The Light Of Faith In The Heart Of The Queen Of Sheba
 

VERSE NO.4144

To examine the apprehension and her power of conceiving ideas, and in order to prepare her for acceptance of God's Message, Solomon ordered her throne to be altered: ``Solomon said: ``Disguise her throne for her that we may see if she will be GUIDED!'' Here a question arises that; what was the aim of Solomon by testing the insight and wisdom of Belghais? One answer is that; he might have wanted to know how had he to treat his newly fair and infringer convert.

As to the clause in the verse NO.41: ``Disguise her throne that we may see if she is GUIDED.'' And particularly the ending word of the clause, (GUIDED) gives a mystical meaning to the verse, namely: The throne was the symbol of the queen's physical power and pride. Then it was transformed to a basis of faith and virtue by Solomon. This was suitable test in order to make know whether the queen of Sheba and the worshipper of the sun, could be guided to the true God, and get rid of the false gods. In other word, Solomon wanted to transform Belghais, and set her on a different kind of throne. So, let us wait and watch what her reaction was.

In spite of all the alterations, she recognized her throne which she always kept it in a secure place, and so Belghais passed the examination with excellent marks. She recognized her former throne of power, the legs of which were set on polytheism and disbelief in the only and the only true God.

She also understood quickly her new throne of power which was settled upon Monotheism and piety. In spite of all the differences and [ 516 ]

contrast she could understand that her new throne of power was far better and more valuable in the sight of knowledge and wisdom. Then comes the next part of the story in which the queen of Sheba was ushered to the hall: ``It was said to her enter the hall.''

When she stood the test well, she was asked to enter the Sacred Precinct of Sanctity and prophethood, the symbol of which was then the great palace of Solomon, and its glorious hall the floor of which was constructed of crystals. The floor of the hall is said to have been made of a crystal cover underwhich a stream of water flowed: ``It was said to her: ``Enter the hall of the palace. When she saw it, she deemed it to be a spreading of water, and therefore she uncovered her legs. Solomon, her Divine Guide, said to her: ``It is a hall covered with crystals. Then she said: ``My Lord! I have oppressed myself so far, but I have now submitted to Allah the Lord of all the world with Solomon.''

*****

WHAT HAPPENED TO BELGHAIS THEN?

Concerning the question that what happened to Belghais at last, the Holy Qura"n is silent and gives no answer. Some of the commentators have their own views which are not supported by any historical evidences. Aloosi has written in his ROOH-AL-MANI that, when she was converted, she was married with Solomon, but the writer's view is not supported by any reason or evidence. The Bible (O.T.) says that she returned back and ruled her country, but this time under the control of Solomon and his Lord, ``Allah''. We read in, 1 KINGS-10:

``The queen of Sheba went to Solomon and the glory of his court left her breathless and amazed! She therefore said to king Solomon:- ``What I heard in my country about you and your wisdom is true, but I could not believe it. Until I had [ 517 ]

come and seen it all of myself, your wisdom and wealth are much greater than what I was told. How fortunate are your wives and how fortunate are your servants who are always in your presence, and are privileged to hear your wise sayings. Praise the Lord your God. He has shown how pleased He is with you by making you king of Israel.'' ``king Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she asked for, besides all the customary gifts that he had generously given her. Then she and her attendants returned to the land of Sheba.''

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE

(( 45 ))

45- AND WE SENT TO THAMUD THEIR BROTHER SALIH SAYING: ``WORSHIP ALLAH.'' THEN TWO SECTS AMONG THEM BEGAN QUARRELLING. (WITH EACH OTHER)

(( 46 ))

46- HE SAID: ``O, MY PEOPLE! WHY DO YOU SEEK TO HASTEN EVIL BEFORE GOOD? WHY DON'T YOU ASK FOR GOD'S FORGIVENESS, THAT YOU MAY RECEIVE (GOD'S) MERCY?''

(( 47 ))

47- THEY SAID: ``WE AUGUR BAD OMEN OF YOU AND OF THOSE WITH YOU''. HE SAID: ``YOUR OMEN (GOOD OR BAD) RESTS WITH ALLAH, BUT YOU ARE A PEOPLE UNDER TRIAL.''

[ 518 ]

THE COMMENTARY

SALIH AND THE PEOPLE OF THAMUD
VERSE NO.4547

The fourth prophet that a part of his life is narrated in this chapter (S27) is Salih, who was sent to the people of Thamud: ``And We sent to Thamud their brother Salih who said to them, ``Worship Allah''. Then two groups among them began quarrelling.''

