سورة النمل   

Surah Name: An-Naml Meaning: The Ant

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 7
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 93
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 27
  • Rukū / Section 4 contains Āyāt / Parts 14
  • Siparah/ Volume 19 & 20


وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ فَإِذَا هُمْ فَرِيقَانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ

Walaqad arsalna ila thamooda akhahum salihan ani oAAbudoo Allaha faitha hum fareeqani yakhtasimoon(a)

And assuredly We-SWT sent to Thamud their brother Salih-AS saying worship Allah-SWT Then lo! They became two parties contending.


قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لِمَ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ قَبْلَ الْحَسَنَةِ لَوْلَا تَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

Qala ya qawmi lima tastaAAjiloona bi(al)ssayyiati qabla alhasanati lawla tastaghfiroona Allaha laAAallakum turhamoon(a)

He-AS said: My people! Why do you seek to hasten the evil before the good? Why do you not seek the forgiveness of Allah-SWT , so that you may be shown Mercy?


قَالُوا اطَّيَّرْنَا بِكَ وَبِمَن مَّعَكَ قَالَ طَائِرُكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ تُفْتَنُونَ

Qaloo ittayyarna bika wabiman maAAaka qala tairukum AAinda Allahi bal antum qawmun tuftanoon(a)

They said: We augur ill of you-AS and of those who are with you-AS. He-AS said: Your augury is with Allah-SWT . Aye! You are a people being tempted


وَكَانَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ تِسْعَةُ رَهْطٍ يُفْسِدُونَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا يُصْلِحُونَ

Wakana fee almadeenati tisAAatu rahtin yufsidoona fee alardi wala yuslihoon(a)

And there were nine of a group in the city, who spread corruption in the land and did not rectify.


قَالُوا تَقَاسَمُوا بِاللَّهِ لَنُبَيِّتَنَّهُ وَأَهْلَهُ ثُمَّ لَنَقُولَنَّ لِوَلِيِّهِ مَا شَهِدْنَا مَهْلِكَ أَهْلِهِ وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ

Qaloo taqasamoo bi(A)llahi lanubayyitannahu waahlahu thumma lanaqoolanna liwaliyyihi ma shahidna mahlika ahlihi wainna lasadiqoon(a)

They said: Swear by Allah-SWT one to another that we shall surely fall upon him-AS and his-AS household by night; and thereafter we shall tell his-AS heir we did not see the destruction of his-AS household, and we are truthful.


وَمَكَرُوا مَكْرًا وَمَكَرْنَا مَكْرًا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ

Wamakaroo makran wamakarna makran wahum la yashAAuroon(a)

And they plotted a plot, and We-SWT plotted a plot, and they perceived it not.


فَانظُرْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ مَكْرِهِمْ أَنَّا دَمَّرْنَاهُمْ وَقَوْمَهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ

Fa(o)nthur kayfa kana AAaqibatu makrihim anna dammarnahum waqawmahum ajmaAAeen(a)

So behold you how was the end of their plot. Verily We-SWT annihilated them and their nation all together.


فَتِلْكَ بُيُوتُهُمْ خَاوِيَةً بِمَا ظَلَمُوا إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

Fatilka buyootuhum khawiyatan bima thalamoo inna fee thalika laayatan liqawmin yaAAlamoon(a)

Yonder are their houses overturned, for they did wrong. Verily herein is a Sign for a people who know.


وَأَنجَيْنَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ

Waanjayna allatheena amanoo wakanoo yattaqoon(a)

And We-SWT rescued them who believed and used to be God-fearing.


وَلُوطًا إِذْ قَالَ لِقَوْمِهِ أَتَأْتُونَ الْفَاحِشَةَ وَأَنتُمْ تُبْصِرُونَ

Walootan ith qala liqawmihi atatoona alfahishata waantum tubsiroon(a)

And recall Lut-AS! When he-AS said to his-AS people: Do you commit indecency while you see its enormity?


أَئِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ الرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةً مِّن دُونِ النِّسَاء بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌ تَجْهَلُونَ

Ainnakum latatoona a(l)rrijala shahwatan min dooni a(l)nnisai bal antum qawmun tajhaloon(a)

Would you go in lustfully to men instead of women? Aye! You are a people addicted to pagan ways.


فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا أَخْرِجُوا آلَ لُوطٍ مِّن قَرْيَتِكُمْ إِنَّهُمْ أُنَاسٌ يَتَطَهَّرُونَ

Fama kana jawaba qawmihi illa an qaloo akhrijoo ala lootin min qaryatikum innahum onasun yatatahharoon(a)

There was no answer of his-AS people save that they said: Drive forth the family of Lut-AS from your city. They are a people clean indeed


فَأَنجَيْنَاهُ وَأَهْلَهُ إِلَّا امْرَأَتَهُ قَدَّرْنَاهَا مِنَ الْغَابِرِينَ

Faanjaynahu waahlahu illa imraatahu qaddarnaha mina alghabireen(a)

Then We-SWT rescued Lut-AS and his-AS family except his wife. Her We-SWT destined to be of the lingerers.


وَأَمْطَرْنَا عَلَيْهِم مَّطَرًا فَسَاء مَطَرُ الْمُنذَرِينَ

Waamtarna AAalayhim mataran fasaa mataru almunthareen(a)

And We-SWT rained upon them a rain, ill was that rain upon the warned.


قُلِ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَسَلَامٌ عَلَى عِبَادِهِ الَّذِينَ اصْطَفَى آللَّهُ خَيْرٌ أَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

Quli alhamdu lillahi wasalamun AAala AAibadihi allatheena istafa allahu khayrun amma yushrikoon(a)

Say you-SW: All praise to Allah-SWT , and peace upon His-SWT bondmen whom He-SWT has chosen. Is Allah-SWT Best, or what they associate with Him-SWT .


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

And see when Allaah-SWT raised Salih-AS as a Prophet unto his-AS own nation Thamud. When called upon to worship only Allah-SWT , the nation split into two groups. Some of them were inclined towards faith while others were not. They latter insisted that no matter how great a punishment, they would never become believers. This dissident group comprised mainly their eminent chieftains. Prophet Salih-AS asked them why were they imprudently losing the chance to repent and attain Allah-SWT's Mercy rather than insisting on destruction. They foolishly alleged that all the disharmony and wretchedness was in fact because of the Prophet-AS and his-AS retinue, otherwise they had been living in perfect peace.


Discord And Wretchedness

Such objections are raised even today. Whenever one attempts to forbid evil as enjoured by Islam, one has to face the accusation of creating discord in the society, though consensus over evil is synonymous to collective suicide. To stand up for virtue is indeed true unity even if such souls are few in number. Even if the majority stands united on evil it will beget nothing but unrest; see the outcome of Western democratic way of majority rule in Pakistan for the past half a century.


Prophet Salih-AS told his people that the wretchedness was because of their conduct, their insistence on Allah-SWT's disobedience. Beware that the respite was for few days in the form of a trial. If they failed to mend their ways they wouldsurely have to face dire consequences. All the nine chieftains in the city were mischief mongers who had created discord not only in their own nation but also in their neighbourhood. They never ever did any act of virtue. Now when they had no answer, they swore to collectively ambush Prophet Salih-AS and his-AS household and kill them under the cover of night. They will take an alibi thereafter and tell their heirs that they had been out of town attending to business when the incident took place, until the matter was hushed up. They conspired secretly, and Allaah-SWT also, in turn, made a secret plan which they failed to discern. According to the Commentators, they went out at night and while passing along the foot of a mountain, a large rock tumbled down and crushed them to death. Later the entire nation was also destroyed because of their misconduct leaving their abodes desolate. This event provides a great lesson for anyone with a sound mind. While the entire nation was annihilated the believers remained absolutely unscathed as they had practised what they believed in.


Similar is the story of Prophet Lut-AS’s people. He-AS warned them against debauchery and blatantly seeking men instead of women for satisfying their lust. He told them that they were not only iniquitous but also ignorant, for they did not even know the basic human morals.


Western Society

This indeed is the true portrayal of the Western society of today, where the Church has legalized sodomy, and homosexuals are marrying each other. There are nude clubs all over, rather people roam around almost naked in the market places. This immorality indeed is also ignorance. All those who are obsessesed by the Western lifestyle must ponder over the Quranic thought about them.


Prophet Lut-AS’s counselling infuriated his-AS nation, and they decided to expel him-AS and his-AS followers from their township, who they thought were posing to be very pious. Yet destiny had other plans. Those whom they wanted to expel from their settlements were spared by Allaah-SWT while the entire settlement including Prophet Lut-AS’s wife, closely affiliated with the infidels, was destroyed. Stones were pelted at them from the heavens ensuring total destruction.


The Holy Prophet-SW must declare that all Praise is for Allah-SWT, Who is Infallible and Exalted. The peace and safety is for His-SWT chosen bondsmen, that is, for the Prophets-AS and their followers. No matter how protected an infidel may appear, he eventually has to face Divine punishment. Besides, Allaah-SWT is far too exalted vis-a-vis their polytheistic rituals.