16 The Bees
An-Nahl: Makki
In the name of Allah, most benevolent, ever-merciful.
THE DECREE of GOD will surely come; so do not try to hasten it: Too
glorious and high is He for what they associate with Him.
2. He sends the angels with revelation by His command, to any of His
creatures as He please, (saying): “Warn that there is no god but I, so fear Me.”
3. He created the heavens and the earth with reason. Too glorious and high is
He for what they associate with Him.
4. Man He created from a drop of semen; and still he becomes an open
5. He created the cattle from whom you get warm clothing and (other)
advantages, and some you eat.
6. There is life and cheer for you as you drive them home in the evening, and
lead them out in the morning to graze.
7. They carry your burdens to lands so distant you could not have reached
without much hardship. Indeed your Lord is compassionate and kind.
8. He created horses, mules and donkeys for riding and for splendour. He
created other things too which you do not know.
9. To God leads the right path, though some deviate. If He willed He could
guide you all to the right way.
10. It is He who sends down water from the sky of which you drink, and which
nourishes the plants you feed your cattle,
11. With which He makes crops grow, and olives, dates and grapes and fruits
of every kind for you. In this is a sign for those who think.
12. He harnessed the day and night for you, as also the sun, the moon and the
stars, by His command. In this are signs for men who understand.
13. And other things of different shades has He produced on the earth for you.
In this are signs for those who reflect.
14. It is He who has subdued the sea that you may eat fresh meat from it, and
obtain ornaments to wear. You see the ships plough through it that you may
seek of His bounties and, perhaps, be grateful.
15. He placed stablisers in the earth so that while it revolves you live
undisturbed, and rivers and tracks so that you may find your way;
16. As well as many other signs, as by the stars (you) find direction.
17. So, could one who creates be like one who cannot? Will you not then
18. If you count the favours of God you will not be able to calculate. Assuredly God is forgiving and kind.
19. God knows what you hide and disclose.
20, As for those they call besides God, they cannot create a thing, and have
themselves been created.
21. Dead, without life they are, and do not know when they will be raised.
22. Your God is one God. But the hearts of those who believe not in the life to
come are filled with denial, and they are puffed up with pride.
23. Surely God knows what they hide and what they disclose. He certainly
does not love the proud.
24. For when they are asked: “What has your Lord sent down?” they say:
“Tales of long ago.”
25. On the Day of Resurrection they will carry their own burden and some of
the load of those they have led astray without any knowledge. Oh, how evil a
burden they will carry!
26. Those who have gone before them had also conspired; then God uprooted
their structure from its foundation; the roof fell over them from above, and
punishment came upon them from somewhere they did not suspect.
27. On the Day of Resurrection He will disgrace them and ask: “Where are My
compeers for whom you contended?” Those endowed with knowledge will
say: “Shame and evil surely are for unbelievers today.”
28. They whose souls are drawn out by the angels while they are sinning, shall
offer submission: “We did no evil.” But God knows well what you did.
29. So enter the gates of Hell, and dwell there for ever. How dreadful a
dwelling for the haughty!
30. When those who took heed for themselves would be asked: “What did your
Lord send down?” They will answer: “The best.” For those who do good there
is good in the world, but certainly the abode of the next is better. How
excellent the home of the virtuous!
31. They will enter perennial gardens with streams of water and all they wish.
Thus will the pious and devout be rewarded.
32. When the angels receive the souls of those who are blameless they will say:
“Peace on you. Enter Paradise as recompense for what you did.”
33. What! Do the (unbelievers) expect that the angels should descend, or the
sentence of your Lord come to pass? So had the people done before them; yet
God did not wrong them, they wronged themselves.
34. The evil they perpetrated overtook them, and what they mocked has turned
upon them.
35. The idolaters say: “If God had willed we would not have worshipped
anything apart from Him, nor would our fathers have done, nor would we have
forbidden any thing without His (leave).” So had the people done before them.
Therefore it is binding on the prophets to convey the message in clearest terms.
36. To every community We have sent an apostle. (saying) “Worship God,
and keep away from all other deities.” Thus some of them were guided by God,
and ruin was justified on some. Travel over the earth and see what befell those
who accused (the apostles) of lies.
37. Even if you are eager to guide them, God does not surely guide those who
have gone astray: They will have no one to help them.
38. They swear emphatically in the name of God that God will not raise the
dead. On the contrary, it is a promise incumbent on Him, though most men do
not understand, 39. For (they fear) He might make what they differed about plain to them, and
that the infidels may realise that they were liars.
40. Yet when We will a thing We have only to say: “Be”, and it is.
41. Those who left their homes in the cause of God after having been
oppressed, will be given by Us a better place in the world, and if they knew,
the guerdon of the next would be greater
42. (For) those who persevere and place their trust in their Lord.
43. We sent before you none (as apostles) but men, to whom We sent
revelations. In case you are unaware, enquire of those who are keepers of the
Oracles of God.
44. We had Sent them with miracles and Books; and We have sent to you this
Reminder so that you may explain distinctly to men what was sent down to
them: They may haply reflect.
