The Kingdom of Faith - The Story of Prophets Dauwud and Sulayman
by: Kamal al-Syyed | Translated by: Jasim al-Rasheed

Taloot died, and Dauwud became king. He was not deceived by his kingdom. Rather he thanked Allah. Allah, the Glorified, sent down the Zabur to him as a book after the Torah. He taught him many things; He taught him the language of birds and endowed him with effective and beautiful voice. When people heard Dauwud's voice, faith entered their hearts. His voice was like a pretty brook, the murmur of brooks, and the singing of birds in spring.

Allah, the Glorified, also softened iron for him. Iron, the solid metal, became soft at Dauwud's hand. Dauwud made breastplates from iron for those who struggled in the way of Allah.

Dauwud bred horses. The horse was a strong weapon, for the knights used it to struggle in the way of Allah and the truth.

When Dauwud recited the Zabur, birds responded to him and glorified Allah, and the mountains also responded to him.

Dauwud was a just king; he ruled his people according to Allah's Law. He supported the oppressed, so the people led a happy life during his rule.

Dauwud devoted one-third of the night to serving Allah. He loved Allah, and Allah loved him.

He fasted day by day and always glorified Allah.

When he woke in the morning, he glorified Allah,and the mountains repeated his glorification. When he recited the Zabur, the birds sang with him.

Dauwad founded a strong state for those who believed in Allah and His Law. He was a king and prophet. He regulated his time, life, and works; he divide his time into four parts:

  • The first part was for fulfilling his personal needs.
  • The second part was for serving Allah.
  • The third part was for deciding on complaints.
  • The fourth part was for educating his children.

The Test

Dauwud lived in his palace. The guards stood by the door. They allowed no body to meet Dauwud during the time of his worship.

At the time Dauwud was sitting at his mihrab. Suddenly, two men appeared before him.

Dauwud was afraid of them, for they came to him at the time of his prayers, not at the time of deciding complaints.

For this reason, one of them said: "Don't be afraid. We've come to you to decide our case." When Dauwud was sure of the two men, he asked them: "What's your case?"

One of the two men said: "This brother of mine has 99 sheep, and I have one sheep. He has taken my sheep; nevertheless his proof is strong."

Dauwud was moved, so he said with anger: "Your brother has wronged you. Why does he want to take your only sheep and he has 99 sheep?"

Dauwud made a quick decision, for he did not ask the other brother about his proof. He had to ask him about his proof.

The two brothers disappeared suddenly. Dauwud minded his own mistake. That was a divine test, he had to listen to the two quarreling sides.

Dauwud knew that Allah, the Glorified, wanted to test him, so he asked Allah to forgive him for his quick decision.

The New Judgment

Allah, the Glorified, gave Dauwud a boy-baby. Dauwud called the baby Sulayman. Sulayman grew up under the care of his father.

The father taught his son noble manners. He taught him how to serve Allah, to do good, and to thank Allah.

Sulayman grew up; he became a clever, believing young man.

Allah, the Glorified, wanted to show the people Sulayman's outstanding qualities. He wanted to make the people know that Sulayman was the successor of his father, Dauwud.

One night, while the people, the farmers, and the shepherds were sleeping, the sheep went out of their yards and headed for the vineyards. They ate the bunches ofgrapes and destroyed the plants.

In the morning, when the owner of the vineyards woke, he went to his vineyards. There heard he the sheep bleating. When he entered his vineyards, he saw the sheep eating the bunch of grapes and destroying the plants.

The man became angry, so he went to the owner of the sheep and accused him of grazing his sheep in the vineyards.

A quarrel took place between the two men.

The owner of the sheep said: "Let's go to the Prophet to decide this suit. On their way to the Prophet, the owner of the vineyards said to the owner of the sheep: "You must keep your sheep; don't let them graze wherever they want."

The owner of the sheep answered: "You must also keep your vineyards."

The owner of the vineyards said: "I guard them by day only; I think that there is nobody who grazes his sheep at night."

At that moment they arrived at king Dauwud's palace. They found him deciding the complaints of the people.

