The name, An-Nahl, of this Surah has been taken from v. 68. This is merely to distinguish it from other Surahs.
Period of Revelation
The following internal evidence shows that this Surah was revealed during the last Makkan stage of Prophethood:
v. 41 clearly shows that persecution had forced some Muslims to emigrate to Habash before the revelation of this Surah.
It is evident from v. 106 that at that time the persecution of the Muslims was at its height. Therefore a problem had arisen in regard to the utterance of a blasphemous word, without actual disbelief, under unbearable conditions. The problem was that if one did so how he should be treated.
vv. 112-114 clearly refer to the end of seven year famine that had struck Makkah some years after the appointment of the Holy Prophet as Allah's Messenger.
There is a reference to v. 116 of this Surah in VI: 145, and v. 118 of this Surah contains a reference to VI: 146. This is a proof that both these Surahs (VI and XVI) were sent d