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Solomon in Islam

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nabī (Arabic: نَـبِي‎, Prophet
Sulaymān bin Dāwūd (Arabic: سُـلَـيْـمَـان بِـن دَاوُوْد‎)
Sulaymān ibn Dā’ūd (Arabic: سُـلَـيْـمَـان ابْـن دَاؤ‘د‎)
BornJerusalem, Shaam
DiedJerusalem, the Levant
Resting placeAl-Ḥaram Ash-Sharîf (Arabic: الـحَـرم الـشّـريـف‎, "The Noble Sanctuary"), Jerusalem
Other namesShlomoh (Hebrew: שְׁלֹמֹה‬)
Shlemun (Syriac: ܫܠܝܡܘܢ‎)
Solomon (Greek: Σολομών)
Greek: Salomon
Known forBeing a King of Israel
TitleVicegerent of God
PredecessorDawud (David)
  • David (father)

Sulaymān bin Dāwūd (Arabic: سُـلـيـمـان بـن داوود‎, Solomon son of David) was, according to the Qur’an, a Malik (Arabic: مَـلِـك‎, King) and Nabī (Arabic: نَـبِي‎, prophet) of the Israelites. Islamic tradition generally holds that he was the third King of Jewish people, and a just and wise ruler for the nation.[1]

Islam views Solomon as one of the elect of God, who was bestowed upon with many God-given gifts, including the ability to speak to animals[2] and rule jinn.[3] Muslims further maintain that he remained faithful to a one and only God throughout his life;[4] constructed his Temple, which became one of the key houses of worship; reigned justly over the whole of the Israelites; was blessed with a level of Kingship which was given to none after him and before him;[5] and fulfilled all of his commandments, being promised nearness to God in Paradise at the end of his life.[6] Arab historians regarded Solomon as one of the greatest rulers around the world.[7]