The main story of Thamud and Salih is found in QURA"N S26: 141159. The point here is the plot against the prophet which was planned by a group of nine men who augured bad omen of Salih's teachings! In the sight of them the pure and truthful preaching of Salih, their compassionate brother seemed to be evil, and they augured bad omen of him! So they conspired to slay him, but Allah perished them utterly.

The abstract of Salih's Message to the people of Thamud was: ``To worship Allah and no one else''. But they were divided in two groups, concerning the Message. One group of them were the high-handed and insolent disbelievers, and the second group were the low-handed believers who were weaker in physical power. These two groups strived against one another.

Salih began to admonish them, and warned them of the punishment of God. But they belied him and took no care about his warnings and continued with their evil deeds. One should not think that his evil deeds are overlooked by God when he is not punished. God will always give a chance or a respite to His servant so as to stop doing wrong and to amend and correct himself.

God's Grace will act cautiously with you, but when you go beyond the limits set by Him, he will disgrace you. So instead of following the advices of their compassionate [ 519 ]

apostle, they adhered to a series of vain talks and chimerical words saying: ``We augur bad omen of you and of those who believe you.'' In fact, they were a people under trial and they failed.

AUGUR AND OMEN

In several points in Qura"n, reference is made to augur and omen. As an instance of this it is cited in S 36:18 that the people of ANTIOCK, in answer to the apostles of Jesus Christ said: ``We augur an evil omen from you, and if you desist not, we will stone and inflict a grievous punishment on you.'' The Arabic, ``TATAYAR'' comes from the root word ``TAIR'' which means bird. In the sight of Islam and Qura"n, AUGUR, and omen of good or bad is only superstition.

The above verse proves that in the first century before Christ there lived, (AS HISTORIANS SAY) the Roman Diviners who held a college consisted of fifteen members, who observed omens thought, to manifest the will of Gods. Their interpretation of the flight of birds, for example, determined the propitious moment that would favour an action.

As a matter of fact, Man cannot be indifferent to accidents and phenomena, and eventually he has to find a reason or a cause for all the happenings. If the man is a believer, he ascribes all events to the will of God which is according to knowledge and wisdom, and that there is a logic and a rightful purpose beyond every incident. So, such a believing man has no problem with events of bad or good nature. It is the unbeliever who is perplexed when a misfortune appears. He wonders and wanders till he finds a cause to satisfy him with that.

[ 520 ]

(( 48 ))

48- AND THERE WERE NINE BANDS IN THE CITY WHO WERE MAKING MISCHIEF IN THE LAND WITH NO REFORMING.

(( 49 ))

49- THEY SAID: ``ALL OF YOU SWEAR BY ALLAH TO MAKE A SURPRISE ATTACK BY NIGHT ON HIM AND HIS FAMILY. THEN WE WILL TELL HIS HEIR, WE WERE NOT PRESENT AT THE SLAUGHTER OF HIS FAMILY AND WE ARE TRUTHFUL.

(( 50 ))

50- THEY DEVISED A DEVICE, AND WE TOO DEVISED A DEVICE, WHILE THEY DID NOT KNOW.

(( 51 ))

51- SO BEHOLD WHAT WAS THE END OF THEIR DEVICE. WE DESTROYED THEM AND THEIR PEOPLE ALL TOGETHER.

(( 52 ))

52- THOSE ARE THEIR HOUSES DESOLATED DUE TO THEIR OPPRESSION. VERILY IN THAT, THERE IS A SIGN FOR A PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND.

(( 53 ))

53- AND WE SAVED THOSE WHO BELIEVED, AND WERE AVOIDING EVIL.

[ 521 ]

THE COMMENTARY

THE CONSPIRACY OF NINE BANDS IN VADI-AL-GHORA"


VERSE NO.4853

Here is another part of the story of Salih and his people. There were nine bands of mischief maker in the towns, each band less than ten and more than three in number. They were always against any reform. Each of these bands had their own leader, and belonged to a different tribe. When Salih began to enjoin good and forbid evil, the small devilish bands found their interests and material advantages in danger, and to this effect they hatched a plot to slay the prophet and his family in the night by a surprise attack. Nine small bands united together and conspired against the prophet's life. The plot was to kill Salih and his family by a night surprise attack, and then deny their crime by swearing that they were not present at the site so that their tribes could not want to exact.

