(… قُلْ مَن يُنَجِّيكُم ) (Say, “Who rescues you …): I have mentioned previously that when the human being loses all means, and is in a tight spot, he will seek refuge -by means of instinct, not by means of belief- via the phrase: ‘O my Lord’. This is due to the innate disposition found in human beings, as Allah (swt) says:
وَإِذْ أَخَذَ رَبُّكَ مِن بَنِي آدَمَ مِن ظُهُورِهِمْ ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ وَأَشْهَدَهُمْ عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ أَلَسْتَ بِرَبِّكُمْ قَالُواْ بَلَى شَهِدْنَا أَن تَقُولُواْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ إِنَّا كُنَّا عَنْ هَذَا غَافِلِينَ
(And (remember) when your Lord brought forth from the loins of the children of Adam their descendants and had them testify regarding themselves. (Allah asked,) “Am I not your Lord?” They replied, “Yes, You are! We testify.” (He cautioned), “Now you have no right to say on Judgment Day, ‘We were not aware of this.’) (Al-A’raf: 172)
Thus, faith is in fact affixed in the human self.
(… مِّن ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ… ) (…from the darknesses of the land and sea …): There are various types of darkness, for example, the darkness of the murky night, the darkness of ignorance and the darkness of oppression.
(… تَدْعُونَهُ… ) (…you call upon Him…): This Arabic word is derived from the word which means a request from someone in the lower level to someone above. Allah (swt) says:
وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُمْ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ عَنْ عِبَادَتِي سَيَدْخُلُونَ جَهَنَّمَ دَاخِرِينَ
(Your Lord has proclaimed, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.”) (Ghafer: 60)
Allah (swt) has requested from us to call upon Him, and He Himself has guaranteed the response.