Surah 34

SABA’ (Sheba)

In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the 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 of it; all that comes down from the sky and all that ascends to it. And he is the most merciful, the oft-forgiving.

3 The unbelievers say, Never will the Hour come to us. Say: No, 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 what was sent down to you from your Lord is the truth, and that it guides to the path of the exalted one, worthy of all praise.

7 The unbelievers say: Shall we point out to you a man that will tell you, when you are all scattered to pieces in disintegration, that you shall then be raised in a new creation?


8 Has he invented a falsehood against Allah, or has a spirit seized him? No, it is those who believe not in the hereafter, that will receive a penalty, and are in farthest error.

9 Do they not see 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. Truly in this is a sign for every devotee that turns to Allah.

10 We bestowed grace aforetime on Dawud from ourselves: O you mountains! Sing back the praises of Allah with him and you birds also! And we made the iron soft for him;

11 Commanding, make coats of mail, balancing well the rings of chain armour, and work you righteousness; for be sure I see all that you do.

12 And to Sulayman we made the wind obedient: its early morning 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, basins as large as reservoirs, and cooking cauldrons fixed in their places. “Work, sons of Dawud, with thanks.” But few of my servants are grateful.

14 Then, when we decreed Sulayman’s death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept 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 stayed in the humiliating penalty.


15 There was for Saba, aforetime, a sign in their homeland 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 lote trees.

17 That was the reward we gave them because they ungrateful rejected faith: and never do we give such reward except to such as are ungrateful rejecters.

18 Between them and 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. At length we made them as a tale, and we dispersed them all in scattered fragments. Truly in this are signs for everyone constant and grateful.

20 And on them did Satan prove true his idea, and they followed him, all but a party that believed.

21 But he had no authority over them, except that we might test the man who believes in the hereafter from him who is in doubt concerning it: and your Lord watches over all things.

22 Say: Call upon other gods whom you fancy, besides Allah: they have no power, not the weight of an atom, in the heavens or on earth: no share have they in them, nor is any of them a helper to Allah.


23 No intercession can avail in his presence, except for the one[1] to whom he has granted permission. So far is this the case that, when terror is removed from their hearts at the day of judgment, then will they say, What is it that your Lord commanded? They will say, That which is true and just; and he is the most high, most great.

24 Say: Who gives you sustenance, from the heavens and the earth? Say: It is Allah; and certain it is that either we or you are on right guidance or in clear error.

25 Say: You shall not be questioned as to our sins, nor we be questioned as to what you do.

26 Say: Our Lord will gather us together and will in the end decide the matter between us in truth and justice: and he is the one to decide, the one who knows all.

27 Say: Show me those whom you have joined with him as partners: by no means can you. No, he is Allah, the exalted in power, the wise.

28 We have not sent you but as a universal messenger to men, giving them glad tidings, and warning them, but most men understand not.

29 They say: When will this promise come to pass if you are telling the truth?

30 Say: The appointment to you is for a day, which you cannot put back for an hour nor put forward.

31 The unbelievers say: We shall neither believe in this scripture nor in any that came before it. Could you but see when the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, throwing back the word of blame on one another. Those who had been despised will say to the arrogant ones: Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers.


32 The arrogant ones will say to those who had been despised: Was it we who kept you back from guidance after it reached you? No, rather, it was you who transgressed.

33 Those who had been despised will say to the arrogant ones: No, it was a plot of yours by day and by night: behold you constantly ordered us to be ungrateful to Allah and to attribute equals to him. They will declare their repentance when they see the penalty: We shall put yokes on the necks of the unbelievers: it would only be reward for their deeds.

34 Never did we send a warner to a population, but the wealthy ones among them said: We believe not in the message with which you have been sent.

35 They said: We have more in wealth and in sons, and we cannot be punished.

36 Say: Truly my Lord enlarges and restricts the provision to whom he pleases, but most men understand not.

37 It is not your wealth nor your sons, that will bring you nearer to us in degree: but only those who believe and work righteousness these are the ones for whom there is a multiplied reward for their deeds, while they live in secure dwellings on high.

38 Those who strive against our signs, to frustrate them, will be given over into punishment.

39 Say: Truly my Lord enlarges and restricts the sustenance to such of his servants as he pleases: and nothing do you spend in the least but he replaces it: for he is the best of those who grant sustenance.


40 One day he will gather them all together, and say to the angels, Was it you that these men used to worship?

41 They will say, Glory to you! Our tie is with you as protector, not with them. No, but they worshipped the Jinns: most of them believed in them.

42 So on that day no power shall they have over each other, for profit or harm: and we shall say to the wrongdoers, Taste the penalty of the fire, the which you used to deny!

43 When our clear signs are rehearsed to them, they say, This is only a man who wishes to hinder you from the worship which your fathers practised. And they say: This is only a falsehood invented and the unbelievers say of the truth when it comes to them, This is nothing but evident magic.

44 But we had not given them books which they could study, nor sent messengers to them before you as warners.

45 And their predecessors rejected the truth; these have not received a tenth of what we had granted to those: yet when they rejected my messengers, how terrible was my rejection of them!

46 Say: “I admonish you on one point: to stand up before Allah in pairs, or singly, and reflect. Your companion is not possessed. He is no less than a warner to you in the face of a terrible penalty.”

47 Say: No reward do I ask of you: it is all in your interest: my reward is only due from Allah: and he is witness to all things.

48 Say: Truly my Lord casts the truth. He has full knowledge of all that is hidden.


49 Say: The truth has arrived, and falsehood neither creates anything new, nor restores anything.

50 Say: If I am astray, I only stray to the loss of my own soul: but if I receive guidance, it is because of the inspiration of my Lord to me: if is he who hears all things, and is ever near.

51 If you could but see when they will quake with terror; but then there will be no escape for them, and they will be seized from a position nearby.

52 And they will say, We do believe now in the truth; but how could they receive faith from a position so far off,

53 Seeing that they rejected faith before, and that they cast slanders on the unseen from a position far off?

54 And between them and their desires, is placed a barrier, as was done in the past with their partisans: for they were indeed in suspicious doubt.


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[1] Al-Kitab identifies only one person as having the power of intercession–Prophet ‘Isa al-Masih. The Taurat says prophetically that ‘Isa “bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Shaya 53:12). The Injil plainly teaches that ‘Isa “is also able to save completely those who draw near to Allah through him, seeing he lives forever to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).