Queen Bilqis summoned her chieftains, and after reading out the letter, invited their views. She said that they were well aware of the fact that the State matters were always resolved with their counsel.
The Importance Of Counsel
It is obvious that in pre-Islamic days too some rulers did acknowledge the importance of counsel, while Islam emphasized it so much that the Holy Prophet-SW himself consulted his-SW Companions-RAU on various issues.
The chieftains of her court asserted that if the situation demanded an encounter, their military prowess was second to none, and they were the celebrated warriors. Otherwise the ultimate decision rested with her and she may command whatever she thought was the best. She said that it was not proper to go to war now, but to probe into various options first, as there is possibility of both victory and defeat in a war. The latter ushers in devastation as the conquerors ransack the cities and humiliate the elite, and this was an open fact
The Conduct Of Conquerors Versus The Muslims
Here the rulers are being educated that a war must only be waged in the best interest of the country when no other option is open. No countries and nations are to be plunged into war for the satisfaction of personal motives. Besides, the Queen of Saba has painted a true picture of the ungodly conquerors. Islam has replaced war with Jihad which does not aim at humiliating the opponent but at preventing him from evil. And the history of Islam bears witness that the Muslim conquerors extended a fair and forbearing treatment even to their non believing defeated opponents, but ironically today they are called terrorists by the Wild West. The Companions-RAU are far too exalted to be mentioned, while the situation in Palestine alone gives a fair comparison between the Muslim and Jewish occupation.
Moreover, Queen Bilqis also knew that it was not only a king's word but a word pertaining to belief. It was also an invitation to renounce the ungodly religion and believe in Allah-SWT . So she wanted to check whether the king was motivated by ambition to conquer under cover of religion or was truly a Prophet-AS. If he-AS was an opportunist, he-AS would be confronted otherwise obedience has to be pledged, for war would inevitably result in defeat in the latter case
No Benefit Against Din
Therefore, the queen decided to send highly precious gifts through her envoys and waited for the response. If the king was seeking temporal gains, he would be very pleased to receive the valuables, or may even ask for more, but if he was truly a Prophet-AS, he would never compromise over his faith, she said. It is proven here that an ungodly society or system of running the Government should not be accepted merely for some benefits; rather it is imperative to oppose it tooth and nail. And as for the acceptance of a gift from a non believer, it was sometimes accepted and at others rejected by the Holy Prophet-SW depending upon the circumstances. When it was offered for a compromise on Din, the Holy Prophet-SW rejected it, and where it was as a token of goodwill, it was accepted. In this case a long list of gifts has been recorded which were sent to Prophet Sulaiman-AS, including gold bars, gems, slaves and maids etc. Obviously it was a tribute from a very prosperous and a great kingdom to a singularly glorious Emperor, and had to be extremely precious. Along with the gifts, the envoys carried some questions.
Allah-SWT the Most Munificent, informed Prophet Sulaiman-AS beforehand. He-AS therefore, ordered the laying of a gold and silver pathway extending far beyond his court, and lined up soldiers, Jinn, animals and birds in their ranks on both sides. His-AS court was also magnificently decorated. When the envoys arrived they immediately realised the insignificance of their gifts. Prophet Sulaiman-AS told them that they wanted to allure him-AS with mundane goods whereas Allah-SWT had favoured him-AS with treasures beyond measure. They must take their gifts back, and also take a close look at his-AS legions. Their nation will not be able to counter these when attacked while their rulers would be exiled in utter humiliation. So the envoys returned thoroughly impressed along with answers to the questions sent by the queen. They recounted to the queen the grandeur and glory of the empire as well as its military might. Queen Bilqis decided to submit to the Prophet-AS and personally visit him-AS for this purpose. According to the Commentators there were twelve thousand chieftains accompanying the queen, leading an army of a hundred thousand soldiers. On the other end, when Prophet Sulaiman-AS got the news of her arrival, he-AS asked his-AS courtiers as to who amongst them could bring the Queen's celebrated throne before her arrival.
