This particular insect has been selected as a title (Aayat) of a Surah No.27 “The Ants” in the Noble Qur’an. Briefly, it discusses the advent of Hadhrat Sulayman (Alayhis salaam), with his hosts of Jinn, men and birds and they marched in arranged groups till they reached the Valley of Ants. Said one Ant “Oh you Ants! Get back into your dwellings, lest Sulayman and his hosts crush you unintentionally”. The Hadith and sayings of the companions are numerous relating to the Ant. Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Do not kill four of these creatures viz. ant, bee, sparrows (wood-pecker), and any pigeon”. Hadhrat Abdur Rahman Ibn Abdullah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that The Prophet (Pbuh) descended at a certain place - (house) and attended to the call of nature. Incidentally a man kindled a fire in a heap of ants, (either the house was built on a tree or on the ground). The Prophet (Pbuh) seeing this, exclaimed “Who did this? Extinguish it!! Extinguish it!” Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports that a certain Prophet from the many Prophets (Alayhis salaam) rested under the shade of a tree. An ant bit him. So the Prophet stood up to avenge for the bite. He spotted a large group of ants and killed them. A call was voiced to Him, “Was it not only one ant that bit you?”
Abu Hurayrah (Radhiallaahu Anhu) reports, I heard the Prophet (Pbuh) saying, A certain Prophet from the many Prophets (Alayhis salaam) was resting under the shade of a tree. An ant bit him. He instructed his belongings to be removed from there and immediately ordered the heap of Ants to be burnt. Allah Ta’ala revealed to him “Was it not only Ant that hurt you and you have ordered a full nation of ants to be destroyed who are engaged in the invocation of Allah Taala? Was it not one ant?”
Hassam Dastawani says that the ants and small ants during the season of summer bring love and prosperity to us but during the season of winter we fear they will dissipate our hoards.
Abu Bakr Najee reports that Hazrat Sulayman (Alayhis salaam) came out seeking water. Incidentally he spotted an ant with its bottom downwards and struggling with its legs up in the air upwards and saying, “Oh Allah we are one of your own creation, we are not independent of our thirst. Either you refreshen us and feed us or either kill us and destroy us.”
“ When they reached the Valley of the Ants, an Ant exclaimed, ‘O Ants! Enter your dwellings lest Sulaymaan and his armies crush you without noticing it.” (Naml : 18)
Life Style of Ants
In recent times, research has shown us several facts about the lifestyle of ants, which were not known earlier to mankind. Research has shown that the animals or insects whose lifestyle is closest in resemblance of the lifestyle of human beings are the ants. This can be seen from the following findings regarding ants:
- The ants bury their dead in a manner similar to the humans.
- They have a sophisticated system of division of labour.
- Once in a while they meet among themselves to have a ‘chat’.
- They have an advanced method of communication among themselves.
- They hold regular markets wherein they exchange goods.
They store grains for long periods in winter and if the grain begins to bud, they cut the roots, If the grains stored by them get wet due to rains, they take these grains out into the sunlight to dry, and once these are dry, they take them back inside. Consider the following Qur’anic verses:
At length, when they came to a (lowly) valley of ants, one of the ants said: ‘Oye ants, get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (Under foot) without knowing it.” (Al-Qur’an 27:17-18)
In the past, the so called ‘rationalist’ would have probably laughed and mocked at the Qur’an, taking it to be a fairy tale book in which ants talk to each other and communicate sophisticated messages!
C.P. Haskins in “The Ants and Her World” writes: “In fact ants are little chemical factories continuously producing an array of substance called pheromones, that serves the ant language. Through these pheromones the ants convey messages ranging from location of food to the presence of danger”!!!.