Surah al-Naml (1/2)

Surah al-Naml (1/2)

بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ طٰسٓ ۟ تِلۡکَ اٰیٰتُ الۡقُرۡاٰنِ وَ کِتَابٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ۙ﴿۱﴾ہُدًی وَّ بُشۡرٰی لِلۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ۙ﴿۲﴾ الَّذِیۡنَ یُقِیۡمُوۡنَ الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ یُؤۡتُوۡنَ الزَّکٰوۃَ وَ ہُمۡ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ ہُمۡ یُوۡقِنُوۡنَ ﴿۳﴾ In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful. This is Surah Ṭa Sin. These are the verses of the Qur'an and a clear Book,[1] guidance for the believers and glad tidings,[2] who are diligent in the prayer and pay zakah,[3] it is they who in fact have conviction in the Hereafter.[4] (1-3) اِنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِالۡاٰخِرَۃِ زَیَّنَّا لَہُمۡ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ فَہُمۡ یَعۡمَہُوۡنَ ؕ﴿۴﴾ اُولٰٓئِکَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَہُمۡ سُوۡٓءُ الۡعَذَابِ وَ ہُمۡ فِی الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ہُمُ الۡاَخۡسَرُوۡنَ ﴿۵﴾ وَ اِنَّکَ لَتُلَقَّی الۡقُرۡاٰنَ مِنۡ لَّدُنۡ حَکِیۡمٍ عَلِیۡمٍ ﴿۶﴾ Contrary to this, those who do not believe in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds look fair to them; thus they are wandering about.[5] These are the people for whom there is an evil punishment in this world[6] and in the Hereafter too it is they who will be in a severe loss. [Do not care about them, O Prophet!] There is no doubt that this Qur'an is being given to you from a wise and knowledgeable being.[7] (4-6) اِذۡ قَالَ مُوۡسٰی لِاَہۡلِہٖۤ اِنِّیۡۤ اٰنَسۡتُ نَارًا ؕ سَاٰتِیۡکُمۡ مِّنۡہَا بِخَبَرٍ اَوۡ اٰتِیۡکُمۡ بِشِہَابٍ قَبَسٍ لَّعَلَّکُمۡ تَصۡطَلُوۡنَ ﴿۷﴾ فَلَمَّا جَآءَہَا نُوۡدِیَ اَنۡۢ بُوۡرِکَ مَنۡ فِی النَّارِ وَ مَنۡ حَوۡلَہَا ؕ وَ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰہِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۸﴾ [And in order to understand this favour of God on yourself] remember the incident[8] when Moses said to his family: "I have seen something like fire. [9] [Stay here, you people while] I bring now some news for you from there or an ember of fire so that you can warm yourselves."[10] So, when he reached it, a voice came:[11] "Blessed be He Who is in this Fire and those also who are around it. [12] And exalted is God, Lord of the Worlds. [13] (7-8) یٰمُوۡسٰۤی اِنَّہٗۤ اَنَا اللّٰہُ الۡعَزِیۡزُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ۙ﴿۹﴾ وَ اَلۡقِ عَصَاکَ ؕ فَلَمَّا رَاٰہَا تَہۡتَزُّ کَاَنَّہَا جَآنٌّ وَّلّٰی مُدۡبِرًا وَّ لَمۡ یُعَقِّبۡ ؕ یٰمُوۡسٰی لَا تَخَفۡ ۟ اِنِّیۡ لَا یَخَافُ لَدَیَّ الۡمُرۡسَلُوۡنَ ﴿٭ۖ۱۰﴾ اِلَّا مَنۡ ظَلَمَ ثُمَّ بَدَّلَ حُسۡنًۢا بَعۡدَ سُوۡٓءٍ فَاِنِّیۡ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۱﴾ Moses! This is I, God, the Powerful, the Wise. [Rest assured[14]] and place your staff [on the ground]. Then when Moses saw it that it was swiveling as if it were a snake, he turned and fled and did not even look back. God said: Moses! Fear not! Messengers have nothing to fear in My presence.[15] Except those who are guilty of vice, then after vice they change it into virtue, so [for them] I am very forgiving and very merciful.[16] (9-11) وَ اَدۡخِلۡ یَدَکَ فِیۡ جَیۡبِکَ تَخۡرُجۡ بَیۡضَآءَ مِنۡ غَیۡرِ سُوۡٓءٍ ۟ فِیۡ تِسۡعِ اٰیٰتٍ اِلٰی فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَ قَوۡمِہٖ ؕ اِنَّہُمۡ کَانُوۡا قَوۡمًا فٰسِقِیۡنَ ﴿۱۲﴾ فَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡہُمۡ اٰیٰتُنَا مُبۡصِرَۃً قَالُوۡا ہٰذَا سِحۡرٌ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿ۚ۱۳﴾ وَ جَحَدُوۡا بِہَا وَ اسۡتَیۡقَنَتۡہَاۤ اَنۡفُسُہُمۡ ظُلۡمًا وَّ عُلُوًّا ؕ فَانۡظُرۡ کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الۡمُفۡسِدِیۡنَ ﴿۱۴﴾ And insert your hand in opening of your garment [at the chest]; it will come out white without any ailment.[17] [Together with these two there are nine signs which We are giving you. In] the company of these nine signs[18] go to the Pharaoh and to his nation; they are a very disobedient people. Then when these eye-opening signs of Ours came before them, they said: "This is plain magic." They rejected them because of injustice and arrogance, even though their hearts had accepted these signs. So, see what fate these miscreants met![19] (12-14) وَ لَقَدۡ اٰتَیۡنَا دَاوٗدَ وَ سُلَیۡمٰنَ عِلۡمًا ۚ وَ قَالَا الۡحَمۡدُ لِلّٰہِ الَّذِیۡ فَضَّلَنَا عَلٰی کَثِیۡرٍ مِّنۡ عِبَادِہِ الۡمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵﴾ On the other hand, We bestowed great knowledge[20] on David and Solomon, [but they continued to become even more submissive to Us] and they said: "Gratitude be to God Who has granted us superiority to many of His believing servants." [21] (15) وَ وَرِثَ سُلَیۡمٰنُ دَاوٗدَ وَ قَالَ یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمۡنَا مَنۡطِقَ الطَّیۡرِ وَ اُوۡتِیۡنَا مِنۡ کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ ؕ اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَہُوَ الۡفَضۡلُ الۡمُبِیۡنُ ﴿۱۶﴾ And Solomon became the heir to David[22] and he too said: "People! We have been taught the language of the birds[23] and also given other things of all kinds. Indeed, this is a manifest favour of God." (16) وَ حُشِرَ لِسُلَیۡمٰنَ جُنُوۡدُہٗ مِنَ الۡجِنِّ وَ الۡاِنۡسِ وَ الطَّیۡرِ فَہُمۡ یُوۡزَعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾ حَتّٰۤی اِذَاۤ اَتَوۡا عَلٰی وَادِ النَّمۡلِ ۙ قَالَتۡ نَمۡلَۃٌ یّٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّمۡلُ ادۡخُلُوۡا مَسٰکِنَکُمۡ ۚ لَا یَحۡطِمَنَّکُمۡ سُلَیۡمٰنُ وَ جُنُوۡدُہٗ ۙ وَ ہُمۡ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸﴾ فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِکًا مِّنۡ قَوۡلِہَا وَ قَالَ رَبِّ اَوۡزِعۡنِیۡۤ اَنۡ اَشۡکُرَ نِعۡمَتَکَ الَّتِیۡۤ اَنۡعَمۡتَ عَلَیَّ وَ عَلٰی وَالِدَیَّ وَ اَنۡ اَعۡمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرۡضٰىہُ وَ اَدۡخِلۡنِیۡ بِرَحۡمَتِکَ فِیۡ عِبَادِکَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾ [Thus it happened one day that] all the forces of Solomon from among the jinn, humans and birds were assembled for his inspection[24] because they were being categorized. Until [while marching] when they reached the valley of the ants,[25] an ant said: "Ants! Enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies may trample you and they are not even aware of it."