the Holy Qur'an

But the Hoopoe tarried not far: he (came up and) said: "I have compassed (territory) which thou hast not compassed, and I have come to thee from Saba with tidings true. (27:22)

"I found (there) a woman ruling over them and provided with every requisite; and she has a magnificent throne. (27:23)

"I found her and her people worshipping the sun besides God: Satan has made their deeds seem pleasing in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path,- so they receive no guidance,- (27:24)

"(Kept them away from the Path), that they should not worship God, Who brings to light what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what ye hide and what ye reveal. (27:25)

"God!- there is no god but He!- Lord of the Throne Supreme!" (27:26)

(Solomon) said: "Soon shall we see whether thou hast told the truth or lied! (27:27)

"Go thou, with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them: then draw back from them, and (wait to) see what answer they return"... (27:28)

(The queen) said: "Ye chiefs! here is delivered to me - a letter worthy of respect. (27:29)

"It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): 'In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: (27:30)

"'Be ye not arrogant against me, but come to me in submission (to the true Religion).'" (27:31)

She said: "Ye chiefs! advise me in (this) my affair: no affair have I decided except in your presence." (27:32)

They said: "We are endued with strength, and given to vehement war: but the command is with thee; so consider what thou wilt command." (27:33)

She said: "Kings, when they enter a country, despoil it, and make the noblest of its people its meanest thus do they behave. (27:34)

"But I am going to send him a present, and (wait) to see with what (answer) return (my) ambassadors." (27:35)

Now when (the embassy) came to Solomon, he said: "Will ye give me abundance in wealth? But that which God has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay it is ye who rejoice in your gift! (27:36)

"Go back to them, and be sure we shall come to them with such hosts as they will never be able to meet: We shall expel them from there in disgrace, and they will feel humbled (indeed)." (27:37)

He said (to his own men): "Ye chiefs! which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?" (27:38)

Said an 'Ifrit, of the Jinns: "I will bring it to thee before thou rise from thy council: indeed I have full strength for the purpose, and may be trusted." (27:39)

Said one who had knowledge of the Book: "I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!" Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said: "This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour !" (27:40)

He said: "Transform her throne out of all recognition by her: let us see whether she is guided (to the truth) or is one of those who receive no guidance." (27:41)

There was, for Saba, aforetime, a Sign in their home-land - two Gardens to the right and to the left. "Eat of the Sustenance (provided) by your Lord, and be grateful to Him: a territory fair and happy, and a Lord Oft-Forgiving! (34:15)

End of Quotes