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

ﭿ

بَلِ ادَّارَكَ عِلْمُهُمْ فِي الْآخِرَةِ ۚ بَلْ هُمْ فِي شَكٍّ مِّنْهَا ۖ بَلْ هُم مِّنْهَا عَمُونَ

Shakir

Nay, their knowledge respecting the hereafter is slight and hasty; nay, they are in doubt about it; nay, they are quite blind to it

Sahih International

Rather, their knowledge is arrested concerning the Hereafter. Rather, they are in doubt about it. Rather, they are, concerning it, blind.

Dr. Ghali

No indeed, (but) their knowledge has been overtaken (i.e., their knowledge is insignificant) as to the Hereafter; no indeed, they are in doubt of it; no indeed, they are willfully blind to it.

وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَإِذَا كُنَّا تُرَابًا وَآبَاؤُنَا أَئِنَّا لَمُخْرَجُونَ

Shakir

And those who disbelieve say: What! when we have become dust and our fathers (too), shall we certainly be brought forth?

Dr. Ghali

And the ones who have disbelieved have said, "When we are dust, and our fathers, surely will we indeed be brought out (of the graves)?

Sahih International

And those who disbelieve say, "When we have become dust as well as our forefathers, will we indeed be brought out [of the graves]?

لَقَدْ وُعِدْنَا هَٰذَا نَحْنُ وَآبَاؤُنَا مِن قَبْلُ إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا أَسَاطِيرُ الْأَوَّلِينَ

Sahih International

We have been promised this, we and our forefathers, before. This is not but legends of the former peoples."

Dr. Ghali

Indeed, we have already been promised this, we and our fathers earlier. Decidedly this is (nothing) except myths of the earliest (people)."

Shakir

We have certainly been promised this, we and our fathers before; these are naught but stories of the ancients

قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُجْرِمِينَ

Shakir

Say: Travel in the earth, then see how was the end of the guilty.

Dr. Ghali

Say, "Travel in the earth, then look into how was the end of the criminals."

Sahih International

Say, [O Muhammad], "Travel through the land and observe how was the end of the criminals."

وَلَا تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا تَكُن فِي ضَيْقٍ مِّمَّا يَمْكُرُونَ

Sahih International

And grieve not over them or be in distress from what they conspire.

Dr. Ghali

And do not grieve for them nor be straitened for what they scheme.

Shakir

And grieve not for them and be not distressed because of what they plan.

وَيَقُولُونَ مَتَىٰ هَٰذَا الْوَعْدُ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

Dr. Ghali

And they say, "When will this promise (come to pass), in case you are sincere?"

Shakir

And they say: When will this threat come to pass, if you are truthful?

Sahih International

And they say, "When is [the fulfillment of] this promise, if you should be truthful?"

قُلْ عَسَىٰ أَن يَكُونَ رَدِفَ لَكُم بَعْضُ الَّذِي تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ

Sahih International

Say, "Perhaps it is close behind you - some of that for which you are impatient.

Dr. Ghali

Say, "It may be that coming immediately after you is some (part) of that which you seek to hasten."

Shakir

Say: Maybe there may have drawn near to you somewhat of that which you seek to hasten on.

وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو فَضْلٍ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ

Shakir

And surely your Lord is the Lord of grace to men, but most of them are not grateful.

Dr. Ghali

And surely your Lord is indeed The Owner of Grace to mankind; but most of them do not thank (Him).

Sahih International

And indeed, your Lord is full of bounty for the people, but most of them do not show gratitude."

وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَيَعْلَمُ مَا تُكِنُّ صُدُورُهُمْ وَمَا يُعْلِنُونَ

Dr. Ghali

And surely your Lord knows indeed whatever their breasts carefully secrete and whatever they make public.

Shakir

And most surely your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they manifest.

Sahih International

And indeed, your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they declare.

ﯿ

وَمَا مِنْ غَائِبَةٍ فِي السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ إِلَّا فِي كِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ

Dr. Ghali

And in no way is there an unseen thing in the heaven or the earth except that it is in an evident Book.

Shakir

And there is nothing concealed in the heaven and the earth but it is in a clear book.

Sahih International

And there is nothing concealed within the heaven and the earth except that it is in a clear Register.

إِنَّ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ يَقُصُّ عَلَىٰ بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَكْثَرَ الَّذِي هُمْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

Shakir

Surely this Quran declares to the children of Israel most of what they differ in.

Sahih International

Indeed, this Qur'an relates to the Children of Israel most of that over which they disagree.

Dr. Ghali

Surely this Qur'an an narrates to the Seeds (Or: sons) of IsraeÉîl Israel) most of that concerning which they differ;

وَإِنَّهُ لَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Shakir

And most surely it is a guidance and a mercy for the believers.

Dr. Ghali

And surely it is indeed a guidance and a mercy to the believers.

