بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمن ٱلرَّحِيمِ
لِإِيلفِ قُرَيْشٍ ﴿١﴾ اِلٰفِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَآءِ وَالصَّيْفِ ﴿٢﴾ فَلْيَعْبُدُوا۟ رَبَّ هٰذَا الْبَيْتِ ﴿٣﴾ الَّذِىٓ أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوْعٍ وَاٰمَنَهُمْ مِّنْ خَوْفِۭ ﴿٤﴾
For the safety of the Quraish, the safety which they enjoy in their journeys in the winter months and the summer months. Let them worship the Rabb of the Sacred House (the Ka’bah), the One who had provided food for them against their hunger and safety against fear.
In the pre-Islamic era, robberies, killing and internal battles were common and rife among the tribes in the land of Arabia. Hence, when travelling from one place to another, people were under the constant fear of being attacked by their enemies or waylaid by robbers.
However, as far as the tribe of the Quraish was concerned, they were afforded the most respect from all the clans and tribes residing in Arabia on account of their lofty position of being the custodians of the Ka’bah Shareef. People held the Ka’bah Shareef and the custodians of the Ka’bah Shareef in very high esteem and respect. Therefore, people did not interfere with the trade caravans of the Quraish and allowed them to move freely and safely at a time when other caravans were being hijacked, robbed and looted. Hence, their caravans used to move freely to Yemen in winter, and to Syria in summer, without experiencing any fear, returning with all types of produce, food supplies and other necessities which the people of Makkah Mukarramah required.
In essence, the Ka’bah Shareef was the main cause for the security of the Quraish and their economic prosperity.
لِإِيلفِ قُرَيْشٍ ﴿١﴾ اِلٰفِهِمْ رِحْلَةَ الشِّتَآءِ وَالصَّيْفِ ﴿٢﴾
For the safety of the Quraish, the safety which they enjoy in their journeys in the winter months and the summer months.
In this surah, Allah Ta‘ala reminds the Quraish of these two special favours of Allah Ta‘ala upon them; the bounty of safety and the bounty of prosperity. After informing them of these two bounties, Allah Ta‘ala commands them that they should be obedient to Him and should not worship anyone besides Him.
From this, we also understand that the Quraish have been blessed with an additional honour and respect by Allah Ta’ala compared to others. It is reported in the Hadith that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “From the children of Hazrat Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam), Allah Ta’ala chose the Banu Kinaanah, and from Banu Kinaanah, Allah Ta’ala chose the Quraish, and from the Quraish, Allah Ta’ala chose the Banu Haashim, and from the Banu Haashim, Allah Ta’ala chose me.”
Thus, the Quraish have been bestowed with great honour and respect by Allah Ta’ala Himself. Generally, this honour and respect is acquired through the divine decision of Allah Ta’ala. One cannot ask the question, “Why was the Quraish granted a higher and more lofty position compared to others?” For this is the grace of Allah Ta’ala, and He grants His grace to whomsoever He wishes.
However, the apparent reason for the Quraish being granted this lofty position compared to others is that they possessed many great and sublime qualities such as honesty, showing appreciation and gratitude, taking care of people and assisting the weak and oppressed. These noble qualities and praiseworthy values were common among the Quraish. Therefore, Allah Ta’ala had selected them to be the custodians of His house.
فَلْيَعْبُدُوا۟ رَبَّ هٰذَا الْبَيْتِ ﴿٣﴾ الَّذِىٓ أَطْعَمَهُم مِّن جُوْعٍ وَاٰمَنَهُمْ مِّنْ خَوْفِۭ ﴿٤﴾
Let them worship the Rabb of the Sacred House (the Ka’bah), the One who had provided food for them against their hunger and safety against fear.
In this surah, Allah Ta’ala shows the ummah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) the way to acquire His special grace.
The way to acquire the special grace of Allah Ta‘ala is to show obedience to Allah Ta’ala and be grateful to Him. When one is obedient to Allah Ta‘ala and shows gratitude, Allah Ta‘ala blesses him with two great favours.
The first favour is that Allah Ta’ala blesses him with halaal sustenance and protects him from hunger and starvation. Similarly, Allah Ta’ala grants him abundance in his wealth and provision.
The second favour is that Allah Ta’ala provides him with safety and security in his life and wealth.
In another verse of the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta’ala cites a parable where a community was blessed with all types of favours from the side of Allah Ta‘ala.
وَضَرَبَ اللَّـهُ مَثَلًا قَرْيَةً كَانَتْ آمِنَةً مُّطْمَئِنَّةً يَأْتِيهَا رِزْقُهَا رَغَدًا مِّن كُلِّ مَكَانٍ
And Allah presents an example: a city which was safe and secure, its provision coming to it in abundance from every location
They were blessed with safety, wealth, etc, but the moment they broke their loyalty towards Allah Ta‘ala and were ungrateful for His favours, Allah Ta‘ala changed their condition in this world from prosperity to poverty and from safety and security to fear and danger.
فَكَفَرَتْ بِأَنْعُمِ اللّٰهِ فَأَذَاقَهَا اللَّـهُ لِبَاسَ الْجُوعِ وَالْخَوْفِ بِمَا كَانُوا يَصْنَعُونَ
But it (the people of the city) denied the favours of Allah. So Allah made it taste hunger and fear (that covered it) like a garment, as recompense for what they had been doing.
The “hunger and fear covering them like a garment” mentioned in this verse means that the hunger and fear was so intense that it was as though it had clothed them and enveloped them from head to toe.
Thus, we understand that the way to enjoy the favours of Allah Ta‘ala and the way to keep the favours of Allah Ta‘ala secure and protect it from being snatched away is to be obedient to Allah Ta‘ala and show gratitude and loyalty to Allah Ta‘ala for His favours and bounties at all times.
Imaam Jazaree (rahimahullah), the renowned imaam of qiraat, says that at the time of fear, it is recommended to recite Surah Quraish.
In Tafseer Mazhari, Qaari Thanaaullah (rahimahullah) says, “My shaykh, Hazrat Mirza Mazhar Saheb (rahimahullah), had advised me that at the time one anticipates fear and panic, one should recite this surah.” Qaari Thanaaullah (rahimahullah) further says, “I practiced upon this and found it to be extremely effective and beneficial.”