QURAN KAREEMs SURAH AN NAML (THE AUNT) AYAHA NO 1 to20

 

SURAH AN NAML (THE AUNT) AYAHA NO 1 to 20

(27:1) Ta’. Sin. These are the verses of the Qur’an and a Clear Book;1

1. Kitabim-mubin has three meanings: (1) This book presents its teachings and instructions and injunctions plainly; (2) It distinguishes between the truth and falsehood clearly; and (3) Its being a divine Book is obvious. Whoever studies it with open eyes will realize that it has not been composed and forged by the Prophet (peace be upon him).

 

(27:2) A guidance and good tidings? for the believers

2. That is, the verses themselves are a “guidance” and “good tidings”, because they give guidance and convey good news in a most excellent manner.

(27:3) who establish Prayer and give Zakah,3 and have firm faith in the Hereafter.4

3. That is, these verses of the Quran give guidance and convey the good news of a good end only to those people who possess these two qualities: (1) They should affirm faith, that is, accept the invitation of the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), believe
in One God as their only Deity and Lord, accept the Quran as the Book of Allah, acknowledge the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a true prophet and their leader, and also adopt the belief that after this life there is another life, in which man has to render his full account of deeds and be rewarded or punished accordingly. (2) They should not only profess faith verbally, but should also be inclined to follow and obey the divine commands practically, and the first indication of this inclination is that they should establish the Salat and pay the Zakat. The verses of the Quran will show the right way of life only to those
people who fulfill these two conditions; they will explain to them the difference between right and wrong at every stage of the way, protect them against the wrong ways at every turn of the way, and bless them with the satisfaction that whatever be the consequences of following the right way in the world. In the Hereafter, they will certainly attain eternal and everlasting success and the goodwill of Allah only through it. For, in order to derive full benefit from the teaching of a teacher, one has first to have faith in him, then accept to be his student, and then work according to his instructions. Similarly, a patient who wants to be benefited from a doctor has first to accept him as a physician, and then follow his instructions with regard to medical dosage, prevention, etc. Then only he can assure the patient of the desired results.

Some people have interpreted the words yutun-az-zakat in this verse to mean that they should adopt moral purity. But, wherever in the Quran the word ita-i-zakat has occurred along with the word igamat-i-salat, it means payment of the Zakat, which is the second pillar of Islam after the Salat. Moreover, the Quran has used the word tazakka for adopting piety and purity and not ita which is specifically used for the payment of the Zakat. In fact, what is meant to be impressed here is this: In order to benefit fully from the guidance of the Quran, it is imperative that one should adopt the attitude of submission and obedience in practical life, as well after the affirmation of the faith, and the establishment of the Salat and the payment of the Zakat is the first indication that one has actually adopted such an attitude. If there is no such indication, it will become obvious that one is rebellious: he might
have acknowledged a ruler as such, but he is not inclined to carry out his commands.

4. Although belief in the Hereafter is an article of the faith, and a believer will also believe in it along with believing in Tauhid and the prophethood, here it has been specially mentioned separately in order to bring out its unique importance. The object is to impress that for those people who do not believe in the Hereafter, it is impossible to follow, even tread, the way taught by the Quran. People with this way of thinking naturally determine their criterion of good and evil by the results that appear, in this world. For them, it is not possible to accept any admonition or guidance which seeks to determine good and evil by the criterion of the gain and loss in the Hereafter. Such people in the first instance do not at all heed the teachings of the prophets, but if for some reason, they also get included among the believers, they find it difficult to take even the initial steps on the way of the faith and Islam because of the lack of faith in the Hereafter. For, as soon as they will encounter the first situation where the demands of the worldly gains and the losses of the Hereafter will pull them in opposite directions, they will freely allow themselves to be pulled towards the
worldly gains without caring in the least for the losses of the Hereafter, even though they may be making all sorts of claims to be believers.

