Sayyidina Sulayman AlaihisSalam was the son of Sayyidina Dawud AlahisSalam whose life account we have just read.
Allah has said:
And Sulayman was Dawud’s heir, and he said, “O mankind! We have been taught the speech of birds and we have been given of everything. Surely this is indeed a manifest bounty”. (An-Naml, 27:16)
In the verse quoted, Sulayman AlahisSalam asserts that he could understand the language of the birds and communicate with them.
He also said that he was given everything a king needs, numbers and tools, armies, jinns and men, birds and animals, devils and sorcerers, and knowledge and understanding. He could also interpret what the creatures said and what the silent creation wished to convey.
We learn from Surah An-Naml verses 17 to 19 that one day Sayyidina Sulayman was marching with his large army comprising jinn, men and birds. When they came to a valley an ant perceived them and warned other ants that Sulayman and his hosts were passing from there and might trample them so they should better enter their dwelling places.
The Quran also tells us of another occasion when he inspected the birds of his army. Once during his periodic inspection he found the hoopoe missing. Sayyidina Sulayman se said that he would punish him unless he had a valid reason for being absent,
When it came a short while later, it assured Sayyidina Sulayman send that it had brought information of use to him. It said that it had come from Saba over which a woman ruled and she possessed all possible bounties and she had a mighty throne. But, he told them that they worshipped the sun iststead of Allah Who knows everything.
Allah! There is no Good but He, the Lord of the mighty Throne. (An-Naml,27:26) Sayyidina Sulayman AlaihisSalam sent the hoopoe back to the queen with a letter saying,
We shall soon see whether you have spoken the truth or you are of the liars, (An-Naint, 27.27)
He instructed the hoopoe to drop his letter to them and investigate how they reacted.
The Queen was Bilquis and she was placed on the throne because they had no male member of the royal family to rule over them. Ath-tha’ll has reported from Abu Bakrah that it was mentioned before the Messenger of Allah Kill that the Persians had crowned the daughter of Kisra as their ruler so he said, “People who are ruled by a woman never prosper.” (Bukhari (4425)]
LETTER TO THE QUEEN
Sayyidina Sulayman AlaihisSalam began his letter in the name of Allah as we see the queen inform her ministers and advisers that she had received the letter
and she read it out to them:
In the Name of Allah, the Compasionate, the Merciful, Rise not up against me but come to me in submission. (An-Naml, 27:30-31)
After she had read the letter to them she sought their advice on should be done and how should they answer it. She reminded them tha was her practice to get their advice before she took an action. They comment that they were strong and powerful and capable of putting up resistance ana meeting the challenge of the enemy, and if she called upon them, they were in a state of readiness to fight. They told her, however, that she was the one to give a command and asked her what she had in mind. She knew that the person who wrote the letter could not be suppressed, stopped, confronted or cheated. So, she said,
Surely the kings when they enter a township, -spoil it, and make its most powerful inhabitants the most abased; and thus they will do (to us).
(An-Naml 27 34)
She feared that Sayydina Sulayman would do the same thing to thém so she told her chiefs that she would try to make friendship with them by sending a gift and learn from her messengers how they responded. She did not realise that Sayyidina Sulayman AlaihisSalam would not accept a gift from disbelieving people and that he was capable of defeating her forces,
When her messenger brought him the gift, he reacted strongly and asked if
they hoped to help him with their wealth and he said to them in gratitrde to Allah that
what Allah has given me is better than what he has given you. Nay, it is you who exult in your gift. (An-nami,27:36)
He told the messengers of the Queen that they should return to her and he would send forces which they would not be able to withstand so they would be driven out of their land debased.
Sayyidina Sulayman then turned to his men and asked them which of them would bring him her throne. A giant of the jinn offered to bring it to him even before he rose from his seat. But one who had some knowledge of the Book said;
I shall bring it to you before ever your glance returns to you. (27:40) It is commonly believed that this man was Aasif bin Barkhiya son of the maternal uncle of Sayyidina Sulayman . It is also said that he was a believing Jinn who knew the Ism Al-A’zam. It is also said that he was a scholar of the Banu Isra’il. Anyway, Sayyidina Sulayman en found the throne before him. It was brought from Yaman to Bayt Al-Maqdis in the twinkling of an eye. Sayyidina Sulayman sitten exclaimed:
This is of my Lord’s bounty that he may test me whether I thank (Him) or prove ingrate. (An-Naml, 27:40)
And whosoever gives thank, gives thanks only for his own soul.
And whosoever is ungrateful, then surely my Lord is Self-sufficient, Bountiful. (An-Naml, 27:40)
Then he commanded men to disguise the throne so that they may ascertain whether she was guided or recognised it herself.
When she came and was asked about it, she said that it seemed to her to be her own. She could not expect her throne to have been brought all the way from her country in such a quick time, besides there were certain changes made to it to disguise it. It was impossible for her to expect someone to be able to transfer it from her country to the Bayt Al-Maqdis.