[26] [When Solomon heard this], he smiled at her conversation[27] and said: "Lord! Bless me with the urge to be grateful to You for Your favour which You have done to me and my parents and I do such good deeds with which you are pleased and with your mercy [O Lord!] admit me among the righteous."[28] (17-19) وَ تَفَقَّدَ الطَّیۡرَ فَقَالَ مَا لِیَ لَاۤ اَرَی الۡہُدۡہُدَ ۫ۖ اَمۡ کَانَ مِنَ الۡغَآئِبِیۡنَ ﴿۲۰﴾ لَاُعَذِّبَنَّہٗ عَذَابًا شَدِیۡدًا اَوۡ لَاَاذۡبَحَنَّہٗۤ اَوۡ لَیَاۡتِیَنِّیۡ بِسُلۡطٰنٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۲۱﴾ فَمَکَثَ غَیۡرَ بَعِیۡدٍ فَقَالَ اَحَطۡتُّ بِمَا لَمۡ تُحِطۡ بِہٖ وَ جِئۡتُکَ مِنۡ سَبَاٍۭ بِنَبَاٍ یَّقِیۡنٍ ﴿۲۲﴾ اِنِّیۡ وَجَدۡتُّ امۡرَاَۃً تَمۡلِکُہُمۡ وَ اُوۡتِیَتۡ مِنۡ کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ وَّ لَہَا عَرۡشٌ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۳﴾ وَجَدۡتُّہَا وَ قَوۡمَہَا یَسۡجُدُوۡنَ لِلشَّمۡسِ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ وَ زَیَّنَ لَہُمُ الشَّیۡطٰنُ اَعۡمَالَہُمۡ فَصَدَّہُمۡ عَنِ السَّبِیۡلِ فَہُمۡ لَا یَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۲۴﴾ [On this occasion,] when Solomon inspected his army, he said: "What is it that I do not see the lapwing? Is he present[29] or has he disappeared somewhere? I will severely punish him or even slaughter him unless he presents a convincing excuse before me [for his absence]."[30] Then not much time elapsed when the lapwing came and said: "I have become aware of something you do not know.[31] I have brought definite news for you from the [country of] Saba.[32] I saw a woman ruling them; all types of means and resources are available to her and she also has a very large throne. [33] I have seen her and her nation prostrating before the sun. Satan has made their deeds look fair to them and has stopped them from the right path; so, they are not finding the way." (20-24) اَلَّا یَسۡجُدُوۡا لِلّٰہِ الَّذِیۡ یُخۡرِجُ الۡخَبۡءَ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ وَ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تُخۡفُوۡنَ وَ مَا تُعۡلِنُوۡنَ ﴿۲۵﴾ اَللّٰہُ لَاۤ اِلٰہَ اِلَّا ہُوَ رَبُّ الۡعَرۡشِ الۡعَظِیۡمِ ﴿ٛ۲۶﴾ [Certainly, it is Satan who has stopped them[34]] that they should not prostrate before God Who takes out the hidden things of the heavens and the earth[35] and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. God that there is no deity except Him; He only is the master of the great throne. (25-26) قَالَ سَنَنۡظُرُ اَصَدَقۡتَ اَمۡ کُنۡتَ مِنَ الۡکٰذِبِیۡنَ ﴿۲۷﴾ اِذۡہَبۡ بِّکِتٰبِیۡ ہٰذَا فَاَلۡقِہۡ اِلَیۡہِمۡ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّ عَنۡہُمۡ فَانۡظُرۡ مَا ذَا یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾ Solomon said: "We will presently see whether you are telling the truth or lying. Take this letter of mine and deliver it before them and after that withdraw from them. Then note the reaction they show?" [36] (27-28) قَالَتۡ یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡمَلَؤُا اِنِّیۡۤ اُلۡقِیَ اِلَیَّ کِتٰبٌ کَرِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۹﴾ اِنَّہٗ مِنۡ سُلَیۡمٰنَ وَ اِنَّہٗ بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ ﴿ۙ۳۰﴾ اَلَّا تَعۡلُوۡا عَلَیَّ وَ اۡتُوۡنِیۡ مُسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۳۱﴾ قَالَتۡ یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡمَلَؤُا اَفۡتُوۡنِیۡ فِیۡۤ اَمۡرِیۡ ۚ مَا کُنۡتُ قَاطِعَۃً اَمۡرًا حَتّٰی تَشۡہَدُوۡنِ ﴿۳۲﴾ [When the queen received the letter,] she said to her courtiers: "Courtiers! I have been delivered a gracious letter.[37] It is from Solomon[38] and it begins with bismillah al-rahman al-rahim.[39] It is written in it: 'Do not show rebelliousness against me and come to me in obedience.'"[40] The queen said: "Courtiers! Give your opinion in this matter of mine. [You know that] I do not decide any matter unless you people are present before me." [41] (29-32) قَالُوۡا نَحۡنُ اُولُوۡا قُوَّۃٍ وَّ اُولُوۡا بَاۡسٍ شَدِیۡدٍ ۬ۙ وَّ الۡاَمۡرُ اِلَیۡکِ فَانۡظُرِیۡ مَاذَا تَاۡمُرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾ They replied: "We are powerful and also have great military might. So, the decision is now in your hands. Thus see what directive you may give."[42] (33) قَالَتۡ اِنَّ الۡمُلُوۡکَ اِذَا دَخَلُوۡا قَرۡیَۃً اَفۡسَدُوۡہَا وَ جَعَلُوۡۤا اَعِزَّۃَ اَہۡلِہَاۤ اَذِلَّۃً ۚ وَ کَذٰلِکَ یَفۡعَلُوۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾ وَ اِنِّیۡ مُرۡسِلَۃٌ اِلَیۡہِمۡ بِہَدِیَّۃٍ فَنٰظِرَۃٌۢ بِمَ یَرۡجِعُ الۡمُرۡسَلُوۡنَ ﴿۳۵﴾ The queen said: "When kings enter a city [after conquering it] they ravage it and humiliate the honorable in it and these people will also do the same. [My opinion is that] I send a delegation to him with gifts; then see what reply my envoys bring back."[43] (34-35) فَلَمَّا جَآءَ سُلَیۡمٰنَ قَالَ اَتُمِدُّوۡنَنِ بِمَالٍ ۫ فَمَاۤ اٰتٰىنَِۧ اللّٰہُ خَیۡرٌ مِّمَّاۤ اٰتٰىکُمۡ ۚ بَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ بِہَدِیَّتِکُمۡ تَفۡرَحُوۡنَ ﴿۳۶﴾ اِرۡجِعۡ اِلَیۡہِمۡ فَلَنَاۡتِیَنَّہُمۡ بِجُنُوۡدٍ لَّا قِبَلَ لَہُمۡ بِہَا وَ لَنُخۡرِجَنَّہُمۡ مِّنۡہَاۤ اَذِلَّۃً وَّ ہُمۡ صٰغِرُوۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾ Then when the delegation of the queen reached Solomon, he said [after seeing their gifts]: "Do you want to present these goods to me? So, whatever God has given me is far better than what He has given you. No! In fact, it is you people who become happy with your gifts. Go back to those who have sent you. Now we will definitely bring upon them armies they will not be able to face and We will disgracefully expel them from there such that they will become humiliated."