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In the Name of God بسم الله

Honey only comes from one stomach

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Salam aleikoum,

"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 Surah Nahl, verse 69 (16:69), Allah swt says that a healing liquid comes from the bellieS of the female bee (butuniha). If you check this link (http://corpus.quran.com/wordbyword.jsp?chapter=16&verse=69#(16:69:1)) you will see that butuniha means several stomachs for one single female bee. The translator should have written 'its bellies'.

Science says that a female bee has indeed two stomachs, one called the honey stomach and the other being a 'normal' stomach for her own digestion. The content of the honey stomach is regurgitated into other bees mouth and then placed into a cell, this is how honey is made. According to the first link I posted below, there is a valve between the two stomachs and only the content of the honey stomach is transferred to other bees.

https://honeybeesuite.com/honey-is-not-bee-vomit/ ; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nZlEjDLJCmg&t=98s

But the Holy Quran says that the healing liquid comes from its bellies, not from its belly

I know that butuniha has several meanings but I am confused. How do you interpret this verse?

Jazakh Allah khair.

 

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Wa 'alaykum al salam wa rahmatullah,

If we look at the whole verse and focus on the words in bold:

16_69.png

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.

The plural is used when referring to fruits, ways, colors, and people, you have taken the word 'butuniha' to mean its several stomachs when the whole context and manner of the verse is in plural form.


It is not referring to one bee for the verse to say that a single bee uses one stomach in order to produce honey.



And All praise belongs to God, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, Lord of the heavens and the earth.

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15 hours ago, sirat-al-nur said:

The plural is used when referring to fruits, ways, colors, and people, you have taken the word 'butuniha' to mean its several stomachs when the whole context and manner of the verse is in plural form.


It is not referring to one bee for the verse to say that a single bee uses one stomach in order to produce honey.

Thank you for your answer.

I think I thought the same thing as you in the beginning. However, 'eat' (kuli) and 'follow' (fasluki) are both adressed to a single female bee. I am not the only one to think this (http://www.speed-light.info/miracles_of_quran/honey_bees.htm). From what I found on the internet, it seems that in arabic, you don't have 'her' or 'his' like in English. Instead, you add something at the end of a word to this end. Please check this link, under the title 'Enclictic pronouns' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_grammar)

In English, you would say 'her belly' or 'her bellies'. In arabic, you would literally say 'belly-her' or 'bellies-her'. In the verse quoted above, it is written 'bellies-her', belly being in the plural form but the 'ha' at the end refering to a single female bee.

In another verse, the same is said about the cow. The Holy Quran, in the same Surah, a few verses before (16:66), accurately states that the cattle (cow, goat, etc) has multiple stomachs (butunihi) and then says where milk comes from. Here also, 'stomach' (if we interpret the word in this meaning) is in the plural form but a 'hi' is added at the end, which means it is in the 3rd masculine singular form. That's probably because 'cattle' is a masculine word although it is very clear the Quran is talking about a female cow, goat or sheep. In many languages, a word is either masculine or feminine, no matter what: in french for example a human is 'UN homme' (masculine), irrespective of whether it is a male or a female individual. 

In verses 63 to 66, surah As-Saffat (37), Allah swt is talking about the wrongdoerS (dhalimeen, plural form) and how they will fill the bellies (al butoon, plural form, although no possessive article but instead a definite article). Similar verses are present in surah Al-Waqi'ah (56:49-53). Again, there is mention of al butoon (the bellies). Thus, multiple bellies for multiple wrongdoers.

This is more clear in surah Al-Haj, it is said that 'those who disbelieved will have cut out for them garments of fire. Poured upon their heads will be scalding water'. 'Their heads' is written as 'ruoohusihimu', -him in arabic refering to multiple masculine subjects according to Wikipedia. Thus, multiple heads for multiple persons. I don't know whether 'heads' is in the plural form since the corpus.quran.com is not working when I'm writing this but I guess so because in verse 48 of surah Ad-Dukhan (44), it is said 'Then pour over his head from the torment of scalding water.' where head is written 'rasihi', -hi meaning one single male person. Thus, one single head for one single person. 

Is there any one familiar with classical arabic who could give his opinion?

