Surah 16. Surah al Nahl (The Bee)
Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
- The command of Allah has arrived,
Therefore, do not be in haste about it;
Glorified is He!
Lo! High above what they associate with Him.
- The angels descend with the Spirit by His command
Upon any of His servants as He wills,
So that you remind them that there is no deity but I,
And be conscious of Me.
- (He) created the heavens and the earth in Truth (and Justice),
High is He above what they associate with Him.
- (He) created the human from a drop of sperm,
Then, he becomes an open opponent!
- And the cattle He has created,
There is warmth in them for you and benefits,
And of them you eat.
- And there is grace in them for you,
When you bring them in and when you take them out.
- And they carry your burden,
To cities you could not reach except as a miserable burden on yourself.
Indeed, your Rabb is Most Benevolent, Most Merciful.
- And horses, and mules and donkeys for you to ride and take pride in,
And He has created (many more) that you do not know of.
- And from Allah is the straight path,
And from it they deviate,
And if Allah so willed it, He would guide all of you.
- He it is Who brings down rain from the heavens for you,
From it you drink, and from it grow plants on which you graze (your herds).
- From it, He grows the crops for you,
And olives, and dates, and grapes, and all the fruits;
Indeed, in these are Signs for a people who ponder.
- And He has subjected to you the night and the day,
And the sun and the moon,
And the stars He has subjected to His laws,
Indeed, in these are Signs for a people who apply reason.
- And He has made in the earth different colors (of soils, rocks and vegetation),
Indeed, in these are Signs for a people who expound and elucidate.
- And He it is Who has made the sea subject to you,
So that you eat fresh fish from it,
And from it bring out ornaments that you wear,
And you observe the ships slice through the waters,
So that you may (travel and) search for the bounties of Allah,
And learn to be thankful.
- And He has established mountains on earth,
So that (the earth) does not shake along with you
(as in earthquakes),
And streams, and clear paths,
So that you find guidance.
- And Signs (on the earth and in the heavens), and the stars,
With them you find guidance (on land, sea and space).
- Is then One who creates,
Like the one who does not create?
Will you not then be admonished?
- And if you count the bounties of Allah,
You cannot count them (they are countless);
Lo! Allah is the Forgiver, the Merciful.
- Indeed, Allah is aware of what you conceal and what you reveal.
- And those they call on besides Allah,
Do not create anything, and were (themselves) created.
- They are dead, not alive,
And they cannot perceive when they will be lifted up.
- Your God is One God;
But those who do not believe in the hereafter,
Their hearts reject this, and they are arrogant.
- There is no doubt that Allah knows for certain,
What you conceal and what you reveal.
Verily, he does not love those who are arrogant.
- And when it is said to them:
“What has your Rabb revealed to you?”
They say: “Tales of the ancients!”
- They will carry all their burdens
On the Day of Judgment,
And (in addition) some of the burden of those
They mislead without knowledge.
Listen well! Evil indeed is what they carry!
- Truly, those who came before them plotted,
So, Allah pulled down their structures (interconnected schemes)
From their (very) foundations,
And the roofs crumbled on their heads,
And the punishment of Allah
Descended upon them from quarters they did not anticipate.
- Then, on the Day of Judgment,
He will disgrace them, and He will say:
“Where are the ones you associated with Me,
About whom you used to argue?”
Those endowed with knowledge will say:
“Indeed, this is the Day of disgrace and evil for the disbelievers.”
- Those whose lives the angels will take,
While they are in a state of self-inflicted oppression;
Will utter, then, words of surrender:
“Indeed, we did not engage in any evil.”
No! Allah does indeed know
What you used to do.
- So, enter through the doors of Hell,
Therein to dwell forever;
How wretched is the abode of the arrogant!
- And those who are conscious of Allah are asked:
“What has your Rabb sent down upon you?”
They say: “Bliss!”
Those who engage in good deeds in this world,
For them, there is goodness;
But the abode of the hereafter is better.
Lo! How beautiful indeed is the abode of those
Who are conscious of Allah!
- Eternal gardens will they enter,
Under which flow streams (of Divine grace),
In it they have whatever they contemplate;
That is what the recompense from Allah is,
For those who are conscious of Him.
- To those who are in a state of purification
When the angels take their lives,
They (the angels) say: “Peace be with you!
Enter the garden (in recompense) for what you used to do.”
- Are they waiting that the angels will appear before them,
Or, there will descend (upon them) the command of their Rabb?
That is what those before them did.
Lo! it was not Allah that wronged them,
But they were oppressors to their own souls.
- So, the evil of their deeds will come back to them,
And what they mocked will surround them all around.
- And those who associate deities with Allah say:
“If Allah so willed it,
We would not worship anyone but Him,
Us and our forefathers,
And we would not forbid anything (but what He commanded)”.
