Prophet Sulaiman (AS)

Hazrat Daud (AS.) was a prophet of Allah and a king. He had nineteen sons and every one of them wanted to inherit his throne. He agreed with one of his wives to nominate their eldest son to the throne. Allah commanded him not to appoint anyone but to wait for His order.

One day, he was asked to decide in a dispute between Elia who was a cultivator and his neighbour Yohanna who was a herdsman. Elia complained that the sheep belonging to Yohanna had grazed in his cornfield and had eaten the fruits causing him a great loss.

Yohanna admitted that it had happened at night while he was asleep. By the command of Allah, Prophet Daud called all his sons and told them that whoever decided the case correctly, would be his heir.

Sulaiman, who was the youngest son, ruled that Yohanna would have to surrender to Elia the milk and the wool that he would obtain from his sheep during that year. Prophet Daud asked him how he had decided in this manner. Sulaiman replied, "The sheep did not eat the plants, but only the fruits; thus only the produce from the sheep should make up for the loss."

Allah informed Prophet Daud that the ruling given by Sulaiman was the best and he should be made his heir. Prophet Daud gathered all his sons in the presence of the learned people and chiefs of tribes and declared, by Allah's command, Sulaiman to be a prophet of Allah and his heir to the throne.

Prophet Daud died and Sulaiman became a king at the age of thirteen. Once Prophet Sulaiman said that he would have a son from each of his wives. Since he did not leave the fulfilment of his desire upon the will of Allah by saying Insha-Allah, only one of his wives bore him a child and even then it was still-born.

When Prophet Sulaiman realised his mistake, he became very sorry and asked Allah to forgive him and to grant him a kingdom which no one else would have after him. Allah accepted his prayers and granted him a mighty kingdom. He also gave him power over the jinn's, Satan's, birds, animals and the wind. They all had to obey his orders.

And He taught him the languages of every living creature on the earth. At the command of Prophet Sulaiman. they built huge temples, fortresses, towers palaces made of glass, large basins of water reserves and immovable cooking pots.

Once Prophet Sulaiman and his army of jinn's and animals were passing over the valley of the ants. Seeing the pomp and glory of the army, the chief of the ants alerted all the ants to get into their holes so that the army would not trample over them. With the help of the wind, Prophet Sulaiman heard what the chief of the ants had said. He smiled and ordered his army not to move forward until the ants had got into their holes.

He then addressed the chief of the ants, "How could my army harm you and your kind when we were passing well above you in the air? And don't you know that I am the prophet of Allah and would never hurt anyone unjustly?"

The ant replied, "O Prophet of Allah, I did not warn them because of any harm that they would suffer, but I was afraid they would forget the glory of Allah after seeing your army." Inspite of his wealth, glory and vast empire, Prophet Sulaiman remained a humble and devoted servant of Allah.

He spent his nights in prayers and fasted during the days. He used his power and might only in the way of Allah to bring mankind to the right path. For his livelihood, he used to make baskets and sell them in the market and with the money he obtained, he bought food and shared it with the poor. One day, when he was inspecting the birds, he noticed that a bird called Hudhud was not present.

He said, "Where is Hudhud? I will punish him severely if he remains absent without a good reason." Shortly after that, Hudhud arrived and told Prophet Sulaiman that he had flown over the land of Saba where he had seen a beautiful woman ruling over the people. Her name was Bilqees.

She had plenty of wealth, a strong army and a throne made of gold, diamonds and other precious stones. He saw her and the people worshipping the sun, instead of Allah. Prophet Sulaiman was very pleased with Hudhud and gave him a letter to deliver to Bilqees. Hudhud flew to the land of Saba and dropped the letter in the lap of Bilqees while she was in the palace.

When Bilqees received the letter, she called her advisors and said, "I have received an honourable letter from Sulaiman. It begins "IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL" and it reads:

"Accept Allah and worship only Him. I am His prophet, believe in what I say and accept my command." She then asked them to advise her what she should do. They replied, "We are very strong and have a powerful army to fight against Sulaiman, but the decision is yours and we will obey your order. Bilqees was wise and decided not to fight Prophet Sulaiman. Instead, she sent him valuable gifts to see what he would do.

When the messengers of Bilqees arrived in the land of Prophet Sulaiman and saw his glory and his wealth, they were struck with wonder. They thought the gifts they had brought were worthless. Prophet Sulaiman became very angry when he was presented with the gifts and said, "What! Do you offer me wealth? What Allah has given me is more superior to all the wealth on this earth. Go back to your queen with her gifts and tell her that I will soon march to conquer her land with a huge army."

