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Sura Al-Naml (Sura 27: Revelation Order 48)

Quran is a guidance and good news for the believers

  • Ta. Seen. These are proofs of the Quran, a clear scripture (27:1). A guidance and good news for the believers (27:2).

Note: Ta.Seen, the letters of the Arabic alphabet popularly known as quranic initials but mysterious to Muslim scholars, are proofs of Quran (Aayat- plural of Aaya meaning verse, proof, sign or miracle). These initials can be considered like oath of God to make our focus on the statements that immediately follow these initials so that we can reflect and understand the real significance being the Quran is a divine and comprehensible scripture to serve as a guidance and good news for the believers. Now we are sure that these initials are physical proofs of Quran from God, which occur in certain frequencies in the Arabic text of the relevant sura, i.e., the total of these two letters in the text is a multiple of 19, the common denominator of figures derived from the Quran’s numerical analysis.

Quran is given to Muhammad from God, the Most Wise and Omniscient

  • Who observe Salat, pay Zakat, and are certain about the Hereafter (27:3). Those who do not believe in the Hereafter, their works have been adorned in their eyes so they can continue their way with their blunder (27:4). Those are the ones who incur the worst retribution, and in the Hereafter, they will be the worst losers (27:5). Surely, you (Muhammad) receive the Quran from the Most Wise, Omniscient (27:6).

Note: Just to believe in the Quran is not enough to be winners in the Hereafter rather the believers are to observe Salat and pay Zakat being certain about the Hereafter. Those who are disbelievers, their works are made attractive to their eyes, who will be the worst losers in the Hereafter while they have been warned that the Quran is given to Muhammad from the Most Wise, Omniscient.

History of Moses

  • Once Moses said to his family (his brethren), “I see a fire, let me bring news for you therefrom or a torch of light so that you may guide yourselves” (27:7).

Note: While Moses was with his companions he saw a fire and told them that he was going to bring some news or guidance from it.

  • Then when he came to it, he was called: “Blessed is the One who is at the fire, and the one who is around it. Glory be to God, Lord of the universe” (27:8). “O Moses, I am God, the Almighty, Most Wise (27:9), throw down your staff”. When he saw it moving like a demon, he turned around and fled. “O Moses, do not be afraid. My messengers shall not fear (27:10), except those who commit a transgression, even then substitute righteousness after sinning; I am Forgiving, Most Merciful (27:11), put your hand in your pocket; it will come out white, without a blemish”. These are among nine miracles to Pharaoh and his people, for they are wicked people (27:12).

Note: We know from the other suras that Moses demanded to see God physically to strengthen his people’s belief in God. God was at the fire who gave Moses certain commands and miracles while he was around it to convince Pharaoh and his people who were very wicked.

  • When our miracles were presented to them, clear and profound, they said, “This is obviously magic.” (27:13). They rejected them and were utterly convinced of their wrong ways, due to their arrogance. Note the consequences for the evildoers (27:14).

​Note: God is letting us know what happened when His miracles given to Moses were presented to Pharaoh and his people, i.e., they rejected them out of their arrogance.

History of Solomon and Sheba

  • We have blessed David and Solomon with knowledge but they said, “Praise be to God for the One who has favored us more than many of His believing servants (27:15). Solomon was David’s heir. He said, “O people, we have been taught to understand the language of the birds and also have been given all other things, and it is, of course, the evident of the real favor (27:16).

Note: God has blessed David and Solomon more than many of His believing servants but they were appreciative to Him. Even this favor does not make any difference between messengers of God.

  • Solomon’s soldiers (literally junudu means hosts translated to soldiers) comprising of jinns, humans and birds were gathered together and set out for battle (27:17). When they reached the valley of ants, one female ant said, “O ants, go into your homes, lest you get crushed by Solomon and his soldiers, without perceiving” (27:18). He (Solomon) smiled and laughed at her statement, and said, “My Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. Admit me by Your mercy with Your righteous servants” (27:19).

Note: God has given language to every creature (species) to communicate and He has also taught some of us to understand the communication of the other species as well. What seems unusual or impossible to us is easy for God to do. However, Solomon did not misuse God given blessing instead, he prayed to Him to do the righteous works upon hearing the conversation between ants, and here we find a great teaching for us to do the same to be righteous to enter with the righteous believers as the righteous will enter in throngs and their destination is Paradise (39:73). It is also noteworthy that mathematically, the position of the verse in the sura is 19 while the total of digits of sura number and verse number is 19 either -> 2 + 7 + 1 + 9 = 19.

  • He inspected the birds, and said: “Why do I not see the hoopoe? Why is he absent? (27:20) I will punish him severely or sacrifice him, unless he gives me a good excuse” (27:21).