Edited by kashif.h
I edited paragraph 5 to make it clearer.
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34 minutes ago, kashif.h said:

Thank you for your answer.

I think I thought the same thing as you in the beginning. However, 'eat' (kuli) and 'follow' (fasluki) are both adressed to a single female bee. I am not the only one to think this (http://www.speed-light.info/miracles_of_quran/honey_bees.htm). From what I found on the internet, it seems that in arabic, you don't have 'her' or 'his' like in English. Instead, you add something at the end of a word to this end. Please check this link, under the title 'Enclictic pronouns' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_grammar)

In English, you would say 'her belly' or 'her bellies'. In arabic, you would literally say 'belly-her' or 'bellies-her'. In the verse quoted above, it is written 'bellies-her', belly being in the plural form but the 'ha' at the end refering to a single female bee.

In another verse, the same is said about the cow. The Holy Quran, in the same Surah, a few verses before (16:66), accurately states that the cattle (cow, goat, etc) has multiple stomachs (butunihi) and then says where milk comes from. Here also, 'stomach' (if we interpret the word in this meaning) is in the plural form but a 'hi' is added at the end, which means it is in the 3rd masculine singular form. That's probably because 'cattle' is a masculine word although it is very clear the Quran is talking about a female cow, goat or sheep. In many languages, a word is either masculine or feminine, no matter what: in french for example a human is 'UN homme' (masculine), irrespective of whether it is a male or a female individual. 

In verses 63 to 66, surah As-Saffat (37), Allah swt is talking about the wrongdoerS (dhalimeen, plural form) and how they will fill the bellies (al butoon, plural form, although no possessive article but instead a definite article). Similar verses are present in surah Al-Waqi'ah (56:49-53). Again, there is mention of al butoon (the bellies).

This is more clear in surah Al-Haj, it is said that 'those who disbelieved will have cut out for them garments of fire. Poured upon their heads will be scalding water'. 'Their heads' is written as 'ruoohusihimu', -him in arabic refering to multiple masculine subjects according to Wikipedia. Thus, multiple heads for multiple persons. I don't know whether 'heads' is in the plural form since the corpus.quran.com is not working when I'm writing this but I guess so because in verse 48 of surah Ad-Dukhan (44), it is said 'Then pour over his head from the torment of scalding water.' where head is written 'rasihi', -hi meaning one single male person. Thus, one single head for one single person. 

Is there any one familiar with classical arabic who could give his opinion?


Salaam,

Your welcome, I am familiar with classical Arabic, and after contemplating your question and consultation, the answer to your question is in the phrase min butuniha , the min here is a harf jar, and it is a sign of tab'eeth

حرف تبعيض: (نح) حرف يُقصد به الدَّلالة على جزء مِنْ كُلّ وهو حرف (مِنْ)، كما تُستعمل بعضُ معاني الحروف للدّلالة على التبعيض

The min, in min butuniha, is a harf tab'eeth which as defined above is a letter that proves that a part instead of the whole, which would mean the ayah is saying indeed that only one of the stomachs is used as the min is pointing to one of the bees stomachs.\

As for the butuniha, it can hold both meanings that i mentioned but in Arabic, the plural of words is different for animals than for those that possess intellect (humans), and thats where the difference in wording comes in and some letters are added and retracted accordingly, so we cant make a comparison between ayahs reffering to the bellies of the humans and those of the animals.

I admire your persistence and steadfastness, in finding the truth and sticking to your initial thoughts.

And All praise belongs to God, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, Lord of the heavens and the earth.
Edited by sirat-al-nur
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1 hour ago, sirat-al-nur said:

Salaam,

Your welcome, I am familiar with classical Arabic, and after contemplating your question and consultation, the answer to your question is in the phrase min butuniha , the min here is a harf jar, and it is a sign of tab'eeth

حرف تبعيض: (نح) حرف يُقصد به الدَّلالة على جزء مِنْ كُلّ وهو حرف (مِنْ)، كما تُستعمل بعضُ معاني الحروف للدّلالة على التبعيض

The min, in min butuniha, is a harf tab'eeth which as defined above is a letter that proves that a part instead of the whole, which would mean the ayah is saying indeed that only one of the stomachs is used as the min is pointing to one of the bees stomachs.\

As for the butuniha, it can hold both meanings that i mentioned but in Arabic, the plural of words is different for animals than for those that possess intellect (humans), and thats where the difference in wording comes in and some letters are added and retracted accordingly, so we cant make a comparison between ayahs reffering to the bellies of the humans and those of the animals.