When Bilqees heard what had happened, she decided to surrender herself to Prophet Sulaiman and made preparations to go to meet him. Meanwhile, on the orders of Prophet Sulaiman, a palace of glass was built in honour of the visit of Bilqees. Even the floor was made of glass and water was put under it with different kinds of fish.

The whole floor looked like a pool of water without the glass showing on top. He then asked who could bring the throne of Bilqees to him. A jinn stepped forward and said, "I will bring the throne before you rise from your seat."

One man who was given a little spiritual knowledge by Allah, said, "I will bring it in the twinkling of an eye." When Prophet Sulaiman saw the throne before him, he praised Allah and thanked Him for His favours.

When Bilqees arrived, she was amazed to see her throne and realised what power Allah had given to Prophet Sulaiman. She then entered the palace through the courtyard whose floor was made of glass. Thinking that it was a pool of water, she raised her clothes to pass through it. When Prophet Sulaiman informed her what it was, she was overwhelmed with wonder and accepted him to be a prophet of Allah.

She said, "O Lord, I have wronged myself in worshipping the sun instead of you. I therefore give in myself with Sulaiman to You, the Lord of the worlds." Prophet Sulaiman then married Bilqees and thereafter she returned to her land where he visited her frequently.

The people of Saba who were sun-worshippers, were converted to believe in Allah and to worship none other than Him. One day, Prophet Sulaiman told his attendants that he was going to the top of his palace and no one was to enter without permission. While Prophet Sulaiman, with the staff in his hand, was viewing the kingdom around him, he saw a young man approaching him.

He was surprised and asked him, "Who are you and who gave you permission to enter the palace?" The visitor replied, "I have come in with the permission of Allah, the Owner of the universe. I am the angel of death and Allah has sent me to take your life away" Prophet Sulaiman said, "Then discharge your duty."

While Prophet Sulaiman stood leaning on his staff, his soul left him. His body remained standing for such a long time that people and the jinn's believed him to have become a god or a magician. They carried on with the work entrusted to them by Prophet Sulaiman, until Allah caused the ants to eat away the staff he was leaning on and his body fell on the ground. Prophet Sulaiman ruled for forty years and died at the age of fifty three.

The Holy Qur'an says:

"When the angels told Maryam that Allah had given her the glad news of the birth of a son whom He calls His Word, whose name would be Massiah, 選sa son of Mary, who would be a man of honour in his life and the life to come and who would be one of the ones nearest to Allah, who would speak to the people while in his cradle and preach to them when he would be a grown - up man, who would be one of the righteous ones, Maryam said, 践ow can there be a son for me when no mortal has touched me?' The angels replied, 禅hat is how Allah creates whatever He wants. When He decides to do something, He just orders it to 礎e', and it comes into existence" (Surah Ale Imran, 3:45-47)"

Lady Maryam, daughter of Imran, was from the progeny of Prophet Da'ud. Her mother was a noble and pious woman. One day she invoked Allah to bless her with an issue whom she would dedicate to the service of the Holy Land, Baytul Maqdis. Her prayer was granted by Allah and she was blessed with the birth of Maryam. She took her daughter, Maryam, to Baytul Maqdis and invoked Allah to save her and her daughter from the inducement and guiles of the Satan. This prayer was also answered by Allah.

When Lady Maryam was brought to Baytul Maqdis, differences arose between the trustees of the Holy Place about the bringing up of the new-born child. Everybody wanted to bring up the child himself. After all, for arriving at an impartial decision, a lot was drawn from the names of the people and incidentally the lot came to the name of Prophet Zakariya and thus he took the responsibility of looking after the child. When Lady Maryam came of age, Prophet Zakariya set aside a chamber in Baytul Maqdis exclusively for Lady Maryam. Lady Maryam then got herself busy in the worship of Allah and in the glorification of His Name. Lady Maryam was blessed by Allah with the exalted position of infallibility and she was given by Allah the designation of the most superior woman of her time.

When Lady Maryam was in the Sanctuary, a special place for the worship of Allah, Archangel Jibril appeared in the garb of a handsome young man before her and she got very much scared to see him with her. Jibril said to her, "Do not get frightened. I am the Angel of Allah and have brought to you the glad news that the Almighty Allah is going to bless you soon with a son who would be one of the most worthy Divine personages in this world and the Hereafter and he would speak from his cradle. "Maryam said, "How could that be possible when I have not been touched by any man ?"

