Surah 34. Saba’ (Sheba)
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
1. Praise be to Allah, to Whom belong all things in the heavens and on earth: to Him be Praise in the Hereafter: and He is Full of Wisdom, acquainted with all things.
2. He knows all that goes into the earth, and all that comes out thereof; all that comes down from the sky and all that ascends thereto and He is the Most Merciful, the Oft-Forgiving.
3. The Unbelievers say, “Never to us will come the Hour”: Say, “Nay! but most surely, by my Lord, it will come upon you;- by Him Who knows the unseen,- from Whom is not hidden the least little atom in the heavens or on earth: Nor is there anything less than that, or greater, but is in the Record Perspicuous:
4. That He may reward those who believe and work deeds of righteousness: for such is Forgiveness and a Sustenance Most Generous.”
5. But those who strive against Our Signs, to frustrate them,- for such will be a Penalty,- a Punishment most humiliating.
6. And those to whom knowledge has come see that the (Revelation) sent down to thee from thy Lord – that is the Truth, and that it guides to the Path of the Exalted (in might), Worthy of all praise.
7. The Unbelievers say (in ridicule): “Shall we point out to you a man that will tell you, when ye are all scattered to pieces in disintegration, that ye shall (then be raised) in a New Creation?
8. “Has he invented a falsehood against Allah, or has a spirit (seized) him?”- Nay, it is those who believe not in the Hereafter, that are in (real) Penalty, and in farthest error.
9. See they not what is before them and behind them, of the sky and the earth? If We wished, We could cause the earth to swallow them up, or cause a piece of the sky to fall upon them. Verily in this is a Sign for every devotee that turns to Allah (in repentance).
10. We bestowed Grace aforetime on David from ourselves: “O ye Mountains! Sing ye back the Praises of Allah with him! and ye birds (also)! And We made the iron soft for him;-
11. (Commanding), “Make thou coast of mail, balancing well the rings of chain armour, and work ye righteousness; for be sure I see (clearly) all that ye do.”
12. And to Solomon (We made) the Wind (obedient): Its early morning (stride) was a month’s (journey), and its evening (stride) was a month’s (journey); and We made a Font of molten brass to flow for him; and there were Jinns that worked in front of him, by the leave of his Lord, and if any of them turned aside from our command, We made him taste of the Penalty of the Blazing Fire.
13. They worked for him as he desired, (making) arches, images, basons as large as reservoirs, and (cooking) cauldrons fixed (in their places): “Work ye, sons of David, with thanks! but few of My servants are grateful!”
14. Then, when We decreed (Solomon’s) death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the Jinns saw plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task).
15. 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!
16. But they turned away (from Allah., and We sent against them the Flood (released) from the dams, and We converted their two garden (rows) into “gardens” producing bitter fruit, and tamarisks, and some few (stunted) Lote-trees.
17. That was the Requital We gave them because they ungratefully rejected Faith: and never do We give (such) requital except to such as are ungrateful rejecters.
18. Between them and the Cities on which We had poured our blessings, We had placed Cities in prominent positions, and between them We had appointed stages of journey in due proportion: “Travel therein, secure, by night and by day.”
19. But they said: “Our Lord! Place longer distances between our journey- stages”: but they wronged themselves (therein). At length We made them as a tale (that is told), and We dispersed them all in scattered fragments. Verily in this are Signs for every (soul that is) patiently constant and grateful.
20. And on them did Satan prove true his idea, and they followed him, all but a party that believed.
1. Surat Saba’, like surat Al-Naml, is a surah that discusses the issue of success in civilizations; it continues the meaning started by surat Al-Naml. Surat Al-Naml focuses on working with the building blocks of civilization, from education to technological development to management, whereas surat Saba’ asks those who wish to build a culture and a nation: What is the basis of this culture? What is the foundation? The objective of the surah is the importance and the need for of faith in modern civilization.
2. The surah discusses two contrasting types of civilizations: One that believes in Allah (SWT) and surrenders to Him, that of Dawud (AS) and Solaiman (AS) and one that disobeys Allah (SWT) and refuses His path, that is of Saba’.
3. The surah’s order in the Qur’an after surat Al-Ahzab emphasizes, that reformation of the groups inside with faith is the path to building a strong civilization.
4. The first type, which is that of a believing and trusting civilization, can be found in Prophet Dawud (AS), who was granted power and authority by Allah (SWT).
5. The second type of civilization is one that refuses to surrender to Allah (SWT) and is punished and annihilated for such a refusal. This surah is named after such a people so that it may be a lesson to be learned by others.
6. After presenting both types of civilizations, the surah generalizes the concept and points out that the civilizations’ disbelief in Allah (SWT) brings its downfall.
7. Therefore, guidance is offered for anyone wishing to establish a civilization or build a nation. For those of you with plans to build the glory of Islam –you should know it, and keep it in mind as you work on your mission.
source: Amr Khaled