Tafsir Naml

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An Enlightening Commentary into the Light of the Holy

Qur’an vol. 13

 

Features of the Surah

 

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

This Surah contains 93 verses, and because verse No. 18,  is about ants and Solomon (as), it is called An-Naml (The Ant); but it is also called Sulayman, and Ta, Seen.

The entire Surah was revealed in connection with various assorted events and occasions, and the holy phrase: /bismillah-ir-rahman-ir-rahim/ is repeated twice in it, once  at the beginning of the Surah and the other  in verse No. 30 at the beginning  of Solomon’s letter to the Queen of Sheba.

The conflicts of four Divine prophets (Moses, Solomon, Salih, Lut[Lot]) against different tribes of their times have been referred to in this Surah, the most detailed of which is that of Solomon which resulted in Sheba’s faith in Monotheism.

Another portion of the verses of this holy Surah is about Solomon’s speaking with the birds, such as hoopoe and some insects like ants, and the attendance of some jinns in the army and court of Solomon, and, finally, transporting the throne of Sheba from Yemen to Syria in an instant.

“The Virtue of the Surah

In Shia Tafsir there is always Virtue attributed to each Surah

A tradition stated by Imam Sadiq (as) announces:

“Whoever recites the triple suras which begin with Ta Seen (Surah Ash-Shu‘ara, An-Naml, and Qasas) in the night before Friday, he will be one of the friends of Allah and he will be nigh to Him and he will be involved in His Grace and support.””

Our particular section forms part of section 2 of the Surah

Section 2:

Solomon Inherits From David

Tafsir Nemunah

18. “Until when they came to the Valley of Ants, an ant said: ‘O you ants! Get into your habitations, so that Solomon and his hosts may not crush you, being unaware’.”

The Arabic word /naml/ philologically means ‘creeping with small feet’. The Qur’anic word /namlatun/, because of its Arabic nunnation, can be meant ‘a big ant which is a commander’. In this case, there is commandership and administrationship in the life of ants.

This nunnation can be meant as the sign of uncertainty of the ant. In this case, the message of the verse is that if an undefined one gives a sympathetic warning that warning must be attended to.

However, Solomon with this great army started and went until they reached the valley of ants. Here, an ant, addressing other ants, said that they should go into their dwellings, so that Solomon and his army might not crush them while they are unaware.

The verse says:

“Until when they came to the Valley of Ants, an ant said: ‘O you ants! Get into your habitations, so that Solomon and his hosts may not crush you, being unaware’.”

There are some explanations to say that how this ant became aware of the presence of Solomon and his hosts in that land, and how it announced this happening to other ants, which will be referred to later.

By the way, it is understood from this sentence that the justice of Solomon was made manifest to even the ants because the sentence implicitly means if the hosts are aware of the existence of the ants they will not tread that weak animal, then if they tread the ants it is because they do not know it.

Surah An-Naml – Verse 19

فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكاً مِن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبّ‌ِ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَي وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحاً تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ

19. “Then he smiled, laughing at its words, and said: ‘My Lord! Dispose me that I may be thankful for Your bounty, which You have bestowed on me and my parents, and that I may do righteousness such as You are pleased with, and admit me, by Your mercy, among Your righteous servants’.”

One of the principles and conditions of leadership and administration is tolerance. Solomon (as) heard that the ant said about him and his troops that they were unaware, but he (as) did not show it and he only smiled.

Criticism and a right speech must be heard from any one and it must be received, because accepting criticism is a value. Solomon admired the word of the ant and smiled. Commentators are divided as for what was the cause of Solomon’s smile.

It appears that the self of this event was a wonderful matter that an ant called other ants to beware of the great army of Solomon and that it attributed that army of being unaware.

This amazing affair caused Solomon’s laugh, as the verse says:

“Then he smiled, laughing at its words…”

Some of commentators have said that this smile was a smile of joy, because Solomon understood that even ants confessed to the justice of Solomon and his troops and accepted their piety.

Some others have said that his joy was for the reason that Allah had given him such a power that at the time of the great anxiety and excitement of the army he was not neglectful of the sound of an ant either.

