Overview - Surah 27: an-Naml (The Ant )

Surah Introduction

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The theme of the Surah is divine guidance in history. Allah sent His Prophets to different people. Some accepted them and were guided, while others denied them and they saw the consequences of their denial.  The Surah also contrasts between the principles of Tawhid and shirk.

Sections:

  1. The Qur'an is from the All Wise and All-knower.  How did Prophet Moses received the message of Allah.  Allah gave Moses many signs but Pharaoh and his people denied them.
  2. The knowledge and power that Allah bestowed on Prophets David and Solomon. What kind of character they had.
  3. Queen of Saba' and her submission to Prophet Solomon.
  4. The response of Thamud to Prophet Saleh's message. Also the example of the people among whom Prophet Lot was sent.
  5. The contrast between the tawhid and shirk. Allah or the so-called gods of Shirk.
  6. The surety of Resurrection.
  7. The coming of the Day of Judgment.

Surah Naml is named after 'the Ant' mentioned in (27:18). This is the only mention of 'the Ant' in the whole of the Qur'an.

There are 93 Ayat in this Surah.

Overview

Total Ayat93
Total Words *1151
Root Words *273
Unique Root Words *6
Makki / MadaniMakki
Chronological Order* 48th (according to Ibn Abbas)
Year of Revelation* 6th year of Prophethood
Events during/before this Surah*
2nd Migration to Abyssinia, Physical beating and torture of some Muslims - 1st Migration of Muslims to Abyssinia, Public Invitation to Islam - Persecution of Muslims; antagonism - ridicule - derision - accusation - abuse and false propaganda., Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam , Revelation begins - Private Invitation to Islam
Events during/after still to occur*
Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 1,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 2,Boycott of Banu Hashim Yr 3,Death of Abu Talib - Death of Khadijah - Stoning at Ta'if - al-Isra wal Mi'raj - Night Journey,1st Pledge of Aqabah,2nd Pledge of Aqabah,,Migration from Makkah to Madinah - Building of Masjid Nabi in Madinah - Treaty with Jews of Madinah - Marriage of Prophet to Aishah,Change of Qiblah from Jerusalem to Makkah - Battle of Badr,Battle of Uhud,,Battle of Ahzab - Expedition of Banu Quraydhah,Treaty of Hudaiybiyah - Letters to Kings and Rulers,,Conquest of Makkah - Battle of Hunain,Hajj led by Abu Bakr - Expedition of Tabuk,Farewell Hajj by Prophet - Death of Prophet - End of Divine Revelation
Names of Prophets Mentioned
Salih, Lut, Musa, Dawud, Sulayman
Surah Index
Ants, Birds, Charity, Children (of Israel) , David, Disbelievers, Earth, Earth (condition of at the time of resurrection) , Hell, Homosexuality, Iblis, Jinn, Judgement (Day) , Lot, Moses, Mountains, Pharaoh, Qur’an, Resurrection, Salih, Sea, Sheba, Solomon, Solomon (and the Queen of Sheba) , Thamud, Trees, Water (two great bodies of) , Weather (rain) , Weather (wind)

Central Theme

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The Surah consists of two discourses, the first from the beginning of the Surah to the end of verse 58 and the second from verse 59 to the end. The theme of the first discourse is that the people who benefit from the guidance of the Qur’an and its blessings are those who accept the realities which it presents. They are then obedient and submissive to God’s guidance, by following it in their practical lives. One of the greatest hindrances for man is the denial of the Hereafter. For it makes him irresponsible, selfish and eager for the worldly life, which in turn makes it impossible for him to submit himself before God and to accept the moral restrictions on his lusts and desires.

Connection of the name of the Surah and its Ayaat

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Connection between the beginning and the ending of the Surah

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  • There is a mention of the Qur'an in the begining and the end of the Surah
    :طس ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْقُرْآنِ وَكِتَابٍ مُّبِينٍ "Ta, Seen. These are the verses of the Qur'an and a clear Book" (27:1)
    وَأَنْ أَتْلُوَ الْقُرْآنَ ۖ فَمَنِ اهْتَدَىٰ فَإِنَّمَا يَهْتَدِي لِنَفْسِهِ ۖ وَمَن ضَلَّ فَقُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُنذِرِينَ "And say, And to recite the Qur'an." And whoever is guided is only guided for [the benefit of] himself; and whoever strays - say, "I am only [one] of the warners." (27:92)

Manuscripts / Inscriptions

Connection of the Surah to the Surah before/after it

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  • The previous Surah, ash-Shuara and this Surah both begin with the story of Musa. The following Surah al-Qasas also begins with the story of Musa. 
  • ash-Shuara begins with طسم and an-Naml begins with طس

The Virtues of the Surah

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Special Features of the Surah

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Important key and unique words of the Surah

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  • The word عَرْش 'Throne' in different forms appear 5 times in this Surah. The most oft-repeated compared to all other Surahs. 
     
