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Islamic History (30 Apr 2015 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Quran's Narration of Meeting between King Solomon and Queen of Sheba Shows How Science Helps Dispel the Illusion of False Gods And Enlightens the Mind


By Aftab Ahmad, New Age Islam

30 April 2015

The Quran narrates the story of the meeting of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, a sun-worshipper and the latter embracing Islam after some observations she made in the palace and gave her own explanation for leaving sun-worship and embracing Islam succinctly.

Apart from its outer message, the story has a deeper meaning which till now has generally been ignored. When King and prophet Solomon came to know from a bird (hoopoe) that there was another land ruled by a queen and she and her countrymen worshipped the Sun and not God, he sent her a letter asking her to submit to one God and come to meet her. She finally arrived at King Solomon’s palace but before the actual meeting took place between them and before King Solomon could deliver a long speech stressing the virtues of his religion (Islam), she declared that she became a Muslim. What compelled her to have belief in one God and realize that Islam was the true religion?

Actually, Queen of Sheba, named Bilquis was more influenced and impressed by the scientific and industrial development of King Solomon’s kingdom. The power derived from this scientific development rendered her overawed. She formed the opinion that believers in one God have immense spiritual and scientific powers. She also realized that there was a veil on her sight and her consciousness that prevented her from realizing the truth of nature and the universe. The illusion of falsehood was removed by the observation of a higher manifestation of knowledge in King Solomon’s palace. It also proves the fact that a greater scientific understanding of objects and the nature leads man to a greater understanding of the existence of God.

The story starts with the hoopoe telling King Solomon that a kingdom in a distant land is ruled by a queen and she and her subjects are sun-worshippers. They have been bestowed all the bounties from God but they do not prostrate to God but to the Sun. King Solomon, who was a also a prophet of God and a very pious and righteous man told hoopoe to deliver his letter asking her to come to him as a Muslim. Queen of Sheba consulted her courtiers and army officers and asked for their advice. They said that they were brave people always ready to obey her and were ready to fight and defend the country but the final decision was to be taken by her.

Queen of Sheba said that when kings attack a country, it causes large scale destruction on both sides. So she would prefer extending a hand of friendship towards Solomon by sending his some valuable gifts. So she sends her courtiers to Solomon with valuable gift. But King Solomon said that he did not rejoice in those gifts as God had already given him wealth and power. He only wanted their queen and them to submit to God. So they returned and told her about King Solomon’s non-acceptance of the gifts and his warning.

After the courtiers of Queen of Sheba left, King Solomon called all his ministers among whom djinns were also present. He asked the ministers if someone from them could bring the throne of Queen of Sheba to his palace before they surrendered to him as Muslims.

One of the djinns said that he could bring her throne before he will rise from his throne. That is, he will bring the throne very swiftly as he was made for this task only.

But another minister who had the knowledge of the ‘scripture’ claimed that he will bring the throne before he turned his eyes or in the blink of an eye.

And in the next moment, King Solomon saw the throne before his eyes in his palace. So when Queen of Sheba arrived at the gate of the palace, she was shown her throne lying there. The ministers asked her, “Isn’t it your throne?” She said, “It appears very much like my throne.” King Solomon said, “We have been given the knowledge before her.”

After that she was told to enter the palace. When she entered the palace, she thought that the floor was flooded with water. So she pulled up her robe and exposed her shin. The ministers were bemused and said to her, “This is not water but the floor is made of smooth glass which creates the illusion of water.”

Queen of Sheba was first surprised at this scientific marvel and then said to herself, “O my Lord, I have indeed wronged myself. And I submit with Solomon to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.”

