Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 14 (16:14)

Surah Nahl Ayat 14 in Arabic Text

وَهُوَ ٱلَّذِى سَخَّرَ ٱلْبَحْرَ لِتَأْكُلُوا۟ مِنْهُ لَحْمًۭا طَرِيًّۭا وَتَسْتَخْرِجُوا۟ مِنْهُ حِلْيَةًۭ تَلْبَسُونَهَا وَتَرَى ٱلْفُلْكَ مَوَاخِرَ فِيهِ وَلِتَبْتَغُوا۟ مِن فَضْلِهِۦ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ
Wa Huwal lazee sakhkharal bahra litaakuloo minhu lahman tariyyanw wa tastakhrijoo minhu hilyatan talbasoonahaa wa taral fulka mawaakhira feehi wa litabtaghoo min fadlihee wa la’allakum tashkuroon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 14

Sahih International
And it is He who subjected the sea for you to eat from it tender meat and to extract from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and [He subjected it] that you may seek of His bounty; and perhaps you will be grateful.

Yusuf Ali
It is He Who has made the sea subject, that ye may eat thereof flesh that is fresh and tender, and that ye may extract therefrom ornaments to wear; and thou seest the ships therein that plough the waves, that ye may seek (thus) of the bounty of Allah and that ye may be grateful.

Abul Ala Maududi
And He it is Who has subjected the sea that you may eat fresh fish from it and bring forth ornaments from it that you can wear. And you see ships ploughing their course through it so that you may go forth seeking His Bounty and be grateful to Him.

Muhsin Khan
And He it is Who has subjected the sea (to you), that you eat thereof fresh tender meat (i.e. fish), and that you bring forth out of it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships ploughing through it, that you may seek (thus) of His Bounty (by transporting the goods from place to place) and that you may be grateful.

Pickthall
And He it is Who hath constrained the sea to be of service that ye eat fresh meat from thence, and bring forth from thence ornaments which ye wear. And thou seest the ships ploughing it that ye (mankind) may seek of His bounty and that haply ye may give thanks.

Dr. Ghali
And He is the One Who subjected the sea that you may eat of it fresh flesh and draw forth out of it ornaments for you to wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, and that you may seek of His Grace and that possibly you would thank (Him).

Abdel Haleem
It is He who made the sea of benefit to you: you eat fresh fish from it and bring out jewellery to wear; you see the ships cutting through its waves so that you may go in search of His bounty and give thanks.

Quran 16 Verse 14 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 14, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:14) And He it is Who has subjected the sea that you may eat fresh fish from it and bring forth ornaments from it that you can wear. And you see ships ploughing their course through it so that you may go forth seeking His Bounty[11] and be grateful to Him.


11. That is, try to get your sustenance in lawful ways.

Ibn-Kathir

14. And He it is Who subjected the sea (to you), that you may eat from the fresh tender meat, and that you bring forth out of it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships plowing through it, that you may seek from His bounty and that you may perhaps be grateful. 15. And He has driven firm standing mountains into the earth, lest it should shake with you; and rivers and roads, that you may guide yourselves. 16. And (by the) landmarks; and by the stars, they guide themselves. 17. Is then He Who creates the same as one who creates, not Will you not then reflect 18. And if you would try to count the favors of Allah, you would never be able to count them. Truly, Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful.


Signs in the Oceans, Mountains, Rivers, Roads and Stars

Allah tells us how He has subjected the seas, with their waves lapping the shores, and how He blesses His servants by subjecting the seas for them so that they may travel on them, and by putting fish and whales in them, by making their flesh permissible to eat – whether they are caught alive or dead – at all times, including when people are in a state of Ihram. He has created pearls and precious jewels in the oceans, and made it easy for His servants to recover ornaments that they can wear from the ocean floor. He made the sea such that it carries the ships which plow through it. He is the One Who taught mankind to make ships, which is the inheritance of their forefather Nuh. He was the first one to travel by ship, he was taught how to make them, then people took this knowledge from him and passed it down from generation to generation through the centuries, so that they could travel from country to country and from place to place, bringing goods from here to there and from there to here. Thus Allah says:

﴿وَلِتَبْتَغُواْ مِن فَضْلِهِ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ﴾

(that you may seek from His bounty and that you may perhaps be grateful.) – for His bounty and blessings. Then Allah mentions the earth and how He placed in it mountains standing firm, which make it stable and keep it from shaking in such a manner that the creatures dwelling on it would not be able to live. Hence Allah says,

﴿وَالْجِبَالَ أَرْسَـهَا ﴾

(And the mountains He has fixed firmly.) (79: 32).

﴿وَأَنْهَـراً وَسُبُلاً﴾

(and rivers and roads) meaning He has made rivers which flow from one place to another, bringing provision for His servants. The rivers arise in one place, and bring provision to people living in another place. They flow through lands and fields and wildernesses, through mountains and hills, until they reach the land whose people they are meant to benefit. They meander across the land, left and right, north and south, east and west – rivers great and small – flowing sometimes and ceasing sometimes, flowing from their sources to the places where the water gathers, flowing rapidly or moving slowly, as decreed by Allah. There is no god besides Him and no Lord except Him. He also made roads or routes along which people travel from one land or city to another, and He even made gaps in the mountains so that there would be routes between them, as He says:

﴿وَجَعَلْنَا فِيهَا فِجَاجاً سُبُلاً﴾

(And We placed broad highways for them to pass through.) ﴿21:31﴾

﴿وَعَلامَـتٍ﴾

(And landmarks) meaning, signs like great mountains and small hills, and so on, things that land and sea travelers use to find their way if they get lost.

﴿وَبِالنَّجْمِ هُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ﴾

(and by the stars (during the night), they (mankind) guide themselves.) meaning, in the darkness of the night. This was the opinion of Ibn `Abbas.

Worship is Allah’s Right

Then Allah tells us of His greatness, and that worship should be directed to Him alone, not to any of the idols which do not create but are rather themselves created. Thus He says

﴿أَفَمَن يَخْلُقُ كَمَن لاَّ يَخْلُقُ أَفَلا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴾

(Is then He, Who creates, the same as one who does not create Will you not then reflect)(16:17). Then He shows His servants some of the many blessings He granted for them, and the many kinds of things that He has done for them. He says;

﴿وَإِن تَعُدُّواْ نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ لاَ تُحْصُوهَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَغَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴾

(And if you would try to count the favors of Allah, you would never be able to count them. Truly, Allah is Forgiving, Most Merciful.) (16:18) meaning that He pardons and forgives them. If He were to ask you to thank Him for all of His blessings, you would not be able to do so, and if He were to command you to do so, you would be incapable of it. If He punishes you, He is never unjust in His punishment, but He is Forgiving and Most Merciful, He forgives much and rewards for little. Ibn Jarir said: “It means that Allah is Forgiving when you fail to thank Him properly, if you repent and turn to Him in obedience, and strive to do that which pleases Him. He is Merciful to you and does not punish you if you turn to Him and repent.”

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