Chapter 27: Surah An-Naml (The Ants)
In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’an, and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings]. These are the Verses of the Qur’an, and (it is) a Book (that makes things) clear;
2. A guide (to the Right Path); and glad tidings for the believers [who believe in the Oneness of Allah (i.e. Islamic Monotheism)].
3. Those who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat) and give Zakat and they believe with certainty in the Hereafter (resurrection, recompense of their good and bad deeds, Paradise and Hell, etc.).
4. Verily, those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds fair-seeming to them, so they wander about blindly.
5. They are those for whom there will be an evil torment (in this world). And in the Hereafter they will be the greatest losers.
6. And verily, you (O Muhammad ) are receiving the Qur’an from the One, All-Wise, All-Knowing.
7. (Remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his household: “Verily! I have seen a fire, I will bring you from there some information, or I will bring you a burning brand, that you may warm yourselves.”
8. But when he came to it, he was called: “Blessed is whosoever is in the fire, and whosoever is round about it! And glorified be Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).
9. “O Musa (Moses)! Verily! It is I, Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
10. “And throw down your stick!” But when he saw it moving as if it were a snake, he turned in flight, and did not look back. (It was said): “O Musa (Moses)! Fear not, verily! The Messengers fear not in front of Me.
11. “Except him who has done wrong and afterwards has changed evil for good, then surely, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
12. “And put your hand into your bosom, it will come forth white without hurt. (These are) among the nine signs (you will take) to Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his people, they are a people who are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).
13. But when Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) came to them, clear to see, they said: “This is a manifest magic.”
14. And they belied them (those Ayat) wrongfully and arrogantly, though their ownselves were convinced thereof [i.e. those (Ayat) are from Allah, and Musa (Moses) is the Messenger of Allah in truth, but they disliked to obey Musa (Moses), and hated to believe in his Message of Monotheism]. So see what was the end of the Mufsidun (disbelievers, disobedient to Allah, evil-doers, liars.).
15. And indeed We gave knowledge to Dawud (David) and Sulaiman (Solomon), and they both said: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has preferred us above many of His believing slaves!”
16. And Sulaiman (Solomon) inherited (the knowledge of) Dawud (David). He said: “O mankind! We have been taught the language of birds, and on us have been bestowed all things. This, verily, is an evident grace (from Allah).”
17. And there were gathered before Sulaiman (Solomon) his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forwards).
18. Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said: “O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulaiman (Solomon) and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.”
19. So he [Sulaiman (Solomon)] smiled, amused at her speech and said: “My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.”
20. He inspected the birds, and said: “What is the matter that I see not the hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees?
21. “I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason.”
22. But the hoopoe stayed not long, he (came up and) said: “I have grasped (the knowledge of a thing) which you have not grasped and I have come to you from Saba’ (Sheba) with true news.
23. “I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne.
24. “I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of Allah, and Shaitan (Satan) has made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and has barred them from (Allah’s) Way, so they have no guidance,”
25. Al-La (this word has two interpretations) (A) [As Shaitan (Satan) has barred them from Allah’s Way] so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, or (B) So that they may worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. [Tafsir At-Tabari, Vol. 19, Page 149]
26. Allah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Lord of the Supreme Throne!
27. [Sulaiman (Solomon)] said: “We shall see whether you speak the truth or you are (one) of the liars.
28. “Go you with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them, then draw back from them, and see what (answer) they return.”
29. She said: “O chiefs! Verily! Here is delivered to me a noble letter,
30. “Verily! It is from Sulaiman (Solomon), and verily! It (reads): In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful;
31. “Be you not exalted against me, but come to me as Muslims (true believers who submit to Allah with full submission)’ “
32. She said: “O chiefs! Advise me in (this) case of mine. I decide no case till you are present with me.”
33. They said: “We have great strength, and great ability for war, but it is for you to command; so think over what you will command.”
