Analyzing Suratul naml, Qur’an chapter 27 verse 20-44

Part 2

meaning, or are you telling a lie in order to save yourself from the threat I made against you!’

اذْهَب بِّكِتَابِي هَذَا فَأَلْقِهْ إِلَيْهِمْ ثُمَّ تَوَلَّ عَنْهُمْ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا يَرْجِعُونَ

Go you with this letter of mine and deliver it to them then draw back from them and see what they return.

Suleiman wrote a letter to Bilqis and her people and gave it to the hoopoe to deliver.

It was said that he carried it on his wings, as is the way with birds, or that he carried it in his beak. He went to their land and found the palace of Bilqis, then he went to her private chambers and threw the letter through a small window, then he stepped to one side out of good manners.

Bilqis was amazed and confused when she saw that, then she went and picked up the letter, opened its seal and read it.

The letter said:

إِنَّهُ مِن سُلَيْمَانَ وَإِنَّهُ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

أَلاَّ تَعْلُوا عَلَيَّ وَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ

it is from Suleiman, and it (reads):`In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful; Be you not exalted against me, but come to me submitting (as Muslims).’

So she gathered her commanders and ministers and the leaders of her land


She said:(said to them),

يَا أَيُّهَا المَلَاُ إِنِّي أُلْقِيَ إِلَيَّ كِتَابٌ كَرِيمٌ

“O chiefs! Verily, here is delivered to me a noble letter.”

She described it as such because of the wondrous things she had seen, that it was delivered by a bird who threw it to her, then stood aside out of good manners. This was something that no king could do.

Then she read the letter to them:

إِنَّهُ مِن سُلَيْمَانَ وَإِنَّهُ بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

إِنَّهُۥ مِن سُلَيْمَٰنَ وَإِنَّهُۥ بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: ‘In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,

Verily, it is from Suleiman, and it (reads):

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful; Be you not exalted against me, but come to me submitting (as Muslims).’

Thus they knew that it was from Allah’s Prophet Suleiman, upon him be peace, and that they could not match him.

This letter was the utmost in brevity and eloquence, coming straight to the point.

أَلاَّ تَعْلُوا عَلَيَّ

Be you not exalted against me,

Qatadah said:

“Do not be arrogant with me”.

وَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ

but come to me submitting (as Muslims).”

Bilqis consults with Her Chiefs

Allah tells:


She said:

When she read Suleiman’s letter to them and consulted with them about this news, then she said:

يَا أَيُّهَا المَلَاُ أَفْتُونِي فِي أَمْرِي مَا كُنتُ قَاطِعَةً أَمْرًا حَتَّى تَشْهَدُونِ

“O chiefs! Advise me in (this) case of mine. I decide no case till you are present with me.”

meaning, `until you come together and offer me your advice.

قَالُوا نَحْنُ أُوْلُوا قُوَّةٍ وَأُولُوا بَأْسٍ شَدِيدٍ

They said:”We have great strength, and great ability for war…”

They reminded her of their great numbers, preparedness and strength, then they referred the matter to her and said:

وَالاْاَمْرُ إِلَيْكِ فَانظُرِي مَاذَا تَأْمُرِينَ

but it is for you to command; so think over what you will command.

meaning, we have the power and strength, if you want to go to him and fight him.’

The matter is yours to decide, so instruct us as you see fit and we will obey


She said:

Ibn Abbas said:

“Bilqis said:

إِنَّ الْمُلُوكَ إِذَا دَخَلُوا قَرْيَةً أَفْسَدُوهَا وَجَعَلُوا أَعِزَّةَ أَهْلِهَا أَذِلَّةً

Verily, kings, when they enter a town, they destroy it and make the most honorable amongst its people the lowest.

And Allah said:

وَكَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ

And thus they do.

Then she resorted to peaceful means, seeking a truce and trying to placate Suleiman, and said:

وَإِنِّي مُرْسِلَةٌ إِلَيْهِم بِهَدِيَّةٍ فَنَاظِرَةٌ بِمَ يَرْجِعُ الْمُرْسَلُونَ

But verily, I am going to send him a present, and see with what the messengers return.

meaning, I will send him a gift befitting for one of his status, and will wait and see what his response will be. Perhaps he will accept that and leave us alone, or he will impose a tax which we can pay him every year, so that he will not fight us and wage war against us.’

Qatadah said:

“May Allah have mercy on her and be pleased with her — how wise she was as a Muslim and (before that) as an idolator! She understood how gift-giving has a good effect on people.”

Ibn Abbas and others said:

“She said to her people, if he accepts the gift, he is a king, so fight him; but if he does not accept it, he is a Prophet, so follow him.


Allah tells:

فَلَمَّا جَاء سُلَيْمَانَ قَالَ

So, when (the messengers with the gift) came to Suleiman, he said:

More than one of the scholars of “Tafsir” among the “Salaf” and others stated that she sent him a huge gift of gold, jewels, pearls and other things.

It is apparent that Suleiman, (peace be upon him) did not even look at what they brought at all and did not pay any attention to it, but he turned away and said, rebuking them:

أَتُمِدُّونَنِ بِمَالٍ

“Will you help me in wealth!”

meaning, are you trying to flatter me with wealth so that I will leave you alone with your “Shirk” and your kingdom!’

فَمَا اتَانِيَ اللَّهُ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّا اتَاكُم

What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you!

means, what Allah has given to me of power, wealth and troops, is better than that which you have.

بَلْ أَنتُم بِهَدِيَّتِكُمْ تَفْرَحُونَ

Nay, you rejoice in your gift!

means, you are the ones who are influenced by gifts and presents; we will accept nothing from you except Islam or the sword.

To be continue insha Allah.

Bashir Habeebullah @


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here