[44] (36-37) قَالَ یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡمَلَؤُا اَیُّکُمۡ یَاۡتِیۡنِیۡ بِعَرۡشِہَا قَبۡلَ اَنۡ یَّاۡتُوۡنِیۡ مُسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۳۸﴾ قَالَ عِفۡرِیۡتٌ مِّنَ الۡجِنِّ اَنَا اٰتِیۡکَ بِہٖ قَبۡلَ اَنۡ تَقُوۡمَ مِنۡ مَّقَامِکَ ۚ وَ اِنِّیۡ عَلَیۡہِ لَقَوِیٌّ اَمِیۡنٌ ﴿۳۹﴾ قَالَ الَّذِیۡ عِنۡدَہٗ عِلۡمٌ مِّنَ الۡکِتٰبِ اَنَا اٰتِیۡکَ بِہٖ قَبۡلَ اَنۡ یَّرۡتَدَّ اِلَیۡکَ طَرۡفُکَ ؕ فَلَمَّا رَاٰہُ مُسۡتَقِرًّا عِنۡدَہٗ قَالَ ہٰذَا مِنۡ فَضۡلِ رَبِّیۡ ۟ۖ لِیَبۡلُوَنِیۡۤ ءَاَشۡکُرُ اَمۡ اَکۡفُرُ ؕ وَ مَنۡ شَکَرَ فَاِنَّمَا یَشۡکُرُ لِنَفۡسِہٖ ۚ وَ مَنۡ کَفَرَ فَاِنَّ رَبِّیۡ غَنِیٌّ کَرِیۡمٌ ﴿۴۰﴾ [Solomon knew that now they would definitely come to him. Thus] he said: "Courtiers! Which of you can bring her throne to me before they come to me in obedience?" [45] A fierce individual from among the jinn said: "I can bring it before you before you leave this gathering of yours. I have this power and I am also trustworthy."[46] [This incited] a person who had knowledge of God's law[47] [and] He said: "I will bring it to you before you blink your eye." Then when Solomon saw it placed in front of him, he cried out: "This is my Lord's blessing so that He may test me whether I am grateful to him or ungrateful.[48] In reality, he who expresses gratitude, he does it for his own benefit and he who shows ingratitude, then this too is his own loss because my Lord is self-sufficient and He is very gracious."[49] (38-40) قَالَ نَکِّرُوۡا لَہَا عَرۡشَہَا نَنۡظُرۡ اَتَہۡتَدِیۡۤ اَمۡ تَکُوۡنُ مِنَ الَّذِیۡنَ لَا یَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۴۱﴾ فَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡ قِیۡلَ اَہٰکَذَا عَرۡشُکِ ؕ قَالَتۡ کَاَنَّہٗ ہُوَ ۚ وَ اُوۡتِیۡنَا الۡعِلۡمَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہَا وَ کُنَّا مُسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۴۲﴾ وَ صَدَّہَا مَا کَانَتۡ تَّعۡبُدُ مِنۡ دُوۡنِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّہَا کَانَتۡ مِنۡ قَوۡمٍ کٰفِرِیۡنَ ﴿۴۳﴾ Solomon ordered: "To test her, change the shape of her throne; let us see whether she recognizes it or becomes among those who are not able to recognize [it after this change.]"[50] So, when she arrived, she was asked: "Is your throne similar to this?" She said: "It is indeed that. We had already come to know these marvels of yours and we had submitted." [51] In reality [she would have believed earlier but] those things stopped her which she worshipped besides God because she was from a disbelieving nation.[52] (41-43) قِیۡلَ لَہَا ادۡخُلِی الصَّرۡحَ ۚ فَلَمَّا رَاَتۡہُ حَسِبَتۡہُ لُجَّۃً وَّ کَشَفَتۡ عَنۡ سَاقَیۡہَا ؕ قَالَ اِنَّہٗ صَرۡحٌ مُّمَرَّدٌ مِّنۡ قَوَارِیۡرَ ۬ؕ قَالَتۡ رَبِّ اِنِّیۡ ظَلَمۡتُ نَفۡسِیۡ وَ اَسۡلَمۡتُ مَعَ سُلَیۡمٰنَ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۴۴﴾ She was told: "Now enter the palace." Then when she saw the floor [of the palace] she thought it was deep water and she lifted her dress from her shanks. Solomon said: "This palace is made of crystal."[53] [At this,] she cried out: "Lord! I have remained unjust to my self. [So, I return] and with Solomon I have consigned myself to God, Lord of the Worlds."[54] (44) وَ لَقَدۡ اَرۡسَلۡنَاۤ اِلٰی ثَمُوۡدَ اَخَاہُمۡ صٰلِحًا اَنِ اعۡبُدُوا اللّٰہَ فَاِذَا ہُمۡ فَرِیۡقٰنِ یَخۡتَصِمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۵﴾ قَالَ یٰقَوۡمِ لِمَ تَسۡتَعۡجِلُوۡنَ بِالسَّیِّئَۃِ قَبۡلَ الۡحَسَنَۃِ ۚ لَوۡ لَا تَسۡتَغۡفِرُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تُرۡحَمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۶﴾ [However, not everyone is guided like this.[55]] To the Thamud,[56] We had sent their brother Ṣalih also with the message: "Worship God." So, it happened that by becoming two factions[57] they began arguing with one another. Ṣalih said: "O People of My Nation! Why do you show haste for evil before good? Why do not you ask for God's forgiveness that mercy be shown to you?"[58] (45-46) قَالُوا اطَّیَّرۡنَا بِکَ وَ بِمَنۡ مَّعَکَ ؕ قَالَ طٰٓئِرُکُمۡ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ بَلۡ اَنۡتُمۡ قَوۡمٌ تُفۡتَنُوۡنَ ﴿۴۷﴾ They replied: "We have received bad luck from you and your companions." [59] Ṣalih said: "[What is our link to it?] All your bad luck is with God. In fact, the truth is that you people are being tested."[60] (47) ________ [1]. Ie., verses of a Book which elucidates facts in such a way that it becomes a conclusive argument in itself. It does not need any external evidence or any miracle or sign to judge its veracity. The demonstrative pronoun تِلْكَ in the verse points to طٰسٓ. We have already explained our view about it under verse 1 of Surah al-Baqarah. [2]. Glad tidings are specially mentioned with guidance as the topics discussed ahead in the surah bear evidence to them. [3]. Both these worship rituals are essential manifestations of faith and religion. They were not unknown to the Arabs. As a tradition of the religion of Abraham (sws), they were not only aware of them, their righteous even diligently adhered to them. It is for this reason that the Qur'an has not mentioned any details of these rituals. [4]. Thus this has actually become a reason of their accepting faith and showing diligence in the prayer and in zakah. [5]. Ie., they are content on doing whatever they are after making this world their real purpose and objective in life. