اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
All praise be to Allah with full gratitude for all His bounties. … All praise be to Allah: the master of the sovereignty, Who allows arks to flow [on seas], Who controls the winds, Who causes the day to break, Who administers the authority, and Who is the Lord of the worlds. All praise be to Allah for His forbearance despite His full knowledge. All praise be to Allah for His amnesty despite His full power. All praise be to Allah for the length of His respite during His wrath, while He is able to do whatever He wills.
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون
We bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is one and has no partners. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it prevail over all religions, though the polytheists should be averse.
اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
I enjoin you, servants of Allah and myself, to have fear of God and comply with His commands and forbiddances, and warn you against His retribution.
Prophet Solomon’s Practice according to the Quran
Prophet Solomon, the son of Prophet David, is mentioned in the noble Quran as a divine gift bestowed upon David. The Quran states: “And to David We gave Solomon” (Sad, 30).
Prophet Solomon’s Character
The Quran enumerates peculiar brilliant characteristics for Solomon.
- God’s Servant
The Quran emphasizes the concept of servitude to God when describing many prophets. While all prophets held the position of servitude to God, the Quran specifically designates certain prophets as God’s servants, underscoring the significance of this characteristic in their lives. Solomon, like his father David, is portrayed as one of God’s servants, signifying that their devotion has been acknowledged and accepted by God.
وَوَهَبْنَا لِدَاوُودَ سُلَيْمَانَ، نِعْمَ الْعَبْدُ، إِنَّهُ أَوَّابٌ
And to David We gave Solomon—what an excellent servant he was! Indeed, he was penitent. (Sad, 30)
In the Quran, the attribute “penitent” is specifically about Job, David, and Solomon. About the latter two, the Quran says “and remember Our servant, David, [the man] of strength. Indeed he was penitent” (Sad, 17) and “And to David We gave Solomon—what an excellent servant he was! Indeed, he was penitent” (Sad, 30).
This means that David’s family was penitent (awwāb). The original Arabic term literally implies their consistent return to God, either by way of seeking supplication with Him, or by way of asking Him for help and guidance in all matters.
- Special Divine Knowledge
Another characteristic attributed in the Quran to Solomon and his father David was that they had special access to unique divine knowledge.
وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا دَاوُودَ وَسُلَيْمَانَ عِلْمًا، وَقَالَا الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي فَضَّلَنَا عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Certainly, We gave knowledge to David and Solomon, and they said, ‘All praise belongs to Allah, who granted us an advantage over many of His faithful servants.’ (Al-Naml, 15)
Other Quranic verses provide insight into the nature of this knowledge. For instance, according to one verse, “Solomon inherited from David, and he said, ‘O people! We have been taught the speech of the birds’” (al-Naml, 16). This verse suggests that both David and Solomon possessed the extraordinary ability to comprehend and communicate with avian creatures.
Another Quranic verse recounts the fascinating tale of Solomon’s interaction with ants. As Solomon’s mighty army traversed the land, the leader of the ants cautioned his fellow ants to exercise caution, lest they inadvertently crushed beneath the soldiers’ feet. The subsequent verse reveals that Solomon possessed the extraordinary ability to comprehend and communicate their language:
حَتَّى إِذَا أَتَوْا عَلَى وَادِ النَّمْلِ قَالَتْ نَمْلَةٌ: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّمْلُ ادْخُلُوا مَسَاكِنَكُمْ لَا يَحْطِمَنَّكُمْ سُلَيْمَانُ وَجُنُودُهُ وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ؛ فَتَبَسَّمَ ضَاحِكًا مِنْ قَوْلِهَا
When they came to the Valley of Ants, an ant said, ‘O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Solomon and his hosts should trample on you while they are unaware.’ (18) Whereat he smiled, amused at its words. (Al-Nam, 18-19)
When considering these verses collectively, it becomes evident that Solomon possessed the extraordinary ability to comprehend the language of birds and other creatures.
- Governance of Jinn and Humans
The Quran highlights unique characteristics of Solomon that are not mentioned for any other prophets. It states that in his army, Solomon had recruited humans, jinn, and birds as soldiers and commanders:
وَحُشِرَ لِسُلَيْمَانَ جُنُودُهُ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَالْإِنْسِ وَالطَّيْرِ فَهُمْ يُوزَعُونَ
Solomon’s hosts were marched out for him, comprising jinn, humans and birds, and they were held in check. (Al-Naml, 17)
This indicates that Solomon’s governance was not limited to humans, but extended to all animals as well.
- Dominance over Winds
According to the Quran, Solomon possessed the ability to govern and control not only animals but also the winds.
وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ عَاصِفَةً تَجْرِي بِأَمْرِهِ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَكُنَّا بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَالِمِينَ
And [We disposed] for Solomon the tempestuous wind which blew by his command toward the land which We have blessed, and We have knowledge of all things. (Al-Anbiya, 81)
- Dominance over Devils
According to the Quran, Solomon possessed dominion not only over animals and winds but also over the devils.
وَمِنَ الشَّيَاطِينِ مَنْ يَغُوصُونَ لَهُ وَيَعْمَلُونَ عَمَلًا دُونَ ذَلِكَ وَكُنَّا لَهُمْ حَافِظِينَ
Among the devils were some who dived for him and performed tasks other than that, and We were watchful over them. (Al-Anbiya, 82)
An independent exegetical discussion is necessary to understand the significance of the statement that devils served Solomon or that he had dominion over them. What we do know is that Solomon’s government possessed a distinct realm unlike any other individual in history, and this was a direct fulfillment of his request from God:
قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَهَبْ لِي مُلْكًا لَا يَنْبَغِي لِأَحَدٍ مِنْ بَعْدِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْوَهَّابُ
He said, ‘My Lord! Forgive me, and grant me a kingdom that will not befit anyone except me. Indeed You are the All-munificent.’ (Sad, 35)