English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 16: Al-Nahl — The Bee (Revealed at Makkah: 16 sections, 128 verses)

Section 2 (Verses 16:10–16:21): Nature Upholds Unity


ہُوَ الَّذِیۡۤ اَنۡزَلَ مِنَ السَّمَآءِ مَآءً لَّکُمۡ مِّنۡہُ شَرَابٌ وَّ مِنۡہُ شَجَرٌ فِیۡہِ تُسِیۡمُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰﴾

16:10 He it is Who sends down water from the clouds for you; it gives drink, and by it (grow) the trees on which you feed.

یُنۡۢبِتُ لَکُمۡ بِہِ الزَّرۡعَ وَ الزَّیۡتُوۡنَ وَ النَّخِیۡلَ وَ الۡاَعۡنَابَ وَ مِنۡ کُلِّ الثَّمَرٰتِ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّتَفَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۱﴾

16:11 He causes to grow for you by it vegetation, and the olives, and the date-palms, and the grapes, and all the fruits. Surely there is a sign in this for a people who reflect.

وَ سَخَّرَ لَکُمُ الَّیۡلَ وَ النَّہَارَ ۙ وَ الشَّمۡسَ وَ الۡقَمَرَ ؕ وَ النُّجُوۡمُ مُسَخَّرٰتٌۢ بِاَمۡرِہٖ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیٰتٍ لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۲﴾

16:12 And He has made subservient to you the night and the day and the sun and the moon. And the stars are made subservient by His command. Surely there are signs in this for a people who understand.

وَ مَا ذَرَاَ لَکُمۡ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ مُخۡتَلِفًا اَلۡوَانُہٗ ؕ اِنَّ فِیۡ ذٰلِکَ لَاٰیَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یَّذَّکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۳﴾

16:13 And what He has created for you in the earth is of varied colours. Surely there is a sign in this for a people who are mindful.

وَ ہُوَ الَّذِیۡ سَخَّرَ الۡبَحۡرَ لِتَاۡکُلُوۡا مِنۡہُ لَحۡمًا طَرِیًّا وَّ تَسۡتَخۡرِجُوۡا مِنۡہُ حِلۡیَۃً تَلۡبَسُوۡنَہَا ۚ وَ تَرَی الۡفُلۡکَ مَوَاخِرَ فِیۡہِ وَ لِتَبۡتَغُوۡا مِنۡ فَضۡلِہٖ وَ لَعَلَّکُمۡ تَشۡکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۴﴾

16:14 And He it is Who has made the sea subservient that you may eat fresh flesh from it and bring forth from it ornaments which you wear. And you see the ships cleaving through it, so that you seek of His bounty and that you may give thanks.

وَ اَلۡقٰی فِی الۡاَرۡضِ رَوَاسِیَ اَنۡ تَمِیۡدَ بِکُمۡ وَ اَنۡہٰرًا وَّ سُبُلًا لَّعَلَّکُمۡ تَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿ۙ۱۵﴾

16:15 And He has cast firm mountains in the earth in case it should quake with you,1 and rivers and roads that you may go aright,

وَ عَلٰمٰتٍ ؕ وَ بِالنَّجۡمِ ہُمۡ یَہۡتَدُوۡنَ ﴿۱۶﴾

16:16 and landmarks. And by the stars they find the right way.

اَفَمَنۡ یَّخۡلُقُ کَمَنۡ لَّا یَخۡلُقُ ؕ اَفَلَا تَذَکَّرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۷﴾

16:17 Is He then Who creates like him who does not create? Are you not then mindful?

وَ اِنۡ تَعُدُّوۡا نِعۡمَۃَ اللّٰہِ لَا تُحۡصُوۡہَا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَغَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۱۸﴾

16:18 And if you would count Allah’s favours, you would not be able to number them. Surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّوۡنَ وَ مَا تُعۡلِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾

16:19 And Allah knows what you conceal and what you do openly.

وَ اللّٰہُ یَعۡلَمُ مَا تُسِرُّوۡنَ وَ مَا تُعۡلِنُوۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾

16:20 And those whom they call on besides Allah created nothing, while they are themselves created.

اَمۡوَاتٌ غَیۡرُ اَحۡیَآءٍ ۚ وَ مَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ ۙ اَیَّانَ یُبۡعَثُوۡنَ ﴿٪۲۱﴾

16:21 Dead (are they), not living. And they do not know when they will be raised.2


  1. These words seem to point to the great upheavals and the violent agita­­tions which led to the formation of the mountains, before man’s existence on earth, and, that having been effected, the convulsions are now comparatively in­signi­ficant, making life possible. But these words can also be translated as meaning that they may be a source of benefit to you. In accordance with this we have else­where: “And the mountains, He made them firm, a provision for you and for your cattle” (79:32–33).
  2. These two verses show conclusively that neither Jesus Christ nor any other person who is taken for a god ever created anything; and secondly, that Jesus was not alive at the time of the revelation of the Quran: Dead are they, not living. The further statement that they do not even know when they will be raised, shows that the verse speaks of men taken for gods, and at any rate includes them.