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an-Nahl (The Bee)
as rendered by Aisha Bewley
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Aisha Bewley rendition of Surah The Bee(an-Nahl)
16:1 Allah´s command is coming, so do not try to hasten it. Glory be to Him! He is exalted above anything they associate with Him.
16:2 He sends down angels with the Ruh of His command to any of His slaves He wills: ´Give warning that there is no god but Me, so have taqwa of Me!´
16:3 He created the heavens and the earth with truth. He is exalted above anything they associate with Him.
16:4 He created man from a drop of sperm and yet he is an open challenger!
16:5 And He created livestock. There is warmth for you in them, and various uses and some you eat.
16:6 And there is beauty in them for you in the evening when you bring them home and in the morning when you drive them out to graze.
16:7 They carry your loads to lands you would never reach except with great difficulty. Your Lord is All-Gentle, Most Merciful.
16:8 And horses, mules and donkeys both to ride and for adornment. And He creates other things you do not know.
16:9 The Way should lead to Allah, but there are those who deviate from it. If He had wished He could have guided every one of you.
16:10 It is He who sends down water from the sky. From it you drink and from it come the shrubs among which you graze your herds.
16:11 And by it He makes crops grow for you and olives and dates and grapes and fruit of every kind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect.
16:12 He has made night and day subservient to you, and the sun and moon and stars, all subject to His command. There are certainly Signs in that for people who use their intellect.
16:13 And also the things of varying colours He has created for you in the earth. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who pay heed.
16:14 It is He who made the sea subservient to you so that you can eat fresh flesh from it and bring out from it ornaments to wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it so that you can seek His bounty, and so that hopefully you will show thanks.
16:15 He cast firmly embedded mountains on the earth so it would not move under you, and rivers and pathways so that hopefully you would be guided, and landmarks.
16:16 And they are guided by the stars.
16:17 Is He who creates like him who does not create? So will you not pay heed?
16:18 If you tried to number Allah´s blessings, you could never count them. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
16:19 Allah knows what you keep secret and what you make public.
16:20 Those you call on besides Allah do not create anything. They are themselves created.
16:21 They are dead, not alive, and they are not aware of when they will be raised.
16:22 Your God is One God. As for those who do not have iman in the Next World, their hearts are in denial and they are puffed up with pride.
16:23 There is no doubt that Allah knows what they keep secret and what they make public. He does not love people puffed up with pride.
16:24 When they are asked, ´What has your Lord sent down?´ they say, ´Myths and legends of previous peoples.´
16:25 So on the Day of Rising they will carry the full weight of their own burdens and some of the burdens of those they misguided without knowledge. What an evil load they bear!
16:26 Those before them also plotted, and Allah came at their building from the foundations and the roof caved in on top of them. The punishment came at them from where they did not expect.
16:27 Then on the Day of Rising He will disgrace them, and say, ´Where are My partner gods for whose sake you became so hostile?´ Those given knowledge will say, ´Today there is disgrace and evil for the kafirun.´
16:28 As for those the angels take in death while they are wronging themselves, they will offer their submission: ´We did not do any evil.´ Oh yes you did! Allah knows what you were doing.
16:29 ´Enter the gates of Hell, remaining in it timelessly, for ever. How evil is the abode of the arrogant!´
16:30 When those who have taqwa of Allah are asked, ´What has your Lord sent down?´ their reply is, ´Good!´ There is good in this world for those who do good, and the abode of the Next World is even better. How wonderful is the abode of those who have taqwa:
16:31 Gardens of Eden which they enter, with rivers flowing under them, where they have whatever they desire. That is how Allah repays those who have taqwa:
16:32 those the angels take in a virtuous state. They say, ´Peace be upon you! Enter the Garden for what you did.´
16:33 What are they waiting for but the angels to come to them or your Lord´s command to come? That is like what those before them did. Allah did not wrong them; rather they wronged themselves.