Sahih International

And indeed, it is guidance and mercy for the believers.

إِنَّ رَبَّكَ يَقْضِي بَيْنَهُم بِحُكْمِهِ ۚ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الْعَلِيمُ

Dr. Ghali

Surely our Lord will decree between them by His Judgment; and He is The Ever-Mighty, The Ever-Knowing.

Sahih International

Indeed, your Lord will judge between them by His [wise] judgement. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Knowing.

Shakir

Surely your Lord will judge between them by his judgment, and He is the Mighty, the knowing.

فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّكَ عَلَى الْحَقِّ الْمُبِينِ

Sahih International

So rely upon Allah ; indeed, you are upon the clear truth.

Shakir

Therefore rely on Allah; surely you are on the clear truth.

Dr. Ghali

So put your trust in Allah; surely you are upon the evident Truth.

إِنَّكَ لَا تُسْمِعُ الْمَوْتَىٰ وَلَا تُسْمِعُ الصُّمَّ الدُّعَاءَ إِذَا وَلَّوْا مُدْبِرِينَ

Sahih International

Indeed, you will not make the dead hear, nor will you make the deaf hear the call when they have turned their backs retreating.

Dr. Ghali

Surely you will not make the dead to hear, nor will you make the deaf to hear the call when they turn away, withdrawing.

Shakir

Surely you do not make the dead to hear, and you do not make the deaf to hear the call when they go back retreating.

ﭿ

وَمَا أَنتَ بِهَادِي الْعُمْيِ عَن ضَلَالَتِهِمْ ۖ إِن تُسْمِعُ إِلَّا مَن يُؤْمِنُ بِآيَاتِنَا فَهُم مُّسْلِمُونَ

Sahih International

And you cannot guide the blind away from their error. You will only make hear those who believe in Our verses so they are Muslims [submitting to Allah ].

Shakir

Nor can you be a guide to the blind out of their error; you cannot make to bear (any one) except those who believe in Our communications, so they submit.

Dr. Ghali

And in no way will you ever guide the blind out of their errancy; decidedly you will make none to hear except the ones who believe in Our signs, (and) so they become Muslims (i.e., they surrender to Allah).

وَإِذَا وَقَعَ الْقَوْلُ عَلَيْهِمْ أَخْرَجْنَا لَهُمْ دَابَّةً مِّنَ الْأَرْضِ تُكَلِّمُهُمْ أَنَّ النَّاسَ كَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا لَا يُوقِنُونَ

Sahih International

And when the word befalls them, We will bring forth for them a creature from the earth speaking to them, [saying] that the people were, of Our verses, not certain [in faith].

Shakir

And when the word shall come to pass against them, We shall bring forth for them a creature from the earth that shall i wound them, because people did not believe in Our communications.

Dr. Ghali

And when the Saying befalls them, We will bring out for them from the earth a beast that will speak to them that mankind had no certitude in Our signs.

وَيَوْمَ نَحْشُرُ مِن كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ فَوْجًا مِّمَّن يُكَذِّبُ بِآيَاتِنَا فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ

Sahih International

And [warn of] the Day when We will gather from every nation a company of those who deny Our signs, and they will be [driven] in rows

Dr. Ghali

And the Day when We will muster out of every nation a troop of the ones who cried lies to Our signs, so they were duly dispensed.

Shakir

And on the day when We will gather from every nation a party from among those who rejected Our communications, then they shall be formed into groups.

حَتَّىٰ إِذَا جَاءُوا قَالَ أَكَذَّبْتُم بِآيَاتِي وَلَمْ تُحِيطُوا بِهَا عِلْمًا أَمَّاذَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Dr. Ghali

Until, when they come, He will say, "Did you cry lies to My signs, and did (you) not encompass them in knowledge, or what were you doing?"

Shakir

Until when they come, He will say: Did you reject My communications while you had no comprehensive knowledge of them? Or what was it that you did?

Sahih International

Until, when they arrive [at the place of Judgement], He will say, "Did you deny My signs while you encompassed them not in knowledge, or what [was it that] you were doing?"

وَوَقَعَ الْقَوْلُ عَلَيْهِم بِمَا ظَلَمُوا فَهُمْ لَا يَنطِقُونَ

Shakir

And the word shall come to pass against them because they were unjust, so they shall not speak.

Dr. Ghali

And the Saying will befall them for that they did injustice, so they will not pronounce (at all).

Sahih International

And the decree will befall them for the wrong they did, and they will not [be able to] speak.

أَلَمْ يَرَوْا أَنَّا جَعَلْنَا اللَّيْلَ لِيَسْكُنُوا فِيهِ وَالنَّهَارَ مُبْصِرًا ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ

Shakir

Do they not consider that We have made the night that. they may rest therein, and the day to give light? Most surely there are signs in this for a people who believe.

