In the Light of the Holy Quran: History of Solomon (Part 2)

The Light (Pakistan), 8th February 1985 Issue (Vol. 65, No. 3, p. 3)

“So he smiled, wondering at her word, and said: My Lord, grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do good such as Thou art pleased with, and admit me, by Thy mercy, among Thy righteous servants.

“And he reviewed the birds, then said: How is it I see not Hudhud, or is it that he is one of the absentees?1

“I will certainly punish him with a severe punishment, or kill him, or he shall bring me a clear excuse.

“And he tarried not long, then said: I have compassed that which thou hast not compassed and I have come to thee from Saba’ with sure information”.2 (The Holy Quran, 27:19–22)


  1. The opening words may mean either a review of birds or a review of horses. By Hudhud is not to be understood the lapwing, but a person of that name. In every language many of the proper names given to men will be found to be identical with the names of animals. The Arab writers speak of a King of Himyar as Hudad (Lisan al-Arab), which is almost identical with Hudhud mentioned in the Holy Quran.The Bible speaks of a King of Syria, named Ben Hadad (1 Kings 15:18, etc.). The Muntaha-l-arab stated that Hudhad was the name of the father of Balqis, the Queen of Sheba. According to Lisan al-Arab, Hudhud is also written as Hudahad and Hadad was the name of a tribe in Yemen. This shows that there is nothing strange in such a name being given to men. The verses that follow show clearly that Solomon was speaking of one of his own officers: the infliction of severe punishment on a small bird by such a mighty monarch, as Solomon, and the exposition of the great religious doctrine of Unity by the lapwing, are quite incom-prehensible.
  2. Saba’ is the same as the Sheba of the Bible. The story as given here is not met with in the Bible, but it was known to Jewish rabbis. The Bible speaks of the coming of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon with large presents to test him. See 1 Kings 10 and 2 Chronicles 9. And, later on, it speaks of many strange women as Solomon’s wives (1 Kings 11).