Balkis (Queen of Sheba)
We are told:
PICKTHAL: He said: O chiefs! Which of you will bring me her throne before they come unto me, surrendering?
SHAKIR: He said: O chiefs! which of you can bring to me her throne before they come to me in submission?
PICKTHAL: A stalwart of the jinn said: I will bring it thee before thou canst rise from thy place. Lo! I verily am strong and trusty for such work.
SHAKIR: One audacious among the jinn said: I will bring it to you before you rise up from your place; and most surely I am strong (and) trusty for it.
YUSUFALI: 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 !"
PICKTHAL: One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: I will bring it thee before thy gaze returneth unto thee. And when he saw it set in his presence, (Solomon) said: This is of the bounty of my Lord, that He may try me whether I give thanks or am ungrateful. Whosoever giveth thanks he only giveth thanks for (the good of) his own soul; and whosoever is ungrateful (is ungrateful only to his own soul's hurt). For lo! my Lord is Absolute in independence, Bountiful.
SHAKIR: One who had the knowledge of the Book said: I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye. Then when he saw it settled beside him, he said: This is of the grace of my Lord that He may try me whether I am grateful or ungrateful; and whoever is grateful, he is grateful only for his own soul, and whoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-sufficient, Honored.
(An `Ifrit from the Jinn said: )
Mujahid said, "A giant Jinn.'' Abu Salih said, "It was as if he was a mountain.''
(I will bring it to you before you rise from your place.)
Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, "Before you get up from where you are sitting.''
As-Suddi and others said: "He used to sit to pass judgements and rulings over the people, and to eat, from the beginning of the day until noon.''
(And verily, I am indeed strong and trustworthy for such work.)
Ibn `Abbas said: "Strong enough to carry it and trustworthy with the jewels it contains. Sulayman, upon him be peace, said, "I want it faster than that.'' From this it seems that Sulayman wanted to bring this throne as a demonstration of the greatness of the power and authority that Allah had bestowed upon him and the troops that He had subjugated to him. Power such as had never been given to anyone else, before or since, so that this would furnish proof of his prophethood before Bilqis and her people, because this would be a great and wondrous thing, if he brought her throne as if he were in her country, before they could come to it, although it was hidden and protected by so many locked doors. When Sulayman said, "I want it faster than that,
(One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: )
Ibn `Abbas said, "This was Asif, the scribe of Sulayman.'' It was also narrated by Muhammad bin Ishaq from Yazid bin Ruman that he was Asif bin Barkhiya' and he was a truthful believer who knew the Greatest Name of Allah.
Qatadah said: "He was a believer among the humans, and his name was Asif.''
Many other examples can be found in Attar's Tadhkirat al-Awliya (Biographies of the Saints), or the works of Ibn Arabi, as well as other similar chronicles.
Bayazid Bastami has many such accounts, colored with mystical flavors, surrounding his life. In one account, he was asked, "They say you walk on water?" "A piece of wood can do that too" he replied. "They say you travel to Mecca at night and return by dawn?" he was asked. "But a bird at flight can do that too" was his answer. "So what is the meaning of being human?" he was asked. "A human is he who does not fasten his heart to anything but God"came his reply. (Risalah Qashiriyah, bab 53. p.650)
In all such and similar accounts, a certain individual of unusually high rank Awliya is seen to have the ability to travel long distances in almost instantaneous amounts of time.
Asif ibn al-Birkhia learned certain knowledge,which led him to what is referred to as keramat. Muslims view Keramāt as special esoteric powers ordained to a few certain number of individuals (Awliya Allah).
Sufis call the concept tay al-makan ("folding of space"), the word "makan" (location) being used as a synonym for the word "ardh" (earth). Both words are Arabic in origin, and both words are part of the Persian lexicon as well.
‘Allama Sayyid Mahmud Alusi writes: