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Sura 34
Aya 17
ذٰلِكَ جَزَيناهُم بِما كَفَروا ۖ وَهَل نُجازي إِلَّا الكَفورَ

Muhammad Asad

thus We requited them for their having denied the truth. But do We ever requite [thus] any but the utterly ingrate?1
  • Neither the Qur'an nor any authentic had ith tells us anything definite about the way in which the people of Sheba had sinned at the time immediately preceding the final collapse of the Dam of Ma'rib (i.e., in the sixth century of the Christian era). This omission, however, seems to be deliberate. In view of the fact that the story of Sheba's prosperity and subsequent catastrophic downfall had become a byword in ancient Arabia, it is most probable that its mention in the Qur'an has a purely moral purport similar to that of the immediately preceding legend of Solomon's death, inasmuch as both these legends, in their Qur'anic presentation, are allegories of the ephemeral nature of all human might and achievement. As mentioned at the beginning of note 23 above, the story of Sheba's downfall is closely linked with the phenomenon of men's recurrent ingratitude towards God. (See also verse 20 and the corresponding note 29.)