 

(27:4) As for those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds seem attractive to them so they stumble around in perplexity.5

5. That is, this is God’s law of nature and the natural logic of human psychology that when a man thinks that the results of his life’s struggle are confined to this world only when he does not believe in the existence of any court where his life’s work has to be scrutinized and
judged finally for good and evil, and when he does not believe in any life in Hereafter when he will be required strictly in accordance with the real worth of his life’s deeds, he will inevitably develop in himself a material outlook on life, and every kind of conflict between the truth and falsehood, good and evil, morality and immorality, will appear utterly meaningless to him. Then, whatever earns him pleasure and enjoyment, material progress and prosperity, power and authority, will be good for him, no matter if it is any philosophy of life, any way of life and any system of morality. He will have no concern for truth and reality. His real ambition will be to win successes and earn adornments only of this worldly life, and their pursuit will lead him astray into every valley. Then, whatever he does with this object in view will be a thing of beauty for him, and he will regard all those others as foolish, who are not absorbed like him in seeking the world, and doing anything
and everything without any moral qualm and inhibition.

 

(27:5) It is they for whom a grievous chastisement lies in store;é it is they who shall be the greatest losers in the Hereafter.

6. Nothing definite has been said about the form, time, and place of this “worst of punishment.” For it is imposed in this world also on different persons and groups and nations in countless different ways; a part of it is also experienced by the wicked when they are about to leave the world; a man experiences it also in the intermediary state between death and resurrection; and then after the resurrection, it will become endless and everlasting.

 

(27:6) As for you, (O Muhammad), you are receiving the Qur’an from the Most Wise, the All-Knowing.7

7. That is, the things being mentioned in the Quran are not imaginary, nor are they based on the presumptions and opinions of a man, but they are being revealed by the One Who is All- Wise and All-Knowing, Who is perfect in Wisdom and Knowledge, Who has full knowledge
of the affairs of His creation and of its past and present and future, and Whose Wisdom devises the best schemes for the reform and guidance of His servants.

 

(27:7) (Recount to them) when Moses said to his family:8 “I perceive something like fire: soon will I bring to you some information from there, or I will bring you a burning brand that you may warm yourselves.”9

8. This happened at the foot of Mount Tur when the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was traveling along with his family in search of a suitable place for settlement, after passing eight to ten years in Madyan (Midian). From Madyan, whose territory lay on both sides of
the Gulf of Aqabah, on the sea shores of Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula, he reached the place called Mt. Sinai and Jabal Musa in the southern part of the Peninsula, which at the time of the revelation of the Quran was well known as Tur. See (Ash-Shuara, E.N. 115). The details of this story have been given in (Surah Ta Ha: Ayats 9-24), and (Surah Al- Qasas: Ayats 29-36).

 

9. The context shows that it was a cold wintry night and the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was passing through unfamiliar land. Therefore, he said to his family, “Let me go and find out what habitation it is where a fire is alight and get some information about the traveling routes and the nearby habitations. I shall at least bring a few embers for you to light a fire and warm yourselves.”

The place where the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had seen a burning bush is situated at about 5,000 ft. above sea level at the foot of Mt. Tur. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of the Roman Empire, had a church built in about 365 A.D. right at the spot where
this event had occurred. Two hundred years later Emperor Justinian had a monastery built which included the church built by Constantine as well. Both the monastery and the church stand even today and are under the control of the monks of the Greek Orthodox Church.

 

(27:8) But when Moses came to the fire, a call was sounded:10 “Blessed is He Who is in the fire and whatever is around it. Glory be to Allah, the Sustainer of all in the Universe.11

10. According to (Al-Qasas: Ayat 30), the voice was calling out from a tree. What one understands from this is this: A sort of fire was alight on the ground on the edge of the valley, but neither was anything burning nor any smoke arising. In the midst of the fire there stood a lush green tree from which a voice started calling out this all of a sudden.

