Bees. Tiny insects that produce honey. To most of us, they are just that – an insect that produces honey and will sometimes sting us if we agitate them. But bees, for all their simplicity, are one of Allah’s (SWT) most magnificent and miraculous creations.
We all know how beautiful each creation of Allah (SWT) is. Everything He has created has its own purpose. And bees are no different. Allah (SWT) has dedicated an entire Surah name to bees, Surah An-Nahl (The Bee). With their size being barely bigger than a thumb, they produce one of the most beneficial sources of food in the entire world: Honey.
Honey is the only source of food made by insects that is consumable by humans. Honeybees are responsible for at least one-third of the food we eat as they are vital pollinators. It’s also one of the many special foods that we will have in Jannah (paradise!) It takes a working honeybee around 45 days to make honey and it takes 12 honeybees to make just one teaspoon of this heavenly food in their entire lifespan.
the medicinal benefits of honey
Honey is not only a source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, but the liquid gold substance is also a source of natural healing. In Surah Nahl, ayah 69, Allah (SWT) says: “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.” In this ayah, Allah (SWT) is explicitly telling us to use honey as a form of medication. Honey is great for digestive issues, sore throats and coughs, and has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are six surahs in the Quran that are named after certain animals. Surah Al-Baqarah for example is named for the cow and Surah Al-Anqaboot is named for the spider. Each of these surahs is named for these animals because of the miraculous and wonderous nature of these animals. And while the whole surah may not be about the specific animal mentioned in the name, they play an important part in understanding how things work.
And your Lord inspired to the bee, “Take for yourself among the mountains, houses, and among the trees and [in] that which they construct (Surah An-Nahl, ayah 68).
In the ayah above, Allah (SWT) instructs the bees to build their own hives amongst the mountains and trees. In the ayahs before this one, Allah (SWT) speaks about how he has provided so many benefits and signs to us of His greatness. He has sent down rain and given us cows that produce milk and gardens that grow amazing foods. These are all signs of Allah’s (SWT) bounty and mercy. The honeybee is also part of these signs. The small creature has been created to give us sweet honey that heals and gives us nutrients.
the lessons we learn from honeybees
Like most things in life, there is always a lesson we can take home and learn from. The same can be said for the lives of honeybees. Allah (SWT,) in the Surah An-Nahl, and in the way He created the honeybee, has given us many things to ponder about. In ayah 69 of Surah An-Nahl, Allah (SWT) says “Indeed in that is a sign for a people who give thought.” Here, Allah (SWT) asks us to think about bees and their many attributes.
One of the most obvious lessons we can learn from bees, and perhaps one of the most important is how to work with others and in a community. Bees live in colonies, and because of that they need everyone within that colony to participate and pull their weight in so they can work as a functioning beehive. Each bee has its own role and they look after one another. Just like people, bees communicate with each other to maintain respect and uphold their responsibilities. They need each other to thrive, much like we do.
Bees also teach us to rely on Allah (SWT) alone and stay efficient. Bees are obedient creatures and spend their lives doing what Allah (SWT) has commanded; building homes and making honey to benefit humans. They follow the task given to them by Allah (SWT) without diverging from their given roles.
We should remember that Allah (SWT) has also given us roles and a purpose in this world. Honeybees are extremely efficient, with hundreds of bees working together as a singular unit to finish their tasks. They work in patterns and structures and have set schedules. This can also help us learn the importance of a schedule, where we work all day to accomplish the responsibilities Allah (SWT) has put upon us as Muslims and our personal goals.
SubhanAllah! It’s always so mind-blowing to discover how magnificent Allah (SWT) is. His creation is always so marvelous, and we can barely even comprehend the power behind His might.
Honeybees, one of the tiniest creatures, give us such resourceful things. It seems only fair that we take the time to praise Allah’s (SWT) creation, learn more about them, and above all, be grateful for the favors Allah (SWT) has bestowed upon us.