16:34 The evil actions they did assailed them. They were engulfed by what they mocked.
16:35 The idolaters say, ´If Allah had willed we would not have worshipped anything apart from Him, neither we nor our fathers, nor would we have forbidden anything without His say.´ Those before them said the same. Are the Messengers responsible for anything but clear transmission?
16:36 We sent a Messenger among every people saying: ´Worship Allah and keep clear of all false gods.´ Among them were some whom Allah guided but others received the misguidance they deserved. Travel about the earth and see the final fate of the deniers.
16:37 However eager you are for them to be guided, Allah will not guide those whom He misguides. They will have no helpers.
16:38 They swear by Allah with their most earnest oaths that Allah will not raise up those who die, when, on the contrary, it is a binding promise on Him; but most people do not know it.
16:39 It is so that He can make clear to them the things they differed about and so that those who were kafir will know that they were liars.
16:40 Our Word to a thing when We desire it is just to say to it ´Be!´ and it is.
16:41 As for those who make hijra for Allah´s sake after being wronged, We shall give them good lodging in this world, and the reward of the Next World is greater still if they only knew
16:42 — those who are steadfast and put their trust in their Lord.
16:43 We have only ever sent before you men who were given Revelation — ask the People of the Reminder if you do not know — who brought Clear Signs and Revealed Books.
16:44 And We have sent down the Reminder to you so that you can make clear to mankind what has been sent down to them so that hopefully they will reflect.
16:45 Do those who plot evil actions feel secure that Allah will not cause the earth to swallow them up or that a punishment will not come upon them from where they least expect?
16:46 Or that He will not seize them on their travels, something they are powerless to prevent?
16:47 Or that He will not seize them little by little? For your Lord is All-Compassionate, Most Merciful.
16:48 Do they not see the things Allah has created, casting their shadows to the right and to the left, prostrating themselves before Allah in complete humility?
16:49 Everything in the heavens and every creature on the earth prostrates to Allah, as do the angels. They are not puffed up with pride.
16:50 They fear their Lord above them and do everything they are ordered to do.
16:51 Allah says, ´Do not take two gods. He is only One God. So dread Me alone.´
16:52 Everything in the heavens and earth belongs to Him, and the deen belongs to Him, firmly and for ever. So why do you fear anyone other than Allah?
16:53 Any blessing you have is from Allah. Then when harm touches you, it is to Him you cry for help.
16:54 But when He removes the harm from you, a group of you associate others with their Lord,
16:55 ungrateful for what We have given them. Enjoy yourselves. You will soon know!
16:56 They allot a portion of the provision We have given them to things they have no knowledge of at all. By Allah, you will be asked about what you invented!
16:57 They allot daughters to Allah — glory be to Him! — while they have what they want!
16:58 When one of them is given the good news of a baby girl, his face darkens and he is furious.
16:59 He hides away from people because of the evil of the good news he has been given. Should he keep her ignominiously or bury her in the earth? What an evil judgement they make!
16:60 Those who do not have iman in the Next World have an evil likeness. Allah´s is the Highest Likeness. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise.
16:61 If Allah were to punish people for their wrong actions, not a single creature would be left upon the earth, but He defers them till a predetermined time. When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward.
16:62 They allot to Allah what they themselves dislike and their tongues frame the lie that they will receive the Best. There is no doubt at all that they will receive the Fire and that they are people who go to excess.
16:63 By Allah, We sent Messengers to communities before your time, but Shaytan made their actions seem good to them. Therefore today he is their protector. They will have a painful punishment.
16:64 We have only sent down the Book to you so that you can make clear to them the things about which they differ, and as a guidance and a mercy to people who have iman.
16:65 Allah sends down water from the sky and by it brings the dead earth back to life. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who hear.
16:66 There is instruction for you in cattle. From the contents of their bellies, from between the dung and blood, We give you pure milk to drink, easy for drinkers to swallow.
