Path Towards Enlightenment (829)
Welcome to our weekly programme "Path towards Enlightenment" in which we present you a fluent and easy-to-understand explanation of the ayahs of the holy Qur’an. We start from where we left you a fortnight ago and here are ayahs 34 and 35 of Surah Saad:
“Certainly We tried Solomon, and cast a [lifeless] body on his throne. Thereupon he was penitent.”
“He said, ‘My Lord! Forgive me, and grant me a kingdom that does not befit anyone except me. Indeed You are the All-Munificent.”
In the previous edition of this programme a fortnight ago, we had explained the bounties that God Almighty showered on Prophet Solomon after having tested him, and the ayahs which we recited to you now refer to one of the hard tests that this Prophet-king had to pass through.
Since details of this account have not been mentioned in the Qur’an, we refer to hadith or narrations regarding explanations of God’s words by Prophet Mohammad (SAWA) and the Infallible Imams of his household.
Solomon desired to have some brave and efficient sons who could help him in running the country and especially in confronting the enemies, but since he did not say the holy phrase: ‘Insha Allah which means “If Allah Wills”, he got no child from his wives except a handicapped son, who resembled a soulless body that was brought and put on his throne. Solomon thought very much and became inconvenient that why he neglected Allah for even a single moment and relied on his own power, when the fact of the matter is that everything that he has is from Allah the Exalted and not from himself. Then he repented and returned to Allah, and is specified by the next ayah, which says that after seeking forgiveness, he beseeched God to grant him powers and a kingdom that no one else has been granted, in order to reflect the proof of his prophethood.
From these ayahs we learn that:
- Trial and tribulation from God Almighty is intended to polish a pious person and make him a symbol of virtue, as has been the case with prophets and divine leaders.
- As a matter of fact, all human beings are tested by God under different circumstances and as per varying degrees, in order to test their faith; thus those who pass these trials they are rewarded by God while those who fail these tests deprive themselves of divine mercy.
- Whatever good we desire we should beseech Allah and rely upon Him, instead of thinking that we have the power to accomplish that particular thing.
- Some prophets were granted temporal and political power and ruled as kings, in order to provide examples of practically implementing the laws of God in society.
Now we listen to or read ayahs 36 to 38 of Surah Saad:
“So We disposed the wind for him, blowing softly by his command wherever he intended;”
“And the devils [as well as], every builder and diver;”
“And others [too] bound together in chains.”
These ayahs show that Solomon's request was granted, and God provided him with special powers that no ruler before him had. In these ayahs, Allah points to the favours He had given to Solomon; among them are the winds made subservient to him; his taking benefit from the power of the jinn – a species that are invisible; controlling their destructive powers; and having the authority and the rank of nearness to Allah with a bright future.
These bounties are a part of the sample government that Solomon had asked for. He was also given the power of controlling the devils for performing some positive activities, as the next ayah says. In other words, Allah made them subservient to him so that a group of them would accomplish every building he desired in the land, and a group of them would work in the sea. Thus Allah gave Solomon some ready-made powers for some positive actions, and made the devils, whose nature is to be disobedient and rebellious, so subservient to him that they worked for him in buildings on the land and extraction of precious things from mines. Some of them worked in construction works such as bridges and dams and a group were engaged at sea.
A group of jinns also disobeyed his command and he imprisoned them like human prisoner. In this way, God granted him miracles to dominate the forces of nature.
From these ayahs we learn that:
- The jinn have intelligence to a certain extent and human beings can take advantage of their abilities.
- In the management of countries or the implementation of important plans, the use of the power and expertise of efficient forces is very necessary.
- Individuals and groups that harm the community and cause disruption to the social system must be arrested and controlled as Solomon did with rebellious Jinns.