In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Reflection On Surah Al-Faatir Aayaat 12-14
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
وَمَا يَسۡتَوِى ٱلۡبَحۡرَانِ هَـٰذَا عَذۡبٌ۬ فُرَاتٌ۬ سَآٮِٕغٌ۬ شَرَابُهُ ۥ وَهَـٰذَا مِلۡحٌ أُجَاجٌ۬ۖ وَمِن كُلٍّ۬ تَأۡڪُلُونَ لَحۡمً۬ا طَرِيًّ۬ا وَتَسۡتَخۡرِجُونَ حِلۡيَةً۬ تَلۡبَسُونَهَاۖ وَتَرَى ٱلۡفُلۡكَ فِيهِ مَوَاخِرَ لِتَبۡتَغُواْ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡڪُرُونَ
And the two seas (kinds of water) are not alike, this fresh and pleasant to drink, and that saltish and bitter. And from them both you eat fresh tender meat, and derive the ornaments that you wear. And you see the ships cleaving, that you may seek of His Bounty, and that you may give thanks. [Surah Al-Faatir. Aayah12]
This is news regarding Allaah’s Might, Wisdom and Mercy, that indeed He made the two seas as a source of welfare for all the creatures of the earth, but did not make them the same because the welfare related to them necessitates that the rivers should be fresh and pleasant to drink, so that those who drink from it and those who sow and grow crops would benefit. And sea should be salty and bitter, so that the air (or atmosphere) is not defiled by the stench of the animals that die in it, as well as the fact that it does not move in a manner similar to a river, and its saltiness stops it from changing so that its animals are in a better state and more tasty. This is why Allah said: [وَمِن كُلٍّ۬ – And from them both]- Meaning, from the salty sea and fresh river water, [تَأۡڪُلُونَ لَحۡمً۬ا طَرِيًّ۬ا – you eat fresh tender meat]- Meaning, fish which is easy to catch. [وَتَسۡتَخۡرِجُونَ حِلۡيَةً۬ تَلۡبَسُونَهَاۖ – and derive the ornaments that you wear]- Meaning, such as pearls, coral and other than them found in the sea. These are great sources of welfare for the people.
Also among these sources of welfare and useful things in the sea is that Allaah has subjugated it to the people to carry the vessels, such as ships and other means of marine transportation, so you see them traversing the sea and cleaving – travelling from one region to another region, from one place to another place, whilst carrying passengers, their belongings and merchandise, so that by way of this they receive a lot from Allaah’s bounty and kindness. This is why Allaah stated: [لِتَبۡتَغُواْ مِن فَضۡلِهِۦ وَلَعَلَّكُمۡ تَشۡڪُرُونَ – that you may seek of His Bounty, and that you may give thanks].
يُولِجُ ٱلَّيۡلَ فِى ٱلنَّهَارِ وَيُولِجُ ٱلنَّهَارَ فِى ٱلَّيۡلِ وَسَخَّرَ ٱلشَّمۡسَ وَٱلۡقَمَرَ ڪُلٌّ۬ يَجۡرِى لِأَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ىۚ ذَٲلِڪُمُ ٱللَّهُ رَبُّكُمۡ لَهُ ٱلۡمُلۡكُۚ وَٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦ مَا يَمۡلِكُونَ مِن قِطۡمِيرٍ
He merges the night into the day (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the night are added to the hours of the day), and He merges the day into the night (i.e. the decrease in the hours of the day are added to the hours of the night). And He has subjected the sun and the moon, each runs its course for a term appointed. Such is Allah your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmir (the thin membrane over the date-stone). [Surah al-Faatir. Aayah 13]
And amongst these bounties is that Allaah merges the night into the day and the day into the night- one enters the other and whenever one arrives the other disappears; one increases and the other decreases, then they become equal. So, by way of this, people attain welfare for their bodies, animals, trees and vegetations.
Also, Allaah subjugated the sun and the moon, the sun a shinning thing with heat, the moon a light, their movements and disappearance, and thus the people may disperse to seek His bounty [i.e. livelihood], as well as what they [i.e. the sun and moon] facilitate to make the fruits ripe (and plants, crops ready for harvest) and others become dry due to the sun’s heat, and other necessities whose absence would have brought harm to the people.
And the statement of Allaah [ڪُلٌّ۬ يَجۡرِى لِأَجَلٍ۬ مُّسَمًّ۬ىۚ – each (i.e. the sun and moon) runs its course for a term appointed]- Meaning, the sun and the moon run their course for a period by the will of Allaah, but they will cease when the end of the world arrives, the ability given to them to do what they do will stop, the moon will eclipse, the sun will wound round and lost its light and is overthrown and the stars will fall.
So, after clarifying what He (Allaah) clarified regarding these mighty things, which He created, and the lessons within them, which shows His perfection and kindness, He then stated: [ذَٲلِڪُمُ ٱللَّهُ رَبُّكُمۡ لَهُ ٱلۡمُلۡكُۚ – Such is Allah your Lord; His is the kingdom]- Meaning, He alone is the One Who created these things that have been mentioned and subjugated them for service to humankind. He is the true deity, who alone has the right to be worshiped and to Him belongs absolute dominion. [وَٱلَّذِينَ تَدۡعُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦ مَا يَمۡلِكُونَ مِن قِطۡمِيرٍ – And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmir (the thin membrane over the date-stone)]- Meaning, the deified images and the idols do not own anything- neither a little nor a lot, and not even the thin membrane over a date stone which is a thing of the lowest value (or importance). This statement is related to the specific mention of something by way of which all other things are included, so how can you invoke these deified images and idols when it is the fact that they do not own anything found in the heavens and the earth?
[إِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ لَا يَسۡمَعُواْ دُعَآءَكُمۡ وَلَوۡ سَمِعُواْ مَا ٱسۡتَجَابُواْ لَكُمۡۖ وَيَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ يَكۡفُرُونَ بِشِرۡڪِكُمۡۚ وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثۡلُ خَبِيرٍ۬- If you invoke (or call upon) them, they hear not your call, and if (in case) they were to hear, they could not grant it (your request) to you. And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them. And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything)]. [Surah Al-Faatir. Aayah 14]
[إِن تَدۡعُوهُمۡ – If you invoke (or call upon) them]- Meaning, on top of that if you invoke them, they cannot hear your call because indeed they are either inanimate objects, dead things or angels that are busy in obedience to their Lord (Allaah). [وَلَوۡ سَمِعُواْ – and if (in case) they were to hear you]- Meaning, even if we were to say that this impossibility is possible (i.e. that they can hear you), [مَا ٱسۡتَجَابُواْ لَكُمۡۖ – they could not grant it (your request) to you]- Meaning, because they do not own anything. [وَيَوۡمَ ٱلۡقِيَـٰمَةِ يَكۡفُرُونَ بِشِرۡڪِكُمۡۚ – And on the Day of Resurrection, they will disown your worshipping them]- Meaning, they will free themselves from you and say: [سُبۡحَـٰنَكَ أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا مِن دُونِهِمۖ- Glorified be You (Allaah)! You are our Wali (Lord) instead of them (Surah Sabah, Aayah 41)]. [Ref 1] [وَلَا يُنَبِّئُكَ مِثۡلُ خَبِيرٍ – And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything)]- Meaning, the knower of everything by Himself. [Ref 2]
Ref 1: An Excerpt from Tafseer As-Sadi. Slightly paraphrased
Ref 2: Zaadul Maseer Fee Ilmit Tafseer By Imaam Ibnul Jawzi (rahimahullaah)