This is a strange thing that the prophets of Allah have been experiencing. When the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was first blessed with prophethood, an angel appeared before him in the solitude of the cave of Hira and started delivering Allah’s message. A similar thing happened with the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) also. A journeying person has halted at a place, sees a fire at a distance, approaches it in order to get some information to abort the route, or to pick a burning ember, and suddenly Allah, Lord of the Worlds, the Infinite, the Inconceivable Being, starts speaking to him. On such occasions, there exists externally as well as within the Prophets’ own selves an extraordinary state which fills them with the assurance that it is not a jinn or a satan or an illusion of their own mind, nor are their senses being deceived, but it is the Lord of the universe, or His Angel, who is speaking to them. (See (E.N. 10 of Surah An-Najm).

11. Here the use of the words Subhan-Allah (glorified is Allah) is meant to warn the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) to this effect: “You should never think that Allah, Lord of the universe, is sitting in the tree, or has entered into it, or that His absolute Light has concentrated into the limited sphere of your sight, or some tongue is functioning in some mouth to produce speech, but it is Allah, Who is Pure and Free from all such limitations, Who is Himself speaking to you.”

 

(27:9) O Moses, verily this is Me, Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise!

 

(27:10) Now cast your rod!” But when he saw the rod writhing as though it were a serpent,12 he turned his back in retreat and did not even look behind. “O Moses, have no fear. Messengers have no fear in My presence,13

 

12. In Surahs Al-Aaraf and Ash-Shura, the snake has been called thuban (a large serpent)  but here jaann, is a small snake. The reason is that in physical size it was a serpent but in movement, it was swift like a small snake. The same thing has been expressed by hayyatun  tasaa (a running snake) in (Surah Ta Ha: Ayat 20).

13. That is, “In My presence, there is no danger of any harm to the messenger. When I call someone into My presence to appoint him to the high office of prophethood, I Myself become responsible for his safety. Therefore, the messenger should remain fearless and confident in every kind of unusual situation: it will never harm or hurt him in any way.”

 

(27:11) except he who has committed some wrong.” But if he substitutes well in place of evil, lam Most Forgiving, Most Compassionate.

14. This exception can be contiguous as well as remote. In the first case, it will imply that there can be a genuine cause of fear if the messenger has committed an offense; in the second case it will mean: “None should have any cause of fear in My presence, unless, of course, someone has committed an offense.”

15. That is, “If even an offender repents and reforms himself and does well instead of evil, I will pardon him.” This implied both a warning and good news. The Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had killed a Copt inadvertently and fled from Egypt. This was an offense to which a subtle reference was made. When this offense was committed unintentionally by the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), he immediately offered repentance to Allah, saying, “O my Lord! I have sinned against myself, so forgive me.” So, “Allah forgave him”
there and then. (Surah Al-Oasas: Ayat 16). Here the good news of the same forgiveness has been given to him, as if to say, “O Moses, there could be a genuine cause for you to feel afraid in My presence, because you had committed an offense, but when you have changed
the evil into good, I have nothing but forgiveness and mercy for you. I have not called you here at this time to punish you, but I am going to send you on a great mission with wonderful miracles.”

 

(27:12) Now put your hand into your bosom, and it will come forth shining without any blemish. (These are two of the) nine Signs‘16 to be carried to Pharaoh and his people. They are surely wicked people.”

 

16. According to (Surah Bani-Israel: Ayat 101), the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had been granted nine clearly visible signs, which according to the details given in Surah Al- Aaraf were the following: (1) The staff’s turning into a serpent, (2) the shining hand when it was drawn out of the armpit, (3) public triumph over the magicians, (4) occurrence of widespread famine in the land as foretold by the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), (5) the storm, (6) the locusts, (7) the incidence of weevils in the grain stores and of lice among human beings and animals, (8) the frogs, and (9) the rain of blood. (See (E.N. 43 of Surah Az- Zukhruf).

 

(27:13) But when Our Clear Signs came to them, they said: “This is plain magic.”

