¡ For the secure passage of the Quraysh,
* their secure passage in the journey of winter and of summer;
1-2 Reading this verse as a continuation of the previous sūrah, it can be understood as an allusion to God’s saving the Quraysh from the elephant of Abrahah (see the introduction to Sūrah 105). Secure passage translates īlāf, which comes from a root (ʾ-l-f) indicating that one is familiar with something or resorts to it habitually. It came to be connected with secure passage when īlāf and the related word ilf were used as names for the grants of security that the Quraysh reportedly received from the surrounding powers: Byzantium, Persia, Abyssinia, and Yemen. In the winter the Quraysh would travel to Yemen, where they purchased spices and other commodities coming from India. Then in the summer they carried these to Syria, where they sold them and purchased agricultural products. According to some this verse is an allusion to the respect the Quraysh received as keepers of the Kaʿbah, which compelled other tribes to grant them safe passage and thus contributed to their wealth (IK). In this vein, it is related to 29:67: Or have they not considered that We have made a secure sanctuary while people are snatched away all around them? Do they believe in that which is false? And are they ungrateful for God’s Blessing?