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As-salaamu alaikum wa rahamatullahi wa barakatahu Quran Weekly, today inshaAllah for Stories of the Prophets we will be talking about the prophet Dawud and Sulaiman alayhim as-salam. Two for one inshaAllah. In the Qur'an, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala tells us about many different prophets. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala tells us about some prophets where there is a father-son relationship, brother-brother relationship, so there are some very interesting dynamics in relationships between some of the prophets that are taught to us in the Quran. One of these pairs of prophets that is spoken about in the Qur'an in multiple places, is the prophet Dawud, who is the father, and his son Sulaiman alayhim as-salam. David and Soloman, Dawud and Sulaiman alayhim as-salam. For me personally, one of the more fascinating stories about this father-son duo that is mentioned in the Qur'an is in surah number twenty-one, Surah Anbiya, ayahs 78 and 79. Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala وَدَاوُدَوَسُلَيْمَنَ إِذْيَحْكُمانِ فِى الْحَرْثِ إِذْنَفَشَتْ فِيهِ غَنَمُ الْقَوْمِوَكُنَّالِحِكْهِمْ شَهِدِينَ, (Wadawooda wasulaymana ithyahkumani fee alharthi ith nafashatfeehi ghanamu alqawmi wakunna lihukmihim shahideen). So here's the backdrop of the story. There are two individuals, one of them has a farm, and the other one has like a herd, a flock of goats and sheep. Animals, livestock. What ends up happening is, during the nighttime, you know maybe the gate gets left open, or they knock part of the fence down, but the livestock, the animal spill out onto the farm land of the neighbor, and they end up eating and tearing through all of this crop. When they wake up in the morning, they find they've ruined all of his crop, and his harvest. His farm has been ruined, and the animals are all over the place. So they go to Dawud alayhi as-salam, who is the king, the father, to settle the matter. He hears their case out, and he basically says, "Well, let's estimate the value of the animals versus the crops that were damaged." What they end up finding out is that the animals were worth pretty close to what the crop would've been worth if it hadn't been destroyed. So he basically says, "Gentlemen B, who owns these animals, in retribution for you animals damaging the harvest, the crop of your neighbor, the farmer, he will basically be given your animals. You will transfer the ownership of the animals over. Case settled, thank you very much, that's it." As they're leaving the courthouse, and the narration mentions that, you know, obviously, the farmer is at least grateful that a decision has been made, but he doesn't really know what to do with these animals. The man, the shepherd who has to give all his animals up, is very distraught, like this is everything, this is everything I own. Sulaiman alayhi as-salam, a young man, the son, a prophet of Allah, is sitting at the back of the court, and he says, "Father, if I may, offer a suggestion." He says, "Absolutely, what do you have to offer?" Sulaiman alayhi as-salam says, "A farmer doesn't know anything about raising animals, shepherding animals. While the shepherd here in this situation will be left with nothing, will probably fall into poverty, will develop a lot of ill feelings in regards to that, and what's going to happen to his family? It's going to create a lot more problems. Here's my solution. The farmer will get the animals of the shepherd, while the shepherd will have the responsibility of restoring the farm. The farmer will get the animals of the shepherd while the shepherd has to restore the farm. This arrangement will last as long as the shepherd takes to fix and restore the farm. The sooner he restores it, the sooner the farmer gets his farm back in good condition, the sooner the shepherd gets his animals back. The longer he takes, the longer he doesn't have his animals." When Dawud alayhi as-salam hears this suggestion, he says, "That's an amazing suggestion. That's a remarkable suggestion." وَكُنَّالِحُكْمِهِمْ شَهِدِينَ فَفَهَّمْنَهَاسُلَيْمَنَ (wakunna lihukmihim shahideen. Fafahhamna sulaymana), Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, "We gave Sulaiman the proper understanding." So going back to the previous verse, وَدَاوُدَوَسُلَيْمَنَ إِذْيَحْكُمانِ فِى الْحَرْثِ (wadawooda wasulaymana ithyahkumani fee alharthi), when Dawud and Sulaiman were making the decision in regards to the crops, the harvest that had been ruined,إِذْنَفَشَتْ فِيهِ غَنَمُ الْقَوْمِ (ith nafashatfeehi ghanamu alqawmi) , when the livestock had gone in there and ran it over. وَكُنَّالِحِكْهِمْ شَهِدِينَ (wakunna lihukmihim shahideen), And Allah said We were witnessing the whole situation.فَفَهَّمْنَهَاسُلَيْمَنَ (fafahhamna sulaymana), Allah says, We gave Sulaiman the proper understanding of this situation. وَكُلًّاءَاتَيْنَاحُكْمًاوَعِلْمًا (wakullan atayna hukman waAAilman) but both Dawud and Sulaiman were given knowledge and wisdom, وَسَخَّرْنَامَعَدَاوُدَالْجِبَالَ يُسَبِّحْنَ وَالطَّيْرَوَكُنَّافَعِلِينَ (wasakhkharnamaAAa dawooda aljibala yusabbihna wattayrawakunna faAAileen), Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala goes on praising Dawud alayhi as-salam. Nevertheless, Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala says, We gave Sulaiman the proper understanding. He made the proper decision. So now this is a story about two prophets. Father and son. Dawud and Sulaiman alayhi as-salam. Why did I choose to talk about this story? Why am I fascinated by this mention of these two amazing prophets, father and son? It's because I think there are so many lessons that we can take from here, as is the objective of us learning about all these prophets. What are some of the lessons here? You have an older person, right? A community leader. A lot of experience, a lot of wisdom. But his experience, his wisdom and his authority does not prevent him from being open to suggestions from people younger than him. Forget about taking suggestions from somebody younger than you, those of you that are parents know, taking a suggestion from your own child requires a great amount of humility. I can tell you, I'm a father, so if my daughter came and tried to correct me, I'd be like, "I was changing your diapers." It's like an official rule. If you have ever changed someone's diapers, they will never know anything that you do not know. This is like a very unfortunate human reaction. But, Dawud alayhi as-salam, a great prophet of Allah, shows us that somebody older, wiser, knowledgeable, experienced, authoritative, should never close themselves off, should never deprive themselves of newer fresher ideas from other people, younger people. A father, who is a prophet of Allah, is so open to the suggestion of his son. So that's the first lesson we learn here. Number two. A lot of times we have young people, who have great, fresh, new ideas of doing some stuff in the community, or whatever the setting may be. We see Sulaiman alayhi as-salam, he doesn't go in there and say, "You're wrong, this makes no sense, this is dumb." He doesn't behave that way. He's got manners, he's got etiquette, and he is extremely respectful. If young people want their suggestions to be heard, they want their ideas to be taken seriously, they have to carry themselves accordingly. You can't be behaving like a child, and be immature and be rude and obnoxious, but then when you want to share an opinion, you want everyone to take you seriously. You have to act in accordance with what you're trying to communicate. So it's just such a profound lesson about family relationships, the dynamics within the home between family and children, and just in general across the board, in communities. How the youth are meant to deal with the older generation, and vice versa, how the older generation should be embracing and accommodating the youth. So I just find a really beautiful example of this in this story. I hope and pray inshaAllah everyone is benefiting from the Stories of the Prophets series. InshaAllah make sure to share this video and the rest of this series with family and friends. May Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala give us all the ability to practice everything that was said and heard. Jazakhum Allahu Khairun. Thank you very much for watching Qur'an Weekly. Wa Salamu Alaikum wa Rahamatullahi wa Barakatahu


