Throughout your life you run back and forth between two opposite things, like aṣ-Ṣafā and al-Marwah. Aṣ-Ṣafā and al-Marwah are two clusters of rocks between which the pilgrim runs back and forth. They are the scene of Hajar’s running to and fro in search of water, after being left alone with ‘Ismail in the blistering heat and wilderness of Mecca. They figuratively bracket all human efforts, from hunger to fullness, from illness to wellness, and man’s patience and tawakkul (trust, confidence) in Allah are tested through running between them. Aṣ-Ṣafā and al-Marwah, and the practice of sa’y (running between the two of them), are indeed true signs of Allah. Man performs sa’y throughout his life in his constant search for true contentment, seeking it outwardly, not knowing that the access to it is already within him.
By Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri from the book “Man in Qur’ān and the Meaning of Furqān – Surat ul-Baqarah”