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 6 contains Āyāt / Parts 10
  • Siparah/ Volume 14


وَالَّذِينَ هَاجَرُواْ فِي اللّهِ مِن بَعْدِ مَا ظُلِمُواْ لَنُبَوِّئَنَّهُمْ فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَلَأَجْرُ الآخِرَةِ أَكْبَرُ لَوْ كَانُواْ يَعْلَمُونَ

Wa(a)llatheena hajaroo fee Allahi min baAAdi ma thulimoo lanubawwiannahum fee a(l)ddunya hasanatan walaajru alakhirati akbaru law kanoo yaAAlamoon(a)

And those who have emigrated for the sake of Allaah-SWT after they had been wronged, We-SWT will surely settle them well in the world, and the wage of the Akhirah is greater, if they but knew.


الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَعَلَى رَبِّهِمْ يَتَوَكَّلُونَ

Allatheena sabaroo waAAala rabbihim yatawakkaloon(a)

They are those who bear in patience, and in their Rabb-SWT they trust.


وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Wama arsalna min qablika illa rijalan noohee ilayhim fa(i)saloo ahla a(l)ththikri in kuntum la taAAlamoon(a)

And We-SWT sent not before you any but men to whom We-SWT Revealed; so ask you the people of the Admonition if you know not.


بِالْبَيِّنَاتِ وَالزُّبُرِ وَأَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الذِّكْرَ لِتُبَيِّنَ لِلنَّاسِ مَا نُزِّلَ إِلَيْهِمْ وَلَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ

Bi(a)lbayyinati wa(al)zzuburi waanzalna ilayka a(l)ththikra litubayyina li(l)nnasi ma nuzzila ilayhim walaAAallahum yatafakkaroon(a)

We-SWT sent them with evidences and Scriptures. And We-SWT have sent down unto you the Admonition that you-SW may expound unto mankind what has been revealed towards them and that haply they may reflect.


أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن يَخْسِفَ اللّهُ بِهِمُ الأَرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ

Afaamina allatheena makaroo a(l)ssayyiati an yakhsifa Allahu bihimu alarda aw yatiyahumu alAAathabu min haythu la yashAAuroon(a)

Do then those who have plotted vices feel secure that Allaah-SWT will not sink them into the earth or that the torment may come from whence they know not?


أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِي تَقَلُّبِهِمْ فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ

Aw yakhuthahum fee taqallubihim fama hum bimuAAjizeen(a)

Or, that He-SWT will not seize them in their going to and fro? So that they cannot escape.


أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Aw yakhuthahum AAala takhawwufin fainna rabbakum laraoofun raheem(un)

Or, that He-SWT will not seize them by giving them a fright? Verily your-SW Rabb-SWT is Kind, Merciful.


أَوَ لَمْ يَرَوْاْ إِلَى مَا خَلَقَ اللّهُ مِن شَيْءٍ يَتَفَيَّأُ ظِلاَلُهُ عَنِ الْيَمِينِ وَالْشَّمَآئِلِ سُجَّدًا لِلّهِ وَهُمْ دَاخِرُونَ

Awa lam yaraw ila ma khalaqa Allahu min shayin yatafayyao thilaluhu AAani alyameeni wa(al)shshamaili sujjadan lillahi wahum dakhiroon(a)

Have they not observed the things Allaah-SWT has created? Shadows thereof turn themselves on the right and the left bowing themselves before Allah-SWT, and they are lowly.


وَلِلّهِ يَسْجُدُ مَا فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ مِن دَآبَّةٍ وَالْمَلآئِكَةُ وَهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

Walillahi yasjudu ma fee a(l)ssamawati wama fee alardi min dabbatin wa(a)lmalaikatu wahum la yastakbiroon(a)

And before Allaah-SWT bows itself whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth of the living creatures and also the angels; and they are not stiff-necked.


