21. "I will certainly punish him with a severe penalty, or execute him, unless he bring me a clear reason (for
22. But the Hoopoe tarried not far: he (came up and) said: "I have compassed (territory) which thou hast not
compassed, and I have come to thee from Saba with tidings true.
23. "I found (there) a woman ruling over them and provided with every requisite; and she has a magnificent
24. "I found her and her people worshipping the sun besides Allah. Satan has made their deeds seem pleasing
in their eyes, and has kept them away from the Path,‐ so they receive no guidance,‐ 214
25. "(Kept them away from the Path), that they should not worship Allah, Who brings to light what is hidden in
the heavens and the earth, and knows what ye hide and what ye reveal.
26. "(Allah)!‐ there is no god but He!‐ Lord of the Throne Supreme!"
27. (Solomon) said: "Soon shall we see whether thou hast told the truth or lied!
28. "Go thou, with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them: then draw back from them, and (wait to) see
what answer they return"...
29. (The queen) said: "Ye chiefs! here is delivered to me ‐ a letter worthy of respect.
30. "It is from Solomon, and is (as follows): 'In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful: