The Story of Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām)
Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) was the son of Dāwūd (ʿalayhi s-salām). After Dāwūd (ʿalayhi s-salām) passed away, he became a great prophet and took over his father’s kingdom. He was clever and wise like Dāwūd (ʿalayhi s-salām). Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) was a powerful king and had control over the creation of Allah.
The Two Women
Allah made Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) very wise and clever. One day, two women came to Dāwūd (ʿalayhi s-salām). They were arguing with each other about something and they wanted Dāwūd (ʿalayhi s-salām) to stop the fight. They both had a baby and one day, a wolf suddenly took one of the babies away. Both women were saying that the baby that was left was hers. Dāwūd (ʿalayhi s-salām) decided that the baby belonged to the woman who was the oldest.
They were both leaving when Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) called them back.
He said to them, “I will cut the baby in half so that both of you can have the baby.”
When the younger woman heard this, she got frightened and begged Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) not to do it. She said, “I don’t want the baby! The other woman can keep it!”
When Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) saw how much love the younger woman had for the baby, he knew that the younger woman was the real mother, so he gave the baby to her.
One day, Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) was going with his army which had humans, jinns, and even animals. Along the way, there was a place where ants lived.
When Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) came near where the ants lived, he heard an ant say, “O ants! Sulaymān and his army are coming so quickly hide. Otherwise, he might crush us and he will not even know he crushed us.”
When Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) heard the ant saying this, he smiled and remembered everything Allah had given him. He said, “O Allah, I want to thank you for everything you have given me. O Allah, I want to be able to good things and be from the pious people.”
Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) was pious like his father Dāwūd (ʿalayhi s-salām). He made duʿā to Allāh saying: “O Allāh, forgive me and give me a kingdom.”
Allah answered his duʿā and gave Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) a lot of power and control. He had control over the jinns and animals. He even had the wind in his control! The wind would take him to faraway places. He could travel to far places in only a little amount of time.
The Missing Bird
One day, while Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) was looking at his army, he noticed the hudhud bird was missing. He asked the army where hudhud was and he became very upset.
A little while later, hudhud came back. The bird told Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) that he had found out something about a place called Saba’. The bird said that Saba’ has a queen who has big throne. She was rich and Allāh had given her everything. But instead of worshipping Allāh, she used to worship the sun.
Her people would do the same and Shaytan made them think that they were doing something very good.
We learn that Shaytan tricks us and makes us believe that even the bad things we are doing and good. Sometimes we might think we are doing something very good but really it is something very bad. For example, a person steals money from a very rich person and gives all the money to the poor people. The person might think that he is doing something very good, but everyone else knows that stealing is very bad. Even if the person is giving the money to poor people, it does not make stealing good. In the same way, Shaytan tricks us into doing bad things and makes us think that it is good. So we should always learn about what is good and what is bad, and check everything we do, making sure Shaytan is not tricking us.
After hudhud told Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) about the queen, Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) gave him a letter to send to the queen. The letter was inviting the queen to Islam and telling her to leave all the wrong things she was doing.
The queen got the letter from Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām). Inside the letter was written: “I begin with the name of Allah, the Most Merciful. Do not try to fight me because you will find it very hard and you will lose. The best thing to do is become Muslim and obedient.”
The queen read the letter out to the people in the palace. She asked them what she should do. They said, “O queen, you know how strong and powerful we are. We can fight them and win. But we will still do whatever you want us to do.”
The queen said, “Everyone knows that when a king attacks, then he destroys everything. I know that Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) will do the same to us.”
The people said, “We will do whatever you tell us.”
The queen said, “I will send him beautiful gifts and test him to see what he does.”
The queen wanted to test Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) and see if he was a true prophet. If he was a true prophet, then he would not take the gifts. And if he was a fake prophet, then he would take the gifts and become happy.
The queen sent some people with lots of beautiful gifts. When they reached Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām), he told them he did not want any gifts.
He said, “Allāh had given be better than what you are giving. Go back to your queen and tell her that we will attack her with a big army.”
They went back with all gifts back to the queen and told her what had happened.
The queen decided to go meet Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām).
Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) asked, “Who can bring the throne of the queen here before she comes?”
A jinn said, “I can bring the throne before you even stand up!”
Another jinn who was clever said, “I can bring the throne before you can even blink!”
When Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) turned his head, he saw the throne of the queen in front of him. Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “This is a blessing from Allah. Allah wants to see if I am grateful or ungrateful.”
The Queen Arrives
Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) gave an order to the people to change the colour and style of the throne. Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) wanted to test queen to see if she recognises her own throne.
When the queen came, Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) asked, “Is this your throne?”
She said, “It looks the same as mine. It’s like it is mine.”
She did not think it was her own throne because she thought how can my throne be moved from such a far place in so less time?
The palace of Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) was made of glass and had water running underneath it.
When the queen entered the palace, she lifted her clothes so they do not get wet. Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) told her that the palace was made of glass so there is no water.
The queen understood that Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām) was a prophet of Allah and very clever. She understood that she had been doing something very wrong by worshipping the sun. She understood that the sun was a creation of Allah.
She asked Allah to forgive her and told her people to do the same.
Lessons from the Story of Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām)
We must remember some very important lessons from the story of Sulaymān (ʿalayhi s-salām):
We learn that sometimes a young person might be cleverer than an old person. But the young person should never disrespect the old person.
We learn that we should thank Allah for everything he has given us. If we are grateful, then He will give us even more.
We learn that we should even look after something as small as an ant. Everything is the creation of Allah. If we are kind to the creation of Allah, then Allah will be kind to us.