بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
والحمدلله رب العالمين والصلاة والسلام على أشرف الأنبياء والمرسلين
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate
All praise be to Allah, and may peace and blessings be upon the most noble of the Prophets and Messengers
Taking lessons from an Ant
“And there were gathered before Sulaimân (Solomon) his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forwards).
Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said: “O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulaimân (Solomon) and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.”
So he [Sulaimân (Solomon)] smiled, amused at her speech and said: “My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.”
(Surah An-Naml 21; Verses 17 – 19)
SubhanAllah I came across Imam Yassir Fazaga going through some pearls of wisdom that we can extract from different verses of the Quran when we study the verses in depth. The above verses hold a lot of significant lessons for us as humans and Allah’s creation that I thought would be nice to reflect upon inshaAllah.
We know from the Quran that the Prophet Sulaiman (pbuh) was blessed with the ability to understand the language of animals and communicate with them, subhanAllah.
In the verse the Prophet Sulaiman (pbuh) is approaching the valley of the ants with his army and hears an ant warn the other ants that they should take cover as they might be crushed and Sulaiman smiles at this statement.
What is striking is that ant which for humans is considered an insignificant creature, a blip in the radar of creation has so much wisdom and mercy that we can take.
The ant (a female ant) had so much care for her colony and fellow ants that when she saw danger coming in the form of Sulaiman and his army instead of protecting herself she warned the others in her colony by calling out “o ye ants”. She loved for the ants what she loved for herself to be safe from danger.
The ant advises the other ants, the other members of her community to take cover and enter into their dwellings lest they be crushed. She is communicating a serious message to the others about their potential death but subhanAllah just look at her mercy.
“lest Sulaiman and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not”
She acknowledges the fact that even though the ants might die that Sulaiman and his army are unaware of their actions and the fact that they might crush the ants. So she is merciful and does not aportion blame to them and signals to the ants that they are not blameworthy as they are ignorant of their actions and do not mean to harm them intentionally.
The ant’s last statement is a responsible statement that will not cause enmity in the hearts of her colony and also she has made an excuse for her fellow creation and not let her own situation affect her judgement. The ants might die but she understands that this is not the fault of Sulaiman.
Some interpretations of the ayah are that Sulaiman (pbuh) smiled after he heard this statement as he was pleased that the ant understood that he “perceived not”. He then made supplication to Allah and was a grateful servant after being given the blessing to hear the language of the ants.
In terms of miracles in the Quran, this can also be used to highlight the miracle of the gender of the ant. The ant was referred to as a female. Scientifically ants are almost all females. Male ants are actually only produced once in a while for breeding. Even the worker ants are female.
If you have seen the Disney Film Antz you know that the leader of the colony is a female queen ant– this is an indication of the science of the Quran and the wisdom of Allah’s creation that he alerts of the ant’s gender.
As it is summer now, there will be a lot of ants around and some of us do not think twice before reaching for the ant killer of flicking or squishing them. But SubhanAllah next time you consider these little creations lets show a little mercy and be of those who have wisdom and recognise Allah’s creation and be merciful to our little friends as they were merciful to our Prophet inshaAllah.
We ask Allah to be given the opportunity and wisdom to be of those who pause and reflect on his creation – as signs for those who believe and to draw nearer to our Creator through the beauty of his creation inshaAllah
The next time you are about lose your temper or spot danger think of what the Ants would do!