VERSES
93
PAGES
377-385

Name

The Surah takes its name from the phrase wad-in-naml which occurs in verse 18, implying that it is a Surah in which the story of An-Naml (the Ant) has been related.

Period of Revelation

The subject matter and the style bear full resemblance with the Surahs of the middle Makkan period and this is supported by traditions as well. According to Ibn Abbas and Jabir bin Zaid, "First the Surah Ash-Shu`araa' was sent down, then the Surah An Naml and then Al-Qasas."

Theme and Topics

The Surah consists of two discourses, the first from the beginning of the Surah to the end of verse 58, and the second from verse 59 to the end of the Surah.

The theme of the first discourse is that only those people can benefit from the guidance of the Quran and become worthy of the good promises made in it, who accept the realities which this Book presents as the basic realities of the universe, and then follow up their belief with obedience and submission in their practical lives as well. But the greatest hindrance for man to follow this way is the denial of the Hereafter. For it makes him irresponsible, selfish and given to worldly life, which in turn makes it impossible for him to submit himself before God and to accept the moral restrictions on his lusts and desires. After this introduction three types of character have been presented.

The first type is characterized by Pharaoh and the chiefs of Thamud and the rebels of the people of Lot, who were all heedless of the accountability of the Hereafter and had consequently become the slaves of the world. These people did not believe even after seeing the miracles. Rather they turned against those who invited them to goodness and piety. They persisted in their evil ways which are held in abhorrence by every sensible person. They did not heed the admonition even until a moment before they were overtaken by the scourge of Allah.

The second type of character is of the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him), who had been blessed by God with wealth and kingdom and grandeur to an extent undreamed of by the chiefs of the disbelievers of Makkah. But, since he regarded himself as answerable before God and had the feeling that whatever he had was only due to Allah's bounty, he had adopted the attitude of obedience before Him and there was no tinge of vanity in his character.

The third type is of the queen of Sheba, who ruled over a most wealthy and well known people in the history of Arabia. She possessed all those means of life, which could cause a person to become vain and conceited. Her wealth and possessions far exceeded the wealth and possessions of the Quraish. Then she professed shirk, which was not only an ancestral way of life with her, but she had to follow it in order to maintain her position as a ruler. Therefore, it was much more difficult for her to give up shirk and adopt the way of Tauhid than it could be for a common mushrik. But when the Truth became evident to her, nothing could stop her from accepting it. Her deviation was, in fact, due to her being born and brought up in a polytheistic environment and not because of her being a slave to her lusts and desires. Her conscience was not devoid of the sense of accountability before God.

In the second discourse, at the outset, attention has been drawn to some of the most glaring and visible realities of the universe, and the disbelievers of Makkah have been asked one question after the other to the effect : "Do these realities testify to the creed of shirk which you are following, or to the truth of Tauhid to which the Qur'an invites you?" After this the real malady of the disbelievers has been pointed out, saying, "The thing which has blinded them and made them insensitive to every glaring reality is their denial of the Hereafter. This same thing has rendered every matter and affair of life non-serious for them. For, when according to them, everything has to become dust ultimately, and the whole struggle of life is purposeless and without an object before it, the truth and falsehood are equal and alike. Therefore, the question whether one's system of life is based on the right or wrong foundations, becomes meaningless for him."

But the discourse, as outlined above, is not meant to dissuade the Prophet and the Muslims from calling the obdurate and heedless people to the way of Tauhid ; it is, in fact, intended to arouse them from their slumber. That is why in vv. 67-93 certain things have been said repeatedly in order to produce in the people a sense of the Hereafter, to warn them of the consequences of being heedless of it, and to convince them of its coining, like an eye witness of something, who convinces the other person of it, who has not seen it.