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: ... This is a reference to precisely the same established practice that has been explained ... at various instances: people who expend all their intelligence and abilities to go after this world by making it their objective in life, are made to become so engrossed in their involvements and deeds by the Almighty that they are neither willing to give them up nor can they do so even if they try. They continue to wander about in them until the angel of death snatches away their souls. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 577) [6]. This is stated because after conclusive communication of the truth from the messengers, those who deny them are necessarily punished here and it is they who are mentioned here. [7]. Ie., it is being given to him by the being every act of Whom has some wisdom in it and He is also aware of everything. Hence, the Prophet (sws) should rest assured that God will never leave him alone; in fact, He will guide him at every step and lead him to his destination. [8]. Muhammad (sws) resembles Moses (sws) the most as far as their preaching is concerned. Thus for this reason Moses' account is narrated for his assurance and for the warning of his addressees so that it becomes evident what prophethood is, how it is obtained and the favours of God that are associated with it. [9]. This incident took place when after spending eight years in Madyan, Moses (sws) was travelling back to Egypt with his wife. During this journey when he reached the Sinai peninsula which is now called Mount Sinai and the Mountain of Moses, this incident took place at the foot of the mountain. At the time of the Qur'an's revelation, this mountain was famous by the name Ṭur. [10]. It is evident from this that it was winter time and when Moses (sws) reached the valley of Ṭur with his family it was night time and he was not able to find the way. Thus when he saw some light, he reckoned that there must be some people there who could guide him; otherwise, he could bring some ember that could warm them. [11]. A passive verb is used here in the text. It denotes vagueness and magnification. In other words, he did hear a voice but could not determine its direction and source. [12]. Ie., the angels of God. The word "blessed" used here not only denotes a fact but it is also a means of assurance for Moses (sws): he should not feel scared after hearing the voice. It is the voice of the blessed being of God that has manifested itself with His blessed angels in the veil of fire. [13]. Since a voice coming from fire could give the impression of confinement and pantheism, it was stated to dispel this impression that Moses (sws) should be informed that, while being above all confinements and defects, it was the manifestation of the being who is the Lord of the worlds that he has seen in the Fire. Thus, He can address His servants whenever He wants to and in whichever way He wants to. [14]. The attributes of Mighty and Wise are mentioned in the verse to assure the Prophet (sws). Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: ... Here the attribute حَكِيْمٌ (wise) is mentioned with عَزِيْزٌ (powerful). The purpose is to point to the fact that the being who has now blessed him with the opportunity of conversation is dominant on everything. None can stop His intentions to prevail. At the same time He is wise. All his intentions are based on wisdom and expediency. Also since the style of the verse encompasses repeated stress and specification, it is also evident that there is no possibility of any power and authority that can challenge God's power and authority and there is no possibility that any wisdom or expediency can challenge God's wisdom or expediency. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 577) [15]. This is a very affectionate way of assurance. The implication is that Moses (sws) is being given prophethood and those who are given this status are under God's protection. Such things cannot harm them; hence, he should rest assured. [16]. This exception shows that perhaps at that time Moses (sws) might have thought of his killing of the Copt. He may have thought that he was being punished for that deed. Thus while sounding further assurance, it is said that he had compensated for that act through repentance and reformation and that God was very forgiving and ever-merciful. So, Moses (sws) must dispel all his fears. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: ... By stating what is mentioned here in a general way, its benefit has been made universal: this principle is not merely specific to Moses (sws). In fact, God deals in this manner with every person. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 583) [17]. This addition is clearly meant to negate the Bible which says that this whiteness was because of the ailment of leprosy. [18]. At other instances in the Qur'an, details have been furnished regarding these nine signs. It was like a complete magazine with which Moses (sws) was equipped at the outset to go to the Pharaoh. That was because he was being sent as a messenger to a tyrannical and cruel king who would not have been easily prepared to even listen to him. [19]. This is the real objective for which the account is narrated: the Prophet Muhammad (sws) should also understand the reason for denial by his addressees and not lose heart because of their attitude. [20]. This refers to the wisdom and sagacity which were bestowed upon them directly by God and also the knowledge of controlling matter which in those times had been given to certain Israelites as mentioned ahead. It was because of the latter knowledge that David (sws) managed to create the greatest and the most powerful empire of those times. [21]. Ie., they