Note: It would not be righteous behavior to make any decision without knowing the fact.

  • He did not wait for long. (The hoopoe) said, “I have news that you do not have. I have brought to you from Sheba, some important information (27:22). I found a woman ruling them, who is blessed with everything, and possesses a tremendous palace (27:23). I found her and her people prostrating to the sun, instead of God. The devil has adorned their works in their eyes, and has repulsed them from the path; consequently, they are not guided (27:24).That they are not prostrating to God, the One who manifests all the mysteries in the heavens and the earth, and the One who knows everything you conceal and everything you declare (27:25). God: there is no other god beside Him; the Lord with the great dominion” (27:26).

Note: The hoopoe collected and reported the relevant information to Solomon for his decision, which is a strategy of war plan. The statements indicate that the hoopoe was given the responsibility of intelligence and communication service that we also see as a division in the modern army.

  • (Solomon) said, “We will see if you told the truth, or if you are a liar (27:27). Take this letter from me, give it to them, then watch for their response” (27:28).

Note: Solomon took the next step based on the information reported by the hoopoe and sent a letter to them to know their response.

  • She said, “O advisers, I have received an honorable letter (27:29). It is from Solomon, and it is, `In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful’ (27:30). Proclaiming: `Do not be arrogant; come to me as submitters’” (27:31). She said, “O advisers, advise me in this matter. I am not deciding anything until you share your opinion with me.” (27:32).

Note: When a righteous person intends to do anything starts with “In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful”. It was not a battle of occupying territory instead, the invitation to the path of God. Sheba was an idol worshipper but she used to rule her people based on democracy.

  • They said, “We possess the power, we possess the fighting skills, and the ultimate command is in your hand. You decide what to do” (27:33). She said, “The kings corrupt any land they invade, and subjugate its dignified people. This is what they usually do (27:34). I am sending a gift to them; let us see what the messengers come back with” (27:35).

Note: Upon receiving her advisers’ opinion Sheba decided to send a gift to Solomon to avoid the usual behavior of the kings after invasion of the land.

  • When the hoopoe returned to Solomon (and told him the news), he responded(to Sheba’s people): “Are you giving me money? What God has given me is far better than what He has given you. You are the ones to rejoice in such gifts” (27:36). (he told the hoopoe) “Go back to them (and let them know that) we will come to them with forces they cannot imagine. We will evict them, humiliated and debased” (27:37).

Note: Solomon was grateful to God for what he had from Him. He did not accept the gift rather he sent back the hoopoe with a warning that he will go to them with a large number of forces to attack them.

  • He said, “O advisors, which of you can bring me her mansion, before they arrive here as submitters?” (2:38).One afrit from the jinns said, “I can bring it to you before you stand up. I am powerful enough to do this” (27:39). The one who possessed knowledge from the book said, “I can bring it to you in the blink of your eye.” When he saw it settled in front of him, he said, “This is a blessing from my Lord, whereby He tests me, to show whether I am appreciative or unappreciative. Whoever is appreciative is appreciative for his own good, and if one turns unappreciative, then my Lord is in no need for him, Most Honorable” (27:40).
  • He said, “Remodel her mansion for her. Let us see if she will be guided, or continue with the misguided” (27:41). When she arrived, she was asked, “Does your mansion look like this?” She said, “It seems that this is it.” (Solomon said,) “We knew beforehand what she was going to do, and we were already submitters” (27:42). She had been diverted by worshiping idols instead of God; she belonged to disbelieving people (27:43). She was told, “Go inside the palace.” When she saw its interior, she thought it was a pool of water, and she (pulled up her dress,) exposing her legs. He said, “This interior is now paved with crystal.” She said, “My Lord, I have wronged my soul. I now submit with Solomon to God, Lord of the universe” (27:44).

Note: Sheba’s mansion was remodeled as if it was a pool of water. When she arrived and saw it as it was remodeled. Even though she claimed they are already submitters but he belonged to the disbelieving people. Once again when she went inside but saw her palace paved with crystal, and then she submitted to God with Solomon. Solomon used God given resources to bring people to the path of God instead of occupying the land.

History of Saaleh

  • We sent to Thamoud their brother Sãleh that “You shall worship God.” But they became two disputing groups (27:45). He said, “O my people, why do you hasten to do the evil before the good? Why do you not ask God for forgiveness so that you may have mercy” (27:46).
  • They said, “We consider you a bad omen for us, you and those who are with you”. He said, “Your bad omen is with God. Indeed, you are a people who are being tested” (27:47). There were nine gangsters in the city who were wicked, and never did anything good (27:48). They said, “Let us swear by God that we kill him and his people, then tell his tribe, `We know nothing about their death. We are truthful.’ ” (27:49).
  • They plotted a plot but we also schemed a plan while they did not perceive (27:50). Now see the consequence of their plot that we annihilated them and their people together (27:51). Here are their homes utterly ruined because of their wickedness. This should indeed be a lesson for the people who realize (27:52). We saved those who were the believers and the reverent to God (27:53).