Jibril said, "There is nothing which is impossible for Allah. He has Power over all things. He can create as He would wish. And whenever Allah wills to do a certain thing, that happens at once with His will"

At that time Lady Maryam felt herself to be pregnant and she became much embarrassed and frightened. She was pondering over as to how a virgin could give birth to an offspring. The more she pondered over, the more she got puzzled and worried. Although she was the most dignified of all the women in the world and had an unflinching faith and belief in Allah of highest degree and knew quite well that the Almighty Lord would help her in all moments, still she was afraid of the mischief and the wicked tongue-lashing of the mischievous and spiteful Jews. She wondered as to what answer she would have against their false accusation to establish her innocence and infallibility!

Much has been written on this topic and different narration's from various sources have been quoted. Some of those writers who have written the biographies of the Prophets and particularly some of those who follow the Egyptian writers have given the duration of Lady Maryam's pregnancy as normal period and have said that she remained in constant mental worry. But according to the narration's of the Shi'ah scholars and authors, Jibril blew his breath into the bosom of Lady Maryam; as a result of which she became pregnant in the night and in the morning she was delivered of the child and thus the duration of her pregnancy was of nine hours instead of the normal nine months. However, the infallible Maryam resigned herself to the will of Allah and entrusted all her affairs to the care of her Lord up to the time of her giving birth to the child.

At the onset of her labour pain, she reached a dried date-palm tree and without the aid of any midwife or any other attendant she gave birth to a handsome child all by herself. The only thing she uttered in her grief was, "Would that I were to die before all this could happen and that I were to be among those who are completely forgotten.

But suddenly, Lady Maryam, the sad and worried, heard a welcome voice. It was as though somebody was consoling her heart and was saying, "Do not be sad. The Almighty Allah has erupted a brooklet from near your feet. Drink its water and shake the old date-palm tree. Ripe dates will fall down from it. Eat them and get rid of all your worries. Still, Lady Maryam seemed to have not been satisfied as she was very much scared of the gossiping of her enemies.

Lady Maryam was asked by her Lord that if she found people making false allegations against her, she should tell them that she had vowed before Allah to observe fast and as such she was unable to talk with them.

Lady Maryam took hold of her dear son and brought him to Baytul Maqdis. Soon after that the Jews saw her, they started casting aspersions upon her and started calling her with strange names and said, "O Maryam! You have done a very strange thing. Your mother was not that one who mixed up with the strangers, and your father, too, was not in favour of doing any unlawful or immoral thing. How is it that you forsook their ways and adopted a different way by which you gave birth to a child without a husband"

The infallible Maryam pointed out to the cradle of her new-born son, implying thereby to ask him and not her the answer to their question. The Infinite Power of Allah came into action and the new-born child then started speaking about his exalted position and said, "I am the servant of Allah, my Lord. My Lord has showered on me His Mercy and Benevolence. He has sent me as the Prophet of Allah. He has designated me as the most exalted and the most blessed. As long as I am going to be alive, I have been ordained by my Lord, the Almighty Allah, to offer prayers (Salat), pay Zakat (poor-rate) and to treat my Mother in the most respectable manner".

Thus Prophet 選sa introduced himself to the critics of his mother in those words and established the innocence and the infallibility of his most exalted and worthy mother.

As a matter of fact, the birth of a child under the most extra-ordinary circumstances is a great miracle in itself and such a child could never have been born of a mother who was not pious and virtuous herself. And similarly, the Almighty Allah who made the new-born child speak from his cradle was still demonstrating a greater miracle than giving birth to him without the father; which is so very easy for the All-Powerful Allah.

But despite the clear proofs and Divine signs, the Jews continued committing the sins and saying silly and unworthy things. They stuck their neck in the noose of ignorance and obstinacy all the same without remorse. But still there were a few pious who after witnessing this great miracle did not entertain any doubt and misgivings in their mind and instead acknowledged the birth of the new-born child as one of the greatest signs of the Greatness of the Almighty Allah and considered Lady Maryam as the most chaste, virtuous and pious woman free from all sorts of sins and evil things.

When the astrologers of the day came to know of the birth of such an infallible child, they came from all over the country to pay their homage and tribute to him and brought presents for him.

As soon as the Jewish emperor, Herodotus, learnt about the birth of Prophet 選sa, he got terribly frightened, as he feared that some unexpected circumstances might lead to the downfall of his kingdom. Thus he plotted to kill Prophet 選sa so as to save his empire from any possible mishap. When Lady Maryam sensed the danger to the life of her son, Prophet 選sa, she took him away to Egypt. In Egypt, Prophet 選sa was brought up by his mother until the time he grew up and reached the age of 30 years. The Almighty Allah then revealed upon Prophet 選sa the Divine Book, Injil (Evangel) and afterwards Prophet 選sa came back to Baytul Maqdis and invited the Jews to the true religion of Allah. For three years, he continued preaching to them the commandments of Allah.