However, here Solomon turned to the presence of Allah and asked a few things as follows:

“…and said: ‘My Lord! Dispose me that I may be thankful for Your bounty, which You have bestowed on me and my parents…”

Solomon asked Allah to teach him how he could thank for the great bounties that He had granted him and his parents to be able to use them in the way that He had commanded and was the cause of His pleasure so that he would not deviate from the right path, since being thankful for those abundant favours is not possible save with His succour and aid.

The next thing he asked for was as follows:

“…and that I may do righteousness such as You are pleased with…”

This statement points to this matter that what was important for Solomon was not the remaining of that great army and his government with those vast organizations, it was important for him to do such righteous deeds that caused His pleasure.

And in view of the fact that the Arabic word /’a‘mala/ is a verb in present tense, which is used in that language for the continuation of the action, it is an evidence that he asked Allah for the continuation of this succour.

Finally, the third thing he asked was that he said:

“…and admit me, by Your mercy, among Your righteous servants’.”1

 

My comment is that while this is an acceptable Shia Commentary it is too shrouded in uncertainties of Origin for me to want to use it too often. I will provide a Sunni edition for you next.


Naml

Naml

ant character insect black white outline

 

 

 

15 We gave (in the past) knowledge to David and Solomon: And they both said: “Praise be to Allah, Who has favoured us above many of his servants who believe!”……………..

18. Till, when they reached the Valley of the Ants,ant character insect black white outlinean ant exclaimed: O ants! Enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies crush you, unperceiving

19.And (Solomon) smiled, laughing at her speech, and said: My Lord, arouse me to be thankful for Thy favor wherewith Thou hast favored me and my parents, and to do good that shall be pleasing unto Thee, and include me in (the number of) Thy righteous slaves.

M.  M. Pickthall

 Now, without entering into the Tafsir ( Exegeses) I’ll say what I think about Solomon’s encounter with the Ants.

Notice back in ayah 16 it reads,

“And he (Solomon) said: O mankind! Lo! we have been taught the language of birds, and have been given (abundance) of all things. This surely is evident favor.”

If Allah had not given to David and to Solomon the gift of understanding the languages of creatures;and as we do see Solomon understood not only birds but insects too, then Solomon would not have understood the tiny ant and her warning to her fellows.

Solomon smiled, laughing at her speech, why because he thought it amusing, it sounded odd, or laughable? No, because he could understand her and he gives thanks to Allah for the gift of the understanding of the languages of creatures and promises to do what is right and good to be blessed by Allah – that he may be numbered among the righteous (slaves).

Solomon and his army did not trample the ants.

And Solomon doesn’t forget his parents either!

Everyone a blessing

 

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Sūra XXVII.: Naml, or the Ants.

ant character insect black white outline

O.K. why the Ants, why does Naml speak? Well there has been a plague of ants in our kitchen for the past fortnight and it popped into my head to search them out since I knew there was a Surah named for them.
If you take time to read the Holy Quran you will notice that each Surah has a name or title, such as: Sūra XXIX.: ‘Ankabūt, or the Spider, Sūra II Baqara, or the Heifer’ Sūra XXXV.: Fāṭir, or The Originator of Creation; or Malāïka, or The Angels. Somewhere within the Surah these words, Names and phrases are found such as in the Ants her story is told between ayat 15-19.

 

Anyway I have ants on my mind and parts of me as well.

I have provided three different Translations of the Arabic, that of
Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali provides an Amplified version. You will find many more over here…beginning Ayah 15

15 ‏وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَا دَاوُۥدَ وَسُلَيْمَنَ عِلْمًۭا ۖ وَقَالَا ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ ٱلَّذِى فَضَّلَنَا عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍۢ مِّنْ عِبَادِهِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ‎

walaqad ʔa’tayna’ da’wuwda wasulaymana ʕilmanm’ sl’ waqa’la’ ‘lḥamdu lil:ahi ‘l:aðiy faḍ:alana’ ʕalay’ kaθiyrinm m:in ʕiba’dihi ‘lmuwʔminiyna