16:67 And from the fruit of the date-palm and the grape-vine you derive both intoxicants and wholesome provision. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who use their intellect.
16:68 Your Lord revealed to the bees: ´Build dwellings in the mountains and the trees, and also in the structures which men erect.
16:69 Then eat from every kind of fruit and travel the paths of your Lord, which have been made easy for you to follow.´ From inside them comes a drink of varying colours, containing healing for mankind. There is certainly a Sign in that for people who reflect.
16:70 Allah created you and then will take you back again. And some of you revert to the lowest form of life so that after having knowledge, you know nothing at all. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Powerful.
16:71 Allah has favoured some of you over others in provision, but those who have been favoured do not give their provision to their slaves so they become the same in respect of it. So why do they renounce the blessings of Allah?
16:72 Allah has given you wives from among yourselves, and given you children and grandchildren from your wives, and provided good things for you. So why do they have iman in falsehood and reject the blessings of Allah,
16:73 And worship, instead of Allah, things that have no control over their provision from the heavens or earth in any way, and are themselves completely impotent?
16:74 Do not try to make metaphors for Allah. Allah knows and you do not know.
16:75 Allah does make a metaphor: an owned slave possessing no power over anything, and someone We have given plentiful provision who gives out from it secretly and openly. Are they the same? Praise be to Allah! They are not! But most people do not know it.
16:76 Allah makes another metaphor: two men, one of them deaf and dumb, unable to do anything, a burden on his master, no matter where he directs him he brings no good, is he the same as someone who commands justice and is on a straight path?
16:77 The Unseen of the heavens and earth belongs to Allah. The matter of the Hour is only the blink of an eye away, or even nearer. Allah has power over all things.
16:78 Allah brought you out of your mothers´ wombs knowing nothing at all, and gave you hearing, sight and hearts so that perhaps you would show thanks.
16:79 Do they not see the birds suspended in mid-air up in the sky? Nothing holds them there except Allah. There are certainly Signs in that for people who have iman.
16:80 Allah has made your houses places of rest for you and made houses for you out of cattle hides which are light for you to carry both when you are travelling and when you are staying in one place. And from their wool and fur and hair you obtain clothing and carpets and household utensils for a time.
16:81 Allah has made shaded places for you in what He has created and He has made shelters for you in the mountains and He has made shirts for you to protect you from the heat and shirts to protect you from each other´s violence. In that way He perfects His blessing on you so that hopefully you will become Muslims.
16:82 But if they turn their backs, you are only responsible for clear transmission.
16:83 They acknowledge Allah´s blessing and then deny it. Most of them are kuffar.
16:84 On the Day We raise up a witness from every nation, those who were kafir will not be excused nor will they be able to appease Allah.
16:85 When those who did wrong see the punishment, it will not be lightened for them. They will be granted no reprieve.
16:86 When those who associated others with Allah see those they associated, they will say, ´Our Lord, these are our partner gods, the ones we called upon apart from You.´ But they will fling their words back in their faces: ´You are truly liars!´
16:87 On that Day they will offer their submission to Allah and the things they invented will abandon them.
16:88 As for those who were kafir and barred access to the way of Allah, We will heap punishment on top of their punishment because of the corruption they brought about.
16:89 On that Day We will raise up among every community a witness against them from amongst themselves, and bring you as a witness against them. We have sent down the Book to you making all things clear and as guidance and mercy and good news for the Muslims.
16:90 Allah commands justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny. He warns you so that hopefully you will pay heed.
16:91 Be true to Allah´s contract when you have agreed to it, and do not break your oaths once they are confirmed and you have made Allah your guarantee. Allah knows what you do.
16:92 Do not be like a woman who spoils the thread she has spun by unravelling it after it is strong, by making your oaths a means of deceiving one another, merely because one community is bigger than another. Allah is only testing you by this. He will make clear to you on the Day of Rising the things about which you differed.
16:93 If Allah had willed He would have made you one community. However, He misguides anyone He wills and guides anyone He wills. You will be questioned about what you did.
