اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
All praise be to Allah with full gratitude for all His bounties. … All praise be to Allah: the master of the sovereignty, Who allows arks to flow [on seas], Who controls the winds, Who causes the day to break, Who administers the authority, and Who is the Lord of the worlds. All praise be to Allah for His forbearance despite His full knowledge. All praise be to Allah for His amnesty despite His full power. All praise be to Allah for the length of His respite during His wrath, while He is able to do whatever He wills.
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون
We bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is one and has no partners. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it prevail over all religions, though the polytheists should be averse.
اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
I enjoin you, servants of Allah and myself, to have fear of God and comply with His commands and forbiddances, and warn you against His retribution.
Solomon’s Reaction to the Queen of Sheba’s Gift
According to the noble Quran, when the envoys of the Queen of Sheba presented Solomon with lavish gifts, Prophet Solomon regarded them as insignificant compared to the invaluable blessings bestowed upon him by God. He expressed that these gifts held value in their eyes, but not in his, as he had received the unlimited blessings of God.
Indeed, Solomon made it clear to them that he had no interest in acquiring the wealth of Sheba or engaging in conquest, as the entirety of their nation’s riches held no significance in his eyes:
فَلَمَّا جَاءَ سُلَيْمَانَ قَالَ: أَتُمِدُّونَنِ بِمَالٍ؟ فَمَا آتَانِيَ اللَّهُ خَيْرٌ مِمَّا آتَاكُمْ، بَلْ أَنْتُمْ بِهَدِيَّتِكُمْ تَفْرَحُونَ
So when he came to Solomon, he said, ‘Are you aiding me with wealth? What Allah has given me is better than what He has given you. Indeed, you are proud of your gift! (Al-Naml, 36)
The Quran depicts the divine blessing that Solomon considered superior to the gifts sent by Bilqis in the following manner:
فَسَخَّرْنَا لَهُ الرِّيحَ تَجْرِي بِأَمْرِهِ رُخَاءً حَيْثُ أَصَابَ؛ وَالشَّيَاطِينَ كُلَّ بَنَّاءٍ وَغَوَّاصٍ؛ وَآخَرِينَ مُقَرَّنِينَ فِي الْأَصْفَادِ؛ هَذَا عَطَاؤُنَا فَامْنُنْ أَوْ أَمْسِكْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
So We disposed the wind for him, blowing softly wherever he intended by his command, and every builder and diver from the demons, and others [too] bound together in chains. ‘This is Our bounty: so withhold or bestow without any reckoning.’ (Sad, 36-39)
Then, declaring a humiliating war, Solomon sent the Queen’s envoys back to the land of Sheba. The Quran recounts that Solomon addressed the Queen’s envoys in the following manner:
ارْجِعْ إِلَيْهِمْ فَلَنَأْتِيَنَّهُمْ بِجُنُودٍ لَا قِبَلَ لَهُمْ بِهَا وَلَنُخْرِجَنَّهُمْ مِنْهَا أَذِلَّةً وَهُمْ صَاغِرُونَ
Go back to them, for we will come at them with hosts which they cannot face, and we will expel them from it, abased and degraded.’ (Al-Nam, 37)
Secret behind Solomon’s Declaration of War
It is evident that Solomon was not inclined towards war or conquest, as God had given him a power that was exclusive to him alone:
قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَهَبْ لِي مُلْكًا لَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ بَعْدِي
He said, ‘My Lord! Forgive me, and grant me a kingdom that will not befit anyone except me. (Sad, 35)
So why did he declare such a humiliating war against the Queen of Sheba?
It can be argued that Solomon’s declaration of a humiliating war was actually a response to a statement made by an advisor of the Queen of Sheba who boasted, “We are powerful and possess great might” (Surah al-Naml, 33). In reality, Prophet Solomon aimed to discourage the Queen of Sheba from entertaining any notions of waging war against him and instead advocated for peaceful negotiations. This strategic approach proved effective as the Queen of Sheba recognized the need to engage in dialogue with Solomon.