Miracle, Karamah And Tasarruf
This famous throne had been built indoors, inside the royal chamber of the castle. It was indeed impossible to move it out in the first place and that also under the very nose of the royal guards. The words of Prophet Sulaiman-AS suggest that it could be brought by his-AS men. This Karamah of his-AS men would in fact be a miracle of the Prophet-AS himself. In other words, the Prophet-AS wanted to back up the temporal grandeur with the manifestation of a miracle so that he-AS may not be taken just as an Emperor but also be recognised as Allah-SWT’s Prophet-AS. A Prophet-AS's miracle humbles all logical reasoning; which indeed is a Divine Act. Similarly when such a thing is manifested at the hands of a devoted follower it is termed as Karamah and is indeed the miracle of his Prophet-AS. The other category is the Spiritual Sway, which is a kind of Karamah, though a Karamah does not involve intention. However, where one intends to do a thing and it is done it is called Tasarruf or Spiritual Sway which is demonstrated here. A mighty Jinn answering the Prophet-AS’s call claimed that he could bring the throne before his court was adjourned. The task was formidable. The throne was massive and was kept inside the palace, studded with precious gems. It was under constant guard. Yet Allah-SWT had given him so much power that he could carry it and bring it with utmost trust and honesty. Then, a person blessed with knowledge of Allah-SWT’s Book announced that he could bring the throne before the blinking of an eye.
The Knowledge Of Allah-SWT's Book
Allah-SWT ’s Book does not carry only words and meanings but every consonant and syllable is also enriched with Divine Lights, Refulgence and spiritual states that descend upon a Prophet-AS’s heart. These are in turn transmitted to the truly devoted followers from heart to heart. The custodians of these spiritual states are called the Aulia’ who indeed are heirs to the Prophets-AS. Otherwise those who merely play with the words and meanings of the Book often end up using it for earning livelihood. These custodians also possess spiritual sway proportionate to their capacity; as manifested on different occasions. A spiritual probe earned out under the supervision of the illustrious Shaikh Allah Yar Khan-RUA revealed that this member of Prophet Sulaiman-AS Royal Court, identified as Asif bin Barkhia by the Commentators, focused the lights of his Qalb on to the Queen's Throne, and pronounced “Allah-SWT ” once. The throne was instantly in front of them.
When Prophet Sulaiman-AS saw it, he-AS praised Allah-SWT for favouring him-AS with such competent courtiers and with such grandeur. It may be a form of trial for him-AS, to see whether he-AS offered thanks to Him-SWT or not. Whoever is grateful to Allah-SWT , he does it for his own good, and anyone who resorts to ingratitude, Allah-SWT is least bothered, for He-SWT is far too exalted and Absolute. He-SWT is extremely Munificent and gives such remarkable distinctions to His-SWT bondsmen. The Prophet-AS now ordered that certain unassuming alteration be made in the Throne, such as inter shifting of jewels in order to see how intelligent the queen was. So when the queen arrived she was asked whether her throne was also like this. She said that it indeed looked like her throne. She added that there was no longer any need for this great miracle as she had already fathomed that Sulaiman-AS was Allah-SWT’s Prophet, and they had come to pledge loyalty to him-AS.
The Evil Effects Of Rituals
It is said that she was a wise woman who had not embraced faith earlier, being a captive of the rituals of her infidel nation, which drifted her away from the truth. It was amidst their evil traditions that she had been brought up. Obviously it was the evil influence of these rituals that she, in spite of being so intelligent, had stayed ignorant. Now she was enlightened immediately on receiving the lights of Prophethood.
She was escorted inside the palace. It was adorned with glass and crystal, which also covered the fish ponds. As she approached, she failed to notice the glass pavement on the fish ponds and pulled up her dress as if she was stepping in water. She was told that it was a glass floor and she may cross over safely. Now she lamented how those who cannot find their way inside a palace could determine the path of guidance by themselves? We had wronged ourselves by assuming that we were on the right path. “I now surrender together with Prophet Sulaiman-AS as a believer in Your-SWT Unity. You-SWT are the Sustainer of the worlds.”
The Quran concludes the story here. There are varying versions, some suggest that Prophet Sulaiman-AS married Queen Bilqis, reinstated her to power, had a palace built for her and spent a few days with her every month. However, these versions cannot be relied upon. Only Allah-SWT knows, but even if this had happened it cannot be a pretext for a woman's rule, as the queen no longer was the monarch but only his-AS representative. Above all, the Muslims have to follow the Shari’ah of Prophet Muhammad-SW. The queen was greatly favoured by Allah-SWT , and caused her nation's conversion to faith.