34. She said: “Verily! Kings, when they enter a town (country), they despoil it, and make the most honourable amongst its people low. And thus they do.
35. “But verily! I am going to send him a present, and see with what (answer) the messengers return.”
36. So when (the messengers with the present) came to Sulaiman (Solomon), he said: “Will you help me in wealth? What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay, you rejoice in your gift!”
37. [Then Sulaiman (Solomon) said to the chief of her messengers who brought the present]: “Go back to them. We verily shall come to them with hosts that they cannot resist, and we shall drive them out from there in disgrace, and they will be abased.”
38. He said: “O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?”
39. An Ifrit (strong) from the jinns said: “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am indeed strong, and trustworthy for such work.”
40. One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” then when [Sulaiman (Solomon)] saw it placed before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his ownself, and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful.”
41. He said: “Disguise her throne for her that we may see whether she will be guided (to recognise her throne), or she will be one of those not guided.”
42. So when she came, it was said (to her): “Is your throne like this?” She said: “(It is) as though it were the very same.” And [Sulaiman (Solomon) said]: “Knowledge was bestowed on us before her, and we were submitted to Allah (in Islam as Muslims before her).”
43. And that which she used to worship besides Allah has prevented her (from Islam), for she was of a disbelieving people.
44. It was said to her: “Enter As-Sarh” [(a glass surface with water underneath it) or a palace], but when she saw it, she thought it was a pool, and she (tucked up her clothes) uncovering her legs, Sulaiman (Solomon) said: “Verily, it is Sarh [(a glass surface with water underneath it) or a palace] paved smooth with slab of glass.” She said: “My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, and I submit (in Islam, together with Sulaiman (Solomon), to Allah, the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).”
45. And indeed We sent to Thamud their brother Salih (Saleh), saying: “Worship Allah (Alone and none else). Then look! They became two parties (believers and disbelievers) quarreling with each other.”
46. He said: “O my people! Why do you seek to hasten the evil (torment) before the good (Allah’s Mercy)? Why seek you not the Forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy?”
47. They said: “We augur ill omen from you and those with you.” He said: “Your ill omen is with Allah; nay, but you are a people that are being tested.”
48. And there were in the city nine men (from the sons of their chiefs), who made mischief in the land, and would not reform.
49. They said: “Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and afterwards we will surely say to his near relatives: ‘We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily! We are telling the truth.'”
50. So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not.
51. Then see how was the end of their plot! Verily! We destroyed them and their nation, all together.
52. These are their houses in utter ruin, for they did wrong. Verily, in this is indeed an Ayah (a lesson or a sign) for people who know.
53. And We saved those who believed, and used to fear Allah, and keep their duty to Him.
54. And (remember) Lout (Lot)! When he said to his people . Do you commit Al-Fahishah (evil, great sin, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, sodomy, etc.) while you see (one another doing evil without any screen, etc.)?”
55. “Do you approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, but you are a people who behave senselessly.”
56. There was no other answer given by his people except that they said: “Drive out the family of Lout (Lot) from your city. Verily, these are men who want to be clean and pure!”
57. So We saved him and his family, except his wife. We destined her to be of those who remained behind.
58. And We rained down on them a rain (of stones). So evil was the rain of those who were warned.
59. Say (O Muhammad ): “Praise and thanks be to Allah, and peace be on His slaves whom He has chosen (for His Message)! Is Allah better, or (all) that you ascribe as partners (to Him)?” (Of course, Allah is Better).
60. Is not He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you water (rain) from the sky, whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight? It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees. Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)!
61. Is not He (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water).Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Nay, but most of them know not.
62. Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations. Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Little is that you remember!
63. Is not He (better than your gods) Who guides you in the darkness of the land and the sea, and Who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His Mercy (rain)? Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? High Exalted be Allah above all that they associate as partners (to Him)!
64. Is not He (better than your so-called gods) Who originates creation, and shall thereafter repeat it, and Who provides for you from heaven and earth? Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Say, “Bring forth your proofs, if you are truthful.”