The palace of Sayyidina Sulayman AlaihisSalam was built of crystal glass beneath which were water streams in which fish and other water creatures swam. Bilquis was invited into the palace and she uncovered her shanks as she walked on the glass because she thought it was water. He told her that his palace was smoothed with glass and she submitted:
My Lord! Surely I have wronged myself and I submit myself together with Sulayman to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. (An-Naml, 27:44)
Thalabi and some others have stated Sayyidina Sulayman AlahisSalam married and restored to her the kingdom of Yaman. He visited her every month a stayed with her for three days. He had the jinns build three castles in Yama Allah knows best.
THE CASE OF THE HORSES
Allah has referred to this incident in the Qurān;
(Recall) when there were presented to him in the evening, standing steeds, swift-footed. So he said, “I have loved the love of the earthly) goods with a view of remembrance of my Lord,” until it (the sun) was obscured from him behind the veil (of night). (So he said). “Bring them back to me”. Then he began to stroke (their) shanks and necks. (Sad, 38:31-33)
The majority of scholars tend to hold the first opinion that he was occupied with his horses until the time of ‘Asr, Salat passed away.
Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu Talib AlaihisSalam has narrated this view. He did omit the prayer on purpose but he delayed the Salat due to his occupation with the tools of Jihad.
THREE PRAYERS OF SAYYIDINA SULAYMAN AlaihisSalam
Imam Ahmad and others have narrated a Hadith from Abdullah bin ‘Amr bin Al-Aas.
Nabi Pakﷺ said, “When Sulayman AlahisSalam built the Bayt-Al-Maqdis, he prayed to Allah for three things. So, He granted him two and we hope that the third is for us. He asked for,
1: A judgement that agrees with commands of Allah, and Allah gave that to him.
2: A kingdom that none may receive after him, and Allah gave him that and,
3:Anyone, who leaves his house with the sole intention of praying in this mosque (Bayt-Al -Maqdis), may have his sins effaced (and be) like the day he was born.
Sayyidina Dawud AlaihisSalam had passed a judgement in a case brought to him by the owners a vineyard whose tree was devoured by the sheep of another people. His verdict was that the owners of the sneep should compensate the owners of the garden. When Sulayman AlahisSalam to learnt it, he remarked that he would have given the sheep to the owners of the vineyard for the time took the owners of to grow the tree for them. Sayyidina Dawud was told of that and he reversed his earlier judgement to conform with Sulayman’s some suggestion.
Bukhari (3427), Muslim (18), Nasa’i (5417). Ahmad (322) There is something similar to it in a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah Radiallahu anhoo Nabi Pakﷺ said, there were two women, each of them had a child with her. A wolf came and took away one of the infants. So, they disputed with one another whose child the wolf had taken away. They brought their case to Dawud who decided that the living infant belonged to the elder. The ladies then went to Sulayman (and presented their case). He said, “Let me have a knife that I may cut the child in two and give a piece each to the two ladies”. The younger lady pleaded with him to spare the child for it belonged to the other lady. Sayyidina Sulayman still therefore, decided the case in favour of the younger lady and gave the child to her.
THE WIND IS SUBJECTED TO SAYYIDINA SULAYMAN
When Sulayman I gave up his horses for the sake of Allah compensated him with the wind which was faster and stronger while he not obliged to look after it.
Besides, the jinns were also placed under his command. He got them build for, him palaces, pictures, large basins and cooking pots for po people were fed regularly. Indeed Allah called upon the family of Sayyidi Dawud on to work with thanks and he reminded them,
And few of My servants are grateful. (Saba, 3413) Also, the devils were subjected to him; they were used to build houses and some others to dive into the waters and bring out pearls and stones for him. There were those among the devils who disobeyed and they were chained and punished.
WIVES OF SAYYIDINA SULAYMAN AlahisSalam
It is said of Sayyidina Sulayman that he had one thousand wives.
The following Hadith is narrated by Abu Hurayrah Radiallahu anhoo The Prophet Sulayman son of Dawud AlaihisSalam said, “Tonight I will go round a hundred of my wives and each one of them will give birth to a male child who will fight in the cause of Allah.” An angel said to him, “Say Inhsa Allah (If Allah will)”, but he did not say it and forgot to say so. He had sexual relations with them but none of them gave birth to any child except one who gave birth to a half person.
The Nabi Pakﷺ said, “If Sulayman had said, Insha Allah, Allah would have fulfilled his desire and that saying would have made him more hopeful”.
DEATH OF SAYYIDINA SULAYMAN AlahisSalam
Allah, the Exalted, has said:
Then, when We decreed’death for him., nothing indicated them his death, except a creature of the earth which devoured his staff. So when it fell down, the jinn saw clearly that had they known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating chastisement. (Saba. 34:10
Abu Dawud has said in the Kitab Al-Qadr that when the Angel of Death informed Sulayman AlahisSalam that his death was only a few moments away, he got the jinns and the devils to build for him a glass enclosure without a door and he enclosed himself inside. Staff in hand, he occupied himself in prayer. The Angel of Death took out his soul and he remained standing on the staff. The glass enclosure without doors was made not to keep away death but that he may be seen by the jinns who were employed in their tasks The white ants kept eating the wooden staff and when it weakened, Sayyidina Sulayman AlahisSalam became heavy for it and it gave in and he fell down. That is how it became known that he had Passed away.
In the fourth year of his rule, the building of bayt Al-Maqdis commenced. His son Ruhba’am succeeded him. After him the kingdom disintegrated.