16:94 Do not make your oaths a means of deceiving one another or your foot will slip after it was firmly placed and you will taste evil for barring access to the Way of Allah and you will have a terrible punishment.
16:95 Do not sell Allah´s contract for a paltry price. What is with Allah is better for you if you only knew.
16:96 What is with you runs out but what is with Allah goes on for ever. Those who were steadfast will be recompensed according to the best of what they did.
16:97 Anyone who acts rightly, male or female, being a mumin, We will give them a good life and We will recompense them according to the best of what they did.
16:98 Whenever you recite the Qur´an, seek refuge with Allah from the accursed Shaytan.
16:99 He has no authority over those who have iman and put their trust in their Lord.
16:100 He only has authority over those who take him as a friend and associate others with Allah.
16:101 If we replace one ayat with another one — and Allah knows best what He is sending down — they say, ´You are just inventing this!´ No indeed! Most of them have no knowledge.
16:102 Say: ´The Purest Ruh has brought it down from your Lord with truth, to make those who have iman firm, and as guidance and good news for the Muslims.´
16:103 We know that they say, ´It is only a human being who is teaching him.´ The language of him they allude to is a foreign one whereas this is in clear and lucid Arabic.
16:104 As for those who do not have iman in Allah´s Signs, Allah will not guide them and they will have a painful punishment.
16:105 Those who do not have iman in Allah´s Signs are merely inventing lies. It is they who are the liars.
16:106 Those who reject Allah after having had iman — except for someone forced to do it whose heart remains at rest in its iman — but as for those whose breasts become dilated with kufr, anger from Allah will come down on them. They will have a terrible punishment.
16:107 That is because they prefer the life of this world to the Next World and because Allah does not guide kafir people.
16:108 Those are the people whose hearts, hearing and sight Allah has sealed up. They are the unaware.
16:109 There is no doubt that in the akhira they will be the losers.
16:110 But to those who made hijra after they were persecuted and then did jihad and remained steadfast, to them your Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
16:111 On that Day every self will come to argue for itself and every self will be paid in full for what it did. They will not be wronged.
16:112 Allah makes an example of a city which was safe and at peace, its provision coming to it plentifully from every side. Then it showed ingratitude for Allah´s blessings so Allah made it wear the robes of hunger and fear for what it did.
16:113 A Messenger from among them came to them but they denied him. So the punishment seized them and they were wrongdoers.
16:114 So eat from what Allah has provided for you, halal and good, and be thankful for the blessing of Allah if it is Him you worship.
16:115 He has forbidden you carrion, blood and pork and anything consecrated to other than Allah. But if someone is forced to eat it, without desiring to or going to excess in it, your Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
16:116 Do not say about what your lying tongues describe: ´This is halal and this is haram,´ inventing lies against Allah.
16:117 Those who invent lies against Allah are not successful — a brief enjoyment, then they will have a painful punishment.
16:118 We forbade the Jews those things We told you about before. We did not wrong them; rather they wronged themselves.
16:119 But to those who do evil in ignorance and then after that make tawba and put things right, to them your Lord is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
16:120 Ibrahim was a community in himself, exemplary, obedient to Allah, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters.
16:121 He was thankful for His blessings. Allah chose him and guided him to a straight path.
16:122 We gave him good in this world and in the Next World he will be one of the righteous.
16:123 Then We revealed to you: ´Follow the religion of Ibrahim, a man of pure natural belief. He was not one of the idolaters.´
16:124 The Sabbath was only enjoined on those who differed about it. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Rising regarding the things about which they differed.
16:125 Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided.
16:126 If you want to retaliate, retaliate to the same degree as the injury done to you. But if you are patient, it is better to be patient.
16:127 Be patient. But your patience is only by Allah. Do not be grieved by them and do not be constricted by the plots they hatch.
16:128 Allah is with those who have taqwa of Him and with those who are good-doers.


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