16 ‏وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمَنُ دَاوُۥدَ ۖ وَقَالَ يَٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنطِقَ ٱلطَّيْرِ وَأُوتِينَا مِن كُلِّ شَىْءٍ ۖ إِنَّ هَذَا لَهُوَ ٱلْفَضْلُ ٱلْمُبِينُ

wawariθa sulaymanu da’wuwda sl’ waqa’la yaʔ’ʔay:uha’ ‘ln:a’su ʕul:imna’ manṭiqa ‘lṭ:ayri wa’ʔuwtiyna’ min kul:i ʃayʔin sl’ ‘ʔin:a haða’ lahuwa ‘lfaḍlu ‘lmubiynu

17 ‏وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَيْمَنَ جُنُودُهُۥ مِنَ ٱلْجِنِّ وَٱلْإِنسِ وَٱلطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ

waḥuʃira lisulaymana junuwduhuw mina ‘ljin:i wa’l’ʔinsi wa’lṭ:ayri fahum yuwzaʕuwna

18 ‏حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَتَوْا۟ عَلَىٰ وَادِ ٱلنَّمْلِ قَالَتْ نَمْلَةٌۭ يَٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّمْلُ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ مَسَكِنَكُمْ لَا يَحْطِمَنَّكُمْ سُلَيْمَنُ وَجُنُودُهُۥ وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ

ḥat:ay’ʔ ‘ʔiða’ʔ ‘ʔataw’ ʕalay’ wa’di ‘ln:amli qa’lat namlatunm yaʔ’ʔay:uha’ ‘ln:amlu ‘dxuluw’ masakinakum la’ yaḥṭiman:akum sulaymanu wajunuwduhuw wahum la’ yaʃʕuruwna

19 ‏فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكًۭا مِّن قَوْلِهَا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِىٓ أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَىَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَلِدَىَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَلِحًۭا تَرْضَىٰهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِى بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِى عِبَادِكَ ٱلصَّلِحِينَ

fatabas:ama ḍa’ḥikanm’ m:in qawliha’ waqa’la rab:i ‘ʔawziʕniyʔ ‘ʔan ‘ʔaʃkura niʕmataka ‘l:atiyʔ ‘ʔanʕamta ʕalay:a waʕalay’ waliday:a wa’ʔan ‘ʔaʕmala ṣaliḥanm’ tarḍay’hu wa’ʔadxilniy biraḥmatika fiy ʕiba’dika ‘lṣ:aliḥiyna

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Surah 27 – The Ants. Yusuf Ali

 

  1. We gave (in the past) knowledge to David and Solomon: And they both said: “Praise be to Allah, Who has favoured us above many of his servants who believe!”

 

  1. And Solomon was David’s heir. He said: “O ye people! We have been taught the speech of birds, and on us has been bestowed (a little) of all things: this is indeed Grace manifest (from Allah.)”

 

  1. And before Solomon were marshalled his hosts, – of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks.

 

  1. At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: “O ye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it.”

 

  1. So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said: “O my Lord! so order me that I may be grateful for Thy favours, which thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please Thee: And admit me, by Thy Grace, to the ranks of Thy righteous Servants” 2

 


 

Surah 27 – The Ants M M Pickthall

 

  1. And We verily gave knowledge unto David and Solomon, and they said: Praise be to Allah, Who hath preferred us above many of His believing slaves!
  2. And Solomon was David’s heir. And he said: O mankind! Lo! we have been taught the language of birds, and have been given (abundance) of all things. This surely is evident favor.
  3. And there were gathered together unto Solomon his armies of the jinn and humankind, and of the birds, and they were set in battle order;
  4. Till, when they reached the Valley of the Ants, an ant exclaimed: O ants! Enter your dwellings lest Solomon and his armies crush you, unperceiving
  5. And (Solomon) smiled, laughing at her speech, and said: My Lord, arouse me to be thankful for Thy favor wherewith Thou hast favored me and my parents, and to do good that shall be pleasing unto Thee, and include me in (the number of) Thy righteous slaves. “3

 

 


 

Surah 27 – The Ants Muhammad Mahmoud Ghali

 

