Signs in the Universe:An-Nahl(The Honey Bee)


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وَأَوْحَى رَبُّكَ إِلَى النَّحْلِ أَنِ اتَّخِذِي مِنَ الْجِبَالِ بُيُوتًا وَمِنَ الشَّجَرِ وَمِمَّا يَعْرِشُونَ 68

ثُمَّ كُلِي مِن كُلِّ الثَّمَرَاتِ فَاسْلُكِي سُبُلَ رَبِّكِ ذُلُلاً يَخْرُجُ مِن بُطُونِهَا شَرَابٌ مُّخْتَلِفٌ أَلْوَانُهُ فِيهِ شِفَاء لِلنَّاسِ إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لآيَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ 69
 

68. And your Lord inspired to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct.

69. Then eat from all the fruits and follow the ways of your Lord laid down [for you].” There emerges from their bellies a drink, varying in colors, in which there is healing for people. Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.

[Al-Qur’an – Surah An-Nahl(The Honey Bee): 68-69]

 

 Information on the Honey Bee:

  • There are three types of bees in the hive – Queen, Worker and Drone.

  • Larger than the worker bees, the male honey bees (also called drones), have no stinger and do no work at all. All they do is mating.
  • The queen may lay 600-800 or even 1,500 eggs each day during her 3 or 4 year lifetime. This daily egg production may equal her own weight. She is constantly fed and groomed by attendant worker bees.
  • The queen bee can live for several years. Worker bees live for 6 weeks during the busy summer, and for 4-9 months during the winter months.
  • Honeybees are not aggressive by nature, and will not sting unless protecting their hive from an intruder or are unduly provoked.
  • Honeybees represent a highly organized society, with various bees having very specific roles during their lifetime: e.g., nurses, guards, grocers, housekeepers, construction workers, royal attendants, undertakers, foragers, etc.
  • The average worker bee produces about 1/12th teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
  • During winter, honey bees feed on the honey they collected during the warmer months. They form a tight cluster in their hive to keep the queen and themselves warm.
  • Honey bees fly at 15 miles per hour.
  • Honey bees’ wings stroke 11,400 times per minute, thus making their distinctive buzz.
  • Honeybees are the only insect that produces food for humans.
  • Honeybees will usually travel approximately 3 miles from their hive.
  • Honeybees are the only bees that die after they sting.
  • Honeybees are responsible for pollinating approx 80% of all fruit, vegetable and seed crops in the U.S.
  • Honeybees have five eyes, 3 small ones on top of the head and two big ones in front.  They also have hair on their eyes!
  • Bees communicate with each other by dancing and by using pheromones (scents).
  • Honeybees never sleep!

    Information on Honey:

  • Honey is 80% sugars and 20% water.
  • To make one pound of honey, the bees in the colony must visit 2 million flowers, fly over 55,000 miles and will be the lifetime work of approximately 300 bees.
  • A single honeybee will only produce approximately 1/12 teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.
  • One tablespoon of honey provides 60 calories and contains 11g of carbohydrates, 1mg of calcium, 0.2mg of iron, 0.lmg of vitamin B and 1mg of vitamin C.
  • A single honey bee will visit 50-100 flowers on a single trip out of the hive.
  • Bees produce honey as food stores for the hive during the long months of winter when flowers aren’t blooming and therefore little or no nectar is available to them.
  • Honey is the ONLY food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including water.
  • A typical beehive can make up to 400 pounds of honey per year.
  • Honey never spoils.
  • It would take about 1 ounce of honey to fuel a honeybee’s flight around the world.
  • Flowers and other blossoming plants have nectarines that produce sugary nectar. Worker bees suck up the nectar and water and store it in a special honey stomach. When the stomach is full the bee returns to the hive and puts the nectar in an empty honeycomb. Natural chemicals from the bee’s head glands and the evaporation of the water from the nectar change the nectar into honey.

Reflections:

Despite producing a small amount of honey during its lifetime (1/12th teaspoon), the honeybee doesn’t give up its work. As believers, we shouldn’t consider a deed too small or give up on doing the little good that we do. We should remain content and continue struggling throughout our life to do good:  we may see little benefit in the dunya but our main aim is the akhirah.

Just like bees collect honey and feed on it during the winter, we learn that we should also save from what we earn, when it is required.

Honey bees spend their lives making honey which is not just beneficial for themselves but for us human beings. From what we earn, how much do we spend on ourselves and how much do we spend on the benefits of others? The honeybee teaches us a great lesson of selflessness: Giving without expecting anything in return.

