THE STORY OF BILQIS (Queen Sheba) AND SULEIMAN (AS)
Analyzing Suratul naml, Qur’an Chapter 27 verse 20-44
Go back to them,
means, with their gift,
فَلَنَأْتِيَنَّهُمْ بِجُنُودٍ لاَّ قِبَلَ لَهُم بِهَا
We verily, shall come to them with armies that they cannot resist,
they have no power to match them or resist them.
وَلَنُخْرِجَنَّهُم مِّنْهَا أَذِلَّةً
and we shall drive them out from there in disgrace,
we shall drive them out in disgrace from their land.
and they will be abased.
means, humiliated and expelled.
When her messengers came back to her with her undelivered gift, and told her what Suleiman said, she and her people paid heed and obeyed him.
She came to him with her troops in submission and humility, honoring Suleiman and intending to follow him in Islam.
When Suleiman (peace be upon him) realized that they were coming to him, he rejoiced greatly
HOW THE THRONE OF BILQIS WAS BROUGHT IN INSTANT
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Yazid bin Ruman:
“When the messengers returned with word of what Suleiman said, she said:`By Allah, I knew he was more than a king, and that we have no power to match him, and that we can gain nothing by being stubborn with him. So, she sent word to him saying:
“I am coming to you with the leaders of my people to see what you will instruct us to do and what you are calling us to of your religion.”
Then she issued commands that her throne, which was made of gold and inlaid with rubies, chrysolite and pearls, should be placed in the innermost of seven rooms, one within the other, and all the doors should be locked.
Then she told her deputy whom she was leaving in charge, “Take care of my people and my throne, and do not let anyone approach it or see it until I come back to you.”
Then she set off to meet Suleiman with twelve thousand of her commanders from the leaders of Yemen, under each of whose command were many thousands of men.
Suleiman sent the Jinn to bring him news of her progress and route every day and night, then when she drew near, he gathered together the Jinns and humans who were under his control
قَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا المَلَاُ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ
He said:O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience (as Muslims).
قَالَ عِفْريتٌ مِّنَ الْجِنِّ
An “Ifrit” from the Jinn said:
“A giant Jinn.”
Abu Salih said,
“It was as if he was a mountain.”
أَنَا اتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن تَقُومَ مِن مَّقَامِكَ
I will bring it to you before you rise from your place.
Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) said,
“Before you get up from where you are sitting.”
As-Suddi and others said:
“He used to sit to pass judgments and rulings over the people, and to eat, from the beginning of the day until noon.”
وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ
And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for such work.
Ibn Abbas said:
“Strong enough to carry it and trustworthy with the jewels it contains.
Suleiman (upon him be peace) said, “I want it faster than that.”
From this it seems that Suleiman wanted to bring this throne as a demonstration of the greatness of the power and authority that Allah had bestowed upon him and the troops that He had subjugated to him. Power such as had never been given to anyone else, before or since, so that this would furnish proof of his Prophethood before Bilqis and her people, because this would be a great and wondrous thing, if he brought her throne as if he were in her country, before they could come to it, although it was hidden and protected by so many locked doors. When Suleiman said, “I want it faster than that.
قَالَ الَّذِي عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَابِ
One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said:
Ibn Abbas said,
“This was Asif, the scribe of Suleiman.”
It was also narrated by Muhammad bin Ishaq from Yazid bin Ruman that:
he was Asif bin Barkhiya’ and he was a truthful believer who knew the Greatest Name of Allah.
“He was a believer among the humans, and his name was Asif.”
أَنَا اتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ
I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!
Meaning, lift your gaze and look as far as you can, and before you get tired and blink, you will find it before you.
Then he got up, performed ablution and prayed to Allah, may He be exalted.
“He said, O Owner of majesty and honor.”
فَلَمَّا رَاهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِندَهُ
Then when he saw it placed before him,
When Suleiman and his chiefs saw it before them,
قَالَ هَذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّي
he said:”This is by the grace of my Lord…”
meaning “this is one of the blessings which Allah has bestowed upon me.”
لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَن شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ
to test whether I am grateful or ungrateful!
And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for himself;
وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ
and whoever is ungrateful, certainly my Lord is Rich, Bountiful.
He has no need of His servants or their worship.
He is Bountiful in and of Himself, even if no one were to worship Him. His greatness does not depend on anyone.
It is recorded in “Sahih” Muslim:
يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى
يَا عِبَادِي لَوْ أَنَّ أَوَّلَكُمْ وَاخِرَكُمْ وَإِنْسَكُمْ وَجِنَّكُمْ كَانُوا عَلَى أَتْقَى قَلْبِ رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ مَا زَادَ ذَلِكَ فِي مُلْكِي شَيْيًا
يَا عِبَادِي لَوْ أَنَّ أَوَّلَكُمْ وَاخِرَكُمْ وَإِنْسَكُمْ وَجِنَّكُمْ كَانُوا عَلَى أَفْجَرِ قَلْبِ رَجُلٍ مِنْكُمْ مَا نَقَصَ ذَلِكَ مِنْ مُلْكِي شَيْيًا
يَا عِبَادِي إِنَّمَا هِيَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ أُحْصِيهَا لَكُمْ ثُمَّ أُوَفِّيكُمْ إِيَّاهَا فَمَنْ وَجَدَ خَيْرًا فَلْيَحْمَدِ اللهَ وَمَنْ وَجَدَ غَيْرَ ذَلِكَ فَلَا يَلُومَنَّ إِلاَّ نَفْسَه
Allah, may He be exalted, says:
“O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, mankind and Jinn alike, were all to be as pious as the most pious among you, that would not add to My dominion in the slightest.
O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, mankind and Jinn alike, were all to be as evil as the most evil one among you, that would not detract from My dominion in the slightest.
O My servants, these are deeds which I am recording for you, and I will judge you according to them, so whoever finds something good, let him praise Allah, and whoever finds otherwise, let him blame no one but himself.”
To be continue insha Allaah.
Bashir Habeeb @ knowislam.com.ng