45. Have the plotters of mischief become unafraid that God will not split the
earth to swallow them, or that punishment will not fall upon them from
somewhere they do not (even) suspect?
46. Or that He will not seize them as they move about, and they will not be
able to elude (His grasp);
47. Or He may seize them by diminishing their portion. Yet your Lord is
compassionate and kind.
48. Do they not see the shadows of all things God has created incline to the
right and the left, bowing in obeisance to God?
49. All things that move on the earth and in the heavens, and the angels, bow in
homage to God, and do not behave with pride.
50. They have fear of God for His power over them, and act as commanded.
51. God says: “Do not take to two gods, for there is only one God. So fear
52. Whatsoever is in the heavens and the earth belongs to Him, and His the
judgement for ever. So will you fear any other than God?
53. Whatsoever the blessings you enjoy are surely from God, and when in
trouble you turn to Him in supplication.
54. Yet when He has delivered you from affliction, some of you ascribe
companions to your Lord
55. So as to deny what We have bestowed on them. Well, enjoy yourselves,
you will come to know soon.
56. They set aside a portion of the food We have given them for those they do
not know. By God, you will surely have to answer for all you contrive!
57. They attribute daughters to God, the glorious, but for themselves
whatsoever they please.
58. Yet when news of the birth of a daughter reaches one of them, his face is
darkened, and he is overwhelmed with silent grief,
59. And hides from people for shame at the news, (at a loss) whether he should
keep her with shame, or bury her in the ground. How bad is the judgement that
they make!
60. The semblance of those who believe not in the life to come is that of the
meanest; but the semblance of God is the most sublime, for He is all-mighty
and all-wise.
61. If God were to punish men for their inequity He would not leave a single
moving thing on earth. Yet He gives them latitude for a time ordained. When
that time is come, there will not be a moment’s delay nor a moment’s haste. 62. Yet they attribute to God what they find detestable; and their tongues assert
the lie that for them is only good. On the contrary, there is Fire for them, and
they will be thrown into it.
63. By God, We sent apostles to many a people before you, but Satan made
their acts seem attractive to them, and he is their friend this day, and a painful
torment awaits them.
64. We have sent down this Book to you that you may explain to them what it
is that they are differing about, and as guidance and a grace for those who
65. God sends down water from the skies and quickens the dead earth to a new
birth. Here is a sign for those who listen.
66. And surely in cattle there is a lesson for you: We give you a drink from the
extract of food in their bellies and blood-purest milk so delicious to drink;
67. And in fruits of the date-palm and the vine, from which you obtain
inebriating drinks and excellent food. In this indeed are signs for those who
68. Your Lord predisposed the bees to make their hives in mountains, trees and
69. And suck from all fruits and flit about the unrestricted paths of their Lord.
A drink of various hues comes out of their bellies which contains medicine for
men. In this is a sign for those who reflect.
70. It is God who creates you, then makes you die; and some reach the age of
dotage when they forget what they had known before. God is indeed allknowing and all-powerful.
71. God has favoured some of you over others in the means of subsistence. But
those who have been favoured with more do not give of their means to their
dependents so that they may become equal with them. Do they then deny God’s
72. God has provided mates for you of your own kind, and has bestowed on
you sons and daughters from your mates, and has given you good things for
food. Will they even then believe in the false and deny God’s grace?
73. Yet they worship those apart from God who cannot provide for them any
sustenance from the heavens or the earth, nor will they have power to do so.
74. So do not invent similitudes for God. Indeed God knows, and you do not
75. God presents the example of a man who is a hired servant with no power
over anything, and another on whom We have bestowed a handsome fortune,
who spends from it in private and in public: Can they be equal? Praised be
God! But most men do not understand.
76. God presents another example of two men, one dumb and unable to do a
thing and is a burden on his master. Wherever he is sent he returns without any
good (result). Could he be equal to one who enjoins what is just, and follows
the right path?
77. To God belong the secrets of the heavens and the earth, and the Hour of
Doom is a matter of the winking of an eye, even less, for God has certainly
power over all things.
78. God produced you from your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing, but gave
you ears and eyes and hearts so that you may be grateful.
79. Do you not see the birds held high between the heavens and the earth?
Nothing holds them (aloft) but God. There are verily signs in this for those who believe.
80. God has given you homes to live in, and tents (made) from the hides of
cattle convenient for days of travelling and halting; and from their wool and fur
and hair you make domestic articles and goods that last a certain time.
81. God has given you of things created, shade, and places of shelter in the
mountains, and clothes for protection against the heat, and coats (of mail) for
defence during war. He thus bestows His favours on you so that you may be
grateful to Him.
82. If they still turn away, your duty is to warn them in clear terms.
83. They do know the favours of God, and yet they deny them, for most of
them are not grateful. The day We shall call a witness from every people, the
unbelievers will not be allowed to make excuses.
85. And when the wicked shall face the torment it will not be decreased, nor
will they be reprieved.
