20. The Ethos Of Prophet Solomon

Introduction

Prophet Solomon was the son of David son of Eisha son of Awfayth son of Yuaz son of Solomon son of Yakhsun son of Amanothab son of Hasrun son of Baris son of Jahud son of Jacob who was born 4391 years after the Fall of Adam. Solomon in Hebrew means be it in peace. He used to live with his father till he acceded to the throne 4403 years after the Fall of Adam. According to the holy Quran

"And Sulaiman was Dawud’s heir" (27:16)

وَوَرِثَ سُلَيْمانُ دَاوُودَ

"And (we made subservient) to Sulaiman the wind blowing violent" (21:81)

وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ عَاصِفَةً

"And of the Jinn there were those who worked before him by the command of his Lord" (34:12)

وَمِنَ الْجِنِّ مَنْ يَعْمَلُ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِ

"And his hosts of the jinn and the men and the birds were gathered to him, and they were formed into groups" (27:17)

وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَيْمَانَ جُنُودُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ وَالطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ

"Then We made the wind subservient to him" (38:36)

فَسَخَّرْنَا لَهُ الرِّيحَ تَجْرِي بِأَمْرِهِ

Despite all this glory and majesty, Solomon earned his living by making baskets. When his death drew near, Solomon was standing beside his throne leaning on his staff that his soul was taken away. Since no one dared to approach him, he was standing in that position for some time till termites ate away his staff which then broke and he fell on the ground. Only then people came to know that he had passed away. People considered it as one of his miracles.

"But when We decreed death for him, naught showed them his death but a creature of the earth that ate away his staff" (34:14)

فَلَمَّا قَضَيْنَا عَلَيْهِ الْمَوْتَ مَا دَلَّهُمْ عَلَىٰ مَوْتِهِ إِلَّا دَابَّةُ الْأَرْضِ تَأْكُلُ مِنْسَأَتَهُ

Solomon lived for 51 years and passed away 4442 years after the Fall of Adam.

His Thankfulness

"And certainly We gave knowledge to Dawud and Sulaiman, and they both said: Praise be to Allah, Who has made us to excel many of his believing servants" (27:15)

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ عِلْمًا ۖ وَقَالَا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي فَضَّلَنَا عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Asking For Forgiveness

"He said: My Lord! Do Thou forgive me and grant me a kingdom which is not fit for any one after me; You are the Bestower." (38:35)

قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَهَبْ لِي مُلْكًا لَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ بَعْدِي ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ

Asking For A Heart Full Of Wisdom

Having acceded to the throne, Solomon gathered the children of Israel to offer sacrifice. He offered a thousand sacrifices and on the same night, he saw in a dream as if the Lord says: Ask whatever you wish so that I will grant to you. Solomon said: O Lord! You gave a great blessing to Dawud and made Your servant, Solomon a king after him. Therefore give me a heart full of wisdom so that I will rule with justice among Your servants and distinguish between good and bad.

وَجَمَعَ سُلَيْمَانَ بَنِي إِسْرائِيلَ لِيُقَرِّبَ قُرْبَانًا فَقَرَّبَ أَلْفَ ذَبِيحَةٍ، فَرَأَى سُلَيْمَانُ في لَيْلَةٍ كَانَ الرَّبَّ يَقُولُ لَهُ: سَلْ مَا أَحْبَبْتَ لأُعْطِيَكَ، فَقَالَ سُلَيْمَانُ: أَنْتَ يَا رَبِّ أَنْعَمْتَ عَلى دَاوُودَ النِّعْمَةَ الْعَظِيمَةَ وَصَيَّرْتَ عَبْدَكَ سُلَيْمَانَ مَلِكًا بَعْدَهُ فَأَعْطِني قَلْبًا حَكِيمًا لأَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ عِبَادِكَ بِالْعَدْلِ وَأَفْهَمُ الْخَيْرَ وَالشَّرّ.َ (الخ(

His Hospitality

Imam Sadeq has reported that Prophet Solomon received his guests with meat and bread the flour of which was sifted several times whereas the meal of his family was a bread the flour of which was unsifted. He himself ate of oat bread. Prophet Solomon fed people with delicious food in his kingdom but he himself ate oat bread.

قَالَ الصّادِقُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ: كَانَ سُلَيْمَانُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ يُطْعِمُ أَضْيَافَهُ اللَّحْمَ بِالْحَواري وَعِيَالَهُ الْخُشْكار وَيَأْكُلُ هُوَ الشَّعيرَ غَيْرَ مَنْخُولٍ.

Mixing With The Poor

When it was morning, Solomon turned away from the rich to go and sit with the poor saying a poor is sitting with the poor.