Here, Queen of Sheba seems to be overawed by the scientific powers of King Solomon and not as a Muslim king. King Solomon’s kingdom is shown in the Quran as one industrially and scientifically developed apart from the fact that he had control over the djinns and the demons and birds and animals. His royal palace was built on scientific principles and the floor was made of a kind of glass that created the illusion of water. Such a phenomenon would have been a miracle in those days though in the modern and scientifically developed age, it would be a commonplace incident. Her throne was brought to Solomon’s palace by one his ministers who had the knowledge of the ‘scripture’ or a specific knowledge from a holy book that would enable anyone to achieve this scientific feat. So when she arrived at the gate of the Solomon’s palace and found her throne lying there, she was taken aback and was awestruck at King Solomon’s power. When she realized that she mistook glass for water, she uttered in self realization that her illusion was because of her lack of insight. She mistook glass for water as she mistook sun for God. The spiritual and scientific power of King Solomon and his ministers observed by her on her visit to the palace created a very lofty image of Muslims in her eye. Are Muslims like that? Are Muslims so intellectually, spiritually and scientifically developed? Does belief in one God lead them to this development and power? She realized that though she too was the queen and also had her powerful ministers but they could not acquire these powers because they were devoid of the true wisdom and insight: they could not prevented her throne being taken away.

Here King Solomon invites Queen of Sheba to his palace obviously for preaching to her Islam and the worship of One God. But before the proper meeting is held between the two, she realizes that she was wrong to worship false gods because she did not have the insight. And she at once realized her lack of insight when she was told that it was not water but glass.

She was told, "Enter the palace." But when she saw it, she thought it was a body of water and uncovered her shins [to wade through]. He said, "Indeed, it is a palace [whose floor is] made smooth with glass." She said, "My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I submit with Solomon to Allah, Lord of the worlds."

From the verses of the Quran, we come to know that King Solomon also had factories where large furnaces for melting copper were set up and djinns would work in those factories day and night and build houses and other installations under the king’s order.

“And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind - its morning [journey was that of] a month - and its afternoon [journey was that of] a month, and We made flow for him a spring of [liquid] copper. And among the jinn were those who worked for him by the permission of his Lord. And whoever deviated among them from Our command - We will make him taste of the punishment of the Blaze. They made for him what he willed of elevated chambers, statues, bowls like reservoirs, and stationary kettles. [We said], "Work, O family of David, in gratitude." And few of My servants are grateful." (Saba: 10-13)

The furnaces the Quran mentions are only found in modern day factories where copper is melted and many tools and utensils of copper are made.

After visiting Solomon’s industrialized and scientifically developed country, Queen of Sheba at once held her own sultanate in contrast where there was no scientific development and scientific temperament. This made her form the opinion that Muslims are a scientifically developed nation. “O my Lord, are Muslims like this? So scientifically, industrially and spiritually developed?”

And she at once said, “Aslamto”. I become a Muslim.

Therefore, the story has a deep allegorical and philosophical significance that drives home the message that belief in non-gods or false gods is due to a lack of understanding of the reality of universe and nature and science only helps lift the curtain from this illusion of falsehood and enlightens the mind.

Aftab Ahmad is a columnist for New Age Islam.  He has been studying the Holy Quran for some time.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-history/aftab-ahmad,-new-age-islam/quran-s-narration-of-meeting-between-king-solomon-and-queen-of-sheba-shows-how-science-helps-dispel-the-illusion-of-false-gods-and-enlightens-the-mind/d/102750



  • 2CH 7:5, 8-9 Solomon sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep in one week.

    To please what! merciful God!

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/7/2015 2:22:24 AM

  • Mr ahmed has showed his displeasure on my comments  on almost every theme of the Quran. I understand his position but as he has rights to speak wpositive aspects I also have rights to question them  put other side.
    For a believer it is painful to hear agaianst what he believes in. That is why it very difficult to bring change in belief syatems compared to scientific theories.
    I am sorry for this pain to believers but it can't stop me from questioning the beliefs which are responsible for what we are seeing and want to change.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 10:59:28 PM