In conclusion, the real invitation of the Quran that is, the invitation to serve One Allah alone, has been presented in a concise but forceful manner, and the people warned that accepting it would be to their own advantage and rejecting it to their own disadvantage. For if they deferred their faith until they saw those Signs of God after the appearance of which they would be left with no choice but to believe and submit, they should bear in mind the fact that that would be the time of judgment and believing then would be of no avail.

Source: Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi - Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Quran

ﭑﭒﭓ

27:6

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And indeed, [O Muhammad], you receive the Qur'an from one Wise and Knowing.

27:7

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[Mention] when Moses said to his family, "Indeed, I have perceived a fire. I will bring you from there information or will bring you a burning torch that you may warm yourselves."

27:8

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But when he came to it, he was called, "Blessed is whoever is at the fire and whoever is around it. And exalted is Allah , Lord of the worlds.

27:9

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O Moses, indeed it is I - Allah , the Exalted in Might, the Wise."

27:10

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And [he was told], "Throw down your staff." But when he saw it writhing as if it were a snake, he turned in flight and did not return. [ Allah said], "O Moses, fear not. Indeed, in My presence the messengers do not fear.

27:11

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Otherwise, he who wrongs, then substitutes good after evil - indeed, I am Forgiving and Merciful.

27:12

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And put your hand into the opening of your garment [at the breast]; it will come out white without disease. [These are] among the nine signs [you will take] to Pharaoh and his people. Indeed, they have been a people defiantly disobedient."

27:13

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But when there came to them Our visible signs, they said, "This is obvious magic."

27:14

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And they rejected them, while their [inner] selves were convinced thereof, out of injustice and haughtiness. So see how was the end of the corrupters.

27:15

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And We had certainly given to David and Solomon knowledge, and they said, "Praise [is due] to Allah , who has favored us over many of His believing servants."

27:16

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And Solomon inherited David. He said, "O people, we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given from all things. Indeed, this is evident bounty."

27:17

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And gathered for Solomon were his soldiers of the jinn and men and birds, and they were [marching] in rows.

27:18

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Until, when they came upon the valley of the ants, an ant said, "O ants, enter your dwellings that you not be crushed by Solomon and his soldiers while they perceive not."

27:19

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So [Solomon] smiled, amused at her speech, and said, "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants."

27:20

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And he took attendance of the birds and said, "Why do I not see the hoopoe - or is he among the absent?

27:21

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I will surely punish him with a severe punishment or slaughter him unless he brings me clear authorization."

27:22

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But the hoopoe stayed not long and said, "I have encompassed [in knowledge] that which you have not encompassed, and I have come to you from Sheba with certain news.

27:23

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Indeed, I found [there] a woman ruling them, and she has been given of all things, and she has a great throne.

27:24

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I found her and her people prostrating to the sun instead of Allah , and Satan has made their deeds pleasing to them and averted them from [His] way, so they are not guided,

27:25

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[And] so they do not prostrate to Allah , who brings forth what is hidden within the heavens and the earth and knows what you conceal and what you declare -

27:26

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Allah - there is no deity except Him, Lord of the Great Throne."

27:27

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[Solomon] said, "We will see whether you were truthful or were of the liars.

27:28

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Take this letter of mine and deliver it to them. Then leave them and see what [answer] they will return."

27:29

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She said, "O eminent ones, indeed, to me has been delivered a noble letter.

27:30

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Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: 'In the name of Allah , the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

27:31

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Be not haughty with me but come to me in submission [as Muslims].' "

27:32

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She said, "O eminent ones, advise me in my affair. I would not decide a matter until you witness [for] me."

27:33

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They said, "We are men of strength and of great military might, but the command is yours, so see what you will command."

27:34

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She said, "Indeed kings - when they enter a city, they ruin it and render the honored of its people humbled. And thus do they do.

27:35

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But indeed, I will send to them a gift and see with what [reply] the messengers will return."

27:36

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So when they came to Solomon, he said, "Do you provide me with wealth? But what Allah has given me is better than what He has given you. Rather, it is you who rejoice in your gift.

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