And he reviewed the birds, and said, How is it that I see not the lapwing? Is it one of the absent?
Surely, with a severe chastisement will I chastise it, or I will certainly slaughter it, unless it bring me a clear excuse.
I found a woman reigning over them, gifted with everything, and she hath a splendid throne;
And I found her and her people worshipping the sun instead of God; and Satan hath made their works fair seeming to them, so that he hath turned them from the Way: wherefore they are not guided,
To the worship of God, who bringeth to light the secret things of heaven and earth, and knoweth what men conceal and what they manifest:
God! there is no god but He! the lord of the glorious throne!
He said, We shall see whether thou hast spoken truth, or whether thou art of them that lie.
Go with this my letter and throw it down to them: then turn away from them and await their answer.
It is from Solomon; and it is this: In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful!
She said, O my nobles, advise me in mine affair: I decide it not without your concurrence.6
She said, Kings when they enter a city spoil it, and abase the mightiest of its people: and in like manner will these also do.
But I will send to them with a gift, and await what my envoys bring back.
And when the messenger came to Solomon, he said, Aid ye me with riches? But what God hath given to me is better than what he hath given you: yet ye glory in your gifts:
Return to them: for we will surely come to them with forces which they cannot withstand, and we will drive them from their land humbled and contemptible.
Said he, O nobles, which of you will bring me her throne before they come to me, submitting? (Muslims).
An Efreet7 of the Djinn said: I will bring it thee ere thou risest from thy place: I have power for this and am trusty.
And one who had the knowledge of Scripture said, I will bring it to thee in the twinkling of an eye.8 And when he saw it set before him, he said, This is of the favour of my Lord, to try me whether I will be thankful or unthankful. And he who is thankful is thankful to his own behoof; and as for him who is unthankfultruly my Lord is self-sufficient, bounteous!
Said he, Make her throne so that she know it not: we shall see whether she hath or not guidance.
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