يَخَافُونَ رَبَّهُم مِّن فَوْقِهِمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ

Yakhafoona rabbahum min fawqihim wayafAAaloona ma yumaroon(a)

They fear their Rabb-SWT above them and do what they are Commanded.


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

Those who migrated from their native land, only for Allaah-SWT ’s sake, driven by oppression, will be rewarded with an excellent dwelling in this world, while their eternal rewards are far too great. They remained steadfast and having employed all possible means, relied completely on Allaah-SWT . In other words, they did not adopt any such measures that might have involved Allaah-SWT ’s disobedience. This Ayah highlights the merits of Hijrah (Migration) and the rewards promised to the emigrants.


Migration and Promised Rewards

Migration means to leave ones native land. Migration "in the Cause of Allaah-SWT " here means migrating for His-SWT Pleasure and for safeguarding one's faith. This Ayah recounts the emigration by the Companions"-RAU ', whereby they had to leave for Abyssinia and later Madinah to escape oppression of the Makkans. Laying down sincerity as a prerequisite, Allaah-SWT has promised dual rewards, a peaceful abode in this world and a fabulous requital in the Akhirah. So they were blessed with a safe haven in Madinah where they established an Islamic State. The Companions"-RAU were not only defended against the aggression of the non believers, but were also blessed with victory over them. The Conquest of Makkah was followed by the conquest of the entire Arab world. Later, in the Companions"-RAU era emerged the greatest empire in the history of mankind, extending from China to Spain and from Siberia to Africa. Allaah-SWT blessed the poor and destitute Companions"-RAU with affluence. All these historical events endorse their sincerity and deep devotion and are open to everyone. And as for the eternal rewards, Allaah-SWT has clearly declared His-SWT Approval of the Companions"-RAU in these words: "Radhi Allah 'Unhum" (Allaah-SWT is Pleased with them). So they were blessed with peace, safety, honour, power, rule, dignity, affluence and such glory that as long as the world lasts people will speak of their greatness. Perservence and reliance on Allah-SWT, as mentioned here indicates that inspite of the imminent perils of migration and the hardships in its trail, the righteous stoodfast on their cause, relying entirely on Allaah-SWT ’s Support. Had there been no risks involved, there would not have been any occasion to display patience or trust in Allaah-SWT and everyone would have emigrated. The initial hardships were indeed the trial and criteria for sincerity.


Migration and its Categories

Imam Qartabi-RUA has listed the following categories together with their specific Commandments: (1) Migrating from Dar-al-Kufr to Dar-al-lslam. When the former is strife torn or one's honour is at stake or when it is difficult to discharge religious obligations, it becomes obligatory to migrate. Such a migration became mandatory during the Prophetic era and will continue to remain so until the end of time, subject to one's capacity. In this context, migration by the Muslims from Pakistan to settle in America, Britian or Europe cannot be justified. They can neither fulfil their religious obligations easily, nor find Halal food nor peace in those faithless societies having no sense of honour and totally devoid of moral values. (2) It is mandatory to migrate from a place where practice of innovations is widespread, and especially where our pious precursors are insulted, unless a person is capable of curbing such evils. (3) It is also imperative to shift from a place where the unlawful is predominant, for the pursuit of lawful is obligatory for every Muslim. (4) Migration is permissible from a place where one is threatened of physical torture by the enemy. (5) It is also permissible when the climate and environments of a place threaten health and (6) A place constantly threatened by robbers and dacoits is allowed to be migrated from.

All the above fall under Hijrah. Then there are different categories of travelling listed as meritorious, for example, travelling to sites of admonition, for performing Hajj, for trading and for Jihad etc. Even visits to relatives fall under this category. The merit is, of course, subject to the condition that all such journeys are undertaken within the limits laid down by Shari'ah.

The infidels object how a human being, who cats, drinks and sleeps, can be appointed as a Prophet-AS? And that this honour should have been conferred upon a creation more exalted than a human, such as an angel.