When the turn of the owner of the vineyards came, he walked toward Dauwud (A. S.) and explained his case before him.

Dauwud heard the case in detail, so he gave his judgment concerning this case, saying: "The owner of the sheep should give his sheep to the owner of the vineyards, for the sheep have destroyed the plants."

Allah, the Glorified, wanted to show the people the excellent qualities of Sulayman, son of Dauwud. He also wanted them to know that Sulayman was the successor of Dauwud, the prophet. Thus, he inspired Sulayman with a new judgment, so Sulayman said: "Allah's Prophet, there is a better judgment."

"What is it, my son?"

Sulayman answered: "The owner of the sheep should give his sheep to the owner of vineyards for one year, so that the latter will benefit from the wool and milk of the sheep and take what the sheep breed. Then the owner of the sheep should take the vineyards to recultivate the plants his sheep have destroyed."

Dauwud rejoiced at Sulayman's judgment. He understood that Allah, the Glorified, wanted to show the people Sulayman's outstanding qualities and to make them know that he would be the successor after his father. For this reason, Dauwud adopted Sulayman's judgment, and people have respected his judgment from that time on.

Dauwud's rule lasted for forty years. Throughout those years, Dauwud ruled according to what Allah had sent down to him. So good and security prevailed the lands Dauwud ruled.

When Dauwud felt that his death was approaching, he appointed his son Sulayman as a successor after him. That is because Sulayman was similar to his father in behavior, morals, and kindness to people.

Sulayman, the Wise man

Sulayman was a young, believing man when he shouldered the responsibility of ruling and managing the affairs of the country.

Sulayman strengthened the abilities of his army. He did not want to occupy and control the countries of others, but he wanted to spread the word of Islam all over the earth.

Sulayman was a prophet, wise man, and king. When Allah, the Glorified, saw that Sulayman was humble and grateful, He doubled his kingdom and blessed his country, so blessings prevailed Sulayman's country.

Allah, the Glorified, endowed Sulayman unique with qualities, for Sulayman always thanked him.

Allah ordered the stormy winds to obey Sulayman. So Sulayman commanded them to blow and they blew. He ordered them to stop and they stopped.

Allah, the Glorified, ordered Jinns to obey Sulayman. Jinns carried out Sulayman's orders; they dived into the deep seas and brought out treasures, pearls and corals. They made him pretty statues and mihrabs.

Sulayman wanted to establish a strong state to protect those who believed in Allah, so he prayed to Allah to teach him the secrets of science.

Allah, the Glorified, taught him many secrets of sciences, and He taught him the language of birds and animals.

For this reason, Sulayman ordered agriculture to be developed and dams to be built. Besides, he formed a big army from both the jinn and men.

To make the enemies take care of faith, Sulayman ordered the jinn and men to build him a unique throne.

Thus, the jinn and men carried out Sulayman's ordered; they brought ebony wood, gold, ivory, and thousands of precious stones.

They made a throne decorated with gold and ivory and set with precious stones such as corundum and emerald.

They made two statues of two fearful lions and put by both sides of the throne, and they also made two statues of two terrible eagles spreading their wings over the throne.

The Ant of Sulayman

Allah, the Glorified, is the Creator of man and animal; He is the Creator of all things. When we look at the world around us, we find many creatures.

There are small creatures living close to us. We do not notice these creatures when they pass by us, and we do not see them except when we look at them carefully.

These creatures are called ants. Ants live in socities; they work and wage war and defend themselves against their enemies.

Their life is highly organized; it is full of work and activity. Ants collect food in summer to eat it in winter.

An amusing story took place between this small creature and Sulayman (A. S.).

One day Sulayman led his army to struggle in the way of Allah.

Sulayman and his army passed through a valley where ants lived. The hooves of the horses shook the ground. As usual, the ants worked in the valley. Some ants collected food; some worked in their houses.

