21. And there is not a thing, but the supplies for it are with Us, and We do not send it down but in a known measure. 22. And We send the winds fertilizing, then We cause the water to descend from the sky, and We give it to you to drink, and it is not you who are the owners of its supply. 23. And certainly We! It is We Who give life, and cause death, and We are the Inheritors. 24. And indeed, We know the first generations of you who have passed away, and indeed, We know the present generations of you (mankind), and also those who will come afterwards. 25. And verily, your Lord will gather them together. Truly, He is Most Wise, (and) Knowing.
Allah tells us that He is the Owner of all things, and that everything is easy for Him. He has the supplies for all things with Him.
(and We do not send it down but in a known measure.) meaning, as He wills and as He wants. Doing so out of His great wisdom and mercy towards His servants, in a way that He is under no obligation to do. But He has decreed mercy for Himself. Yazid bin Abi Ziyad reported from Abu Juhayfah that `Abdullah said: "No year has more rain than another, but Allah divides the rain between them as He wills, it rains here a year and there a year. Then he recited:
(And there is not a thing, but the supplies for it are with Us...) Reported by Ibn Jarir.
(And We send the winds fertilizing.) i.e., fertilizing the clouds so that they give rain, and fertilizing the trees so that they open their leaves and blossoms. These winds are mentioned here in the plural form because they give results, unlike the barren wind (Ar-Rih Al-'Aqim, see Adh-Dhariyat 51:41), which is mentioned in the singular and described as barren since it does not produce anything; because results can only be produced when there are two or more things.
(And We sent the winds fertilizing.) `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "The wind is sent bearing water from the sky, then it fertilizes the clouds until rain begins to generously fall, just as the milk of the pregnant camel flows generously.'' This was also the opinion of Ibn `Abbas, Ibrahim An-Nakha`i and Qatadah. Ad-Dahhak said: "Allah sends it to the clouds and it gets fertilized and becomes full of water.'' `Ubayd bin `Umayr Al-Laythi said: "Allah sends the wind which stirs up the earth, then Allah sends the wind which raises clouds, then Allah sends the wind which forms clouds, then Allah sends the fertilizing wind which pollinates the trees. Then he recited,
(And We sent the winds fertilizing,)
(and We give it to you to drink,) This means, "and We send it down to you fresh and sweet, so that you can drink it; if We had wished, We could have made it salty (and undrinkable)'', as Allah points out in another Ayah in Surat Al-Waqi`ah, where He says:
(Tell Me! The water that you drink, is it you who cause it to come down from the rain clouds, or are We the cause of it coming down If We willed, We verily could make it salty (and undrinkable), why then do you not give thanks (to Allah)) (56:68-70). And Allah says:
(He it is Who sends water down from the sky; from it you drink and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture.) (16:10)
(and it is not you who are the owners of its supply.) The meaning is, "You are not taking care of it; rather We send it down and take care of it for you, making springs and wells flourish on the earth. '' If Allah so willed, He could make it disappear, but by His mercy He sends it down and makes it fresh and sweet, maintaining the springs, wells, rivers and so on, so that they may drink from it all year long, water their livestock and irrigate their crops.
(And certainly We! We it is Who give life, and cause death,) Here Allah tells us of His power to initiate creation and renew it. He is the One Who brings life to creatures out of nothingness, then He causes them to die, then He will resurrect all of them on the Day when He will gather them together. He also tells us that He will inherit the earth and everyone on it, and then it is to Him that they will return. Then He tells us about His perfect knowledge of them, the first and the last of them. He says
(And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away...). Ibn `Abbas said, "The first generations are all those who have passed away since the time of Adam. The present generations and those who will come afterward refer to those who are alive now and who are yet to come, until the Day of Resurrection.'' Something similar was narrated from `Ikrimah, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ash-Sha`bi and others. Ibn Jarir reported from Muhammad bin Abi Ma`shar, from his father, that he heard `Awn bin `Abdullah discussing the following Ayah with Muhammad bin Ka`b:
(And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away, and indeed, We know the present generations of you (mankind), and also those who will come afterwards), and it was stated that it refers to the rows for prayer. Muhammad bin Ka`b said, "This is not the case.
(And indeed, We know the first generations of you who had passed away) it refers to those who are dead or have been killed, and;
(and also those who will come afterwards) meaning those who have yet to be created.
(And verily your Lord will gather them together. Truly, He is Most Wise, (and) Knowing).'' `Awn bin `Abdullah said, "May Allah help you and reward you with good.''