 

(27:14) They denied those Signs out of iniquity and arrogance although their hearts were convinced of their truth. So see how evil was the end of those mischief-makers!17

17. As mentioned at other places in the Quran, whenever a plague befell Egypt as foretold by the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him), Pharaoh would say, “O Moses, pray to your Lord to remove this plague; then we shall submit to what you say.” But as soon as the
plague was removed, Pharaoh would break his promise. (Surah Al-Aaraf: Ayat 134), (Az- Zukhruf: Ayats 49-50). The Bible also has mentioned it (Exodus. 8 to 10). It could not be imagined that the occurrence of famine throughout the country, and the coming of a
violent storm, and the incidence of the locusts and the frogs the weevils in such abundance could be due to any trick of magic. The miracles were so manifest that even a simple-minded person could not help but realize that the occurrence of the plagues on such a large scale and their removal at the Prophet’s prayer could be only due to Allah, Lord of all Creation’s Power and Authority. That is why the Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) had told Pharaoh plainly: “You know it full well that none but the Lord of the heavens and the earth has sent down these signs.” (Surah Bani-Israel: Ayat 102). But the reason why Pharaoh and his chiefs rejected Moses (peace be upon him) knowingly was: “What! should we believe in these two men who are human beings like ourselves and whose people are our bondsmen?” (Surah Al-Muminun: Ayat 47).

 

(27:15) (On the other hand), We granted knowledge to David and Solomon: and they said: “All praise be to Allah Who has exalted us above many of His believing servants! “18

 

18. That is, the knowledge of the reality, the knowledge that whatever they have is not theirs but the gift of Allah, and whatever rights they have been granted over those things should be used strictly according to Allah’s will. For, they will be held answerable before Allah, the real Owner, for the right and wrong use of those rights. This knowledge is the opposite of the ignorance in which Pharaoh was involved. The type of character built on ignorance has been presented in the preceding verses. Now, in the following verses, the model of the character built on knowledge is presented. The sort of kingdom, wealth, power, and grandeur was common on both sides. The Pharaoh had been given these as well as the Prophets David and Solomon. But the distinction of ignorance and knowledge built and molded them into entirely different personalities.

19. That is, “There were other believing, servants as well, who could be blessed with vicegerency. But it is only Allah’s favor, not due to any special quality in ourselves, that He has chosen us to be rulers over this kingdom.”

 

(27:16) And, Solomon succeeded David and said: “O people, we have been taught the speech of birds2! and we have been endowed with all kinds of things.2 Surely this is a conspicuous favor (from Allah).”

20. Succession here does not mean inheritance of wealth and properties, but the succession to the Prophet David (peace be upon him) in the prophethood and vicegerency. For the wealth and possessions, if at all transferred, could not be transferred to the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) only, because Prophet David (peace be upon him) had other children also. Therefore, this verse cannot be cited to refute the Hadith reported by the Prophet
(peace be upon him), saying, “The inheritance left by us, the Prophets, is not divided as such. Whatever we leave behind is charity.” (Bukhari). And, “There is no heir to a Prophet. Whatever he leaves behind is divided among the needy and the indigent of the Muslims.” (Musnad Ahmad).

The Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) was the youngest son of the Prophet David (peace be upon him). His Hebrew name Solomon is a synonym of Salim (rightminded, affable). He succeeded the Prophet David (peace be upon him) in 965 B.C. and ruled his kingdom for forty years, till 926 B.C. (For other details of his life and works, see(_E.N. 74-75 of Surah Al-Anbiyaa). Our commentators have greatly exaggerated the vastness of his kingdom, and have held that he ruled over a large part of the world. The fact, however, is that his kingdom comprised only the present Palestine and Transjordan and a part of Syria.

21. There is no mention in the Bible that the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) had been taught the speech of the birds and animals, though the Israelite traditions contain a reference to it.

22. That is, “Allah has bestowed on us all sorts of things.” This, however, should not be understood literally; it only means the abundance of wealth and the means of life granted by Allah. This was not said proudly by Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) but only to express his gratitude to Allah for His grace, bounty, and favors.

(27:17) Hosts of jinn and humans and birds 23 were marshaled for Solomon and were kept under full control.