There was a small ant working out of its house. The small ant felt the ground shaking. She knew that Sulayman and his army were coming to the valley, so she stood and warned her mates, saying: "Ants, Sulayman's Army is on its way to the valley! Come on, return to your houses; otherwise the soldiers will crush you while they do not know." The ant was in a tree looking at the horizon. Then Sulayman and his soldiers appeared.

Sulayman looked at the ant, who was still warning her mates against him and his soldiers.

Allah, the Glorified, taught Sulayman the language, so he smiled at the ant.

Sulayman dismounted his horse and prostrated himself to Allah, and then he raised his head, looked at the sky, and said: "My Lord, grant me that I should be grateful for Your favor which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I should do good such as You are pleased with, and make me enter into Your good servants by Your mercy."

Sulayman prevented his soldiers from entering the valley, so they followed another way.

Many ants were afraid that Sulayman and his soldiers would destroy their houses.

However,the ant told them about what had happened and they rejoiced at it, so they asked Allah to grant Sulayman and his soldiers a victory over their enemies.

Sulayman's Army went on marching to struggle in the way of Allah, and the ants came back to the valley to work peacefully.

News from Saba' (Sheba)

Sulayman's Army consisted of men, the jinn, and birds. For example, the hoopoe (Hudhud) helped the army look for water.

The hoopoe sat on the place under which water flowed, so the workers came and dug that place and brought out water.

One day Sulayman ordered his army to gather, so the believing soldiers, the jinn, and the birds attended.

Sulayman talked about his great kingdom. He said: "All this kingdom is a gift from Allah, the Glorified. Whoever thanks Allah, Allah, the Glorified, bestows on him. Allah has taught me the language of birds and given me all things."

In the meantime, Sulayman remembered the hoopoe. He did not find him among the birds. All the birds had attended except the hoopoe.

The Prophet (A. S.) asked: "Where is the hoopoe? Is he absent?"

The birds looked at each other and said to one another: "The hoopoe has made a great mistake!"

Sulayman said: "I will punish the hoopoe severely. I will kill him if he does not give me a good excuse to justify his aim."

Some days passed, and then the hoopoe came. The birds told him about Sulayman's threat, so he was afraid of the wise king's punishment.

The hoopoe knew that his life was in danger, and that he would be killed if he did not give an acceptable excuse to the Prophet.

The hoopoe flew to the palace and sat at the gate. He asked the guards for permission and entered.

He walked on the royal, marble court bowing his head to show his regret.

The Prophet (A. S.) asked the hoopoe: "Hoopoe, where have you been?"

The hoopoe raised his head and talked to the Prophet about his moving travel. He answered: "I have been in the Kingdom of Saba'. I have brought you important news. I have seen a large country and a great nation. I have seen that a queen ruling them. I have seen her sitting on a great throne."

Sulayman listened attentively to the exiting news. The hoopoe said: "I saw the Queen, whose name is Balqis, prostrating herself to the sun, and not to Allah. All the people there worship the sun. Satan deceived them when he told them that the sun was the source of existence."

Sulayman was sad when he heard the hoopoe's words, so he said: "Why they do not prostrate to Allah, Who brings forth what is hidden in the heavens and the earth and knows what you hide and what you make open. Allah, there is no god but He; He is the Lord of mighty power."

The hoopoe went on talking about what he had seen in that country, so Sulayman looked at him and said: "We will see whether you are truthful or untruthful."

Sulayman said that and rose to write a letter to the Queen of Saba'. As for the hoopoe, he was sure that Sulayman would not punish him for what he had done. Then he asked king Sulayman to permit him to take a rest after that long travel. He promised him that he would come on the following day to carry the letter to the Queen.

All the birds talked about what the hoopoe had seen. He made an exciting travel which no one made except the men and the jinn. Sulayman himself did not know that there was a kingdom nor did he know that there was a nation worshipping the sun, and not Allah.

His Travel to Yemen

In the morning, the hoopoe came to Sulayman's palace to carry the letter to Yemen. Sulayman had put the letter into a gold envelope and sealed it.

The The hoopoe flew high in the sky to cover that long distance between Palestine and Yemen.

If we look at the map, we will wonder at this long journey. How did the hoopoe make that long journey? How did he cover those deserts? How did he cross those high mountains?