I admire your persistence and steadfastness, in finding the truth and sticking to your initial thoughts.

And All praise belongs to God, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, Lord of the heavens and the earth.

Wa aleikoum salam,

I can't understand arabic unfortunately. I found what a harf jar is but I don't know what harf tab'eeth means.

I thought 'min' only meant 'from'. Could you give an example where 'min' is used in the way you described (to designate a part instead of the whole) or a website explaining this? Maybe I can understand better that way. 

I didn't know that plural was different for animals either. Again, could you give examples/a website?

Sorry for being that insistent but I really want to know how to interpret this ayah.

P.S.: I indeed found on Wikipedia that 'min' also means 'some of'. How would you translate the ayah in English, taking into consideration what you said about the 'min' and the plural for animals?

EDIT: I think I understand what you mean. You mean that honey comes from 'among' of its stomachs, right? That would indeed be a good way to interpret it. Not only does it point out the fact that the bee has several stomachs like the cow for example (which the Quran already states a few verses before) but it would also be coherent with the fact that honey only comes from one of the two stomachs. 

Edited by kashif.h
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On 2/21/2018 at 5:00 PM, kashif.h said:

Wa aleikoum salam,

I can't understand arabic unfortunately. I found what a harf jar is but I don't know what harf tab'eeth means.

I thought 'min' only meant 'from'. Could you give an example where 'min' is used in the way you described (to designate a part instead of the whole) or a website explaining this? Maybe I can understand better that way. 

I didn't know that plural was different for animals either. Again, could you give examples/a website?

Sorry for being that insistent but I really want to know how to interpret this ayah.

P.S.: I indeed found on Wikipedia that 'min' also means 'some of'. How would you translate the ayah in English, taking into consideration what you said about the 'min' and the plural for animals?

EDIT: I think I understand what you mean. You mean that honey comes from 'among' of its stomachs, right? That would indeed be a good way to interpret it. Not only does it point out the fact that the bee has several stomachs like the cow for example (which the Quran already states a few verses before) but it would also be coherent with the fact that honey only comes from one of the two stomachs. 

Salaam, I sincerely apologize for the lateness of my reply!

I was overcome with obligations at home, and i haven't been able to reply as much as i would like.

I will probably review this reply later, and havent re-read what i wrote, but so that you have something to work with with regards to Arabic grammer, in order to understand the way plural and singular forms work you have to read up on arabic 'sarf', rather than 'nahw'.

- For more about plural forms in Arabic, look for:
                       اقسام الجمع   
There are many different plural forms, for beings with intellect, those without, male and female etc.

- I will update this post as needed inshAllah, though i just noticed your edit and it seems you have solved things for yourself lol, alhamdulilah.

And All praise belongs to God, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, Lord of the heavens and the earth.

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4 hours ago, sirat-al-nur said:

Salaam, I sincerely apologize for the lateness of my reply!

I was overcome with obligations at home, and i haven't been able to reply as much as i would like.

I will probably review this reply later, and havent re-read what i wrote, but so that you have something to work with with regards to Arabic grammer, in order to understand the way plural and singular forms work you have to read up on arabic 'sarf', rather than 'nahw'.

- For more about plural forms in Arabic, look for:
                       اقسام الجمع   
There are many different plural forms, for beings with intellect, those without, male and female etc.

- I will update this post as needed inshAllah, though i just noticed your edit and it seems you have solved things for yourself lol, alhamdulilah.

And All praise belongs to God, the All-Seeing, the All-Knowing, Lord of the heavens and the earth.

Wa aleikoum,

No problem at all. As I said, I searched a little bit more on the meaning of 'min' and found that one of its meanings is 'among'. Plus, the Quran in other verses clearly uses 'min' for 'among'. 

In 3:113 for example, Allah swt says "They are not [all] the same; among the People of the Scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of Allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer]".

It is very clear from the context that the word 'min' used here means 'among', not 'from'. Which means some (but not all) of the people of the scripture are righteous.

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