سورة النحل   

Surah Name: An-Nahl Meaning: The Bee

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • This Surah, also revealed in Makkah, carries on the discussion initiated in the preceding Surah, extending it to the evidence or the inevitability of the Day of Judgement. It also presents the various creations of Allah-SWT as testimony to His-SWT Unity: amongst them the honeybee has been especially mentioned. This is why the Surah is named An-Nahl.
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 16
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 128
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 16
  • Rukū / Section 16 contains Āyāt / Parts 9
  • Siparah/ Volume 14


إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِلّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Inna ibraheema kana ommatan qanitan lillahi haneefan walam yaku mina almushrikeen(a)

Verily Ibrahim-AS was a pattern of piety, devout unto Allah-SWT, upright, and was not of the associators.


شَاكِرًا لِّأَنْعُمِهِ اجْتَبَاهُ وَهَدَاهُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ

Shakiran lianAAumihi ijtabahu wahadahu ila siratin mustaqeem(in)

Grateful for His-SWT Favours: He-SWT chose him and guided him to a straight path.


وَآتَيْنَاهُ فِي الْدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَإِنَّهُ فِي الآخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

Waataynahu fee a(l)ddunya hasanatan wainnahu fee alakhirati lamina a(l)ssaliheen(a)

And We-SWT granted to him good in this world, and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous.


ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ

Thumma awhayna ilayka ani ittabiAA millata ibraheema haneefan wama kana mina almushrikeen(a)

We-SWT Revealed afterwards unto you-SW  : follow you the faith of Ibrahim-AS

 the upright; and he was not of the associators.


إِنَّمَا جُعِلَ السَّبْتُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ اخْتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَيَحْكُمُ بَيْنَهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فِيمَا كَانُواْ فِيهِ يَخْتَلِفُونَ

Innama juAAila a(l)ssabtu AAala allatheena ikhtalafoo feehi wainna rabbaka layahkumu baynahum yawma alqiyamati feema kanoo feehi yakhtalifoon(a)

The Sabbath was prescribed only for those who differed thereon, and your Rabb-SWT will decide between them on the Day of Judgement concerning that wherein they differed.


ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ

OdAAu ila sabeeli rabbika bi(a)lhikmati wa(a)lmawAAithati alhasanati wajadilhum bi(a)llatee hiya ahsanu inna rabbaka huwa aAAlamu biman dalla AAan sabeelihi wahuwa aAAlamu bi(a)lmuhtadeen(a)

Call you to the way of your Rabb-SWT with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them with what is best. Verily your Rabb-SWT ! He-SWT is the best Knower of him who has strayed from His-SWT way, and He-SWT is the Best Knower of the guided ones.


وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُواْ بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُم بِهِ وَلَئِن صَبَرْتُمْ لَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لِّلصَّابِرينَ

Wain AAaqabtum faAAaqiboo bimithli ma AAooqibtum bihi walain sabartum lahuwa khayrun li(l)ssabireen(a)

And if you chastise, then chastise with the like of what you were chastised with, and if you endure patiently then surely it is better for the patient.


وَاصْبِرْ وَمَا صَبْرُكَ إِلاَّ بِاللّهِ وَلاَ تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلاَ تَكُ فِي ضَيْقٍ مِّمَّا يَمْكُرُونَ

Wa(i)sbir wama sabruka illa bi(A)llahi wala tahzan AAalayhim wala taku fee dayqin mimma yamkuroon(a)

And endure them patiently, and your-SW patience is not but from Allaah-SWT : and do not grieve over them, and do not you-SW  be in straitness because of what they plot.


إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ

Inna Allaha maAAa allatheena ittaqaw wa(a)llatheena hum muhsinoon(a)

Allah-SWT is with those who are in awe of Him-SWT and those who are well doers.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Whether it is the polytheists of Arabia or the Jews and Christians, their claim of conformance to Prophet Ibrahim-AS seems very absurd in the light of their beliefs and practices. Prophet Ibrahim-AS  was a great leader and truly obedient servant of Allaah-SWT .He never concocted his beliefs or practices, whereas the entire religion of these people is fabricated. He never indulged in polytheism, whereas it forms the very basis of their religion. Besides, he was a person grateful to Allaah-SWT for His-SWT endowments, and was Allaah-SWT ’s chosen one. He fought against the entire society, the rulers as well as-every evil force without giving up Allaah-SWT ’s obedience. The love for his family and home could not deter him from migrating in Allaah-SWT ’s Cause. He abandoned his wife and beloved son in the desert on His-SWT Command and was chosen as the leader, the guide and the precursor for generations to come. Allaah-SWT honoured him with a very high status in this world and in the Akhirah he will be amongst His-SWT favourites. O' Prophet"-SW! We enjoined upon you to follow the ways of Ibrahim-AS, to obey Allaah-SWT with the same dedication and in the same way. His obedience is exemplary as he was thoroughly upright and straight. He was not never ever a polytheist like these people, nor did he adopt any rituals as are invented by them. And this classification of lawful and the forbidden and consecration of days was never enjoined on him, nor he ever practised it as these people do.


