Chapter 27: The Ants
SECTION 1: A Reference to Moses’ History
In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Ṭā Sīn. These are verses of the Qur’ān,—a Book that makes (things) clear; 2. A Guide; and Glad Tidings for the Believers, — 3. Those who establish regular prayers and give in regular charity, and also have (full) assurance of the Hereafter. 4. As to those who believe not in the Hereafter, We have made their deeds pleasing in their eyes; and so they wander about in distraction. 5. Such are they for whom a grievous Penalty is (waiting); and in the Hereafter theirs will be the greatest loss. 6. As to you, the Qur’ān is bestowed upon you from the presence of One Who is Wise and All-Knowing.
7. Behold! Moses said to his family: “I perceive a fire; soon will I bring you from there some information, or I will bring you a burning brand to light our fuel, that you may warm yourselves.” 8. But when he came to the (Fire), a voice was heard: “Blessed are those in the Fire and those around: and Glory to God, the Lord of the Worlds. 9. O Moses! Verily, I am God, the Exalted in Might, the Wise! 10. Now do you throw your rod!” But when he saw it moving (of its own accord) as if it had been a snake, he turned back in retreat, and retraced not his steps: “O Moses!” (it was said), “Fear not: truly, in My presence, those called as messengers have no fear, — 11. But if any have done wrong and have thereafter substituted good to take the place of evil, truly, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. 12. Now put your hand into your bosom, and it will come forth white without stain (or harm): (these are) among the nine Signs (you will take) to Pharaoh and his people: for they are a people rebellious in transgression.” 13. But when Our Signs came to them, that should have opened their eyes, they said: “This is sorcery manifest!” 14. And they rejected those Signs in iniquity and arrogance, though their souls were convinced thereof: so see what was the end of those who acted corruptly!
Ṭā Sīn. These are verses of the Qur’ān,—a Book that makes (things) clear; 2. A Guide; and Glad Tidings for the Believers, — (27:1-2)
SECTION 2: History of Solomon
15. We gave (in the past) knowledge to David and Solomon: and they both said: “Praise be to God, Who has favored us above many of His servants who believe!” 16. And Solomon was David’s heir. He said: “O you 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 God).” 17. And before Solomon were marshalled his hosts,—of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks. 18. At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: “O you ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it.” 19. So he smiled, amused at her speech; and he said: “O my Lord! So order me that I may be grateful for Your favors, which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may work the righteousness that will please You: and admit me, by Your Grace, to the ranks of Your righteous Servants.”
20. And he took a muster of the Birds; and he said: “Why is it I see not the Hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? 21. I will certainly punish him with a severe penalty, or execute him, unless he bring me a clear reason (for absence).”
22. But the Hoopoe tarried not far: he (came up and) said: “I have compassed (territory) which you have not compassed, and I have come to you from Sabā’ with tidings true. 23. I found (there) a woman ruling over them and provided with every requisite; and she has a magnificent throne. 24. I found her and her people worshipping the sun besides God: Satan has made their deeds seem pleasing in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path,—so they receive no guidance, — 25. (Kept them away from the Path), that they should not worship God, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you hide and what you reveal. 26. God! — there is no god but He!—Lord of the Throne Supreme!”
27. (Solomon) said: “Soon shall we see whether you have told the truth or lied! 28. Go you, with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them: then draw back from them, and (wait to) see what answer they return” 29. (The Queen) said: “You chiefs! Here is — delivered to me — a letter worthy of respect. 30. It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): ‘In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: 31. Be you not arrogant against me, but come to me in submission (to the true Religion).’”
SECTION 3: History of Solomon
32. She said: “You chiefs! Advise me in (this) my affair: no affair have I decided except in your presence.” 33. They said: “We are endued with strength, and given to vehement war: but the command is with you; so consider what you will command.” 34. She said: “Kings, when they enter a country, despoil it, and make the noblest of its people its meanest; thus do they behave. 35. But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) ambassadors.”
36. Now when (the embassy) came to Solomon, he said: “Will you give me abundance in wealth? But that which God has given me is better than that which He has given you! No, it is you who rejoice in your gift! 37. Go back to them, and be sure we shall come to them with such hosts as they will never be able to meet: we shall expel them from there in disgrace, and they will feel humbled (indeed).” 38. He said (to his own men): “You Chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?” 39. Said an ‘Ifrīt, of the Jinns: “I will bring it to you before you rise from your council: indeed I have full strength for the purpose, and may be trusted.” 40. Said one who had knowledge of the Book: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord! — to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all needs, Supreme in Honor!” 41. He said: “Transform her throne out of all recognition by her: let us see whether she is guided (to the truth) or is one of those who receive no guidance.”
42. So when she arrived, she was asked, “Is this your throne?” She said, “It was just like this; and knowledge was bestowed on us in advance of this, and we have submitted to God (in Islam).” 43. And he diverted her from the worship of others besides God: for she was (sprung) of a people that had no faith. 44. She was asked to enter the lofty Palace: but when she saw it, she thought it was a lake of water, and she (tucked up her skirts), uncovering her legs. He said: “This is but a palace paved smooth with slabs of glass.” She said: “O my Lord! I have indeed wronged my soul: I do (now) submit (in Islam), with Solomon, to the Lord of the Worlds.”