  1. And indeed We already brought Dawud (David) and Sulayman (Solomon) knowledge, and they (both) said, “Praise be to Allah, Who has graced us over many of His believing bondmen.
  2. And Sulayman was Dawud’s heir, (Literally: inherited “from” Dawud “David”) and he said, “O you mankind, we have been taught the language (Literally: the manner of pronunciation) of (the) birds, and we have been brought (much) of everything; surely this is indeed the evident Grace.”
  3. And his hosts were mustered to Sulayman, of the jinn and humankind and birds. So they were duly dispensed.
  4. Till, when they came up to the Valley of Ants, an ant said, “O you ants, enter your dwellings so that Sulayman and his hosts would not definitely crush you, (while) they are not aware.”
  5. So he smiled broadly, laughing at its speech, and said, “Lord! Dispense me to thank (You) for Your favor wherewith You have favored me and (both) my parents, and to do righteousness that satisfies You, and cause me to enter by Your mercy, among Your righteous bondmen.”4

 Next Time

  1. We gave (in the past) knowledge to David and Solomon: And they both said: “Praise be to Allah, Who has favoured us above many of his servants who believe!”

  1.  Unicode Qur’an: 27. ‏النمل‎ ‘lnml. 2015. Unicode Qur’an: 27. ‏النمل‎ ‘lnml. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.sacred-texts.com/isl/uq/027.htm. [Accessed 29 November 2015].
  2. 27. The Ant, The Ants. 2015. 27. The Ant, The Ants. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.islam101.com/quran/yusufAli/QURAN/27.htm. [Accessed 29 November 2015].
  3. an-Naml 27:15. 2015. an-Naml 27:15. [ONLINE] Available at: http://islamawakened.com/quran/27/15/. [Accessed 29 November 2015].
  4. ibid

 

 

Centennial Parklands 23 Nov.

Hello, something of us.
These were taken on Monday 23rd on a wander around the Eastern Suburbs, we had walked down our street and up it, to the main road- because the street is quite steep at the top and jay walked the busy road to catch the bus to Bondi Junction.
Since we are but 15 – 20 minutes walk from the beach and live on the foothills of the escarpment most of the town is built on, the streets around here are very steep and undulating, some steeper than the legal gradient for a wheelchair.

Discovering we had missed it, the bus, we then walked down to Maroubra Beach Bus Depot to catch another bus, it went to Randwick and from there we caught one to Bondi Junction.

Randwick is where the nearest hospital is and is where the Eye Clinic is where Jessica attends – they have just told her she has lost more eyesight and may be banned from operating the wheelchair alone. I can just (not) see her taking any notice. We can walk there, the Wheelchair has a 15km range and a 5 hour battery charge.

Anyway returning to the day – We then walked back to Anzac parade via Centennial Parkland, when I say, walked, naturally I mean – I walked and Jessica sailed forward into the blue on her 6 wheeled chariot.

The Park is a beautiful place for walking and stretches for about 5km or perhaps more since it passes through several Sydney Suburbs. There is a Labyrinth, a scale model of the one in Chartres cathedral. A duck pond with so many different species. The Lachlan (Governor Lachlan Macquarie)Walk which, as I mention below covers the site of Busby’s Bore, Sydney’s old water supply.

After getting through to the main road again we caught two buses home.
I realise that this won’t mean a thing to anyone who is not from here but take a fly on Google Earth when you have the time and you can see just how easy it is to walk around and to Sydney from the Eastern Beaches – and Southern beaches through the various Parks.

The Truth about Bloating in Recovery

This hits below the belt, that is where I feel it – what the mind will do to us and it doesn’t know it is killing itself!

BeautyBeyondBones

Alright, truth time.

There’s an elephant in the room, and it has to do with refeeding in recovery. And that, my friends, is bloating.

images-5

This is an uncomfortable topic to talk about, because it has to do with body image. During recovery, we’re working on accepting our new body and learning to love it. We’re overcoming body dysmorphia, and #realtalk: we’re working on weight restoration.

Frankly, bloating makes progress in those departments rather difficult.

My biggest fear during weight restoration was that I was going to wake up one morning and just be massive. I was afraid that my body would just balloon out of control. There was so much anxiety about that allusive “weight range.”  I journaled about it a lot:

I am nervous and weary of how my body will be at the end of my stay [at inpatient]. I am scared that if it changes to a point beyond…

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