Note: Saaleh was sent to the people of Thamoud but most of them disbelieved him. Moreover, they plotted to kill him but God destroyed those wicked people while He saved Saaleh and the people who believed him. Thus, God saves the believers who are reverent to God and lead a righteous life.

History of Lot

  • Lot said to his people, “How could you commit such an abomination, while you can see? (27:54). You practice sex with the men, lustfully, instead of the women. Indeed, you are an ignorant people” (27:55). But the only response from his people that they said, “Banish the family of Lot from your town; they are the people who wish to be clean and pure.” (27:56). Consequently, we saved him and his family, except his wife whom we doomed with those who remained behind (27:57). We showered them with a certain shower. It was a miserable shower upon the people who had been warned (27:58).

Note: Lot was sent to the people who would practice homosexuality. They were warned because of their evil behavior but many of them disregarded the warning. Consequently, those who remained behind including Lot’s wife had been destroyed with a miserable shower.

All praise belongs to God: our Creator and Lord

  • Say, “Praise be to God and peace be upon His servants whom He chose. Is God better or the ones whom they associate (with Him)?” (27:59). Who is the One who created the heavens and the earth? Who is the One who sends down to you from the sky water, whereby we produce gardens full of beauty – you could not possibly manufacture its trees? Is it another god with God? Indeed, they are a people who deviate (27:60). Who is the One who made the earth habitat, caused rivers to run through it, placed on it mountains, and created a barrier between the two seas? Is it another god with God? Indeed, most of them do not know (27:61). Who is the One who responds to the distressed one when he calls Him, relieves adversity, and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is it another god with God? Rarely do you remember (27:62). Who is the One who guides you in the darkness of land and sea? Who is the One who sends the winds with good news, on His mercy? Is it another god with God? The Most High is God what they associate (with Him) (27:63). Who is the One who initiates the creation, then repeats it? Who is the One who provides for you from the heaven and the earth? Is it another god with God? Say, “Show me your proof, if you are truthful.” (27:64). Say, “No one in the heavens and the earth knows the future except God. They do not even perceive how or when they will be resurrected.” (27:65).

Note: All praise belongs to God. He is our Creator and Lord. But what we must instill in our heart that He is so High that there is none to be His partners being equal to Him but still some people praise His chosen in a manner as if they are equal to Him making them idol worshippers. Researchers found the marine characteristics of separations between neighboring seas in 1941.

Certainty about the Hereafter is the prerequisite to believe the divine message

  • In fact, their knowledge about the Hereafter is very limited. In fact, they harbor doubt about it. In fact, they are blind to it (27:66). Those who disbelieved said, “After we turn into dust as well as and our forefathers, will we be brought out? (27:67).We have been given the same promise in the past. These are nothing but tales from the past.” (27:68). Say, “Roam the earth and note the consequences for the guilty.” (27:69). Do not grieve over them, nor be annoyed by their plotting (27:70). They say, “When will this promise come to pass, if you are truthful?” (27:71). Say, “It may already upon you by some of that which you hasten” (27:72).

Note: The people disbelieved the message given to Muhammad as they were not certain about the Hereafter as well as the events that will take place on the Day of Judgment.

Dead, deaf or blind does not hear the call

  • Your Lord is full of grace towards people, but most of them are unappreciative (27:73). Your Lord knows what they conceal in their chests and what they declare (27:74). There is nothing in the heavens and the earth that is hidden (from Him); everything is in a clear book (27:75). This Quran narrates to the Children of Israel most of that what they still dispute (27:76). And indeed, it is a guidance and mercy for the believers (27:77). Indeed, your Lord judges among them in accordance with His laws. He is the Almighty, the Omniscient (27:78). Therefore, put your trust in God; indeed, you have the manifest truth. (27:79). Indeed, you cannot make the dead nor the deaf hear the call, if they turn away (27:80). Nor can you guide the blind out of their straying nor can you make those hear except they believe in our revelations and are submitters (27:81).

Note: The Quran is a guidance and mercy having the manifest truth. Only the people who believe in God’s revelations and wish to be submitters hear the call. The messenger only serves as warner.

Fulfillment of the prophecy of producing a creature from earth

  • When the punishment is almost due against them, we will produce for them a creature from the earth speaking to them that the people are not certain about our revelations (27:82). The day we will gather from every community a group of those who rejected our revelations and they will be set in each row (27:83). When they arrive, He will say, “You have rejected My revelations without acquiring knowledge about them. Is this not what you did?” (27:84). They will incur the requital because of their wickedness and they will have nothing to say (27:85).

