Said one who had knowledge of the Book: “I will bring it to thee within the twinkling of an eye!” Then when (Solomon) saw it placed firmly before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord!- to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! and if any is grateful, truly his gratitude is (a gain) for his own soul; but if any is ungrateful, truly my Lord is Free of all Needs, Supreme in Honour !”
(Said the one who had the knowledge of the
book – 27:40).
The question is as to who was this person? One possibility is
that he was Sulaiman himself, because his knowledge of the book of
Allah was most extensive. In that case this incident happened as a
miracle. The objective was also that Bilqis should have an experience of
the prophetic miracle, so that no doubt was left in her mind. But Ibn Jar&
has reported from many commentators of the Qur’an, like Qatadah, that
he was a person from the companions of Sayyidna Sulaiman (AS).
Qurtubi has declared it to be the view of the majority. Ibn Ishaque has
mentioned his name as ‘Asif Ibn Barkhiya, and has opined that he was a
friend of Sayyidna Sulaiman (AS). Some other narrations say that a
cousin of Sayyidna Sulaiman had the knowledge of Al-Ism ul-A’zam,
(a particular name of Allah Almighty) the specialty of which is that
whatever blessing is invoked from Allah Ta’ala by reciting this name, it is
accepted, and anything requested is delivered from Him. It does not prove
that Sayyidna Sulaiman (AS) did not have the knowledge of
Al-Ism-ul-A’zam. Rather it is quite likely that he considered it prudent to
have the manifestation of the miracle by one of his people, which should
have deeper impression on Bilqis. Therefore, instead of performing the
miracle himself, he addressed his people in the above manner. In such a situation, this incident was a Karmah, which was performed by ‘Asif Ibn Barkhiya.
Shafi, Muhammad (2008). Maariful Quran. (Vol .6 surah 27 verse 40). English-MaarifulQuran-MuftiShafiUsmaniRA-Vol-6.pdf (islamicweblibrary.com)