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The Holy Quran, tr. by Yusuf Ali, [1934], at

p. 978


Naml, or the Ants.

In the name of God, Most Gracious,
Most Merciful

1. . Sīn.
These are verses
Of the Qur-ān,—a Book
That makes (things) clear;

2. A Guide; and Glad Tidings
For the Relievers,—

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 thee, the Qur-ān
Is bestowed upon thee
From the presence of One
Who is Wise and All-Knowing.

p. 979

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 ye 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 thou throw thy 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 apostles
Have no fear,—

p. 980

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 thy hand into
Thy bosom, and it will
Come forth white without stain
(Or harm): (these are) among
The nine Signs (thou wilt 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!

p. 981


15. We gave (in the past)
Knowledge to David and Solomon
And they both said:
"Praise be to God, Who
Has favoured us above many
Of His servants who believe!

16. And Solomon was David's heir.
He said: "O ye 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

p. 982

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 ye 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 Thy favours, which Thou
Hast bestowed on me and
On my parents, and that
I may work the righteousness
That will please Thee:
And admit me, by Thy Grace,
To the ranks of Thy
Righteous Servants."

p. 983

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 thou hast not compassed,
And I have come to thee
From Saba with tidings true.

23. "I found (there) a woman
Ruling over them and provided
With every requisite; and she
Has a magnificent throne.

p. 984

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 ye hide and what
Ye reveal.

26. "God!—there is no god
But He!—Lord of the Throne's

27. (Solomon) said: "Soon shall we
See whether thou hast told
The truth or lied!

p. 985

28. "Go thou, 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: "Ye 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 ye not arrogant
Against me, but come
To me in submission
(To the true Religion).'"


32. the said: "Ye 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 thee; so consider
What thou wilt command."

34. She said: "Kings, when they
Enter a country, despoil it,

p. 986

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 ye give me abundance
In wealth? But that which
God has given me is better
Than that which He has
Given you! Nay it is ye
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):
"Ye Chiefs! which of you
Can bring me her throne
Before they come to me
In submission?"

39. Said an ‘Ifrit, of the Jinns:
"I will bring it to thee

p. 987

Before thou rise from thy
Council: indeed I have
Full strength for the purpose,
And may he trusted."

40. Said one who had knowledge
Of the Book: "I will
Bring it to thee 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; hut if
Any is ungrateful, truly
My Lord is Free of all Needs,
Supreme in Honour!"

41. He said: "Transform her throne
Out of all recognition by her:
Let us see whether she
Is guided (to the truth)

p. 988

Or is one of those who
Receive no guidance."

42. So when she arrived,
She was asked, "Is this
Thy 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

p. 989

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."


45. We sent (aforetime),
To the Thamūd, their brother
Ṣaliḥ, saying, "Serve God":
But behold, they became
Two factions quarrelling
With each other.

46. He said: "O my people!
Why ask ye to hasten on

p. 990

The evil in preference to the good?
If only ye ask God for forgiveness,
Ye may hope to receive mercy.

47. They said: "Ill omen
Do we augur from thee
And those that are with thee".
He said: "Your ill omen
Is with God; yea, ye 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'."

p. 991

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 practised wrong-doing.
Verily in this is a Sign
For people of knowledge.

53. And We saved those
Who believed and practised

54. (We also sent) Lūt
(As an apostle): behold,
He said to his people,
"Do ye do what is shameful
Though ye see (its iniquity)?

55. Would ye really approach men
In your lusts rather than
Women? Nay, ye are
A people (grossly) ignorant!

56. But his people gave
No other answer but this:
They said, "Drive out

p. 992

The followers of Lūt 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)!


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)?

p. 993

60. Or, who has created
The heavens and the earth,
And who sends you down
Rain from the sky?
Yea, 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? Nay, 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

p. 994

(Mankind) inheritors of the earth?'
(Can there be another) god
Besides God? Little it is
That ye 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 ye
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 Judgment).

66. Still less can their knowledge
Comprehend the Hereafter: nay,

p. 995

They are in doubt and uncertainty
Thereanent; nay, they are blind


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 ye through the earth
And see what has been
The end of those guilty
(Of sin)."

70. But grieve not over them,
Nor distress thyself
Because of their plots.

71. They also say: "When will
This promise (come to pass)?
(Say) if ye are truthful."

72. Say: "It may be that
Some of the events which
Ye wish to hasten on
May be (close) in your pursuit!"

p. 996

73. But verily thy Lord is
Full of grace to mankind:
Yet most of them are ungrateful.

74. And verily thy Lord knoweth
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 doth 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 thy Lord will decide
Between them by His Decree:
And He is Exalted in Might,

79. So put thy trust in God:
For thou art on (the Path
Of) manifest Truth.

p. 997

80. Truly thou canst not cause
The Dead to listen, nor
Canst thou cause the Deaf
To hear the call,
(Especially) when they
Turn back in retreat.

81. Nor canst thou be a guide
To the Blind, (to prevent them)
From straying: only those
Wilt thou 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.


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 Judgment-seat),
(God) will say: "Did ye
Reject My Signs, though ye

p. 998

Comprehended them not
In knowledge, or what
Was it ye 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. Thou seest the mountains
And thinkest them firmly fixed:
But they shall pass away
As the clouds pass away:

p. 999

(Such is) the artistry of God,
Who disposes of all things
In perfect order: for He is
Well acquainted with all that ye 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 ye receive a reward
Other than that which ye
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,

p. 1000

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 ye
Shall know them"; and thy Lord
Is not unmindful
Of all that ye do.

p. 1001

Next: Sūra XXVIII. Qaṣaṣ, or the Narration