Translation & Commentary of Verses from Surah 27, Al-Naml [48 – 58]

[48] And in the city there was a group of nine72 who spread corruption all over the land73 and would not reform.74


72. Raht is for a group of men numbering between three and ten (Zamakhshari) without a woman in it (Jawhari).

73. That is, their corruption was not limited to their own land Hijr, but spilled beyond it into other lands (Alusi).

Apart from other things, one of their corrupt practices was to chip off silver and gold from Dirham and Dinar coins (Qurtubi), which our own Prophet has also prohibited (Ibn Kathir).

74. That is, totally corrupt, without any good coming out of them, in contrast to those who are less corrupt through whom some good works flow out at some time or the other (Zamakhshari).

[49] They said, ‘Swear to each other by Allah that we shall attack him and his family by night and then say to his heir, ‘We did not witness the destruction of his family and that we are truthful.’75


75. Ibn `Abbas said that the allusion is to the nine who later hamstrung the camel. According to a report in Ibn abi Hatim, when they were promised chastisement within three days, they said they’d rather finish off Saleh before the expiry of the time promised. But, as they arrived to attack him by night, they were overtaken by Allah’s chastisement and they all lay dead. By morning their nation too was destroyed (Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir).

[50] Thus, they plotted a plot, and We plotted a plot, but they perceived not.

[51] See then how was the end of their plot – that We destroyed them and their nation, all together.

[52] Yonder there are their homes in ruin,76 because they (indulged in) wrongdoing. Surely, in that is a sign for a people who know.


76. Yonder there” because, when the Makkans traveled to the Syrian regions, they passed by Wadi al-Qura’ which has the remains of their habitations (Shabbir).

[53] And We delivered those who believed and were fearful (of Allah).

[54] And Lut, when he said to his people, ‘Do you commit the indecent while you are seeing?77


77. That is, you can see with the inner eye that these practices are abominable (Kashshaf). They could also see with their physical eyes that propagation of every biological species depends on the male going into the female. Could they see any practice among any biological organism contrary to this? Weren’t they the only pervert exception? (Sayyid)

As these lines are being written – April 2004 – the situation in the West is that due to homosexual practices and pedophilic activities spreading wide and deep in the society, marriage between homosexuals (both between male and male, as well as between female and female) has been legalized in the United Stated of America. Across the continent, in Britain, the dominant Christian sect is allowing homosexuals to enter into priesthood (Au.).

[55] What, do you approach men lustfully rather than women? Nay, but you are a people behaving ignorantly.’78


78. Jahalah is not merely ignorance, but rather, in the extreme sense, a state of mind that reflects the qualities of ‘knowing very well but refusing to acknowledge,’ ‘deliberately acting against what is right,’ combined with intransigence, argumentativeness, insolence, and total disregard for people’s censure (Au.).

[56] His people had no answer except to say, ‘Drive out Lut’s family from your town. They are, indeed, men who make themselves out to be pure.’79

[57] So We delivered him and his family, except his wife; We destined her to be of those who tarried.


79. It was a derisive, sarcastic statement.

[58] And We rained down on them a rain. So evil was the rain for those who were warned.80


80. Shah `Abdul Qadir commented on the three episodes here: Sulayman had promised that he would bring a force which they would not be able to resist. This came true for our own Prophet, who brought a force to Makkah that the unbelievers could not resist. The gang of nine promised each other that they would attack Saleh by night; but he was rescued by Allah (swt). Similarly, the Quraysh surrounded the Prophet’s house by night in an attempt to do away with him by morning. But Allah (swt) rescued His Messenger. And Lut’s people threatened him with expulsion, but instead, he was ordered to leave, after which they met with their destruction. Similarly, the Makkans had threatened the Prophet (saws) with expulsion. But he left the place on his own (and their chiefs were destroyed at Badr: Au.) – Shabbir.

(To be continued)

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