9. And indeed if you ask them: "Who has created the heavens and the earth'' They will surely say: "The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.'' 10. Who has made for you the earth like a bed, and has made for you roads therein, in order that you may find your way. 11. And Who sends down water from the sky in due measure, then We revive a dead land therewith, and even so you will be brought forth. 12. And Who has created all the pairs and has appointed for you ships and cattle on which you ride, 13. In order that you may mount on their backs, and then may remember the favor of your Lord when you mount thereon, and say: "Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could have never had it.'' 14. And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return!''
Allah says: `If you, O Muhammad, were to ask these idolators who associate others with Allah and worship others besides Him,'
("Who has created the heavens and the earth'' They will surely say: "The All-Mighty, the All-Knower created them.'') In other words, they will admit that the Creator of all that is Allah Alone, with no partner or associate, yet they still worship others -- idols and false gods -- alongside Him.
(Who has made for you the earth like a bed,) means, smooth, stable and firm, so that you can travel about in it, and stand on it and sleep and walk about, even though it is created above water, but He has strengthened it with the mountains, lest it should shake.
(and has made for you roads therein,) means, paths between the mountains and the valleys.
(in order that you may find your way.) means, in your journeys from city to city, region to region, land to land.
(And Who sends down water from the sky in due measure, ) means, according to what is sufficient for your crops, fruits and drinking water for yourselves and your cattle.
(then We revive a dead land therewith,) means, a barren land, for when the water comes to it, it is stirred (to life), and it swells and puts forth every lovely kind (of growth). By referring to the revival of the earth, Allah draws attention to how He will bring bodies back to life on the Day of Resurrection, after they have been dead.
(and even so you will be brought forth.) Then Allah says:
(And Who has created all the pairs) meaning, of everything that grows in the earth, all kinds of plants, crops, fruits, flowers, etc., and all different kinds of animals.
(and has appointed for you ships) or vessels,
(and cattle on which you ride.) means, He has subjugated them to you and made it easy for you to eat their meat, drink their milk and ride on their backs. Allah says:
(In order that you may mount on their backs, ) meaning, sit comfortably and securely,
(on their backs) means, on the backs of these kinds of animals.
(and then may remember the favor of your Lord) means, whereby these animals are subjugated to you.
(when you mount thereon, and say: "Glory to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we could have never had it.'') means, if it were not for the fact that Allah has subjugated these things to us, we could never have done this by our own strength.' Ibn `Abbas, Qatadah, As-Suddi and Ibn Zayd said: "We could not have done this ourselves.''
(And verily, to Our Lord we indeed are to return.) means, `We will return to Him after our death, and our ultimate destination is with Him.' In this Ayah, mention of earthly journeys draws attention to the journey of the Hereafter, just as elsewhere, mention of earthly provision draws attention to the importance of ensuring provision for the Hereafter, as Allah says:
(And take a provision (with you) for the journey, but the best provision is the Taqwa) (2:197). And mention of earthly garments is also used to draw attention to the raiment of the Hereafter:
(and as an adornment; and the raiment of the Taqwa, that is better) (7:26).