Surah An-Naml Ayat 38 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 38
[Solomon] said, “O assembly [of jinn], which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?”
He said (to his own men): “Ye chiefs! which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?”
Solomon said: “My nobles, which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?”
He said: “O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?”
He said: O chiefs! Which of you will bring me her throne before they come unto me, surrendering?
He said, “O you chiefs, whichever one of you will come up to me with (i.e., bring) her throne before they come up to me as Muslims?” (Or: in surrender).
Then he said, ‘Counsellors, which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?’
Quran 27 Verse 38 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Naml ayat 38, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(27:38) Solomon said: “My nobles, which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me in submission?”
43. The details of the story that have been omitted are to the effect. The envoys returned to the queen with the gift and made a report of what they had seen and heard. The queen decided on the basis of what she heard about the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) to make a visit to Jerusalem to see him personally. She left Saba for Palestine accompanied by her royal entourage and sent a message to Solomon’s court that she was coming to personally hear the invitation from the king and to have a direct talk with him. Here, the story is resumed from the time when the queen had reached near Jerusalem and was going to appear before Solomon (peace be upon him) in a day or two.
44. That is, the same throne about which the hoopoe (hudhud) had reported, “She has a splendid throne.” Some commentators have given a strange interpretation here. They say that the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) wanted to have the throne before him before the queen’s arrival because he wanted to take possession of it. For, he feared that if the queen became a Muslim. It would be unlawful to take possession of her property without her approval: therefore, he made haste to have the queen’s throne with him even before her arrival in Jerusalem, because at that time it was lawful to take it into his possession. May Allah pardon us! This is a strange concept about the intention of a prophet. Why should one not understand the verse in the light that Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) wanted to show a miracle also to the queen and her courtiers besides preaching his message so that she might know what extraordinary powers Allah, Lord of the worlds, had granted His prophet so that she might be convinced that Solomon (peace be upon him) was surely a prophet of Allah? Some modern commentators have put an even more strange meaning on this verse. They translate the verse thus: “Which of you can bring me a throne for the queen:” whereas the Quran has used the word bi-arshi-ha which means “her throne”, and not biarshil- laha, “a throne for her”. They mistranslate the verse in order to get rid of what the Quran has stated that the Prophet Solomon (peace be upon him) wanted the queen’s own throne to be brought froth Yaman to Jerusalem and that too before the queen’s arrival.
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.”
Muhammad bin Ishaq reported from Yazid bin Ruman: “When the messengers returned with word of what Sulayman said, she said: `By Allah, I knew he was more than a king, and that we have no power to match him, and that we can gain nothing by being stubborn with him. So, she sent word to him saying: “I am coming to you with the leaders of my people to see what you will instruct us to do and what you are calling us to of your religion.” Then she issued commands that her throne, which was made of gold and inlaid with rubies, chrysolite and pearls, should be placed in the innermost of seven rooms, one within the other, and all the doors should be locked. Then she told her deputy whom she was leaving in charge, “Take care of my people and my throne, and do not let anyone approach it or see it until I come back to you.” Then she set off to meet Sulayman with twelve thousand of her commanders from the leaders of Yemen, under each of whose command were many thousands of men. Sulayman sent the Jinn to bring him news of her progress and route every day and night, then when she drew near, he gathered together the Jinns and humans who were under his control and said:
(O chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience (as Muslims)).”
(An `Ifrit from the Jinn said: ) Mujahid said, “A giant Jinn.” Abu Salih said, “It was as if he was a mountain.”
(I will bring it to you before you rise from your place.) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “Before you get up from where you are sitting.” As-Suddi and others said: “He used to sit to pass judgements and rulings over the people, and to eat, from the beginning of the day until noon.”
(And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for such work.) Ibn `Abbas said: “Strong enough to carry it and trustworthy with the jewels it contains. Sulayman, upon him be peace, said, “I want it faster than that.” From this it seems that Sulayman wanted to bring this throne as a demonstration of the greatness of the power and authority that Allah had bestowed upon him and the troops that He had subjugated to him. Power such as had never been given to anyone else, before or since, so that this would furnish proof of his prophethood before Bilqis and her people, because this would be a great and wondrous thing, if he brought her throne as if he were in her country, before they could come to it, although it was hidden and protected by so many locked doors. When Sulayman said, “I want it faster than that,
(One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: ) Ibn `Abbas said, “This was Asif, the scribe of Sulayman.” It was also narrated by Muhammad bin Ishaq from Yazid bin Ruman that he was Asif bin Barkhiya’ and he was a truthful believer who knew the Greatest Name of Allah. Qatadah said: “He was a believer among the humans, and his name was Asif.”
(I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!) Meaning, lift your gaze and look as far as you can, and before you get tired and blink, you will find it before you. Then he got up, performed ablution and prayed to Allah, may He be exalted. Mujahid said: “He said, O Owner of majesty and honor.” When Sulayman and his chiefs saw it before them,
(he said: “This is by the grace of my Lord…”) meaning, `this is one of the blessings which Allah has bestowed upon me.’
(to test whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for himself;) This is like the Ayat:
(Whosoever does righteous good deed, it is for himself; and whosoever does evil, it is against himself.) (41:46)
(and whosoever does righteous good deed, then such will prepare a good place for themselves.) (30:44).
(and whoever is ungrateful, certainly my Lord is Rich, Bountiful.) He has no need of His servants or their worship.
(Bountiful) He is Bountiful in and of Himself, even if no one were to worship Him. His greatness does not depend on anyone. This is like what Musa said: p
(If you disbelieve, you and all on earth together, then verily, Allah is Rich, Owner of all praise.) (14:8). It is recorded in Sahih Muslim:
(Allah, may He be exalted, says: “O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, mankind and Jinn alike, were all to be as pious as the most pious among you, that would not add to My dominion in the slightest. O My servants, if the first of you and the last of you, mankind and Jinn alike, were all to be as evil as the most evil one among you, that would not detract from My dominion in the slightest. O My servants, these are deeds which I am recording for you, and I will judge you according to them, so whoever finds something good, let him praise Allah, and whoever finds otherwise, let him blame no one but himself.”)
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