Wednesday 12th of June 2024
Iraq

The Story of Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon)

Summary

Did you know?

1) Prophet Solomon was the son of the prophet David. Prophet Solomon inherited the throne and prophethood from his father.

2) During the time of the prophet Solomon, there were emoats of kings who ruled the world. There are two Islamic kings, namely the prophet Solomon and Iskandar Zulqarnain while the other two non-Muslim kings are Bakhat Nasar and Namrud. Among the emoats of this great king, the prophet Solomon was the most powerful king.

3) Why is the prophet Solomon the greatest? Because Allah has revealed miracles and knowledge to the prophet Solomon who is not comparable to other kings. First, he could control the wind; even from a month away. This means that he can control the movement of the wind a month before the wind reaches him until a month after he passes it. Second, he could control copper. Copper can become liquid and flow according to its instructions and harden again in the shape it wants. Third, he can control the jinn. The jinn were very afraid of the prophet Solomon; the jinn who disobeyed the command of the prophet Solomon will be punished. Fourth, God gave the prophet Solomon the knowledge of bird and other animal languages. He can speak and understand the language of animals. And fifth, his army was very large and consisted of humans, jinn and birds.

4) Despite being endowed with various miracles, the prophet Solomon was never arrogant. He was always grateful to God.

5) At one time, the prophet Solomon with his army was marching on a journey to go to war and they passed through a valley filled with ants. From a distance, an ant saw the army of the prophet Solomon was heading to the area where the ants live and then the ants called the other ants, “All ants! Quickly hide in the ground! Before the prophet Solomon and his army stepped on you all by accident! ” Prophet Solomon heard the words of the ant and he was comforted.

6) One day, while the prophet Solomon was inspecting his army, he realized that not a bird was enough. The missing bird is a hud-hud bird. Prophet Solomon became angry. Prophet Solomon said, “Where is Hud-hud? I will punish him for his delay unless he has a good reason! ” Shortly afterwards the hud-hud birds arrived and said, “O Solomon! I know something you do not know. ” Prophet Solomon also said, “Who dares to stand before his king and say he knows something better than his king ?! I will slaughter you later! ” Prophet Solomon was a fierce king, so he was able to discipline his millions of soldiers. Then the hud-hud birds narrated, “I have flown to the land of Saba (Sheba, Yemen). Their leader is a woman and she has everything! He has power, property, army, government, everything! She has a beautiful and great throne! ” The hud-hud birds continued to praise and glorify the kingdom of Princess Balqis. Then the bird became frustrated and said, “I saw the princess and her whole kingdom prostrate to the sun. Satan has misled them. It seems that they feel their actions are right. ” And finally the hud-hud bird said, “Allah, no one deserves to be worshiped except Allah, the king of all kings.”

7) Prophet Solomon said to Hud-hud, “All right, we will see if you are telling the truth or lying.” Then the prophet Solomon wrote a letter to Princess Balqis. The hud-hud birds carried the letter flying to the state of Saba and dropped the letter on the lap of Princess Balqis. Princess Balqis called her head of state to read the letter and get advice on what to do. “Ladies and gentlemen, I have received a letter from King Solomon. The content is simple, listen: In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Do not be arrogant and surrender to me. ” Princess Balqis asked the dignitaries, “What should I do?” The magistrates at his speed suggested to go to war. Princess Balqis is a wise woman. He knew war was not a wise move because every time there was a war, the houses would be destroyed and many would die. King Solomon’s army was very large and great compared to his army. Princess Balqis has an idea. He sent the prophet Solomon gifts from the kingdom of Saba. The actions of Princess Balqis show her wisdom because if King Solomon was not a prophet, of course he would accept the bribes of Princess Balqis. However, when the Prophet Solomon received a lavish gift from Princess Balqis, he sent the gift back with the message, “If you think you can bribe me with luxury, you are wrong. No one can buy my religion. I will come to you with an army that you have never seen in your life. ”

8) When the message reached Princess Balqis, she thought again. It is unlikely that he will allow a war to take place because Princess Balqis’ government will inevitably lose, so he wants to avoid bloodshed and surrender peacefully. Princess Balqis announced that she would be leaving to meet King Solomon with his army.