neither showed arrogance on their superiority like the Pharaoh and his nobles nor became unjust and haughty. In fact, they became an embodiment of gratitude on the respect and honour they had among the believing servants of God. The verse specially mentions their superiority over the believing servants of God because real respect and honour is the respect and honour of faith. [22]. David (sws) was a prophet and king of the Israelites. It was in this capacity that his son Solomon (sws) became his heir. His empire extended from Palestine and Transjordan to Syria. His period is from 965 BC to 926 BC. [23]. This has also been mentioned in the traditions of the Israelites: among various abilities which God bestowed on Solomon (sws) was the knowledge of the language of the birds. On the basis of this knowledge, he had trained them to deliver his posts and messages and to spy on the enemy. It is clearly evident from this that the birds also have the ability to speak and think to some extent. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: ... If we are not able to understand their conversation, this is not a reason to negate it. It is clearly mentioned in the Qur'an that every object of the universe glorifies the Almighty but human beings do not understand it. Similarly, it has also been mentioned in the Qur'an that all the beasts and birds are separate generations of species ... Solomon (sws) was specially given the knowledge to understand the language of the birds; however, even those who do not have this knowledge know that all animals adopt different expressions in their lingos for hate, love, reprimand, affection, joy, worry, comfort, assurance and playfulness. Similarly, their body language for the expression of these sentiments is different. People who train animals for a special purpose understand their voices and gestures the way they understand the language of their own species. Even more knowledge of this lies with those who have scientifically observed these animal forms. If one reads the information they have gathered through their experience and knowledge, one is left to wonder in amazement that besides large animals, the wisdom and sharpness ants possess is so much that even human beings can learn a lot from them. No less amazing are the tasks of spying and searching which dogs are accomplished at. When human beings can discover such secrets of animals through their experiences and experimental science and can harness their abilities for these purposes it is small wonder that God blessed Solomon (sws) with the special knowledge of bird-language. It may be kept in mind that a language comes into being through cadences and variations of sounds. Beings who possess cognizance, comprehension and sentiments express these through various sounds and it is through the variation of sounds that a langauge comes into being. Gestures are also included in this and can be dubbed as silent language. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 592) [24]. A governing noun is suppressed in this sentence in accordance with linguistic principles of Arabic. It has been expressed in the translation. [25]. Ie., where ants were in abundance. It may well be that because of the abundance of ants, it was called the Valley of Ants. This incident of the valley is also found in the traditions of the Israelites. [26]. Some ants make sounds. It is evident from the verse, that most probably it is those ants that are mentioned. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: Science has revealed amazing facts about ants. Notwithstanding these, even if a common person observes how one army of ants commutes from place to place, he is astounded to see their organization and military discipline. It is clearly evident that the whole army marches under the leadership of a chief. A line of scouts and volunteers flanks both sides of the army. It diligently marches within stipulated limits. It is clearly evident that they have been deputed the task of guarding the army. As soon as they smell danger, they, in their own limits, inform the army about it. At this, the army makes a strategy to protect itself. A very gripping scene can be observed when their whole colony decides to permanently relocate to a new destination. With it travels all supplies of their food as well as the young ones. Personally, I have intently observed this migration at times, and it may well become a whole account if I pen my observations. These feats of the ants can be observed by all and sundry. However, we are left with no semblance of doubt after reading about their marvels unveiled by scientists that they too are an independent species and class of living organisms, as indicated by the Qur'an. Some of their types resemble human beings: they raise certain animals for their own needs; they sow seeds in lands they demarcate and when the crop is ready, they preserve it underground. There is a whole system of training and instruction among them. In short, they have all the traits which human beings have. The only difference is physical structure, status and form. