Download PDF: [S] The Ants that Spoke

Nabi Sulayman – peace be upon him – is the son of Nabi Daud – peace be upon him. Like his father before him, he was also given complete rule over the entire world in his era and was also blessed with the station of Prophethood. He ruled the earth for forty years.


All living things were under his dominion – such as people, the Jinn, the animals, the birds, etc. He also understood the language of each and everything. At the same time, many unusual inventions and products came into existence. In Surah Naml (27), verse 16 it is mentioned that:


وَوَرِثَ سُلَیۡمٰنُ دَاوٗدَ وَقَالَ یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ عُلِّمْنَا مَنۡطِقَ الطَّیۡرِ وَ اُوۡتِیۡنَا مِنۡ کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ ؕ اِنَّ ہٰذَا لَہُوَ الْفَضْلُ الْمُبِیۡنُ ﴿۱۶﴾


“And Sulayman became the successor of Daud and said, O people, ‘We have been taught the language of birds, and we have been bestowed of everything. Undoubtedly, this indeed is a manifest grace.”


Another amazing story is that when Nabi Sulayman – peace be upon him – was travelling one day with his entire army of men and Jinn they were passing the valley of the ants either in Syria or Taif and were about to walk over a large ant colony. However, before they entered this area, the queen of the ant colony, who was lame, informed the entire colony of the impending danger and that they should go into their holes.


It should be borne in mind that this command and conversation between the ants and their leader took place nearly three miles away. However, Nabi Sulayman – peace be upon him – heard this conversation and smiled. This is mentioned in Surah Naml (27) verse 18,19:


حَتّٰۤی اِذَاۤ اَتَوْا عَلٰی وَادِ النَّمْلِ ۙ قَالَتْ نَمْلَۃٌ یّٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُوۡا مَسٰکِنَکُمْ ۚ لَا یَحْطِمَنَّکُمْ سُلَیۡمٰنُ وَ جُنُوۡدُہٗ ۙ وَ ہُمْ لَا یَشْعُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۸﴾

فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِکًا مِّنۡ قَوْلِہَا وَ قَالَ رَبِّ اَوْزِعْنِیۡۤ اَنْ اَشْکُرَ نِعْمَتَکَ الَّتِیۡۤ اَنْعَمْتَ عَلَیَّ وَ عَلٰی وٰلِدَیَّ وَ اَنْ اَعْمَلَ صٰلِحًا تَرْضٰىہُ وَ اَدْخِلْنِیۡ بِرَحْمَتِکَ فِیۡ عِبَادِکَ الصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۹﴾


“Until when they came to the valley of the ants, and said, ‘O ants, enter your houses; lest Sulayman and his armies may crush you unknowingly. There upon he smiled at her words, and said, ‘O my Lord, grant me guidance that I may be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me and my parents and that I may do such good works as would please You and admit me out of Your Mercy among Your those slaves who deserve Your proximity.”


Important lesson learnt from this story


  1. To be able to listen to a conversation from nearly three miles and that too between one of the smallest creatures is certainly a miracle of Nabi Sulayman – peace be upon him. We also realise clearly from this the powers of hearing of a Prophet and a normal human being is certainly not the same. It also proves to us that the powers of listening and speaking of a Prophet is completely different to that of a normal human being.


  1. The words of the ant also proves to us that they believed that no Prophet or pious servant of Allah Almighty would ever oppress anything or anyone deliberately. The reason is that the words used by this leader of the ants is “unknowingly”. In other words, if they were to crush the ants as they walked along, they would do so without intent to kill or oppress. This again proves that even the ants knew that a Prophet was sinless.


However, sadly the Shia has gone one further. In fact they have nothing even in common with an ant because they believe that the special servants of Allah Almighty, who are the companions, can actually deliberately harm and oppress the blessed daughter of the Holy Prophet – may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him!


  1. Another important point which we come to know is that the most a Prophet does is smile and not laugh out aloud.