9) The news reached the prophet Solomon. Prophet Solomon wanted to show Princess Balqis that his kingdom was not ordinary, it was a symbol of God’s power. So the prophet Solomon gathered his army consisting of humans, jinn and animals. Prophet Solomon said, “Before Princess Balqis arrives to surrender, I want her throne which is the pride of the kingdom of Saba to be brought here.” Jin Ifrit is the highest ranking jinn among the jinn and he has offered himself to bring the throne of Princess Balqis. Jin Ifrit said, “I can bring the throne here before you can get up from your seat, Sulaiman. I am very strong and you can trust me for such a task. ” However, the Prophet Solomon did not choose Ifrit, he had a more suitable candidate for the task. The candidate is a jinn or a human being, wallahua’alam. He is known as The One with Knowledge of the Book – something / someone who has knowledge of the book. He promised the prophet Solomon, “I can bring the throne in the blink of an eye.” Prophet Solomon did not even have time to blink, the throne appeared before him. Then the Prophet Solomon instructed to disguise the throne to see if Princess Balqis could recognize or not that it was her throne.

10) When Princess Balqis arrived at the palace of the prophet Solomon, the prophet Solomon deliberately asked, “Is this your throne?” Princess Balqis was confused for a moment. He felt the throne was his own but he did not bring it with him. When Princess Balqis realized that that was indeed her throne, she was stunned by the greatness of the prophet Solomon. Prophet Solomon also said, “This is a sign of the power of God, the Lord of the Worlds.”

11) Prophet Solomon had many great palaces built by jinn. One of them is a glass castle built on a flowing river. Prophet Solomon took Princess Balqis to the magnificent glass palace. When Princess Balqis entered the palace, she saw water flowing beneath her and she quickly raised her clothes for fear of getting wet. After that he realized that his feet would not get wet because apparently he was stepping on the glass floor! Princess Balqis was very impressed with the greatness of Allah, then she said, “O Allah, indeed I have oppressed myself by worshiping other than You.” Princess Balqis continued to believe in Allah and soon after she married the prophet Solomon.

12) At one time, when the prophet Solomon was old, he instructed the jinn to build a great palace. Every time the jinn are seen involving the prophet Solomon, they will run to work and do not dare to look at the face of the prophet Solomon. One day, the prophet Solomon came to inspect the jinn who were building his palace. He stood, placing his hand on his wand and watching the genies do their work. The genie became scared and worked non-stop, without a break for a year. Until the termites came and ate the scepter of the prophet Solomon and finally the stick broke, and the prophet Solomon fell to the ground. Apparently the prophet Solomon had died for a year in a standing position and his eyes were open as if watching the working jinn. Only after realizing the situation did they stop working. That is the end of the life story of the prophet Solomon.

Detailed of Story

Solomon’s Knowledge

Solomon inherited David’s prophethood and dominion. This was not a material inheritance, as prophets do not bequeath their property. It is given away to the poor and needy, not to their relatives. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: ‘The prophets’ property will not be inherited, and whatever we leave is to be used for charity.” (Sahih Al Bukhari)

And indeed We gave knowledge to David and Solomon, and they both said: ‘All the praises and thanks be to Allah, Who has preferred us above many of His believing slaves!”

And Solomon inherited (the knowledge of) David. He said: “0 mankind! We have been taught the language of birds, and on us have been bestowed all things. This, verily, is an evident grace (from Allah).”

And there were gathered before Solomon his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they were all set in battle order (marching forwards). Al-Quran [27: 15-17]

Solomon Becomes King

After his father’s death, Solomon became king. He begged Allah for a kingdom such as none after him would have, and Allah granted his wish. Besides wisdom, Allah had blessed Solomon with many abilities. He could command the winds and understand and talk to birds and animals. Allah directed him to teach both men and jinns to mine the earth and extract its minerals to make tools and weapons. He also favored him with a mine of copper, which was a rare metal in those days.

Solomon Admiration of Horses

During his time horses were the common mode of transportation. They were very essential for defense, to carry soldiers and cart provisions and weapons of war. The animals were well cared for and well trained. One day Solomon was reviewing a parade of his stable. The fitness, beauty and posture of the horses fascinated him so much that he kept on stroking and admiring them. The sun was nearly setting, and the time for the middle prayer was passing by. When he realized this, he exclaimed: “I surely love the finer things of life than the service of my Lord! Return them to me.”

Allah’s Gifts to Solomon – Quranic

Almighty Allah revealed:

”And to David We gave Solomon. How excellent a slave! Verily, he was ever oft-returning in repentance (to Us)!

