This is post #32 in our series on Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma (click the link to see all posts in this series).
This post is chronologically out of order, since Surah Quraish was revealed before surah Qaari’ah; but insha’Allah khayr. Allah says:
إِيلَافِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَاءِ وَالصَّيْفِ
فَلْيَعْبُدُوا رَبَّ هَذَا الْبَيْتِ
الَّذِي أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوعٍ وَآمَنَهُم مِّنْ خَوْفٍ
Translation: For the accustomed security of the Quraysh – Their accustomed security [in] the caravan of winter and summer – Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear. [Surah Quraysh, verses 1-4]
The word “rihlah” means journey. Mecca is a very empty area–there’s really no area that you can do agriculture. Therefore, the thing that kept Mecca alive financially, especially in times of jahiliyyah, is business. Although the primary business of the Meccans was idol-trading–they had 360 idols in the ka’bah when it was opened in 8AH (After Hijrah)–the Meccans also used to travel around in caravans to do business.
And this is what kept them alive. This is what Allah mentions in verse two: “Rihlata ash-shitaai was-sayfi,” the journey of winter and summer. They would travel to Ash-Sham (the Roman area) in Summer, and Yemen in winter, to do business.
These are blessings of Allah on the Quraysh. Allah reminds them of these blessings. Then what does He say? What do you do once you have these blessings?
Verse two: “fal ya’budu rabba haadhal-bayt.” So worship the Lord of this house (Masijd Al-Harram). And this is a command in the Arabic language–it’s a laam (lam-ul-amr) with a mudaari’ (present-tense verb), a pattern you see pretty often in the Qur’an.
Then again, in the last verse, Allah describes more blessings: He fed them when they were hungry, and gave them security. Because the best house in the world, if it’s in a bad neighbourhood, you’re always worried and in fear about your house.
Also, if you recall the tafseer of Surah Fil, Allah saved the Ka’bah; and the Quraysh were the custodians of the Ka’bah. This raised their status in the eyes of the people–that Allah sided with them! So much so, that the books of tafseer mention, Quraysh could travel free in the land at any time, without worrying about highway robbery.
Wallahu ta’ala ‘alam.
- Reflect on the Blessings: Think about all the things Allah gave you–eyes to see; a mind to think; Islam; health; wealth; an internet and a computer. Are you really worshiping Allah as He deserves? Are you being thankful for these blessings?
- Touched by an Angel: Tafseer of Juz ‘Amma. By Muhammad Alshareef. 2009.