23. The Bible does not either make any mention that there were jinns in the Prophet Solomon’s (peace be upon him) armies, and he took service from them, but the Talmud and the rabbinical traditions contain details of this. Some of the present-day writers have strained every nerve to prove that the words jinn and tair do not refer to the jinns and birds but to men who performed different duties in the Prophet Solomon’s (peace be upon him) army. They say that the Jinn were the people of the mountain tribes whom Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) had subdued and who performed tasks of great strength and skill
under him; and tair implies cavalry which could move much faster than the infantry. But these are indeed the worst examples of misinterpreting the Quran. The Quran here mentions three distinct kinds of the army consisting of the men, the jinns, and the birds, and all three have been qualified by the prefix al (alif-lam) to denote a class. Therefore, al-jinn and al-tair could not be included in al-ins (the men), but could be two separate and different classes from the men. Moreover, a person who has little acquaintance with Arabic cannot
imagine that in this language the mere word al-Jinn could ever imply a group of the men, or al-tair as troops mounted on horses, nor could any Arab understand these meanings from these words. Calling a man a jinn because of some supernatural feat of his, or a woman a fairy because of her beauty, or a fast-moving person a bird, does not mean that the words jinn and fairy and bird will henceforth be taken to mean a powerful man and a beautiful woman and a fast-moving person respectively. These are only the metaphoric and not the real meanings of these words. In discourse, a word is used in its figurative instead of its real meaning, and the listeners also will take it in that meaning, only when there exists in the context a clear pointer to its being figurative. What, after all, is the pointer in the context here from which one may understand that the words jinn and tair have been used not in their real and lexical meaning but in their figurative meaning? Contrary to this, the work and the state of a member of each of the two groups that have been mentioned in the following verses, fall entirely against the purport of this interpretation. If a person does not want to believe in something stated in the Quran, he should frankly say that he does not believe in it.
But it would be moral cowardice and intellectual dishonesty if one should force the clear words of the Quran to give the meaning that he wants them to give, and tells the world that he believes in what the Quran says, whereas he does not, in fact, believe in it but believes in
his own distorted meaning.

 

(27:18) (Solomon was once on the move with them) until when they reached a valley of ants one of the ants said: “O ants, get into your holes, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under their feet) without even knowing.”24

24. This verse also has been greatly misconstrued by some commentators of the present day. They say that wad-in naml does not mean “valley of the ants”, but it is the name of a valley that was in Syria, and namlah does not mean an ant but it is the name of a tribe. Thus, according to them, the verse means this: “When the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) reached the valley of the ants, a Namilite said, O people of the Nam tribe ……” But this also is an interpretation that is not supported by the words of the Quran. Even if we took wad- in-naml to be the name of a valley and supposed that it was inhabited by the tribe of Bani an-Naml, it would be against the Arabic idiom and usage to speak of a member of the tribe as namlah. Although there are many Arab tribes that have been named after animals, e.g. Kalb (dog), Asad (lion), etc. Yet no Arab would ever say in respect of a member of the Kalb or the Asad tribe: “A dog said, or a lion said, etc.” Therefore, it would be against the Arabic idiom to say in respect of a member of the Naml tribe: “An ant (namlah) said this.”
Then a member of the Naml tribe’s warned the people of his tribe, saying, “O Namilites, get into your houses lest Solomon’s hosts should trample you down without even knowing it,” becomes meaningless, It has never happened that an army of men should have trampled down a group of men without knowing it. If the army has come with the intention of an attack, it would be useless for the other side to get into their houses, for in that case the invaders would follow them into their houses, and trample them more ruthlessly. And if the army is only on a routine march, it is just enough to clear off the way for it. Human beings may be harmed by the marching columns, but it can never happen that the soldiers on the march would trample down other men without knowing it. Therefore, if Bani an-Naml were a tribe of human beings, and one of its members was to warn his people, then in case of an attack, he would have said, “O Namilites, flee your houses and take refuge in the mountains lest Solomon’s armies should destroy you.” And in case there was no danger of an attack, he would have said, “O Namilites, clear off the way lest one of you should be harmed by the
marching columns of Solomon’s armies.”

