This page contains all verses of surah An-Naml in addition to Interpretation of all verses by Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Hafiz Ibn Kathir). In the first part you can read surah النمل ordered in pages exactly as it is present in the Quran. To read an interpretation of a verse click on its number.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
In (the comments on) Surat Al-Baqarah, we discussed the letters which appear at the beginning of some Surahs.
(These are the Ayat of the Qur'an, and (it is) a Book (that is) clear.) It is plain and evident.
(A guide and glad tidings for the believers.) meaning, guidance and good news may be attained from the Qur'an for those who believe in it, follow it and put it into practice. They establish obligatory prayers, pay Zakah and believe with certain faith in the Hereafter, the resurrection after death, reward and punishment for all deeds, good and bad, and Paradise and Hell. This is like the Ayat:
(Say: "It is for those who believe, a guide and a healing. And as for those who disbelieve, there is heaviness (deafness) in their ears...") (41:44).
(that you may give glad tidings to those who have Taqwa, and warn with it the Ludd (most quarrelsome) people) (19: 97). Allah says here:
(Verily, those who believe not in the Hereafter,) meaning, those who deny it and think that it will never happen,
(We have made their deeds fair seeming to them, so that they wander about blindly.) means, `We have made what they are doing seem good to them, and We have left them to continue in their misguidance, so they are lost and confused.' This is their recompense for their disbelief in the Hereafter, as Allah says:
(And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away, as they refused to believe therein for the first time) (6:110).
(They are those for whom there will be an evil torment.) in this world and the Hereafter.
(And in the Hereafter they will be the greatest losers.) means, no one but they, among all the people who will be gathered, will lose their souls and their wealth.
(And verily, you are being taught the Qur'an from One, All-Wise, All-Knowing.)
(And verily, you) O Muhammad. Qatadah said:
(are being taught) "Are receiving."
(the Qur'an from One, All-Wise, All-Knowing.) from One Who is Wise in His commands and prohibitions, and Who knows all things, major and minor. Whatever He says is absolute Truth, and His rulings are entirely fair and just, as Allah says:
(And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice) (6:115).
Here Allah tells His Messenger Muhammad about what happened to Musa, peace be upon him, how Allah chose him, spoke with him and gave him mighty, dazzling signs and overwhelming proof, and sent him to Fir`awn and his people, but they denied the proof, disbelieved in him and arrogantly refused to follow him. Allah says:
(when Musa said to his household), meaning, remember when Musa was traveling with his family and lost his way. This was at night, in the dark. Musa had seen a fire beside the mountain, i.e., he had noticed a fire burning brightly, and said,
(to his household: "Verily, I have seen a fire; I will bring you from there some information...") meaning, `about the way we should take.'
(or I will bring you a burning ember, that you may warm yourselves.) meaning, so that they could keep warm. And it was as he said: "He came back with great news, and a great light." Allah says:
(But when he came to it, he was called: "Blessed is whosoever is in the fire, and whosoever is round about it!") meaning, when he came to it, he saw a great and terrifying sight: the fire was burning in a green bush, and the fire was burning ever brighter while the bush was growing ever more green and beautiful. Then he raised his head, and saw that its light was connected to the clouds of the sky. Ibn `Abbas and others said, "It was not a fire, rather it was shining light." According to one report narrated from Ibn `Abbas, it was the Light of the Lord of the worlds. Musa stood amazed by what he was seeing, and
(he was called: "Blessed is whosoever is in the fire...") Ibn `Abbas said, "This means, Holy is (whosoever is in the fire)."
(and whosoever is round about it) means, of the angels. This was the view of Ibn `Abbas, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Al-Hasan and Qatadah.
(And glorified be Allah, the Lord of all that exists), Who does whatever He wills and there is nothing like Him among His creation. Nothing He has made can encompass Him, and He is the Exalted, the Almighty, Who is utterly unlike all that He has created. Heaven and earth cannot contain Him, but He is the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who is far above any comparison with His creation.
(O Musa! Verily, it is I, Allah, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise.) Allah told him that the One Who was addressing him was his Lord Allah, the All-Mighty, Who has subjugated and subdued all things, the One Who is Wise in all His words and deeds. Then He commanded him to throw down the stick that was in his hand, so that He might show him clear proof that He is the One Who is able to do all things, whatever He wills. When Musa threw that stick down, it changed into the form of a huge and terrifying snake, moving quickly despite its size. Allah says:
(But when he saw it moving as if it were a Jann (snake).) Jann refers to a type of snake that is the fastest-moving and most agile. When Musa saw that with his own eyes,
(he turned in flight, and did not look back.) meaning, he did not turn around, because he was so afraid. Allah's saying:
(O Musa! Fear not: verily, the Messengers fear not in front of Me.) means, `do not be afraid of what you see, for I want to choose you as a Messenger and make you a great Prophet.'
(Except him who has done wrong and afterwards has changed evil for good; then surely, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.) This is an exception of the exclusionary type. This is good news for mankind, for whoever does an evil deed then gives it up and repents and turns to Allah, Allah will accept his repentance, as He says:
(And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous good deeds, and then Ahtada.) (20:82)
(And whoever does evil or wrongs himself...) (4:110). And there are many other Ayat which say the same.
(And put your hand into the opening of your garment, it will come forth white without hurt.) This is another sign, further brilliant proof of the ability of Allah to do whatever He wills. It is also confirmation of the truth of the one to whom the miracle was given. Allah commanded him to put his hand into the opening of his garment, and when he put his hand in and took it out again, it came out white and shining as if it were a piece of the moon or a flash of dazzling lightning.
(among the nine signs) means, `these are two of the nine signs which you will be supported with and which will serve as proof for you. '
(to Fir`awn and his people. Verily, they are a people who are rebellious.) These were the nine signs of which Allah said:
(And indeed We gave Musa nine clear signs) (17:101) -- as we have stated there.
(But when Our Ayat came to them, clear to see,), i.e., clear and obvious,
(they said: "This is a manifest magic".) They wanted to oppose it with their own magic, but they were defeated and were returned disgraced.
(And they belied them) means, verbally,
(though they themselves were convinced thereof.) means, they knew deep down that this was truth from Allah, but they denied it and were stubborn and arrogant.
(wrongfully and arrogantly) means, wronging themselves because this was the despicable manner to which they were accustomed, and they were arrogant because they were too proud to follow the truth. Allah said:
(So, see what was the end of the mischief-makers.) meaning, `see, O Muhammad, what were the consequences of their actions when Allah destroyed them and drowned every last one of them in a single morning.' The point of this story is: beware, `O you who disbelieve in Muhammad and deny the Message that he has brought from his Lord, lest the same thing that befell them befall you also.' But what is worse, is that Muhammad is nobler and greater than Musa, and his proof is stronger than that of Musa, for the signs that Allah has given him are combined with his presence and his character, in addition to the fact that previous Prophets foretold his coming and took a covenant from the people that they would follow him if they should see him, may the best of blessings and peace from his Lord be upon him.