them that he was dead but a reptile of the earth that gnawed the staff which supported his corpse. And when it fell, the Djinn perceived that if they had known the things unseen, they had not continued in this shameful affliction.
A sign there was to SABA, in their dwelling places:—two gardens, the one on the right hand and the other on the left:—" Eat ye of your Lord's supplies, and give thanks to him: Goodly is the country, and gracious is the Lord!"
But they turned aside: so we sent upon them the flood of Irem; and we changed them their gardens into two gardens of bitter fruit and tamarisk and some few jujube trees.
Such was our retribution on them for their ingratitude: but do we thus recompense any except the ungrateful?
And we placed between them and the cities which we have blessed, conspicuous cities, and we fixed easy stages: " Travel ye through them by night and day, secure."
But they said, " O Lord! make the distance between our journeys longer,"—and against themselves did they act unjustly: so we made them a tale, and scattered them with an utter scattering. Truly herein are signs to everyone that is patient, grateful.
And Eblis found that he had judged truly of them: and they all except a remnant of the faithful, followed him:
Yet no power had he over them. Only we would discern him who believed in the life to come, from him who doubted of it; for thy Lord watcheth all things.
Say: Call ye upon those whom ye deem gods, beside God: their power in the Heavens and in the Earth is not the weight of an atom—neither have th—ey any share in either; nor hath He a helper from among them.
No intercession shall avail with Him but that which He shall Himself allow. Until when at last their hearts shall be relieved from terror, they shall say, " What saith your Lord?"
- The Talmud mentions the worm Shameer, used by Solomon to cut the stones for building the temple. Pirke Aboth. v. See Buxt. Lex. Talmud, p. 2456. Tr. Gittin, fol. 68; and Midr. Jalkut on i Kings, vi. 7. This passage of Scripture may have suggested the idea that Solomon built, etc., by the aid of Spirits.
- That is, in their difficult toils.
- See M. Caussin de Perceval Hist. des Arabes, vol. iii., who, as well as M. de Sacy, fix this event in the second century of our era.
- The Saba of verse 14 formed an important branch of the trading population of Yemen. This whole passage, 14–18, alludes to the cessation of traffic between them and Syria, which led to the desire to lengthen the stages and diminish the expense of the journey. See Muir's Life of Muhammad, i. p. cxxxix. Muhammad attributes this desire to covetousness.