That is how those (who lived) before them spoke,
Then, what else can the Messengers do,
Except to deliver the message clearly?
- And of a certainty, We sent Messengers to every community,
(Warning) that you worship (and serve) Allah,
And avoid what is evil.
Then, there were some of them who received the guidance from Allah,
And falsehood was manifest upon some of them.
So travel through the earth,
And observe what was the end of those
Who denied the Truth!
- If you are in a hurry to provide them guidance,
Then (know that) indeed, Allah does not guide
Whom He has allowed to wander off (from the right path),
And for (such as) them, there are no helpers.
- And they swore by Allah from the depths of their being:
“Allah does not raise anyone from the dead.”
No! The promise of Allah is firm by Him,
But most among humankind know it not.
- (They will be raised up)
To show them with clarity that which they disagreed about,
And to let the disbelievers realize
That they were hiding the truth.
- Indeed, Our word is not but this about any matter:
When We will it, We say to it: “Be!” And it is!
- Those who migrate in the cause of Allah,
After they have been subjected to oppression,
We shall certainty bestow upon them grace in this world,
And their recompense in the hereafter shall be greater,
If only they knew!
- Those who are patient (and persevere),
And place their trust in Allah.
- And We have not sent before your time,
Any except mortals, with revelation from Us.
So, ask those who remember (the people of the Book),
If you do not know.
- With Signs and Books;
And We have sent down upon you the admonition (the Qur’an),
So that you make it clear as to what has been sent to them,
And they reflect.
- Have they, who plot evil become unconcerned
That Allah will not have the earth swallow them up?
Or, that the punishment will not come to them
From quarters they do not anticipate?
- Or, that He will seize them as they walk,
So that they cannot escape?
- Or, that He will seize them with fear?
But then, your Rabb is indeed Most Forbearing, Most Merciful.
- Have they not seen
That whatever Allah has created
Casts a changing shadow from the right or the left
Obeying (prostrating before) Allah in complete surrender.
- To Allah alone does everything prostrate —
All living beings in the heavens and earth,
As well as the angels,
And they are not arrogant.
- They fear their Rabb,
Who is over them (from every direction),
And they discharge what they are commanded.
- And Allah has said:
“Do not take two gods;
Indeed, your god is One,
So, fear Me alone.”
- And to Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth,
And to Him is due obedience and worship,
So, are you fearful of someone else?
- And whatever bounty you have, it is from Allah,
Then, when a difficulty befalls you,
It is to Him you supplicate.
- And when He lifts the difficulty from you,
A group among you associates partners with their Rabb.
- And they deny whatever was bestowed on them,
So, you let them indulge;
Then, soon shall you know!
- And they take a portion
From what We have bestowed on them
For what they do not know.
By Allah! You will certainly be asked
About the lies you fabricated.
- And they make up daughters for Allah, the Glorified,
And for themselves, whatever they desire.
- And when the good news is given to any of them
Of a daughter,
His face turns dark and he is filled with anger.
- He hides from his people because of (what he considers) the evil
In the good news given to him.
He wonders whether to keep her with dishonor,
Or bury her in the earth.
Hearken! Evil is what they decide.
- Those who do not believe in the hereafter,
Their state is miserable,
And with Allah
Is a state most high.
And He is Owner of Power, the Wise!
- And if Allah were to seize humankind for their transgressions,
There would not be left anything that walks;
But He gives them respite until a time determined.
Then, when their time arrives,
The Moment shall not be delayed,
Nor shall it be moved forward.
- And they ascribe to Allah what they detest for themselves,
And their tongues wag lies that there is goodness in it for them.
No! for them is the Fire!
And they shall be (herded therein) first.
- By Allah! Of a certainty, We sent (guidance) upon communities before you,
Then, Satan made their deeds seem honorable to them.
Therefore, he is their protector this day,
And for them is a painful punishment.
- And We have not sent down the Book upon you,
Except to explain to them what it was that they disagreed about.
Lo! There is Guidance and Grace for a people who have certainty of faith.
- Lo! Allah brings down the rain from the heavens,
And gives life with it to an earth that is dead.
Indeed, in that are Signs for a people who hear (the Message).
- And indeed there is a lesson for you in the cattle:
We provide you with pure milk,
Savory for those who drink it,
(Originating) from their bellies, between the wastage (refuse) and the blood.
- And of the fruits, dates and grapes,
You make sweets of them and healthful food.
Indeed, in that are Signs for a people who reason.
- And your Rabb inspired the bee
That you build your hives on mountain sides and in trees
And from protective ledges.
- Then, feed on all the fruits (the nectar around ovaries),
And follow humbly the processes taught by your Rabb.
(Then) from its belly comes out a fluid,
Of colors varied,
In it there is cure for humankind.