Prophet 選sa was one of the accredited Prophets of Allah and he was endowed with certain miracles. One of such miracles was the raising of the dead to life again under the command and will of Allah. His another miracle was that he could restore the eyesight of the blind and cure the lepers.

A few of the Jews accepted the faith of Prophet 選sa and embraced his religion after having been convinced of his miracles, but the rest of them became his enemies so much so that they decided to kill him. From amongst the few people who had embraced the faith, Prophet 選sa selected 12 of them as his apostles. These people remained with Prophet 選sa all the time and followed his teachings. Prophet 選sa delegated them his authority to preach the people the laws as laid down by Injil.

The so-called religious leaders of the people of Bani Isra'il and the Jews who had worldly gains before them thought that with the advent of the Prophethood of Prophet 選sa their influence and domination over the people would be brought to an end and they would be deprived of the people's devotion as well as many gifts and money which they used to receive as a token of love and respect by the people. They formed a united front to oppose the preaching of Prophet 選sa and to extinguish the light which the Almighty Allah had kindled in the person of Prophet 選sa and so that they might pass an easy and carefree life. They openly refuted the Prophethood of Prophet 選sa and called him a magician and skilled juggler.

However, Prophet 選sa remained undaunted and stood like a firm rock against the dissidents, and continued preaching the people to the path of Allah. For his safety, he only considered Allah as his Saviour and he never became frightened of his opponents. Wherever he went, he preached the people with firm determination. His devotees and followers used to come to Baytul Maqdis on pilgrimage and Prophet 選sa then had an ample opportunity of holding big congregations to deliver his sermons. This enabled the large number of people to come to the fold of Divine religion and the number of his supporters and admirers increased day by day. The Jews became all the more worried to see the popularity of Prophet 選sa and their enmity against him was deeply rooted in their hearts, but they were helpless against the will of Allah. They tried hard to extinguish the Light of Allah, but the Light continued glowing with all its brilliance.

Food From Heavens

The Holy Qur'an says:

"When 選sa prayed, "Lord, send us a table full of food from heavens so that it will make a feast for us and for those who are yet to come in this world as an evidence from You. Give us sustenance, for You are the best Provider. Allah replied, "I am sending it to you, but if anyone of you turns back to disbelief I will make him suffer a torment that no one has ever suffered". (Surah al-Ma'idah, 5:114-115)

It has been the tradition and style of the Prophets that in times of difficulties they remained patient and steadfast against the opposition and tortures of their opponents who used to mock them, but they never shirked their responsibility of fulfilling their Prophetic mission and instead by their perseverance and steadfastness they brought their mission to its successful completion.

Prophet 選sa with the aid and assistance of the twelve of his disciples who were dedicated to the preaching of Injil, and who suffered at the hands of the unbelievers, went from place to place, from towns to villages, inviting the people towards Monotheism and the Divine teachings of Injil. He used to stay a few days at each place and called upon the people to believe in the Oneness of Allah, Resurrection and the Day of Judgement, Paradise and Hell, and to banish the evil desires and inclinations towards sins from the people's hearts.

It is but natural that honest men respect a noble and pious man for his piety and virtue and are enthusiastic about learning good things from him. Here we see that Prophet 選sa was an exalted Prophet and his twelve disciples too were very pious and virtuous. They possessed noble attributes and from the point of view of their strong attachment to Prophet 選sa, they asked him to show them one of the signs of Allah so that they could literally satisfy their hearts and souls by experiencing them personally with their own eyes and reach the extreme limit of perfection of spiritual enlightenment. But they requested Prophet 選sa in an awkward way and said, "O Prophet 選sa, son of Lady Maryam! Does your Lord not possess enough Power to send food for us from the heavens?"

Prophet 選sa said to them, "If you have really faith and belief in Allah, then you must fear Him". The disciples said, "What we mean is that while eating the food sent from the heavens, we become literally convinced in our hearts of the truthfulness of your words of promise and become a witness to your statement of facts". At last, Prophet 選sa invoked Allah thus: "O my Lord, send food for us from the heavens which may become the cause of our happiness and satisfaction, and by which the first and the last amongst us become happy and that would serve as a sign from You of Your Greatness, and You are the best Provider of sustenance. The Almighty Allah granted his prayers and said, "I am sending food from the heavens, but if anyone of you turns back to disbelief, I will make him suffer a torment that no one has ever suffered".

Thus the Almighty Allah sent food to them from the heavens and everyone was benefited by His benevolence. Prophet 選sa then addressed himself to his apostles and said, "Eat this food and be grateful to Your Lord, the Almighty Allah, so that He increases your means of sustenance further by showering upon you His benevolence".

