead hear in their graves, or to make your words reach the deaf who cannot hear and who still turn away from you, so too you cannot guide the blind to the truth and bring them back from their misguidance.' That is a matter which rests with Allah, for by His power He can make the dead hear the voices of the living if He wills. He guides whom He wills and sends astray whom He wills, and no one but He has the power to do this. Allah says:
(you can make to hear only those who believe in Our Ayat, and have submitted (to Allah in Islam).) means, those who are humble and who respond and obey. These are the ones who will listen to the truth and follow it; this is the state of the believers; the former (being deaf and blind) is the state of the disbelievers, as Allah says:
(It is only those who listen will respond, but as for the dead, Allah will raise them up, then to Him they will be returned.) (6:36) `A'ishah, the Mother of the faithful (may Allah be pleased with her) used this Ayah --
(So verily, you cannot make the dead to hear) as evidence against `Abdullah bin `Umar when he reported that the Prophet had addressed the slain disbelievers who had been thrown into a dry well three days after the battle of Badr, rebuking and reprimanding them, until `Umar said, "O Messenger of Allah, are you addressing people who are dead bodies'' He said:
(By the One in Whose Hand is my soul, you do not hear what I say any better than they do, but they cannot respond.) A'ishah interpreted this event to mean that the Prophet was making the point that now they would know that what he had been telling them was true. Qatadah said: "Allah brought them back to life for him so that they could hear what he said by way of rebuke and vengeance.''
(54. Allah is He Who created you in weakness, then gave you strength after weakness, then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills. And He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.)
Here Allah points out how man passes through different stages of creation, one phase after another. He is originally created from dust, then from a Nutfah, then from a clot, then from a lump of flesh. Then he becomes bones, then the bones are clothed with flesh, then the soul is breathed into him. Then he emerges from his mother's womb, weak and thin and powerless. Then he grows up little by little, until he becomes a child, then he reaches the stage of puberty, then he becomes a young man, which is strength after weakness. Then he starts to get older, reaching middle age, then old age and senility, weakness after strength, so he loses his resolve, power of movement and ability to fight, his hair turns grey and his characteristics, both inward and outward, begin to change. Allah says:
(then after strength gave (you) weakness and grey hair. He creates what He wills.) He does whatsoever He wills and controls His servants in whatever way He wants.
(And He is the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.)
(55. And on the Day that the Hour will be established, the criminals will swear that they stayed not but an hour -- thus were they ever deluded.) (56. And those who have been bestowed with knowledge and Faith will say: "Indeed you have stayed according to the decree of Allah, until the Day of Resurrection; so this is the Day of Resurrection, but you knew not.'') (57. So, on that Day no excuse of theirs will avail those who did wrong, nor will they be allowed to return to seek (Allah's) pleasure.)
Here Allah tells us of the ignorance of the disbelievers in this world and in the Hereafter. In this world they worship idols, and in the Hereafter they will also display great ignorance. They will swear by Allah that they did not even stay for one hour in this world. They will mean that there was not enough time given to establish proof against them which would leave them with no excuse. Allah says:
(thus were they ever deluded. And those who have been bestowed with knowledge and Faith will say: "Indeed you have stayed according to the decree of Allah, until the Day of Resurrection...'') The believers who have knowledge of the Hereafter will respond to them, just as they established the proof of Allah against them in this world. When they swear that they did not stay even one hour in this world, they will say to them:
(Indeed you have stayed according to the decree of Allah,) meaning, the Book of deeds,
(until the Day of Resurrection;) means, `from the day when you were created until the day you were resurrected. '
(but you knew not.) Allah says:
(So, on that Day) meaning, the Day of Resurrection,
(no excuse of theirs will avail those who did wrong,) means, their excuses for what they did.
(nor will they be allowed (then) to return to seek (Allah's) pleasure.) means, they will not be allowed to return to this world. This is like the Ayah,
(and if they seek to please (Allah), yet they are not of those who will ever be allowed to please (Allah)) (41:24).
(58. And indeed We have set forth for mankind, in this Qur'an every kind of parable. But if you bring to them any sign or proof, the disbelievers are sure to say (to the believers): "You follow nothing but falsehood and magic.'') (59. Thus does Allah seal up the hearts of those who know not.) (60. So be patient. Verily, the promise of Allah is true; and let not those who have no certainty of faith discourage you (from conveying Allah's Message).)
(And indeed We have set forth for mankind, in this Qur'an every kind of parable.) means, `We have explained the truth to them and have made it clear to them, and have set forth for them parables so that they may understand the truth and follow it.'
(But if you bring to them any sign or proof, the disbelievers are sure to say (to the believers): "You follow nothing but falsehood and magic.'') If they were to see any kind of sign, whether it was at their own direction or otherwise, they would not believe in it and they would think that it was magic and falsehood, as they said when the moon was cleft asunder, etc., as Allah says:
(Truly, those, against whom the Word of your Lord has been justified, will not believe. Even if every sign should come to them, until they see the painful torment.) (10:96-97). Allah says here:
(Thus does Allah seal up the hearts of those who know not. So be patient. Verily, the promise of Allah is true;) meaning, `bear their stubborn opposition with patience, for Allah will fulfill His promise to grant you victory over them and cause you and those who follow you to prevail in this world and in the Hereafter.'
(and let not those who have no certainty of faith discourage you (from conveying Allah's Message).) `Remain steadfast in the mission with which Allah has sent you, for it is truth in which there is no doubt. Do not turn away from it, for nowhere else is there truth which is to be followed; the truth rests exclusively in the Message with which you have been sent.'
Imam Ahmad recorded from a man among the Companions of the Prophet that the Messenger of Allah led them in Fajr prayer and recited Ar-Rum in the prayer, but he became confused in his recitation. He said:
(We have become confused in our recitation of Qur'an, because some people among you are praying with us but they have not performed Wudu' properly. Whoever attends the prayer with us, let him perform Wudu' properly.) This has a Hasan chain of narration, the text itself is Hasan. It contains amazing information, that the Prophet was affected by the faulty Wudu' of some of those whom he was leading in prayer. This indicates that the prayer of the person who is praying in the congregation is connected to the prayer of the Imam. This is the end of the Tafsir of Surat Ar-Rum. Allah's is the praise and thanks.
(The decision of the matter, before and after is only with Allah)
Before that and after that
(And on that day, the believers will rejoice – with the help of Allah.)