The hoopoe covered that long distance and bore the hardships of that long journey to make the people there worship Allah, the One and Only.

The hoopoe arrived in the Kingdom of Saba', in Yemen. When the sun rose, he went to the palace of Balqis, the strong Queen of Yemen.

Balqis woke and looked at the sun through the window. Then she prostrated herself to the sun.

At that moment, the hoopoe entered the royal court through the window and put the letter on the Queen's throne.

Balqis saw something glittering on her throne. She took the gold envelope and opened it. She was surprised to see the beautiful letter.

The hoopoe watched the Queen as she read the letter. The Queen looked at the hoopoe with astonishment and asked herself: "How did that hoopoe cover that long distance to achieve this important task?"

Balqis sent for her ministers and military commanders.

When they came and met the Queen, the Queen rose from her throne holding the letter and said: "Chiefs, Chiefs, an honorable letter has been delivered to me. The letter is from Sulayman. It reads: In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: Do not exalt your self against me and come to me in submission."

Fearful silence prevailed the royal court. The King of Palestine threatened them and ordered them to refrain from worshipping the sun and to serve Allah the One and Only.

Balqis said: "Chiefs, give me advice concerning my afafir. I never decide an affair unless you are in my prescence."

Balqis asked the military commanders for advice. She said to them: "I am not stubborn. The fate of the country stands on your answer. For this reason, we must make a reasonable choice."

The military commanders were eager to wage war against Sulayman, so they said with enthusiasm: "We are powerful; our army is strong; we are able to defend our country; nevertheless you are free to take any attitude."

Queen Balqis was a wise woman. She thought before she decided, so she said: "When the kings enter a town, they ruin the town and make its people low, and thus they (always) do. We must know who Sulayman is. Is he an oppressive king? Is he really a prophet? Does he want to occupy our country or to do good for us?"

One of the ministers answered: Her Majesty, the Queen, how shall we know that?"

The Queen said: "I am ready to establish good links with king Sulayman and to send him gifts every year. Now, I will send him gifts with some envoys. I want to test him with the gifts. If he accepts them, then he is a king like other kings, and we will be able to disobey him in refraining from worshipping the sun. If he refuses to accept them, then he is not a king; he is a real prophet. Therefore, we are not afraid of the prophets because they do not oppress anybody. I will order the envoys to see his kingdom with their own eyes and to understand fully his aims, so we must wait till our envoys return."

The states men approved of the Queen's view, so the Queen sent Sulayman gifts.

The hoopoe watched closely the meeting of the statesmen, and he understood the Queen's decision, so he flew back to Palestine.

The hoopoe flew and flew; he covered a long distance. He stopped only to take a little rest.

At last, the hoopoe arrived in Palestine and soon went to Sulayman to inform him of the latest news.

The hoopoe said to Sulayman: "Some envoys from the Kingdom of Saba' are on their way to here."

Sulayman said to himself: "I must think of a way to convince the envoys to believe in Allah and to refrain from worshipping the sun.

"The best way is that I must show them the greatness of my kingdom and the authority Allah has endowed me with. I must say to them: People worship Allah. Wild animals obey me. Birds fly around me. The jinn works day and night; they build houses and dive into the deep seas to bring out pearls."

Sulayman knew that the envoys would come to him carrying expensive gifts to convince him to keep silent.

Threat with War

The envoys of Saba' arrived in Palestine. They were a group of knights carrying the most expensive gifts to Sulayman.

To make the envoys understand that his kingdom was divine and greater than theirs, Allah's Prophet Sulayman, received them in a highly impressive way.

The envoys were astounded to see the lions and tigers standing beside Sulayman, the birds flying close to him, and the armed soldiers standing in neat lines.

Sulayman sat on the throne. In spite of his magnificent royal court, Sulayman was humble; his eyes blazed with faith and love.

The envoys walked toward Sulayman to give him the gifts. They were ashamed of their gifts which looked worthless in Sulayman's high ranking presence.

There an unexpected thing, happened.