  • The letter's طس -  are the opening letters of the first Ayat of Surah an-Naml which is Surah no. 27 with 93 Ayat. Interestingly, the letter ط occurs 27 times and the letter س occurs 93 times in this whole Surah  
  • The phrase أَإِلَـٰهٌ مَّعَ اللَّـهِ "A deity with Allah?" is repeated 5 times in this Surah. This phrase does not occur in any of the Surah of the Qur'an and is unique to Surah an-Naml
    أَمَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَأَنزَلَ لَكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ مَاءً فَأَنبَتْنَا بِهِ حَدَائِقَ ذَاتَ بَهْجَةٍ مَّا كَانَ لَكُمْ أَن تُنبِتُوا شَجَرَهَا ۗ أَإِلَـٰهٌ مَّعَ اللَّـهِ ۚ بَلْ هُمْ قَوْمٌ يَعْدِلُونَ  "[More precisely], is He [not best] who created the heavens and the earth and sent down for you rain from the sky, causing to grow thereby gardens of joyful beauty which you could not [otherwise] have grown the trees thereof? Is there a deity with Allah? [No], but they are a people who ascribe equals [to Him]." (27:60)

    أَمَّن جَعَلَ الْأَرْضَ قَرَارًا وَجَعَلَ خِلَالَهَا أَنْهَارًا وَجَعَلَ لَهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ حَاجِزًا ۗ أَإِلَـٰهٌ مَّعَ اللَّـهِ ۚ بَلْ أَكْثَرُهُمْ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ "Is He [not best] who made the earth a stable ground and placed within it rivers and made for it firmly set mountains and placed between the two seas a barrier? Is there a deity with Allah? [No], but most of them do not know." (27:61)

    أَمَّن يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ وَيَجْعَلُكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ الْأَرْضِ ۗ أَإِلَـٰهٌ مَّعَ اللَّـهِ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَّا تَذَكَّرُونَ "Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Little do you remember." (27:62)

     أَمَّن يَهْدِيكُمْ فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَمَن يُرْسِلُ الرِّيَاحَ بُشْرًا بَيْنَ يَدَيْ رَحْمَتِهِ ۗ أَإِلَـٰهٌ مَّعَ اللَّـهِ ۚ تَعَالَى اللَّـهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ "Is He [not best] who guides you through the darknesses of the land and sea and who sends the winds as good tidings before His mercy? Is there a deity with Allah? High is Allah above whatever they associate with Him." (27:63)

    أَمَّن يَبْدَأُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ وَمَن يَرْزُقُكُم مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَإِلَـٰهٌ مَّعَ اللَّـهِ قُلْ هَاتُوا بُرْهَانَكُمْ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ "Is He [not best] who begins creation and then repeats it and who provides for you from the heaven and earth? Is there a deity with Allah? Say, "Produce your proof, if you should be truthful." (27:64)
 
Total Word Count per Ayat (shows how many words per Ayat) *

Unique Root Words to this Surah only


6 unique root words that do not appear in any other Surah *

Top 10 Most Frequent Root Words used in this Surah

Root Word Frequency
in Surah
Frequency
in Qur'an
ق و ل 44 1722
أ ل ه 33 2851
ك و ن 24 1390
أ ت ي 20 549
ق و م 16 660
ٱلَّذِى 15 1464
ع ل م 15 854
ر ب ب 12 980
ه د ي 11 316
أَم 11 137

Period of Revelation

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Background Reasons for Revelation

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Relevant Hadith

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Lessons/Guidance/Major-Issues/Reflections

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  • The Qur'an is a guide and good news to the believers.
  • Prophet Musa's (pbuh) nine miracles were shown to Pharaoh and his people.
  • Story of Prophet Sulaiman and the Queen of Sheba.
  • Stories of Prophets Saleh, and Lut (pbuh) and their people.
  • The disbelievers actually doubt Allah's power of creation.
  • A sign from the signs, and a scene from the scenes of Doomsday.
  • Those who accept guidance do so to their own good and those who reject and go astray, do so to their own peril.
  • The Believers are not jubilant except about the blessings of faith and religion unlike others who love the wealth of this world. Allah says, فَلَمَّا جَاءَ سُلَيْمَانَ قَالَ   أَتُمِدُّونَنِ بِمَالٍ فَمَا آتَانِيَ اللَّـهُ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا آتَاكُم بَلْ أَنتُم بِهَدِيَّتِكُمْ تَفْرَحُون "So when they came to Solomon, he said, "Do you provide me with wealth? But what Allah has given me is better than what He has given you. Rather, it is you who rejoice in your gift." (27:36)
  • When Allah Almighty bless someone with a blessing in this world he/she should supplicate earnestly with the following dua,
    رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلَىٰ وَالِدَيَّ وَأَنْ أَعْمَلَ صَالِحًا تَرْضَاهُ وَأَدْخِلْنِي بِرَحْمَتِكَ فِي عِبَادِكَ الصَّالِحِينَ "My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into [the ranks of] Your righteous servants." (27:19)

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Miscellaneous Issues

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Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females, most of which are workers (ergates), as well as soldiers (dinergates) and other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" (aner) and one or more fertile females called "queens" (gynes). The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.

Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems. These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject of study.

External Links

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