Sūrat al-Naml

Sūrah No. 27, Revealed in Makkah, 93 verses.

A significant section of this Sūrah discusses the story of Prophet Sulaymān (a). The Sūrah gets its name from the valley of ants through which the army of Prophet Sulaymān passes. Some narrations refer to it as Sūrat Sulaymān.

Merits of reciting the Sūrah

Whoever recites the three Tawāsin (Sūrahs Shu‘ara, Naml and Qasas that all start with Tā Sīn) on Thursday night will be from the friends of Allah and will receive His grace and protection. Imam Ja‘far al-Sādiq (a) (Tafsīr Nūr al-Thaqalayn)

General synopsis of contents

1) Judgment and the hereafter.

2) Prophet Musa (a)’s conversation with God.

3) The story of Prophet Sulaymān (a).

4) Prophet Sālih (a) and Prophet Lūt (a).

5) Signs of God in nature.

6) Occurrences at the end of the world.

Selected Lessons

1) The deeds of those who do not believe in the Hereafter are adorned for them and they have the misplaced notion that their deeds are very good (v. 4)

2) A good leader consults with others (v. 32)

3) Blessings and achievements are opportunities for gratitude (v. 40)

4) Nature reminds us of the existence of One Creator (vv. 61-64)

5) People whose inner senses are dead may be physically alive but are spiritually dead (v. 80)

6) Virtue will be rewarded with a reward better than itself (vv. 89)

Important Messages

1) The chance to thank God is a blessing which must be requested from God.

2) Material and worldly ventures can be recognized and acknowledged through exchange of worldly things.

3) Spiritual people are not affected by material gifts.

4) Reflecting on nature is one of the best ways to get closer to God.

5) Not being affected by the message of God is not because of a fault in the message. The fault is the heart that is diseased or dead and cannot receive it.

Suggested verses for reflection and memorization.

1) 27:36 – What Allah has given me is better than what He has given you

2) 27:40 – This is by the grace of my Lord, to test me if I will give thanks or be ungrateful. 

3) 27:73 – Indeed your Lord is gracious to mankind, but most of them do not give thanks.

Activities for self-study

1) Read the story of Prophet Musa (a) in this story (verse 7-14). Compare and connect with the story in Sūrat Tāhā (vv. 9-23).

2) Many different lessons can be learned from the story of Prophet Sulaymān (a). Pick

one of the stories about him in this passage (the encounter with the ants, conversation with Hudhud, interaction with the queen of Sheba) and outline the points made.

3) Ponder over verses 61-64. What are the common themes in these verses?