  • According to Quran, queen Sheeba (bilquis) turned Muslim when she witnessed the wisdom of king Solomon the monotheist.
    If the Bible and the Quran has single source, why they are contradictory on almost everything. Common is very less and contradictions is more.
    As usual the Quran says opposite of bible in matter of Soliman.
    Polygamy of Solomon may not be of any consideration in the Quran but the Quran paints a very rosy picture of him.
    On the other hand Bible accuse him of apostasy.
    In love of hundreds unbelievers wives and thousands concubines he worshipped some idols. 
    Is Quran true in saying that Bible is corrupt? 
    Why so much contradiction in two words of the Quran?
    Mr Aftab ignored Bible while the prophet Solomon was prophet/king of Bible first.
    As a Muslim Mr Aftab may be believing the bible is corrupt and paints bad image of prophets while the Quran polishes them.
    What is the moral story of Solomon and sheeba except the Sheeba accepted monotheism which is only source of guidance to monotheists?
    Let us take both Bible and the Quran on Solomon and then decide what is true worth of the story.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 10:26:06 PM

  • Mr ahmed.
    As a believer you ended with giants and magicians. You thought that it was beyond the capacity of man.
    Is magic from God or Shaitan.
    Naturally you believe in magic.
    Who were those magicians?
    According to the Quran they were crucified after they accepted the beliefs of Moses.
    The Quran mention them as magicians and then believes. Their beliefs led them to death.
    There is no mention of their role in construction of pyramids. 
    Do you know what magicians do? How the Quran treats their magic?
    To Quran the magic is illusion not reality. Magicians entertain people by their tricks.
    the Quran strongly opposed any association of magic to the prophet.
    Your beliefs seems to be corrupted by stories Muslims have concocted and attributed to prophets.
    Your curiosity ended with jins and giants.
    You couldn't think what peof. naim has mentioned. That is a difference between a believer and curious mind that leads to admiration of past work of human beings and future possibilities.
    If jins were not mentioned in the Qur'an, you would have rejected it as false.
    Religions give easy answers which don't lead to scientific enquiry.
    Who constructed pyramids? giants. Story ends.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 10:03:52 PM

  • Mr ahmed
    So those magicians built those magnificent structures. Can you tell my how many wonders of the world were constructed by magicians?
    This is how the mind of belivers become corrupt. Golden age of Muslims ended due to people like you.
    First those scientists who studied bees or ants didn't consult the Quran. If they did, they didn't acknowledge it.
    Why muslims didn't win the Noble?
    Scientists studied how bees communicate through dance or guide others, come back to their homes. They also studied to some extent how ants communicate with their fellow ants.
    They found nothing about how ants laughed and talked and how sulaiman understood that conversation.

    There is a trend in believers, the moment a dsicovery is made all believers start jumping with "it is already in our holy books"
    And their holy books are full of unscientific, ridiculous, primitive stories.
    All people of past were not fool, but believers in those stories were/are indeed.
    People those who invented such stories were not fools. They made such stories for fools to keep control believers, to call themselves closed to God, or God. 
    Nobody denies some moral lessons found in holy books. But it doesn't make them words of God.
    God of holy books possess primitive knowledge. 
    Saints don't fly their disciples make them fly. Chele karamat ki kahaniyan banate aur phailate hain.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 1:31:50 PM

  • "King" Solomon? or Prophet Solomon? If Solomon was indeed a King then why do we call the Saudi monarchy as "Unislamic?"

    By mubashir - 5/2/2015 11:09:55 AM

  • I was sorry to see that the writer believes the people who view the Quran differently from him consider Islam and Quran "useless." That is like any Takfiri rhetoric. I certainly do not. Also, the word "Use" should not really be used with reference to a religion or scripture. People believe in a religion not for its "usefulness" but for other reasons, such as Salvation and Ethics.  

    Let me put it this way. A person looks at the pyramids and says they were built by Giants. Another person looks at them and says to himself, "How did the men of those times -- no bigger than I am, and with no mechanical tools and machines that I know of -- could have made them?" The first person does not advance Science or Human Knowledge in any manner; the other person does. The latter works out the possible ways stone could have been cut, dragged from the quarry to the site, and then raised one top of another. And that, incidentally, has been done. 

