Valley of the Ants

The Present day Ashkelon is believed to be the site where the conversation the Ants and Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام took place

Ashkelon, Palestine

Coordinates: 31.668800, 34.574300

Quran States:

Until, when they came upon the valley of the ants, an ant said, “O ants, enter your dwellings that you not be crushed by Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام and his soldiers while they perceive not.”

So (Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام) smiled, amused at her speech, and said, “My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into (the ranks of) Your righteous servants.”

Quran 27:18-19

An-Naml Chapter of Quran & Significance of title

The sura’s name is taken from the ants whose conversations were understood by Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام.

Similar to Sura 13 (The Thunder) or Sura 29 (The Spider), The Ants has no thematic significance in the Sura beyond it being a familiar phrase amongst believers, a reminder of the sura’s story of Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام.

Ants do hold a privileged status among animals in Islam on account of the story of Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام.

Hadith literature tells of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ forbidding Muslims to kill the ant, bee, hoopoe, or shrike; it is no coincidence that they are all featured in Sura 27 and that Sura 16 is entitled The Bee.

One interpretation for the ant’s theological significance coincides with its role historically.

As written in the 1993 edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, “Since early antiquity, ants have been an object of admiration on account of … the feverish activity with which they provide for their 27th chapter (surah) of the Qur’an with 93 verses (ayat) sustenance and the perfect organisation of their societies.”

Valley of the ants in Jewish legend

In the legend, as retold in the Jewish Encyclopedia, Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام rides on a magic carpet over a valley of ants that speak to him.

This legend is based on the Tanakh mentioning Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام’s wealth, wisdom, and dominion over all creatures. The legend may also be based on the Book of Proverbs, which rabbinic Judaism traditionally ascribes to Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام, mentioning ants as exemplars of morality. Of all the legends about Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام’s dominion over all creatures, the valley of the ant is the best known one among Jews.


According to some Jewish Scholars, the Valley of Ants is believed to be in the present day Ashkelon in Israel occupied Palestine

The Exact location of the conversation of Ants with Hz. Sulaiman عليه اسلام is not known

Note: This information is according to Jewish Historians.