24. Verily, the parable of the life of the world is as the water which We send down from the sky; so by it arises the intermingled produce of the earth of which men and cattle eat: until when the earth is clad in its adornments and is beautified, and its people think that they have all the powers of disposal over it, Our command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, as if it had not flourished yesterday! Thus do We explain the Ayat in detail for the people who reflect. 25. Allah calls to the Abode of Peace (Paradise) and guides whom He wills to the straight path.
Allah the Almighty has set an example of the similitude of the life of this world, its glitter and the swiftness of its passage, likening it to the plant and vegetation that Allah brings out from the earth. This plant grows from the water that comes down from the sky. These plants are food for people, such as fruits and other different types and kinds of foods. Some other kinds are food for cattle such as clover plants (i.e. green fodder for the cattle) and herbage etc.
(until when the earth is clad in its adornments ,)
(and is beautified ) meaning, it became good by what grows on its hills such as blooming flowers of different shapes and colors.
(and its people think...) those who planted it and put it in the ground,
(that they have all the powers of disposal over it) to cultivate it and harvest it. But while they were in that frame of mind, a thunderbolt or a severe, cold storm came to it. It dried its leaves and spoiled its fruits. Allah said:
(Our command reaches it by night or by day and We make it like a clean-mown harvest, ) it became dry after it was green and flourishing.
(as if it had not flourished yesterday!) as if nothing existed there before. Qatadah said: "As if it had not flourished; as if it was never blessed.'' Such are things after they perish, they are as if they had never existed. Similarly, the Hadith,
(A person who led the most prosperous life in this world will be brought up and dipped once in the Fire. He will then be asked: `Have you ever found any good or comfort' He will reply: `No.' And a person who had experienced extreme adversity in this world will be brought up and dipped once in the bliss (of Paradise). Then he will be asked: 'Did you ever face any hardship or misery' He will reply: `No.') Allah said about those who were destroyed:
(So they lay (dead), prostrate in their homes; as if they had never lived there.)﴿11:67-68﴾ Allah then said:
(Thus do We explain the Ayat. ..) We do explain the proofs, and evidences, in detail
(for the people who reflect.) so they may take a lesson from this example in the swift vanishing of this world from its people while they are deceived by it. They would trust this world and its promises, and then it unexpectedly turns away from them. This world, in its nature, runs away from those who seek it but seeks those who run away from it. Allah mentioned the parable of this world and the plants of the earth in several Ayat in His Noble Book. He said in Surat Al-Kahf:
(And put forward to them the example of the life of this world: it is like the water (rain) which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it, and becomes fresh and green. But (later) it becomes dry and broken pieces, which the winds scatter. And Allah is able to do everything.) (18:45) He also gave similar examples in both Surat Az-Zumar ﴿39:21﴾ and Surat Al-Hadid ﴿57:20﴾.
(And Allah calls to the Abode of Peace) When Allah mentioned the swiftness of this world and its termination, He invited people to Paradise and encouraged them to seek it. He called it the Abode of Peace. It is the Abode of Peace because it is free from defects and miseries. So Allah said:
(Allah calls to the Home of Peace and guides whom He wills to the straight path.) It was narrated that Jabir bin `Abdullah said: "Allah's Messenger came out one day and said to us:
(I have seen in my sleep that it was as if Jibril was at my head and Mika'il at my leg. They were saying to each other: `Give an example for him.' He said: `Listen, your ear may listen. And fathom, your heart may fathom. The parable of you and your Ummah is that of a king who has built a house on his land. He arranged a banquet in it. Then he sent a messenger to invite the people to his food. Some accepted the invitation and others did not. Allah is the King and the land is Islam, the house is Paradise and you Muhammad are the Messenger. Whosoever responds to your call enters Islam. And whosoever enters Islam enters Paradise. And whosoever enters Paradise eats from it.) Ibn Jarir recorded this Hadith. It was also reported that Abu Ad-Darda' said that Allah's Messenger said:
(Two angels descend every day in which the sun rises and say that which all Allah's creatures would hear except Jinn and humans: `O people! Come to your Lord! Anything little and sufficient is better than a lot but distractive.') And He sent this down in the Qur'an when He said:
("Allah calls to the Abode of Peace''.) Ibn Abi Hatim and Ibn Jarir recorded this.