When there were displayed before him, in the afternoon, well trained horses of the highest breed (for jihad in Allah’s cause). And he said: ‘Alas! I did love the good (these horses) instead of remembering my Lord (in my Asr prayer)” till the time was over, and (the sun) had hidden in the veil (of night). Then he said: “Bring them (horses) back to me.” Then he began to pass his hand over their legs and their necks till the end of the display.

And, indeed We did try Solomon and We placed on his throne Jasadan (a devil, so he lost his kingdom for a while) but he did return (to his throne and kingdom by the Grace of Allah and he did return) to Allah with obedience and in repentance. He said: ‘My Lord.’ Forgive me, and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me: verily, You are the Bestower.”

So, We subjected to him the wind, it blew gently to his order whither-so-ever he willed – and also the devils from the jinns (including) every kind of builder and diver, – and also others bound in fetters. (Saying of Allah to Solomon): ‘This is Our gift, so spend you or withhold, no account will be asked.” And verily, he enjoyed a near access to Us, and a good final return (Paradise). Al-Quran [38: 30-40]

Solomon Hears the Ant’s Warning

One day Solomon gathered his army, which had different battalions of men, jinns, birds, and animals. He marched them to the country of Askalon.

While they were passing through a valley, an ant saw the approaching army and cried out to warn the other ants: “Run to your homes! Otherwise, unaware, Solomon and his army might crush you!” Solomon, hearing the cry of the ant, smiled. He was glad that the ant knew him to be a prophet who would not intentionally harm Allah’s creation. He thanked Allah for saving the ants’ lives.

Solomon Hears the Conversation of Ants – Quranic

Allah the Almighty narrated:

”And there were gathered before Solomon his hosts of jinns and men, and birds, and they all were set in battle order (marching forwards). Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said: “0 ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not.”

So he (Solomon) smiled, amused at her speech and said: ‘My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favors which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves.” Al-Quran [27: 17-19]

Solomon’s Travels

In Jerusalem, on a huge rock, Solomon built a beautiful temple to draw the people to worship Allah. Today this building is known as ‘The Dome of the Rock.” From there, a large band of followers joined Solomon on pilgrimage to the Holy Mosque in Mecca. After they had completed their hajj, they traveled to Yemen and arrived in the city of Sana.

Solomon was impressed by their clever method of channeling water all over their cities. He was keen to build similar water systems in his own country but did not have enough springs.

The Hoopoe Brings Information to Solomon

He set out to find the hoopoe bird, which could detect water under the ground. He sent signals all over for the hoopoe to call on him, but it was nowhere to be found. In anger, he declared that unless the bird had good reason for its absence, he would punish it severely.

The hoopoe eventually came to Solomon and explained the reason for its delay: “I have discovered something of which you are not aware. I have come from Sheba (Saba) with important news. Solomon became curious, and his anger subsided. The bird continued: “Saba is ruled by a queen named Bilkis (Bilqis), who has plenty of everything, including a splendid throne. But in spite of all this wealth, Satan has entered her heart and the hearts of her people. She rules their minds completely. I was shocked to learn that they worship the sun instead of Allah the Almighty.”

To check the hoopoe’s information, Solomon sent a letter to the queen with the bird. He instructed the bird to remain hidden and to watch everything.

The Queen of Sheba Sends Gifts

The hoopoe dropped the letter in front of the queen and flew away to hide. She excitedly opened and read it:

“Verily! It is from Solomon, and verily! It (reads): ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful; be you not exalted against me, but come to me as Muslims (true believers who submit to Allah with full submission).” Al-Quran [27: 30-31]

The queen was very disturbed and hurriedly summoned her advisors. They reacted as to a challenge, for they felt that there was someone challenging them, hinting at war and defeat, and asking them to submit to his conditions.

They told her that they could only offer advice, but it was her right to command action. She sensed that they wanted to meet Solomon’s invasion threat with a battle. However, she told them: “Peace and friendship are better and wiser; war only brings humiliation, enslaves people, and destroys the good things. I have decided to send gifts to Solomon, selected from our most precious treasure. The courtiers who will deliver the gifts will also have an opportunity to learn about Solomon and his military might.”