Indeed, in that are Signs for a people who ponder!
- Lo! Allah has created you and He gives you death!
And among you some are taken to the age of infirmity,
So that (the person) knows nothing after knowing something;
Indeed, Allah is the Knower, the Owner of Power!
- Indeed Allah bestows more sustenance on some than others,
Then those who have been favored
Do not share their sustenance with those whom their right hands possess,
So that they are equal in it.
Are they, therefore, rejecting the bounties of Allah?
- Lo! Allah has made spouses for you from among yourselves,
And has made children for you from your spouses, and grandchildren,
And has provided you sustenance, wholesome,
Will they then believe in the untruth,
And will they reject the bounties of Allah?
- And they worship besides Allah,
That which has no power to provide them any sustenance
Between the heavens and the earth,
And they do not have the ability.
- Therefore, do not bring forth similitude for Allah;
Indeed, Allah has the knowledge and you are not in the know.
- Allah brings forth a parable:
A slave who is owned who has no power over anything,
And one to whom We have provided sustenance
From Our bountiful sustenance,
He sets aside (in charity) from it, in secret and in the open;
Are they equal?
All praise be to Allah!
But most of them do not comprehend.
- And Allah brings forth the parable of two men:
One of them is deaf and is dependent on his caretaker for everything,
Whatever he is directed to do, he does not do it well.
Is he the equal of one who commands justice,
And who is on the path established?
- To Allah belongs what is beyond perception
In the heavens and the earth;
And the command for the Moment is not
But like the blink of an eye, or faster,
Indeed, Allah has power over all affairs.
- Behold! Allah brought you forth
From the wombs of your mothers;
You knew nothing,
Then, He made for you hearing and sight and the (inner) hearts,
So that you learn to be thankful.
- Do you not see the birds riding the winds in the skies,
None holds them up except Allah,
Indeed, in that are Signs for a people
Who are aware of Allah.
- And Allah has made your homes places for rest,
And made for you tents from hides of four-footed animals,
Which you find easy to carry when you set them up and fold them up,
And from their wool and their fur and their hair (you make) belongings
And goods that last a while.
- And Allah has provided for you
Protection in what He has created:
He made for you mountains for refuge,
And made for you garments that protect you from the heat,
And garments that protect you in war,
That is how He completes His favors upon you,
So that you be among those who surrender.
- Then, if they turn away,
Then indeed, upon you is (the obligation) only to convey to them clearly.
- They recognize the bounties of Allah,
Then they deny them;
Lo! Most of them are disbelievers.
- And the Day We raise up a witness on every community,
Then no permission shall be given to the disbelievers,
And they shall not be atoned.
- And when the transgressors witness the punishment,
Then there shall be no reduction (in punishment) upon them,
And they shall receive no respite.
- And when those who associated deities with Allah,
See what they were associating Him with,
They will say: “Our Rabb! These are the ones we associated You with,
They are the ones we used to call on besides You,”
But they will respond, saying: “You were indeed among the liars!”
- And that Day, they shall present their surrender to Allah,
And gone from them shall be what they used to fabricate.
- Those who were disbelievers,
And obstructed from the path of Allah,
We will impose upon them punishment after punishment,
For they fostered strife.
- And that Day We shall raise up from every community,
A witness from among themselves,
And bring you as a witness over them all;
For We have sent down upon you the Book,
Explaining every matter,
And a guide and mercy,
And glad tidings for those who surrender (to Allah).
- Lo! Allah commands justice and excellence (in worship and conduct),
And the rights of those who are near,
And forbids lewdness and what is disallowed and rebellion (against Allah),
Thus does He admonish you,
So that you remember.
- And fulfill your covenant with Allah after you have made the covenant,
And do not break your contracts after you have ratified them,
And truly, you have made Allah your Trustee.
Lo! Allah is aware of what you do.
- And be not like the woman
Who breaks her yarn into pieces,
After she has woven it, thread by thread.
You make your oaths as an excuse between you
For one group to gain an advantage over another.
Indeed, this is not but a test from Allah,
And He will indeed sort out for you, on the Day of Judgment,
What you disagreed about.
- And had Allah so envisaged it,
He would make you into one spiritual community;
But He leads astray whom He will,
And guides whom He will,
And you will surely be questioned about what you do.
- And do not make your oaths
As a means of enticement between you
So that one is trapped after he is steady
And you have a taste of evil because you blocked (yourself)
From the path of Allah,
Lo! Therein is a great punishment for you!
- And do not bargain away the promise of Allah for a paltry sum,
Indeed, what is with Allah is the best,
If you but knew!
- What is with you shall perish,
And what is with Allah shall endure.
And indeed, We shall reward those who persevere
With a reward more magnificent than their deeds.
