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The Gift and the Response of Sulayman Print E-mail

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 Sulayman, 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'

﴿فَمَآ ءَاتَـنِى اللَّهُ خَيْرٌ مِّمَّآ ءَاتَـكُمْ﴾

(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 أَنتُمْ 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.'

﴿ارْجِعْ إِلَيْهِمْ﴾

(Go back to them) means, with their gift,

﴿فَلَنَأْتِيَنَّهُم بِجُنُودٍ لاَّ قِبَلَ لَهُمْ بِهَا﴾

(We verily, shall come to them with armies that they cannot resist,) they have no power to match them or resist them.

﴿وَلَنُخْرِجَنَّهُم مِّنْهَآ أَذِلَّةً﴾

(and we shall drive them out from there in disgrace,) `we shall drive them out in disgrace from their land.'

﴿وَهُمْ صَـغِرُونَ﴾

(and they will be abased.) means, humiliated and expelled. When her messengers came back to her with her undelivered gift, and told her what Sulayman said, she and her people paid heed and obeyed him. She came to him with her troops in submission and humility, honoring Sulayman and intending to follow him in Islam. When Sulayman, peace be upon him, realized that they were coming to him, he rejoiced greatly.

﴿قَالَ يأَيُّهَا الْمَلأ أَيُّكُمْ يَأْتِينِى بِعَرْشِهَا قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتُونِى مُسْلِمِينَ - قَالَ عِفْرِيتٌ مِّن الْجِنِّ أَنَاْ ءَاتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن تَقُومَ مِن مَّقَامِكَ وَإِنِّى عَلَيْهِ لَقَوِىٌّ أَمِينٌ - قَالَ الَّذِى عِندَهُ عِلْمٌ مِّنَ الْكِتَـبِ أَنَاْ ءَاتِيكَ بِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَرْتَدَّ إِلَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ فَلَمَّا رَءَاهُ مُسْتَقِرّاً عِندَهُ قَالَ هَـذَا مِن فَضْلِ رَبِّى لِيَبْلُوَنِى أَءَشْكُرُ أَمْ أَكْفُرُ وَمَن شَكَرَ فَإِنَّمَا يَشْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ رَبِّى غَنِىٌّ كَرِيمٌ ﴾

(38. He said: "O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience (as Muslims)'') (39. An `Ifrit from the Jinn said: "I will bring it to you before you rise from your place. And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for such work.'') (40. One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture, said: "I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!'' Then when he saw it placed before him, he said: "This is by the grace of my Lord -- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for himself; and whoever is ungrateful, certainly my Lord is Rich, Bountiful.'')

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