Solomon Rejects the Queen’s Gifts

Solomon’s reconnaissance team brought him the news of the arrival of Bilkis’s messengers with a gift. He immediately realized that the queen had sent her men on a probing mission; thus, he gave orders to rally the army. The envoys of Bilkis, entering amidst the well-equipped army, realized that their wealth was nothing in comparison to that of the kingdom of Solomon. They belittled their golden gift as they passed over Solomon’s palace floors, which were made of sandalwood and inlaid with gold.

They noticed Solomon surveying his army, and they were surprised at the number and variety of soldiers, which included lions, tigers, and birds. The messengers stood in amazement, realizing that they were in front of an irresistible army.

The envoys marveled at the splendor surrounding them. They eagerly presented their queen’s precious gifts and told Solomon that the queen wished that he would accept them as an act of friendship. They were shocked by his reaction: he did not even ask to open the covers of the containers! He told them: “Allah has given me plenty of wealth, a large kingdom, and prophethood. I am, therefore, beyond bribery. My only objective is to spread the belief in Tawheed, the Oneness of Allah.”

He also directed them to take back the gifts to the queen and to tell her that if she did not stop her kind of worship he would uproot her kingdom and drive its people out of the land.

The Queen Decides to Visit Solomon

The queen’s envoys returned with the gifts and delivered the message. They also told her of the wonderful things they had seen. Instead of taking offense, she decided to visit Solomon. Accompanied by her royal officials and servants, she left Sheba, sending a messenger ahead to inform Solomon that she was on her way to meet him.

Solomon asked the jinns in his employ whether anyone among them could bring her throne to the palace before she arrived. One of them said: “I will bring it to you before this sitting is over.” Solomon did not react to this offer; it appeared that he was waiting for a faster means. The jinns competed with each other to please him. One of them named Ifrit said: “I will fetch it for you in the twinkling of an eye!”

No sooner had this one – who had the knowledge of the Book – finished his phrase than the throne stood before Solomon. The mission had, indeed, been completed in the blinking of an eye. Solomon’s seat was in Palestine, and the throne of Bilqis had been in Yemen, two thousand miles away. This was a great miracle performed by one of those sitting with Solomon.

The Queen’s Visit with Solomon

When Bilqis arrived at Solomon’s palace, she was welcomed with pomp and ceremony. Then, pointing to the altered throne, Solomon asked her whether her throne looked like that one. She looked at it again and again. In her mind she was convinced that her throne could not possibly be the one she was looking at, as hers was in her palace; yet, she detected a striking similarity and replied: “It is as if it were the very one, and resembles mine in every respect.” Solomon judged that she was intelligent and diplomatic.

He then invited her into the great hail, the floor of which was laid in glass and shimmering. Thinking it was water, as she stepped on the floor, she lifted her skirt slightly above her heels, for fear of wetting it. Solomon pointed out to her that it was made of solid glass.

She was amazed. She had never seen such things before. Bilqis realized that she was in the company of a very knowledgeable person who was not only a ruler of a great kingdom but a messenger of Allah, as well. She repented, gave up sun worship, accepted the faith of Allah, and asked her people to do the same.

It was finished; Bilqis saw her people’s creed fall apart before Solomon. She realized that the sun which her people worshipped was nothing but one of Allah’s creatures.

The sun eclipsed within her for the first time, and her heart was lit by a never-fading light, the light of Islam.

Solomon is Informed About the Queen of Sheba – Quranic

Almighty Allah told us this story in the Quran:

He inspected the birds, and said: “What is the matter that I see not the hoopoe? Or is he among the absentees? I will surely punish him with a severe torment, or slaughter him, unless he brings me a clear reason.

But the hoopoe stayed not long, he (came up and) said: “I have grasped (the knoweldge of a thing) which you have not grasped and Ihave come to you from Sheba with true news. I found a woman ruling over them, and she has been given all things that could be possessed by any ruler of the earth, and she has a great throne. I found her and her people worshpping the sun instead of Allah, and Satan has made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and has barred them from (Allah’s) Way, so they have no guidance.”

Al-La (this word has two interpretations) As Satan has barred them from Allah’s Way so that they do not worship (prostrate before) Allah, or so that they may worship (prostrate before) Allah, Who brings light to what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal. Allah, La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshiped but He), the Lord of the Supreme Throne!

(Solomon) said: “We shall see whether you speak the truth or you are (one) of the liars. Go you with this letter of mine, and deliver it to them, then draw back from them, and see what (answer) they return.” Al-Quran [20-28]

She said: “O chiefs! Verily! Here is delivered to me a noble letter. Verily! It is from Solomon, and verily! It (reads): ‘In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful; Be you not exalted against me, but come to me as Muslims (true believers who submit to Allah with full submission).”