Narrative in the Quran

Judgment on the field

In the earliest narrative involving Solomon, the Qur'an says that Solomon was in the company of his father, when two men came to ask David to judge between them regarding a ḥarth (Arabic: حَـرث‎, field).[8] The first of the two men said that he owned a vineyard of which he took great care the whole year through. But one day, when he was absent, the other man's sheep had strayed into the vineyard and devoured the grapes. He asked to be compensated for this damage.[9] Upon hearing the man's complaint, Solomon suggested that the owner of the sheep take the other man's vineyard to repair and cultivate until the vines returned to their former state, whereupon he should return it to its owner. At the same time, the owner of the vineyard would care for the sheep and benefit from their wool and milk until his land was returned to him, at which point he would return the sheep to their owner. Solomon's level of judgment, which the Qur'an says in this particular incident surpassed that of David,[10] would characterize Solomon throughout his life. Ḥikmah (Arabic: حِـكـمـة‎, Wisdom), according to Muslim tradition, would always be associated with Solomon, who would later even be referred to as Sulaimān al-Ḥakīm (Arabic: سُـلَـيْـمَـان الْـحَـكِـيْـم‎, "Solomon the Wise").


The Queen of Sheba
The Queen of Sheba

When David died, Solomon inherited his position as the Prophetic King of the Israelites. He prayed to God to grant him a Kingdom which would be greater than that of any after him and before him.[5] God accepted Solomon's prayer and gave him what he pleased. It was at this stage that Solomon began to acquire the many gifts that God would bestow upon him throughout his life. The Qur'an narrates that the wind was made subservient to Solomon,[3] and he could control it of his own will, and that the jinn also came under Solomon's control. The jinn helped strengthen Solomon's reign, and the unbelievers among them (Shayāṭīn) [11] were forced building for him monuments, houses of worship, artwork, reservoirs and the First Temple.[12] God also caused a miraculous ‘ayn (Arabic: عَـيـن‎, 'fount' or 'spring') of molten qiṭr (Arabic: قِـطـر‎, 'brass' or 'copper') to flow for Solomon, to be used by the jinn in their construction.[3]

Solomon was even taught the languages of various animals, such as ants. The Quran recounts that, one day, Solomon and his army entered a wadin-naml (Arabic: وَادِ الـنَّـمْـل‎, valley of the ant) On seeing Solomon and his army, a namlah (Arabic: نَـمـلـة‎, female ant) warned all the others to "... get into your habitations, lest Solomon and his hosts crush you (under foot) without knowing it."[13] Immediately understanding what the ant said, Solomon, as always, prayed to God, thanking Him for bestowing upon him such gifts[14] and further avoided trampling over the ant colonies.[15][16] Solomon's wisdom, however, was yet another of the gifts he received from God, and Muslims maintain that Solomon never forgot his daily prayer, which was more important to him than any of his gifts.