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 594) [27]. The actual words are: فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِکًا. The word ضِحْك refers to happiness and joy and in Arabic is used in this meaning. [28]. It is to highlight this attitude of showing gratitude to the great and unparalleled favours of God that these incidents from Solomon's (sws) life are narrated to the Quraysh of Makkah. [29]. This sentence is actually suppressed in accordance with linguistic principles because of concomitant indications. [30]. This anger of Solomon (sws) on the absence of the lapwing shows that birds of his army too were fully bound in a discipline and any breach on their part would lead them to punishent according to rules and regulations of his army. [31]. Ie., though there has been a delay in his arrival, it was due to an official assignment. Thus, as a result, he has come to know more about Saba than Solomon (sws) does and has some fresh news about it. [32]. Saba was a rich nation of ancient times. The southwest part of Yemen was named after it in those times. Its capital was Ma'arib, of which ruins are present even today in that area. This nation existed from 1100 BC to 115 BC. After that, another famous nation of southern Arabs called Ḥimyar replaced them. [33]. In ancient times also, it was men who ruled empires because the style of the lapwing shows that he was amazed at what he saw. The greatness of the throne has also been mentioned in this regard. The reason is that the majesty of a king is judged from the gold and silver and jewels found in his throne or crown. [34]. From here onwards is an insertion. The Almighty has added his own words to those of the lapwing to bring them in accordance to the situation. Several examples of such insertions have gone by. In the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi, the address of the lapwing by the words مَا تُخفُوْنَ وَ مَا تُعْلِنُوْنَ (what you hide and what you reveal) are totally inappropriate. They can only be uttered by God. [35]. Ie., the sun, the moon and the stars found in the heavens and the trees, the plants, the seas and fountains found in the earth which were hidden somewhere before they came into existence. [36]. The implication is that he should not come back right after he delivers the letter and should try to see their reaction on it. [37]. The actual words are: كِتَابٌ كَرِيْمٌ. This clearly means that those people were fully aware of the majesty and splendour of Solomon (sws). Moreover, this too is evident that the queen and her courtiers were not amazed at being delivered a letter by a bird. It is because in those times this way of delivery was common and well-known. [38]. This is in fact the first sentence of Solomon's (sws) letter. In ancient times, the letters and decrees of kings and nobles began in this way with the name of the sender and the addresee. [39]. It is evident from this that the Israelites also began their letters with words which had the same meaning as: bismillah al-rahman al-rahim. Probably the reason that the queen cited this initial part of the letter was that her courtiers were informed while forming an opinion that it was from a person who was not an ordinary king. [40]. In the explanation of verse 21 of Surah al-Ma'idah, it has been mentioned that with the advent of Moses (sws), the Almighty made Palestine specific for the communication of His message the way He did the Arabian peninsula. Thus the Israelites were directed to vacate that area of its inhabitants, make it a centre of monotheism and not let any polytheist or disbeliever live there except if they paid the tribute. In chapter 20 of the Book of Deuteronomy, this directive is mentioned in full detail. It was following this directive that Solomon (sws) gave an ultimatum to the queen of Saba. This was a divine directive that was implemented in a specific area through the agency of messengers whose rule is considered the rule of God. It does not relate to common Muslims or any of their countries or governments. Thus, the opinion of the scholars who have inferred from this that every Muslim government has the right to dislodge a non-Muslim government anywhere in the world is not correct. For details see my article "The Divine Verdicts" in my book Maqamat (Eng: Selected Essays of Javed Ahmad Ghamidi) [41]. This sentence is meant to lift and encourage the courtiers. It means that if the queen even differs with them, they should not think this to be something dictatorial and in fact reflect on it with sentiments of well-being for their country and nation. This should not lead us to infer that her government was democratic in nature. In reality, even monarchies take decisions after consultation with the nobles unless the ruler is a megalomaniac. [42]. It is evident from this that the courtiers were inclined to wage war. They expressed their opinion very politely. [43]. Ie., it will become evident if the matter is resolved with something less than the demand of Solomon (sws) that she come to him in obedience (وَ آتُوْنِي مُسْلِمِيْنَ) or will she have to ultimately yield to his demand. [44]. The implication is that such gifts can make them happy, but he is not desirous of them; behind his ultimatum is a principled decision and that he will implement it in all circumstances. [45]. Solomon (sws) knew that once he sent back the envoys, they would submit to him. Thus he resolved to display his extraordinary might and the splendour of true knowledge that God had bestowed upon him and make them observe before him the power of God. The reason for this was that he was not merely desirous of their obedience; he wanted them to accept faith. [46]. The implication is that Solomon (sws) should rest assured that he will not make any sort of change in it. [47]. Ie., the knowledge of God's law that was in practice in the universe. This knowledge was probably something similar to what was given through the angels Harut and Marut. We have explained it while elucidating verse 102 of Surah al-Baqarah. The way scientists of current times are discovering laws of matter and showing its marvels, in a similar way experts of spiritual knowledge showed marvels employing laws found in the spiritual realm. One can see its expression in various incidents found in the biographies of sufists from among the Hindus, Budhists and Muslims. This should not be any cause of wonder for at least the people of current times whose scientists transport the voices and images of living human beings from one place to another in the blink of an eye the way a courtier of Solomon's royal court brought the throne. [48]. This is the real purpose for which the Qur'an has narrated this incident: in spite of this extra-ordinary power, Solomon (sws) was not inflicted with any feeling of conceit. In fact, it made him even more humble. [49]. Thus that ever-forgiving and benevolent being does not even deprive those who always show rebelliousness against Him. [50]. Why was this change made? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: ... This was a type of jest for which he ordered his staff to make a general change in the form of the throne so that it became an enigma for the queen and Solomon (sws) wanted to see whether she was able to resolve that enigma or not. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 605) [51]. It is evident from this that not only the queen but her nobles and ministers too were influenced by the extent of Solomon's knowledge and wisdom and already acknowledged his greatness. Consequently, when Solomon (sws) asked her to submit, the queen became desirous of meeting him in person and observing his marvels so that she was able to find a way out of the situation that had been created. It is for this reason that she made this journey of around 1500 miles from Ma'arib to Jerusalem. [52]. This is the greatest hindrance for a person to accept the truth which the Qur'an has stated with reference to the queen of Saba. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: ... The implication is that not every person can break the shackles of traditions and national links. There are many people to whom the truth is apparent but they are so caught up in the clutches of their environment that they do not have the courage to liberate themselves from it. Only people who are blessed with a special urge from the Almighty are able to lift these heavy stones found in their way. Though everyone faces this difficulty but for those who are entrusted with leadership this difficulty is double – in fact, ten times. They become absolute slaves of their times. Though they claim to be leaders but when they walk, they walk behind others. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 606) [53]. This is a portrayal of the situation which the queen faced as soon as she stepped into the palace. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: It seems as if the floor of the palace was made of thick slabs of glass and water was flowing below it. For this reason, when a stranger stepped on its floor, he thought that he was landing into a fountain. When a villager enters the buildings and palaces of a developed society, he faces similar amazement. Such was the splendour of Solomon's palace that even the queen of Saba became a villager, let alone common villagers. (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 606) [54]. The implication is that with the amazing wonders of knowledge and comprehension and inner purity, the splendour and majesty made the queen totally submit to God: she repented idol-worship and polytheism and became a declared Muslim. According to the Bible, Solomon (sws) did not depose her after this and gave her permission to return with her attendants. (Kings I, 10:13) In the traditions of Jewish Rabbis, this incident of Solomon (sws) and queen Saba has been narrated with almost the same details. The incident of bringing over her throne is only mentioned in the Qur'an. Yet the real purport is that it becomes evident from all these details that, contrary to the Pharaohs, in spite of his knowledge and wisdom, his royal magnificence and the unaparalleled feats of construction, he had the perfection and grandeur of being a servant of God. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes: ... It is evident from this that the crystal palace was also a sign of God. With it was the brilliance of being a penitent, grateful and faithful servant of God that Solomon (sws) was. People are guided by this and instead of overwhelming eyes it blesses them with insight. If this is not present, then it is a sign of conceit and arrogance and an abode of darkness even if someone calls it a "White House." (Amin Ahsan Islahi, Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 5, 607) [55]. Ie., what the queen of Saba was guided to and leaving aside all prejudices, she submitted to God. [56]. Among the ancient nations of Arabia, this is the second nation which achieved extraordinary fame after the 'Ād. They inhabited the land of al-Ḥijr which was in the north west of Arabia. [57]. Ie., the believers and the disbelievers who rose to oppose this message. [58]. The implication is that instead of asking for good from God, why are they asking for torment and punishment? The actual words used for these are حَسَنَة and سَيِّئَة. In Arabic, they occur in these meanings as well. [59]. This is a reference to the trials which in accordance with the established practice of God appear specially in the times of God's messengers so that their nations have fear in God and repent and turn to the calls of their respective messengers. However, instead of benefitting from them, people regarded them to be bad luck brought by the messenger and his followers which visited the whole nation from them as a result of their opposition to their deities. [60]. Ie., whatever is happening is based on God's planning, wisdom and intention. It is He Who decides the trials each has to pass through and what the consequence will be. Thus through them, God also sees whether these people have any strength left in them or if they are totally dead. They are not because of any bad luck brought by the messenger and his companions. ____________