Sulayman refused to accept the gifts, for he understood that they were sent not to establish good ties between the two kingdoms, but they were sent as a bribe to make him overlook the pagan rites of Saba'.

Sulayman said with anger: "Will you help me with wealth? What Allah has given me is better than what He has given you. Rather you rejoice at your gift."

Then Sulayman addressed the head of the envoys, saying: "Go back to them, We will come to them with soldiers whom they are unable to resist, and We will expel them from it (Saba'), and they are humble."

Now Sulayman threatened them with war. He did not want gold and silver from the people of Saba'; he wanted them to believe in Allah the One and Only. He was not a king to accept gold and silver; he was a prophet. The Prophets wanted the people to believe in Allah and to refrain from worshipping idols.

Sulayman said to the envoys, who were astonished to see his greatness, humbleness, and prostration to Allah: "Allah, the Glorified, created man and made him honorable, so why does man prostrate himself to idols? Why does he worship the sun and the moon? Does he not know that he is most honorable of all Allah's creatures? Does he not know that Allah wants him to be free and to fear no one except Him?"

Queen Balqis's Decision

The envoys returned to Yemen and told the Queen about Sulayman's attitude.

The Queen of Saba' said to herself: "If I insist on my attitude, war will certainly take place. Sulayman is not a king. Perhaps, he is a prophet. Therefore, I myself must go to him."

Queen Balqis thought that it would be better for her to see closely what had happened there. She thought that she would be able to establish good links between the two kingdoms to avoid the war that was about to break out between them.

Thus, the Queen decided to go to Sulayman's kingdom. Many statesmen warned her from this decision of hers, but their efforts were useless.

Balqis was a brave and wise Queen. She thought very much of the affair, so she found nothing better than going to king Sulayman.

The Queen took baggage, slave girls, and soldiers, and she left her kingdom quickly.

As for the wise King, Allah's Prophet Sulayman, he met the men of his state. His aim was to convince the Queen of Saba' to believe in Allah, the Glorified, and to refrain from worshipping idols. Thus, he thought about a way to make her give up her wrong thought.

At last, he concluded a wonderful idea: "I must bring Queen Balqis's throne from Yemen, before she arrives in Palestine!"

The believing Person's ability

Sulayman gathered the men, the jinn, and the birds, and then he asked them: "Who can bring the throne of the Queen of Saba'?"

It was a difficult task; the hoopoes were unable to do it.

One of the jinn rose and said: "My lord, I will bring it before you leave this place of yours!"

Sulayman wanted the believing person to show his ability, so he turned to a person called Asif bin Barkhiya and said to him: "Asif, what is your opinion?

"I can bring it," answered Asif.

"When?" asked Sulayman.

"I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye; you will see the throne with in moments!"

Asif was full of faith and will.

All the people knew Asif bin Barkhiya; they knew his faith and loyalty to Allah.

Allah, the Glorified, honored his believing servant. The surprise occurred. All the attendants saw the throne of the kingdom of Saba' in the royal court.

The Queen's throne was magnificent. It was made of black wood decorated with gold, silver, and precious stones. Onyxes glittered all over it. The sunshine that came through the colored roof increased it in beauty.

Sulayman ordered his men to make some changes on Balqis's throne to test her. He wanted to know how she would behave towards that miracle.

The Meeting

The birds announced: "Queen Balqis is close to Palestine. She will arrive in the Holy Land within hours."

The Queen's throne, the royal court, and the palace were all decorated in a highly impressive way.

Sulayman's throne was near the Queen's. Balqis entered the magnificent, royal palace.

She entered the royal court and saw Sulaymain sitting on his throne. She saw him surrounded by lions, birds, and soldiers.

Referring to her throne, one of the soldiers asked: "Is that your throne?"

When the Queen saw her throne, she was about to cry. However, she thought before she answered: "It looks like my throne!"

Her heart was filled with faith and submission to Allah. She looked at Sulayman and understood that he was polite, humble, and believing. When Sulayman talked, she felt love and peace in his words.