She said: ‘O chiefs! Advise me in (this) case of mine. I decide no case till you are present with me.”

They said: “We have great strength, and great ability for war, but it is for you to command; so think over what you will command.”

She said: “Verily! Kings, when they enter a town (country), they despoil it, and make the most honorable amongst its people low. And thus they do. But verily! I am going to send him a present, and see with what (answer) the messengers return.”

So when (the messengers with the present) came to Solomon, he said: “Will you help me in wealth? What Allah has given me is better than that which He has given you! Nay, you rejoice in your gift!” (Then Solomon said to the chief of her messengers who brought the present): “Go back to them. We verily shall come to them with hosts that they cannot resist, and we shall drive them out from there in disgrace, and they will be abased.” Al-Quran [27: 29-37]

He said: “0 chiefs! Which of you can bring me her throne before they come to me surrendering themselves in obedience?”

An Ifrit (strong) from the jinns said: “I will bring it to you before you rise from your place (council). And verily, I am in deed strong, and trustworthy for such work.”

One with whom was knowledge of the Scripture said: “I will bring it to you within the twinkling of an eye!” – then when (Solomon) saw it placed before him, he said: ‘This is by the Grace of my Lord – to test me whether I am grateful or ungrateful! And whoever is grateful, truly, his gratitude is for (the good of) his ownself and whoever is ungrateful, (he is ungrateful only for the loss of his ownself). Certainly! My Lord is Rich (Free of all wants), Bountiful.”

He said: “Disguise her throne for her that we may see whether she will be guided (to recognize her throne), or she will be one of those not guided.”

So when she came, it was said (to her): “Is your throne like this?”

She said: “(It is) as though it was the very same.”

And (Solomon said): ‘Knowledge was bestowed on us before her, and we were submitted to Allah (in Islam as Muslims before her).”

And that which she used to worship besides Allah has prevented her (from Islam), for she was of a disbelieving people.

It was said to her: “Enter As-Sarh “(a glass surface with water underneath it) or a palace, but when she saw it, she thought it was a pool, and she (tucked up her clothes) uncovering her legs.

Solomon said: “Verily, it is Sarh paved smooth with slab of glass.”

She said: ‘My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself and I submit (in Islam), together with Solomon, to Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinns, and all that exists).” Al-Quran [27: 38-44]

Jinns and Solomon

Solomon’s public work was largely carried out by the jinns. This was a punishment for their sins of making people believe that they were all powerful, knew the unseen, and could foresee the future. As a prophet, it was Solomon’s duty to remove such false beliefs from his followers.

Solomon’s Death

Solomon lived amidst glory, and all creatures were subjected to him. Then Allah the Exalted ordained for him to die. His life and death were full of wonders and miracles; thus, his death harmonized with his life and glory. His death, like his life, was unique. The people had to learn that the future is known neither by the jinns nor by the prophets, but by Allah alone. Solomon’s effort in this direction did not end with his life, for even his death became an example.

He was sitting holding his staff, overseeing the jinns at work in a mine. He died sitting in this position. For a long time no one was aware of his death, for he was seen sitting erect. The jinns continued with their strife and toil, thinking that Solomon was watching over them.

Many days later, a hungry ant began nibbling Solomon’s staff. It continued to do so, eating the lower part of the staff, until it fell out of Solomon’s hand, and his great body fell to the ground. People hurried to him, realizing that he had died a long time ago and that the jinns did not perceive the unseen, for had the jinns known the unseen, they would not have kept working, thinking that Solomon was alive.

Solomon’s Death – Quranic

Allah the Exalted revealed:

”And We caused a fount of (molten) brass to flow for him, and there were jinns that worked in front of him by the Leave of his Lord, and whosoever of them turned aside from Our Command, We shall cause him to taste of the torment of the blazing Fire. They worked for him what he desired, (making) high rooms, images, basins as large as reservoirs, and (making) cauldrons fixed (in their places). ‘Work you, 0 family of David, with thanks!” But few of My slaves are grateful.

Then when we decreed death for him (Solomon), nothing informed them (jinns) of his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing a way at his stick, so when he fell down, the jinns saw clearly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have stayed in the humiliating torment. Al-Quran [34: 12-14]