- Whoever performs righteous deeds,
Man or woman,
And has certainty of faith,
For such a one, We grant a life pure (heavenly),
And We shall reward them
With a recompense more magnificent than their deeds.
- And when the Qur’an is recited,
Seek protection with Allah,
From Satan, the accursed;
- Indeed, he does not have any authority
Upon those who have certainty of faith,
And those who place their trust in their Rabb.
- Indeed, he has no authority
Except on such as those who befriend him,
And such as those who associate partners with Allah.
- And when We exchange a Sign in place of another Sign,
Indeed, Allah is aware of what He sends down on you;
They say: “Indeed, you did not but make it up.”
Nay! Most of them have no knowledge.
- Say: “It has been sent down in Truth
With the Holy Spirit (Angel Gabriel)
From your Rabb,
So as to reinforce those who have certainty of faith,
And as guidance,
And glad tidings
For those who have surrendered (their will to the will of Allah).
- And We are fully aware that they say:
“Indeed, he is taught but by a human
Whose language is not Arabic,
While this is the Arabic language, illuminated.
- Indeed, those who have no certainty of faith
In the Signs of Allah,
Allah does not guide them,
And for them is a painful punishment.
- Indeed, what the disbelievers say about the Signs of Allah,
Are nothing but baseless allegations;
And they are indeed liars.
- One who denies Allah after accepting Him,
Except as one who is forced but whose heart is suffuse with belief,
But one whose breast has expanded with disbelief,
Then, upon them is the wrath of Allah,
And upon them is an awesome punishment.
- That because they loved the life of this world over the hereafter.
Lo! Allah does not guide a people who reject the truth!
- Such are those upon whose hearts Allah has placed a seal,
And upon their hearing and their vision,
And they are in a stupor.
- There is no doubt that they shall be among those
Who are lost on the Day of Judgment.
- And indeed, your Rabb—
For those who migrate after they are persecuted,
Then struggle and persevere with patience—
(For such) indeed, your Rabb is thereafter the Forgiver, the Merciful.
- That Day shall come
When every soul shall argue for itself,
And every soul shall reap what it has earned,
And they shall not be short changed.
- And Allah brings forth a parable of a city:
There was peace and tranquility,
It had sustenance,
Every home had plenty;
Then it denied the bounty of Allah,
So Allah gave it a taste—
Shrouding it in hunger and fear,
Because of what they had done.
- And behold! There came to them
A Messenger from among themselves,
Then they gave him the lie,
So the punishment seized them,
They were (indeed) transgressors!
- Therefore, eat of what Allah has given you
That is permissible and pure (wholesome),
And be thankful for the bounties of Allah,
If you worship Me, and Me alone!
- Indeed, Allah has not forbidden for you but
What is dead,
And the flesh of swine,
And that on which a name other than Allah has been taken.
Then, for one who is driven by helplessness,
And is not rebellious,
Not violating the bounds,
Then, (for such) indeed, Allah is the Forgiver, the Merciful.
- And do not say as your tongues say:
“This is permitted and this is forbidden,”
So that you ascribe a lie to Allah;
Indeed, those do not attain felicity
Who ascribe a lie to Allah!
- Very little benefit (is there in such lies),
But a painful punishment for them!
- And for the Jews We forbid
What we have described to you earlier;
We did them no wrong,
But they wronged themselves.
- Then indeed, your Rabb—
For such as those who did wrong out of ignorance,
And repented after that and sought rehabilitation—
Even after that, your Rabb is indeed the Forgiver, the Merciful.
- Indeed, Abraham was an ummah ( an enlightened community all by himself),
Completely entrusting himself to Allah,
And a Spiritual Master,
And he was not of those
Who associated partners with Allah;
- (Abraham was) thankful for His blessings—
He picked him up and guided him to the straight path.
- And We granted him goodness (from Our presence) in this world,
And indeed, he shall be among the righteous in the hereafter.
- Then, We sent upon you the revelation
To follow the community of Abraham, the Spiritual Master:
Lo! He was not one to associate partners with Allah.
- Indeed, the Sabbath was prescribed
But for those who disagreed about it,
And indeed, your Rabb will decide between them
On the Day of Judgment,
In what they disagree about it (the Sabbath).
- Invite towards the path of your Rabb
With wisdom and refined discourse,
And engage them in a gracious dialogue;
Indeed, your Rabb is He who knows him,
Who is lost from the right path,
And He knows who has received guidance.
- And if you counter,
Then counter only in proportion to the thrust against you,
But if you are patient,
Then it is better for those who are patient (and persevere).
- Be patient! And your patience is not but from Allah,
And grieve not for them,
And let there be no constriction (in your breast)
From what they plot.
- Verily, Allah is with those
Who are conscious of Him,
And those who are most beautiful in their conduct (who serve and worship Him as if they see Him).