Conquest of Saba

Another important aspect of Solomon's kingship was the size of his army, which consisted of both men and jinn. Solomon would frequently assess his troops and warriors as well as the jinn and all the animals who worked under him. One day, when inspecting his troops, Solomon found the Hud-hud (Arabic: هُـدهـد‎, Green peafowl or Hoopoe) missing from the assembly.[17] Shortly later, however, the Hud-hud arrived to Solomon's court, saying "I have compassed (territory) which thou hast not compassed, and I have come to thee from Saba’ with tidings true."[18] The Hud-hud further told Solomon that the people of Sheba worshiped the Sun, but that the woman who ruled the Kingdom was highly intelligent and powerful. Solomon, who listened closely, chose to write a letter to the land of Sheba, through which he would try to convince the people of Sheba to cease in worshiping the Sun, and to come to the worship of God. Solomon ordered the Hud-hud to give the letter to the Queen of Sheba, and then to hide and observe her reaction.[19] The Hud-hud accepted Solomon's orders, and flew to give the letter to her. The Queen then called her ministers in the court and announced the letter of Solomon stating to the people of Sheba: "In the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful, I warned you to stop worshiping the sun, and accept Allah as the only God, with Solomon as His Messenger." She asked for suggestions from her minister and administration stating that "O my people, I know that you all are powerful and brave warriors, and no one on the face of the Earth can defeat our army, but still I want your opinion." The people of the court replied: "You have all the power, and whatever order you deliver, you will find us obedient." Eventually, however, the Queen came to Solomon, announcing Islām (Arabic: إِِسْـلَام‎, Submission) to God.[20]


Mausoleum of Sulaiman, Compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Old City of Jerusalem, the Holy Land
Mausoleum of Sulaiman, Compound of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Old City of Jerusalem, the Holy Land

According to the Qur'an, the death of Solomon was a lesson to be learned:

Then, when We decreed (Solomon's) death, nothing showed them his death except a little worm of the earth, which kept (slowly) gnawing away at his staff: so when he fell down, the Jinn saw plainly that if they had known the unseen, they would not have tarried in the humiliating Penalty (of their Task).

— Qur’an, Surah 34 (Saba’), Ayah 14[21]

Mahammaddim in the Song of Solomon

As inspired by Verses of the Qur'an,[22][23] Muslims would imply that Muhammad ibn Abdullah is mentioned in the Song of Songs, Chapter 5, noting the consonantal similarity between Muhammad's Arabic name (Arabic: مُـحَـمَّـد‎, consonant letters: m-ħ-m-d) and the Hebrew word in the 16th Verse which was translated as "Altogether lovely," that is 'Mahammaddim' (Hebrew: מַחֲמַדִּים‎, consonant letters: m-ħ-m-d-y-m).[24][25][26][27]

See also

References to Solomon in the Quran


  1. ^ Concise Encyclopedia of Islam - Page 374, Cyril Glasse - 1988
  2. ^ Quran 27:16
  3. ^ a b c Quran 34:12
  4. ^ Quran 27:15
  5. ^ a b Quran 38:35
  6. ^ Quran 38:40
  7. ^ Walker, J. and Fenton, P. (2012). "Sulaymān b. Dāwūd". In P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.). Brill. (Subscription required (help)).
  8. ^ Quran 21:78
  9. ^ Lives of the Prophets, L. Azzam, David and Solomon, pg. 62, Suhail Academy
  10. ^ Quran 21:79
  11. ^ Robert Lebling Legends of the Fire Spirits: Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar I.B.Tauris 2010 ISBN 978-0-857-73063-3
  12. ^ Quran 34:13
  13. ^ Quran 27:18
  14. ^ Quran 27:19
  15. ^ Lives of the Prophets, L. Azzam, David and Solomon, pg. 63, Suhail Academy
  16. ^ Deen, Mawil Y. Izzi (1990). "Islamic Environmental Ethics, Law, and Society". In Engel JR; JG Engel. Ethics of Environment and Development (PDF). Bellhaven Press, London. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-14.
  17. ^ "Qur'an, 27: 15 – 19".
  18. ^ Quran 27:22
  19. ^ Lives of the Prophets, L. Azzam, David and Solomon, pg. 64, Suhail Academy
  20. ^ "Qur'an, 27: 15 – 44".
  21. ^ Quran 34:14
  22. ^ Quran 3:81
  23. ^ Quran 7:157
  24. ^ Song of Songs, Chapter 5
  25. ^ Richard S. Hess; Gordon J. Wenham (1998). Make the Old Testament Live: From Curriculum to Classroom. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 978-0-8028-4427-9. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
  26. ^ "Islamic Research Foundation". Retrieved 2015-11-25.
  27. ^ "The Absolute Truth About Muhammad in the Bible With Arabic Titles". Truth Will Prevail Productions. Retrieved 2016-10-07.
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