Note: This prophecy has been fulfilled when the end of the world or the day of judgment is not too far from now. It is an opportunity for the people of this generation and subsequent ones from all faiths to get back to God’s religion being definite that the Quran is from God who is the only source of guidance and salvation as we know from the history that God warns the people before punishing them what we also see at the beginning in the statement of the prophecy.

Proofs to believe God and to be aware of His requital

  • Have they not seen that we made the night for their rest, and the day lighted? These should be sufficient proofs for people who believe (27:86). On the day when the horn is blown, everyone in the heavens and the earth will be horrified, except those chosen by God. All will come before Him, humbly (27:87). When you look at the mountains, you think that they are standing still. But they are moving, like the clouds. Such is the creation of God, who has perfected everything. He is fully Cognizant of everything you do (27:88).

Note: God has given us simple proofs for average people as well as scientific facts for intellectual to reflect on to strengthen our belief in God and the Quran. The movement of the mountains like the clouds is a scientific fact, which confirms the wondrous nature of Quran and the revolving of the earth while this fact is rejected by Muslim scholars to make them and their followers ignorant.

Entering Hereafter with our requital

  • Those who bring good works will receive far better rewards, and they will be perfectly secure from the horrors of that day (27:89). And those who bring evil works, they will be forced into Hell. Are you not requited for what you used to do? (27:90).

Note: When we enter the Hereafter through our death, we bring our requital with us, which is not clear to many of us who believe in God and practice the rites given by Him expecting that God is merciful and He will forgive our sins on the Day of Judgment. In fact, this is a satanic trick to make most of us losers in the Hereafter that we need to reflect and avoid to make us winners.

Duties assigned to the Prophet

  • I (Muhammad) have been commanded to worship the Lord of this town, the One who has made it sacred and to Him belongs all things. And I have been commanded to become one of the submitters (27:91). And to recite the Quran. Whoever is guided is guided for his own good, and if they go astray, then say, “I am one of the warners.” (27:92). And say, “Praise be to God; He will show you His proofs, until you recognize them”. And your Lord is never unaware of anything you do (27:93).

Note: The prophet was commanded to worship God being a submitter and to recite the Quran being a warner proclaiming that praise be to God who will show us His proofs until we realize them. God has made the prophet accountable for the duties assigned to him.

Conclusion

What may come to our mind first about the quranic initials, 14 sets of Arabic letters prefixed to 29 suras (chapters) in the Quran is the oath of God to make our focus on the statements that immediately followthese initials so that we can reflect and understand the real significance of those statements. However, it is a regret that while God has confirmed that the Quran is a comprehensible book (kitaabin mubeenin) and a guidance (hudan) providing good news for the believers but most people who believe in God and the Quran harbor misconception that it is difficult to understand but its recitation in Arabic is enough to be qualified for the reward from God and its place is in high shelf.

The history of Moses, Solomon, Saaleh and Lot has been presented in the Quran to teach us the behavior of the wicked expecting from us that we would learn from it and try our best to avoid it. But what we see is the repetition of the history in the humanity without learning anything from it including our generation. The Jews did not accept Jesus to be Messiah despite Injeel given to him supported by great miracles that were not given to many of His righteous servants, the Jews and the Christians did not accept Muhammad as prophet despite the Quran given to him being the final scripture and the miracle, and the Muslims, the Christians and the Jews did not accept Rashad to be a messenger of God despite the fulfillment of the prophecy in the Quran (3:81 & 33:7) supported by the great miracle, number 19 (74:30 & 74:35). There are also verses in the context of sovereignty of God and His support to His prophet to strengthen his heart to complete his duties. If we could understand that sending messengers to the humanity at times is a God’s system and mercy to guide them in the right direction, it would help people of all generations to ensure the successful return to their Lord.

What we can count in the sura is all praise belongs to God, a few miracles, couple of scientific facts and the fulfillment of a prophecy to bring out a creature from the earth to convince us to accept the Quran as our guidance and good news to lead a righteous life being certain about the Hereafter. Now if we could do what Solomon did to please God, with our death we would be there where he is now as well as where he will be on the Day of Judgment accompanied with the righteous servants:

[27:19] My Lord, direct me to appreciate the blessings You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents, and to do the righteous works that please You. And admit me by Your mercy with Your righteous servants.
[39:73] Those who reverenced their Lord will be led to Paradise in throngs. When they get to it, and its gates are opened, its guards will say, “Peace be upon you; you have won. Therefore, you abide herein forever.”

Peaceful Friday, salaam and God bless.
Tafazzal (2/19/2016).