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Surah Ahzab

Sūrah al-Rūm

Surah al-‘Ankabut

Surah al-Naml (2/2)

Surah al-Naml (1/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (2/2)

Surah al-Shu‘ara’ (1/2)

Surah al-Furqan

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

People of Paradise

Surah al-Ra‘d

Indications of Islam, Faith, Virtue and the Day of Judgement

Surah al-Nur (2/2)

Surah al-Nur (1/2)

Surah Mu’minun (2/2)

Surah Mu’minun (1/2)

Surah al-Hajj (2/2)

Surah al-Hajj (1/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (2/2)

Surah al-Anbiya (1/2)

Surah Taha (3/3)

Surah Taha (2/3)

Surah Taha (1/3)

Surah Maryam (2/2)

Surah Maryam (1/2)

Surah al-Kahf (2/2)

Surah al-Kahf (1/2)

Surah Bani Isra’il (1/3)

Surah al-Nahl (2/2)

Surah al-Nahl (1/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (2/2)

Surah Ibrahim – Surah al-Hijr (1/2)

Surah Yusuf (3/3)

Surah Yusuf (2/3)

Surah Yusuf (1/3)

Surah Hud (3/3)

Surah Hud (2/3)

Surah Hud (1/3)

Surah Yunus (2/2)

Surah Yunus (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (61-129) (1/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (38-60)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (2/2)

Surah al-Tawbah (1-37) (1/2)

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (2/2)

Surah al-Anfal (41-75) (1/2)

Surah al-Anfal (31-40)

Surah Nisa’ (153-176)

Surahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Surah al-Anfal (1-30)

Surah al-A’raf (184-205)

Surah al-A’raf (163-183)

Islamic Punishments

Surah al-A’raf (152-162)

Surah al-A‘raf (123-153)

Surah al-A‘raf (80-122)

Surah al-A‘raf (57-79)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (2/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (26-56) (1/2)

Surah al-A‘raf (1-25)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (2/2)

Surah An‘am (128-165) (1/2)

Surah An‘am (100-127)

Surah An‘am (74-99)

Surah An‘am (46-73)

Surah An‘am (25-45)

The Noble Wives of the Prophet (sws)

Surah An‘am (1-24)

Islamic Punishments

Surahs Falaq-Nas

Surahs Lahab-Ikhlas

Surahs Kafirun-Nasr

Surahs Ma‘un-Kawthar

Surah Fil – Surah Quraysh

Surah ‘Asr – Surah Humazah

Surah Qari‘ah – Surah Takathur

Surah Zilzal – Surah ‘Aadiyat


Surahs Qadr-Bayyinah

Surahs Tin – ‘Alaq

State and Government

Surahs Duha-Alam Nashrah

Surahs Shams-Layl

Islam and the State: A Counter Narrative

Surahs Fajr-Balad

The Basis of Legislation

The Shari‘ah of Preaching

Surahs A‘la - Ghashiyah

Variant Readings

Surahs Mutaffifin - Inshiqaq

Surahs Buruj – Tariq

Itmam al-Hujjah [1] of God’s Messengers

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs ‘Asr-Humazah

Theory of Evolution (2)

Surahs Nazi‘at-‘Abas

Surahs Mursalat-Naba

Dealings and Practices of God

Is Democracy Compatible with Islam?

Wudū and Nail Polish

Surahs Qiyamah-Dahr

Surahs Takwir - Infitar

Sūrahs Muzzammil and Muddaththir

Downfall of the Muslims

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Hadith

Your Questions Answered

Surahs Nuh and Jinn

Birth Control

An Interview with the Indian Media

Surahs Haqqah and Ma‘arij

Roles and Responsibilities of Muslims in the West

Surahs Mulk - Qalam

The Punishment of Intentional Murder

Hajj and ‘Umrah

Sūrahs Hashr – Mumtahinah

Religious Extremism

Sūrahs Hadīd – Mujādalah

The Right to make a Will

Talks of the Prophet Muhammad (sws)

Surah Waqi‘ah

The General and the Specific

Sūrah Qamar and Sūrah Rahmān

Surah Tur and Surah Najm

Inheritance of an Orphaned Grandchild

The Sharī‘ah of Preaching

The Source of Religion

Sūrah Mā’idah (90-120)

The Prayer

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 2/2)

Sūrahs Qāf and Dhāriyāt (Part 1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (32-63) part (2/2)

Dealings and Practices of God

Age of ‘Ā’ishah (rta) at her Marriage

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (1/2)

Sūrah Mā’idah (1-31) part (2/2)