وَكَانَ سُلَيْمَانُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ إِذا أَصْبَحَ تَصَفَّحَ وُجُوهَ الأَغْنِياءِ وَالأَشْرافِ حَتّى يَجِيءَ إِلى الْمَسَاكِينَ وَيَقْعُدُ مَعَهُمْ وَيَقُولُ: (مِسكِينٌ مَعَ الْمَسَاكِينِ.)

The Virtue Of Glorification Of God

It has been reported that once Solomon was riding when he passed by a man of the children of Israel. Birds were casting their shade over Solomon. Jinns and men were on his right and left. The man said: By Allah, O son of Dawud! God has given you a great kingdom. Hearing this, Solomon said: Surely one glorification (saying glory be to God) in the life of a believer is far better than what has been given to the son of Dawud, for what has been given to the son of Dawud will go out a glorification will last.

رُوِي أَنَّ سُلَيْمَانَ بْنَ دَاوُودَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مَرَّ في مَوْكِبِهِ وَالطَّيْرُ تُظِلُّهُ وَالْجِنُّ وَالإِنْسُ عَنْ يَمِينِهِ وَعَنْ شِمَالِهِ قَالَ فَمَرَّ بِعَابدٍ مِنْ عُبّادِ بَني إِسْرائيلَ فَقَالَ: وَاللَّهِ يَا بْنَ دَاوُودَ لَقَدْ آتَاكَ اللَّهُ مُلْكًا عَظِيمًا، فَسَمِعَهُ سُلَيْمَانُ فَقَالَ لَتَسْبِيحَةٌ في صَحِيفَةِ مُؤمِنٍ خَيْرٌ مِمّا أُعْطِي ابْنَ دَاوُودَ، إِنَّ مَا أُعْطِي ابْنَ دَاوُودَ يَذْهَبُ إِنَّ التَّسْبِيحَةَ تَبْقَى.

His Clothing And Meal

Although Prophet Solomon enjoyed such a glory and majesty, he used clothes made of wool. He put both hand on his neck at night and started weeping till dawn standing. He earned his living by making baskets from the leaves of date-palms with his own hands. He had asked for kingdom to overcome atheism.

كَانَ سُلَيْمانُ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مَعَ مَا هُوَ فِيهِ مِنَ الْمُلْكِ يَلْبَسُ الشَّعْرُ، وَإِذا جَنَّهُ الليلُ شَدَّ يَدَيْهِ إِلى عُنُقِهِ، فَلا يَزالُ قَائِمًا حَتّى يُصْبِحَ بَاكِيًا، وَكَانَ قُوتُهُ مِنْ سَفَائِفِ الْخَوْصِ يَعْمَلُهَا بِيَدِهِ، وَإِنَّمَا سَأَلَ الْمُلْكَ لِيَقْهَرَ مُلُوكَ الْكُفْرِ.

His Four Virtues

It has been reported on the authority of Imam Baqer that Solomon the son of David has said: We were given what was not given to people. And we were taught what people know or do not know. Nevertheless nothing is superior to fear of god in seen and unseen moderation, in wealth and need, truth in contentment and wrath, and invocation to God in all situations.

عَنْ أَبى جَعْفَرٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ قَالَ: سُلَيْمانُ بْنَ دَاوُودَ عَلَيْهما السَّلامُ أُوتِينَا مَا أُوتِيَ النّاسُ وَمَا لَمْ يُؤتُوا وَعُلِّمْنا مَا عَلى النَّاسِ وَمَا لَمْ يَعْلَمُوا فَلَمْ نَجِدْ شَيْئًا أَفْضَلُ مِنْ خَشْيَةِ اللَّهِ في الْغَيْبِ وَالْمَشْهَدِ، وَالْقَصْدِ في الْغِنَى وَالْفَقْرِ وَكَلِمَةِ الْحَقِّ في الرِّضَا وَالْغَضَبِ وَالتَّضَرُّعِ إِلى اللَّهِ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ عَلى كُلِّ حَالٍ.

His Advice To His Son

Solomon son of David used to say to his son: O my son! Avoid undue dispute, for there is not only no benefit in it but it will incite enmity among brethren.

قَالَ سُلَيْمَان بْنُ دَاوُودَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ لابنِهِ: يَا بُنَيَّ إِيّاكَ وَالْمراءَ فَإِنَّهُ لَيْسَتْ فِيهِ مَنْفَعةٌ وَهُوَ يُهَيِّجُ بَيْنَ الإِخْوانِ العَدَاوَةَ.

His Seclusion For Worship

Prophet Solomon stayed in Baytul-Muqaddas for a couple of years or a couple of months, taking his food and drink with him worshipping God.