SECTION 4: Saleh and Lot
45. We sent (aforetime), to the Thamūd, their brother Saleh, saying, “Serve God”: but behold, they became two factions quarreling with each other. 46. He said: “O my people! Why ask you to hasten on the evil in preference to the good? If only you ask God for forgiveness, you may hope to receive mercy.” 47. They said: “Ill omen do we augur from you and those that are with you.” He said: “Your ill omen is with God; indeed, you are a people under trial.” 48. There were in the city nine men of a family, who made mischief in the land, and would not reform. 49. They said: “Swear a mutual oath by God that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his people, and that we shall then say to his heir (when he seeks vengeance): ‘We were not present at the slaughter of his people, and we are positively telling the truth.”’ 50. They plotted and planned, but We too planned, even while they perceived it not. 51. Then see what was the end of their plot!—this, that We destroyed them and their people, all (of them). 52. Now such were their houses, — in utter ruin, — because they practiced wrong-doing. Verily in this is a Sign for people of knowledge. 53. And We saved those who believed and practiced righteousness.
54. (We also sent) Loṭ (as a messenger): behold, he said to his people, “Do you do what is shameful though you see (its iniquity)? 55. Would you really approach men in your lusts rather than women? Nay, you are a people (grossly) ignorant!” 56. But his people gave no other answer but this: they said, “Drive out the followers of Loṭ from your city: these are indeed men who want to be clean and pure!” 57. But We saved him and his family, except his wife; her We destined to be of those who lagged behind. 58. And We rained down on them a shower (of brimstone): and evil was the shower on those who were admonished (but heeded not)!
SECTION 5: The Faithful will be Exalted
59. Say: “Praise be to God, and Peace on His servants whom He has chosen (for His Message). (Who) is better?—God or the false gods they associate (with Him)?”
60. Or, who has created the heavens and the earth, and Who sends you down rain from the sky? Indeed, with it We cause to grow well-planted orchards full of beauty and delight: it is not in your power to cause the growth of the trees in them. (Can there be another) god besides God? Nay, they are a people who swerve from justice. 61. Or, who has made the earth firm to live in; made rivers in its midst; set thereon mountains immovable; and made a separating bar between the two bodies of flowing water? (Can there be another) god besides God? No, most of them know not. 62. Or, who listens to the (soul) distressed when it calls on Him, and who relieves its suffering, and makes you (mankind) inheritors of the earth? (Can there be another) god besides God? Little it is that you heed! 63. Or, who guides you through the depths of darkness on land and sea, and who sends the winds as heralds of glad tidings, going before His mercy? (Can there be another) god besides God?—High is God above what they associate with Him! 64. Or, who originates Creation, then repeats it, and who gives you sustenance from heaven and earth? (Can there be another) god besides God? Say, “Bring forth your argument, if you are telling the truth!” 65. Say: “None in the heavens or on earth, except God, knows what is hidden: nor can they perceive when they shall be raised up (for Judgement).” 66. Still less can their knowledge comprehend the Hereafter: no, they are in doubt and uncertainty thereof; nay, they are blind thereunto!
SECTION 6: The Spiritual Resurrection
67. The Unbelievers say: “What! When we become dust, — we and our fathers, — shall we really be raised (from the dead)? 68. It is true we were promised this,—we and our fathers before (us): these are nothing but tales of the ancients.” 69. Say: “Go you through the earth and see what has been the end of those guilty (of sin).” 70. But grieve not over them, nor distress yourself because of their plots.
71. They also say: “When will this promise (come to pass)? (Say) if you are truthful.” 72. Say: “It may be that some of the events which you wish to hasten on may be (close) in your pursuit!” 73. But verily your Lord is full of grace to mankind: yet most of them are ungrateful. 74. And verily your Lord knows all that their hearts do hide. As well as all that they reveal. 75. Nor is there aught of the Unseen, in heaven or earth, but is (recorded) in a clear record.
76. Verily this Qur’ān does explain to the Children of Israel most of the matters in which they disagree. 77. And it certainly is a Guide and a Mercy to those who believe. 78. Verily your Lord will decide between them by His Decree: and He is Exalted in Might, All-Knowing. 79. So put your trust in God: for you are on (the path of) manifest Truth. 80. Truly you cannot cause the Dead to listen, nor can you cause the Deaf to hear the call, (especially) when they turn back in retreat. 81. Nor can you be a guide to the Blind, (to prevent them) from straying: only those will you get to listen who believe in Our Signs, and they will bow in Islam. 82. And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), We shall produce from the earth a Beast to (face) them: he will speak to them, for that mankind did not believe with assurance in Our Signs.
And it certainly is a Guide and a Mercy to those who believe. (27:77)
SECTION 7: Passing Away of Opposition
83. One day We shall gather together from every people a troop of those who reject Our Signs, and they shall be kept in ranks, — 84. Until, when they come (before the Judgement Seat), (God) will say: “Did you reject My Signs, though you comprehended them not in knowledge, or what was it you did?” 85. And the Word will be fulfilled against them, because of their wrong-doing, and they will be unable to speak (in plea). 86. See they not that We have made the night for them to rest in and the day to give them light? Verily in this are Signs for any people that believe! 87. And the Day that the Trumpet will be sounded—then will be smitten with terror those who are in the heavens, and those who are on earth, except such as God will please (to exempt): and all shall come to His (Presence) as beings conscious of their lowliness. 88. You see the mountains and think them firmly fixed: but they shall pass away as the clouds pass away: (such is) the artistry of God, Who disposes of all things in perfect order: for He is well acquainted with all that you do. 89. If any do good, good will (accrue) to them therefrom; and they will be secure from terror that Day. 90. And if any do evil, their faces will be thrown headlong into the Fire: “Do you receive a reward other than that which you have earned by your deeds?”
91. For me, I have been commanded to serve the Lord of this City, Him Who has sanctified it and to Whom (belong) all things: and I am commanded to be of those who bow in Islam to God’s Will, — 92. And to rehearse the Qur’ān: and if any accept guidance, they do it for the good of their own souls, and if any stray, say: “I am only a Warner.” 93. And say: “Praise be to God, Who will soon show you His Signs, so that you shall know them”; and your Lord is not unmindful of all that you do.