This error in the interpretation is on account of the Arabic idiom and the subject matter. As for the name of the valley and the tribe of Bani an-Naml inhabiting it, it is a mere hypothesis for which there exists no scientific proof. Those who hold that wad-in-naml was the name of
a valley have themselves pointed out that it had been so named because of the abundance of ants in it. Qatadah and Muaatil say, “It is a valley in the land of Syria where ants are found in abundance.” But in no book of history and geography and in no archaeological research it
is mentioned that it was inhabited by a tribe called Bani an-Naml. Thus, it is merely a concoction that has been invented to support one’s own interpretation.

This story is also found in the Israelite traditions but its latter portion falls against the Quran as well as against the real dignity of the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him). According to it, when the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) was passing through a valley that
abounded with ants, he heard an ant calling out to the other ants to say, “Get into your holes, otherwise, you will be trampled down by Solomon’s hosts.” At this, Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) displayed great vanity before the ant to which the ant said, “What are you? – the product of a mere sperm drop!” Hearing this the Prophet Solomon felt greatly ashamed. This shows how the Quran corrects the wrong traditions of the Israelites and cleanses the filthy spots with which they had branded the characters of their prophets. It is these traditions about which the Western orientalists shamelessly claim that the Quran has plagiarized them for its narratives.

Rationally also, it is not at all inconceivable that an ant should warn members of its own species of impending danger and tell them to get into their holes. As for the question as to how the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) heard it, the answer is: It is not all difficult to understand the crude speech of an ant for a person whose senses can comprehend and receive a subtle message like the word of revelation.

 

(27:19) Smiling at the ant’s utterance, Solomon burst into laughter and said: “My Lord! Hold me under (Your) control 25 that I may render thanks for the favor which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may act righteously in a manner that would please You. Include me, out of Your Mercy, among Your righteous servants. “26

25. “Bestow upon me that I may be thankful” means this: “O my Lord! The wonderful powers and abilities that You have given me are such that if I become even a little forgetful and heedless, I might transgress the bounds of service and be puffed up with pride and go astray. Therefore, O my Lord, bestow upon me so that I may remain grateful to You for all Your blessings instead of being ungrateful.”

 

26. “And admit me by Your mercy among Your righteous slaves” probably implies this: * should be included among the righteous in the Hereafter and should enter Paradise a with them.” For a person who does righteous acts will automatically be righteous, but one’s
entry into Paradise in the Hereafter cannot come about merely on the strength of one’s good works, but it will depend on Allah’s mercy. According to a Hadith, the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said, “Merely the deeds of any one of you will not enable him to enter
Paradise.” It was asked, “In your case too, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “Yes, I also shall not enter Paradise only on the strength of my deeds unless Allah Almighty covers me with His mercy.”

This prayer of the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) on this occasion becomes irrelevant if an-namal is taken to mean a tribe of human beings and namlah a member of that tribe. After all, there could be nothing extraordinary in the warning given by a member
of a human tribe to the people of his tribe about the approaching troops of a powerful king that it should have induced the king to make such a prayer to Allah. However, a person having such a wonderful power of comprehension that he may hear the speech of an ant from a distance and also understand it is certainly something extraordinary, which can involve a person in self-conceit and vanity. In such a case only the prayer of the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) can be relevant.

 

(27:20) (On another occasion) Solomon inspected the birds and said: “Why is it that I do not see the hoopoe? Is he among the absentees?

27. That is, the birds whose troops, as mentioned above, were included in the armies of Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) like the troops of the men and jinns. It is just possible that the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) had employed them for communicating
messages, hunting, and performing other such services.

 

Published
Categorized as quran

By Tariq Saleem

I am a student of Quran and keen to make dawah for inviting peoples to save there selves from hellfire. This life is very short then the eternal life after death every body has to think about it and do some research to walk on a true path.

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