Surah Nahl (سورة النَّحل) is the 16th surah of the Quran that Allah revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the city of Mecca. The surah gets its name, Nahl, meaning honeybee, from one of the verses of the surah that talks about the honeybee and how Allah inspires it to build its home in the mountains, on trees, and trellises that people erect. In this article on Islam4u, the following topics will be discussed:
Facts about Surah Nahl
|Order of revelation||70|
|No. of verses||128|
|No. of words||1851|
|No. of letters||7838|
Benefits of Reciting Surah Nahl
- For defeating enemies: If someone writes surah Nahl while having a pure intention and paying full attention to Allah and keeps it with himself, he will defeat all his enemies.1
- For increase in crops: If someone writes down verses 10 and 11 of surah Nahl while having a sincere intention and paying full attention to Allah, and then recites the verses to a bowl of water and pours the water on his farm and trees, he will see an increase in his crops.2
- For increasing milk supply of mothers: If a breastfeeding woman wants to increase her milk supply, she should write verse 66 of surah Nahl, wash it with water, and then drink that water.3
The Gist of Surah Nahl
This Surah can be summarized in the following way:
1. A great portion of surah Nahl is about Allah’s blessings. These blessings include rain, sunlight, various plants, fruits, food, and cattle.
2. The chapter explains the proofs of tawḥīd and Allah’s grandeur and also talks about the resurrection and threatens the polytheists and criminals.
3. Surah Nahl states different laws such as commanding people to treat others with justice and compassion; it talks about migration, jihad, forbidding others from indecency, evil, oppression, and breaking their covenant. Moreover, surah Nahl invites people to giving thanks to Allah and introduces Prophet Ibrahim as a thankful servant of Allah.
4. Surah Nahl talks about the innovations of the polytheists (making certain animals that were not really unlawful, unlawful and attributing that prohibition to Allah).
5. This chapter warns human beings of the temptations of Satan.4
Famous Verses of Surah Nahl
The first famous verse of surah Nahl is called the Verse of Kindness. It is the 90th verse of surah Nahl:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ ۚ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿٩٠﴾
God commands to justice, kindness, and provides [help] to the relative and He forbids indecency, wrong deeds and oppression that you may take heed [and put His commands into practice].6
This verse, as the most comprehensive social plan, enjoins people to three things meaning, justice, kindness, and providing help to relatives, and forbids three things, that is, indecency, wrong deeds, and oppression.7
Verse of Invitation (Da‘wah)
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَن ضَلَّ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ۖ وَهُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُهْتَدِينَ ﴿١٢٥﴾
Invite [people] to the path of your Lord with wisdom, good advice, and argue with them in the best [possible] way. Indeed, your Lord knows best he who has gone astray from His path and He knows best who is the guided.8
This verse states the method of confronting the opponents of Islam. What is meant by wisdom is knowledge, logic, and argumentation that are rational, and what is meant by good advice is words that arouse one’s feelings. This verse states that advice should be good, that is, for it to be devoid of violence, superiority, humiliation of the individual, and arousal of feelings of obstinacy.9
Surah Nahl is the 16th surah in the Noble Quran that Allah revealed to the Prophet in Mecca. The reason it is called Nahl, which means bee, is that one of its verses speaks about the honeybee and how it makes its home in the mountains, on the trees, and trellises that are erected by people. Then, verse 69 states how Allah commands the honeybee to eat from every fruit. Then a juice comes from its belly that is of diverse colors that is a cure for people. Surah Nahl in its final verses tells us how we should confront the opponents of Islam. It tells us that we must argue with them in the best possible manner. By reciting surah Nahl and acting upon its teachings, we will be one of those who enter paradise, God willing.
- Benefits of the Verses of the Quran, p. 100.
- Quran Therapy, p. 50.
- Tafseer Nimūnah, vol. 11, p. 147.
- Structure of the Surahs of the Quran, Nūr al-Thaqalayn Institute.
- Quran 16:90 (Foroutan).
- Tafseer Nūr, vol. 4, pp. 571-572.
- Quran 16:125 (Foroutan).
- A Selection From Tafseer Nimūnah, vol. 2, p. 598.