Dr. Ghali

Have they not seen that We have made the night for them to rest in it, and the daytime a beholder? (1) Surely in that are indeed signs for a people who believe.

Sahih International

Do they not see that We made the night that they may rest therein and the day giving sight? Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe.

ﯿ

وَيَوْمَ يُنفَخُ فِي الصُّورِ فَفَزِعَ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَن فِي الْأَرْضِ إِلَّا مَن شَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ وَكُلٌّ أَتَوْهُ دَاخِرِينَ

Sahih International

And [warn of] the Day the Horn will be blown, and whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth will be terrified except whom Allah wills. And all will come to Him humbled.

Shakir

And on the day when the trumpet shall be blown, then those who are in the heavens and those who are in the earth shall be terrified except such as Allah please, and all shall come to him abased.

Dr. Ghali

And on the Day the Trumpet will be blown, then alarmed is whoever is in the heavens and whoever is in the earth, excepting whomever Allah decides (to exempt), and every one will come up to Him, all (utterly) abject.

وَتَرَى الْجِبَالَ تَحْسَبُهَا جَامِدَةً وَهِيَ تَمُرُّ مَرَّ السَّحَابِ ۚ صُنْعَ اللَّهِ الَّذِي أَتْقَنَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ ۚ إِنَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَفْعَلُونَ

Dr. Ghali

And you see the mountains, that you reckon inert, and (really) they pass by like clouds- the handiwork of Allah, Who has consummated everything; surely He is Ever-Cognizant of whatever you perform.

Shakir

And you see the mountains, you think them to be solid, and they shall pass away as the passing away of the cloud-- the handiwork of Allah Who has made every thing thoroughly; surely He is Aware of what you do.

Sahih International

And you see the mountains, thinking them rigid, while they will pass as the passing of clouds. [It is] the work of Allah , who perfected all things. Indeed, He is Acquainted with that which you do.

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ خَيْرٌ مِّنْهَا وَهُم مِّن فَزَعٍ يَوْمَئِذٍ آمِنُونَ

Dr. Ghali

Whoever comes with a fair (deed), then he will have a more charitable (i.e., better) (reward) than it, and they will be secure from alarm upon that Day.

Shakir

Whoever brings good, he shall have better than it; and they shall be secure from terror on the day.

Sahih International

Whoever comes [at Judgement] with a good deed will have better than it, and they, from the terror of that Day, will be safe.

وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَكُبَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فِي النَّارِ هَلْ تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

Sahih International

And whoever comes with an evil deed - their faces will be overturned into the Fire, [and it will be said], "Are you recompensed except for what you used to do?"

Shakir

And whoever brings evil, these shall be thrown down on their faces into the fire; shall you be rewarded (for) aught except what you did?

Dr. Ghali

And whoever comes with an odious (deed), then their faces will be tossed down in the Fire. Are you recompensed except whatever you were doing?

إِنَّمَا أُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَعْبُدَ رَبَّ هَٰذِهِ الْبَلْدَةِ الَّذِي حَرَّمَهَا وَلَهُ كُلُّ شَيْءٍ ۖ وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُسْلِمِينَ

Sahih International

[Say, O Muhammad], "I have only been commanded to worship the Lord of this city, who made it sacred and to whom [belongs] all things. And I am commanded to be of the Muslims [those who submit to Allah ]

Dr. Ghali

Surely I have been commanded only to worship The Lord of this township (Makkah), which He has prohibited; (Prohibited it for disbelievers) and to Him belongs everything; and I have been commanded to be of the Muslims (Those who surrender to Allah).

Shakir

I am commanded only that I should serve the Lord of this city, Who has made it sacred, and His are all things; and I am commanded that I should be of these who submit;

ﭿ

وَأَنْ أَتْلُوَ الْقُرْآنَ ۖ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ

Shakir

And that I should recite the Quran. Therefore whoever goes aright, he goes aright for his own soul, and whoever goes ' astray, then say: I am only one of the warners.

Dr. Ghali

And to recite the Qur'an. So whoever is guided, then surely he is guided for (the good) of his (own) self; and whoever errs away, then say, "Surely I am only one of the warners."

Sahih International

And to recite the Qur'an." And whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] himself; and whoever strays - say, "I am only [one] of the warners."

وَقُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ سَيُرِيكُمْ آيَاتِهِ فَتَعْرِفُونَهَا ۚ وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ

Dr. Ghali

And say, "Praise be to Allah! He will soon show you His signs (and) then you will recognize them; and in no way is your Lord ever heedless of whatever you do."

Sahih International

And say, "[All] praise is [due] to Allah . He will show you His signs, and you will recognize them. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do."

Shakir

And say: Praise be to Allah, He will show you His signs so that you shall recognize them; nor is your Lord heedless of what you do.

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