Ibn-Abbas in answering questions posed by person on fast has said If you wish, I will report to you on Solomon’s fast. He used to fast three days in the beginning, three days in the middle and three days at the end of each month. He began and ended the month with fast.

إِنَّ سُلَيْمانَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ كَانَ يَعْتَكِفُ في مَسْجِدِ بَيْتِ الْمُقَدَّسِ السَّنَةَ وَالسَّنَتَيْنِ وَالشَّهْرَ وَالشَّهْرَيْنِ وَأَقَلَّ وَأَكْثَرَ، يُدْخِلُ فِيهِ طَعَامَهُ وَشَرَابَهُ وَيَتَعَبَّدُ فِيهِ.

His Appearance And Character

Prophet Solomon had fair skin, was weighty, handsome, and hairy. He wore white clothes, was humble and sat with the poor, saying: I am a needy sitting with the needy. His father consulted him during his kingdom while he was only a child and his wisdom and knowledge was great. May the greetings of God be upon our Prophet and his family and upon him be peace too.

كَانَ سُلَيْمَانُ أَبْيَضًا جَسِيمًا وَضِيئًا جَمِيلا كَثِيرَ الشَّعْرِ، يَلْبَسُ مِنَ الثِّيَابَ الْبِيضَ وَكَانَ خَاشِعًا مُتَواضِعًا يُخالِطُ الْمَسَاكِينَ وَيُجَالِسُهُمْ وَيَقُولُ مِسْكِينٌ جَالسَ مِسْكِينًا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُ في أَيّامِ مُلْكِهِ يُشَاورُهُ في كَثِيرٍ مِنْ أُمُورِهِ مَعَ صِغَرِ سِنِّهِ وَوُفُورِ عَقْلِهِ وَعِلْمِهِ صَلّى اللَّهُ عَلى نَبِيِّنَا [وَآلِه] وَعَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ.

Seeking Advice From Ant

When Solomon heard an ant saying to other ants: "O ants! Enter your homes lest Solomon and his hosts should crush you while they do not know" he alighted and ordered her to be brought to him. He asked her: Why did you warn the ants? Have you come to know that I am unjust? Do you not know that I am a fair Prophet? She said: O Prophet of Allah! I did not mean the smashing of the bodies but the smashing of the hearts! I feared lest we should desire what you have been granted and become dazzled and thus be distracted from praising the Almighty!

He said to her: Admonish me. The ant asked : Do you know why your father was named Dawud? Solomon said: I do not know. The ant said: your father had treated his wound with wud (compassion) so he was called Dawud and I wish you to join the company of your father. Then she asked him: Do you know why has the wind been made subservient to you? Solomon said: I have no knowledge of that. The ant said: That the whole world is a wind. It was then that he smiled from her statement saying: My Lord! Grant me that I should be grateful for Thy favor which Thou hast bestowed on me and on my parents.

إِنَّ سُلَيْمَانَ لَمَّا سَمِعَ قَوْلَها (يَا أَيُّهَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُوا مَسَاكِنَكُمْ لا يَحْطِمَنَّكُم سُلَيْمَانَ وَجُنُودُهُ وَهُمْ لا يَشْعُرُونَ) نَزَلَ عَلَيْها وَقَالَ ائتُونِي بِهَا فَأَتَوْهُ بِهَا فَقَالَ لَها لِمَ حَذَّرْتَ النَّمْلَ؟ هَلْ سَمِعْتُمْ إِنّي ظَالِمٌ؟ أَمَا عَلِمْتُمْ أَنّي نَبِيُّ عَدْلٍ؟ فَلِمَ قُلْتَ لا يَحْطِمَنَّكُم سُلَيْمَانُ وَجُنُودُهُ؟ قَالَتِ النَّمْلَةُ يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ أَمَا سَمِعْتَ قَوْلي وَهُمْ لا يَشْعُرُونَ مَعَ أَنّي مَا أَرَدْتُ حَطْمَ النُّفُوسِ وَإِنَّمَا أَرَدْتُ حَطْمَ الْقُلُوبِ خَشِيتُ أَنْ يَتَمَنَّيَنَّ مَا أُعْطِيتَ فَيَفْتَتِنَ وَيَشْتَغِلْنَ بِالنَّظَرِ إِلَيْكَ عَنِ التَّسْبِيحِ.