The Glass Basin

The The reception was over, so the bodyguards took Queen Balqis to the palace Sulayman built for her stay.

The Queen, surrounded by her bodyguards, went to the palace. Some guards stood by both sides of the gate of the palace. Balqis entered the big hall.

Some believing young girls accompanied the Queen to the palace, but they walked behind her to show respect.

When the Queen entered the hall, she saw a wide glass basin between the gate of the hall and her room. She imagined that the basin was filled with water, so she bared her legs.

One of the young girls smiled and said: "It is a mere glass palace!"

Balqis saw another sign for Sulayman's greatness.

The reflection of light and the tracing glass made the Queen think that there was a basin full of water.

The Queen asked: Can man build such a palace?"

The young girl: "No, the jinn have built it."

Balqis murmured: "Surely, the jinn have built it!"

The belief in Allah increased in her heart. She had already discussed her own religion. She was not satisfied with the sun as a god.

She thought that the real god should not set, and that he should always be present. However, she was unable to announce her thought, for all the people of her kingdom worshipped the sun. If she had said that the sun was not a god, they would have killed her.

Now, the Queen knew the truth. She saw Allah, the Glorified, with her own heart. She knew that Allah loved people. She saw how Allah ordered all things to obey man. Therefore, she said: "Man should not prostrate himself to anyone except Allah."

The believing person ruled the existence! The believing person was Sulayman, who ordered the wind to blow, who ordered the jinn, the bird, and the animals to obey him; nevertheless he prostrated him to Allah to show gratefulness and humbleness.

Thus, Balqis looked at the sky and said humbly: "My Lord, I have wronged myself, and I have submitted with Sulayman to Allah, the Lord of the worlds."

Queen Balqis prostrated herself to Allah for the first time, so all her soldiers also prostrated themselves to Him.

Thus, Sulayman prostrated himself to Allah to thank Him. He succeeded in convincing the Queen to believe in Allah.

The End

The jinn were afraid of Sulayman, for he was the only one who forced them to serve the Kingdom of Faith.

For long years, they made mihrabs and statues, and they dived into the deep seas to bring out pearls and corals. They thought that they were stronger than man.

However, when the competition for bringing the throne took place, the believing person won it; he was able to bring it from Yemen to Palestine within the twinkling of an eye.

Still, the jinn thought that they were better than all Allah's creatures. They thought that they were more knowledgeable than them.

Allah, the Glorified, wanted to show the jinn that they knew nothing except what He had taught them.

The Woodworm

Sulayman leaned on his rod in his palace. The jinn worked and worked. When they looked at Sulayman, they increased their work because they were afraid of him.

Sulayman had finished his prayers and went to watch the work of the jinn.

He leaned on his rod and looked at the jinn who were working. At that time Allah, the Glorified, made Sulayman die. Thus, Sulayman's soul traveled to the Heavens.

Sulayman remained leaning on his rod for days.

The jinn came and saw him standing, so they went their different tasks.

No one knew the truth; all the jinn looked at Sulayman and saw him standing.

Allah wanted to make his servants, the men and the jinn, understand that they did not know the unseen.

The woodworm crept on the marble royal court; nevertheless nobody felt it.

Allah, the Glorified, wanted to show the truth through the smallest one of His creatures.

The woodworm walked torward Sulayman's rod and began eating it.

Sulayman was still leaning on his rod. Meanwhile, the woodworm was busy eating the rod, and the jinn were busy working.

After long weeks, when the woodworm ate part of the rod, a surprising thing took place.

Sulayman fell on the ground; he fell on the marble royal court. Both the men and the jinn understood that Sulayman died.

The jinn understood that they did not know the unseen, for they did not know that Sulayman had died.

Were it not for that woodworm, the jinn would go on working for a long time.

The believers were sad at Sulayman's death. As for the jinn, they rejoiced at his death, for they felt that they would no longer work for man.

Such ended Sulayman's kingdom. It was a wonderful kingdom. The men, the jinn, and the animals took part in building it.

Peace be on Sulayman, the grateful, the wise prophet, the king of the kingdom of faith!