The Teleportation of the Queen of Sheba’s Royal Throne to Solomon’s Palace
Utilizing his divine knowledge and being informed by his agents, Solomon became aware of the Queen of Sheba’s impending visit to his palace. He then addressed his companions, saying:
َا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِي بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتُونِي مُسْلِمِينَ
O [members of the] elite! Which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?’ (Al-Naml, 38)
In response, two of his associates expressed their readiness to bring him the throne of the Queen:
قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِنَ الْجِنِّ: أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ تَقُومَ مِنْ مَقَامِكَ وَإِنِّي عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِيٌّ أَمِينٌ
n afreet from among the jinn said, ‘I will bring it to you before you rise from your place. I have the power to do it and am trustworthy.’ (Al-Naml, 39)
قَالَ الَّذِي عِنْدَهُ عِلْمٌ مِنَ الْكِتَابِ: أَنَا آتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ
The one who had knowledge of the Book said, ‘I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.’ (Al-Naml, 40)
Solomon expressed his gratitude to God for the miraculous and swift teleportation of Bilqis’s royal throne to his palace, acknowledging the power of God behind this extraordinary event:
فَلَمَّا رَآهُ مُسْتَقِرًّا عِنْدَهُ قَالَ: هَذَا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبِّي لِيَبْلُوَنِي أَأَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَنْ شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَنْ كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّي غَنِيٌّ كَرِيمٌ
So when he saw it set near him, he said, ‘This is by the grace of my Lord, to test me if I will give thanks or be ungrateful. Whoever gives thanks, gives thanks only for his own sake. And whoever is ungrateful [should know that] my Lord is indeed all-sufficient, all-generous.’ (Al-Naml, 40)
Secret behind the Teleportation of the Queen’s Throne to Solomon’s Palace
As a divine prophet, Solomon recognized the strength, wisdom, and discernment within Bilqis and saw the potential for her guidance towards monotheism and the worship of one God. To demonstrate the truthfulness of his divine mission, Solomon deemed it necessary to present a divine miracle. Thus, he orchestrated circumstances that would allow Bilqis to attain certainty regarding the authenticity of his prophethood and to place her trust and belief in him.
The miracle that Solomon presented to Bilqis was the teleportation of her own throne to his palace. To enhance its impact, he instructed modifications to be made to the throne, aiming to further astonish and amaze Bilqis.
قَالَ نَكِّرُوا لَهَا عَرْشَهَا نَنْظُرْ أَتَهْتَدِي أَمْ تَكُونُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَهْتَدُونَ
Disguise her throne for her, so that we may see whether she is discerning or if she is one of the undiscerning ones. (Al-Naml, 41)
Upon entering Solomon’s palace and witnessing her own throne before her, the Queen of Sheba acknowledged the immense power and authority of Solomon. The Quran says:
فَلَمَّا جَاءَتْ قِيلَ أَهَكَذَا عَرْشُكِ؟ قَالَتْ كَأَنَّهُ هُوَ! وَأُوتِينَا الْعِلْمَ مِنْ قَبْلِهَا وَكُنَّا مُسْلِمِينَ
So when she came, it was said [to her], ‘Is your throne like this one?’ She said, ‘It seems to be the same, and we were informed before it, and we had submitted.’ (Al-Naml, 42)
The Quran affirms that Bilqis possessed internal qualities that made her capable of having faith, and the only hindrance to her faith was her worship of entities other than God:
وَصَدَّهَا مَا كَانَتْ تَعْبُدُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهَا كَانَتْ مِنْ قَوْمٍ كَافِرِينَ
She had been barred [from the way of Allah] by what she used to worship besides Allah, for she belonged to a faithless people. (Al-Naml, 43)
The final extraordinary display of power by Solomon compelled the Queen of Sheba to publicly declare her faith in Solomon and her acceptance of monotheism:
قِيلَ لَهَا ادْخُلِي الصَّرْحَ، فَلَمَّا رَأَتْهُ حَسِبَتْهُ لُجَّةً وَكَشَفَتْ عَنْ سَاقَيْهَا، قَالَ: إِنَّهُ صَرْحٌ مُمَرَّدٌ مِنْ قَوَارِيرَ! قَالَتْ: رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي وَأَسْلَمْتُ مَعَ سُلَيْمَانَ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ
It was said to her, ‘Enter the palace.’ So when she saw it, she supposed it to be a pool of water, and she bared her shanks. He said, ‘It is a palace paved with crystal.’ She said, ‘My Lord! Indeed I have wronged myself, and I submit with Solomon to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.’ (Al-Naml, 44)