Surah An-Naml Ayat 17 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 17
And gathered for Solomon were his soldiers of the jinn and men and birds, and they were [marching] in rows.
And before Solomon were marshalled his hosts,- of Jinns and men and birds, and they were all kept in order and ranks.
Hosts of jinn and humans and birds were marshalled for Solomon and were kept under full control.
And there were gathered before Sulaiman (Solomon) his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forwards).
And there were gathered together unto Solomon his armies of the jinn and humankind, and of the birds, and they were set in battle order;
And his hosts were mustered to Sulayman, of the jinn and humankind and birds. So they were duly dispensed.
Solomon’s hosts of jinn, men, and birds were marshalled in ordered ranks before him,
Quran 27 Verse 17 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Naml ayat 17, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(27:17) Hosts of jinn and humans and birds were marshalled for Solomon and were kept under full control.
23. The Bible does not either make any mention that there were jinns in the Prophet Solomon’s (peace be upon him) armies, and he took service from them; but the Talmud and the rabbinical traditions contain details of this. Some of the present-day writers have strained every nerve to prove that the words jinn and tair do not refer to the jinns and birds but to men who performed different duties in the Prophet Solomon’s (peace be upon him) army. They say that the Jinn were the people of the mountain tribes whom Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) had subdued and who performed tasks of great strength and skill under him; and tair implies cavalry which could move much faster than the infantry. But these are indeed the worst examples of misinterpreting the Quran. The Quran here mentions three distinct kinds of the army consisting of the men, the jinns and the birds, and all the three have been qualified by the prefix al (alif-lam) to denote a class. Therefore, al-jinn and al-tair could not be included in al-ins (the men), but could be two separate and different classes from the men. Moreover, a person who has a little acquaintance with Arabic cannot imagine that in this language the mere word al-Jinn could ever imply a group of the men, or al-tair as troops mounted on horses, nor could any Arab understand these meanings from these words. Calling a man a jinn because of some supernatural feat of his, or a woman a fairy because of her beauty, or a fast moving person a bird, does not mean that the words jinn and fairy and bird will henceforth be taken to mean a powerful man and a beautiful woman and a fast moving person respectively. These are only the metaphoric and not the real meanings of these words. In a discourse, a word is used in its figurative instead of its real meaning, and the listeners also will take it in that meaning, only when there exists in the context a clear pointer to its being figurative. What, after all, is the pointer in the context here from which one may understand that the words jinn and tair have been used not in their real and lexical meaning but in their figurative meaning? Contrary to this, the work and the state of a member each of the two groups that have been mentioned in the following verses, fall entirely against the purport of this interpretation. If a person does not want to believe in something stated in the Quran, he should frankly say that he does not believe in it. But it would be moral cowardice and intellectual dishonesty if one should force the clear words of the Quran to give the meaning that he wants them to give, and tells the world that he believes in what the Quran says, whereas he does not, in fact, believe in it but believes in his own distorted meaning.
The tafsir of Surah Naml verse 17 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Naml ayat 15 which provides the complete commentary from verse 16 through 19.
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