QA. 93A




 سورة النحل   

Sūrat al-Naḥl

(The Surah of the Bees) on

Qur'ān 12: 92


Introduction, Translation and text critical Notes

Last revised 02-11-09

Stephen Lambden

        Spanning around four pages of Arabic text Qayyūm al‑asmā' surah CXIII (93) was perhaps entitled the  Sūrat al-Nahl  ("The Surah of the Bees") by the Bab himself in his Kitab al-fihrist. With this title he follows that of the late Meccan (128 verse) 16th Surah of the Qur'ān. The word "Bee[s]" occurs at the beginning of QA 94 verse 4 :  انّا نحن قد اوحينا الی النّحل  "We indeed revealed unto the Bee[s] (al-naḥl)...". The bee here evidently is personified as the Bāb as one who universally intimates the advent of the eschatological era throughout the cosmos.

        Alternatively, QA XCIII (93) is entitled   سورة المجلل   Sūrat al-Mujallil ("The Surah of the Sublimely Powerful") (cf. Nicolas, Seyyed Ali Mohammad, 1905: 27 with (French translit.) el-modjellel  [sic.] probably wrongly reading or citing an unpointed Kitab al-fihrist ms. ) which is most likely an alternative attempt to read the same or a similar slightly altered form of the same few bare (undotted or with vowels) Arabic consonants. The title Sūrat al-Nahl  ("The Surah of the Bees") would be the obvious one as this occurs at the beginning of this Surah of the QA. The title  Sūrat al-Mujallil ("The Surah of the Sublimely Powerful") is less obvious though this may make it more correct. Consultation of early ideally well-written mss of the QA and the Kitab al-Fihrist should resolve this problem.

As the word Naḥl, in other words, occurs at the very beginning of QA Sura 93 (see below verse 4 word six) then this may suggest that it is the likely, correct name of this Surah.  The word mujallil, however, occurs in the following address to the believers at the beginning of verse 13 : تّقوا اللّه و لاتقولنّ فی سرّ اللّه المجلّل حول الا لمحلّل  "Fear ye God! and never mutter [nonsense] about the Mujallil ("Powerfully Glorious"), Mystery of God (sirr Allāh) situate about the realm of  Hallowing (al-muḥallil)..." (see further below).

        In neo-qur'anic  fashion QA 93 commences with the basmala   then cites Qur'an 12:93 after which it has, apparently as verse 3 (of this Surah of the QA), the isolated letters  كمع Kāf-Mīm-`Ayn or most likely كهمع  Kāf-Ha-Mīm-`Ayn (ms. 1261). These (three or) four isolated letters do not occur in this combination in the Qur'an itself. They have an abjad numerical value of  135 or (without the "H") 20+40+70 = 130.  The exact significance of most of these isolated letters of the QA is currently unknown.