To consecrate days at will-as Serious a crime as Concocting the Lawful and the Forbidden

For instance, take the special reverence attached to Sabbath (Saturday). Who Commanded the Jews contemporary to Holy Prophet-SW to observe its sanctity, whereas it was only a specific order enjoined upon the people of a particular time. Of them some accepted it while those who disputed over and violated it were annihilated. The actual retribution for defying Allaah-SWT ’s Command awaits them in the Akhirah, when all the disputes will be resolved by a Divine Judgement. It is, therefore, obvious that consecration of days is as big a crime as declaring something permissible and forbidden by own choice. The Holy Prophet-SW is assigned to invite people to Allah-SWT, with wisdom and by way of counselling towards his Rabb-SWT


It is evident here that the real aim of Prophethood is to invite people to Allaah-SWT . The establishment of an Islamic State, maintaining an Army for Jihad, the Legislature and the Administration, are all efforts towards the achievement of this basic objective. Therefore, a country where all these State functions exist yet the Divine Laws are not implemented, the State remains indifferent by declaring religion as a personal matter, and uses the State resources only to protect the interests of the ruling lot, can in no way be termed as Islamic. To turn it into an Islamic State is the first and the foremost duty of its every Muslim citizen, as implementation of Din is a prerequisite to bring people closer to Allaah-SWT and make them submit only to Him-SWT . As for the mode that should be adopted for calling people to Allah-SWT, the invitation will be extended with great wisdom and sagacity, in the form of counselling, which should make it obvious that the counsellor has the addressee's welfare at heart. So, while inviting someone to Allah-SWT, one must talk in a way to let the listener know that it is in his own interest to obey Allaah-SWT and the speaker is not imposing himself on him in the name of religion In nutshell two factors are basic to this invitation, namely :

  1. Wisdom. It means that one must analyze the situation and speak as it dictates. The time and the place should be right. This includes analysing the kind of disobedience people are indulged in, whether they practise polytheism or disbelief, or are involved in innovations. And what is their level of knowledge and understanding as well as their worldly status? Keeping all these factors in mind the most appropriate way to explain things must be chosen. And due regard will be given to the condition and needs of the addressee.
  2. Fair Exhortation. The listener will be spoken to in the form of fair exhortation. 'Mo'izah means to urge earnestly: to give advice with the foremost aim of betterment of the listener. The addition of the word 'Hasanah" refers to the fact that this entire exercise is to be carricd out meticulously and sincerely.


  1. Positive Discussion. If the situation arises whereby the addressee or any of his friends tries to prove their stance as correct and the point of view of the preacher as wrong through arguments or disputation, the preacher must not allow beauty and grace to slip out of his arguments. The beauty in a discussion or disputation lies in the fact that it is conducted only for establishing the truth and nol for merely deriding the opponent or for establishing one's own supremacy in knowledge. Moreover, mutual respect must be maintained throughout the discussion w ithout resorting to any sarcasm whatsoever. The Divine Book presents examples of this gracious mode of invitation; for instance, when Allaah-SWT deputed Prophets Musa-AS and Harun-AS to invite the arch infidel and tyrant Pharaoh who had claimed divinity for himself Allaah-SWT Commanded them to speak softly and in an appealing manner. And who would be more unfortunate than the one who instead of conveying Allaah-SWT ’s Message and establishing His-SWT Greatness desires to establish his own superiority? This indeed is a point to ponder for the religious scholars and especially for the spiritual mentors.


The method of invitation

The duty assigned to the Holy Prophet'-SW is merely to invite people to Allah-SWT; who would opt for disobedience or for guidance is in the Knowledge of the Munificent. Hardships on this path are inevitable. The non believers and the antagonists will nol hesitate to physically harm the believers and even the Holy Prophet. "-SW .If it comes to that point, he may also retaliate, but only to the extent that when he subdues them he may inflict an equal harm. However, if he observes patience even in this condition and overlooks their behaviour, it is certainly a very commendable act. And as for the exalted personality of the Holy Prophet-SW‘s tolerance and perseverance are more befitting to his grace, because his perseverance is by the capacity Allaah-SWT has granted to him. So he should not grieve over the vexations of the non believers and the polytheists towards him and the believers, as their contrivance cannot harm him in any way.


Personal company

O’ Prophet-SW !  You-SW and those benefiting from your-SW Barakah are blessed with Ihsan. In terms of inner states of the heart, you-SW  are blessed with Divine Nearness and Taqwa and a perfectly sincere relationship with Him-SWT .Surely such people enjoy His-SWT Personal Company, the outcome whereof is that the conspiracies of the wicked can cause them no harm.