Such a plot was also planned against our holy prophet Mohammad (SA), but thanks to God that the plot failed.

Destruction was the end of those devils. They plotted a plan and Allah did plan a plot against them and they were all destroyed, leaving their comfortable houses which had been turned to the nests of corruption, desolated and deprived of inhabitants, in a ruinous condition.

In the meantime Allah saved those who believed and who were avoiding evil. Some commentators are of opinion that those who were saved with Salih (AS), numbered to four thousands:

``And We saved those who believed and were avoiding evil.''

[ 522 ]

(( 54 ))

54- AND (REMIND) LOT, WHEN HE SAID TO HIS PEOPLE: ``DO YOU COMMIT INDECENCY WHILE YOU SEE (ITS OBSCENENESS).

(( 55 ))

55- DO YOU COME TO MEN LUSTFULLY APART FROM WOMAN? YOU ARE A PEOPLE WHO ACT IGNORANTLY.

THE COMMENTARY

THE PERVERSION OF LOT'S PEOPLE
VERSE NO.5455

The story of Lot has been cited in several other places in Qura"n such as in: S 71115 and S 26. This is because Qura"n is not a historical book, to narrate one incident once and for all. Whenever necessary mention is made of various parts of the incidents and the encounter of the prophets with their people, so as to teach lessons in the way of Man's development.

Here the point of stress is that, the crime of the people of Lot was against their own nature! They went to men lustfully apart from woman and were awfully indulged in pederasty. They committed such indecency openly and they frankly defended when some one enjoined them to do good and to live that evil custom. They could feel how heinuous their deed was, and yet they gave way to their nasty passions: ``And remind Lot when he said to his people: ``Do you commit indecency while you see!?''

[ 523 ]

The ending of the above verse, ``WHILE YOU SEE'' has been commented with a twofold of meaning. Some commentators have said that, the people of Lot would do their heinous act of pederasty openly and before the eyes of one another! But we do not think so. It may mean that they knew the obsceneness of their evil deeds, and could see the bad consequences of it, which had appeared among their wives and children and in general throughout their society, and yet they were not willing to desist!

THE END OF PART (19)

[ 524 ]

(( 56 ))

56- BUT THE ANSWER OF HIS PEOPLE WAS NOT EXCEPT THAT THEY SAID: ``BANISH THE FOLK OF LOT FROM YOUR TOWN, THAT THEY ARE MEN WHO SEEK TO KEEP CLEAN.''

(( 57 ))

57- THEN WE SAVED HIM AND HIS FAMILY, EXCEPT HIS WIFE WHO, WE DESTINED TO STAY BACK.

(( 58 ))

58- AND WE RAINED ON THEM A RAIN, (OF BRIMSTONE) AND SO BAD WAS THE RAIN FOR THOSE WHO WERE ADMONISHED. (BUT THEY PAID NO HEED)

(( 59 ))

59- SAY: ``PRAISE BELONGS TO ALLAH, AND PEACE BE UPON HIS SERVANTS WHOM HE HAS CHOSEN.''

IS ALLAH BETTER OR (THE FALSE GODS) THAT THEY ASSOCIATE? (WITH HIM)

THE COMMENTARY
WHERE DECENCY IS WRONG


VERSE NO.5659

The people of Lot were not willing to leave their homosexuality, and their prophet's warnings had no effect on them. They were so accustomed to their indecencies that never thought of amending their behaviour.

[ 525 ]

It is narrated that Lot preached them for some thirty years, but of no use! Even during such a long period of time, his wife did not believe his truth. Not only his people were not ashamed of their evil deeds, they ironically rebuked the chaste persons among them for their purity and loving to keep clean. God's kindness acted moderately on them, but when they transgressed the bounds of decency, Allah's decree was issued, and harshly sent them to their doom:

``Then We saved him and his family except his wife whom We destined to stay among the doomed, and We rained on them....what an awful rain!'' In a morning when they, sound and safe, began to begin their nasty works; Lo! Out of a sudden, there was a quake followed by a scream beyond the threshold of pain! Then it began to rain cats and dogs, but this time not pure crystaline water. It seemed to be a shower of brimstones!

Lot and his followers had left the town before dawn as per order of the angel of God, and were all saved from the disaster. And now if we are willing to take a lesson of that incident we have to say from the depth of our heart: ``Praise belongs to Allah and peace be on his chosen servants.''