فَقَالَ لَها عِظِينِي فَقَالَتْ لَهُ النَّمْلَةُ هَلْ عَلِمْتَ لِمَ سُمِّي أَبُوكَ دَاوُودَ؟ قَالَتْ لأَنَّهُ دَاوَى جِرَاحَةَ قَلْبِهِ، ثُمَّ قَالَتْ وَهَلْ تَدْرِي لِمَ سُمِّيتَ سُلَيْمَانَ؟ قَالَ لا قَالَتْ لأَنَّكَ سَلِيمٌ رَكَنْتَ إِلى مَا أُوتِيتَ بِسَلامَةِ صَدْرِكَ وَحَقَّ لَكَ أَنْ تَلْحَقَ بِأَبِيكَ دَاوُودَ. ثُمَّ قَالَتْ أَتَدْري لِمَ سَخَّرَ اللَّهُ تَعالى لَكَ الرِّيحَ؟ قَالَ لا، قَالَتْ لِيُخْبِرَكَ أَنَّ الدُّنْيا كُلُّهَا رِيحٌ، فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكًا مِنْ قَولِهَا مُتَعَجِّبًا وَقَالَ رَبِّ أَوْزِعْنِي أَنْ أَشْكُرَ نِعْمَتَكَ الَّتِي أَنْعَمْتَ عَلَيَّ وَعَلى وَالِدَيَّ الآية.

Learning From A Sparrow

Prophet Solomon saw a sparrow saying to his mate: Why do you not obey me? Should I decide, I can carry Solomon’s cupola with my beak and throw it into sea. Solomon smiled at sparrow’s words. Then he called them saying to sparrow: Can you really do what you said? The sparrow said: No, O messenger of Allah but every man wishes to make himself appear important to his wife. A lover cannot be blamed for that.

Solomon then asked the hen-sparrow: Why do you not obey him while he loves you? She said: O Prophet of Allah! He is not a true lover. He only pretends, for he loves someone else. The hen-sparrow’s words left such impact on Solomon’s heart that he started weeping bitterly. Hence he retreated from people for forty days calling on God to fill his heart with his love and not mix it with the love of others.

َّ سُلَيْمَانَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ رَأَى عُصْفُورًا يَقُولُ لِعُصْفُورَتَهُ: لِمَ تَمْنَعِينَ نَفْسَكِ مِنّي؟ وَلَوْ شِئْتُ أَخَذْتُ قُبَّةَ سُلَيْمانَ بِمِنْقَارِي فَأُلْقِيهَا في الْبَحْرِ!

فَتَبَسَّمَ سُلَيْمانَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلامُ مِنْ كَلامِهِ. ثُمَّ دَعَاهُمَا وَقَالَ لِلْعُصْفُورِ: أَتُطِيقَ أَنْ تَفْعَلَ ذَلِكَ؟ فَقَالَ لا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَلَكِنَّ الْمَرْءَ قَد يُزَيِّنُ نَفْسَهُ وَيُعَظِّمَهَا عِنْدَ زَوْجَتِهِ وَالْمُحِبُّ لا يُلامُ عَلى مَا يَقُولُ.

فَقَالَ لِلْعُصْفُورَةِ لِمَ تَمْنَعِيهِ مِنْ نَفْسَكِ وَهُوَ يُحِبُّكِ؟ فَقَالَتْ يَا نَبِيَّ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مُحِبًّا وَلَكِنَّهُ مُدَّعٍ، يَحُبُّ مَعي غَيْرِي فَأَثَّرَ كَلامُ الْعُصْفُورَةِ في قَلْبِ سُلَيْمَانَ وَبَكى بُكَاءً شَدِيدًا وَاحْتَجَبَ عَنِ النَّاسِ أَرْبَعِينَ يَومًا يَدْعُوا اللَّهَ أَنْ يَفْرُغَ قَلْبَهُ لِمَحَبَّةِ اللَّهِ وَأَنْ لا يُخَالِطَها بِمَحَبَّةِ غَيْرِهِ.

Solomon’s Thrones

Solomon son of David was such that they would place 600 thrones for him. Then noblemen came and took seats near him. Next noble ones of Jinns came and took seats beside men. Then the birds came and cast their shades over them. Then Solomon ordered the wind to make them fly.

كَانَ سُلَيْمَانُ بْنَ دَاوُودَ(ع) يُوَضعُ لَهُ سِتُّمِائَةِ كُرْسيٍّ ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ أَشْرافِ الإِنْسِ فَيَجْلِسُونَ مِمَّا يَلِيهِ ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ أَشْرَافُ الْجِنِّ فَيَجْلِسُونَ مِمَّا يَلي الإِنْسُ ثُمَّ يَدْعُو الطَّيْرَ فَتُظِلُّهُمْ ثُمَّ يَدْعُو الرّيحَ فَتَحْمِلُهُمْ.