Story of Suleiman (Peace be upon him)

Story of Suleiman (Peace be upon him)

The following story is regarding the greatness of Suleiman (AS) and the bounties that Allah SWT had blessed him with. Suleiman (AS) was the son of Dawud (AS) and at a very young age, Allah had blessed him with intelligence and the special ability to settle disputes. After Dawud (AS)’s death Suleiman (AS) succeeded him as king and prophet. Allah had granted Suleiman (AS) control over the wind, the jins and animals. He also understood the speech of birds. The birds in the court of Suleiman (AS) would fan their wings out and provide shade for him. Once a bird called Hudhud was found absent in his court. Suleiman (AS) enquired regarding Hudhud’s absence and threatened to severely punish Hudhud unless he had a good explanation for his absence.


When Hudhud re appeared, the bird explained its reason of delay. He explained that he discovered something that even Suleiman (AS) was unaware off, that in a region of Yemen called Saba lived a queen called Bilqees whom Allah had granted everything including a splendid throne. However the queen and her people were sun worshippers and they did not worship one Allah. Suleiman (AS) then commanded Hudhud to take a letter to the queen to check Hudhud’s information. He instructed Hudhud to hand it to her and to wait for a reply from the queen.


Upon receiving the letter, the queen opened it and read it in front of her advisors and courtiers saying “I have received this letter in which is written”:


“This letter is from Suleiman and is In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, and Most Merciful. You should not rebel against me, but come to me as obedient servants of Allah.”


After reading the letter, the queen sought advises from her advisors on what to do. The advisors replied that there was no need to be bothered and troubled and stated they’re strength and the means that they possessed to go into war with Suleiman (AS). However they did not force the queen into the confrontation with Suleiman (AS) and said that they would only offer advice.


The queen replied:


“We are strong and have power but in the manner that Suleiman (AS) has delivered his message shows that we should carefully consider what steps to take. Also peace and friendship are better and wiser; war only brings humiliation, enslaves people and destroys the good things. It is my intention to send valuable gifts to Suleiman (AS) as a means to display our pomp and splendour and the courtiers who will deliver the gifts will also have an opportunity to learn about Suleiman (AS) and his military mighty. If he is indeed a strong and powerful king then our confrontation with him will be useless because it is the practice of strong kings that they destroy and humiliate the city and its dwellers after conquering a city. ”


Bilqees then decided to send gifts to Suleiman (AS) as a test and prepared an envoy that would deliver specially selected, precious gifts as a means for the envoy to assess his military might, pomp and splendour. The envoy would also have an opportunity to learn about Suleiman (AS).


Upon the arrival of the queen’s envoy, Suleiman (AS) understood that the queen had sent her envoy on a mission and said:


“Do you think that you can please me with these gifts? Allah has given me better than what He has given you; these gifts are nothing in comparison to what I have been granted. Take your gifts back and tell your queen that if she does not obey my call then she will meet an army of such large force that Saba will not be able to defend against. They will drive you and your people out of the city and expel you from it.”


The envoy returned to Saba and narrated the story and delivered Suleiman (AS)’s message. They also related the splendour and might around Suleiman (AS) and how he also rules over the jinns and animals as well as the men. The queen at once realised that Suleiman (AS) was the true prophet of Allah and along with her people started travelling towards Suleiman (AS).


Once Suleiman (AS) became aware of her approach in his direction, he ordered his courtiers that he wanted her throne to be brought to him before she arrives. A powerful jinn offered to bring it before Suleiman (AS) within a few moments however, Suleiman (AS)’s wazir offered to bring it within the twinkling of the eye. Then when Suleiman (AS) saw it placed before him, he said: “This is by the Grace of my Lord; He tests me to find if I am grateful or ungrateful.”


He then ordered a few changes to be made to the throne of Bilqees in order to “see whether she will be guided (to recognise her throne), or will she be from those who are not guided.”


Upon her arrival, Suleiman (AS) questioned her of whether she recognised the throne. She intelligently replied of the resemblance it had with her very own throne. She replied: “It is as it were the same.” However as Allah states in the Qur’an “what she worshiped besides God prevented her (from understanding). Surely, she was of the unbelieving people.”


She was then told to enter a magnificent glass palace, which would shine, and shimmer like water. There was forecourt at the entrance to the palace which had a pool of water covered in a clear, crystal tile- like floor which produced the effect of a stream running within it. The queen on seeing this lifted her dress in fear of getting it wet and in doing so revealed her legs. Suleiman (AS) on seeing this said, “it is a courtyard paved with glass.” She said: “My Lord, I have wronged myself, but I have submitted with Suleiman to the Lord of all the worlds.” (Qur’an, 27:44)


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Tayyib HMC FInder

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