An important quality in bees is that they are a highly organized society, with each bee performing its role. In our society and as an Ummah, we are taught a great lesson of organization. A major reason we face difficulty today is due to the fact that we are greatly disorganized as a society and each individual doesn’t perform his or her duty in the utmost manner.

A bee’s life involves constant struggling, effort, organization, teamwork and travelling to make honey. Reflecting on a bee’s life teaches us that a Muslim’s life should also constitute the same effort and travelling in order to obtain the pleasure of Allah (سبحانه وتعالى )i.e. by propagating and obtaining knowledge of deen , fulfilling the rights of fellow Muslims and rendering obligations.

It’s amazing how Allah  (سبحانه وتعالى ) has created such species whose main purpose in life is to go through such a complex process to make honey, just for the benefit of mankind. Throughout its life this creature is struggling, without sleeping at all, just to provide us with honey.  We should ask ourselves: if a bee struggles so much for our benefit, how much do we struggle throughout our lives to serve Allah (سبحانه وتعالى ). Are we as dedicated in serving deen as the bees are dedicated in making honey? A great lesson is to be learnt from bees, which unfortunately is lacking today in us.

Miracle of the Quran

The worker bees, those who gather pollen and make the honey, are actually all females. The male bees do not make honey. This was only known recently. However 1400 years ago the Qur’an refers to bees that generate the honey as females (the Arabic grammar is in the female mode):[Al-Quran An-Nahl(The Honey Bee):68-69].  And your Lord (Allah) revealed to the bees: Build your hives in mountains, trees and in what people build. Then eat (for females) from every fruit and follow (for females) your Lord’s enslaved paths, from their bellies (for females) exits drink of different colors, in it healing for man. These are signs for those who contemplate.

For the word “eat”: “Kuli” is for females; “Kul” is for males. The Qur’an used “Kuli” (females).For the word “follow a path”: “Usluki” is for females; “Usluk” is for males. The Qur’an used “Usluki” (females).For the word “their bellies”: “butuniha” is for females; “butunihim” is for males. The Qur’an used “butuniha” (females).

How could an illiterate man who lived 1400 years ago have known that those honey making bees are females?

Ahadith on  Honey:

More than 1400 years ago:

Narrated Jabir bin Abdullah: I heard the Prophet saying, “If there is any healing in your medicines, then it is in cupping, a gulp of honey or branding with fire (cauterization) that suits the ailment, but I don’t like to be (cauterized) branded with fire.”
[Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 71, Number 587]

Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri: A man came to the Prophet and said, “My brother has some abdominal trouble.” The Prophet said to him “Let him drink honey.” The man came for the second time and the Prophet said to him, ‘Let him drink honey.” He came for the third time and the Prophet said, “Let him drink honey.” He returned again and said, “I have done that ‘ The Prophet then said, “Allah has said the truth, but your brother’s abdomen has told a lie. Let him drink honey.” So he made him drink honey and he was cured.
[Sahih Bukhari, Book 71, Hadith 588]

Today:

Dr. Peter Molan, a leading researcher into honey for the last 20 years and a professor of biochemistry at New Zealand’s University of Waikato, says this about the antimicrobial properties of honey:

Randomized trials have shown that honey is more effective in controlling infection in burn wounds than silver sulphadiazine, the antibacterial ointment most widely used on burns in hospitals. (“Honey Against Infected Skin Lesions,” http://www.apitherapy.com/honeysk.htm.)

More Medical Benefits of Honey

  • Supports blood formation
  • Antibacterial and antifungal properties
  • Anti-diarrhoeal properties
  • Wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Honey is of value in treating burns, infected surgical wounds and bedsores. Honey is very viscous, enabling it to absorb water from surrounding inflamed tissue.
  • It is a cough medicine that helps relieving the lungs from mucus.

References:

http://www.speed-light.info/miracles_of_quran/honey_bees.htm

http://miraclesofthequran.com/scientific_68.html

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-bee-facts.html

http://www.islamicresearch.org/bees%20hidden%20miracle.htm

http://mayyam.hubpages.com/hub/10-Interesting-Facts-You-Did-Not-Know-About-Honey-Bees

http://www.backyardbeekeepers.com/facts.html

http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/honey-facts.html

http://www.utahcountybeekeepers.org/Fun%20Facts.html

About Quran Reflections

Al-Huda's branch at Khayaban-e-Sehar is one of the few Quran courses being regularly conducted in Karachi, Pakistan, where the mode of instruction and examination is English. The students and teachers have decided to upload their reflections on the Quran and class notes on this blog, in order to be available to a global audience for the latter's benefit and inspiration.
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One Response to Signs in the Universe:An-Nahl(The Honey Bee)

  1. Akintoye O. Jubril says:

    Allahu Akbar

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