65. Say: “None in the heavens and the earth knows the Ghaib (unseen) except Allah, nor can they perceive when they shall be resurrected.”
66. Nay, they have no knowledge of the Hereafter. Nay, they are in doubt about it. Nay, they are blind about it.
67. And those who disbelieve say: “When we have become dust, we and our fathers, shall we really be brought forth (again)?
68. “Indeed we were promised this, we and our forefathers before, Verily, these are nothing but tales of ancients.”
69. Say to them (O Muhammad ) “Travel in the land and see how has been the end of the criminals (those who denied Allah’s Messengers and disobeyed Allah).”
70. And grieve you not for them, nor be straitened (in distress) because of what they plot.
71. And they (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) say: “When (will) this promise (be fulfilled), if you are truthful?”
72. Say: “Perhaps that which you wish to hasten on, may be close behind you.
73. “Verily, your Lord is full of Grace for mankind, yet most of them do not give thanks.”
74. And verily, your Lord knows what their breasts conceal and what they reveal.
75. And there is nothing hidden in the heaven and the earth, but is in a Clear Book (i.e. Al-Lauh Al-Mahfuz).
76. Verily, this Qur’an narrates to the Children of Israel most of that about which they differ.
77. And truly, it (this Qur’an) is a guide and a mercy to the believers.
78. Verily, your Lord will decide between them (various sects) by His Judgement. And He is the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.
79. So put your trust in Allah; surely, you (O Muhammad ) are on manifest truth.
80. Verily, you cannot make the dead to hear (i.e. benefit them and similarly the disbelievers), nor can you make the deaf to hear the call, when they flee, turning their backs.
81. Nor can you lead the blind out of their error, you can only make to hear those who believe in Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), and who have submitted (themselves to Allah in Islam as Muslims).
82. And when the Word (of torment) is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth a beast to them, which will speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our Ayat (Verses of the Qur’an and Prophet Muhammad ).
83. And (remember) the Day when We shall gather out of every nation a troop of those who denied Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), and (then) they (all) shall be gathered (and driven to the place of reckoning),
84. Till, when they come (before their Lord at the place of reckoning), He will say: “Did you deny My Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) when you comprehended them not in knowledge, or what (else) was it that you used to do?”
85. And the Word (of torment) will be fulfilled against them, because they have done wrong, and they will be unable to speak (in order to defend themselves).
86. See they not that We have made the night for them to rest therein, and the day sight-giving? Verily, in this are Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) for the people who believe.
87. And (remember) the Day on which the Trumpet will be blown and all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth, will be terrified except him whom Allah will (exempt). And all shall come to Him humbled.
88. And you will see the mountains and think them solid, but they shall pass away as the passing away of the clouds. The Work of Allah, Who perfected all things, verily! He is Well-Acquainted with what you do.
89. Whoever brings a good deed (i.e. Belief in the Oneness of Allah along with every deed of righteousness), will have better than its worth, and they will be safe from the terror on that Day.
90. And whoever brings an evil (deed) (i.e. Shirk polytheism, disbelief in the Oneness of Allah and every evil sinful deed), they will be cast down (prone) on their faces in the Fire. (And it will be said to them) “Are you being recompensed anything except what you used to do?”
91. I (Muhammad ) have been commanded only to worship the Lord of this city (Makkah), Him Who has sanctified it and His is everything. And I am commanded to be from among the Muslims (those who submit to Allah in Islam).
92. And to recite the Qur’an, so whosoever receives guidance, receives it for the good of his ownself, and whosoever goes astray, say (to him): “I am only one of the warners.”
93. And say [(O Muhammad ) to these polytheists and pagans etc.]: “All the praises and thanks be to Allah. He will show you His Ayat (signs, in yourselves, and in the universe or punishments, etc.), and you shall recognise them. And your Lord is not unaware of what you do.”