(( 60 ))

60- (ARE YOUR PARTNERS BETTER) OR HE WHO CREATED THE HEAVENS AND EARTH, AND SENT DOWN FOR YOU FROM THE SKY WATER. THEN WE GREW OUT OF IT DELIGHTFUL GARDENS. IT WAS NOT IN YOUR POWER TO GROW ITS TREES. IS THERE ANY GOD BESIDES ALLAH? THEY ARE RATHER A PEOPLE WHO ASSIGN EQUALS. (WITH ALLAH)

[ 526 ]

(( 61 ))

61- OR HE WHO MADE THE EARTH STABLE, AND SET RIVERS INIT, AND MADE MOUNTAINS FOR IT. AND PUT BETWEEN TWO SEES A BARRIER. IS THERE ANY GOD BESIDES ALLAH? NAY; MOST OF THEM DO NOT KNOW.

(( 62 ))

62- OR HE WHO ANSWERS THE HELPLESS WHEN HE CALLS HIM (FOR HELP), AND REMOVES THE AFFLICTION, AND MAKES YOU SUCCESSORS IN THE EARTH. IS THERE ANY GOD BESIDES ALLAH? HOW LITTLE YOU REFLECT.

(( 63 ))

63- OR HE WHO GUIDES YOU IN THE DARKNESSES OF THE LAND AND SEA, AND HE WHO SENDS THE WINDS AS A GLAD-TIDING BEFORE HIS MERCY. (RAIN) IS THERE ANY GOD BESIDES ALLAH? HIGH IS ALLAH ABOVE WHAT THEY ASSOCIATE.

(( 64 ))

[ 527 ]

64- OR HE WHO ORIGINATES CREATION, AND THEN HE RECREATES IT. AND HE WHO GIVES YOU SUSTENANCE FROM THE SKY AND EARTH. IS THERE ANY GOD BESIDES ALLAH? SAY: ``BRING YOUR REASON IF YOU ARE TRUTHFUL.''

THE COMMENTARY

IN SPITE OF SO MANY PROOFS OF UNITY, THEY ARE STILL POLYTHEISTS.

VERSE NO.6064 Following a mention of parts of the histories of five great prophets, a question has repeatedly been raised that: ``Is God with his infinite power, knowledge, and mercy, better, or the worthless idols, and poor false gods that you serve?'' or to put it in other way; is there any god besides Allah? Such questions are supported by knocking down reasons and reasonings that; is anyone or anything in power and knowledge, or other attributes, equal to He Who created the heavens and earth, or He Who sends down for you water from the sky. By that water, He grew out delightful and fruitful gardens, a tree of which have not the power to grew, or even one of its flowers to point.

The man's limited power which is bestowed on him by God's Grace, is not comparable with that of God, which is infinite and limitless. God has easily sent down water, in measure, from the sky overhead; and has grown out of it delightful gardens full of beauty, glory, with different kinds of fruit of various shape, colour, taste, odour, and essence; whereas man is not able to make a single seed to sprout and develop and grow into a tree. As a matter of fact, each leaf [ 528 ]

on a tree is a book of evidences of the one true God who has created the garden as well as the earth and the whole UNIVERSE! In the second verse, the question is about the order, settlement, and firmness of the heavens and the earth. The earth, is a cradle or a resting bed for mankind. God has rendered it stable in spite of its several kinds of movement each of which can easily upset the living comfort of man, and turn our cradle to our death bed.

Throughout the universe, anything that you see is a sign that can easily show you the unity of design, and the unity of purpose. But what a reason can be found to prove any god besides the Creator of the universe which is not vain, valueless, and foolish a proof. The third question will take us in a trip to have a look in our inner world. What do we have to support us when we are smited by a calamity due to our evil deeds; and on who, can we put our trust? When we are helpless in the paws of afflictions, who can, or will, help us except our Merciful Lord who is more Compassionate than our kind mother who may only weep for us in our misfortunes.

When all the doors of hope has been closed on us, and all our means and physical instruments have failed, the mysterious hand of our Gracious God will come out of the invisible sleeve, and a door is opened from an unexpected direction!

Then we may see, if we want, the signs of our Lord which are always evident and abundant in our inner world as well as the outer: ``Are your partners better or He Who answers the helpless when he calls Him for help, and removes the affliction, and makes you successors in the earth?''

