An Islamic Perspective on the Bee
The imperative “build” above is the translation of the Arabic word “attakhithi”, which is feminine form (Arabic unlike English, differentiates between the sexes). The feminine form is used when all of those it refers to are female, whereas the masculine is used when a group consists of at least 1 male.
Therefore the Quran is in fact saying “build, you female bees..” A swarm of bees (which collect honey and build the hive), are female only. Thus, the phrasing of this command is in agreement with the Fact that male bees do not partake in the construction of the hive.
“And your Lord inspired the Bee, saying: ‘Take your habitations in the mountains and the trees and in what they erect. Then eat of all fruits, and follow the ways of your Lord, made easy (for you).’ There comes forth from their bellies a drink of varying colour wherein is a healing for men. Verily, in this is indeed a sign for people who think.” [Al-Quran 16:68-69]
Let us for a while be one of those who reflect and think about the wonders of Allah (swt) and what He in His supreme wisdom, created. We may compare our factories to the factories of Allah (swt). The lovely honey bees may be small, yet quick and efficient. When they fly it seems as if they are programmed, following the tracks ordained for them.
For a pound of honey around 2 million flowers are visited by the bee. So next time we gulp down that liquid maybe we can be grateful for all that went into producing it and realize the numerous favors of Allah (swt) on us. They travel about 50,000 miles. At the first step the liquid is like water, which is then fluttered upon by their wings till a sweet liquid is left. They then suck it and by using their special glands convert it into honey. Once ready the honey is packed into its special compartments in the hive and sealed with wax thus becoming secure.
Such a small insect makes such a pure thing, so what have we done or are proud of? There are many characteristics of a bee that man can learn from and the wise already have them embedded in them. The following is a comparison between the two and we pray that Allah (swt) also helps us to learn from them and be like them – Aameen
The Bee- How does the bee manage to fulfill all her tasks? She knows the purpose of its being. She has a goal in front of her and she goes out and does it.
A Mumin (believer)- If a Mumin was to realize his purpose in life; conveyance of the message then he can move forward and attain his goal.
The Bee-The submission of the bee helps her to complete her task.
A Mumin (believer)- The submission of the Mumin helps him to stay steadfast and persist in his cause and reach his goal.
The Bee- The honey bee never rests until she has finished a full days work and is satisfied.
A Mumin (believer)- A Mumin who has realized his purpose will never rest until he reaches his goal. (Here-After)
The Bee- The bee travels far distances to get what is essential for the making of honey.
A Mumin is prepared to go through any-thing for the sake of his Lord.
The Bee- If the honey bee wasn’t to realize its skill then she would be no different to a house fly.
A Mumin (believer)- If a Mumin doesn’t realize his duty (responsibilty) then he is no different to a disbeliever.