30:41 [Since they have become oblivious of God] corruption has appeared on land and in the sea as an outcome of what men’s hands have wrought, and so He will let them taste [the evil of] some of their doings so that they might return [to the right path].
See verse 30 above, as well as the corresponding notes; also 3:19 – “the only [true) religion in the sight of God is [man’s] self-surrender unto Him.
30:42 Say “Go all over the earth, and behold what happened in the end to those [sinners] who lived before [you] most of them were wont to ascribe divine qualities to things or beings other than God.”
The mention of God’s messages, interpolated by me between brackets, is justified by the verses which precede and follow this passage. Moreover, it is only by means of such an interpolation that the symbolic purport of the above reference to “the winds that bear glad tidings” can be made fully obvious.
30:43 Set, then, thy face steadfastly towards the one ever-true faith, there comes from God a Day [of reckoning – the Day] which cannot be averted. On that Day all will be sundered.
Lit., “did We send apostles to their [own] people”: see note 96 on 10:74.
30:44 He who has denied the truth will have to bear [the burden of] his denial, whereas all who did what is right and just will have made goodly provision for themselves.
As in verse 46 above, the reference to “the winds” has here a symbolic significance, namely, spiritual life and hope; hence my interpolation.
30:45 So that He might reward, out of His bounty, those who have attained to faith and done righteous deeds. Verily, He does not love those who refuse to acknowledge the truth.
The particle la’in (lit., “indeed, if …”) is often used in the Qur’an to express the recurrent, typical character of the attitude or situation referred to in the sequence; in all such cases, it may be suitably rendered as “thus it is: if …”, etc.
30:46 For among His wonders is this, He sends forth [His messages as He sends forth] the winds that bear glad tidings, so that He might give you a taste of His grace [through life-giving rains], and that ships might sail at His behest, and that you might go about in quest of some of His bounties, and that you might have cause to be grateful.
For a full explanation of this verse, see 11:9 and the corresponding notes 16-19.
30;47 And indeed, [O Muhammad, even] before thee did We send forth apostles – each one unto his own people – and they brought them all evidence of the truth, and then, [by causing the believers to triumph] We inflicted Our retribution upon those who [deliberately] did evil: for We had willed it upon Ourselves to succor the believers.
Cf. the identical passage in 27:80-81 and the corresponding note 72.
30:48 It is God who sends forth the winds [of hope], so that they raise a cloud – whereupon He spreads it over the skies as He wills, and causes it to break up so that thou seest rain issue from within it, and as soon as He causes it to fall upon whomever He wills of His servants – Lo! they rejoice.
In the original, this sentence is formulated in the past tense (“has created you” and “has ordained”), stressing the recurrent character of man’s life phases. In translation, this recurrence can be suitably expressed by using the present tense
30:49 Even though a short while ago, [just] before it was sent down upon them, they had abandoned all hope!
This interpolation – the meaning of which is elliptically implied here – shows the connection of the present passage with the preceding one, as well as with verses 11-16 and 27.
30:50 Behold, then, [O man] these signs of God’s grace – how He gives life to the earth after it had been lifeless! Verily, this Selfsame (God) is indeed the One that can bring the dead back to life, for He has the power to will anything!
The illusory character of man’s earthbound concept of “time” is brought out in the Quran in several places. In the above context, stress is laid, firstly, on the relativity of this concept – i.e., on the infinitesimal shortness of our life on earth as compared with the timeless duration of life in the hereafter (cf., for instance, 10:45 or 17:52) – and, secondly, on the resurrected sinners’ self-deluding excuse that their life on earth had been too short to allow them to realize their errors and mend their ways. It is to this second aspect of the problem that the Qur’an alludes in the “words, “thus were they wont to delude themselves” (lit., “to be turned away”, i.e., from the truth). For an explanation of the verb yu’fikun, see surah 5, note 90.