English Translation of Al-Quran .Surah Al-Naml [The Ants] Ayat 20. He inspected the birds, and said: "What is the matter that I see not the hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? Ayat 21. "I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason." Tafseer of Surah Al Naml (The Ants) Ayat 20 & 21. And he took a muster of the Birds; and he said: "Why is it I see not the Hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? Solomon was no idle or easy-going king. He kept all his organization strictly up to the mark, both his armies literally and his forces (metaphorically). His most mobile arm was the Birds, who were light on the wing and flew and saw everything like efficient scouts. One day he missed the Hoopoe in his muster. The hoopoe is a light, graceful creature, with elegant plumage of many colors, and a beautiful yellow crest on his head, which entitles him to be called a royal bird. "I will certainly punish him with a severe penalty, or execute him, unless he bring me a clear reason (for absence)."