They took advantage of the advice and this incident became famous so much so that many people after witnessing this sign of Allah, embraced their faith in the Divine religion and those of the believers who had already embraced the faith became more fervent in their faith.

Prophet 選sa from his side spared no pains to invite the Jews towards the right path, for doing the good and forbidding the evil. But the obstinacy of the Jews had overpowered them so strongly that despite the preaching of Prophet 選sa they remained stubborn and arrogant and did not give up abominable things such as greed, usury, etc. They continued showing their bias and animosity against Prophet 選sa. The only reason for all these was their love for power and they did not want to leave it. They feared that the time of their domination was coming to an end and somebody else was going to snatch their power and kingdom. The Jews did not give up their opposition to the Prophet of Allah who was endowed with piety and virtue. Instead they blamed him for making disruptions in the rank and file of the people by which the peace and tranquillity of the land was in jeopardy. The Jews thought that by adopting such nefarious designs they would succeed in their aims; but it was their sheer ignorance. Prophet 選sa had belief in his Lord and he knew that Allah was the best Protector and Helper and He had promised him that he would be saved from harm done by his enemies.

The Jews not only remained content with their nefarious deeds, but they termed Prophet 選sa's guidance towards Allah a magical charm and accused him of witchcraft and wizardry. They also claimed that Prophet 選sa had become dissident of the religion of Prophet Musa and he did not consider Saturday a sacred day.

The Jews ultimately decided to do away with the exalted Prophet of Allah and so they started looking for Prophet 選sa. They sent their spies and informers all over the place to trace Prophet 選sa out. At last they caught hold of one of Prophet 選sa's apostles, Sham'un al-Safa. The Jews interrogated him about Prophet 選sa, but could not succeed in getting any information about his whereabouts. They then came across someone named Yahuda and this man who was one of the apostles of Prophet 選sa, was cunning and hypocrite. He told the Jews the whereabouts of Prophet 選sa, his benefactor and mentor.

Prophet 選sa was busy in a cave, offering worship to Allah in deep meditation. The Jews caught hold of him and took him away to crucify him by nailing his hands and feet on a cross. They rejoiced in thinking that they had achieved their purpose and by crucifixion of the Prophet of Allah, all their problems would be solved. But it was their utter ignorance as the Power of Allah is supreme and His humble creature can not stand before it. Whenever Allah wills to do a thing, it happens. Prophet 選sa was the great sign of Allah. He was born under an extraordinary and unbelievable circumstances and it was obvious that his life too would be extraordinarily quite different from others.

Therefore under the most dangerous situation when Prophet 選sa was soon going to be crucified by his enemies, the Infinite Power of Allah came into action and Allah raised his chosen Prophet to the heavens where he is still alive.

According to the prophecy of the Prophet of Islam, when the advent of the Twelfth Imam, the Mahdi, (Imam of the Time) will take place, Prophet 選sa will descend on the Earth from the heavens and offer his prayers behind him.

Since there is a hidden Power to take revenge upon the oppressors, it is but necessary that sooner or later the culprit would have to meet his ill-fate by suffering from unbearable torment. Therefore, Yahuda, the apostle who had betrayed Prophet 選sa was caught hold of by the Jews as he resembled Prophet 選sa very much. Taking him as Prophet 選sa, they crucified him. By this, the Divine Will and Power prevailed.

The Propagation of the Religion of Prophet 選sa The Christian calendar begins from the date of birth of Prophet 選sa (Jesus Christ). At the time of his raising alive to the heavens, Prophet 選sa's age was 33 years. After this, according to the testament of Prophet 選sa, his apostles dedicated themselves to the propagation of the religion of Prophet 選sa.

Some of them went to Baytul Maqdis, some to Rome, and some to Asia Minor, India, and other countries of Asia and Africa. After his apostles, the responsibility of propagating the teachings of Prophet 選sa and Injil fell on the shoulders of the vicegerents of Prophet 選sa. At that time, most of the countries of Europe, Asia and Africa were under the domination of the Roman Emperor. The emperor used to torture the followers of Prophet 選sa, but still the followers of Prophet 選sa continued their mission of preaching, and despite oppressions and severe tortures, they did not give up their mission and instead, they preached the people secretly.

This state of affairs continued for about 300 years. In 313 A.D., Qustuntin (Constantine), the Roman Emperor, after seeing the popularity of Christianity, embraced this religion and dedicated himself to the propagation of Christianity. The big Roman Empire having come under the influence of Christianity gave an impetus to its propagation in far - off places. After Constantine, the succeeding emperors too contributed a lot towards increasing the numerical majority of the Christians