    The minsiter I did not mention -- there was no reason I should -- must have been an expert in supersonic thievery, for using his knowledge of the Book he "brought the throne from Sheba to Solomon's court in the twinkling of an eye." 

    By C. M. Naim - 5/2/2015 9:32:23 AM

  • Quran is not a book of science. But it has given guding principles of many fields of science. The Quran tells Muslims to ponder over the ways of the bees. An Aurstrian scientist won the Nobel Prize for carrying out research on the ways and system of the bees. The moment any word of wisdom is attributed to Quran people like you promptly condemn it because you want Quran and Islam to be seen as a useless book and religion.
    By ahmad - 5/2/2015 6:13:00 AM

  • Rational, the Quran was revealed in the seventh century. It uses many simple or general words to mean specific things. It uses the word hikmah to mean sciences or other complex fields of knowlege.  Didn' t God say in the Quran that he instructed Noah to build the Ark? Didn't God say in the Quran that He taught David how to make weapos and tools from Iron? So if some 'scritpure' existed whose knowlege enabled people achieve extraordinary task, why does it irritate you? The God who can taught Noah how to build a giant Ark that laid the principle and shape of something sailing on water, and taught David how to make Iron tools, can't he teach people of Solomo era to do construction work. After all, you accept that Solomon lived in a castle with glass floors. But the moment some scientific wisdom is attributed to Quran you jump to refute that. Pharaoh can built castles but God of Quran does not know any thing leave aside how to build castles. Hatred of Islam has blinded you to word of reason.
    By ahmad - 5/2/2015 6:08:00 AM

  • Have you heard about Garud in Hindu mythology. Wax some eloquence on that too? Or the owl or about elphant god? Don't they seem stories to you?
    By ahmad - 5/2/2015 5:53:48 AM

  • Why is something mentioned in the Bible in the Quran or why is something mentioned in Vedas and in the Bible is a question that has no ends. Again you accepted what the Pharaohs built and not what Solomon did. Why do you bend towards the wrong side? What Pharaohs built was also not the work of ordinary men. They were giants, if you know. Men dont use bricks of size they cant lift.So the people built the pyramids and similar structures were huge enough to lift those big stone carved bricks. And of course from the Quran we know that Pharaoh also had some magicians.
    Yes the scritpture may be about some construction work or engineering work or startrek kind of adventure. Why do you think people of the ancient time were fools and only people like you exist in this modern age?

    By ahmad - 5/2/2015 5:51:02 AM

  • Mr Ahmed
    My comment was open. Nobody asked you to respond. Still you responded.

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 3:06:32 AM

  • What was that scripture? Was it about construction work?
    How it is better than mythological stories.
    Why the Quran don't mention the maginfient work of Pharaohs, though pharaohs were mentioned in the Quran.
    Their work is among the wonders of  the world without the aid of jins. They were not prophets yet they accomplished those miracles. 

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 2:55:33 AM

  • Mr ahmed
    To me these are mythological stories whether they are in the Quran Bible or Ramayana or Mahabharata.
    Every religious person consider other stories mythology and their own stories as real.
    I ask you "is it possible that man can pregnant a fish".
    If your prophet can ascend to heaven Jesus can resurrecte.
    Do you not believe in Bible story of Noha in which a pigeon inform Nova?
    What is wrong in it? Why it is not mentioned in the Quran if both Quran and bible are words of same God?

    By rational mohammed yunus - 5/2/2015 2:35:56 AM

  • Naim sb, the story also says that in the court, one of  the ministers also said that he had the knowledge of the 'scripture'. It means there were scientists also in the court. Also, in factories, labourers work not scientists. Djins would only did manual work. When Solomon died while sitting on his throne with his staff as support, the djinns continued to work for him thinking Solomon was alive. Only when the staff of wood fell down after being eaten by insects, they came to know that Solomon was dead. They said that if they had realised it earlier, they would have his slavery earlier. This only shows the the djinns were not very intelligent let aside being scientists. The writer has left out this part.
    By ahmad - 5/2/2015 1:15:56 AM

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