Surah No 16: Al-Nahal
Number of Ayats: One hundred and twenty-eight
Meaning of the name: It has been named after the honey bee which has been mentioned in ayat no 68.
Summary: This is a Makki surah. It is an answer to the mocking of the pagans who refused to believe in the divine revelation and in the day of Resurrection and asked Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) that why doesn’t Allah show His wrath to the sinners at once? They also said that if Allah wanted, then their ancestors would not have worshipped anyone but Him, so in short they blamed Allah for their thinking.
The creation of animals for our use, the plants, fruits, sun, moon, stars, fishes; pearls are mentioned for His blessings are uncountable. Most specifically the bee has been referred to for it makes honey of different tastes, colors and fragrances. This indeed is a marvel of nature.
Allah says that the wealthy must spend on the poor. We must also help our kin (parents, children, siblings, maternal & paternal relatives and other relatives) in every way i.e. giving money, visiting, looking after etc.
We are told to abstain from shameful deeds, unfairness and mutiny. And we are strictly admonished on invoking anything/anyone beside Allah (such as idols, saints, priests, monks, jinn, even angels and messengers). Allah knows all that you tell and don’t tell; nothing is hidden from him. It is also clearly stated that a woman was created so that she would (a) be a companion to man; (b) have the same moral and religious rights and duties as man; and (c) be considered as a blessing, one of the (Naimat’s) of Allah.
At the end of the surah we are advised to deal patiently with all that we face in life, for Allah is the one who will reward us for our conduct. That He is with the people who are virtuous, and that we should keep on doing good deeds despite what is going on around us. Everything that we have in this world are gifts from Allah and we should not forget that at any time.
Surah No 17: Bani Israil
Number of Ayats: One hundred and eleven
Meaning of the name: It takes its name (Bani Israil) from ayat no 4, but the theme does not revolve around that. It is also known as “Al-Israa”.
Summary: This is Makki surah in which the account of Miraj is given in detail. Miraj was one of the great miracles that Allah bestowed upon Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) which are proof of his piety and honesty. The journey from Masjid-ul-Haram to Masjid Al-Aqsa is known as ‘Israa’.
While the journey from Masjid Al-Aqsa to Bait-ul-Muqddas is known as ‘Miraj’. It was on this occasion that our 5 daily prayers were prescribed. Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) was once asked that which actions are the most superior. To which he answered “1- To offer your daily prayers on their prescribed time, 2- To be kind and obedient to your parents, 3- To perform Jihad in Allah’s honour.”
Allah says that you must not kill you children in fear of not being able to feed them, this is a great sin. Also if you are taking care of an orphan’s property do it with honesty till he/she is of age. It is stated that we should not to indulge in idle thoughts or pry into matters that do not concern us for this leads to nothing but evil, and that every act of hearing, seeing and feeling will be questioned on the Last Day. Allah does not like spendthrifts and He admonishes those people who waste money and the gifts that He has bestowed upon them. He asks us to fulfill your promises, for that symbolizes the quality of a momin. Also He says that we must speak to each other politely and fairly, even with our enemies, and not to pass judgment, as judgment belongs only to him for He knows all. Everyone will be handed a Naam-i-Imaal on the Day of Judgment to see for themselves what they have done in the world.
We are told here that Zabur (Psalms) was bestowed upon Hazrat Daud (AS).
It is mentioned in the surah that how the disbelievers used to say that Allah has a wife and a son. They also asked for a miracle other than the Holy Quran. But it is very clear that Allah is one, omnipotent and pure, untouched by any kind of worldly relations.
Surah No 18: Al-Kahaf
Number of Ayats: One hundred and ten
Meaning of the name: It has been named after the unusual event of Ashaab-e-Kahaf which has been mentioned in ayat no 9.
Summary: This is a Makki surah. It is one of the five surahs that begin with the word “Alhamdulilah” which denotes praise of Allah’s oneness, magnificence and greatness. The surah was actually revealed when the non-believers asked Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) three questions to test his knowledge of events that had happened before him, mentioned in the Bible and Torah. The first was about the group of people belonging to Kahaf who left their country to save their religion. They took refuge in a cave. They slept for 309 years (as assumed by some scholars, for the actual number is only known to Allah) and then woke up just as they were. They were known as the ‘sleepers of the cave’. The second one was about the encounter between Hazrat Moosa (AS) and Hazrat Khizer (AS), while the third was about the great King Zulqarnain who ruled a vast kingdom. He achieved great victories, but he had faith in Allah and knew that all that he had was due to His blessings.
Through an example it has been clearly shown that those who are proud and boastful of their worldly possessions can never be attain the blessings of Allah and will face disgrace and disaster. Whereas those who are grateful and content with whatever Allah gives them are the ones who are successful. We are told that wealth and children are just embellishments of this world, but righteous deeds will result in rewards.
Allah also says that the gravest act/biggest sin is ‘kufr’, and he who is guilty of this sin will see that all his good deeds will go to waste and he will go straight to hell. As the acceptance of good deeds is based on two conditions: 1) the intention of doing the deeds should only be for Allah without any show-off or gaining of praise or fame 2) the deeds should be performed in accordance with the Sunnah of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW) and the Messengers.
Messengers are only sent to give good news to the believers and warning to the disbelievers. Also it is stated that the words, symbols and blessings of Allah are infinite for even if the ocean’s water turned to ink to write them down, it would finish and they would not.