86. When the idolaters see their partners they will call out: “O our Lord, these
are the partners we invoked instead of You;” but they will retort: “You are
87. They will offer submission to God that Day, and the lies they fabricated
will not be of the least avail.
88. For those who deny the truth and obstruct (others) from the way of God,
We shall add torment to torment as they were perpetrating corruption.
89. Remind them of the Day when We shall call from every people a witness
against them, and make you a witness over them, for We have revealed to you
the Book as an exposition of everything, and as guidance and grace and happy
tidings for those who submit.
90. Verily God has enjoined justice, the doing of good, and the giving of gifts
to your relatives; and forbidden indecency, impropriety and oppression. He
warns you so that you may remember.
91. Fulfil your covenant with God, having made the covenant, and do not
break your oaths once you have sworn them, as you have made God a witness
over you. Indeed God knows what you do.
92. And do not be like her who untwists her yarn having spun it into durable
thread. Do not use your oaths deceitfully because one party has ascendency
over you. God surely tries you in this way: He will make it clear to you on the
Day of Resurrection what you were differing about.
93. If God had pleased He would surely have made you a single community of
belief; but He leads whosoever He wills astray, and guides whosoever He
please. But you will surely be questioned about what you used to do.
94. So do not make your oaths a means of deceiving one another, lest your foot
should slip after having found its hold, and you taste of evil for having
hindered (others) from the way of God, and suffer a grievous punishment.
95. And do not trade God’s covenant for a paltry price. Remember, what is
with God is better for you, if only you knew!
96. For what you possess will pass, but what is with God will abide. We shall
certainly award those who persevere a recompense in keeping with their deeds.
97. We shall invest whosoever works for good, whether man or woman, with a
pleasant life, and reward them in accordance with the best of what they have
98. So, when you recite the Qur’an seek refuge in God from Satan the
execrable. 99. He does not have power over those who believe and place their trust in
their Lord.
100. His power is only over those who take him as their patron, and those who
ascribe equals (to God).
101. When We replace a message with another — and God knows best what He
reveals — they say: “You have made it up;” yet most of them do not know.
102. You say: “It has been sent by divine grace from your Lord with truth to
strengthen those who believe, and as guidance and good news for those who
have submitted (to God).”
103. Yet We know what they say: “It is only a man who instructs him.” The
speech of the man they imply is obscure while this is clear Arabic.
104. Those who do not believe in the words of God are verily not guided by
God. For them is severe punishment.
105. They alone invent lies who do not believe in the words of God, and they
are liars.
106. Whosoever denies having once believed — unless he is forced to do so
while his heart enjoys the peace of faith — and opens his mind to disbelief will
suffer the wrath of God. Their punishment will be great,
107. For they loved the life of this world more than the life to come; and God
does not guide those who do not believe.
108. They are the ones whose hearts and ears and eyes have been sealed by
God; and these are the heedless.
109. They will surely be losers in the life to come,
110. But (to) those who were victimised and left their homes and then fought
and endured patiently, your Lord will surely be forgiving and kind.
111. On the day when every soul will come pleading for itself, and every soul
will be recompensed for what it had done, no one will be wronged.
112. God presents the example of a town which enjoyed peace and security, its
provisions coming from everywhere in abundance, but it denied the favours of
God; so God acquainted it with intimate hunger and fear (as punishment) for
what they had done.
113. An apostle came to them who was one of them, but they called him a liar.
Then they were seized by torment for they were sinners.
114. Eat the good and lawful of things that God has given you, and be grateful
for the bounty of God, if you really worship Him.
115. He has forbidden carrion and blood and the flesh of the swine, and what
has been killed in the name of any other but God; but if one is driven by
necessity (to eat it) without craving or reverting to it, then God is forgiving and
116. Do not utter the lies your tongues make up: “This is lawful, and this is
forbidden,” in order to impute lies to God; for they who impute lies to God will
not find fulfilment.
117. For them there is some enjoyment, but the punishment is painful.
118. We have already told you what We have forbidden the Jews. We did not
wrong them, they wronged themselves.
119. To those who do wrong out of ignorance, then repent and correct
themselves, your Lord is indeed forgiving and kind.
120. Abraham was certainly a model of faith, obedient to God and upright, and
not one of idolaters,
121. Grateful to Him for His favours; so He chose him and guided him to the path that is straight,
122. And gave him what is good in the world, and in the Hereafter he will be
among the righteous and the good.
123. So We commanded you to follow the way of Abraham the upright who
was not of idolaters.
124. As for the Sabbath, it was imposed on those who had differed about it;
and your Lord will tell them on the Day of Resurrection what it was they had
differed about.
125. Call them to the path of your Lord with wisdom and words of good
advice; and reason with them in the best way possible. Your Lord surely
knows who strays from His path, and He knows those who are guided the right
126. If you have to retaliate, do so to the extent you have been injured; but if
you forbear it is best for those who bear with fortitude.
127. Endure with patience, for your endurance is not without the help of God.
Do not grieve for them, and do not be distressed by their plots.
128. God is verily with those who are pious and devout, and those who are
doers of good.


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