The Human Aspects of Prophets-AS

The argument presented by the infidels has been reversed in sequence by the ignorants. The infidels acknowledged the human aspect but refuted Prophethood while the ignorant today believe in the opposite. (May Allaah-SWT protect us!) Allaah-SWT reassures the Holy Prophet-SW that the arguments of the infidels are totally weightless. He may ask any savant having the knowledge of the preceding Divine Religions, to know that through time it was always a human being who was deputed as Prophet-AS to a nation. It were the Prophets' who were honoured with Divine Scriptures and clear miracles. The Holy Prophetsw may inquire from the scholars of the preceding Divine Religions if he is unaware. This suggestion to the Holy Prophet'-SAAW endorses conformance. Those who do not have the knowledge must learn it from the knowledgeable. Today those who deny conformance, in fact practise it unknowingly.



Conformance merely means that non scholars must seek expert opinion from the scholars and act accordingly. Obviously they will have to trust a scholar, as even if the underlying reasoning is explained to them, they may not understand it. However, those who have the capability to derive reasonings given in Quran and the Sunnah over different issues, and who are also aware of the opinions of the learned harbingers of Islam can follow their won deductions. But for matters which call for Ijtehad, they too will have to refer to a Mujtahid.


Conformance to One Person

The question may be asked why should only one scholar be followed in Shari'ah. The answer is that if every person is allowed to follow every other scholar, he will tend to look for such verdicts from everyone which suit him. To fulfil one's desires in the name of Shari'ah is itself forbidden. That is why it is recommended to follow only one Mujtahid. Beyond that, conformance is neither mandatory nor is it of any consequence. It is totally uncalled for to split into groups on the basis of conformance.


 To understand the Quran, Hadith is a pre-requisite

Allah-SWT says "O Prophet-SW ! We have also revealed Our-SWT Book to you-SW, that you-SW may explain it to people." In other words, just as the text of the Book has been conveyed through the Holy Prophet-SW the task of explaining it is also assigned to him. Only he-SW is authorized to interpret .and explain the Quran. Even the experts of Arabic language cannot determine the meanings of the Quran by relying on grammatical manipulations. If only the rival factions today could gather on those meanings which have been given by him, the evil of sectarianism will disappear. Every word and action of the Holy Prophet-SW’‘s is indeed the interpretation of the Quran, as endorsed by 'Allamah Shatbi-RUA in his Muwafiqat. The Quran asserts "And verily you are of a high and noble disposition.68.4". Hadhrat Ayeshah Siddiqah-RAU asserts that all his-SW actions were the illustration and explanation of the Quran. Certain injunctions are not even mentioned in the Quran, but were revealed unto his-SW sacred heart and he-SW conveyed them to the people. Or sometimes his-SW Ijtehad was corrected or changed through Revelation, which alludes to the fact that the sayings of the Holy Prophet-SW bear a similar honour and exaltation as the Quran, and their denial amounts to denying the Quran itself. Allaah-SWT asserts that people must ponder carefully and acknowledge his status for their own benefit. No one should be oblivious to the dire consequences of the misconduct. Are they not afraid that Allaah-SWT might cause them to sink into the earth, or inflict them with an epidemic they have never dreamed of? For instance, a number of towns in the United States of America sank or more recently the outbreak of Aids, which has killed millions of people and is yet incurable.

Or that Allaah-SWT may seize them suddenly during their daily activities, in punishment beyond their control. Or they are terrified in different ways so that they may repent out of fear, for Allaah-SWT is indeed Relenting and Merciful. In other words, even if they repent out of fear they will qualify for His-SWT Mercy, which is indeed a great favour.

It is common observation how the shades of His-SWT creations, the mountains and the trees, incline from right to left in obedience and submission to Allah-SWT's designs, as if prostrating before Him-SWT . And all the living beings of the earth and the heavens, be it an animal or an angel, prostrate before Him-SWT . The angels inspite of their grand status remain in a state of awe in His-SWT Mighty Court and obey Him-SWT every moment in every detail.