The Story of Saba'(Sheba) (Part-1)

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Allah the Almighty says:
{Indeed there was for Saba' (Sheba) a sign in their dwelling-place -two gardens on the right hand and on the left,; (and it was said to them:) "Eat of the provision of your Lord, and be grateful to Him.' A fair land and an Oft-Forgiving Lord! But they turned away (from the obedience of Allah), so We sent against them Sail AI-'Arim (flood released from the dam), and We converted their two gardens into gardens producing bitter bad fruit, and tamarisks, and some few lotetrees. Like this We requited them because they were ungrateful disbelievers. And never do We requite in such a way except those who are ungrateful (disbelievers). And We placed, between them and the towns which We had blessed, towns easy to be seen, and We made the stages (of journey) between them easy (saying): "Travel in them safely both by night and day. " But they said: "Our Lord! Make the stages between our journey longer," and they wronged themselves; so We made them as tales (in the land), and We dispersed them all totally. Verily, in this are indeed signs for every steadfast, grateful (person)}. (Saba', 15-19)

Scholars of genealogy -among them was Muhammad Ibn Ishaq -said: the name of Saba' is `Abd Shams Ibn Yashjub Ibn Ya`rub Ibn Qahtan. He was the first to take captives and he was very generous to the people. As-Suhaili said: it is said that he was the first person to be crowned, and some scholars said he was Muslim and that he composed poetry in which he brought good news to the advent of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). This last saying was attributed to Ibn Didya in his book titled: [At-Tanwir fi Maulid Al-Bashir AnNadhir]

Imam Ahmed said: I have been told by Abu `Abdur Rahman, after `Abdullah Ibn Luhai` ah, after `Abdullah Ibn Da`lah saying: I heard `Abdullah Ibn Al`Abbas as saying: A man asked Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) about Saba', whether it was a man, a woman, or a name of a land? He (Peace be upon him) said: Verily, he was a man to whom ten sons were born. Six thereof inhabited the Yemen andfour Sham (Syria). Those in Yemen were: Madhhaj, Kindah, Al-Azd, Al-Ash `ariyun, Anmar and Himyar. And those who inhabited Syria were: Laghm, Judham, ` Amilah and Ghassan." The Questioner was Farwah Ibn Musaik Al-Ghatifi.

This means that the term Saba' covers all these tribes; among them also were At- Tababi `ah (Sing. Tubba` ) in the Yemen. Their kings used to put crowns on as were done by kings of Persia. The Arabs used to call whomsoever rules over the Yemen and Hadramaut "Tubba`", as they used to call kings of Sham (Syria) and the Arab Peninsula "Caesar", and the ruler of Persia "Khusrau", the ruler of Egypt Fir` aun (Pharaoh), the ruler of Abyssinia "Negus", and the ruler of India "Ptolemes", and Bilqis was from among the Himyar kings who ruled the Yemen. They lived in happiness and easiness, with abundance of sustenance: fruits, plants, etc. and they were righteous people who followed the Straight Path, but when they altered the Grace of Allah and denied it, they inevitably incurred to themselves and their peoples destruction and devastation.

Muhammad Ibn Ishaq narrating from Wahb Ibn Munabah said: Allah the Almighty sent them thirteen Prophets. And, As-Sadi claimed that Allah the Almighty sent them twelve thousand Prophets. Allah knows best!

The point is, when they replaced guidance with misguidance and prostrated themselves before the sun instead of Allah the Almighty, the matter which took place during the era of Bilqis and her ancestors and that which continued till Allah sent over them a flood released from the dam. Allah the Almighty explained: {But they turned away (from the obedience of Allah), so We sent against them Sail Al-`Arim (flood released from the dam), and We converted their two gardens into gardens producing bitter bad fruit, and tamarisks, and some few lote trees. Like this We requited them because they were ungrateful disbelievers. And never do We requite in such a way except those who are ungrateful (disbelievers)}.

To read the next part of this story, click here.

By: Ibn Katheer Translated by Ali As-Sayed Al-Halawani

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