Not only the nature, and our external world, is full of evidences and signs that may lead man to his Gracious Creator; there are still more suggesting hints in man's inner conscience and heart, that look after him with kind eyes. In our agonies and afflictions, we cry to Him for help and He answers our prayer and relieves our sufferings. [ 529 ] Of course, God will answer the prayer of all His creatures, but He seems to have a particular consideration for the helpless distressed, who calls Him from the depths of his heart.

In the forth verse above, the immediate reference is to the matter of guidence, whether physical or spiritual: ``Are these idols better, or He who guides you in the darknesses of the land and sea?'' And then a mention is made of the creation and recreation; or life and death, and after all the Resurrection. In the above mentioned verses, Allah has pointed to 12 signs of His, in order to prove His Oneness, and these are: 1The sky. 2The earth. 3The rain. 4The effects of the rain in our life and living. 5Man's resting place. 6The rivers. 7The firm mountains. 8The barrier that separates the salty sea from the sweet one. 9God's answering the prayer of His helpless servants. 10Their guidance in the darknesses of the sea land, or if you want to say that of the body and soul. 11The winds which are the bearer of good news. 12And making us the successors on the earth and inheriting it.

(( 65 ))

65- SAY: ``NO ONE IN THE HEAVENS AND EARTH KNOWS THE UNSEEN EXCEPT ALLAH, NOR DO THEY KNOW WHEN ARE THEY RESURRECTED.''

(( 66 ))

66- THEY HAVE USED ALL THEIR KNOWLEDGE (TO KNOW) THE HEREAFTER, AND YET THEY ARE IN DOUBT OF IT; OR (BETTER TO SAY) THEY ARE BLIND TO IT.

[ 530 ]

(( 67 ))

67- AND THE UNBELIEVERS SAID: ``WHEN WE BECAME DUST, (WE) AND OUR FATHERS, ARE WE TO COME OUT.'' (OF OUR GRAVES)

(( 68 ))

68- VERILY WE HAVE BEEN PROMISED OF THIS, AND OUR FATHERS (TOO), FROM BEFORE. THIS (PROMISE) IS NOT, EXCEPT THE FABLE OF THE ANCIENTS.

THE COMMENTARY

VERSE NO.6568

The argument is still continued about the Resurrection Day, the exact time of which is not known to any one except Allah:

The unbelievers who believe not even in God, cannot see anything beyond their physical senses in this material world. In particular, their knowledge, whatever it be will not suffice to bring them a certainty about Resurrection Day. This is because their rejection of the spiritual light will make them blind, and prevent them from seeing the spiritual world. However, with the believers this is not true. They can apprehend their own Resurrection from their sleeping and waking up, and through their truthful dreams. They also can see their own revival through the revival of earth in the spring, and many other signs and reasons.

[ 531 ]

Those who deny the raise of deads, have no knowledge about the details of the Hereafter, so they deny the root. Their ignorance is not due to lack of reasons for proving the Resurrection Day. It is because they close their eyes and do not want to see: ``And the unbelievers said: ``When we became dusts-we and our fathers-do we come out of the graves?'' In their sight, it seems not possible to come back to life when they are died and turned to dusts. But they have forgotten that they had been dusts at first and were raised up to life from dust.

(( 69 ))

69- SAY: ``TRAVEL IN THE EARTH, AND SEE HOW WAS THE END OF THE SINNERS.''

(( 70 ))

70- AND GRIEVE NOT OVER THEM, NOR BE STRAITENED AT THEIR INTRIGUES.

(( 71 ))

71- AND THEY SAY: ``WHEN IS THE PROMISE TO COME IF YOU ARE TRUTHFULS?''

(( 72 ))

72- SAY: ``SOME OF WHAT YOU SEEK TO HASTEN MIGHT BE WELL BEHIND YOU.'' (TRYING TO CATCH YOU)

(( 73 ))

73- AND VERILY YOUR LORD IS GRACEFUL TO MANKIND, BUT MOST OF THEM GIVE NO THANKS. [ 532 ]

(( 74 ))

74- AND YOUR LORD CERTAINLY KNOWS WHAT THEIR HEARTS CONCEAL, AND WHAT THEY REVEAL.

(( 75 ))

75- AND THERE IS NOTHING HIDDEN IN THE SKY AND EARTH, EXCEPT THAT (IT IS RECORDED) IN A PERSPICUOUS BOOK.